Well, due to a lingering Nor’easter we had to reschedule, but we finally made it to the Norwich Inn last week for the annual holiday edition of Pages in the Pub in our home town of Norwich, Vermont. Our superb presenters spoke about their favorite picks for our gift giving categories, and wow did they sell a lot of books. And thanks to the generosity of the Norwich Bookstore, they raised around $1,000 for the Norwich Public Library (while increasing sales for a great indie bookstore). The presenters also left us with a great list of books to give and to get.
This post lists all twenty-three books discussed during the evening, each with its special six word review written by the presenter. (Yes, we again limited the presenters to six words so we would not run out of room in this post, and they creatively rose to the challenge.) You’ll also notice that the selections are divided into rather specific categories to make browsing and gift-giving easier.
We hope you have fun looking, and that you enjoy holiday shopping from the comfort of your computer/iPad/phone using direct links to each selection. And now, our superb presenters’ picks for holiday giving and their bios at the end.
COOKBOOKS: FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO COOK UP A CULINARY SNOW STORM
- Make It Ahead by Ina Garten (2014). Selected by Lucinda – Delicious dishes made ahead remove stress.
- My Paris Kitchen by David Leibovitz (2014). Selected by Penny – Paris Recipes, Photographs, Delicious Stories, Techniques.
MEMOIRS: FOR PEOPLE WHO ENJOY LIVING VICARIOUSLY THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE’S MEMORIES.
- Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (2014). Selected by Lucinda – Laugh. Cry. Laugh again. Then talk.
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (2014). Selected by Lauren – Must-read: equality, justice, compassion. BEST BOOK.
POETRY: JUST BECAUSE
- Aimless Love by Billy Collins (2013). Selected by David – Accessible poetry with imaginative surprises.
ADULT FICTION: FOR ANYONE LOOKING FOR A GREAT BOOK
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013). Selected by Penny – Nigeria, America Racism, Relationships, Blog, Thoughtful.
- Us by David Nichols (2014). Selected by Lucinda – Can visiting Europe repair the family?
- All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2014). Selected by Penny – French Girl, German Boy, WW2 Intrigue.
- Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel (2014). Selected by Lisa – Short stories by master storyteller. Unique.
- Cobra by Deon Myer (2014). Selected by Lauren – Cape Town crime thriller with twist.
BOOKS FOR YOUNGSTERS (AGES 8-12): THOSE BEYOND TONKA TRUCKS & TEA PARTIES BUT NOT YET READY FOR TEEN TOPICS
- Holes by Louis Sachar (2000). Selected by Lauren – Perfect pick for reluctant young reader.
- Misadventures of Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy (2014). Selected by Lisa – Hilarious brood of six creates chaos, love.
- Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli (2014). Selected by Lisa – Funny sibling rivalry leads to Dickinson.
YOUNG ADULT FICTION — FOR TEENS /TWEENS AND THE ADULTS WHO LOVE THEM
- I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (2014). Selected by Penny – Twins, Art, Loss, Family, Homosexuality, Individuality.
- Like No Other by Una LaMarche (2014). Selected by Lisa – Modern-day West Side story. Fun!
NON-FICTION/REFERENCE BOOK/COFFEE TABLE BOOKS: FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO THINK ANDCHAT WHILE SITTING BY THE WOOD STOVE
- Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (2014). Selected by David – Aiming for good end to good life.
- This is the Story of A Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett (2013). Selected by Jim – Unpretentious, insightful, biographical, interesting, sensitive, compassionate.
- Elephant Company by Vicki Croke (2014). Selected by Jim – Educational, enlightening, well written, engaging, evocative, entertaining.
- Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg (2014). Selected by Lucinda – OMG – Funny texts by authors. LOL!
PERFECT PICTURE BOOKS: FOR FAMILIES TO READ TOGETHER DURING SNOW STORMS
- Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson (2014). Selected by Lauren – An interactive journey through the seasons.
- I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein (2014). Selected by Penny – Dog adopts, trains, eventually loves owner.
- Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea (2014). Selected by Lisa – Lane Smith pics. Do-It-My-Way Kid.
- One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl (2104). Selected by Lisa – Charming counting bears. Sing-Song Rhyming.
OUR SUPERB PRESENTERS
- Lucinda Walker – Lucinda’s first love was Encyclopedia Brown. Lucinda has been the Director of the Norwich Public Library since 2002. She would like to give a grateful shout out to her amazing colleagues and the Norwich community. Lucinda loves reading, skiing, listening to podcasts, drinking coffee, and dancing with her awesome husband Peter and 2 kids, Hartley & Lily.
- David Otto – Having worked nearly forever, as a clergyman, pastoral counselor, and currently a fee only financial planner, David gets out of the office to ride his bike, spend summers in Maine with his family, and cross-country ski in the winter. He reads mostly non-fiction and sometimes refers to himself in Norwich as Mr. Mary Otto.
- Penny McConnel – Penny is the co-owner of The Norwich Bookstore. She lives in Norwich with husband Jim and enjoys gardening, reading, studying Italian, cooking, knitting, visiting her three sons and a grandson in Phoenix, the Bay Area and Burgundy France, and best of all, doing things with Jim. She is very excited to once again be a participant in Pages in the Pub.
- Jim Gold – Reading has given me the quiet eye and understanding heart to see beyond the confines of my discipline. It fosters good conversation. Other activities that feed my soul: hiking, cycling, canoeing, gardening, woodturning, cooking and time with my favorite and far more experienced book seller, Penny McConnel.
- Lisa Christie – Lisa is, among other things, the co-founder of the Book Jam and a nonprofit consultant. One of her best jobs was being the founder of Everybody Wins! Vermont, a statewide literacy organization. In her spare time, she reads and travels (though never as much as she would like), bikes, swims, tries to speak Spanish and has a lot of fun with her husband and two sons.
- Lauren Girard Adams – After spending two years in South Africa, Lauren has returned home to Norwich with her husband and two children. Lauren is enjoying sharing tales of their adventures and experiences, including the discovery of a book or two, with family and friends here at home.