Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hank Took Another Trip To Starvation Lake and Shares What He Discovered There

Mysterious break-ins are plaguing the small town of Starvation Lake. While elderly residents enjoy their weekly bingo night at St. Valentine’s Catholic Church, someone is slipping into their homes to rifle through financial and personal files. Oddly, the intruder takes nothing—yet the “Bingo Night Burglaries” leave the entire town uneasy.

Worry turns into panic when a break-in escalates to murder. Suddenly, Gus Carpenter, editor of the Pine County Pilot, is forced to investigate the most difficult story of his life. Not only is the victim his ex-girlfriend Darlene’s mother, but her body was found in the home of Bea Carpenter—Gus’s own mother. Suffering from worsening dementia and under the influence of sleeping pills, Bea remembers little of the break-in.

With the help of Luke Whistler, a former Detroit Free Press reporter who came north looking for slower days and some old-fashioned newspaper work, Gus sets out to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when the story leads him to a lockbox his mother has kept secret for years, Gus doesn’t realize that its contents could forever change his perception of Starvation Lake, his own family, and the value of the truth.

Hank says:
I enjoyed Gruley's first book, Starvation Lake, and was surprised when he wrote a sequel. Not every mystery has to be a series, and often ones featuring amateur detectives become unbelievable, because really? Wouldn't the cops be handling this? But Jackie gave The Hanging Tree a thumbs up, so I gave it a shot, and it was also good. Gus Carpenter is an investigative reporter, so his poking around does make sense.

The Skeleton Box, third of the Starvation Lake books, continues to explore the premise that the sorrowful secrets of small towns come to light eventually, causing all the more harm for having been bottled up. A longtime family friend is brutally murdered in the home of Carpenter's mother, Bea. Her memory is going, but she probably knows more than she is willing to reveal. Local politics, a religious sect, and hockey mania complicate matters, until finally the truth about any number of things comes out. It will be interesting to see if Gruley continues Gus Carpenter's story in a necessarily new direction, or if this was the end of the Starvation Lake story arc.

People who enjoy Julia Spencer-Fleming's Millers Kill mysteries will probably like Starvation Lake as well.

One of Cathy's Favorites:

Faviken is the first major cookbook by Magnus Nilsson, the 28-year old chef whose restaurant is located on a 20,000 acre farm and hunting estate in Northern Sweden. It has recently been called "the most daring restaurant in the world" by Bon Appetit. In Faviken, Nilsson writes about how he only cooks with ingredients that are raised, farmed and hunted in the immediate vicinity of his remote restaurant. The food served at Faviken - from the dairy to the meat to the vegetables - is harvested, butchered and preserved by hand using the most natural and primitive methods possible, and Nilsson is in factor of simple cooking methods such as roasting over open coals. This approach results in the highly creative food and intense flavors of which, far from seeming traditional, are remarkable.

Faviken features 100 recipes and 150 color photographs, featuring the finished dishes, unique local ingredients and beautiful landscapes of the farm. The book will inspire chefs and food-lovers to think differently abut the ingredients that are available to them. Many of the basic recipes for yogurt, bread, vinegar, pickles and preserve are straightforward enough for anyone to attempt at home, and the advice on the natural preservation methods can be followed by anyone. The book also includes an introduction by food writer Bill Buford.

Happy All Hallows Read!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest Blogger Barbara K. Richardson: Some Novels Write Us

At age 36, fresh out of graduate school with a bunch of dead poems and a despondent heart, I had a visitation. Clair and Ada, my two main characters, came riding out of the Void and descended together in a dream. They chatted and revealed themselves and their lives in early Utah, and took up nightly habitation.

These women had a mission. They wanted to be on the page. They knew a greenhorn novelist has a lot to unlearn. Namely, the literary control I’d spent my MFA years perfecting would make writing about my Mormon ancestors nearly as much fun as pushing wet concrete up a slide.

Perfectionism, polishing, cleverness, language for language’s sake, intelligence and the desire to be profound—all these went overboard in the first twelve years of writing my novel Tributary, which just hit bookstore shelves this September. I actually remember the pleasure of not remembering grammatical rules. Of not caring whether I came across as literary. Of cutting pretty writing to get to the goods. Of following a character’s heart which blazed out of the Void with its own sure track into little black marks that indicated its presence on a page where others could find it.

All I cared about, all I wanted, was to serve my characters honestly.

I inherited the stories in Tributary—the history of all my Mormon ancestors—when I joined the Mormon church at age ten. Utah Mormons are a devoted and communal bunch, and I tried mightily to fit in that Utah fold. Being odd and hard-headed and me, I left the church at age eighteen determined to find my own spiritual path.

I knew the path would involve writing. I didn’t know it would open me to revelation, which is ecstatic and real. For weeks I lay awake in bed till dawn taking notes from Clair and Ada with a flashlight and a pounding heart. That sort of beauty—Something, from Nothing!—demands our full attention.

Still, twenty years of hard work followed those inspired early weeks, and that’s the rub with revelation. I used all the writerly tricks I knew to survive, throwing them out like broken tools along the way. Trying to control the book’s fate—my number one most tenacious writerly bad habit—finally broke this past summer. I’d thought I was actually doing something. I believed I was carrying this historical burden and valuing insights into characters forgotten by history and historians. Control?

What caused my parents to retire from military service and land in Utah, when I was ten? Why did the high school Seminary field trip I took to This Is The Place Monument ravish me with sorrow, looking out over the valley where Zion was built? How, when my health was failing due to too many years writing a novel no one would ever read on Mormons in the Salt Lake Valley, did I find a Shoshone healer who erased two decades of anguish and took me in her maroon Buick to the tiny graveyard where the Shoshones—the very ones my ancestors displaced—dwell in the gorgeous middle of northern Utah’s nowhere? And when did interest in Mormonism reach a fever-pitch in the nation’s consciousness? That question I can answer: right when my beloved, ignored, passionate, epic, impossible-to-sell novel sold.

Enough with control. I couldn’t cook all this up.

Tributary wrote me.

Barbara's Bio:
I love trees, open spaces, natural ethics, and a handful of books.
My new novel Tributary took twenty years to complete. Inspired by stories from my Mormon ancestors, Tributary follows the lives of a ragtag group of nineteenth-century mavericks who settle in the northern Utah desert. McMurtry meets the Mormons, you might say.

Guest House, my first novel, brought together kids I have taught, cities I have loved, women I've admired and the ongoing motivation to see, honor and make good homes for neglected children. This theme motivates me deeply. Guest House was an Eric Hoffer fiction finalist.

I earned my MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University. My work has appeared in "Northwest Review," "Cimarron Review" and "Dialogue." There are writers whose sensibilities elevate the whole human enterprise. I aim to be one of them.

Learn more at:

Meg's Recommending:

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction
Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Non-Fiction

One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt, has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius—a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.

The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.

 On a small snow-covered island—so tiny that it can’t be found on any map—lives twelve-year-old Minou, her philosopher Papa (a descendent of Descartes), Boxman the magician, and a clever dog called No-Name. A year earlier Minou’s mother left the house wearing her best shoes and carrying a large black umbrella. She never returned.

One morning Minou finds a dead boy washed up on the beach. Her father decides to lay him in the room that once belonged to her mother. Can her mother’s disappearance be explained by the boy? Will Boxman be able to help find her? Minou, unwilling to accept her mother’s death, attempts to find the truth through Descartes’ philosophy. Over the course of her investigation Minou will discover the truth about loss and love, a truth that The Vanishing Act conveys in a voice that is uniquely enchanting.

You have survived the crisis—trauma, disease, accident, or war—now how do you get your life back?

The shark attacked while she was snorkeling, tearing through Micki Glenn’s breast and shredding her right arm. Her husband, a surgeon, saved her life on the spot, but when she was safely home she couldn’t just go on with her life. She had entered an even more profound survival journey: the aftermath.

The survival experience changes everything because it invalidates all your previous adaptations, and the old rules don’t apply. In some cases survivors suffer more in the aftermath than they did during the actual crisis. In all cases, they have to work hard to reinvent themselves. Drawing on gripping cases across a wide range of life-threatening experiences, Laurence Gonzales fashions a compelling argument about fear, courage, and the adaptability of the human spirit. Micki Glenn was later moved to say: “I don’t regret that this happened to me. [It] has been . . . probably the single most positive experience I’ve ever had.”

A masterpiece of science reporting that tracks the animal origins of emerging human diseases.

The emergence of strange new diseases is a frightening problem that seems to be getting worse. In this age of speedy travel, it threatens a worldwide pandemic. We hear news reports of Ebola, SARS, AIDS, and something called Hendra killing horses and people in Australia—but those reports miss the big truth that such phenomena are part of a single pattern. The bugs that transmit these diseases share one thing: they originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. David Quammen tracks this subject around the world. He recounts adventures in the field—netting bats in China, trapping monkeys in Bangladesh, stalking gorillas in the Congo—with the world’s leading disease scientists. In Spillover Quammen takes the reader along on this astonishing quest to learn how, where from, and why these diseases emerge, and he asks the terrifying question: What might the next big one be?

Three decades in the making, one of the most ambitious and comprehensive histories of political philosophy in nearly a century.

Both a history and an examination of human thought and behavior spanning three thousand years, On Politics thrillingly traces the origins of political philosophy from the ancient Greeks to Machiavelli in Book I and from Hobbes to the present age in Book II. Whether examining Lord Acton’s dictum that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” or explicating John Stuart Mill’s contention that it is “better to be a human dissatisfied than a pig satisfied,” Alan Ryan evokes the lives and minds of our greatest thinkers in a way that makes reading about them a transcendent experience. Whether writing about Plato or Augustine, de Toqueville or Thomas Jefferson, Ryan brings a wisdom to his text that illuminates John Dewey’s belief that the role of philosophy is less to see truth than to enhance experience. With this unparalleled tour de force, Ryan emerges in his own right as one of the most influential political philosophers of our time.

As Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge.

Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a piñata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he turns a merciless eye on California and Washington, DC, we see that the narrative is a trap baited with humor, and we understand the reckoning that awaits the greatest and greediest of debtor nations.

TC Tidbit: All Hallows Read!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Oooo, Looky What TC Has....

A signed, special limited edition of Neil Young's Waging Heavy Peace!  The price tag is $500.00, but it's quite a beauty!

Or we've got lots of copies of the newly released regular edition:

For the first time, legendary singer, songwriter, and guitarist Neil Young offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical creativity. He tells of his childhood in Ontario, where his father instilled in him a love for the written word; his first brush with mortality when he contracted polio at the age of five; struggling to pay rent during his early days with the Squires; traveling the Canadian prairies in Mort, his 1948 Buick hearse; performing in a remote town as a polar bear prowled beneath the floorboards; leaving Canada on a whim in 1966 to pursue his musical dreams in the pot-filled boulevards and communal canyons of Los Angeles; the brief but influential life of Buffalo Springfield, which formed almost immediately after his arrival in California. He recounts their rapid rise to fame and ultimate break-up; going solo and overcoming his fear of singing alone; forming Crazy Horse and writing “Cinnamon Girl,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” and “Down by the River” in one day while sick with the flu; joining Crosby, Stills & Nash, recording the landmark CSNY album, Déjà vu, and writing the song, “Ohio;” life at his secluded ranch in the redwoods of Northern California and the pot-filled jam sessions there; falling in love with his wife, Pegi, and the birth of his three children; and finally, finding the contemplative paradise of Hawaii. Astoundingly candid, witty, and as uncompromising and true as his music, Waging Heavy Peace is Neil Young’s journey as only he can tell it.

Meet The Author TOMORROW Night!!!

The internationally acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street gives us a deeply moving tale of loss, grief, and healing: a lyrically told, richly illustrated fable for grown-ups about a woman’s search for a cat who goes missing in the wake of her mother’s death.

The word “orphan” might not seem to apply to a fifty-three-year-old woman. Yet this is exactly how Sandra feels as she finds herself motherless, alone like “a glove left behind at the bus station.” What just might save her is her search for someone else gone missing: Marie, the black-and-white cat of her friend, Roz, who ran off the day they arrived from Tacoma. As Sandra and Roz scour the streets of San Antonio, posting flyers and asking everywhere, “Have you seen Marie?” the pursuit of this one small creature takes on unexpected urgency and meaning. With full-color illustrations that bring this transformative quest to vivid life, Have You Seen Marie? showcases a beloved author’s storytelling magic, in a tale that reminds us how love, even when it goes astray, does not stay lost forever.

Cisneros will will read from and sign her new novel on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm at our Historic Lodo store.

Jess Walter Is Coming to Tattered Cover TONIGHT!!!

7:30pm tonight (10/29/12) at our Colfax Avenue Store:

Jess Walter, the acclaimed, award-winning author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets, will read from and sign his novel Beautiful Ruins, the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962, and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later. Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

Can’t make it to the signing? Request an autographed copy here:

Jess Walter's Books:

TC Tidbit: All Hallow's Read!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jackie's Been Waiting For This


Musk Ox, our rambunctious anti-hero, literally chews through the cover of this anarchic alphabet book. Having eaten the apple that A was supposed to be for, he blithely inserts himself, claiming A is for Musk Ox—because musk oxen are Awesome and live in the Arctic, which includes Alaska! Zebra, his nemesis, is less than thrilled.

And so this cantankerous couple lead the reader on a romp through the alphabet with Musk Ox claiming every letter for himself, and Zebra doing his level best to keep him under control. Filled with Matthew Myers's hilarious artwork with lots of hidden details for kids to explore, this may be the funniest alphabet book ever created.

Jackie says:
"This book is a HOOT!  It will be fun for parents as well as the kids.  I've always believed that laughter and learning are good partners, and this book is a fine example of that.  I learned about this book some time ago and couldn't be more excited that it's now on our shelves."

A Hilarious Guide to the Lost Art of Artisanal Pencil Sharpening

A hilarious guide to the lost art of artisanal pencil sharpening
Have you got the right kind of point on your pencil? Do you know how to achieve the perfect point for the kind of work you need out of that pencil?

Deep in New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees—the world’s number one #2 pencil sharpener—still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. In 2010, he began offering his artisanal service to the world, to the jubilation of artists, writers, draftsmen, and standardized test takers.

Now, in a book that is both a manifesto and a fully-illustrated walk-through of the many, many, many ways to sharpen a pencil, he reveals the secrets of his craft. How to Sharpen Pencils takes the novice pencil sharpener through a variety of sharpening techniques and includes chapters on equipment, current practice, and modern technologies. It also points at essential new trends in sharpening, including "Celebrity Impression Pencil Sharpening (CIPS)," a warning about the “Psychological Risks Associated with Pencil Sharpening”, and a survey of "Wines that tastes like pencils."

As Rees implores, "Sharpening pencils should be an activity that enriches the senses."

TC Tidbit: All Hallows Read Is Almost Here!

TC Tidbits: Giant Hobbit Mural In NYC

Saturday, October 27, 2012

All Hallow's Read Is Coming Up!!!

Eric B. Is Recommending:

For over three decades, Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.

In her bestselling memoir You Had Me at Woof, Julie Klam shared the secrets of happiness she learned as an occasionally frazzled but always devoted owner of Boston terriers. Now, with the same enchanting humor and poignancy that won the hearts of readers across the country, she returns with real-life stories about how in rescuing troubled dogs we can end up saving ourselves.

With wit and warmth, Julie Klam chronicles her adventures in finding a home for the world’s sweetest pit bull, fostering a photogenic special-needs terrier, and diving under a train to save an injured stray in New Orleans. Along the way, she finds that helping dogs in their fight to survive puts our own problems in perspective, and shows that caring for others, be they canine or human, can sometimes be the best way to care for ourselves. A hilarious and moving testament to the powerful bond between people and dogs, this is a book for anyone whose life has been changed—for the better—by an animal.

Brad Shade has been just about everywhere hockey is played. He has ridden the buses in the minors, shared dressing rooms with the legends of the game, closed bars with guys destined for the Hall of Fame, and dropped the gloves with journeymen like himself who’ll never get near it. Now that he’s retired after fourteen years of bouncing around the league, he’s living out of a suitcase and scouting for Los Angeles, where someone in management owes him a favour from his playing days.

But when the brutally murdered body of coaching legend Red Hanratty turns up in the parking lot after an old-timers charity game, Shade’s job of scouting the local phenomenon starts to overlap with investigating the killing of the kid’s grizzled old coach.

From small-town rinks to the draft tables in the big league, G.B. Joyce introduces us to a character with a self-deprecating sense of humour and an oversized will to win—and weaves a story out of strands of resentment, greed, and fear that span generations and build to a surprising, thrilling conclusion.

John Hodgman-bestselling author, The Daily Show's "Resident Expert", minor television celebrity, and deranged millionaire-brings us the third and final installment in his trilogy of Complete World Knowledge.

In 2005, Dutton published The Areas of My Expertise, a handy little book of Complete World Knowledge, marked by the distinction that all of the fascinating trivia and amazing true facts were completely made up by its author, John Hodgman. At the time, Hodgman was merely a former literary agent and occasional scribbler of fake trivia. In short: a nobody.

But during an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, an incredible transformation occurred. He became a famous minor television personality. You may ask: During his whirlwind tornado ride through the high ether of minor fame and outrageous fortune, did John Hodgman forget how to write books of fake trivia? The answer is: Yes. Briefly. But soon, he remembered!

And so he returned, crashing his Kansas farmhouse down upon the wicked witch of ignorance with More Information Than You Require, a New York Times bestseller containing even more mesmerizing and essential fake trivia, including seven hundred mole-man names (and their occupations).

And now, John Hodgman completes his vision with That Is All, the last book in a trilogy of Complete World Knowledge. Like its predecessors, That Is All compiles incredibly handy made-up facts into brief articles, overlong lists, and beguiling narratives on new and familiar themes. It picks up exactly where More Information left off-specifically, at page 596-and finally completes COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE, just in time for the return of Quetzalcoatl and the end of human history in 2012.

Awesome Non-Fiction Picture Books For Kids

What do record players, batteries, and movie cameras have in common?

All these devices were created by the man known as The Wizard of Menlo Park: Thomas Edison.

Edison is most famous for inventing the incandescent lightbulb, but at his landmark laboratories in Menlo Park & West Orange, New Jersey, he also developed many other staples of modern technology.  Despite many failures, Edison persevered. And good for that, because it would be very difficult to go through a day without using one of his life-changing inventions. In this enlightening book, Gene Barretta enters the laboratories of one of America’s most important inventors.

Caldecott Honor winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins explores form, color, and pattern, and captures the very unique nature of beetles in this brilliantly illustrated picture book.

Abraham Lincoln is one of the first giants of history children are introduced to, and now Maira Kalman brings him to life with her trademark style and enthusiasm. Lincoln's legacy is everywhere - there he is on your penny and five-dollar bill. And we are still the United States because Lincoln helped hold them together.

But who was he, really? The little girl in this book wants to find out. Among the many other things, she discovers our sixteenth president was a man who believed in freedom for all, had a dog named Fido, loved Mozart, apples, and his wife's vanilla cake, and kept his notes in his hat. From his boyhood in a log cabin to his famous presidency and untimely death, Kalman shares Lincoln's remarkable life with young readers in a fresh and exciting way.

The buzz is big for Douglas Florian’s new poetry collection about the unBEElieveably unique lives of honeybees—and the vital role they play in our ecosystem.

Come inside the honeycomb—a busy, buzzy, bee-filled home—and learn about the unexpected wonders of these tiny insects’ lifestyles, families, and communities. In fourteen funny, fact-filled honeybee poems and paintings, Douglas Florian explores the natural history of these often-unappreciated critters, revealing them to be a totally cool—and totally important—part of our ecosystem.

Indeed, these buzzy bugs have been in the spotlight lately as wild bee populations are dwindling, honey prices are rising, and beekeeping has become a popular hobby.

The poetic wisdom of Langston Hughes merges with visionary illustrations from Bryan Collier in this inspirational picture book that carries the promise of equality.

I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
Langston Hughes was a courageous voice of his time, and his authentic call for equality still rings true today. Beautiful paintings from Barack Obama illustrator Bryan Collier accompany and reinvent the celebrated lines of the poem “I, Too,” creating a breathtaking reminder to all Americans that we are united despite our differences. 
Bengal tigers are an endangered species due to many human-caused factors, such as poaching, habitat destruction, and global warming. In Robert Wells's signature style, this book explores these difficult topics in a child-friendly manner with endearing illustrations--and it gives kids ways they can help to save the tigers, too.

TC Tidbit: A Booklover's DIY Project

Friday, October 26, 2012

This YA Debut Touches On Some Hot Topics For Today's Teens

A powerful topic that is both timely—and timeless.

Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies’s head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she’ll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it.

But there is another voice. Ever’s singing voice, which is beautiful but has always been silenced by Skinny. Partly in hopes of trying out for the school musical—and partly to try and save her own life—Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over.

With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own.

Listen to the author talking about some of her insights about the book HERE.

Lisa C says:
"Skinny by Donna Cooner is her debut YA novel which I'm sure will become a crossover to adults. Ever, who attends high school, is morbidly obese. Trapped under 302 lbs. of fat, she is smart, can sing like Cinderella, but has no sense of self-worth. She is plagued by Skinny,  a negative voice in her head who constantly tells her how fat, ugly, worthless, friendless, and unimportant she is. Ever believes Skinny. (I think we call can relate to some sort of negative voice in our lives.)

While she certainly hears the usual fat jokes and mean comments from some at school, Ever has a wonderful friend in Rat. Once she decides to have gastric bypass surgery, Rat is on the job. He cheers her, drags her out, makes weight loss charts, talks her into a weekly playlist, and encourages her. He is always there. After Ever loses the weight, her life changes. How is she going to handle being a new person with new friends, old
friends, family, an overall change in attitude, self-acceptance? These are the important themes that run through the novel.

Cooner has been through gastric bypass surgery. I think she did a great job explaining how it is done, and what a person undergoes after the initial surgery. I think this was probably a challenging novel because she lived it - maybe not in high school - but we know with all the media and news focusing on healthy versus over-weight children, teens and adults, this is a hot issue. I would recommend it for teens, teachers, and parents, anyone who would like to read an inspirational story. Donna is a wonderful storyteller and she is a Colorado author!

A Prolific Reader Talks About His Addiction


One of America’s leading humorists and author of the bestseller Closing Time examines his own obsession with books

Joe Queenan became a voracious  reader as a means of escape from a joyless childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. In the years since then he has dedicated himself to an assortment of  idiosyncratic reading challenges: spending a year reading only short books, spending a year reading books he always suspected he would hate, spending a year reading books he picked with his eyes closed.

In One for the Books, Queenan tries to come to terms with his own eccentric reading style—how many more books will he have time to read in his lifetime? Why does he refuse to read books hailed  by reviewers as “astonishing”? Why does he refuse to lend out books? Will he ever buy an e-book? Why does he habitually read thirty to forty books simultaneously? Why are there so many people to whom the above questions do not even matter—and what do they read? Acerbically funny yet passionate and oddly affectionate, One for the Books is a reading experience that true book lovers will find unforgettable.

Read his NYTimes essay "Why I Can't Stop Starting Books" HERE.

TC Tidbit: This Quiz Is The Bomb , "Lit"erally

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pete Has A Couple of Recommendations For You

"So many of my friends and colleagues have heaped praise upon Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds that even more praise might seem redundant. But so be it. This is a great novel. Great in its simplicity, great in its prose, great in its sensitivity. 

Written by a veteran of the second war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds tells the story of a doomed friendship between two young soldiers trying hard to keep their heads down and not become the 1000th KIA of the war. They fight in a mysterious, nearly inhospitable land with a nebulous enemy. Over time, their battle becomes more psychological than physical, and the mounting pain doesn't subside no matter the time or distance one recedes from the fight.  

If you love this book as much as I did, I would also recommend Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. Also about the second war in Iraq, both novels explore the human side of a very strange war in a very strange time."