Holy cats, Gena reads all over the place. Must be the years of library experience...
Don't be put off by the sheer size of this book. As soon as you read the first page you're drawn into a completely compelling narrative that tells the stories of these important artists. They are to be celebrated! Full of world history as well. Pick it up, put it down, use as a reference - I can't recommend it enough.--Gena
This book is quite beautiful inside and out. It tells the tale of Michelangelo when he was summoned to Istanbul by the sultan to design a bridge spanning the Golden Horn. The bones of the story are true, with liberties taken to craft a moving narrative. With elegant prose, it's a tale that keeps lost things alive.
If this book isn't enough to convince you that nuclear energy is not even remotely the way forward, I don't know what will. You can't use creature comforts when you are dead. Humans make mistakes, robots make errors, and we are not smarter than gamma rays - no matter your education, experience or military rank. This takes you right inside, leading up to, during, and after the disaster with frightening detail. A must read.
I find it hard to classify this extraordinary book. Science? History? Feminism? LGBTQ+? Biography? All of these and more. Weaving a cast of characters throughout history, the author explores each person's life's work, barriers broken, personal tribulations and overlapping relationships. It's a tome of discovery, perhaps sparking strength and inspiration in you.
Everything Ali Smith writes is pure gold. One of my favorite writers. This is the latest in her season-themed quartet, just released in paperback. Also,you don't have to read these in order! Her books are so much more than just a story, they provide avenues to explore so many other people and ideas. This is sure to lift you up and out of your homebound funk for a bit.
Part one of her collection of essays, Davis is 100%. Her topics and analyses are so refreshing, a joy to read with dry wit to boot. Pick it up, put it down, it's like taking a master class from a very inspiring professor.
This is exactly what you might expect from a book of this title. Many times have I have mused about doing something like this when I worked at libraries. Used bookstores seem to me to be the halfway house between my experience in libraries and my beloved current job here, where we only sell new books. The author is the owner of Scotland's biggest second-hand bookstore, as they are commonly referred to in the UK, and is formatted as a diary. It's the perfect dose of curmudgeonly irritation, love of books, amusement of eccentrics, and the daily routine and adventures you would expect from small literary village life. This could easily be made into a heartwarming movie honestly. Extremely enjoyable, I am affirmed in my observations of people, and share in the honor most booksellers feel in this chosen job.
The Journey is the second book in the Trilogy of Memory series by one of Mexico's premier writers. Luckily the books do not have to be read in order. We were fortuitously recommended this title by our store friend Professor Ignacio Prado Sanchez and I fell in love within the first pages. It reads as memoir or travel writing, however, the classification is fiction. This is an embrace of place, history, and ideas and their effect on the people who live within these worlds. The book is so alive you can feel the energy glimmer in your hands as you turn each page. It's influenced by Pitrol's travels around the former Soviet Union in 1986, and you will learn and experience so much!
I have wanted to order in a collection of James Wood essays since I started at Subterranean and was so disappointed that his last book was no longer in print. Happy days are here again! A brand new collection is out and contains my beloved first essay I ever read by him, "The Fun Stuff," about Keith Moon, the first drummer and wild man for The Who. James Wood is an essayist who can take you from rock and roll to Saul Bellow, from Zadie Smith to Cormac McCarthy, and back again seamlessly. I especially enjoyed his analysis on Dostoevsky. You learn so much and realize ideas you may not even fully knew you had through his words. It's just fun. Like all great essayists, he himself becomes part of the pieces but not the main focus. If you like essays and literary criticism, he's one of the best.
This is a different Jenny Offill than I remember from her last magical book. It has less sparkle and more grit. However, her writing style remains similar. Short paragraphs, musings, even questionnaires tug the plot along. But this is a weathered Jenny. One for our times. Seeing the world with no rose-colored glasses. With her dry humor, she shines a light on the absurd, with love and care. I love it.
This could be the best memoir I’ve read. Albertine's frankness and perspective ring so true it’s like being able to breathe again. Viv is known for fronting the groundbreaking all-female post-punk band The Slits, but this is her story later in life, in middle age, reckoning with the loss of her mother and lifelong confidant. With a depth of perspective that gives voice to women everywhere, her stories and truth-telling kick down the door, unashamed and beautiful.
A heartbreaking but loving look back at Lynda Barry’s own coming of age story, one of many I’m sure, but one that tells a story that is bigger than herself. Her approach to making comics is soulful and playful; her storytelling goes further into the depths of personal experience, addressing sometimes painful realizations. Her everpresent honoring of humanity serves as the bridge from the standard memoir form to her singular art. She is truly a master of her craft and this book gives us a look into what has informed the genuine person we know in her graphic novels.
I came across Stephen Ellcock through his beautiful Instagram account. This book collects into a hard cover book the gorgeous visual art gems he shares daily, truly all good things. He is a hunter, offering his finds to us as inspiration, uplifting the spirit.
I was immediately attracted to this book due to the cover, but also to the summary. Then I read more about the subject matter it dives into and paused. Yet more signs kept pointing me back to the book. Gorgeously written and immediately compelling, and leaves space for strong imagery. This small, but mighty, book is deeply haunting and tackles perfectly the terror of abuse, the tyranny of history and the raw beauty of the wilderness.
This is an essay based on a speech and published in 1929. It is probably the most seminal texts shining light on and encouraging women to fight against their forced reliance on men throughout history and encouraging them to make their own way. She is the reason most of the fiction published today is by women. I’m glad I finally read this book. Not many books could be more important.--Gena
As soon as I read my first Ursula K. Le Guin book I knew I was encountering one of our great American writers. I am just finally getting around to reading one of her most famous and beloved books, the first in the Earthsea series. If you are looking for an escape to a made-up world of wizards and quests, this is the book for you. It will reward you with a reminder of the wisdom, goodness and strength we can tap into - that we all carry inside ourselves. Think Harry Potter but better written, thirty years prior, and leaving you without the baggage you may find reading the now-scorned and controversial Rowling.--Gena
One may think this is a strange book to read right now. But there is never a wrong time to read about American history, especially when in times of great change and crisis.
Truman was thrown into the presidency without wanting it at all, during the worst war we have ever seen, and without any knowledge of the atomic bomb, Truman had to step out of the shadowed legacy of FDR and become his own man. And, not without blunders, he did. He was an honest, extremely hardworking man from Missouri, where the odds were always stacking against him. Without waver he always stuck to the ideals of world peace in a realistic no nonsense fashion and living life with integrity. He came alive when the going was absolutely the toughest. I am not a fast reader and was intimated by the sheer size of the book — no need, its a page turner. It’s not only a comprehensive look at one of our most remarkable presidents, but a jumping off point to explore endless facets of important US history which set the course for issues that still face us today. It is also a fascinating look at our own state of Missouri, how and what type of people settled in the western part of the state, and is insightful about why we are the way we are today. One of the best books I’ve ever read, hands down.