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Unnerving and mind bending, Murata’s stories encourage the reader to look inquisitively at the way we live.
Callan Wink's latest novel, August, explores coming of age in a masculine and violent world as a young and impressionable man. We follow August from a fledgling teen in Michigan to adulthood in Montana as he navigates predicaments all too common for males in today's society. Set against the backdrop of Montana's Big Sky, Wink weaves a venerable tale written with simple honesty and the elegant prose of the likes of William Kittredge and David James Duncan.
Even if you aren’t into fly fishing, Home Waters, is an enchanting exploration of Montana life in the 20th century.
A story of the importance of family and the power of forgiveness in helping the hurt heal and inspire change in even the most damaged souls. Opening with an act of violence that leads to the unraveling of an already struggling family, Hokeah uses several family members to tell the story of a single member, Ever, and his redemption through their eyes.
With the prose of a poet, Debra Magpie Earling weaves a powerful tale of cursed love, lust and life on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Rich with the language of place and studded with the wisdom and wit of a writer that belongs to the community she writes about, Perma Red wraps the reader in a fevered dream where reality is blurred with visions that pivot between hope and dread in a single sentence.
I won’t claim this was a simple read or that I understood every theory of our universe’s creation, but Mersinini-Houghton unveils the universe and the universes that exist beyond with the skill of a patient teacher. Her physics lessons are threaded with memories of her upbringing in Albania under a stifling dictatorship.
Through philosophy, art and ecology Jenny Odell provides a well researched argument for removing oneself from the demands of a technology driven world “to do nothing” so that ultimately we can “do something” with greater impact and purpose. A call to wake up to the world around us by paying closer attention, so that we can more effectively advocate for ourselves, but also the sustainability of our local communities and global society.
Elsewhere is the unsettling tale of a town isolated both socially and geographically, giving the dynamics amongst inhabitants and outsiders a cultish air. In this town all seems enchanting, but for an unimaginable curse that steals mothers from their children. A creative examination of motherhood and its boundless love, Schaitkin’s writing is captivating, eerie and filled with subtle clues that all is not as it seems leading the reader on an unforgettable journey.
Part food history, part memoir, part travalogue, this exploration of the origins of cassoulet leads author, Sylvie Bigar, down memory lane as she discovers things aren’t as they seem. Though at times a little bougie, her writing is vivid, her story entertaining, heartbreaking but above all delicious.
Home economics meets culture, history and a personal memoir. Read this one like a winter orange, peel back the cover and savor, section by section.
Gallen does it again in this riotous tale of a community divided and the personal stories of those caught in the crossfire of religious and political conflict. Those unfamiliar with the history of Northern Ireland might appreciate reading We Don’t Know Ourselves as well.
An unbelievable story of a childhood like no other. Diamond humorously recalls her life on the run from Interpol as a child and teenager. Educated meets Captain Fantastic.
A personal story and well researched examination of the process of mourning. Heart wrenching, but as any work by Joan Dideon, it’s worth it.
Thoroughly researched and well written, Ridgeline is a work of fiction based on the true story of a pivotal moment in the opening of the West to white settlement and the clash of cultures that ensued. It’s a page turner that will leave you wanting to know more about the characters that thread the story together. Suggested next read: Lakota America and the Autobiography of Red Cloud.
Rooney’s formula for writing stories about the tragic and complicated lives of millenials just doesn’t get old. In her second book, Normal People, Rooney leaves the reader cringing and cheering for her characters as they struggle to realize how lucky they really are in spite of the anxieties we all face.
Olia Hercules, Summer Kitchens, is more than a celebration of summer's bounty, it's a tribute to the collective culture of the diverse people that call Ukraine home. Through Hercules's recipes and story telling, Ukraine is revealed as a country with an ecologically rich terrain and a history marked by overcoming hardship. The recipes she shares are at times easily overlooked for their simplicity, such as fermented baked milk, turnip salad and beet tops, but the stories she shares about their history and symbolism in Ukraine's evolution as a nation make this collection of recipes particularly felicitous despite publication in 2020.
Broken into sections including ferments, breakfasts, soups, breads, vegetables, meats and desserts, the reader is treated to a sampling of dishes to be served throughout the seasons and an education in traditional methods of preserving, baking and serving dishes. I'll certainly be making tomato mulberry salad, fermented apples in pumpkin mash, borscht with duck and smoked pears and flourless poppyseed cake as the garden gives and the year unfolds. This heartwarming tribute to a culture once again threatened, gives context and hope for the resilience of the Ukrainian people
Sometimes you just need a good summer read. Guncle, recently out in paperback, hits the mark with a storyline that is both humorous and emotionally engaging. You'll chuckle through tears, as GUP (Gay Uncle Patrick) helps his young niece and nephew navigate the loss of their mother, Sarah, his best friend and brother's wife. Filled with relatable moments of child rearing balanced with life lessons even adults struggle to learn, there is just enough seriousness in Rowley's story to make Guncle a worthy summer read any time of year.
I'm picky about garden books. It's hard to find a resource that offers something new yet relevant to our erratic climate. Kelly Norris's, The New Naturalism, hits the mark providing the reader with new perspectives on what a garden can be with sound advice on selecting plants and designing varied spaces for an aesthetically pleasing yet wild look pollinators will love. While it might be more technical than some readers desire, you'll learn more looking up the plants' common names and gain a new appreciation for their ecological niches. It's the book I wish I read before tearing up my lawn. If nothing else the pictures are worthy of display on anyone's coffee table