Sunday, February 28, 2010

Staff Recommendation: The Heart of the World

Baker's account of searching for a mythical Tibetan waterfall over more than a decade brilliantly interweaves adventure and spirituality along with open-minded meditations on our relationship with the natural world. Riveting stuff for anyone who loves a good adventure, has an interest in Tibetan Buddhism or looks at the mountains with a feeling of reverence.

The Heart of the World, by Ian Baker
Reviewed by: Hart

Friday, February 26, 2010

Staff Recommendation: Eating Animals

Foer's first foray into nonfiction forces us to examine our physical and cultural attachment to eating meat. As a meat eater, I didn't always find this book to be an easy read, but it was impossible to put down. Well researched and compellingly written, Eating Animals is a must-read for anyone who cares about what they consume.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Reviewed by: Mandy

Staff Recommendation: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

Hovering between hilarious and heartwarming—always smart and sensitive—Janzen's memoir reads like a conversation with a favorite friend. With gentle irony and love, she lays bare the collapse of her tempestuous marriage and her return to the traditional Mennonite community that raised her. It is a story of belonging, of coming home, and of the laughter that lives in tragedy.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, by Rhoda Janzen
Reviewed by: Lauren

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Staff Recommendation: The Children's Book

Don’t be daunted by this book’s length (almost 700 pages); Byatt is a brilliant storyteller, especially when exploring the Victorian era through WWI. She covers an encyclopedic array of political and cultural topics through the complicated relationships of two families ruled by artists—a children’s book author and a potter—whose mythic creations hint at dark family secrets.

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
Reviewed by: Alyssa

Staff Recommendation: Where Men Win Glory

Jon Krakauer, who requires no introduction, turns his amazing journalistic talents to the war in Afghanistan, as told alongside the odyssey of Pat Tillman. The intensely personal story of Tillman's life creates a stark contrast to the atrocities that led up to, and occurred during, the war. Thank goodness that someone as talented as Krakauer chose to tell this story.

Where Men Win Glory, by Jon Krakauer

Reviewed by: Stephanie W.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Staff Recommendation: Manhood for Amateurs

Don't let the title fool you—this book is an excellent read for males and females alike. In his typical smooth-flowing, lyrical, and witty style, Chabon gives us his first collected book of nonfiction. In short essays, he muses on everything from circumcision to his first kiss, and from The Future to talking to his kids about drugs. A wonderful collection from a wonderful author.

Manhood for Amateurs, by Michael Chabon
Reviewed by: Stephanie W.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Staff Recommendation: The Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Writing

Being a travel writer is a Dream Job, and this book details the various paths to financial and spiritual success in this profession. From tips on how best to take the armchair reader to the Dream Destination, to how to neatly arrange a chaotic travel journal for future reference, Don George uses a series of professional examples to punctuate his lessons. Peace to travelers!

The Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Writing, by Don George
Reviewed by: Odysseus

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Staff Recommendation: The Leopard

A beautiful novel that takes place in Sicily during the 1860's. The characters and writing style both work together to create a moving and expressive picture of the turbulence taking place in the midst of the aristocracy during this time. Both tragic and colorful, this is a difficult title to pass up for lovers of Italy. For anyone interested in historical fiction or Italy

The Leopard, by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa

Reviewed by: Dominique

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Staff Recommendation: Ultramarathon Man

Whether you are looking to shuffle your way through your first 5K or qualify for Boston for the umpteenth time, Karnazes is sure to motivate your inner runner. His tales of lonely training sessions and ultramarathons —as well as his rediscovery of running after an extended hiatus—speak to the essence and beauty of the sport and help explain why so many are drawn to it.

Ultramarathon Man, by Dean Karnazes

Reviewed by: Hart

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rave Reviews for Postcards From a Dead Girl

On Monday, February 22nd at 7:30pm, we'll be hosting Colorado author Kirk Farber for his debut novel, Postcards From a Dead Girl. Kirk's book has been getting some rave reviews and we just had to share them with you here.

“Kirk Farber has a style very similar to Chuck Palahniuk, with offbeat observations, a view of our world through a slightly distorted lens, and a tone that's quite fun and sometimes hilarious and tragic at the same time. I love the voice and irreverence and humor.” - Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

“Dark. Funny. Bizarre. Mysterious. Fantastic. Kirk Farber's Postcards from a Dead Girl is a polished gem. Farber's uniquely quirky protagonist reflects our own personal obsessions, pinning us in limbo while simultaneously prodding us towards adventure.” - Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author of Candy Everybody Wants

says, “A witty, tormented hero surrounded by fascinating, compassionate supporting characters makes this slender debut a surprisingly compulsive read.”

Publishers Weekly
supplies the set up; “Sid Higgins, the appealing, self-deprecating narrator of Farber’s poignant, funny debut, has been receiving postcards from his old girlfriend Zoe. Unfortunately, the whimsical Zoe has disappeared, and the postmarks on the cards are more than a year old. Though he doesn’t really expect to find her, Sid travels to Europe in search of Zoe. … Sid plaintively and self-mockingly relates his interactions.”

And, last but not least, here's what our very own Stephanie W. has to say about it: "Twenty-something Sid is in the midst of a life crisis. He's failing at work, having conversations with his dead mother in a bottle of wine, and has started receiving exotic postcards from his dead girlfriend. He needs a change, and so, goes in search of the source of the postcards (all oddly postmarked for a year earlier). This is a quirky, funny, and quick read."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Staff Recommendation: Your Flying Car Awaits

Daydreaming about crazy, hi-tech future worlds is not just the preserve of children, as shown in this entertaining book, which showcases the predictions made about the 20th century, from cities orbiting earth, to 150-year life spans and weather on demand. Light, funny and easy to read, it makes you appreciate the wild, endless optimism about human endeavor.

Your Flying Car Awaits by Paul Milo
Reviewed by: Mathew

Monday, February 8, 2010

Staff Recommendation: Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems

This collection is his first—thumping along with a remarkable austerity through images heavy with his trademark fling into nature. The book is split into two collections, Riprap (a concrete, trim exposure to some of Snyder's high country adventure) and the Cold Mountain Poems (excerpts from a more abstract, esoteric examination of his experiences in Asia).

Reviewed by: Eric

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Staff Recommendation: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

The invasion has begun! Like the Vegan Cupcakes before them, reports confirmed that Vegan Cookies are now infiltrating cookie jars across the nation. Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Blondies are suspected ringleaders, but Key Lime Shortbread, Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles and many more delicious culprits have also been sighted...and happily eaten.

Reviewed by: Jen R.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Staff Recommendation: Live for Your Listening Pleasure

David Sedaris' unique style of writing comes alive through his unique audio storytelling. His distinctive voice so perfectly delivers his pitch, that after first hearing him read, I have since imagined his voice in my head as I've read each of his subsequent works—which adds immensely to the experience! An embodiment of wry humor, to hear him live is a complete pleasure.

Reviewed by: Stephanie W.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Staff Recommendation: The Dream Hunters

Fans of the Sandman rejoice! I found this adaptation of Gaiman's Dream Hunters even more enchanting than the original illustrated prose novel. Artist and Sandman alum P. Craig Russell loved the Japanese inspired folk tale so much he felt compelled to sumptuously illustrate his own version of it. Go ahead, take a look, it's irresistible.

Reviewed by: Tracy