Books That Caught Our Eye
Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.
We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.
From the “wickedly entertaining” (USA Today) Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
“I love P&P spin-offs and retellings”
The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, compared by critics to the works of Graham Greene, Denis Johnson, and George Orwell, The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity, politics, and America, wrought in electric prose. The narrator, a Vietnamese army captain, is a man of divided loyalties, a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist sleeper agent in America after the end of the Vietnam War. A powerful story of love and friendship, and a gripping espionage novel, The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
“I love books about the Vietnam War, and this one sounds like a new take on it.”
A quirky survey of Pioneer beverages. Recipes, tips, and a bit of history explaining the how and why behind what the settlers drank. From clarifying coffee with the swim bladder of a fish (um, YUCK!!) to making coffee substitutes with everything from grape seeds to sweet potatoes, this book examines period beverages and how many of them came into being. A fun, sometimes irreverent (but extremely well-researched!) book perfect for history buffs, homesteaders, beverage aficionados, fans of the prairie lifestyle.
“When I read the blurb I was both turned off and intrigued”
Majestic mountains, towering redwoods, and river-carved canyons—a visit to the national parks of the West is a rite of passage. This full-color guide is the planning tool for a perfect parks trip. It includes 38 of the nation’s best-loved parks, among them the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain.
“I miss the mountains in the west and regret never going to these parks before I moved back to the east coast”
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country’s origins for a diverse new generation.
HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.
“I’d love to see the play, but I’ll probably have to settle for the book.”
On her 49th birthday, Anna Fergusson, Boston neuroscientist and dedicated introvert, arrives at an unwanted crossroads when the funding for her research lab is cut. With her confidence shattered and her future uncertain, on impulse she rents a cabin for a year on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. However Turtle Island, alive with sea birds and nesting Green turtles, is not the retreat she expected. Here she finds love for the eccentric islanders who become her family; for Tom, the laid-back turtle whisperer; and for the turtles whose ancient mothering instincts move her to tears. But Anna finds that even on her idyllic drop in the ocean there is pain, and as the months fly past her dream for a new life is threatened by a darkness that challenges everything she has come to believe about the power of love. Evocative and thought-provoking, A Drop in the Ocean is a story about second chances and hard lessons learned in the gentlest of ways.