On a dark, damp night in Norwich, book lovers converged on our beloved Norwich Inn to raise money for our treasured Norwich Public Library, and get a jump start on our holiday shopping. Our superb presenters spoke about their favorite picks for gift giving, and once again they sold a lot of books. We thank them for their book review skills. And, thanks to the generosity of the amazing Norwich Bookstore, the event raised around $1,400 for the Norwich Public Library. And in a huge bonus for all of us – their picks created a great list of books for all of us to give and get. (Note: I can personally attest to the laugh out loud (and poignant) funniness of Lucinda Walker’s pick – You’ll Grow Out of It – which I immediately picked up and devoured. ~ Lisa Christie)
This post lists all 25 books discussed during the evening, each with its special six word review provided by the presenter. You’ll notice that the selections are divided into rather specific categories to make gift-giving easier. We hope you have fun browsing these selections. We also hope that you enjoy holiday shopping from the comfort of your computer/iPad/phone using the direct links to each selection, and that you are inspired to visit your favorite indie bookseller and purchase some of these in person.
And now, our superb presenters’ picks for holiday gift giving, with their intriguing bios at the end.
PICTURE BOOKS FOR FAMILIES TO READ TOGETHER DURING SNOW STORMS
enormous SMALLNESS: A story of E.E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess (2016). Selected by Rob – Poet learns to illuminate world’s beauty.
Who What Where? by Olivier Tallec (2016). Selected by Lucinda – Careful observation brings joy and delight.
BOOKS FOR YOUNGER READERS WHO ARE BEYOND TONKA TRUCKS AND TEA PARTIES, BUT NOT YET READY FOR TEEN TOPICS (perhaps ages 8-12)
Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet (2016). Selected by Liza -Thoughtful writer portrayed by artist fan.
The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart (2016). Selected by Liza – Kid propelled plot high action, fun!
BOOKS FOR YOUR FAVORITE TWEEN: THOSE NOT YET READY FOR HIGH SCHOOL, BUT WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT BEING THERE (perhaps ages 12-14)
Soar by Joan Bauer (2016). Selected by Lisa – Baseball-obsessed boy follows heart, changes lives.
BOOKS FOR YOUR FAVORITE HIGH SCHOOLER OR TALES FOR TEENS WHO STILL LIKE TO DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE AND SPEND SNOWY DAYS READING
March Trilogy by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (assorted years). Selected by Lisa – Amazing man recounts history. Uses pictures.
• March: Book One
• March: Book Two
• March: Book Three
• March: (all three in a boxed set)
COOKBOOKS FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO COOK UP A CULINARY SNOWSTORM
Simple: Effortless Food, Big Flavors by Diane Henry (2016). Selected by Liza – Elegant, creative ingredient combinations – be inspired!
NON-FICTION OR REFERENCE BOOKS FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO THINK AND CHAT WHILE SITTING BY THE WOODSTOVE
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton (2016). Selected by Lucinda – Spider web farms to enormous sinkholes!
Being a Beast by Charles Foster (2016). Selected by Rob – Guy lives like animals. Hold tight!
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (2016). Selected by Rob – An afflicted, troublesome America, piercingly explained.
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben (2016). Selected by Sara – Provocative, illuminating, magical, romantic, colorful, transformative.
MEMOIRS FOR PEOPLE WHO ENJOY LIVING VICARIOUSLY THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE’S MEMORIES
Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen (2016). Selected by Sara – Honest, disarming, lyrical, funny, inspirational, insightful.
You’ll Grow out of It by Jessi Klein (2016). Selected by Lucinda – Honest. Raw. Laugh out loud funny.
ADULT FICTION: FOR ANYONE WHO JUST NEEDS AN ENGROSSING NOVEL TO HELP THEM RECOVER FROM THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (2016). Selected by Liza – Compelling history, interwoven lives, race, family.
To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (2016). Selected by Lucinda – Ivey Adventure and love in 1885 Alaska.
War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans (2016). Selected by Rob- Vanished Europe, war, painting, wondrously observed.
News of the World by Paullette Jiles (2016). Selected by Sara – Poetic, complex, vivid, heartbreaking, suspenseful, haunting.
COFFEE TABLE BOOKS AND/OR LITERARY GIFTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE HOSTS/HOSTESSES AND CO-WORKERS
The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Safstrom (2016). Selected by Sara – Sweet, charming, playful, quirky, whimsical, unexpected.
Pogue’s Basics Books by David Pogue (assorted years). Selected by Lisa – Never knew you needed to know.
Lucinda Walker has been the Director of the Norwich Public Library since 2002 and is grateful for her colleagues and this remarkable community. Besides books, her favorite things include French roast coffee, skiing, Provincetown, storytelling podcasts and Saturday Night Live. Her favorite time to read is at 3 am. Lucinda lives in Brownsville with her poet husband Peter and two amazing kids, Hartley & Lily.
Sara Trimmer has worn many different professional hats, but has always been a reader, an eclectic one. From cookbooks to philosophy to literature and poetry, she chooses books that teach, inspire, transport – is wild about a good story and can read a well constructed sentence over and over and over again.
Rob Gurwitt works at dailyUV.com, where among other things he gets to enjoy three different book blogs as they come in to the site. He cross-country skis, thinks that after a decade of trying he might have figured out pizza crust, and suspects that he’s going to be spending a lot of time lost in books over the next four years.
Lisa Christie is the co-founder/blogger for the Book Jam. In previous times, she was the founder/first Executive Director of Everybody Wins! Vermont and USA, literacy programs that help children love books. She currently works part-time as a non-profit consultant, part-time Dartmouth graduate student, full-time mom/wife, and all-the-time believer in the power of books. She lives with her author husband, two superb sons, and a very large Bernese mountain dog. She often dreams of travel.
Lisa Cadow is the co-founder/blogger for the Book Jam, and the founder of Vermont Crepe & Waffle, a food cart serving authentic French crepes. When not reading, traveling or testing recipes for her food blog, Fork on the Road, she works as a health coach for Dartmouth Health Connect, an innovative primary care practice. She lives with her husband, three teens (all of whom are away at college most of the year now), three cats, and a fun border collie.
Liza Bernard is co-owner of the Norwich Bookstore, currently buyer, general manager and chief light-bulb changer. She believes in the power of words to enlighten and educate, as well as entertain, and is heartened by the abundant harvest of new books on a wide spectrum of topics.
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you enjoy a joyous start to the Holiday Season!
May you find peace, love, friends, and good books.