Monday, July 12, 2010

Our Staff is Reading...

The Tassajara Bread Book
by Edward Espe Brown

Edward Brown, master baker and zen priest, strikes a balance between both of his callings in this remarkable cookbook. Simple, clear instructions take the mystery out of baking bread and dozens of recipes, from wholesome to decadent, and strive to nourish both the body and the soul. An addition to your bookshelf that is sure to be used again and again.

Reviewed by: Jen R.

******

Home Ground
edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney

An elegant encyclopedia that celebrates the poetry of the American landscape: Wrack line, kiss tank, coyote well, rip rap. Far from a dry recitation of facts, each entry reinvests our geography with elements of story. Barry Lopez, Linda Hogan, Barbara Kingsolver, Jon Krakauer and dozens more lend their eloquent voices to this eminently readable collection.

Reviewed by: Scott

******

Beatrice and Virgil
by Yann Martel

In Yann Martel's award winning Life of Pi, he explored issues of God and human nature by writing about a boy, a tiger, and a raft. Now Martel tackles the Holocaust and the face of evil by giving us a taxidermy shop and unfinished play about a monkey and a donkey. Strange, compelling, and with a chilling ending, Beatrice and Virgil is a literary masterpiece.

Reviewed by: Mandy

******
Shantaram
by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram positively radiates. Gregory Roberts provides an intimate portrait of Bombay that is difficult to leave. His novel, which closely imitates his own life story, transports the reader to a world as colorful as it is heartbreaking. Full of rich and unforgettable characters, the city itself becomes the tragic heroine in Roberts’ search for meaning.

Reviewed by: Darcy

******

The Spartacus War
by Barry Strauss

Down through the centuries, the "Spartacus War" and its charismatic leader have inspired revolutionaries, Marxists, and Kirk Douglas. But given the dearth of firsthand sources and their often contradictory claims, Strauss' authoritative account of this conflict is a remarkable piece of historical reconstruction. His writing is fluid, and his scholarship impressive and insightful.

Reviewed by: Warren

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