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.

Dear Life by Alice Munro

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Dear Life: Stories (Vintage International) By Alice Munro 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.


The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese By Michael Paterniti Cover Image
$27.00
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ISBN: 9780385337007
Published: Dial Press - July 30th, 2013

This narrative nonfiction book explores the mystery surrounding a rare
artisan cheese and its maker Ambrosio  from a rural town on Castilian,
Spain. Paterniti is caught up with a character (Ambrosio) who has the
larger than life characteristics of a Don Quixote. Eventually, Paterniti
realizes that Ambrosio's charismatic qualities and pride as a Casitlian
hid his weaknesses as a businessman.  The book is rich with Spanish
history and culture and a love of place.


Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Short Nights Of The Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis By Timothy Egan Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780544102767
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Mariner Books - August 6th, 2013

What a life Edward Curtis led. He devoted 25 years to photographing and
cataloguing the lives of vanishing American Indian tribes.  While he was
shunned by scholars and ethnologists, Curtis convinced JP Morgan to
finance a 26 volume collection for $250,000. Curtis pumped all of the
money into field work. Both JP Morgan and Edward Curtis would be content
to know that Curtis' collection is next in value to a Gutenberg Bible. 
The biography is a tribute to a remarkable photographer and recorder of
American Indian history.


Darwin's Ghosts by Rebecca Stout

Reviewed by: 
Heather
Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution By Rebecca Stott Cover Image
$19.00
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ISBN: 9780812981704
Published: Random House - March 19th, 2013

By the time Darwin published the 4th edition of his theory of evolution, he realized the need to acknowledge the predecessors who helped to establish the evidence to assert the theory of natural selection. Fascinting study-enjoyable read. We can see the sacrifice scientists made to advance new ideas.


Dear Life by Alice Munro

Reviewed by: 
Heather
Staff Pick Badge
Dear Life: Stories (Vintage International) By Alice Munro 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

I am always sellbound by Munro's story-telling. She captures characters' lives fully--understanding the journey of life--departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, outgoings and homecomings. The last 4 stories are somewhat autobiographical.


Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani

Reviewed by: 
Heather

What would we do if we learned that our parents risked their lives for
freedom? In this work of fiction based on her own family and friends,
Delijani weaves together the stories of young women, mothers and fathers
and idealists entrapped by the Iranian Revolution in the 1980s.  Those
who fled the country long to return to the land of the sweet jacaranda
tree and feel the pull to return and answer to the desire for liberty
that pulses among the next generation.

The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro

Reviewed by: 
Heather
As a work of historical fiction, Shapiro bases her story on the knowledge of how some great forgers-John Myatt, Ely Sakhai and Han van Meegen fooled great museums and famous collectors. She crafts a thriller worth reading. She makes readers ponder the authenticity of a piece of art when experts are loath to reveal that they have been duped.
The Art Forger: A Novel By B. A. Shapiro Cover Image
$23.95
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ISBN: 9781616201326
Published: Algonquin Books - October 23rd, 2012

Twin: A Memoir by Allen Shawn

Reviewed by: 
Heather
Shawn expresses great empathy for his twin sister, who was probably autistic, in the 1950's before the diagnosis was even known. Shawn felt incomplete because Mary had been sent to an institution when she was six.  Shawn explores family relationships sensitively and compassionately.

The Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay

Reviewed by: 
Heather
Set in South Africa during WWII, this is a coming of age story that delves into many themes: bullying, apartheid, music, boxing, empowerment, family relationships, prison systems...
The Power of One: A Novel By Bryce Courtenay Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780345410054
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - September 29th, 1996

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