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Chris has been a partner at the store for twenty-five years. She has a BA in History from Albion College and a BS in Education from Kent State. A mother of five grown sons, she used to hide in the laundry room to get time to read! Now she lives with her husband, Fred, and her three golden retrievers. (Art, Maggie, and Charley)
While reading The Paper Palace, by this first-time author, I was absolutely astounded by Ms. Heller’s writing, her use of language, and character development. The story, which takes place in a single day, reflects back on the life of one woman, Elle, the choices that she made and will make. After seeing her childhood “love” again, she has to decide if a brief encounter will change her path or reinforce the decisions that she has made. Set in Cape Cod at a family’s summer camp, the Paper Palace, reminds all of us with family summer homes, of the secrets that these cottages keep long after we are gone. A family saga that will make you keep guessing until the end. Spectacular writing!
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This book outlines what homeowners can do now to make their yards into conservation habitats. Primarily, shrink the size of your lawn, remove invasive species (honeysuckle), plant native plants, look out for native pollinators by planting for the bees, plant native plants under your trees (grass does not grow there anyway), do not spray with products using herbicides or insecticides, and fertilize less. Most native plants in our area have adapted to low nitrogen after the glacial age and most fertilizer is washed into our water ways creating algae blooms. For more information, buy this book and look at previous issues of the Village of Indian Hill Bulletin (www.ihill.org)
While we know the author for her wonderful works of fiction, this little book is a gem. She addresses themes of love, the passage of time, the nature of nature and zombies. (This is Margaret Atwood after all.) I especially love her poem “Blizzard” and “Spider Signatures”. In Blizzard she imagines what it is like to be in her mother’s century old body, “There are no more adventures for her in the upper air…She’s dreaming…Maybe …making her way down one more white river or walking across the ice.” Pure music!
Pulitzer prize winner for The Warmth of Other Suns, Ms. Wilkerson has created a masterful picture of an unseen phenomenon in America, that of the caste system. She examines the role of caste not only around the world, but in America. When speaking in India to a group of untouchables she was approached by an attendant that told her that she too was an “untouchable” in her country because she was black. Wilkerson was initially shocked, but then realized that she was right. Through a deeply researched narrative, she explains how America has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including religion, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Beautifully written, original, and revealing, this book is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary life in America today.
My favorite book of our plague year, 2020! Maggie O’Farrell’s novel about Shakespeare’s son Hamnet was fabulous! I started it on Monday and was finished on Wednesday. Her writing is brilliant with an almost poetic cadence! Her characters rotate through the family saga presenting their points of view creating a story filled with life and touched by magic. She examines a marriage shattered by the death of a child that somehow moves towards healing and solace. A real tour de force! And “the husband” is a minor character, never even mentioned by name! Make sure you have a handkerchief nearby – I cried all through the last twenty pages. My favorite book for 2020!
My favorite book of 2017!