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Bar by J.R Moehringer
Mindy's book of the month
is The Tender Bar by J.R Moehringer. A moving, vividly
told memoir full of heart, drama, and exquisite comic timing
about a boy striving to become a man and his romance with
a bar. Author J.R. Moehringer grew up listening for a voice:
it was the sound of his missing father, a disc jockey who
disappeared before J.R. spoke his first words. J.R.'s mother
was his world, his anchor, but he needed something else,
something more, something he couldn't name. So he turned
to the bar on the corner, a grand old New York saloon that
was a sanctuary for all types of men - cops and poets, actors
and lawyers, gamblers and stumblebums who provided a kind
of fatherhood by committee. When the time came for J.R. to
leave home, the bar became a way station.
A Memoir of Fate, Friendship
This month's book is a recommendation
from our friends at National Public Radio and Sue, titled
What Remains, A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love by Carole
Radziwill. It's a vivid and haunting memoir about a girl
from a working-class town who becomes an award-winning television
producer and marries a prince, Anthony Radziwill, one of
a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John
F. Kennedy. Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy.
She tells both with great candor and wit. She explores the
complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and
the challenges of self-invention with unflinching honesty.
This is a compelling story of love, loss, and, ultimately,
Yourself to Live: 85 percent of a True Story
Bill's book of the month
is Killing Yourself to Live: 85 percent of a True Story by
Chuck Klosterman. For 6,557 miles, Chuck Klosterman thought
about dying. He drove a rental car from New York to Rhode
Island to Georgia to Mississippi to Iowa to Minneapolis to
Fargo to Seattle, and he chased death and rock 'n' roll all
the way. Within the span of 21 days, Chuck had three relationships
end: one by choice, one by chance, and one by exhaustion.
He snorted cocaine in a graveyard. He walked a half-mile
through a bean field. A man in Dickinson, North Dakota, explained
to him why we have fewer windmills than we used to. He listened
to the KISS solo albums and the Rod Stewart box set. At one
point, poisonous snakes became involved. The road is hard.
From the Chelsea Hotel to the swampland where Lynyrd Skynyrd's
plane went down to the site where Kurt Cobain blew his head
off, Chuck explored every brand of rock star demise. He wanted
to know why the greatest career move any musician can make
is to stop breathing...and what this means for the rest of
Kate's Book of the month
is Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. An epic tale of fathers
and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from
Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities
of the present. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of
the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy, haunted by
a childhood incident in which he betrayed the trust of his
best friend and the son of his father's servant. This a beautifully
crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of
of Max Tivoli
Mindy's Book of the month
is The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer, a
heartbreaking love story with a narrator like no other. At
his birth, Max's father declares him a nisse, a creature
of Danish myth, as his baby son has the external physical
appearance of an old, dying creature. Max grows older like
any child, but his physical age appears to go backward, on
the outside a very old man, but inside still a fearful child.
Set against the historical backdrop of San Francisco at the
turn of the 20th Century, Max's life and confessions question
the very nature of time, of appearance and reality, and of
love itself. A beautiful and daring feat of the imagination,
it truly embodies what it means to be human.
The River, and the Other Lake
Bill's pick of the month
is The Lake, The River, and the Other Lake by Steve Amick.
The setting is Michigan's gold coast, the eastern shore of
Lake Michigan, in the once-quiet village of Weneshkeen. In
the summer of 2001, it is a veritable melting pot, with all
the consequent complications, problems, and rich rewards.
There are the townies and the ritzy summer folk. There is
Roger Drinkwater, an Ojibwe Indian, Vietnam vet, and lifelong
resident, who wants to restore the calm of his peaceful lakeside
home which has been shattered by screeching jet skis driven
by obnoxious young Fudgies (slang for tourists), who are
polluting his beloved homeland. We are treated to a big-hearted
tale that is by turns uproariously funny and dark, and always
poignantly real. Bitterly comic and surprisingly meaty, this
roiling tale of passion, anger, regret, and lust is dark
a Female Nomad
May's book of the month is
brought to you by Michele and Mindy and is titled Tales of
a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman. This is a book about
a woman breaking out of her comfort zone, and she starts
her tale at the age of 48 with the end of her marriage of
24 years to a prestigious husband and a life of glamour and
privilege. She starts her travels in Mexico, learning to
enjoy the life of backpacking, meeting new people, and living
among natives of a country. Each chapter is another country
she visits, the people she meets and with whom she lives,
and comes to know as family, as she travels to Guatemala,
Nicaragua, Israel, Galapagos Islands, Indonesia, Canada,
New Zealand, and Thailand. It is a fascinating book by an
adventuresome, interesting woman.
Further Thoughts on Faith
Bill's (the Old Post Office
Shop) book of the month is Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith,
by Anne Lamott. Lamott sends us 24 fresh dispatches from
the frontier of her life and her Christian faith. To hear
her tell it, neither the state of the country nor the state
of her nerves has improved, to say the least. Thankfully,
her gift for conveying the workings of grace to left-wing,
high-strung, beleaguered people like herself is still intact,
as is her ability to convey the essence of Christian faith,
which she finds not in dogma but in our ability to open our
hearts in the midst of our confusion and hopelessness. Her
subjects cover such disparities as the Bush administration;
the death of Lamott's dog; her mother and a friend; life
with a teenager; and her 50-year-old thighs.
The book of the month is
a recommendation from our friend Mark: The Shadow of Kilimanjaro
by Rick Ridgeway. Ridgeway's aim during this adventure is
less to get there and more to be there. This is a true account
of a walking safari from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro
to the Indian Ocean, through Kenya's famed Tsavo Park. It's
about Africa's indigenous peoples, its landscape, and its
awe-inspiring animals. Accompanied by park officers, Ridgeway
treks unprotected among lions and elephants, rhinos and oryxes.
In the introduction, Ridgeway quotes Henry David Thoreau:
In wildness is the preservation of the world. That is what
this book is about, a wildness that is intact, a wildness
in which all the original pieces are there. You can purchase
this book at Treehouse Books in Holland (616-494-5085 http://www.treehousebooks.net)
or at The Old Post Office Shop in Saugatuck (269-857-4553 firstname.lastname@example.org)
(for the comic book lover in you, don't forget to cruise
Uncle Keith's Comics).
Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
Sue's book of the month is
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris.
In his latest collection, Sedaris has found his heart. The
27 essays here include his best and funniest writing yet,
with the Sedaris family in all its odd glory. What emerges
in this book is the deepest kind of humor, the human comedy.
Please support your local and independent bookstore.