Our Year in Review
Staff Book Choices
Over the course of the year Mitchell's and Bookworks staff read some really memorable books. Here's what we remember most: our year in review:
Of the books that provided enrichment this year, these two stood out. Paul Hendrickson's Hemingway's Boat was a wonderful surprise, presenting a richer, fuller portrait of the writer than had the wrong-headed and reductive views one had to endure in recent years.
And the stories in Birds of a Lesser Paradise, Megan Mayhew Bergman's sparkling debut collection, each make a curious and vivid estimation of human beings' place in the living world.
Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal is, hands down, the BEST BOOK I read this year, putting it in my top-five favorites along with Written on the Body, West With the Night, Geek Love, and The Count of Monte Cristo. Interlacing perceptive descriptions, dialog and sharp memories, Winterson weaves a tale that proves beyond doubt that she can tell the truth as beautifully as she can fabricate fiction.
The Complete Poems by Philip Larkin- An easily accessible master of his craft, his poetry highlights the meaninglessness of life but does so with so much wit and compassion that you can't help but feel reassured.
The Dog Stars- Peter Heller presents a post apocalyptic tale in a world nearly devoid of people but somehow still chock full of hope and love. It highlights the beauty that can only be found amidst desolation.
I'm just finishing an older classic, Living in the Light, by Shakti Gawain. A down to earth, common sense guide for the soul searching & spiritual path taking. It’ s not something I usually read, so I was surprised to like it so much.
I am in the middle of a young adult book called Beautiful Creatures. I have been tearing through this coming of age story because it is wrapped up in magic, teen love, finding out who you really are, and moves along at a friendly pace.
Island Practice by Pam Belluck . A story about our island surgeon Dr. Tim Lepore and the important and diverse roles he plays on our island.
Fault in Our Stars by John Greene. A book that has been read and reread in our house this year is this novel about teens dealing with terminal illnesses. A story of friendship, love, and incredible hardship, this book is so much more than a beautiful story.
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. A story of one woman’s troubled life in a small southern town that takes a turn and brings the outside world in with the unusual arrival of monarch butterflies due to climate change.
The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry. Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.
There you are--something for every reader you know, from our knowledgeable and opinionated staff!
Mitchell's Book Corner, at 54 Main Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 5pm; Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm during the winter. Bookworks, at 25 Broad Street, is open every day, all year round: Sunday - Thursday 10am to 7pm; Friday and Saturday 10am to 9pm.
Photo credit: ReadNaturally