Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Boswellian Top 5's of 2017 part three

If you have been shopping with us over the years, then I’m pretty sure that you know who Conrad is. He is the special order guru. Much like Aaron in a previous post, Conrad is a fixture of Boswell. I started working with him back in 2003, when this was Harry W. Schwartz bookshop. He’s been here longer than that even. He has some great diverse choices below, he’s reading range is long and wide and it’s always interesting to see what has sparked his interest this past year.
Café Neandertal by Beebe Bahrami
 The Dordogne is one of the most concentrated areas in Europe for archaeological research into our ancient past. Café Neandertal explores not only the ancient history of our ancestors and our closest relatives  the Neandertals, but also delves into the culture and people of the region now. Written by the travel writer Beebe Bahrami, this is the perfect travel companion for anyone vacationing in France, and in particular a region that has been the perfect travel destination for over 400,000 years. $26.00
World Broke in Two by Bill Goldstein
Some years mark a stark division, separating what comes before from what comes after in uncompromising and irreversible terms: 1776, 1865, 1945 are obvious examples. For literature, 1922 is such a year. Bookended by the February publishing of James Joyce's Ulysses, considered by many to be the single greatest novel in the English language, and the translation of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time in the fall, the year marks a clean break from traditional forms of linear narrative storytelling, and plunges us deep into the psychological explorations and innovative structures of modernist writing. As Willa Cather reflected in 1936, "The World Broke in Two in 1922 or thereabouts." Goldstein's book is a lively, nuanced, and utterly enthralling tale of how this break affected four writers in particular: Virginia Wolff, TS Eliot, EM Forester and DH Lawrence, who all struggled with and found renewed inspiration from this new world.
$30.00 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $24.00
The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
The early Twentieth Century cotton mills of North Carolina prove a fertile ground for union organizing and for this deeply troubling and engrossing novel. An impoverished single-mother, deserted by her husband and struggling to provide for her kids, chooses to fight her bosses and unionize. In the face of overwhelmingly toxic opposition from the mill owners and their hired thugs, she becomes an organizer and troubadour for worker's rights. Ultimately, it costs her her life. Her example compels her family and compatriots to continue the struggle without her. This is a pretty grim read, but it's filled with hope and inspiration, and is lyrically written in the elevated prose of Southern Gothic at its best.
$26.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $21.59 
Fresh Complaints by Jeffrey Eugenides (perhaps a few signed copies still left)
These short stories span Eugenides' long career, and are filled with the provocative, carefully observed lives of some of his most intriguing characters: people who meet their circumstances head on, the kind of characters we have come to expect from this gifted writer. Some of the stories are clearly dry runs for his later novels (see if you can spot them!) and hint at how Eugenides develops character and plot. All fit neatly into his body of work. The stories, while filled with angst, and world-weariness, and a questing search for identity that challenges fate, are nonetheless leavened with dark humor and a self-deprecating awareness of the foibles of grandiose self-delusion. $27.00 
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
A new translation of a book that took a lifetime to write and which quickly settled into the canon of great European literature after its posthumous release. Largely autobiographical and written in the form of a diary, this is nonetheless a monumental achievement in fiction (or as Pessoa described it with tongue planted firmly in cheek, 'factless autobiography'). In many ways he prefigures the existentialists of the mid-Twentieth Century, grappling with ideas of identity and meaning with a languid shrug of fatalism. Dive into the 'somber majesty of splendours no one knows' and learn why Pessoa stands shoulder to shoulder with the world's most profoundly original and engaging novelists. $24.95  
Barbara has been a wonderful addition to our staff over the last few years. Her knowledge and love of books is infectious! If I know she is working and I have children’s book question, then I go straight to her as she will have an answer right at her fingertips. I can only imagine it was painful to narrow down her books of 2017 to a top 5, but her list looks fantastic.
Restart by Gordon Korman
Why are students backing away from 8th grader,Chase Ambrose as he walks down school corridors? Chase has a problem: he doesn't recognize his family or friends since he fell off his roof and developed amnesia. Short chapters alternate between Chase and six classmates' point of view, as readers learn that Chase is a very different person after the fall! He begins to realize the impact he had on classmates' lives before falling, when perhaps he was a bully. Restart is filled with memorable characters, humor, and surprising twists and turns in the story. Can Chase make amends for his previous bad behavior and re-invent himself? Will he make the most of the second chance he has been given?
$16.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $13.59
Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood, illustrated by David Wyatt
This exciting fantasy adventure tale tells the story of Podkin, the lazy rabbit son of the chieftan of Munbury Warren. When evil creatures called Gorm invade Podkin's home, he, his older sister Paz and little brother Pook are able to escape. They take and protect a magical daggar the Gorm are seeking. Beautiful descriptive language brings the rabbits' many adventures to life, as they flee to safety. With the help of his sister and brother, as well as friends made on his journey, Podkin gains confidence to become a brave chieftan. This is storytelling at its best!
$16.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $13.59
Undefeated by Steve Sheinkin 
"Undefeated" is another gem from award winning author, Steve Sheinkin. It is the compelling biography of Jim Thorpe, a famous Indian football player in the early 1900's and also the 1912 Olympic track star who was said to be "the best athlete on the planet." In a conversational style, master storyteller Sheinkin presents an extremely readable and well researched look at Thorp's complicated and stranger than fiction life. It highlights his time at the Carlisle Indian School and tells the story of his head coach, "Pop" Warner. How the game of football evolved during Thorp's active years is fascinating. This book is a MUST READ for lovers of exceptional biographies. $19.99
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia, illustrated by Frank Morrison
This small book grabs readers' emotions as they begin to know Clayton Byrd. Playing the blues harp (harmonica) with his beloved grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd and the Bluesmen band is the highlight of Clayton's life. When Cool Papa Byrd dies suddenly, Clayton is devastated, and has to face his mother, who seems not to understand Clayton or his grandfather. Running away to find the Bluesmen, Clayton goes underground to the New York subway, where he finds TROUBLE! Written with beautiful rhythmic language, the complex dynamics of a family comes to life. Rita Williams-Garcia has crafted a powerful and exceptional book! $16.99
Out of Wonder by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley, Marjory Wentworth, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
This is a poetry book unlike all others. Original poems are written by award winning poet, Kwame Alexander and two other respected poets. The authors celebrate twenty famous poets from around the world who lived from the 1200's to the present. In one section, the poems copy the style of poets such as Nikki Giovanni and Robert Frost, while another section highlights feelings and themes of authors such as Pablo Neruda and Emily Dickinson. The last section thanks many poets for their talents. Breathtaking multi-media collages enhance each poem with vibrant colors and dramatic compositions. More information about each poet is at the end of the book. Children and adults will be motivated to read each poet's work and even write their own poems. This is a stunning book to treasure!
$16.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $13.59

Olivia S is our resident Harry Potter expert, I’m not saying the rest of us know nothing, but she knows pretty much everything. Come in and try to stump her with a Potter question, I dare you. She is one busy person, as she balances school, family, clubs and work. It's amazing her top 5 list is so good, because her interests pull her in a bunch of directions.  
It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Immerse yourself in the phenomenally strange town of Night Vale and the stories of those brave enough to try and save it in this captivating new novel. Nilanjana Sikdar, avid scientist and outsider to Night Vale, takes on an investigation that leads her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God as devastating seismic events occur around town and the data leads to dangerous hypotheses. Science and religion collide as Nilanjana works with Darryl, a devoted member of the Congregation, growing closer to him despite their very different ideals, beliefs, and worldviews while they struggle through confusing leads and frightening realizations surrounding the nature of the Smiling God. As the Congregation cheerfully proclaims- or perhaps warns: it devours. Surrounded by beings of uncertain malevolence, Nilanjana and Darryl soon realize that the true threat to Night Vale may lie closer to home than anyone- especially logical,  Nilanjana or trusting, committed Darryl- suspects. This is an original, stand-alone story and can be read by die-hard fans of the podcast and newcomers alike. $21.99
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling and Illustrated by Jim Kay
The third book of the phenomenal and beloved Harry Potter series joins the first and second illustrated editions; the story we all know and love is filled with beautiful illustrations on every page. Join Harry, Ron, and Hermione in their third year at Hogwarts school, where they find mystery, magic, and danger- now in full color!
$39.99 on Boswell Best till the end of the year for $31.99
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman's retelling of classic Norse myths is an amazing piece of storytelling, with wildly interesting tales in Gaiman's beautiful and distinctive narrative voice. Discover the stories behind Odin's cunning, Loki's mischief, Thor's strength, Freya's counsel, and the beginning and end of all things. A perfect gift for fans of history, mythology, and powerful stories.
$25.95 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $20.76
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls tells the stories of 100 brave, intelligent, resilient, and determined women from a wide variety of cultures, specializations, and walks of life. These inspiring stories of strength, innovation, and accomplishment against all odds will educate and encourage all who read them- and there's even space at the end for you to tell your own story.
$35.00 on Boswell Best till the end of the year for $28.00
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Steifvater
In a marvelous feat of storytelling and an ode to wonder, Stiefvater's beautiful narrative voice brings readers to the small desert town of Bicho Raro, Colorado, 1962. Waiting there is a community of saints and pilgrims, miracles and darkness, and owls and radio waves. Dive into a tale of family, love, sacrifice and discovery. These characters will steal your heart; the story's end will melt it.
$18.99 on Boswell Best till the end of the year for $15.19
One more post and we'll have toured the booksellers top 5's for 2017.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boswellian Top 5's of 2017 part two

Olivia V is our resident pie expert. In both of her Christmas seasons here at Boswell, she has loved, loved a specific new pie cookbook.  Last year’s pie book was by Kate McDermott, it was called Art of the Pie. This year she has another in her top 5 and it is a humdinger:

Pie and Whiskey by Kate Lebo
Ummm how could I not? Essays that when read are as filling and at times, just as comforting as a piece of pie. $19.95

Art of Steven Universe by Chris McDonnell
Steven Universe is a cartoon show that happens to be one of my favorites right now. The themes present go deep into modern messages of love, and what it means to be loved. I hold the series dear to my heart, and this book is a brilliant look into the complex and fun process of all the work that goes into the making of the show. Good for fans of the show and Adventure Time, and people just interested in the animation field.
$29.95 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $23.96
Mud Book by John Cage, illustrated by Lois Long
Coming in part from the mind of John Cage, someone who has played heavily in my own studies for composition, this book is a gentle tug towards whimsical thinking for adults, and just plain fun for kids. Outwardly simple, but holding a heavier meaning and connection to nature, in the typical spirit of Cage. $14.95
Rick and Morty Book Two by Tom Fowler, Kyle Starks, Pamela Ribon
I had a hard time choosing between having book one or two for this. I have read book 1, and can trust book two will be great, but I feel most people who come to our store will see book 2 and will want to look into book 1 and might want book 1 instead? Or both? Not sure what would be in demand more, book 1 or 2? If book 2 goes on the top 5, I know I could sell copies of book 1 if you were able to keep one in the store. $49.95
Art of Over the Garden Wall by Patrick McHale, Sean Edgar
Again a TV series dear to me. It has developed a devoted cult following similar to Steven Universe or Adventure Time. The art direction, story and music are just fantastic and I know the art book will be an exciting in depth look at all of it. I'm definitely ordering the special edition for myself! With the golden age animation we are getting some pretty dope art books right now.
$39.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $31.99

Aaron has been a local Downer Avenue celebrity as long as Boswell has been around. Daniel worked with him on our first designed Boswell t-shirt done by a local artist (the one in blue with a fish and a line).  He also illustrates children’s books when he's not working here. We carry some of his titles (there are so many!!),and you should come in and see some of his great work! Having him working in the shop has been a delight and I love his choices for his top 5:
Donner Dinner Party
If you love books you likely love games. A fun, easy and quick moving game for game night; for four or more players trying to deduce or mislead fellow players as to who the cannibal is in the group. You get eaten, you're out. Find the cannibal, you win! A new edition to my personal game collection. Teen and up. $19.95

Strega Nona by Tome dePaola

An admitted sentimental favorite of mine, but a classic none-the-less. Follow Anthony and Strega Nona on their dilemma of what to do with too much pasta! Warm and fun for all ages 1-99. A book that inspired me to become a children's book illustrator. $7.99

The Gold Leaf by Kirsten Hall, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

Enchanted Lion Books has been putting out some of the most captivating children's books I've seen in recent years. A wonderful melding of story and art—Follow the Gold (gold embossed) leaf as it moves through the forest with each little critter wanting it for themselves. This book is a delight and would be a favorite for any child.

$18.95 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $15.16
Classic Storybook Fables by Scott Gustafson

A great collection of classic children's fables illustrated by one of the best contemporary children's book illustrators, Scott Gustafson. It’s a beautiful collection of stories and art that will remain timeless for children and adults alike. $19.95

Out of Wonder by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley, Marjory Wentworth, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Ekua Homes art dances off the page! A beautiful blending of mediums that captures the soul of the written word. A work of art for any age!!!
$16.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $13.59

Tim was patron of the shop way before he joined us with all his vast book knowledge (he was teacher in his previous life, but, honestly, do you ever stop being a teacher? With Tim, I don't think so.). He defines the very idea of a book collector/lover—as he inspects each book for dings or dents and is very keen on acquiring autographed copies of his favorite books. Having him in the shop has expanded our staff’s knowledge on a lot great titles that we haven’t had the time to experience. His top 5 this year shows his broad range of interests:
How in the world did this long, murderous conspiracy fall from American history's collective memory? Grann weaves a fascinating, horrifying story that includes carefully researched history about: a very wealthy Osage Nation; the West and U.S. expansion; the Texas Rangers, and how one former Ranger became the heroic lead investigator of these crimes during the earliest days of J. Edgar Hoover's five decades with the FBI. An extraordinary book about the pain of racism.
$28.95 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $23.16
A Piece of the World by Cristina Baker Kline
This novel is Christina Olson's story, told by her, of her brave and difficult life with a disabled body, and how the iconic American painter Andrew Wyeth created his 1948 masterpiece Christina's World while working privately in Olson's own home. Kline's beautiful, spare use of language perfectly fits the setting of 1920's coastal Maine, and her character portrayal is engrossing. A must read for fans of American culture and American art! $27.99
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Seventeen-year-old Justyce is a smart, strong, and also very confused young man attending a mostly white, elite high school Academy and working toward the Ivy League. He is disturbed and amazed that he's constantly judged by the color of his skin rather than the content of his character, and even the people closest to him don't fully understand. So he begins writing letters to someone who can't answer but would understand, Dr. Martin Luther King. "What would you do in my situation, Martin?" This is a great teen novel that makes the subtleties of modern African American suffering so clear.
$17.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $14.39
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Wolk is a very skilled writer. It's always refreshing to read the work of someone who uses words and structures ideas in a way that pull my eyes across the page. This fictional story is about a girl named Crow, a twelve-year-old who'd been tied into a small boat, alone, as a baby, and pushed out to the sea. She washed up onto a small island shore in the Elizabeth Islands of Massachusetts. It's 1925, and her life is saved by a man called Osh, who has left his past behind to live as the only person there. Crow wants to understand who she is and where she came from; and as clues emerge which lead to a mysterious, harrowing search for the truth, she struggles with what's truly valuable and real about life. $16.99
Doctorow: Collected Stories by E.L. Doctorow
Having great respect and admiration for Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates and others, I still don't believe there is a voice in American literature more powerful than E. L. Doctorow's. His historical fiction ranges in time from the crisis of the Civil War to the complexity of modern life in New York, with books such as Ragtime, Billy Bathgate, World's Fair and others receiving the highest awards given to a novelist. This collection of stories, all published previously in other collections, were placed in sequence for the book by the author himself, apparently as his last contribution to publication before he died on July 21st, 2015. I had read most of these stories, but what a thrill to reread them in the order he chose! We lost one of the greatest when he died. $30.00
I have been working with Anne pretty much as long as I lived in Milwaukee, which was sometime in 2003. Her reading is always fascinating, and talking to her about books that thrill her, is one of the best parts of working here. If you ever have a mystery book question (or you need help finding one as a gift), then I would find out when Anne is here and pick her brain for suggestions. Her mystery knowledge is second to none here at the shop. Anne’s top 5:
Glass Houses by Louise Penny
The appearance of a mysterious figure signals the beginning of events that change life in Three Pines forever.
$28.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $23.19 Loyal Son by Daniel Epstein
Benjamin Franklins son hold views opposite to those of his father. A fascinating look at this land's early history. I knew nothing about this topic when I started -- including that Franklin had a son, let alone a Loyalist. A fascinating picture of that period of history and the cost that the founding of this country demanded from families.

$30.00 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $24.00
The complexities of South African society in the early 1970's.
$26.00 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $20.80
The Trust by Ronald Balson
Liam Taggart suddenly finds himself in the middle of tangled family relationships and troubled Irish history when an uncle he has not heard from in sixteen years dies and names him trustee of his estate. Liam returns to Northern Ireland from Chicago to carry out his duties and lands in the middle of a nightmare that threatens to engulf not only the Irish branch, but also Liam’s wife and infant son. The Trust is a suspenseful read that taught me a few things about Irish history as well! $26.99
A Line Made by Walking by Sarah Baume
Absolutely gorgeous writing and a poignant story of recovery from mental problems. $25.00
And that's it for this post: parts three and four will be next week!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Boswellian Top 5's of 2017 part one

This is Kay’s first official Christmas at Boswell—she was hired in the middle of last year’s Christmas craziness and was just trying to learn the shop’s systems at the same time. This is her first Christmas armed with books she loved and can recommend! She’s been a great addition to the staff in 2017; her reading tastes are varied and wonderful as represented below: 
The Readymade Thief, by Augustus Rose  
A highly unlikely, homeless heroine stumbles into an anonymous secret society; a wild cast of characters and brilliantly drawn settings knit together into a very unusual, totally engaging genre-busting story.
$26.00 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $20.80
Based on a True Story, by Delphine De Vigan 
A brilliant, haunting, insidious, anxiety-inducing, formidable and unforgettable story about a writer and an ultimately unwanted "friend" in Paris. $28.00
Wonder Valley, by Ivy Pochoda  
The story begins with a man running naked down one of LA’s congested freeways. Aren't you dying to know what happens next?!
$26.99 on Boswell Best until end of year at $21.59

The Power, by Naomi Alderman  
Girls suddenly develop the power to send electrical charges through their fingers and the world will never be the same again. 
$26.00 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $20.80
Nyxia, by Scott Reintgen 
Teenager Emmett narrates the shifting interpersonal relationships, brutal schedules, suspenseful battles, unfair rules and frequently changing circumstances facing 10 male and female contestants vying for the chance to spend a year on an inhabited alien world. $17.99

 Jen’s is our bargain and gift buyer, but also a great reader. She’s the one that couldn’t stop talking about Pachinko at the beginning of 2017, and now look at it, a New York Times selection for their Top 10 of 2017 and on a lot more year end favorite lists. What will be her gem next year? We’ll find out, but for now here is her top 5 for this year:
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee  
A father's gentle nature, a mother's sacrifice, a daughter's trust and a son's determination are the cornerstones of this grand multi-layered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever changing cultural landscape from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self-sacrifice and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family's struggle that resonates to us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!
$27.00 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $21.60 in hardcover
$15.99 in paperback
Bear & the Nightingale by Katherine Arden 
The Bear and the Nightingale is an enchanting mix of fairytale-fantasy-historical fiction, set in medieval Russia. Nestled between the northern wilderness & civilization, is a village where old & new traditions live side by side. Vasya, the last daughter of Pyotr & Marina, is born on the howling winds of autumn. She is different from the others in her village. She is destined to be like her grandmother, gifted with powers that are her birthright. As time goes by, Vasya will be tested. Caught in the conflict between the old spirits and the new religion, Vasya must do everything in her power to save her family and village. Katherine Arden's novel is a rich, mesmerizing novel. It's the fairy tale you've been waiting for! $16.00
The Accusation by Bandi  
These forbidden stories are powerful & show us how the human spirit can flourish in the harshest elements. Couldn't put it down!
$25.00 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $20.00
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid   
After seven husbands and fifty years in the spotlight, Evelyn Hugo has decided to tell her story. Hollywood's most scintillating star will tell all. It's an interview of a lifetime for Monique Grant, who has been handpicked by Evelyn. Monique will be the only one to ask and get the answer that the world has been dying to know: Who was the love of Evelyn Hugo's life? It's the golden age of Hollywood. There's scandal, extravagance, leading men, lavender marriages and overbearing studio bosses. If you're like me, reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo will leave you utterly absorbed and wishing Evelyn Hugo was a real-life film star! $26.00
The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker  
The Half-Drowned King is the storied tale of the legendary King Harold and the rise of a united Norway. It's a Viking saga set in the 9th century, full of traditions and myths, glory and adventure, love and betrayal. Linnea Hartsuyker breathes new life in the historical fiction genre! $27.99

Sharon has been here from the beginning of Boswell, and before that she was a bookseller for the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Shorewood. Her reading has always been wide ranging and interesting. If you have a chance when you are in the shop to speak with her, then ask her about the new Juneau Black mystery novel, Cold Clay. Here are her top 5 books of 2017:
Hunger by Roxane Gay
Right from the beginning, Roxane Gay lets us know that this is not a weight-loss success story, but a memoir so deeply personal that it was extremely difficult for her to write. Parts of it are also extremely difficult to read. Every woman that breathes has issues with her body, food, and her weight, not matter what her size. Gay holds nothing back as she tells of the sexual assault that changed her forever when she was 12 years old. She concealed the trauma from her family and dealt with it the only way she knew how, by eating until her body was no longer desirable to men, but a fortress in which she could hide and protect herself from the world. She candidly explains how it feels to be at once so large and so invisible, as she moves through a world that is less than kind when it comes to judging women’s bodies.
$25.99 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $20.79
Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
The latest offering from Joshilyn Jackson is a delightful mix of humor, romance, awkward family dynamics, and completely up-to-the-minute social issues. I know it’s early but The Almost Sisters is in the running for one of my favorites of 2017. Leia Birch Briggs is a 38-year-old graphic novelist of midlevel fame. She has a one-night stand at a comic-con with a mysterious and attractive Batman. This results in a little more than morning-after regrets when Leia learns that she is pregnant. While she is deciding best how to break the news of an illegitimate biracial baby to her upstanding Southern family, other more pressing concerns take precedence. Leia learns that her beloved 90-year old-grandmother is suffering from dementia, and covering it up with the help of her best friend, Wattie. Furthermore, Leia’s perfect sister Rachel, is having trouble with her perfect marriage.  Things escalate when Leia finds out that her grandmother is hiding a bigger secret in the attic. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, The Almost Sisters is almost perfect. $26.99
The fascinating true story of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma in the 1920s. They were extremely rich as they lived on oil land, but then they began to die under very suspicious circumstances. Grann also tells of the formation of the FBI who are brought into investigate all of the murders. $28.95 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $23.16
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
Set in northern Texas after the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels around and reads the news to rural communities. He agrees to return a young orphan girl to her family. She was held by the Kiowa for 4 years after they killed her parents. A lovely story about family and civilization and what those concepts mean. $15.99
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Turtle is a 14 year old girl who lives with her father in northern California. He has taught her survival skills and isolated her from her peers and her community. When she meets two boys her own age, she begins to realize that there is a world outside of her relationship with her father, and she will have to fight to gain access to it. This at times horrifying story is so beautifully written that I could not stop reading it until the edge-of-your-seat ending.
$27.00 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $21.60
Jane is our resident dynamo—such a treat to work with each and every week, sometimes I want some of her charisma and energy. She always has surprising and amazing choices in her reading. And, this year’s top 5 doesn’t disappoint:
The beauty of a South African landscape is contrasted against the harsh reality of apartheid told in the alternating voices of a black mother in search of her daughter who has vanished during a student uprising and a nine year old white girl orphaned by the death of her parents in this emotionally rendered story that 'hums' a song of familial hope. My favorite novel of 2017!
$26.00 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $20.80
Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
With his life in disarray due to the failing sales of his newest book and the increasing needs of his expanding family, Charles Dickens' publisher demands that he write a Christmas book or his debts will be called in. Suffering writer's block, Dickens walks the familiar London streets that have so inspired his writing and there meets a young woman and her son Timothy who will the be muse behind the writing of what will be destined to become the most revered holiday classic.  In reimagining Dickens life, Samantha Silva writes a novel that is an irresistibly endearing companion to the annual reading of The Christmas Carol. $24.99
Set in England's Cotswold countryside, this is a charming story of a woman who inherits her father's financially troubled bookshop. Threatened by greedy property developers, Emilia finds support from the Nightingale Books' literary community whose lives intersect and have been shaped by their passion for reading. Perfect gift for bibliophiles who want to escape cold winter nights with a hot cup of tea and an engaging ode to the love of books! Highly recommended for fans of Gabrielle Zevin's Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and Nina George's Little Paris Bookshop.
$25.00 on Boswellian Best until end of year at $20.00
Gorgeous art collection of late eighteenth to early twentieth century paintings depicting the history of women's road to emancipation as they simply began to walk in public, unaccompanied.  Along with selected quotes from such literary luminaires as Jane Austen, Emily Bronte and Simone de Beauvoir, this is the perfect gift for those who enjoy a thoughtful blend of art, history and literature. $22.95
What She Ate by Laura Shapiro
Spanning nearly 200 years, award winning culinary historian invites readers to an appetizing feast profiling six women whose personal dietary tastes reflect their life stories and place in the world of social, political, and literary history. Carefully researched palatable reading for those who savor beyond what's served on the plate in front of them! $27.00
That's all for this post, part two will come in the near future...