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June 9, 2011 / schulerbooks

For the first time in seven years, Mother Nature gave her full cooperation to our Festival of the Arts. The weather was glorious, the streets down here were packed, and the mood was celebratory. Good to see so many of you downtown, and special thanks to those that paid us a visit. Here’s what we’re reading:

There’s nothing like an impressive debut novel to grab an avid reader’s attention. This week brings us Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson. Not just another in a long line of coming-of-age-stories, this book is razor sharp in its depiction of 1980’s New York City. It was a time of CBGB, drugs, the rise of AIDS, Hare Krishnas, zines, and other cultural changes that add to the story through Henderson’s vivid sense of place and character. The personal conflict between the inner-city experiences of the main character, Jude, and his aging hippy parents creates the tension that drives the story in a gripping and satisfying way. Very impressive.

Part sports memoir, part philosophy, former MLB All-Star Shawn Green’s new book The Way of Baseball is different from most ex-jock tales of competition and excess. It’ll remind you in ways of Phil Jackson’s use of Buddhist principles in his approach to coaching. Green was a struggling, inconsistent rookie when he began to learn to see the sport with a calmness and clarity of mind. The lessons he learned allowed him, as he puts it, “to bring stillness into the flow of life”, and carried on to future success and peace after he left the game. A real feel-good book for the baseball season.

Yet another unique foodie reference book arrived this week. Not a cookbook, although it does contain a few recipes, Danyelle Freeman’s Try This: Traveling the Globe Without Leaving the Table is more a travel guide to restaurant dining. If you’re of a mind to try as many of the world’s cuisines as you can, but your travel time and budget limits you to what’s available in your local dining places, Freeman breaks down the world’s most popular cuisines, letting you know what you should expect to find in an authentic Vietnamese restaurant, for example, why it’s on the menu, a little history and culture, and in some cases how to order for the most satisfying experience.

It was another good week for paperback releases. Here’s a sampling:

As always, I’d like to invite you to comment on my ramblings, or send your own reviews. We’re here to be a good neighbor, so let me know if you have any questions about pricing or delivery of our books.

Until next week,

Neil
neil@schulerbooks.com

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