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Once again, a cold and snowy evening ushered Pages in the Pub into our hometown of Norwich, Vermont. And once again, the presenters - Lucinda Walker, Susie Stevens, Carin Pratt, and Peter Orner - did an incredible job of raising a lot of money for our beloved Norwich Public Library (thanks to the generosity of the Norwich Bookstore), confining their reviews to six words (harder than it sounds), helping many finish (or at least start) their holiday shopping, and giving all of us a GREAT list of books to give and get (and maybe start reading today). So HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of us who celebrate this holiday in November (hello Canada), and happy reading to all as the holidays begin. (Presenter bios are listed below the presenters' recommendations so that you can know a little bit more about the people who gave us all such great recommendations and six-word reviews. Lisa Cadow served as our emcee; thus her holiday recommendations will follow in a December Book Jam post.)
Cookbooks: For people who like to cook up a culinary snow storm
The Blue Zones Kitchen by Dan Buettner (2019). From Lands of Longevity and Happiness. ~ Selected by Susie.
Meat Free Monday Cookbook by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney (2019). Help the environment: Eat Less Meat! ~ Selected by Carin.
Adult Fiction: For anyone who only has time for the BEST fiction
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (2019). “Girl Devours BSU”: I’ll Explain. ~ Selected by Carin Pratt.
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (2019). Children combust, (some) grownups adapt. ~ Selected by Carin Pratt.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (2019). Find yourself & love walks in! ~ Selected by Lucinda.
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel by Olga Tokarczuk (2019). Witty, deep mystery ... Polish Nobel Laureate. ~ Selected by Susie.
Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa (2019). Heart-crushing novel of Syria's Civil War. ~ Selected by Peter.
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage by Bette Howland (2019). Personal Stories by extraordinary writer rediscovered. ~ Selected by Peter.
Thrillers to Help You Forget the News
The Chain by Adrian McKinty (2019). Parents saving kids in danger - unputdownable! ~ Selected by Lucinda.
Picture Books for Families to Read Together During Snow Storms
Wally the Wordworm by Clifton Fadiman (1984). Wally delightfully introduces language to kids. ~ Selected by Lucinda.
Field Trip to the Moon by John Hare (2019). Ingenious wordless kid's book, Moon included. ~ Selected by Carin.
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper (2019). Revels Comes Full Circle. Great GIFT. ~ Selected by Lisa Ch.
Books for Young Readers: Those beyond tonka trucks and tea parties but not yet ready for teen topics
Pay Attention Carter Jones by Gary Schmidt (2019). Butler shows difference between Gentleman & Bore. ~ Selected by Lisa Ch.
Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson (2019). All learn from 12th birthday trip. ~ Selected by Lisa Ch.
Books for Your Favorite High Schoolers
Here to Stay by Sara Farizan (2019). Internal sports narrators make absurd navigatable. ~ Selected by Lisa Ch.
Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes (2019). Trauma. Hope. Gumption. James Baldwin. Poetry. ~ Selected by Lisa Ch.
Memoirs: For people who enjoy living vicariously through other people’s memories
The Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith (2019). Patti Smith’s evocative and dreamy reflections. ~ Selected by Lucinda.
Keep it Moving: Lessons for the rest of your life by Twyla Tharp (2019). Aging well through vibrancy, purpose, and movement. ~ Selected by Susie.
To Float In The Space Between by Terrance Hayes (2018). Unique, personal homage to poet Ethridge Knight. ~ Selected by Peter.
Never a Lovely So Real by Colin Asher (2019). Biography of unsung, uncompromising Chicago novelist. ~ Selected by Peter.
Non-fiction or reference books: For people who like to think and chat while sitting by the woodstove
Say Nothing: a true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe (2019). Terror is palatable on every page. ~ Selected by Lucinda.
Madame Fourcade's Secret War by Lynne Olsen (2019). Resistance fighter risks life & limb. Exciting! ~ Selected by Carin.
Coffee table books, Poetry, and Literary Gifts: For your favorite hosts and co-workers
Here: Poems for the Planet by Elizabeth Coleman (2019) . Poems to inspire activism, hope, and connectedness. ~ Selected by Susie.
Nostalgia for a World Where We Can Live by Monica Berlin (2018). From the heartland, intimate, lyrical poems. ~ Selected by Peter.
In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons From 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules by Karen Karbo (2018). Women who challenge the tyranny of “nice”. ~ Selected by Susie.
Lucinda Walker is the Director of the Norwich Public Library. In the words of Eloise, she “loves, loves, loves” her job, her colleagues and the Norwich community. She is addicted to podcasts (Ear Hustle, the Cultural Gabfest & Dolly Parton’s America are current favorites), popcorn and dark-roasted coffee. A new empty-nester, she’s rediscovered the joy of singing with thanks to the Juneberry Community Chorus. Lucinda lives in Brownsville with her writer/librarian husband Peter and two kids, Hartley & Lily.
Susie Stevens is a psychologist, specializing in social support research. She is also an avid reader and helps keep the Norwich Bookstore in business as a result of her love of books. She lives in Norwich, Vermont with her husband and High School aged son and one stubborn dog. When not taking her son to the hockey rink or soccer field, or walking the dog, she likes to drink coffee, buy books and talk with friends.
Carin Pratt, a native of Massachusetts, Carin moved to the Upper Valley (specifically Strafford) eight years ago after spending 30 years in DC working as a television producer, finishing as executive producer of Face the Nation. She’s never looked back. She reads a lot, and works part-time at the Norwich Bookstore in order to afford her addiction to books. She has a husband and two adult sons.
Peter Orner is the author of six books, most recently Maggie Brown & Others, a 2019 New York Times Editor's Choice. Orner is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. Born in Chicago and educated at the University of Michigan, he recently taught at the University of Namibia on a Fulbright. He lives in Norwich with the novelist Katie Crouch and daughter Phoebe who will be presenting during the December 3rd BOOK BUZZ at Marion Cross. (And Roscoe who is three and eats books.)
BOOK JAM Lisas
Lisa Cadow is the co-founder of the Book Jam. When not reading or experimenting in her kitchen, she is a full time student of counseling at the University of Vermont. She fervently believes that health outcomes would improve if doctors could prescribe books to patients as well as medicine. Lisa lives in Norwich with her husband, three cats, and a fun border collie and loves it when her three adult children visit.
Lisa Christie, co-founder of the Book Jam, was in previous times the Founder/Executive Director of Everybody Wins! Vermont and USA, literacy programs that help children love books. She currently works as a part-time non-profit consultant, part-time Dartmouth graduate student, and all-the-time believer in the power of books. She lives in Norwich with her musician husband, two superb teenage sons, and a very large dog. She often dreams of travel.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND HAPPY HOLIDAY READING!