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.

All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

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Heather
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All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781476746586
Availability: On Order at the Warehouse: Not Guaranteed for the Holidays
Published: Scribner - 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


The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend, by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

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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
$30.00
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ISBN: 9781451654660
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.


In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, by Gabor Maté, MD

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Heather
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In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781556438806
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
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.


The Steady Running of an Hour, by Justin Go

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Heather
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The Steady Running of the Hour: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
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ISBN: 9781476704586
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.


Dragnet Nation, by Julia Angwin

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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
$28.00
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ISBN: 9780805098075
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.


The Lowland, by Jumpa Lahiri

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Heather
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The Lowland Cover Image
$27.95
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ISBN: 9780307265746
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.


The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan-Philipp Sindeker

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Heather
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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590514634
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Other Press - 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.


The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

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Heather
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The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way Cover Image
$28.00
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ISBN: 9781451654424
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 13th, 2013

Former investigative Time reporter Amanda Ripley explores what a quality education is made of by following three American exchange students from Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, who spent a year in Finland, Poland, and South Korea. The students compare their experience in their home school to that of their host school abroad. Ripley focuses on what works for them and includes an appendix for parents to think about what matters in choosing a school for their children. The book inspires us to consider how we can improve schools for our children.


Dear Life by Alice Munro

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Heather
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Dear Life: Stories (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307743725
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days.
Published: Vintage - July 30th, 2013

Winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, Canadian writer Alice Munro has spent a lifetime writing short stories. I am always spellbound by her storytelling. She captures characters' lives fully-understanding the journey of life-departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, outgoings and homecomings. The last four stories are somewhat autobiographical. As with a Chekhov story, everything matters in each story.


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