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.

The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery

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Heather
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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness By Sy Montgomery Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781451697728
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Atria Books - April 5th, 2016

True story: Inky, the octopus, recently escaped from a New Zealand Zoo. Octopuses are amazing escape artists. Naturalist Montgomery invites us into their world. While an octopus has no central nervous system, it can recognized objects 30 yards away with amazing chemoreceptors in its tentacles. It can squeeze a ten foot body through a two and a half inch opening.  Clever, playful and curious, octopuses, Montgomery asserts, deserve respect as "conscious" beings. This book is more than an anthropomorphic study.


Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

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Heather
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Everything I Never Told You: A Novel By Celeste Ng Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143127550
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Penguin Books - May 12th, 2015

When the Lee's teenage daughter is found dead in a nearby lake, Ng holds us spellbound to find out what has led to her death. Ng explores issues of race and gender, personal histories of the characters that precede Lydia's disappearance while holding us close to the idea of family. She makes us ponder what is given, what is withheld and what can never be known. We feel their grief.


My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante

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Heather
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My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609450786
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2012

Set in Naples in the 1950s, My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante is the first in a series about the friendship of two working class young women, Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo. The women depend on each other to confront life's challenges even though friendship is not a perfect shelter from hardship. The author shows a city and a nation undergoing change. This series would appeal to readers who like a sense of place and complex character development. Fans of Downton Abbey or Mr. Selfridge would gravitate to this story.


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The Story of a New Name: Neapolitan Novels, Book Two By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translated by) Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609451349
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Europa Editions - September 3rd, 2013

The second book in the Elena Ferrante's Neopolitan novels.


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Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay: Neapolitan Novels, Book Three By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translated by) Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609452339
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Europa Editions - September 2nd, 2014

The third book in Elena Ferrante's Neopolitan novels.


Blue Horses, by Mary Oliver

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Heather
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Blue Horses: Poems By Mary Oliver Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781594204791
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Penguin Press - October 14th, 2014

In her most recent collection of poems, Oliver again captures my attention. Her poems are like meditations.  She encourages us to be still, to know nature and our relationship to it. She helps us to treasure small moments.


Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande

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Heather
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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End By Atul Gawande Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780805095159
Availability: On Order at the Warehouse: Not Guaranteed for the Holidays
Published: Metropolitan Books - October 7th, 2014

A professor at Harvard Medical School, Gawande shows how modern medicine counters the realities of aging and death.  By including research on nursing homes and   hospitals and by telling the stories of his own patients and hi own family, Gawande reveals the suffering that this dynamic has created.  His book is hopeful as he shows the ways that doctors, family members and patients can hard the hard conversation to make sure that they do not sacrifice what people care about in their lives. A book we all should read for those we love and for ourselves.


Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, by Carol Wall

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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 By Carol Wall Cover Image
$25.95
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ISBN: 9780399157981
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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