These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett

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Here is a book to linger with.  It’s like talking and reflecting with a an old friend over shared experience with someone who has gone down the same road but whispers a little more wisdom so gently that you just want more time with her.  Savor this collection about Patchett’s family, clearing the clutter, her decision not to have children, her three fathers, writing, her own bookstore, and an unforgettable friendship during Covid.  You will definitely find favorites. 

“The elegance of Patchett’s prose is seductive and inviting: with Patchett as a guide, readers will really get to grips with the power of struggles, failures, and triumphs alike.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An enviable life shared with candor, emotion, and knockout storytelling power.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“To read this collection is to be invited into that sacred space where a writer steps out from behind the page to say Hello; let’s really get to know each other. Stoic, kindhearted, fierce, funny, brainy, Patchett’s essays honor what matters most ‘in this precarious and precious life.'” — Oprah Daily

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Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan

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The author does a great job of creating the atmosphere of the 1970’s – it felt nostalgic and like a trip back to a simpler time.

“Amy Mason Doan creates a whole world and mood with her exquisitely crafted novel, Lady Sunshine. It’s replete with late-’70s nostalgia, and Doan masterfully renders the lives of musicians and those who are drawn to them, no matter the price. A delicious daydream of a book.”
—Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author of 28 Summers

“With a winning combination of lyrical writing and a page-turning plot, Amy Mason Doan chronicles the evolution and mysterious demise of the friendship between two young women at the California estate-cum-commune of a renowned musician. A tone-perfect evocation of the free-spirited late 1970s and a riveting coming-of-age story, Lady Sunshine captures the highs of artistic creation, the dangers of hero worship, and the costs of trying to outrun your past. This sun-dappled book has it all: heart, smarts, and an irresistible musical beat.”—Karen Dukess, author of The Last Book Party

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Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James Brown

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat, Brown has done it again.

“Daniel James Brown brings to life the gripping true story of Japanese Americans whose steely heroism fought Nazism abroad and racism at home.  Bound by Japanese values of filial piety, giri (social obligation) and gaman (endurance) and forged in the crucible of brutal combat, the soldiers served the very country that locked their families in American concentration camps for no crime other than looking like the enemy while camp resisters fought for justice denied.”—Lori L. Matsukawa, News anchor, KING TV, Seattle

Facing the Mountain is more than just the story of a group of young men whose valor helped save a country that spurned them, it’s a fascinating, expertly written look at selfless heroes who emerged from one of the darkest periods of American history — soldiers the likes of which this country may never see again.”—NPR.org

“Daniel James Brown has a way of wrapping himself around a big and complicated subject with such subtlety and grace that we don’t at first realize how fast the pages are turning, or how much fascinating material we’ve absorbed. In Facing the Mountain, all the skills of this master storyteller are once again on display, as he surely leads us to the emotional heart of a fraught and sprawling World War II story most of us knew nothing about.” —Hampton Sides, NYT bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and On Desperate Ground

“Masterly… An epic story of four Japanese-American families and their sons who volunteered for military service and displayed uncommon heroism and grit to serve their country… propulsive and gripping read… it’s a page-turner—a testament to Mr. Brown’s storytelling gifts.”Wall Street Journal

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Pony by R.J. Palacio

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The bestselling author of Wonder returns with an enthralling adventure about a boy on a quest to rescue his father, with only a ghost as his companion and a mysterious pony as his guide. I couldn’t put this book down.  Reminisicent of War Horse and True Grit, this is bound to become an instant classic for readers of all ages.

“[A] rip-roaring adventure… Pony illustrates Palacio’s range as an author, with this tale being distinctly different from Wonder, yet sharing movingly captured central themes of heart, family, and overcoming challenges.” —Booklist, starred review

“Once you open Pony, R.J. Palacio’s astonishing new novel, your life will no longer be your own. From the first pages, I fell under the thrall of the remarkable Silas, a boy as wise as he is brave. . . . An utterly absorbing, beautifully written book.” —Margot Livesey, author of Eva Moves the Furniture and The Boy in the Field

“Readers in search of fast-paced historical fiction with speculative elements should look no further than Pony. The twists and turns of Silas’ odyssey are both stunning and satisfying.” —BookPage, starred review

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Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke

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“What could be more timely than Sherbrooke’s gorgeously fictionalized and page-turning account of Lucy Stone, the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a college degree, to keep her maiden name, and to fight for women’s rights?  A stunning look at timeless issues—how we navigate motherhood and career, marriage or staying single, and how we create change in a world that seems to have gone crazy, all told through the lens of one extraordinary heroine.” — Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling author of Pictures of You

“A staunch activist in the fight for women’s rights who got her start among New England’s abolitionists, [Lucy Stone] has been overshadowed in the historical record by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony…Katherine A. Sherbrooke’s Leaving Coy’s Hill aims to revive interest in Stone by dramatizing her dogged attempts to support herself and her causes on the lecture circuit — and her equally dogged attempts to reconcile her professional career with motherhood and a “marriage of equals”. ― New York Times Book Review

Leaving Coy’s Hill is an important book about an important woman, abolitionist and suffragist, Lucy Stone. Sherbrooke paints a vivid portrait of this often forgotten American figure who inspired a nation to think differently about women’s rights. Unforgettable and unputdownable, this novel will remain in memory long after the last page has been turned.” — Crystal King, author of FEAST OF SORROW

“A powerful and stirring portrait of one of the most influential women in the equal rights movement. Thanks to Sherbrooke’s skillful storytelling, Lucy Stone is no less inspiring today than she was 170 years ago. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ready to march!” — Isla Morley, author of THE LAST BLUE

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Break Your Glass Slippers (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale) by Amanda Lovelace

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I love her feminist poetry for every day queens and princesses.

“I adore this new take on the Cinderella story. In empowering and inspiring poems, Lovelace turns the fairy tale on its head, in all the best feminist ways.” (Ms. Magazine)

“Whether or not you read poetry regularly, Break Your Glass Slippers by Amanda Lovelace should be on your must-read list.” (Popsugar)

Break Your Glass Slippers by Amanda Lovelace is a book of poems that inspires you to ignore what others think about you (or what you *think* they think about you) and overcome those who don’t see your worth, and making sure *you* see it clearly.” (Brit + Co)

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Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

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While Stanley Tucci is known for his films, this memoir focuses primarily on his love of food. Raised in an Italian family with a mother who loved to cook, his interest in food continued as he began cooking and exploring cuisines and restaurants around the world. Along the way, we learn more about his life and family, with many recipes – particularly for Italian dishes – sprinkled throughout the book. Guaranteed to lift your spirits! I highly recommend the audiobook, read by the author himself, which adds to the warmth and humor of his story.

“An instant classic, Stanley Tucci’s TASTE is as captivating, simple, charming and insanely moreish as the best Italian food. Take it to bed with you and you will fall asleep dreaming you’re in Italy. But take it to the kitchen and you will find yourself using it as often as a pan or a peeler.” –Stephen Fry

“The man, the myth, The Devil Wears Prada legend Stanley Tucci has blessed our hungry souls with a food memoir to feed our mounting appetite for the actor and cook’s wit, warmth and, let’s face it: tight polo shirts. He divulges some of his most treasured memories and stories behind favourite recipes — prepare to feel bereaved when it’s over.”—Joanna Taylor, Evening Standard

“Through food and scenes of family life, Stanley Tucci shares both his personal story and his celebration of all-things taste. With tales from peanut butter sandwiches to lobster in Maine, with recipes from the perfect Negroni to his wife’s roast potatoes, he draws us to his table. Come hungry for the food, the cocktails, the gossip and the fun. Just never, ever, cut up your spaghetti.”  –Yotam Ottolenghi

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The Stately Home Murder (The Calleshire Chronicles) by Catherine Aird

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A 2021 Weston Mystery Book Group approved title.

Looking for a literary cozy mystery with a touch of dry humor? This is one of a series by respected British author Catherine Aird which features butlers, eccentric old aunts and bodies in the library.

“A shining . . . star . . . a most ingenious lady . . . The very best in British mystery.” —The New Yorker

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Matrix by Lauren Groff

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Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, 17 year old  Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. Marie is defiant in this timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world.

“Groff has created a labyrinth of jewel-like moments . . . and transformed it into a novel that is perfect for right now.”-BookPage, STARRED review

“A relentless exhibition of Groff’s freakish talent. In just over 250 pages, she gives us a character study to rival Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell .” – USA Today

Just when it seems there are nothing but chronicles of decline and ruin comes Lauren Groff’s Matrix, about a self-sufficient abbey of 12th-century nuns—a shining, all-female utopian community…  it is finally its spirit of celebration that gives this novel its many moments of beauty.” –Wall Street Journal

Transcendent prose and vividly described settings bring to life historic events, from the Crusades to the papal interdict of 1208. Groff has outdone herself with an accomplishment as radiant as Marie’s visions.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

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Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

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A wonderful collection of short stories by the author of Writers & Lovers, another great book. Author Lily King is able to do so much with each story, a few of which take place in New England, and all of which feature interesting, complicated characters and plots.

Five Tuesdays in Winter moved me, inspired me, thrilled me. It filled up every chamber of my heart. I loved this book.” —Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author

[A] dazzling new collection…A series of beautifully written character studies brimming with insight into the human condition.– “Library Journal (starred review)”

King can make you fall in love with a character fast, especially the smart, vulnerable, often painfully self-conscious adolescent protagonists featured in several of the ten stories collected here…Full of insights and pleasures.– “Kirkus Reviews (starred reviews)”

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