Monday, December 20, 2010

On the Ninth Day of the Holidays My Bookseller Recommended to me!

Nine new releases...

the following are some of our favorite newly released titles from Fall/Winter catalogs! Some of these titles have been previously published in hardcover, but are definitely worthy of this post!


ODIOUS OGRE by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer. The Odious Ogre has a terrible reputation and the townspeople live in constant fear of him. But one day he comes across a girl who has never heard of him. She is so sweet and generous and her kindness may just kill him. This is the first book Juster and Feiffer have worked on together since The Phantom Tollbooth. Ages 3-8 ~Marika

ASH by Malinda Lo
. There have been many retellings of Cinderella, but Ash is an entirely new take on Perrault’s tale. Ash grows up reading fairy tales, which her father says are just stories. When her father dies and her stepmother sets her to work, Ash dreams of escaping into the land of faerie, a place she knows is real. Ash meets the faerie Sidhean and learns that her wish may finally be granted. Meanwhile, Ash’s walks in the woods bring her to forge a friendship with the King’s Huntress. As their friendship grows, Ash comes to the realization that perhaps love can exist in the human realm. But Ash has already promised Sidhean that she will return faerie, and she must choose between the possibility of love and the ethereal perfection of faerie. Ages 12 & up ~Marika

DUST CITY by Robert Paul Weston. Narrated by the son of the Big Bad Wolf, Dust City is a dark, gritty and violent story but stands out from many on the YA shelf with its fairy tale-inspired twist. Fairy tales were always scary, but Weston updates the issues and ideas, creating a gritty novel that will resonate with today’s teens. Think The Outsiders with a Fables twist. Ages 12 & up ~Marika

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ROOM by Emma Donoghue. Jack, our 5-year-old narrator, and his mother are being held captive in an 11’ by 11’ room. His mother struggles to give him as close to normal a childhood as possible under these desperate circumstances, with “Outside” being a made-up world he sees only on TV. But when Ma’s daily struggle against insanity becomes too much to
bear, Jack must bear the burden of a drastic escape plan. Donoghue’s ability to portray Jack’s understanding of his world and Ma’s determination to keep him safe is both tender and heart-wrenching. It has been a long time since I have read a book that has affected me as much as this one has—it’s absolutely haunting. ~Emily

COMPASS ROSE by John Casey. A sequel to Spartina, which won the National Book Award and was acclaimed by the New York Times Book Review as being, “possibly the best American novel . . . since The Old Man and the Sea,” This book also works beautifully as a stand-alone novel. In the salt marshes of southern Rhode Island, a small community wrestles with how to understand and negotiate the corporate gentrification of their coastline and how to welcome Rose. She is Elsie Buttrick’s out-of-wedlock daughter by local fisherman Dick Pierce, whose wife and sons live nearby. Casey is a master at creeping into the heads of his characters and opening their hearts to us; he also creates a magically rendered landscape, where the tidal movement of the estuaries echo the subtly changing relationships among the characters. I adored this book. ~Elli

ONE HUNDRED PORTRAITS engraved by Barry Moser. We are so fortunate to have one of the world’s most important wood engravers as a local resident and a great friend to the Odyssey. Barry’s new book is a masterpiece that all bibliophiles will want to add to their libraries. Writers, artists, composers & friends grace the pages of this book. Portraits of local artists and writers include: Leonard Baskin, Patricia MacLachlan, Richard Wilbur, and Eric Carle, and my favorites include Eudora Welty, Maxine Kumin, Wole Soyinka, and Emily Crowe. ~Joan

THE BELLS by Richard Harvell. Born to a deaf mother amidst the peals of the loudest bells in 18th-century Christendom, Moses Froben is a boy whose extraordinary sense of hearing is matched only by the altitudinous beauty of his soprano voice. Dark events lead him to seek sanctuary at the Abbey of St. Gall, where even darker events lead to the forced castration that will preserve his exquisite voice and rent him asunder from his love. Or will it? All musical roads eventually lead to Vienna, and there he finds solace with friends old and new in this fascinating retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. An impressive debut that will delight historical fiction and classical music fans alike. ~Emily

AT HOME: A SHORT HISTORY OF PRIVATE LIFE by Bill Bryson. Bryson takes his home, a mid-19th century rectory in Norfolk, England, as the jumping off point for investigating every angle of domestic history. We get the expected lessons in architecture, furniture and horticulture, as well as the more unusual, such as the brilliant teamwork skills of rats, or the strategic importance of nutmeg in empire building. Bryson’s trademark humor and wry social commentary are certainly present, but what stands out most here is his ability to trace intriguing connections between seemingly unrelated facts. In short, I found it endlessly fascinating. ~Emily

WINE TRIALS 2011 by Robin Goldstein. Do you believe that wine has to be expensive to be good? Do you feel a bit overwhelmed looking at labels in wine shops? Do you want to bring a good bottle of wine to a friend’s house without applying for a new mortgage? If your answer to any of these is ‘yes,’ Wine Trials 2011 may be the perfect book for you. Of course it may also be the perfect gift for that friend of yours who also answers ‘yes.’ Limited to a review of good wines under $15.00, this wonderful little book has reports of blind taste testing as well as brief descriptions of 150 wines – their aroma, taste and presentation. Armed with this book you can hold your head high on your next trip to the wine store. ~Neil

*Note: The *starred* books are on our 25 for 25% off sale!
Buy now while supplies last!



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