Bill’s Staff Pick – “God Help the Child”

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God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s first novel set in the present begins with a light-skinned black mother, Sweetness, saying “[i]t’s not my fault” that her newborn daughter, Bride, “was so black she scared me.” In addition to race and racism, this novel focuses on child abuse. We follow Bride through a series of relationships and events and in every one she encounters a different form of child abuse. That may not sound like much fun for the reader, but the novel is a powerful, unflinching examination of just how much child abuse there is in our society and the many forms it takes. Admittedly, this book is not for the faint of heart, but it is a powerful, moving novel that will educate you and, of course, Toni Morrison’s writing is always superb!

Martin’s Staff Pick – “One More Thing”

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Usually when a book of short stories comes out, for me it’s mostly a hit and miss deal. This is one of the exceptions for me.

B.J. Novak, who many will know from his time as the intern on The Office which he also wrote for and co-produced, has a brilliant mind for both storytelling and comedy in these stories. The stories do not have a theme to them really, and vary from subjects like a rematch between the tortoise and the hare to what people do when they have an infinite amount of time in Heaven. Each story is poignant and hysterical in its own way, and shows just how versatile Novak is. If you’ve ever read a story by David Sedaris that you couldn’t stop talking about, this book is a perfect fit.

Susan’s Staff Pick – “The Opposite of Everyone”

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The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Jackson has written a complex story about the meaning of “family” and the lengths we will go to protect and preserve one.

Jackson’s protagonist is a thirty something lawyer who has not seen her mother for 15 years but still remember her childhood and the mythological stories her mother told while they relocated from place to place. We gradually realize that her mother may have had other children and their connections are revealed by the Hindu myths their mother told.

 

April Calendar

Children’s Storytime 

EVERY THURSDAY! 10:15am

Join us every week for a picture book read aloud and a fun activity!

 

Cookbook Club “Literate Epicures” 

Tuesday, April 12 – 7:00pm

This month, you will be given a used cookbook where you will pick any recipe from the book to make and bring to share.   We exchanged cookbooks at the March meeting.  If you were not at the March meeting and would love to come to the April meeting, please contact Kathy at kathy@newtownbookshop.com so that you can come in and pick a cookbook from a pile we have, feel free to donate a used cookbook that you no longer want.

Let’s see what jems we can find!

 

Monthly Poetry Club

Thursday, April 14 – 6:30-7:30pm

Welcome Poetry Lovers!   All Are Invited!

The first half hour of the poetry meeting is devoted to a reading by a featured poet. The second half hour is allocated for open mike. There will be time for questions and discussion following the readings. If you are interested in sharing a collection of poems, please email Lynn at lynn.fanok@gmail.com

 

 

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Daytime Book Club

Thursday, April 21 – 11:15am

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton

“After witnessing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, 14-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin’s grandfather. In this peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence of the woods. The events of this fateful summer will affect the entire town of Medgar, Kentucky, [which] is beset by a massive mountaintop removal operation that is blowing up the hills and back-filling the hollows. Kevin’s grandfather and others in town attempt to rally the citizens against the ‘company’ and its powerful owner to stop the plunder of their mountain heritage. When Buzzy witnesses the brutal murder of the opposition leader, a sequence is set in play which tests Buzzy and Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains. Redemptive and emotionally resonant, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is narrated by an adult Kevin looking back on the summer when he sloughed the coverings of a boy and took his first faltering steps as a man among a rich cast of characters and an ambitious effort to reclaim a once great community.”

Authors Lisa McMann & Kevin Sands Visit & Book Sign

Friday, April 22 – 5:00pm

Lisa will be with us to celebrate the newest and final book in her popular “The Unwanteds” series, “Island of Dragons”.

In “Island of Dragons”, twins Alex and Aaron Stowe are put to the ultimate test to fulfill their destinies and save both Quill and Artime from the deadliest enemy the cities have ever faced in the thrilling conclusion of the “New York Times “bestselling Unwanteds series, which “Kirkus Reviews “called “The Hunger Games “meets Harry Potter.
Head mage Alexander Stowe and his friends successfully fended off the latest threat to their magical world of Artime with the help of a surprise ally. But old enemies have secretly been plotting against them. Now Alex must lead his people in a final epic battle, one they can’t hope to win alone. Will Artime finally know peace or will all they ve fought for be destroyed forever?”

Kevin is the author of “The Blackthorn Key”, a children’s book set in 1665 London. “Fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe, apprentice to an apothecary, and his best friend, Tom, try to uncover the truth behind a mysterious cult, following a trail of puzzles, codes, pranks, and danger toward an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.”

 

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Evening Book Club

Tuesday, April 26 – 7:00pm

Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

“When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. It’s 1915, and Elizabeth has volunteered to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian Genocide during the First World War. There she meets Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. After leaving Aleppo and traveling into Egypt to join the British Army, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, realizing that he has fallen in love with the wealthy young American.
Years later, their American granddaughter, Laura, embarks on a journey back through her family s history, uncovering a story of love, loss and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.”

 

An Evening with Grey Nun Academy

Thursday, April 28 – 6:00-8:00pm

The Newtown Bookshop welcomes Grey Nun Academy for an In-Store Bookfair and Evening with Readers from their School!

 

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Independent Bookstore Day!

All Day – 10:00am-8:00pm

We are excited to take part in “Independent Bookstore Day”, where thousands of bookstores across the country will host events and sell proprietary books and merchandise to their customers.  Here at the Newtown Bookshop, we will be offering  limited edition items, big promotions, refreshments and great events!   Please come join us!

Details will follow.

 

 

Kathy’s Staff Pick – “When Breath Becomes Air”

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This memoir is a reflection on death from an up-and-coming neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi, who is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer just as is about to finish a decade of training. It is gripping, amazing, hear-breaking, eloquent and so very real. Paul finds himself going from doctor to patient in a flash and then has to learn how to live when he finds out he may die. And for us readers – this is the ultimate lesson.

Susan’s Staff Pick – “The Frangipani Hotel”

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Through blending family stories and her imagination and writing style, Kupersmith has gifted us with this collection of succinct stories that give us a taste of Vietnam past and present. Some of the stories are close to being folk tales – others are ghost stories with a twist that is particularly Vietnamese. Most of the stories have some aspect that relates to the Vietnam War though these are not war stories.

Kupersmith’s family is from Vietnam. She grew up listening to the stories her grandmother told. After college she lived in Vietnam for more than a year on a Fulbright teaching fellowship.

Though I generally prefer novels, I was looking forward to each succeeding story and I was definitely sorry when I finished the book. I would highly recommend this.

New in March

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The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson; out February 16, 2016

 

Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with southern oral tradition to re-invent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula’s birth name Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. Separated, each holding secrets of her own, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.

These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn t seen Kai in fifteen years, she’s still making payments on that Karmic debt until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a mysterious note: I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.

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