Book Reviews

Negroland

STAFF REVIEW: Negroland, the memoir by journalist Margo Jefferson, adds another stunning voice to the dialogue about race.

Negroland: A Memoir Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780307378453
Availability: Special Order
Published: Pantheon Books - September 8th, 2015

Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography


Shrinking the Earth

STAFF REVIEW: Widely recognized as the nation's first environmental historian, KU professor emeritus of history, Don Worster, has just released his latest book: Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance (Oxford University Press). Each chapter charts the history of North Americans' slow realization of the limits of their continent's natural resources.

Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of Natural Abundance Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780199844951
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - February 5th, 2016

The discovery of the Americas around 1500 AD was an extraordinary watershed in human experience. It gave rise to the modern period of human ecology, a phenomenon global in scope that set in motion profound changes in almost every society on earth.


Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic

Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic offers a lucid description of the decidedly irreligious philosophies of the founders, Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, among others. In this campaign season, I found it refreshing to read something that so thoroughly incinerates the fundamentalist cudgel that the country was founded on Christian (read: bigoted) principles. Recommended by Kelly

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393351293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2015

America's founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America's revolutionaries drew their inspiration.


Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic

STAFF REVIEW: Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic offers a lucid description of the decidedly irreligious philosophies of the founders, Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, among others. In this campaign season, I found it refreshing to read something that so thoroughly incinerates the fundamentalist cudgel that the country was founded on Christian (read: bigoted) principles. Recommended by Kelly

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393351293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2015

America's founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America's revolutionaries drew their inspiration.


Our Souls at Night

Not surprisingly, Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf's last before he passed away in 2014, is a quiet, beautiful book. The premise: 70-year-old widow Addie asks her widower neighbor, Louis, who lives two doors down, to come to her house each night and sleep with her–not for sex, but for pillow talk and as an antidote to crushing loneliness. Their unconventional agreement births not only town gossip but also a love and trust neither has before experienced. Recommended by Kelly

Our Souls at Night Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781101875896
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 26th, 2015

A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future.


My Name Is Lucy Barton

Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton is an brisk, intimate, and searing exploration of the troubled relationship between the title character and her mother. Lucy is in the hospital for many weeks with a mysterious illness when her estranged mother appears out of nowhere. Through their hospital bedside conversations, they make sense of their shared past, all while keeping troubling secrets buried. It’s a brilliant take on the silences of families and the process of making sense out of a difficult past.

My Name Is Lucy Barton Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781400067695
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - January 12th, 2016

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the tender relationship between mother and daughter in this extraordinary novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys.


Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

Carrie Brownstein’s terrific memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is necessary reading for anyone who constructs their identity around the music they listen to. Regardless of your experience with Brownstein’s mighty band Sleater-Kinney, there’s much to delight in here, from immersive portraits of the early-90s Olympia rock scene, to poignant reveries about the pains of touring and the challenges of friendship and collaboration. Uniting all of the memorable scenes and anecdotes is Brownstein’s level-headed voice, plainly and beautifully capturing what animates her as an artist.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594486630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - October 27th, 2015

From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, the book Kim Gordon says "everyone has been waiting for" and a New York Times Notable Book of 2015-- a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life--and finding yourself--in music.


The Door

Magda Szabo’s novel The Door­—available and popular in her native Hungary since 1987—is long overdue to arrive on our shores. The devastating novel tells the story of the fraught and mysterious friendship between the narrator, also an author named Magda, and her housekeeper Emerence. Emerence, who won’t let anyone past her front door, is a true force of nature. Her relationship with Magda sizzles and cracks as it leads to the book’s Greek-tragic ending. At times brutal, the book examines friendship, betrayal, and aging with honesty and clear eyes. Savor this book; let it break your heart.

The Door (Nyrb Classics) Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translator), Ali Smith (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590177716
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York Review of Books - January 27th, 2015

One of The New York Times Book Review's "10 Best Books of 2015"

An NYRB Classics Original


My Friend Flicka

In my second childhood again (I was one of those little kids begging for a horse), I read My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara, which I'd always thought was a "little horse book for little girls." How wrong I was. Though it can happily be read by a child, it works on several levels. In the stunning backdrop of Wyoming grasslands, this story tells the tale of 12-year-old boy Ken McLaughlin, a rancher's son striving to win his father's approval.

My Friend Flicka Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060512620
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - December 27th, 2005

The classic story of an aimless teenager, a demanding father,
and aspirited horse -- now a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

As you're looking for gifts, don't forget Betty Smith's groundbreaking novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It chronicles the life of the Nolans, a desperately poor family in the tenements of turn-of-the-20th-century Brooklyn. Though only a child when the narrative begins, the novel's protagonist Francie does her best to make sense of the joys and hardships of her family, becoming a writer before the readers' eyes. Published in 1942, the novel is part coming-of-age story and part historical chronicle. Though occasionally sentimental, the novel's cumulative power is astonishing.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060736262
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - February 1st, 2005

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century.


Pages