The Book Jam Blog
Read our latest reviews
YES! It is time to once again have our favorite booksellers from The Norwich Bookstore review the one book that they are each excited to tell people to read right now. As always, these Norwich Bookstore Booksellers' selections have added to the stack of books weighing down our bedside tables. We hope their reviews help you find your next great book (or three) to read. And now, the latest The Norwich Bookstore list:
I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott (2019) - Filled with my favorite sort of writing: those pieces that you read over coffee or your morning commute that you dogear so that you can photocopy it later and hang it on the fridge or bulletin board. It yellows with age, but still has the power to remind you of the time you felt a deep connection. The best part, all those great pieces are here in one collection. You can give the book to your friends and save yourself from all that silly photocopying and printing. I bet they’ll hug you and then read aloud the lines that resonated most. ~ Recommended by Beth
The Missing Of Clairdelune, Volume 2 of The Mirror Visitor Quartet by Christelle Dabos (2019) - I fell into the first book in this series, A Winter’s Promise, so deeply I didn’t want to claw my way out. In a world both entirely foreign and somehow naggingly familiar, Ophelia, our reticent heroine, is mostly just trying to survive: everyone around her has hidden motives and dark agendas. This second volume just ups the ante. People are vanishing and signs indicate that Ophelia may well be next. Danger lurks around every corner, and even the friends that appear to help aren’t really to be trusted. The wait for the third instalment probably won’t actually kill me, so long as I don’t think about it too much. These are really, really good stories. ~ Recommended by Brenna
Madame Fourcade's Secret War by Lynne Olson (2019) - Lynne Olson (Citizens of London; Last Hope Island) is a master of historical narration. Madam Fourcade's Secret War is a tension-filled account of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, a French woman of privilege who ran one of the largest spy networks for the Resistance. Almost always in danger, she and her agents a half-step ahead of Gestapo goons, it's more than remarkable that she was able to successfully deliver to the British the impressive intelligence her network gathered. While she survived the war, many of her agents died, in custody or in the camps. What astounding bravery… ~ Recommended by Carin
Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage by Brian Castner (2018) New in paperback! A book filled with historical content and present day adventure. In 1789, Scottish explorer and fur trader, Alexander MacKenzie set out to find the Northwest Passage, a shorter route to China. In 2016, Brian Castner began a 1,124 mile journey in a canoe to retrace MacKenzie’s earlier trek in search of that missing waterway. Great read for that cathartic wilderness experience of suffering from your armchair. ~ Recommended by Kathryn
The Rationing by Charles Wheelan (2019) - I did not get any of my chores done last weekend because I had to finish the The Rationing! Set in a not-too-distant future looking back to the current time and what could be just around the corner makes the story both fascinating and terrifying... It is a smart, page-turner with attitude! (Wheelan will be speaking at the bookstore 5/22, the day after the book is released.) ~ Recommended by Liza B.
The Guest Book by Sarah Blake ( 2019) - I loved this book about a large house on an island in Maine and the family who bought and loved it for several generations. Fortunately, we can never imagine the curves that our lives will throw us or where they will lead; nor what we will remember and what we will forget. As time forges ahead the younger generation begins to look at life differently from their parents and grandparents, and nothing is the same. This is a powerfully engaging story about change, friendship and loyalty. ~ Recommended by Penny
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (2019) - This is a masterful work that sticks with you for days after finishing it. There are so many layers! A Latino family traveling from NYC to the very unfamiliar southwest for an opportunity for both parents to pursue their respective artistic and journalistic projects. He is a documentarist, creating archives with sounds, ‘echoes of the landscape’, eager to explore the legacy of Geronimo. She is a documentarian, intrigued with a book, Elegy of Lost Children, relating the stories she reads to finding a friend’s daughters who are lost in the immigration process. Each parent shares history (ie, the U.S. Indian Removal Policy) and speculation (deportations at the southern border) with their 10 year old boy and five year old daughter. Luselli is genius at capturing all the nuances of familial relationships during a long road trip. Her storytelling is measured, deep and smart. The mother asks the children, “What would you do if you were lost?” And, oh boy, be prepared. ~ Recommended by Sara
The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson (2019) - A quest tale worthy of Scheherazade, complete with djinns and a leviathan is set against the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition. Fatima, a sultan’s concubine aching for her freedom and Hassan, a mapmaker whose magical fingers construct invisible spaces rather then rendering visible ones have lived in the Muslim palace of Granada since childhood. They entertain one another by telling stories and as they grow, comfort one another with vestiges of their favorite tale--The King of the Birds. As the Spanish inquisitors blockade the palace, Fatima and Hassan embark on a desperate escape to the isle of the Bird King. Sensual, touching, and even comic at times, this heroic adventure will enchant both adult and young adult fantasy readers. ~ Recommended by Susan
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