Hot reads for summer’s end
1. “Danger on the Peaks” by Gary Snyder ($22). Local treasure Gary Snyder returns with a stunning collection of poetry, written in a variety of styles, which is deeply personal and lyrical. Starting with his ascent of Mt. St. Helens on the day of the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima to the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban, this is quintessential Snyder poetry.
2. “Hippie” by Barry Miles ($24.95). Peace, love and rock ‘n’ roll are celebrated in this luscious coffee table book. The photos are accompanied by Miles’ descriptions and essays on the counterculture movement from its roots in the ’50s to the dawning of a new age.
3. “Trace” by Patricia Cornwell ($26.95). Forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta is summoned back to Richmond, Va., by the new medical examiner who has asked for help in solving the murder of a 14-year-old girl. Finding her old office in disarray, Scarpetta must investigate this horrifying murder with barely a trace of evidence.
4. “Old School” by Tobias Wolff ($12). This acclaimed author’s first novel is a celebration of literature, innocence and youth. A school literary contest, with the prize being an audience with Robert Frost, leads to betrayals and broken friendships in this coming-of-age story. A truly beautiful read!
5. “Remembering Kate” by A. Scott Berg ($14). In 1983, Katherine Hepburn and Scott Berg began a friendship that lasted throughout the rest of her life. These are her stories, in her own words, about an extraordinary life in film and theater. With the agreement that he publish the book only after her death, Hepburn shared with Berg intimate details of her life and loves in this amazing look at a very private woman.
6. “1929” by Frederick Turner ($14.95). The Jazz Age comes alive in this novel of gaudy glory. The life of legendary musician Bix Beirderbecke is fictionalized in this celebration of his life and career. He is joined by other real-life characters, such as Al Capone, Bing Crosby and Duke Ellington, in this romp through the roaring ’20s.
7. “Acqua Alta” by Donna Leon ($5.99). The last time I was in Venice, there was Acqua Alta, the infamous high water from the lagoon that floods the narrow streets. While the tourists are splashing at St. Mark’s Square, Commissario Guido Brunetti must navigate the swirling waters to solve his most sinister murder case to date. Set in the art world of Venice, this is a high-stakes mystery with Venice as the star.
8. “The Red Queen” by Margaret Drabble ($24). Barbara Halliwell, a student researcher at Oxford, is sent an anonymous package containing a 200-year-old memoir of a Korean princess. This compelling and haunting family drama leads Barbara to Seoul and the very places where Crown Princess Hyegyong lived a life that begins to ensnare Barbara’s own.
9. “The Nightingales” by Gillian Mill ($27.95). At one time, Florence Nightingale was the most famous woman in Britain, if not the world. What then made this free-thinking celebrity retire to her bedroom at the age of 37, rarely to emerge again? In this well-researched and well-written biography, we meet Florence and her brilliant yet eccentric family in a fascinating portrait of the Victorian age.
10. “Sea of Trolls” by Nancy Farmer ($17.95). This is an absolutely awesome adventure story set in the land of the Vikings. When Jack, a young bard, and his sister Lucy are kidnapped from their home by a band of ruthless Vikings, they are taken to the land of Ivar the Boneless and his evil troll wife Queen Firth. Here they learn that even their enemies can be good. A terrific book for readers 10 and up and up and up!
Compiled by manager Alison Jones-Pomatto at the Book Seller, 107 Mill St., Grass Valley, 272-2131. The Book Seller is open 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User