Sarah C.'s Picks

Sarah is a medievalist, a grandmother, and an inveterate reader. She also stands firm for the Oxford comma.

Reviewed by: 
Sarah C
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A Strange Place to Call Home: The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & the Animals That Call Them Home Cover Image
By Marilyn Singer, Ed Young (Illustrator)
$9.27
ISBN: 9781452141251
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - March 3rd, 2015

Mountain goats in the air, tube worms in the depth, fish in trees, camels in sand--
 
"This harsh and salty land--
Flamingos find just grand."
 

Marilyn Singer's vibrant poetry and Ed Young's brilliant illustrations make this book a treasury of diversity.


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Sarah C
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Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys Into the Medieval World Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9781594206115
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - October 24th, 2017

The antithesis of today’s tweet, this luscious volume is indeed a journey from the late 6th-century’s Gospels of Saint Augustine through the expected selections of The Book of Kells, Carmina Burana, The Hengwert Chaucer, as well as less well known maniuscripts such as the elegant 11th-century Leiden Aratea composed in Carolingian script and the early 16th-century Spinoa Hours which is “one of a small group of exceptionally luxurious Books of Hours.” Our tour guide, Christopher de Hamel gives us fascinating images of the creation of the manuscripts, their purpose, provenance, history, and tales of the scholar’s own journeys to locate and study these precious witnesses of a rich and exciting past.


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Sarah C
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Glass Houses (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #13) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250066299
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - May 1st, 2018

I first heard of Louise Penny when I started working at Phoenix Books. Since then, I have read every one of her 13 Armande Gamache mysteries. (It is really is best to read them in order to become fully engaged with the characters and the town of Three Pines, just north of the border in Quebec.) Penny is a skilled, witty writer who creates fully rounded characters so that, sometimes, you really ache for the agony of the murderer while always, of course, loving the protagonists. One especially pleasing aspect of Penny’s skill is the way she can weave many different stories together and even leave some of the threads hanging for later novels to pick up. Her next novel, Kingdom of the Blind, is due out in November 2018. I can’t wait!


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Sarah C
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Rain Reign Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250073976
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Square Fish - January 2nd, 2018

In the same genre as Wonder, that is, a heart-felt story of a child with a disability struggling for acceptance in an ignorant world, Rain Reign’s protagonist and narrator Rose is autistic, rule-bound, and utterly delightful as she obsesses about homonyms (Rain Reign) and prime numbers. Her world teeters on the edge—her feckless father is unable to cope with her and her school offers little caring. But her dog Rain and her uncle give her the unquestioning love she needs. Rose’s personal challenge is, however, solitary and complex. Rose is my hero.


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Sarah C
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The Rabbit Listened Cover Image
By Cori Doerrfeld, Cori Doerrfeld (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735229358
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - February 20th, 2018

Loss, indescribable loss and grief—these are the feelings that are so often misunderstood and mismanaged by others. I have never seen such a beautifully told and charmingly illustrated rendering of loss, grief, sorrow and the many common, though hurtful, attempts by others to “comfort” the one who grieves. Only the rabbit, with his big, sensitive ears, listened. Would that Job himself had had such a rabbit!


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Sarah C
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Bosworth 1485: The Battle That Transformed England Cover Image
$19.66
ISBN: 9781681772264
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pegasus Books - October 25th, 2016

In Bosworth 1485, Michael Jones carefully unfolds an image of Richard III as a human being, a person living up to the expectations of his own world 530 years ago. The questions he asks are: who was Richard III? Shakespeare’s stock character of pure evil? A political construction of the Tudor dynasty? Or was he a “competent commander,” as Jones argues, who could have healed wounds of the “cousin’s war”? And how does the character of Richard III affect the battle in which he died? If you are curious about viewing historical artifacts in different ways, if you are open to a more complex picture of who Richard III was and how the Battle of Bosworth Field (much like the Battle of Hastings in 1066) transformed England, you will enjoy this book.


Reviewed by: 
Sarah C
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The Mabinogion (Oxford World's Classics) Cover Image
By Sioned Davies (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780199218783
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - May 11th, 2008

The Mabinogion, translated from Welsh by scholar (and druid) Sioned Davies, is a collection of 11 medieval Welsh tales. Myth, memory, and magic—that’s what shapes these stories of power, pride, and friendship. A woman conjured from flowers, a talking head, the badger in the bag, a mouse who must be hanged, dead warriors reborn in a bubbling cauldron, and even King Arthur who heroically kills the Very Black Witch. Let Davies guide you through this unfamiliar world, and you may be caught in its spell, shaking your head, laughing, and wondering.