Heather's Picks

Heather found her way to Phoenix Books after retiring from full-time teaching. Her primary interest is in fiction, but she also ventures into poetry, nature, gardening, biography, history, and mystery. Lately, she has been reading some middle grade fiction to help young people.

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Heather
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Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780399157981
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons a Member of Penguin Group - March 4th, 2014

This memoir shows how a magnetic man from Kenya, who is skilled at gardening, transforms the life (and garden) of a middle-aged woman.  By putting assumptions aside, each one of them develops a caring bond for the other.  Moving, uplifting, gently rendered story of love.


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Heather
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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Vintage International) Cover Image
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780804170123
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 5th, 2015

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki  is another masterpiece by the renowned Japanese author. I couldn’t put this book down.  How masterfully Murakami tells the story of one young man who becomes an outsider from   his tightknit group of friends from his youth.  He seeks to reconnect with his friends and to understand his relationship to others. “Some things are too complicated to explain in any language.”  This book resonates with you long after it has been read. --Heather


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Heather
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All the Light We Cannot See Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476746586
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 6th, 2014

An amazing storyteller, Doerr weaves together the lives of two teenagers-one Marie-Lure, a blind French girl, and the other, Werner, an orphaned German youth.  With alternating chapters, flash forwards and flash backs, Doerr shows us the capacity for people to care for one another amidst the carnage of WWII. The light which was invisible is made visible. Shortlisted for the National Book Award.2014


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Heather
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Draw! Cover Image
By Raul Colon, Raul Colon (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781442494923
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - September 16th, 2014

A child’s imagination is fully expressed in this magnificently illustrated book.  Both humorous and fanciful, Colon inspires us to tap into our creativity.


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Heather
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The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781451654660
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 5th, 2013

“The white man made a lot of promises and they kept one. They promised to take my land and
they took it.” Red Cloud (1821-1909)

Written from primary sources including an autobiography by Red Cloud, Drury and Clavin
recount the story of the Lakota Sioux chief Red Cloud whose story makes him an American
legend. As the son of an alcoholic Brule who died young, Red Cloud was a self-made man who
rose to be the warrior chief and spiritual leader of is people. Red Cloud learned to control his
rage and remain still. He developed a self-discipline that enabled him to assess the bluecoats
and achieve what many great generals had been unable to do. He was able to unite the
warring tribes under his leadership to defeat the Americans at Ft. Phil Kearny and force the US
government to approach him to negotiate a peace.

Drury and Clavin neither romanticize Red Cloud nor the Plains Indians’ struggle to survive the
westward movement- of homesteaders, miners, and eventually the railroaders. From the
trains, the white man wiped out the buffalo, the life-sustaining food for the Sioux. The authors
do provide a new perspective that of the Sioux chief as he saw the white man’s ineptness,
political ambition, greed and land grabbing instincts destroy the land he loved.


Reviewed by: 
Heather
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In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction Cover Image
By Gabor Mate, Peter A. Levine (Foreword by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781556438806
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: North Atlantic Books - January 5th, 2010

In the state of the state address, Governor Peter Shumlin opened the conversation on how the opiate problem in our state is affecting public health and public safety. As Mate states, “If the goal of the War on Drugs is to discourage or prevent drug use, it has failed.”(289) From 1980 to 1999 the number of Americans arrested for drug offenses has nearly tripled, from 580,00 to 1,532,200….The United States contains less than 5 percent of the world’s population but houses nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners.” (290) Mate’s book awakens readers to consider a better approach to dealing with and treating addiction. Based on extensive neuroscience research and clinical practice, Mate argues for a more humane and medical approach to treating addicts, shifting profits away from drug cartels and huge sums spent on prisons. As our legislature examines the problem, we can be better informed by reading Mate’s book.


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Heather
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The Steady Running of the Hour Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781476704586
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 15th, 2014

With a title from Wilfred Owen’s “Strange Meeting”, Justin Go weaves two tales, one of young American Tristan who will inherit the sizable estate of Ashley Walshington a British mountaineer who died on Mt. Everest in 1924, if he can prove his grandmother was related to Imogen Soames-Anderson, and  the other, a love story of Imogen and Ashley, who is deployed to the Western Front in WWI, and never marries the love of his life. Go writes a haunting love story set against the darkness of war.


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Heather
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Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance Cover Image
$32.48
ISBN: 9780805098075
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Times Books - February 25th, 2014

What would you do to regain your privacy in the information age? Are you aware of the pervasiveness of data mining of your personal habits and information each time that you use a website, visit Facebook, buy online or use your cell phone? Would you want to know how your name appeared on the “No Fly” list or be freaked out if a microphone could record your every keystroke? After a rigorous attempt to  remove information about her from more than 90 data collection groups, Angwin asserts the need for commercial privacy legislation governing data collection.


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Heather
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The Lowland Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307265746
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 24th, 2013

As gripping as her earlier books.  Lahiri recounts the tale of two brothers, Subhash and Udayan, who are extreme opposites.  Set first in Calcutta in the 1960s.  Udayan is drawn to the rebellious Naxalite movement.  Subhash pursues a scientific research career in the United States.  Subhash returns to India to pick up the pieces of his family, and takes Gauri to the United States, raising his brother's child as his own.  Complex characters.


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Heather
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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590514634
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press (NY) - January 31st, 2012

A story of epic quality showing an Eastern philosophical approach to life.  A young woman travels to rural Burma to discover why her father returned to the place of his youth.  In discovering that Tin Win was blind for the first 14 years of his life, she learns of his special gift of knowing people through the sounds of their voices and their heartbeats.  Remarkable use of language.


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