Archive for March, 2010
It was a beautiful spring weekend on Cape Cod – a rarity since the ocean air can keep us pretty chilly at this time of year! The warm weather has brought out all sorts of spring flowers -snowdrops, crocuses and even some of the daffodils in bloom!
Mom and I really got in the mood to garden after attending a delicious Snowdrop Tea last week at the home of Jon and Eugenie Shaw, who hold this fundraising event to support the gardens at the Thornton W. Burgess Society. The Shaws’ gardens are spectacular and the lawns were blanketed with thousands of crocuses and over 8000 snowdrops, including about100 varieties. If you’d like to learn more about the Shaws’ snowdrops, please see this recent article in the Wall Street Journal.
So, we got out the rakes and started spiffing up the yard and cleaning out the gardens here at the bookshop. Mom has been transplanting crocuses and planting the snowdrop she got from the tea. See if you can find our new snowdrops under the little evergreen in front of the bookshop!
If you are enjoying the HBO series The Pacific, the story of 5 men whose lives intersect in the Pacific theater during World War II, there are several books that might interest you.
The first book is The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose ($26.95) (Yup, Ambrose…Hugh is Stephen Ambrose’s son). A companion to the TV series, this fascinating and inspiring book tells the stories of four US Marines and one US Navy carrier pilot whose lives intersect in the Pacific theater during WWII.
For more information about the individual men involved, here are some books you might want to consider:
A Helmet For My Pillow: From Parris Island To The Pacific by Robert Leckie ($16.00) Robert Leckie, one of America’s greatest military historians, recalls his own story from boot camp in Parris Island to the bloody war in the Pacific. Leckie experienced it all–the booze, the brawling, the loving on sixty-two-hour liberty; the courageous fighting and dying in combat as the U.S. Marines slugged it out, inch by inch, island by island across the Pacific to the shores of Japan.
I’m Staying With My Boys: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC by Jim Proser ($14.99) Sgt. John Basilone held off 3,000 Japanese troops at Guadalcanal after his 15-member unit was reduced to three men. Killed during the war, he was the only Marine in World War II to have received the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross, and a Purple Heart and is arguably the most famous Marine of all time. I’m Staying with My Boys is the only family-authorized biography of Basilone, and it features photographs never before published. Distinctive among military biographies, the story is told in the first person, allowing readers to experience his transformation, forged in the horrors of battle, from aimless youth to war hero known as “Manila John.”
With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge ($16.00) In The Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth-century battles. Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War. Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation.
An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division-3d Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic.Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater.
(If you haven’t started watching the series because you don’t get HBO…good news! They have the whole first episode available online!) http://www.hbo.com/the-pacific/index.html#)
Due to flooding at the Sandwich Public Library, our event on Thursday March 25th with Jon Turk (author of “The Raven’s Gift: A Scientist, a Shaman, and Their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wilderness”) will be held at 7:00pm at Titcomb’s Bookshop.
More information on the event….
Jon Turk has kayaked around Cape Horn and paddled across the Pacific Ocean to retrace the voyages of ancient people. But, the strangest trip he ever took was the journey he made as a man of science into the realm of the spiritual. In a remote Siberian village, Turk met an elderly Koryak shaman named Moolynaut who invoked the help of a Spirit Raven to mend his fractured pelvis. When the healing was complete, he was able to walk without pain. Turk, finding no rational explanation, sought understanding by traversing the frozen tundra where Moolynaut was born, camping with bands of reindeer herders, and recording stories of their lives and spirituality. Framed by high adventure across the vast and forbidding Siberian landscape, “The Raven’s Gift ” creates a vision of natural and spiritual realms interwoven by one man’s awakening.
You know how interesting it is to talk with someone who is passionate something? It almost doesn’t matter what the topic is – it’s just fun to see all that enthusiasm and amazing knowledge about a subject.
We felt that way last week when Charles Peterson (and his 2 sons) came to the bookshop to talk about his new book, Wood Flooring: A Complete Guide to Layout, Installation & Finishing. There doesn’t seem to be anything he doesn’t know about wood flooring! He spoke to a packed house about woods, proper installation and construction methods. He told about incorrect installations that had actually moved the walls of one house. He showed how one company actually has incorrect installation instructions for builders, which has left untold numbers of homeowners with problems down the road. Yikes!
The book is not only beautiful, it was thoughtfully prepared. When he was working on the book, he would give people who knew nothing about wood flooring some of the instructions and set them to work. This way he could see if his instructions made sense to just the everyday homeowner. How smart is that?
If you’re putting in a wood floor, be sure to get a copy of this book, first!
Take a look at the floor he created for the book…isn’t it amazing? Well the judges from the National Wood Flooring Association thought so and awarded him the 2009 Floor of the Year award.
I love knowing what people are reading. It’s a different question than what book do you recommend. What we are reading shows what books people are attracted to….for whatever reason (book cover, author you love, friend suggestion, all that was left in your book pile!). Whatever the reason….here is what we are reading right now at Titcomb’s Bookshop. (One word of caution, we are often reading advance copies of books that aren’t released yet. Check to see if there is a release date at the bottom of the description.)
From Nancy O.: Why My Third Husband Will Be A Dog by Lisa Scottoline ($21.99). From Edye’s enthusiastic recommendation in last month’s newsletter! She raved about it, so I thought I would give it a try. This hilarious collection of stories from the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Look Again” features the author’s take on being caught braless in the emergency room, Spanx as public enemy number one, and the pursuit of finding jeans that actually fit.
From Karen: The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard ($25.00, our price $20.00) One beautiful summer afternoon Jody Linder is unnerved to see her three uncles parking their pickups in front of her parents’ house–or what she calls her parents’ house, even though Jay and Laurie Jo Linder have been gone almost all of Jody’s life. They bring shocking news: The man convicted of murdering Jody’s father is being released from prison. It has been twenty-six years since that stormy night when, as baby Jody lay asleep in her crib, her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Now Billy Crosby has been granted a new trial, thanks in large part to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence. As Jody lives only a few doors down from the Crosbys, she knows that sooner or later she’ll come face-to-face with the man who she believes destroyed her family. What she doesn’t expect are the heated exchanges with Collin. Now Jody discovers that underneath their antagonism is a shared sense of loss that no one else could possibly understand. (NOTE: this book will be released on April 6th)
From Edye: Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline ($26.99, our price $21.59). Edye was such a huge fan of Lisa Scottoline’s book of essays that she had to move on to her fiction! Bennie Rosato looks exactly like her identical twin, Alice Connolly, but the darkness in Alice’s soul makes them two very different women. Or at least that’s what Bennie believes, until she finds herself buried alive at the hands of her twin. Meanwhile, Alice takes over Bennie’s life, in order to escape the deadly mess she has made of her own life. But Alice underestimates Bennie and the evil she has unleashed in her twin’s psyche, as well as Bennie’s determination to stay alive long enough to exact revenge. Bennie must face the twisted truth that she is more like her sister Alice than she could have ever imagined, and by the novel’s shocking conclusion, Bennie finds herself engaged in a war she cannot win–with herself. (NOTE: this book will be released on March 16th)
From Kathleen: Past Life Regression: A Guide For Practitioners by Mary Lee LaBay ($16.99). Central to the quest for self-awareness is the practice of past life regression. This comprehensive text provides case studies and detailed instructions on numerous techniques of regression for maximum effectiveness in healing, change, and personal growth.
From Ralph: The Shack by William Young ($14.99) A grieving father receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him to meet in the Oregon wilderness where his daughter has been abducted and murdered. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant, “The Shack” wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?”
From Vicky: The Passage by Justin Cronin ($26.00 our price $20.80) This is a gripping sci-fi/vampire novel that Vicky heard a lot about at the Winter Institute. But why read a recommendation from Vicky when you can have one from Stephen King? “Every so often a novel-reader’s novel comes along: an enthralling, entertaining story wedded to simple, supple prose, both informed by tremendous imagination. Summer is the perfect time for such books, and this year readers can enjoy the gift of Justin Cronin’s The Passage. Read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated; read thirty and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It has the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears.”–Stephen King (NOTE: Release date June 8, 2010)
From Elizabeth: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson ($25, our price $20) The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?