The Book Stall's

Top Picks for Early Fall Reading 2013

 

Fiction-Hardcover


The Infatuations by Javier Marías.  “Between love and madness lies...obsession.” This page-turning crime fiction story set in Madrid starts with the narrator’s slightly more than casual interest in the “ideal couple” she sees having coffee every morning. The events that unfold sweep her into a stunning story of varying levels of obsession and violence. The rich language and imagery provided by this compelling translation from Spanish leave the reader...obsessed. ($26.95)


The Illusion of Separateness
by Simon Van Booy. Based on a true event from World War II, this compelling novel is the story of persons whose lives are intimately connected over time—unbeknownst to them but slowly revealed to the reader. Von Booy’s prose, the stories, and almost 70 years of history all come together in a gorgeous novel. ($23.99)


The Affairs of Others
by Amy Grace Loyd. Celia, a young widow who owns a small Brooklyn apartment building, carefully choses tenants who respect one another’s privacy. But her building’s sanctity is shattered when one new tenant begins a torrid and noisy affair and another mysteriously disappears.  Celia and her renters are forced to abandon their separate space for a more intimate one, leading to a surprising conclusion and the promise of genuine joy. ($24)


Fin & Lady
by Cathleen Shine.  When his mother dies in 1964, 11-year-old Fin is orphaned and uprooted from a bucolic Connecticut farm to live in Greenwich Village with his glamorous, worldly older half-sister Lady, whose lifestyle clearly reflects the times. In this great romp through 1960s New York, Fin soon learns that his free-spirited sister is as much his responsibility as he is hers. ($26)


Five Star Billionaire
by Tash Aw. Recently longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, this novel paints a portrait of modern Shanghai and four Malaysian immigrants who bring their hopes and dreams to the city and struggle to find their place.  With his secrets and schemes, the book’s shadowy “five star billionaire” has a hand in each of their lives. ($26)


Night Film
by Marisha Pessl.  When the beautiful daughter of reclusive cult-horror film director Stanislas Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan, her death is ruled a suicide. But a veteran investigative reporter, whose career and marriage were destroyed when he once came close to exposing Cordova’s eerie world, probes the circumstances of the young woman’s life and death at great risk. This spellbinding novel holds the reader in suspense until the very last page. ($28)


How the Light Gets In
by Louise Penny. In this ninth Chief Inspector Gamache novel, the usually festive Christmas season is overshadowed by upheaval in Gamache’s Homicide Department in Quebec. The honorable detective welcomes the chance to get away from the city to investigate the failure of a guest to arrive for the holidays at his dear friend’s home in Three Pines, a snowed-in village in a mountain valley. He soon learns the missing guest is one of the most famous women in the world. ($25.99)


The Silent Wife
by A.S.A. Harrison.  OK, we too will say it: This is the Gone Girl of 2013. The Silent Wife is told in a very engaging he said/she said format—and just like Gone Girl, it’s impossible to put down. This book defines the psychological thriller genre, plumbing issues from childhood that are layered between the characters. Bonus: all the action unfolds in Chicago. ($16 in paperback)


The President’s Hat
by Antoine Laurain.  Set in 1980s France, this charming novel tells the story of the way in which its characters’ lives are transformed as they variously take possession of a hat President Francoise Mitterand inadvertently leaves behind in a Parisian brasserie.  Published last year as Le chapeau de Mitterrand, it was awarded the French Prix Relay des Voyageurs, a prize that celebrates the enjoyment of reading.  A very fitting accolade! ($14.95 in paperback)

 

Nonfiction – Hardcover


Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
by Reza Aslan. Aslan applies his knowledge of the traditions and culture that Jesus lived in—along with political upheavals and messianic hopes—to provide a vivid context within which to place Jesus the man. Wonderfully conceived and written, this is a book for anyone interested in Jesus of Nazareth.  ($27)


The Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James Brown. Against the backdrop of the Depression, a rag tag group of young men at the University of Washington—sons of farmers, loggers, and tradesmen—come together to try out for the freshman crew team. Thus begins a journey of triumph, defeat, hardship, and pain that will take them to the pinnacle of their sport. This book is unforgettable.  ($28.95)


This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America's Gilded Capital
by Mark Leibovich. While politicians and pundits regularly decry the insularity, if not the incestuousness, of Washington DC, the seductive power of money and influence creates its own bipartisan unity. A revolving door constantly resupplies government with its senior advisors and policy makers. Leibovich traces the growth of insider power and influence and its impact on domestic and foreign policy. This book is thought-provoking and infuriating.  ($27.95)


The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
by David Epstein. Are dominant sports figures born or made? It’s a debate as old as sport itself. Epstein, a writer for Sports Illustrated, does not resolve the issue, but his foray into the controversy takes us on an absorbing journey into the world of top athletes.  ($26.95)


Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East
by Scott Anderson (Hardcover, $28.95) T.E. Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia, is virtually a legend. He was a romantic who translated his vision of the Arab world into concrete and often bloody action directed against the imperial ambitions of his native land. This is a brilliant and clear-eyed portrait of a man too easily made mythic. ($28.95)

 

Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, D.C. by Kenneth Winkle. In 1860, Washington, D.C. was vulnerable and on edge. Wedged between Confederate Virginia and Southern-sympathizing Maryland, the District was a potential prize of enormous military and political value. Within its boundaries the city contained all the diverse currents swirling through the country and tearing it apart. Winkle has written a balanced and readable social, military, and political history of the city that reflects, on a smaller stage, the drama and tragedy unfolding in the Civil War.  ($29.95)


Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
by Sherri Fink.  This book, the culmination of six years of reporting by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and physician Fink, carefully investigates the mystery of what exactly happened at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina. As they read about a hospital fighting for its very life, readers experience a transformation of their understanding of human nature in crisis.  ($27)

 

Cookbooks

Making the Most of the Season-End Bounty…


Silvia’s Table
by Liz Neumark. The author is the CEO and founder of Great Performances, rated Zagat’s top catering company in New York City.  She’s also a pioneering advocate for children’s health and owner of a family farm in upstate New York, where every year she shows groups of kids where fresh food comes from, how to harvest it, and how to use it to prepare great meals. This is a family cookbook guaranteed to be loved by cooks and kids of all ages. ($35)


Cooking from the Farmers’ Market
by Jodi Liano and Tasha De Serio. This Williams-Sonoma cookbook shows how to identify, select, and prepare over 100 types of fruits and vegetables fresh from the market.  Enjoying a farmers’ market meal is only three steps away: shop for what’s fresh, cook with inspiration from these pages, and enjoy the delicious results. ($24.95)


Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving
by Kevin West. The author, a native of rural Tennessee who now lives on the West Coast, has traveled from the citrus groves of California to the cranberry bogs of Massachusetts and everywhere in between to chronicle America’s rich preserving tradition. This is the ultimate book of recipes for sweet and savory jams, pickles, cordials, cocktails, candies, and more. ($35)

Kitchen Garden Cookbook: Celebrating the Homegrown and Homemade by Jeanne Kelley. This book has a focus on the “greatest hits” of a classic edible plot—tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, and berries—with guidance on planning, planting, harvesting and cooking. For the more ambitious gardener (and there are increasing numbers of these today), she also gives tips and advice on raising chickens and keeping bees in your own backyard. ($24.95)


The Artist, the Cook, and the Gardner: Recipes Inspired by Painting from the Garden
by Maryjo Koch. Beautiful fruits and vegetables have provided inspiration for great works of art, and this lavishly illustrated book celebrates that enduring connection. It’s divided into chapters for each of the four seasons, with tips, recipes, and painting projects centered on seasonal food pairings. The author is an accomplished naturalist painter who has a studio garden that provides the artistic subjects she and her students paint (and cook!).  ($26.99)

 

…And Still More


Jerusalem: A Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. We loved Ottolenghi’s beautiful 2011 vegetarian cookbook Plenty, and now we’ve fallen in love again, with beautiful Jerusalem. Both authors were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This stunning volume offers 120 recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspective. It’s a very personal—and for the cook highly accessible—cookbook. ($35).


Hot Doug’s: The Book
by Doug Sohn, wth Kate DeVivo. Foodies from all over the world know this Chicago establishment that has a place of honor on Anthony Boudain’s list of “13 places to eat before you die.” Sohn takes readers on an irreverent trip through the history of hot dogs, his restaurant, and the many patrons—both famous and average Joe—who have made Hot Doug’s unique. ($24.95).   Bonus: We’re hosting Doug Sohn at the store on Sunday, October 13, at 3 pm for a book signing and hot dog sampling!

 

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