What Lisa is Reading

  • Posted on: 14 June 2016
  • By: burba6

 We are in the business of finding connections--within texts, between texts and contexts, between texts and ourselves, between our readings and the readings of other interpreters.

--TS ELIOT

Books: 
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The Vanishing Half: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525536291
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - June 2nd, 2020

I did not want this novel to end. A triumph! Truly a page-turner with language that resonates and stings, revealing surprising layers of depth. Themes of identity, skin-tone discrimination, bigotry, class and racism are confronted through twin girls growing up in a tight -knit community which constrains their ambitions.  Required to work as domestic maids to a wealthy family, Stella and Desiree long to leave and eventually find the courage to travel to New Orleans where their lives ultimately diverge. Good choice for a family read or for book clubs.


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Valentine: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062913265
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - March 31st, 2020

A Read with Jenna, The Today Show Bookclub pick. 1976 Odessa Texas. A masterfully told debut novel that is riveting. A must read for women, for men, for communities. Told from various women's perspectives, life in a small West Texas town is fraught with dangerous creatures, men, women, a corrupt justice system and alarmingly divided along ethnic and racial boundaries. Yet despite the threats of retribution, the brutal assault of a 14-year-old girl binds the women in this dust-up oil town to take action. This novel, these characters and these issues have profoundly affected me. Thank you Elizabeth Wetmore for writing this story.


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Why We Swim Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616207861
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - April 14th, 2020

An absolute joy to read. This is creative nonfiction at its best. Like swimming, these personal and investigative tales uplift, inform and enrich the body, mind and spirit. In exciting and readable passages, Tsui writes masterfully about the lure of our world's bays, streams and oceans. Expansive historical and cultural stories about how enthusiasts of all levels, work, play, challenge themselves and ultimately realize the wildness, mysteriousness and abundance of our aquatic habitats. 
Brilliant and breathtaking. 


The Woman in the White Kimono Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780778309765
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Park Row - June 30th, 2020

I felt personally drawn to this cross-cultural novel. Two narratives dovetail  (historical/contemporary)
to portray and reveal the hidden repercussions of a forbidden marriage. In 1957 a US Navy sailor stationed in Japan falls in love with a  local girl from a traditional family, yet cultural and familial obligations keep them apart. As Naoko, the Japanese woman explains, "A life with love is happy. A life for love is foolish. A life of if only is unbearable. In my seventy-eight years, I have had all three." 

 


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Without Ever Reaching the Summit: A Journey Cover Image
By Paolo Cognetti, Stash Luczkiw (Translated by)
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062978318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - June 23rd, 2020

As I read Cognetti's (Italian writer, The Eight Mountains) slim travelogue of his spiritual trek to capture a little Tibet in the Nepalese Himalayas, a calmness took over and time became expansive. He marked his fortieth birthday by journeying through the Dolpo region, not to conquer the summits but to "feel welcomed by the landscape rather than challenged by it." He retraces a portion of Peter Matthiessen's path chronicled in "The Snow Leopard" and contemplates the jewel in the lotus (om mani padme hum).


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American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250209764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 21st, 2020

This novel is timely, important, extremely well-written and one of the best books I have read. An all too real story of asylum seekers' fearful journeys. Moves in pace like a freight train, yet observes every subtlety of character and landscape from Acapulco to mainland Mexico to beyond the US border.


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Simon the Fiddler: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062966742
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - April 14th, 2020

Audio Review: A lyrical new historical novel from the acclaimed author of News Of The World. 1865, Texas. Simon Boudlin is a young man from Kentucky who lives and breathes music, his Markneukriche fiddle being his most beautiful possession until he meets Doris Dillon a young governess from Ireland. An unforgettable love story set during the fraught time of Reconstruction just after the Civil War. The audio version is read by Grover Gardner with a nuanced textured voice and he infuses the text with deeply melodic voices.


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Sabrina & Corina: Stories Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525511304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - April 7th, 2020

Shortlisted for Reading the West Literary Prize Award. Fajardo-Anstine is from Denver, Colorado and her eleven linked short stories portray female characters and their Latina and indigenous heritages with emotional authenticity, boldness, and narrative brilliance. She writes with lyrical beauty about place, Denver and southern Colorado, and without restraint about people--detailing violence against women, economic inequality and the effects of discrimination with profound humanity. Literary, readable, and ultimately transformative. 


Ask Again, Yes: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982106997
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - May 5th, 2020

A love story that takes the long way home. This novel begins in the 1970's, in the suburbs of NY and dramatizes two neighboring police officer's families. The fathers are connected by being part of the NYPD, their children forge a strong friendship, yet the families never really understand or acknowledge the pressures and traumas each other face. These internal forces build in severity over time and lead to a terrible act of violence. Keane writes with compassion for each of her characters flaws and their journey toward acceptance and forgiveness.


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This Tender Land: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476749297
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - September 3rd, 2019

A wondrous new novel from the Minnesotan author of "Ordinary Grace. I fell in love with the writing and with the two young boys, Albert and Odie, full of vim and vigor yet unable to lead a normal life at the punishing Lincoln Indian Training School; a charity place mostly for Native American children forced from their families, truly a place of wrath and tears. This tale takes place over one summer during the Great Depression as the boys and two other lovable orphans escape and launch off on their own in a canoe down the mighty Mississippi River with the American landscape as a haunting, dangerous yet beatific backdrop. This story is riveting and an absolute must-read. A coming-of-age Odyssey. Reminiscent of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.


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The River: A novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525521877
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Knopf - March 5th, 2019

Shortlisted for Reading The West Literary Prize Award. Being out in the wilderness with one's best friend, fly-fishing, attuned to each other's rhythm and cadence is bliss, yet in this novel, the dazzling and blinding beauty of an exquisite river adventure turns the elastic nature of time into fight or flight for two friends who share a deep and poetic connection to each other.


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The Beekeeper of Aleppo: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984821218
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - August 27th, 2019

 The 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize Winner. This novel is impossible to forget. A loving family's life in Aleppo, Syria is blown apart by the cruelties of war. Nuri, a beekeeper and his wife Afra, an artist, suffer the unimaginable and embark on a long arduous refugee journey, from Syria to Turkey to Greece and onward to England. This story is told in magical writing, literary, yet intensely focuses on a family's wounds and how memory and imagination sustain them as they precariously hold on to what they love. 


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The Glass Hotel: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525521143
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - March 24th, 2020

A magnificent novel. Set in various locations-- remote British Columbia, the rarefied stratosphere of Manhattan, a container ship off the coast of Mauritania, this 5th novel is very different on the surface from Mandel's novel "Station Eleven" which is being picked up by HBO and made into a series. Showcasing her literary talent and her uncanny ability to craft a cohesive narrative arc with seemingly disparate chapters and voices is a triumph. A contemporary story questioning the nature of reality, the value of art and identity in a highly materialistic society, while pondering the consequences of greed and exclusion.


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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781524700515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ember - March 5th, 2019

This is an outstanding novel. I loved reading about Julia, a teenager that struggles with feelings of depression and of being an outsider, even in her own family. This is a coming-of-age novel that will resonate with anyone who has a dream and the challenges that familial expectations and society imposes. The 2020 One Book One Valley Community Read. 


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Cherokee America Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781328494221
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - February 19th, 2019

Shortlisted for Reading The West Literary Prize.  An immersive reading experience that captivated my imagination and carried me away. A family drama, a historical and cultural eye-opener, a real page-turner. In the aftermath of the Civil War a matriarch of the Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Singer called Check by all, lives on her farm and rules the roost by respecting her ancestors while looking to the future to strengthen her tribe. 
Verble, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is a Pulitzer-prize winning author and this is the prequel to Maud's Life. Great choice for bookclubs and fans of Mary Doria 
Russell. 


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A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel Cover Image
By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (Translated by), Amanda Hopkinson (Translated by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984820150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - January 21st, 2020

Sure to be one of the best books of 2020. Historical fiction of the highest quality. Set in Spain beginning in 1936 and spanning 40 years of exile in Chile and Venezuela. During the brutal Spanish Civil War the lives of Victor Dalmau--a medic fighting against Franco, and Roser, a young Basque girl with exceptional music talent, are woven together in this novel of war, refugees, love and loss. Allende has the magical ability to keep the plot moving with indelible characters full of human fragility and resilience. A homage to Pablo Neruda, the healing powers of medicine and music, passionate women and courageous hearts.


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Nothing to See Here Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062913463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - October 29th, 2019

Read this novel to laugh, marvel at its originality and be enthralled by a makeshift family in the great state of Tennessee. The "fire children" at the heart of this well-written tale are incredibly believable and totally incandescent. I was captured instantaneously by the basketball playing "governess" and her forge ahead attitude. Not to be missed.


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Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781524732363
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - October 15th, 2019

Sherman is a donkey, barely alive when Christopher and his family rescue him to live on their farm in rural Pennsylvania, in the heart of Amish country. This dinky donkey recovers and proves to be an excellent candidate to run alongside Christopher in the World Championship burro race in Leadville, Colorado. I loved this uplifting, informative and triumphant memoir.


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Weather: A novel Cover Image
$23.95
ISBN: 9780385351102
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - February 11th, 2020

A slim, polished novel that I loved as much as her previous, Dept. of Speculation. The wondrous interior mind of the narrator Lizzie is what drives this unconventionally crafted story about motherhood, workplace drama, and climate change.The paragraphs are short, sometimes only two lines yet convey so much intelligence, humor and humanity. An excellent read for everyone and book clubs too.


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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593129197
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 4th, 2020

An unstoppable read. As Jai and his friends strive to find the lost children of their poor neighborhood their journey takes them farther and farther from home. Anaparra's debut novel relies on her reporter's eye for detail and insight into India's improvised and preyed upon children. The New York Times calls Anaparra's debut the arrival of a literary supernova.


The Dead Girl in 2a Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781492686033
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Poisoned Pen Press - July 2nd, 2019

A spellbinding mystery novel set in Colorado written by a Coloradoan. On a plane to Denver from Boston, Jake, a writer, and Clara, a teacher, are seat mates, both suffering from a mysterious memory loss. They feel as if they have met before. As Jake settles into his assignment in Denver, Clara heads to Maroon Bells, located in the Elk Mountains of Aspen. This mystery is not a formulaic whodunit, but a 'why is this happening' psychological suspenseful thriller.


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Normal People: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984822178
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Hogarth - April 16th, 2019

A stunning coming-of-age novel set in Dublin, Ireland. When a young woman and a young man from different social backgrounds begin a secret relationship in high school the psychological tension is palatable.


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The Book of Delights: Essays Cover Image
$23.95
ISBN: 9781616207922
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - February 12th, 2019

Everyday a new delight to read. Ross Gay is an award-winning poet, and this collection of his "essayettes" written over a year are brief yet meaningful musings on gratitude, nature, love, loss and other "chatter in the Siberia" of his mind. I tend to be easily distracted in mind and spirit during times of stress, and I find this these small vignettes perfect for my oh so 'busy' life. "Oh broken, Oh beautiful."An absolutely terrific reading experience to be shared


Small Fry: A Memoir Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802147219
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - June 18th, 2019

A wondrous new novel from the Minnesotan author of "Ordinary Grace. I fell in love with the writing and with the two young boys, Albert and Odie, full of vim and vigor yet unable to lead a normal life at the punishing Lincoln Indian Training School; a charity place mostly for Native American children forced from their families, truly a place of wrath and tears. This tale takes place over one summer during the Great Depression as the boys and two other lovable orphans escape and launch off on their own in a canoe down the mighty Mississippi River with the American landscape as a haunting, dangerous yet beatific backdrop. This story is riveting and an absolute must-read. A coming-of-age Odyssey. Reminiscent of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.


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November Road: A Thriller Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062663856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 22nd, 2019

1960s America. A crime story, a love story, a road trip and the assassination of JFK. This blockbuster of a novel brings together Frank Guidry, a mobster on the run and Charlotte, a mom with 2 kids who road trips toward California away from her drunken husband in Oklahoma. I raced through this story, and the writing is smart, gritty, and exceptional.


Washington Black Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525563242
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Vintage - April 9th, 2019

1830s Barbados. This novel reads like the truest of magical realism stories. A young slave boy working in the deadly fields of a sugar plantation is literally lifted out of slavery in a flying machine, the forerunner of the hot air ballon, to utterly foreign environments and to freedoms he never thought possible. He becomes a free man, a talented illustrator, a marine biologist, a husband and father. He travels to the Arctic, Nova Scotia, London, Morocco and beyond. A journey from hatred to hope.


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Red at the Bone: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525535270
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 17th, 2019

A stunning novel from an award-winning author of young adult and children's books, this multi-generational tale is musical. Woodson's vibrant, clear and crisp writing (less than 200 pages) begins with an African American family in Brooklyn throwing their beloved Melody a sweet sixteen party in 2001. A hopeful time, yet Iris, Melody's estranged mother laments getting pregnant at sixteen and brings tension and unresolved resentments to the party. Told from past and present points-of-view. Deals with mother-daughter relationships, identity, family legacy, class, race, education.


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The Great Believers: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735223530
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 4th, 2019

1980s Chicago. A breathtaking novel of family and friendship that captures the emotional impact and legacy of the AIDS epidemic on a group of cultured, talented, gay young men and their families and communities. I was spellbound by the circles of friends and their expressions of heartbreaking grief. The story continues in Paris thirty years later and portrays a mother searching for her estranged daughter. An expansive heart-opening novel, cinematic in scope, and ultimately hopeful. Truly an outstanding book.


Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780451493507
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Knopf - October 29th, 2019

Jung Chang writes history with astounding clarity. Her 1991 book "Wild Swans" about her life in China is a top 5 memoir book for me. My knowledge, interest and understanding of feudal life, Mao's cultural revolution and the last 150 years of Chinese history begins with her story. This recent book is about three sisters from Shanghai, educated in the US, married to powerful men in 20th century China--"One loved money, one loved power and one loved her country." From monarchy to republic to revolution these Soong women were at the forefront of history. A treasured reading experience.


Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316259637
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 24th, 2019

A bright, bold and brave work of creative nonfiction. This book is a contemporary essay collection that blends personal stories with perceptive public observations. A lonely whale, a museum devoted to breakups, revealing essays on obsession, desire and motherhood are just some of the topics. Love everything Jamison writes.


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Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781328519030
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 15th, 2019

A memoir that has garnered a lot of buzz for good reason. In the glittering environment of Cape Cod, the harmful bonds of maternal narcissism and loyalty are pressed beyond the reasonable and Brodeur's life choices are affected. She beautifully writes about her journey back to self. Outstanding personal story by the executive director of Aspen Words


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Travel Light, Move Fast Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594206740
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - August 6th, 2019

This is the fourth outstanding memoir from an extraordinary woman. Fuller writes about her family in full sun and full darkness. From her father's bedside in a hospital in Budapest in 2015 to her childhood in Africa to her recent loss in Wyoming, she writes with an emotional intelligence and honesty that soars while recounting the grief she is experiencing.


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My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780525564201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - July 30th, 2019

Lagos, Nigeria. In this slim novel, two sisters couldn't be more different. One kills, one cleans up. I raced through this story. Braithwaite writes with dark humor about sibling rivalry ratcheted up to the extreme. This family has member roles deeply ingrained and unquestioned-- the codependent hard-worker, the beautiful indulged daughter, and the narcissist mother. Loved this reading experience. A fast- paced plot, the sisters are wildly entertaining and the ending has an unexpected twist.


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We Love Anderson Cooper: Short Stories Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250304087
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Celadon Books - July 14th, 2020

A quirky, magical and wryly humorous short story collection by Maizes, a Boulder resident. Her characters are full of flaws and flounder most of the time in their search for acceptance, connection, and understanding. They struggle with jealousy, financial insecurities, or religious and sexual identity. I loved her storytelling voice, her characters and her use of magical realism which provided so much humor to otherwise very serious human struggles.