October Picks: Non-Fiction

Born to Run Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781501141515
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 27th, 2016

“Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.”
—Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.

Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.


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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

Vermont Authors! Staff Pick!

Make your own bitters at home to enhance your medicine cabinet, and your bar!

Used since the Middle Ages, bitters are made by combining various plant botanicals and/or spices with 100-proof alcohol and letting them sit until the bitter and medicinal qualities have been extracted. Just a small amount of the resulting liquid can then be used to stimulate the digestive system and promote healthy digestion. This is why "apertifs" and "digestifs" are so popular--both then and now!

DIY Bitters is a how-to guide that explores the history and health benefits of bitters, and shows you how to make your own bitters at home, to be used alone or in cocktails, tonics, and even main meals.

Herbalists Jovial King and Guido Mase, owners of the bitters company Urban Moonshine, teach you how to make recipes for classic bitters like orange and angostura, or explore more innovative bitters like elderflower-echinacea-honey and chocolate love tonic. You can even find a guide for creating your own unique flavors from the plants and ingredients you have on hand.

Whether enjoyed as an apertif, digestif, or as a remedy to settle an upset stomach, bitters are back!


Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781632860125
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - September 6th, 2016

From bestselling author Ross King, a brilliant portrait of the legendary artist and the story of his most memorable achievement.

Claude Monet is perhaps the world’s most beloved artist, and among all his creations, the paintings of the water lilies in his garden at Giverny—in museums around the world—are most famous. Monet himself intended them to provide “an asylum of peaceful meditation.” Yet, as Ross King reveals in his magisterial chronicle of both artist and his masterpieces, beneath the surface of these beautiful canvases lies remarkable drama, and they reflect the terrible personal torments Monet suffered in the last dozen years of his life.

Mad Enchantment tells the full story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came ever closer to Paris and Giverny, and a new generation of younger artists, led by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, were challenging the achievements of Impressionism. By early 1914, French newspapers were reporting that Monet, by then 73, had retired his brushes. He had lost his beloved wife, Alice, and his eldest son, Jean. His famously acute vision—what Paul Cezanne called “the most prodigious eye in the history of painting”—was threatened by cataracts. And yet, despite ill health, self-doubt, and advancing age, Monet began painting again on a more ambitious scale than ever before. Linking great artistic achievement to the personal and historical dramas unfolding around it, Ross King presents the most intimate and revealing portrait of an iconic figure in world culture.


Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780871403131
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 27th, 2016

This "historically engaging and pressingly relevant" biography establishes Shirley Jackson as a towering figure in American literature and revives the life and work of a neglected master.

Still known to millions primarily as the author of the "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson (1916–1965) has been curiously absent from the mainstream American literary canon. A genius of literary suspense and psychological horror, Jackson plumbed the cultural anxiety of postwar America more deeply than anyone. Now, biographer Ruth Franklin reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the author of such classics as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Placing Jackson within an American Gothic tradition that stretches back to Hawthorne and Poe, Franklin demonstrates how her unique contribution to this genre came from her focus on "domestic horror." Almost two decades before The Feminine Mystique ignited the women’s movement, Jackson’ stories and nonfiction chronicles were already exploring the exploitation and the desperate isolation of women, particularly married women, in American society. Franklin’s portrait of Jackson gives us “a way of reading Jackson and her work that threads her into the weave of the world of words, as a writer and as a woman, rather than excludes her as an anomaly” (Neil Gaiman).

The increasingly prescient Jackson emerges as a ferociously talented, determined, and prodigiously creative writer in a time when it was unusual for a woman to have both a family and a profession. A mother of four and the wife of the prominent New Yorker critic and academic Stanley Edgar Hyman, Jackson lived a seemingly bucolic life in the New England town of North Bennington, Vermont. Yet, much like her stories, which channeled the occult while exploring the claustrophobia of marriage and motherhood, Jackson’s creative ascent was haunted by a darker side. As her career progressed, her marriage became more tenuous, her anxiety mounted, and she became addicted to amphetamines and tranquilizers. In sobering detail, Franklin insightfully examines the effects of Jackson’s California upbringing, in the shadow of a hypercritical mother, on her relationship with her husband, juxtaposing Hyman’s infidelities, domineering behavior, and professional jealousy with his unerring admiration for Jackson’s fiction, which he was convinced was among the most brilliant he had ever encountered.

Based on a wealth of previously undiscovered correspondence and dozens of new interviews, Shirley Jackson—an exploration of astonishing talent shaped by a damaging childhood and turbulent marriage—becomes the definitive biography of a generational avatar and an American literary giant.


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The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250060266
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - September 27th, 2016

Staff Pick!

James Herriot for the twenty-first century.

Old world meets new when a shepherd in the English Lake District impulsively starts a Twitter account and connects with the world.


A routine cell phone upgrade left author James Rebanks with a decent camera and a pre-loaded Twitter app-the tools to share his way of life with the entire planet. And what began as a tentative experiment became an international sensation.

James has worked the land for years, as did his father, and his father before him. His family has lived and farmed in the Lake District of Northern England as long as there have been written records. And while the land itself has inspired some of our greatest imaginations-Wordsworth, Coleridge, Beatrix Potter-we have rarely heard from the people who tend it. One Twitter account has changed all that. The Shepherd's Life is a memoir about growing up amidst a magical, storied landscape, coming of age in the 80s and 90s among hills that seem timeless, yet suffused with history. Broken into the four seasons, The Shepherd's Life chronicles the author's daily experiences-the joy of a new lamb, the sadness of an early death-bringing alive his family and their ancient way of life, which at times can seem irreconcilable with the modern world.

The Shepherd's Life is an intimate, original look from inside a seemingly ordinary life, one that celebrates the meaning of place, the ties of family to land, and the necessary beauty of the past.