Morris Book Shop Spring 2013 Newsletter
In the Spring, I have counted one hundred
thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.—Mark
Twain didn't live in Kentucky, but he seems to understand our climate very well. Here are some of the new books we've been digging into during the frequent spring showers:
From the opening poem about Roney Laswell’s obstinate rooster to the closing prayer, Pulitzer Prize finalist Maurice Manning’s The Gone and the Going Away warmly welcomes the reader into the mythical mountains of Fog Town Holler. We meet many good folks, named and unnamed, alongside the moon-glint green waters of Shoestring Branch as we travel through Manning’s verse, ripe with skillfully-metered music and haunting agrarian scenes. It is a place where the people pray for pigs, spin a good yarn, do an honest day’s work, and always tell it like it is. It is a place where no matter your particular lot in life, you “suffer and love it still.”
With his latest collection, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker explores a defining moment in American history through the imagined voices of persons intimately involved in the events surrounding the infamous 1963 murder. Evers himself remains silent except for the title, which were his final words. We come to understand better the important, yet often overlooked, contributions that Medgar Evers made to the civil rights movement in this country as we encounter the rage and sorrow so wondrously expressed by Walker through the personas of Evers's widow, his brother, his assassin, and even the ill-fated bullet with a “destined point in history” and “small enough to hate.”
The Creation of Anne Boleyn by University of Kentucky humanities chair and gender studies professor Susan Bordo contains new revelations of one of the most polarizing figures in history. Bordo re-examines not just Boleyn's life but her enduring and controversial legacy to give readers a comprehensive look at the human being and cultural phenomenon that is Anne Boleyn.
Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee is more than just a great cookbook. Lee, the owner/chef of Louisville's acclaimed restaurant 610 Magnolia, presents recipe-driven lessons on Southern cuisine, Korean cooking, and the new art and science of combining unlikely flavors—including, of course, smoke and pickles.
Another new book that explores the science of food is Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by bestselling author Michael Pollan. Cooked examines the four classical elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and how each can be used to transform plants and animals into food and drink. The reader follows Pollan as he learns the craft of barbecue mavens, masters of fermentation, and other kitchen wizards. We learn how cooking is almost as necessary and beneficial to humans as eating, and the detriments of processed foods to our bodies, our families, and our culture.
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud tells the story of Nora, a quiet elementary school teacher who lives much of her life vicariously, through her neighbors' doings. When the Shahid family moves nearby, they become the new focus of Nora's attention: she is enraptured by the precocious daughter, the artistic mother, the cosmopolitan father. As her involvement in the Shahids' lives deepens, Nora's obsession threatens to subsume her very identity. In The Woman Upstairs, Messud has crafted an intricate, intelligent thriller and created one of the most unique and memorable characters in contemporary literature.
Anthony Marra's debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, is garnering fantastic reviews from all corners. Chechnya, 2004: an eight year-old girl, her neighbor, and the last remaining doctor at an otherwise-abandoned hospital are thrown together amidst the turmoil of the Chechen Wars. The unlikely trio discover they have more in common than they could have guessed, and the reader will discover unexpected compassion and beauty emerging from the backdrop of violence and destruction.
If I Should Die by Amy Plum is the final installment of the "Die For Me" trilogy. Plum brings us a satisfying conclusion, especially after the cliffhanger ending of last year's Until I Die. No spoilers here, so if you're not familiar with the series, why not start reading Die For Me now? This is great paranormal romance that beats the pants off of the "Twilight" series. It's got orphans, the undead (both good and evil), and star-crossed lovers. Plus, it takes place in Paris, and who doesn't want to go to Paris?
Emily Murdoch's If You Find Me sucks you in and won't let go. Carey has been living in a trailer in the woods for ten years; it's all her younger sister Jenessa ("Ness") knows. Their drug-addicted mother comes and goes for weeks at a time. Just when the girls are about to run out of food, two strangers show up, and Carey and Ness are pulled into a world that Carey barely remembers and that Ness doesn't know at all. This tale of survival—and, ultimately, family —will keep you reading until the end.
Poison by Bridget Zinn is a fairytale romp, and would be suitable for younger teens. Kirkus Reviews calls it a "frothy confection of a fairy tale featuring poisoners, princesses, perfumers and pigs, none of whom are exactly what they appear (except maybe the pigs)…. Good silly fun—a refreshing antidote to a genre overflowing with grit and gloom."
Book Availability: Please Note!
Search results on morrisbookshop.com are not a real-time indication of our in-store stock. To see if a title is available for immediate pick-up, please contact us by phone (859-276-0494) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you!
June is Lexington Poetry Month!
To celebrate, the Morris Book Shop and Accents Publishing present the Lexington Poetry Month Writing Challenge (follow the link for more details)
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