Books recommended as gifts:

The Good Lord Bird –  James McBride – just chosen to receive the National book Award – From the bestselling author of The Color of Water and Song Yet Sung comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive. Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces.

Tenth of December: Stories George Saunders – One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.

The Lowland – Jumpa Lahiri – National Book Award Finalist Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country

The Village Table – recipe collection  from the Folk Art Center of new England – can be ordered at www.facone.org 

More with Less, Doris Janzen Longacre – Since 1976, More-with-Less Cookbook has helped thousands of families establish a climate of joy and concern for others at mealtime, while improving nutrition and saving money. This anniversary edition is seasoned with their comments from twenty-five years of More-with-Less cooking.

Extending the Table Joetta Handrich Schlabach – Extending the Table is an invitation…to enjoy the gifts of people from Argentina and Bangladesh to Yugoslavia and Zambia. The stories and recipes help us enter into the lives and situations of these people and to be changed by them in significant ways. Food is a medium of communication, but it is more; in a mysterious way, it is part of the message, as Jesus so vividly portrayed in the breaking of bread and distribution of the cup.  (appears to be available only as an e-book)

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic generation discovered the beauty and terror of scienceRichard Holmes – The Age of Wonder is a colorful and utterly absorbing history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science. 

Living on the WindScott Weidensaul – Bird migration is the world’s only true unifying natural phenomenon, stitching the continents together in a way that even the great weather systems fail to do. Scott Weidensaul follows awesome kettles of hawks over the Mexican coastal plains, bar-tailed godwits that hitchhike on gale winds 7,000 miles nonstop across the Pacific from Alaska to New Zealand, and myriad songbirds whose numbers have dwindled so dramatically in recent decades.

Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special, Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health The Moosewood Collective-   All of the Moosewood cookbooks are worth looking at.  these are special favorites – the Cooking for health is especially recommended for those with dietary issues.

Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast by Bill Richardson – A pair of endearingly eccentric bachelors—in their fifties, and fraternal twins—own and operate a bed & breakfast establishment where people like them, the “gentle and bookish and ever so slightly confused,” can feel at home. Hector and Virgil think of their B&B as a refuge, a retreat, a haven, where folks may bring their own books or peruse the brothers’ own substantial library.

MosqueDavid Macaulay – An author and artist who has continually stripped away the mystique of architectural structures that have long fascinated modern people, David Macaulay here reveals the methods and materials used to design and construct a mosque in late-sixteenth- century Turkey. Through the fictional story and Macaulay’s distinctive full-color illustrations, readers will learn not only how such monumental structures were built but also how they functioned in relation to the society they served.

Return of the Osprey: A season of flight and wonder David Glessner – For six luminous months–an entire nesting season–David Gessner immersed himself in the lives of the magnificent osprey’s that had returned to his seagirt corner of Cape Cod. In this marvelous book–part memoir, part paean to a once-endangered species, part natural history of the Cape–Gessner recounts the many discoveries he made in the course of that magical season.

 Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage and Runaway Alice Munro – WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 In the nine breathtaking stories that make up her celebrated tenth collection, Alice Munro achieves new heights, creating narratives that loop and swerve like memory, and conjuring up characters as thorny and contradictory as people we know ourselves.  Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships. 

 Dirty Love Andre Dubus III – In this heartbreakingly beautiful book of disillusioned intimacy and persistent yearning, beloved and celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking gratification in food and sex, work and love.

 Selected Stories Andre Dubus – (father of Andre Dubus III) – These twenty-three stories represent the best work of one of the finest and most emotionally revealing writers in America.

 A Possible LifeSebastian Faulks – Throughout this masterpiece of fiction, exquisitely drawn and unforgettable characters risk their bodies, hearts, and minds in pursuit of the manna of human connection.

The Shell Collector Anthony Doerr – The exquisitely crafted stories in Anthony Doerr’s debut collection take readers from the African Coast to the pine forests of Montana to the damp moors of Lapland, charting a vast physical and emotional landscape.

 The Death of SantiniPat Conroy – In this powerful and intimate memoir, the beloved bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and his father, the inspiration for The Great Santini, find some common ground at long last. 

 The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket – Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukkah, and Lemony Snicket is an alleged children’s author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. A particularly irate latke is the star of The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, but many other holiday icons appear and even speak: flashing colored lights, cane-shaped candy, a pine tree. Santa Claus is briefly discussed as well. The ending is happy, at least for some. People who are interested in any or all of these things will find this book so enjoyable it will feel as though Hanukkah were being celebrated for several years, rather than eight nights.

 Collision Low CrossersNicholas Dawidoff – We watch football every Sunday, but we don’t really see it. By spending a year with the New York Jets, Nicholas Dawidoff explored the game in such an intimate way that he can now put you right inside the NFL. Collision Low Crossers* is a story that is part Paper Lion and part Moneyball, part Friday Night Lights and part The Office. In this absorbing, funny, and vividly written narrative, he describes the Combine, the draft, the practices, the strategy meetings, all while thinking deeply about such fundamental truths and the nature of success and disappointment in a massive and stressful collective endeavor.

 Lynette identified the books from her long list that she most highly recommends:

 The Son Philipp Meyer – Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim.

 The Signature of all Things Elizabeth Gilbert – A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed

 The Boys in the BoatDaniel James Brown – Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

 New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine SoupMarjorie Druker, Clara Silverstein

 River Cottage Veg – A comprehensive collection of 200+ recipes that embrace vegetarian cuisine as the centerpiece of a meal, from the leading food authority behind the critically acclaimed River Cottage series.

 The Stonewall Kitchen Winter – Stonewall Kitchen shows how to celebrate in style with these 50 tantalizing recipes for holiday entertaining.

 and as is often the case, we then veered off to just talk about books.  Here are some of titles that were mentioned (remember this is a group of readers)

 The Woman Upstairs, Claire Messud; The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Stroud; Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell;  The Damnation Game and Weaveworld by Clive Baker; The Liars ClubMary Kerr; ElsewhereRichard Russo; The Warmth of Other Suns Isabel Wilkerson; Flight BehaviorBarbara Kingsolver; The Aviator’s Wife Melanie Benjamin; Mud Bound Hillary JordanHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford; Burnt ShadowsKamila Shamsie; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society Mary Ann Shaffer; The Lost Wife Alyson Richman; Major Pettigrew’s Last StandHelen Simonson; The Story Teller and Plain Truth Jodi Picoult


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