This special event, the second incarnation of “Pages in The Pub”- an evening designed by “The Book Jam” (and this time sponsored by The Vermont Community Foundation) to gather people at a local inn to discuss literature – raised over $1,300 for Vermont Libraries. We heard suggestions from booksellers and bibliophile alike who discussed titles that would make the perfect gift for friends and loved ones. They covered everything from engrossing reads for the memoir enthusiast, picks for the man who “has enough flannel shirts but not enough fiction,” to mouth-watering tomes for people who like to “cook up a culinary snowstorm.”
Below is a list of all twenty books discussed during the evening along with its own special six word review. (Yes, we limited the presenters to six words so we would not run out of room, and they creatively rose to the challenge.) Each is linked to The Norwich Bookstore where you can learn more about these treasures. You’ll also notice that our picks are divided into rather specific categories. These are ones that we created last year as part of our annual “best of” list for The Book Jam blog; our 2012 “best of” edition of the Book Jam will be published separately next week so stay tuned. And, just a small technicality: some of the books below were first published in 2011, but are new to paperback in 2012, so we counted them.
Our wonderful, dynamic, thoughtful presenters included:
- Penny McConnel, Owner, Norwich Bookstore
- Beth Reynolds, Children’s Librarian, Norwich Public Library
- Arline Rotman, President of the Norwich Women’s Club (and retired Massachusetts judge and current family law consultant)
- Lisa Cadow and Lisa Christie, curators of the Book Jam Blog
We’d like to thank the our panelists, The Norwich Inn, The Norwich Bookstore, all those who attended, and the Vermont Community Foundation for making this evening possible.
So sit back and read on for ideas —- holiday shopping help is on its way.
Cookbooks: For people who like to cook up a culinary snow storm:
Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan, selected by Lisa Cadow (2012) – Cook from this all winter long.
Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman, selected by Penny McConnel (2012)- Yum yum yum delicious delicious delicious.
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden, selected by Arline Rotman (2011) – Cuisines, cultures, history—delicious reader’s cookbook!
Non-fiction or reference book or poetry: For people who like to think and chat while sitting by the wood stove:
Stag’s Leap: Poems by Sharon Olds, selected by Penny McConnel (2012) – Divorce through a wife’s compassionate eyes.
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie, selected by Arline Rotman (2011) – History that reads like a novel.
Memoirs: For people who enjoy living vicariously through other people’s memories:
Wild by Cheryl Strayed, selected by Lisa Cadow (2012) – Hiking boots: too small. Adventurousness: infinite.
Winter Journal by Paul Auster (2012), selected by Penny McConnel – Intimate. Honest. Difficult. Beautiful. Unforgettable.
Field Guide to Now by Cristina Rosalie (2012) selected by Beth Reynolds – Little books can change your life.
Adult Fiction: For a woman who only has time for the best fiction:
Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman (2012), selected by Lisa Cadow – Australia 1920s. Baby washes ashore. Decisions.
The News From Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story by J. Wickersham (2012), selected by Penny McConnel – Seven delicious short stories that deliver.
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (2012), selected by Beth Reynolds – Puzzles from the past demand solving.
Adult fiction: For a man who has enough flannel shirts but not enough good fiction:
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, selected by Lisa Cadow (2012) – Beauty, grace in Colorado despite apocalypse. Really.
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (2012), selected by Beth Reynolds (2012) – It’s so much more than music.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (2011), selected by Arline Rotman – Youth, ambition, family, friendships—peripherally baseball.
Coffee table book or literary gifts for your favorite hosts/hostesses/co-workers:
Dancers Among Us by Jordan Matter (2012), selected by Beth Reynolds – Inspirational beauty found in unexpected places.
Jerusalem: A cookbook by Ottolenghi & Tamim (2012), selected by Arline Rotman – A beautiful book that I covet!
AN ADULT BONUS PICK
End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (2012), selected by Lisa Cadow and Lisa Christie – Mother. Son. Many books. Little time.
BONUS SELECTIONS FOR KIDS
Picture Books: For families to read together during snow storms
The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about the Presidents by Susan Katz, selected by Lisa Christie – Humorous poems. Facts. Presidential Inauguration soon.
Books for young readers (ages 8-12): Those beyond Tonka trucks and tea parties but not yet ready for teen topics
Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke, selected by Lisa Christie – First friend helps end family curse.
Books for your favorite High Schooler: Tales for teens who still like to drink hot chocolate and spend snowy days reading, but who are not quite ready for adult themes
Rush for the Gold: An Olympic Mystery by John Feinstein, selected by Lisa Christie (2012) – Gold Medals. Teen Detectives. Great Series.