2016

Reviewed by: 
Rebecca
Feed Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780763662622
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - July 17th, 2012

Savagely skewering consumerist culture, frenetically funny, M.T. Anderson gives us the mother of all dystopian futures in this compelling satire.  About a hundred years from now, most people have the Internet right in their brains (the feed) and are accustomed to a constant onslaught of marketing tailored to their own emotions and experiences.  It's an intense story that will stick with you.
 


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143109792
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - October 4th, 2016

An intriguing, inspiring book about the importance of face-to-face, human-to-human conversation in a world full of interruptions.  Well-researched and more optimistic than you might think, this book offers pragmatic recommendations for prioritizing real-life connections over digital ones.  Recommended reading for anyone with a smartphone, especially (but not limited to) parents and teachers.


Reviewed by: 
Renee
Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good Cover Image
By Chuck Collins, Morris Pearl (Foreword by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781603586832
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chelsea Green Publishing Company - September 23rd, 2016

Chuck Collins was an heir to the Oscar Mayer fortune and chose to give away his trust fund in his mid-20's.  He's been working on wealth inequality ever since.  He was also one of my teachers in the early 90's when I received a master's degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

This book is important to me because philanthropy is one of my core principles. Chuck has found an authentic way of talking about wealth in a context that I think can help bring us together as a community, at least this is my hope.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-And How We Can, Too Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781612195360
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House Publishing - July 12th, 2016

It's been a brutal year so far as national news, and it can be hard to feel hopeful, but this book provides a hearty dose of hope, along with a lot of supporting evidence and good sense.  Lakey is a smart, amiable and accessible author, and Viking Economics was a pleasure to read (not something you can claim about every economics book!)  His account of how the Scandinavian countries have achieved such an enviable quality of life through practical, effective policies is inspiring.  While I was researching this book, I came across the talking point "The Nordics offer free university education and health care, along with affordable day care for young children.  Full employment is normal, and poverty was virtually abolished, even though poverty was once rampant."  Can you imagine being able to say "poverty has been virtually abolished" about the U.S., or even about Vermont?  It's a worthy goal, and, as Bill McKibben said, this book "shows us there’s no reason we couldn’t be making far more progress across a wide range of problems."  Viking Economics is a great pick for those who #feelthebern and for those who just think that we could be doing a better job of things in this country.


Reviewed by: 
Drew
Woolgathering Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780811219440
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 28th, 2011

Patti Smith sits on the prairie fence dividing the lands of poetry and prose with a guitar, and writes a song from the wind that carries one land's sound to the other.


Reviewed by: 
Lynn
Today Will Be Different Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316403436
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 4th, 2016

Eleanor Flood, the main character, decides one day to change the way she lives her life. Easy to think it, not so easy to carry through an entire day, let alone a week, a year, a life time. All day long things go awry with hilarious results. However, this is not a book that strives to be hilarious. You won't feel like the situations are forced; they could happen to anyone. It's simply the story of a day in middle aged woman's life. Her career is stalled, she wonders if she's neglecting her husband, is she spending enough time with her son, etc etc. Even as she makes hash out of her day, she learns from it as she goes - endearing you to this character, who is living her life the best way she can. LIFE IS MESSY! What grabbed me at the end of the book was the thought "Hey, that's my life!" (minus the childhood trauma), followed by "Are we present in our own life?".


Reviewed by: 
Drew
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953 Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781616559670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dark Horse Books - August 23rd, 2016

A dark night in a world that has forgotten how to keep its secrets, but one demon man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent hauntings  — Hellboy, Private Eye of the Supernatural.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780670785971
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - June 21st, 2016

There are a lot of important conversations we need to have in the U.S., and the conversation about class is one of them.  The sheer weight of Isenberg's well-researched argument makes it impossible to maintain that the US has achieved, or ever had, a classless society.  As has been said, if you're afraid to have the discussion, you'll never solve the problem, and this book provides a vital piece of context to the discussion of why our country is so deeply divided.

I happened to read this book alongside Carol Anderson's White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide, and found the two books, which follow the same range of history and inform each other, to be a great pairing.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
DIY Bitters: Reviving the Forgotten Flavor - A Guide to Making Your Own Bitters for Bartenders, Cocktail Enthusiasts, Herbalists, a Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781592337040
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Fair Winds Press (MA) - September 1st, 2016

Trust me, bitters taste great, especially when they're mixed up by by Burlington's own Jovial King and Guido Mase.  This new book by the founders of Urban Moonshine is packed full of delicious, unusual recipes and specific, nuanced information about blending bitters, the health benefits of bitters, and a range of bitter herbs.  A brilliant choice for herbalists, foodies, and anyone interested in this fun, tasty way to support health and increase vitality.  It's also a gorgeous book, so makes a lovely gift!
—Kristen


Reviewed by: 
Rebecca
News of the World Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062409201
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 4th, 2016

This is the best book I’ve read in 20 years, and a favorite of everyone who reads it.  Set in post-Civil War Texas, it is the tale of how the lives of an old captain and a young captive intersect, then interlace.  The story and setting are as full of possibilities as danger, as much courtesy as lawlessness.  Paulette Jiles's writing is just plain astounding, as graceful, effortless, and focused as a hovering kestrel.  Read this short book slowly; you will be rewarded with a many-layered poem of a novel that's about time, about compassion, about the stories that we write for ourselves or that are written for us.


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