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Lake & Island Notes                       February 2015

This winter we give you many ways to save... stop in and receive a free advance reader copy (some of these books not yet published!) with any purchase of $25 or more, and don't forget about the 20% off coupon at the bottom of every newsletter!
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Featured Title
 


The Skull Mantra   

by Eliot Pattison

Knowing how excited we are to discover intelligent mystery series that penetrate the lesser known cultures, historical events, political conflicts, and corners of the globe, a customer highly recommended the series by Eliot Pattison set in Chinese occupied Tibet. We enthusiastically agree! The first in the series, The Skull Mantra, unravels a compelling mystery while immersing the reader in the deep and painful conflict between the native Tibetan Buddhists and the controlling Maoist communists. Additionally, the author treats the reader to a vivid portrayal of the remarkable beauty and ancient mystery of the Himalayan mountains. We are looking forward to continuing our way through the series!

Featured Title
 


The Catalain Book of Secrets

by Jessica Lourey

Faith Falls is a snug Minnesota town constructed over a mystery, a place where the most impressive building is a gorgeous Queen Anne with turrets, cantilevered gables, and a wraparound porch. When Katrine Catalain is called home to the Queen Anne, she must claim her true Catalain power to save her mother and sister from the dark family curse. Told in a majestic mosaic of strong women’s voices, The Catalain Book of Secrets weaves together alchemy, hope, tragedy, and true love in a familiar Midwestern landscape.

Featured Title
 


Funny Girl

by Nick Hornby

From the bestselling author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, comes a highly anticipated new novel.

Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby's latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.
Join us for our open book group! We meet once a month. If you'd like to receive more information, please email us as we'll gladly add your name to the list!
Greetings!

We tend to think of Black History Month as a relatively new observance with its advent in 1976. In fact, it dates back to 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week." The timing was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It has become a time to celebrate African-American literature.
 
Most of us are familiar with the classics of the black literature genre – Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folks; Wright’s Native Son; Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; Baldwin’s Go Tell It on The Mountain; Walker’s The Color Purple; Douglass’ My Bondage and My Freedom; Hughes’ Collected Poems; and, too many more to mention in these brief notes.
 
But, let’s look at 2015. A number of notable books are being added to this distinguished literary history. Toni Morrison’s new novel dealing with the effects of childhood trauma, God Help the Child, will be released in April. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae arises from her web series of the same name and relates her charming cluelessness growing up out-of-synch in South Central LA. There is an interesting biography of the so-called “first lady of the black press” Ethyl Payne - Eye on the Struggle by James McGrath Morris - that tells the story of this significant civil rights era journalist. For children we might mention a couple of new titles as well: Harlem Renaissance Party by Faith Ringgold brings young readers to the dynamic music, art, dance and literature of the historic Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s; and, the 2015 Newbery Award winning The Crossover by Kwame Alexander about twin-brother basketball aficionados as they come of age and into their own as they approach college age.       
 
For many of us, our first and lasting exposure to the black experience was through Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. She, of course, is a white woman and a descendant of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Never mind! The book has been transformative for more than one generation. The interesting thing here is that an apparent prequel/sequel to the book has been discovered and is ready for publication this summer. With the working title Go Set a Watchman the novel was apparently written prior to To Kill a Mockingbird and its story takes place some twenty years later. It features many of the same characters and tells of Scout’s visit home to Maycomb where she contends with personal and political issues which relate to Atticus and life in the small Alabama town where she grew up.

We wish you all an enjoyable winter season, and look forward to seeing you at the Bayfield Winter Festival, March 6-8th!

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What we're reading...


Rounding the Mark
by Andrea Camilleri 


On a leisurely swim on the Sicilian seashore Inspector Montalbano bumps into a corpse floating on the water. His subsequent investigation reveals a tangled web of murder, smuggling, and human trafficking. But, the macabre tale (first published in 2003) is underlain by a charming subtext of the life, culinary delights and bureaucratic bumbling of the Italian police. Camilleri’s work – including the long series of police procedurals involving Inspector Camilleri – is reminiscent of that of the delightful Donna Leon. Her series follows the detective work, dietary preferences and family life of Commisario Guido Brunetti. The difference is the setting. Leon’s stories unfold in the elegance of Venice; Camilleri’s play out on the hardscrabble coast of Sicily. Watch out, they’re both addictive!
Jaguar's Children
by John Vaillant


Two of our recent non-fiction favorites are John’s Vaillant’s The Golden Spruce (2006) and The Tiger (2010). This is his first novel. There is a tanker truck heading north across the desert toward the US border from Mexico. Sealed inside are fifteen would-be immigrants seeking freedom and prosperity – or at least a living – in El Norte. The truck breaks down and is abandoned by its coyote drivers. The suffocating wait begins. Hector, our protagonist, has a cell phone, but no service. He maintains a running diary via text messages and sound files chronicling the history and now dire straits of himself and his compatriots. The writing is crisp and compelling and has just the right sprinkling of Spanish vernacular to draw the reader in to the scene. A harrowing read!
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins


OK! So this is the smash hit of the season! Standing No. 1 on bestseller lists from New York to Los Angeles this is the Gone Girl of 2015. It leads the current pack of this emerging sub-genre of literary thrillers by and about women that includes Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm and Her by Harriet Lane. Rachel is the girl on the train plying her dreary commute each day between London and her dismal life on the fringe. She’s a forlorn, alcoholic divorcee whose route takes her past the house where she lived more or less happily with her former husband. But then she begins to see other things and other things lead to other things as she slides in and out of her binges and blackouts. Two other women share the narrative – Anna, her former husband’s new wife; and, Megan, who disappears from her usual presence a few doors down from Rachel’s former home. There’s plenty of suspense and some compelling exploration of the psychological and social pressures faced by women in today’s dysfunctional world.

Final Thoughts...

In honor of Black History Month; a poem by Harryette Mullen, a poet and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing and African-American literature. Her poetry has been hailed by critics as unique, powerful, and challenging.

"Elliptical," from Sleeping with the Dictionary

They just can’t seem to... They should try harder to... They ought to be more... We all wish they weren’t so... They never... They always... Sometimes they... Once in a while they... However it is obvious that they... Their overall tendency has been... The consequences of which have been... They don’t appear to understand that... If only they would make an effort to... But we know how difficult it is for them to... Many of them remain unaware of... Some who should know better simply refuse to... Of course, their perspective has been limited by... On the other hand, they obviously feel entitled to... Certainly we can’t forget that they... Nor can it be denied that they... We know that this has had an enormous impact on their... Nevertheless their behavior strikes us as... Our interactions unfortunately have been...

Save 20% Off One Book!


Book must be in stock, some restrictions apply. Print this coupon and present it in store for your discount. This coupon may not be combined with any other promotions or discounts. Limited to one use and one coupon per customer.

Offer expires March15th, 2015
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