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Staff Pick

How to Know a Person

How to Know a Person

Brooks, David
$30.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A practical, heartfelt guide to the art of truly knowing another person in order to foster deeper connections at home, at work, and throughout our lives--from the author of The Road to Character and The Second Mountain

As David Brooks observes, "There is one skill that lies at the heart of any healthy person, family, school, community organization, or society: the ability to see someone else deeply and make them feel seen--to accurately know another person, to let them feel valued, heard, and understood."

And yet we humans don't do this well. All around us are people who feel invisible, unseen, misunderstood. In How to Know a Person, Brooks sets out to help us do better, posing questions that are essential for all of us: If you want to know a person, what kind of attention should you cast on them? What kind of conversations should you have? What parts of a person's story should you pay attention to?

Driven by his trademark sense of curiosity and his determination to grow as a person, Brooks draws from the fields of psychology and neuroscience and from the worlds of theater, philosophy, history, and education to present a welcoming, hopeful, integrated approach to human connection. How to Know a Person helps readers become more understanding and considerate toward others, and to find the joy that comes from being seen. Along the way it offers a possible remedy for a society that is riven by fragmentation, hostility, and misperception.

The act of seeing another person, Brooks argues, is profoundly creative: How can we look somebody in the eye and see something large in them, and in turn, see something larger in ourselves? How to Know a Person is for anyone searching for connection, and yearning to be understood.

Roxanne says: Brooks went from zero to hero in my mind.  His deep research and obvious self-reflection glows in this book.  I not only have new terminology to grapple with people who don't listen, but also used his story telling inquiry for richer conversations with my family.

House in the Orchard

House in the Orchard

Brooks, Elizabeth
$27.95

When a World War II widow inherits a dilapidated English estate, she uncovers a diary written by an adolescent girl named Maude Gower. Looking for answers, she begins reading, only to unravel more questions about the mysterious past and many secrets hidden deep within the walls of Orchard House.

In 1876, orphaned Maude is forced to leave London, and her adored brother, Frank, to live with a stranger. Everyone--especially Frank--tells her not to trust Miss Greenaway, the enigmatic owner of Orchard House, but Maude can't help warming to her new guardian. Encouraged by Miss Greenaway, Maude finds herself discovering who she is for the first time, and learning to love her new home. But when Frank comes for an unexpected visit, the delicate balance of Maude's life is thrown into disarray. Complicating matters more, Maude witnesses an adult world full of interactions she cannot quite understand. Her efforts to regain control result in a violent tragedy, the repercussions of which will haunt Orchard House for the rest of Maude's life--and beyond.

With each psychologically gripping turn, Elizabeth Brooks masterfully explores the blurred lines between truth and manipulation, asking us who we can trust, how to tell guilt from forgiveness, and whether we can ever really separate true love from destruction.

Nora says: This is a wonderful, gripping historical novel with a gothic psychological twist. I’m wondering how I have never heard of Elizabeth Brooks before, because The House in the Orchard is so convincingly and beautifully told, you feel you are in the hands of a master. Set in the 1870s and the 1940s, Brooks spins vivid worlds and settings that pull you in and don’t let go.

Horse

Horse

Brooks, Geraldine
$19.00
"Brooks' chronological and cross-disciplinary leaps are thrilling." --The New York Times Book Review

"Horse isn't just an animal story--it's a moving narrative about race and art." --TIME

"A thrilling story about humanity in all its ugliness and beauty . . . the evocative voices create a story so powerful, reading it feels like watching a neck-and-neck horse race, galloping to its conclusion--you just can't look away." --Oprah Daily

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award - Finalist for the Chautauqua Prize - A Massachusetts Book Award Honor Book

A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack.

New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.

Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse--one studying the stallion's bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.

Horse

Horse

Brooks, Geraldine
$28.00
"Brooks' chronological and cross-disciplinary leaps are thrilling." --The New York Times Book Review

"Horse isn't just an animal story--it's a moving narrative about race and art." --TIME

"A thrilling story about humanity in all its ugliness and beauty . . . the evocative voices create a story so powerful, reading it feels like watching a neck-and-neck horse race, galloping to its conclusion--you just can't look away." --Oprah Daily

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award - Finalist for the Chautauqua Prize - A Massachusetts Book Award Honor Book

A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack.

New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.

Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse--one studying the stallion's bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.

Melanie says: This book centers on Lexington, often considered the greatest horse in history. But this book is much more than the story of a horse. Brooks writes of slavery, the Civil War, academia, art and publishing, love and loyalty, and racism in history and today. I loved the bond between Jarret, an enslaved boy, and Lexington. I will be thinking of this book for quite some time.

Light Pirate

Light Pirate

Brooks-Dalton, Lily
$18.99
FINALIST FOR THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE

Set in the near future, this hopeful story of survival and resilience follows Wanda--a luminous child born out of a devastating hurricane--as she navigates a rapidly changing world: A "symphony of beauty and heartbreak" (Associated Press).

USA TODAY BESTSELLER!

A Good Morning America Book Club pick - #1 Indie Next pick - LibraryReads pick - Book of the Month Club selection - Marie Claire #ReadWithMC book club selection - 2022 NPR "Book We Love" - New York Times Editors' Choice

Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state's infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker, his pregnant wife, Frida, and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds in search of his children. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

Told in four parts--power, water, light, and time--The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.

Includes a Reading Group Guide.

Red Rising

Red Rising

Brown, Pierce
$18.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Pierce Brown's relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

"Red Rising ascends above a crowded dys­topian field."--USA Today

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR--
Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, Shelf Awareness

"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."
"I live for you," I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he toils willingly, trusting that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow--and Reds like him--are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Praise for Red Rising

"[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown's dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender's Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric."--Entertainment Weekly

"Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow."--Scott Sigler

"Red Rising is a sophisticated vision. . . . Brown will find a devoted audience."--Richmond Times-Dispatch

Don't miss any of Pierce Brown's Red Rising Saga:
RED RISING - GOLDEN SON - MORNING STAR - IRON GOLD - DARK AGE - LIGHT BRINGER

Ben says: Space opera about the seeds of revolution. Grandiose characters and action sequences alike!

Dirt

Dirt

Buford, Bill
$17.00
"You can almost taste the food in Bill Buford's Dirt, an engrossing, beautifully written memoir about his life as a cook in France." --The Wall Street Journal

What does it take to master French cooking? This is the question that drives Bill Buford to abandon his perfectly happy life in New York City and pack up and (with a wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow) move to Lyon, the so-called gastronomic capital of France. But what was meant to be six months in a new and very foreign city turns into a wild five-year digression from normal life, as Buford apprentices at Lyon's best boulangerie, studies at a legendary culinary school, and cooks at a storied Michelin-starred restaurant, where he discovers the exacting (and incomprehensibly punishing) rigueur of the professional kitchen.

With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterful ability to bring an exotic and unknown world to life, Buford has written the definitive insider story of a city and its great culinary culture.

Nora says: Bill Buford's book is a raucous, fun read, furthering Buford's reputation for shrewd observations and incisive writing. The book tells the story of Buford moving to France, family in tow, to talk his way into a Michelin-starred kitchen in order to learn the secret of French cuisine. Funny and sharp, and. at times, terrifying!

Four Thousand Weeks

Four Thousand Weeks

Burkeman, Oliver
$19.00

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

*Includes an interview with James Hollis*

"Provocative and appealing . . . Well worth your extremely limited time." --Barbara Spindel, The Wall Street Journal

There's a good reason why everyone has been talking about Oliver Burkeman's New York Times bestseller, Four Thousand Weeks. Nobody needs to be told there isn't enough time. Whether we're starting our own business, or trying to write a novel during our lunch break, or staring down a pile of deadlines as we're planning a vacation, we're obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and ceaseless struggle against distraction. We're deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient and life hacks to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and yet the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks, the average length of a human life.

Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern obsession with "getting everything done," Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing that many of the unhelpful ways we've come to think about time aren't inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we've made as individuals and as a society--and that we can do things differently.

Four Thousand Weeks

Four Thousand Weeks

Burkeman, Oliver
$28.00

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Provocative and appealing . . . well worth your extremely limited time." --Barbara Spindel, The Wall Street Journal

The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.

Nobody needs telling there isn't enough time. We're obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we're deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and "life hacks" to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.

Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on "getting everything done," Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we've come to think about time aren't inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we've made as individuals and as a society--and that we could do things differently.

Roxanne says: Burkeman’s title emphasizes that if we make it to 80 years of age, we live roughly four thousand weeks.  That intro alone sounds pretty sobering, but Burkeman takes us through philosophers’ and scientists’ wisdom across centuries with conclusions that are very optimistic.  Burke reassures us with stories such as the American who in 1969 went through a brutal orientation to become a Zen Buddhist with secrets to feeling at peace by merely stopping avoidance to the obvious, diving in to reclaim control of our lives.

Also a Poet

Also a Poet

Calhoun, Ada
$18.00

A staggering memoir from New York Times-bestselling author Ada Calhoun tracing her fraught relationship with her father and their shared obsession with a great poet

 

When Ada Calhoun stumbled upon old cassette tapes of interviews her father, celebrated art critic Peter Schjeldahl, had conducted for his never-completed biography of poet Frank O'Hara, she set out to finish the book her father had started forty years earlier.

As a lifelong O'Hara fan who grew up amid his bohemian cohort in the East Village, Calhoun thought the project would be easy, even fun, but the deeper she dove, the more she had to face not just O'Hara's past, but also her father's, and her own.

The result is a groundbreaking and kaleidoscopic memoir that weaves compelling literary history with a moving, honest, and tender story of a complicated father-daughter bond. Also a Poet explores what happens when we want to do better than our parents, yet fear what that might cost us; when we seek their approval, yet mistrust it.

In reckoning with her unique heritage, as well as providing new insights into the life of one of our most important poets, Calhoun offers a brave and hopeful meditation on parents and children, artistic ambition, and the complexities of what we leave behind.

Nora says: A fascinating exploration of the bohemian world Calhoun grew up in as the only child of the poet and art critic Peter Schjeldahl. Schjeldahl’s circle included many famous names: Frank O’Hara, William deKooning, John Ashbery, Helen Frankenthaler, among them.  This intelligent and sensitive memoir  examines artistic ambition, the accompanying rivalries, and the personal and professional currents and tensions between herself and her father.