#WhatToReadNext: After H is for Hawk

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10% off in August!

Say you’ve just finished Helen Macdonald’s stunning memoir, H IS FOR HAWK, and now you’re struggling to find something to fill that nature writing/memoir-sized hole in your heart. We’ve all been there, friend. But have no fear!

Consider, perhaps, Fredrik Sjöberg’s THE FLY TRAP, which has just come out in paperback and just happens to be one of our books of the month for August (and also happens to be 10% off for the remainder of the month). While Helen’s book masterly details both her overwhelming grief over her father’s death and her training of the enigmatic goshawk, THE FLY TRAP is a thoughtful consideration of solitude, peaceful summer nights, limitations, and, believe it or not, the *almost* universally reviled fly.

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Picture of Actual Fly

He also explores the art and obsession of collecting, and examines some of the life of the mostly forgotten naturalist, René Edmond Malaise (similarly to how Macdonald breathes more insight to the tortured life of T.H. White).

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Picture of Actual Malaise

Don’t want to take our word for it? Our owner, Ed, also loved and highly recommends the book! He says, “THE FLY TRAP is my pick for the most thoroughly enjoyable book you’ll read all year – so enjoyable, so pleasurable, so charming, so thoughtfully informative, so filled with an infectious liveliness it had me repeatedly returning to Wikipedia to learn more!” He adds (with great enthusiasm), that “reading THE FLY TRAP is a bit like having dinner with a witty European intellectual – it is a celebration of discovery as it entertains and instructs, making us appreciate the small wonders of a boundless nature.”

We’re sure Fredrik Sjöberg’s THE FLY TRAP is just one of many titles that would be a great followup to Helen Macdonald’s H IS FOR HAWK. Do you have your own pick? Let us know!

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July’s Book of the Month: OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf

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Our Souls at Night is July’s Book of the Month

We’re super excited for July to get started already and we have the books to prove it! This month we’re featuring the late Kent Haruf’s final novel, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT.

Taking place, yet again, in Holt, Colorado (like all of Haruf’s work), the novel follows Addie Moore and Louis Water, neighbors whose spouses have passed away, leaving them alone in their spacious homes. They’ve lived next to each other for decades, but when Addie proposes that they spend their nights together, sleeping and talking side by side to stem their loneliness, they become the talk of their families and the gossip of their small town.

What follows is a touching, often playful story of their newfound relationship.

Lynn Rosen, of The Philadelphia Enquirer calls the book “A fitting close to a storied career, a beautiful rumination on aging, accommodation, and our need to connect.” She adds that, “As a meditation on life and forthcoming death, Haruf couldn’t have done any better. He has given us a powerful, pared-down story of two characters who refuse to go gentle into that good night.”

And our very own Bookseller, Shane, says that, “Emphasizing the basic human need for human companionship and intimacy, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT concerns what is considered ordinary, but it is these seemingly mundane and small things in life that Haruf exposes to be both meaningful and beautiful.”

The Book of the Month will be 10% off for the whole of July. Check it out today!

New Books of the Moment

Here are two excellent books that were just reviewed by us, the helpful staff at Unabridged.

Stefan had this to say about …  ABOUT A MOUNTAIN by John D’Agata

D’Agata crafts a stylish and circuitous investigation of the controversial government plan to store our nation’s nuclear waste inside of Yucca Mountain to illuminate the state of the modern metropolitan area. The prose whips by in a series of montages that affect a sublime, lucid quality that skilfully interweaves many desperate sources to tell the overarching story. There is a lot going on here, but D’Agata never lets the material consume the moment. Stefan loved, loved, loved! This book.

Shane read/loved/and recommends SHADOW TAG by Louise Erdrich. He said:

What initially attracted me to Erdrich’s novel was not the plot, but rather the format in which the book is written. Shadow Tag alternates between excerpts from two diaries (one fake and one real) and third-person narration. The idea of keeping a manipulative fake diary (that you know your spouse is secretly reading) fascinated and disturbed me. And Shadow Tag did fascinate and disturb me – from beginning to end. Ultimate, it is about the collapse of a marriage and family. but with powerful imagery and engaging prose, Shadow Tag is a highly original tale, leaving the reader with profound insights into sex, love, and power. Some readers may be put off by the unlikable characters and bleak subject matter, but it is worth the plunge. Intense, poetic, chilling, raw and fearless – I really cannot recommend this unforgettable novel enough!

They are, of course, available for your pleasure. Stop by today to chat about them or, you know, whatever. Just not about squirrels. We are not currently fans of squirrels.

How do you walk to school?

how to walk to schoolWe’ve had How to Walk to School for a little over a week, and it’s been great to see the responses from people who come and purchase the book. The rehabilitation of the school is a great symbol of pride for our neighborhood and we can definitely see it in all those who look at the book.

Don’t know about Nettelhorst, here’s a bit from the press release:

“When two gutsy moms ventured inside Nettelhorst, the neighborhood’s underutilized and struggling public elementary school, the new principal asked what it would take for them to enroll their children. Stunned by her candor, they returned the next day armed with an extensive wish list. The principal read their list and said “Well, let’s get started, girls! It’s going to be a busy year…”

How to Walk to School is the story—from the highs to the lows—of motivated neighborhood parents galvanizing and then organizing an entire community to take a leap of faith, transforming a challenged urban school into one of Chicago’s best, virtually overnight. Susan Kurland, Nettelhorst’s entrepreneurial new principal, and Jacqueline Edelberg, the neighborhood mom, prove that the fate of public education is not beyond our control. How to Walk to School provides an accessible and honest blueprint for reclaiming the great public schools our children deserve.

Also for every book purchased through Unabridged we are donating 20% of the procedes (that’s 50% of the profits) to Nettelhorst school to make sure they continue their example of excelence.

Stop by and pick up a copy today!