Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kate M. Is Recommending An Interesting Collection Of Books This Week
The poems in Foxes on the Trampoline investigate worlds natural and man-made and the spaces in between, as they question how we are shaped by our surroundings and, in turn, shape them. They limn the tenuous control we think we may have over nature, objects, and relationships, as the book wonders, What is enough?

With language that is feverish, finely wrought, and wry, Foxes on the Trampoline travels through the landscapes of America, India, and contemporary art, examining the loneliness and solace to be found in each.
Russia, 1986. On a run-down apartment block in Moscow, a nine-year-old prodigy plays his piano silently for fear of disturbing the neighbors. In a factory on the outskirts of the city, his aunt makes car parts, hiding her dissident past. In a nearby hospital, a surgeon immerses himself in his work, avoiding his failed marriage.

And in a village in Belarus, a teenage boy wakes to a sky of the deepest crimson. Outside, the ears of his neighbor's cattle are dripping blood. Ten miles away, at the Chernobyl Power Plant, something unimaginable has happened. Now their lives will change forever.

All That Is Solid Melts into Air is a gripping end-of-empire novel, charting the collapse of the Soviet Union through the focalpoint of the Chernobyl disaster. Part historical epic, part love story, it recalls The English Patient in its mix of emotional intimacy and sweeping landscape.
Updike is Adam Begley’s masterful, much-anticipated biography of one of the most celebrated figures in American literature: Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike—a candid, intimate, and richly detailed look at his life and work.

In this magisterial biography, Adam Begley offers an illuminating portrait of John Updike, the acclaimed novelist, poet, short-story writer, and critic who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, who dedicated himself to the task of transcribing “middleness with all its grits, bumps and anonymities.”

Updike explores the stages of the writer’s pilgrim’s progress: his beloved home turf of Berks County, Pennsylvania; his escape to Harvard; his brief, busy working life as the golden boy at The New Yorker; his family years in suburban Ipswich, Massachusetts; his extensive travel abroad; and his retreat to another Massachusetts town, Beverly Farms, where he remained until his death in 2009. Drawing from in-depth research as well as interviews with the writer’s colleagues, friends, and family, Begley explores how Updike’s fiction was shaped by his tumultuous personal life—including his enduring religious faith, his two marriages, and his first-hand experience of the “adulterous society” he was credited with exposing in the bestselling Couples.

With a sharp critical sensibility that lends depth and originality to his analysis, Begley probes Updike’s best-loved works—from Pigeon Feathers to The Witches of Eastwick to the Rabbit tetralogy—and reveals a surprising and deeply complex character fraught with contradictions: a kind man with a vicious wit, a gregarious charmer who was ruthlessly competitive, a private person compelled to spill his secrets on the printed page. Updike offers an admiring yet balanced look at this national treasure, a master whose writing continues to resonate like no one else’s.
“People say I was brave to write such a revealing book, but I wrote it because I needed to personally reflect on my own life. I know everyone will see themselves somewhere in this book, and where my story might take them is why I’m sharing it.” —Paul Stanley

In Face the Music, Paul Stanley—the co-founder and famous “Starchild” frontman of KISS—reveals for the first time the incredible highs and equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band. Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped create, define, and immortalize.

Stanley mixes compelling personal revelations and gripping, gritty war stories that will surprise even the most steadfast member of the KISS Army. He takes us back to his childhood in the 1950s and ’60s, a traumatic time made more painful thanks to a physical deformity. Born with a condition called microtia, he grew up partially deaf, with only one ear. But this instilled in him an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of pursuits: music.

With never-before-seen photos and images throughout, Stanley’s memoir is a fully realized and unflinching portrait of a rock star, a chronicle of the stories behind the famous anthems, the many brawls and betrayals, and all the drama and pyrotechnics on and off the stage. Raw and confessional, Stanley offers candid insights into his personal relationships, and the turbulent dynamics with his bandmates over the past four decades. And no one comes out unscathed—including Stanley himself.
The curious, charming, playful, and internet-famous Otter makes her picture book debut in I Am Otter by author-illustrator Sam Garton. Here's what Otter has to say about her book: "Hi I am Otter, and this is a book about me and my best friends, Otter Keeper and Teddy. And it's about the fun and messy (and little bit scary) adventure we had one day when Otter Keeper was at work. I hope you like the story (And if you don't, it's probably Teddy's fault.)"

Otter's utterly winning voice and Sam Garton's classic yet fresh artwork combine to create a truly hilarious and unforgettable friendship story.

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