Mystery, culture and more
1. “Winds of Change” by Martha Grimes ($25.95). Martha Grimes is back with her best Richard Jury mystery in years. A child has disappeared and another has been found dead. Jury knows that this will be one of the saddest investigations of his life, but is Jury merely a pawn in the murderer’s deadly game and is anything really what it seems? Read and find out!
2. “This is the Burning Man” by Brian Doherty ($24.95). Depending on your point of view, Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada may be the coolest or weirdest event in America. It is a celebration of freedom and expression, of reinvented society and a search for community and meaning. Join 30,000 anarchists, millionaires, artists and soccer moms in the desert this weekend and see for yourself, or just read the book.
3. “Califia’s Daughters” by Leigh Richards ($6.99). Richards is best known to readers as mystery writer Laurie King. Here she tries her hand at fantasy in a futuristic novel inspired by the myth of the warrior queen Califia. It is the story of a small, peaceful community of women living in the remains of a world gone mad.
4. “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri ($14). Lahiri, author of the wonderful Pulitzer Prize-winning “Interpreter of Maladies,” brings us her first novel. This is a moving story of the cultural clash of an East Indian family and its son, born and raised in America. Lahiri beautifully weaves the story of Gogol and his struggles to define who he is. I loved this book!
5. “Invisible Acts of Power” by Caroline Myss ($24). Myss takes her special brand of spiritual insight and intuition in a new direction. She explores the practice of compassion and generosity to create small miracles and shows that doing good is essential to our own physical and emotional health.
6. “Birds Without Wings” by Louis De Bernieres ($24.95). The author of “Corelli’s Mandolin” is finally back with a novel set in a small coastal town in Turkey during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. This is an epic story of the people of different faiths and nationalities who live here in a world on the border of great upheaval and historical change.
7. “All I Did Was Ask” by Terry Gross ($24.95). “I heard it on NPR” is how customers often tell us about books they want. Here Gross, the host of “Fresh Air,” shares 300 of her favorite interviews with authors, actors, musicians and artists. What makes a good interview? Gross tells you and shares her thoughts and commentaries about them. With Carol Shields reflecting on her upcoming death, Johnny Cash as a young boy and Conan O’Brien’s dance lessons, this volume will make you smile.
8. “Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans” by Dave Eggers and the editors of McSweeney’s ($16.95). McSweeney’s is a hip online zine based in San Francisco. This collection is the best of McSweeney’s Humor Category. It is filled with essays, commentary, poems and stories, all with a biting and witty edge.
9. “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell ($14.95). Mitchell’s novel combines adventure and puzzles with philosophy and scientific speculation. Like a pinball machine, “Cloud Atlas” bounces back and forth in time and place, sometimes at a frenetic pace. Yet it is an incredibly engaging story of how disparate characters connect with intertwined fates and how their souls drift across time like clouds in the sky.
10. “Becoming Naomi Leon” by Pam Munoz Ryan ($16.95). Ryan’s biographical novel, “Esperanza Rising,” was terrific, but her new novel tops it. Naomi Outlaw, and her brother, Owen, live a poor but happy life with their great-grandmother in a southern California trailer park. When their long-absent mother unexpectedly returns, their life is turned upside-down. A journey leads Naomi to discover and proclaim just who she really is – Naomi Leon, the lioness. Exceptional!
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.
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