Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Birdman and Birds for the Birders

John James Audubon: The Nature of the American Woodsman, by Gregory Nobles, will be featured at a Dog Ears Books author event on Thursday evening, August 3. The book is as much history as it is biography. See my review of this fascinating study of America’s foremost bird artist, and for the author’s presentation on C-SPAN, click here.

In Pursuit of Birds: A foray with field glasses and sketchbook, by Kalamazoo artist Ladislav R. Hanka, is more birds than birdman. As Hanka puts it, the book is “drawings and etchings of birds with some stories about birding in exotic places.” Bird art in its highest form!

Both Mother’s Day (May 14) and Father’s Day (June 18) approach as we move through spring, and if you have a birding parent or grandparent, either of these books would make a thoughtful gift.

John James Audubon: The Nature of
       The American Woodsman
by Gregory Nobles
Hardcover, 330pp w/ notes, index, & illustrations

In Pursuit of Birds
by Ladislav R. Hanka
Paper, 142pp, illustrated

Thursday, April 20, 2017

History and Mystery!

I’ve often said that someone could open a bookstore stocking only these two categories of book, history for the nonfiction readers and mystery for the fiction readers, and do a pretty good business. Of course, that would leave out poetry, classic literature, cookbooks, and so many other genres and subjects that I haven’t restricted myself that way. I only mention it this morning to introduce a new book by Traverse City’s Stephen Lewis.

Here’s what Aaron Stander has to say about Steve’s new book:
Stephen Lewis guides the reader through a richly woven tapestry of time, place, and character. This historical narrative set in the early years of the 20th century transports the reader from northwest lower Michigan through the halls of power in Lansing, the prison yard in Jackson, LaSalle Street law offices, lumber camps, and Michigan’s copper country—then torn by labor unrest. It is a superb sequel to Lewis’s earlier novel, Murder on Old Mission.

Murder Undone
by Stephen Lewis
Paper, 260pp

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Featured Young Adult Novels for April

See You in the Cosmos, by Jack Cheng, is the author’s first YA literary venture. The novel’s protagonist is 11-year-old Alex, obsessed with space exploration. He has even named his dog Carl Sagan. Alex’s father has died, his mother has problems, and his older brother isn’t around much, so it’s Carl Sagan (the dog) who is Alex’s chosen companion on a road trip with a constantly changing destination that brings many surprises into the boy’s life.
I still have more to pack but I needed a break, so I came up to the roof of my house. I love lying down on the hood of a car like Dr. Arroway in the movie Contact but my mom doesn’t drive anymore, so I just come up on our ladder to the roof. I usually come up here at night so that way I’m closer to the stars, even though it’s only one story closer. 
The protagonist of American Street, by Ibi Zoboi, is a girl who has made a different kind of voyage. When Fabiola Toussaint, born in the United States, leaves familiar Port-au-Prince with her mother, she thought they would reach a new home together, but in the airport in New York her mother is detained, to be sent back to Haiti, and the frightened daughter must fly on to Detroit alone to meet her cousins in what feels like strange new land.
Darkness seeps into every crack and corner of this Detroit. Even with a few lampposts dotting the streets, I can’t see the breadth and depth of this city that is my birthplace, that is now my home. I squint to see if the big mansions I’ve seen on American TV will glow of sparkle in the dark. I hope to catch a glimpse of the very tops of the tall buildings, but the car is moving too fast—with its fancy seats, too-loud music, and the scent of shiny new things.
Ibi Zoboi’s American Street, then, is set in Detroit, while Jack Cheng, author of See You in the Cosmos, grew up in Michigan. I’ve given you a taste from the beginning of each story, with everything yet to come for Alex and Fabiola, in hopes you will want to journey along with them.

American Street, by Ibi Zoboi
Hardcover, 314pp, $16.99

See You in the Cosmos, by Jack Cheng
Hardcover, 324pp, $17.99

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another Generous Meal Comes Our Way

When a beloved poet dies, it's sad for his friends not to be able to meet him again for drinks. A rich part of our life is missing and will for as long as we live. But when the poet was also a writer of novels and novellas and nonfiction essays, we have those treasures forever, as well as his books of poetry, and when his publisher finds enough previously uncollected essays to gather into a posthumous volume, it's like being served, unexpectedly, a second dessert -- or a whole 'nother meal.

Because A Really Big Lunch serves up much more than dessert. All the essays in this collection treat of food but never predictably and never uniformly. This is food as it was in the life of Jim Harrison. Additionally surprising and delightful are photographs throughout the pages of Jim with friends, family, and dogs. This is the Jim Harrison I knew. This book is another gift to the world.

A Really Big Lunch: The Roving Gourmand on Food and Life
by Jim Harrison, with an introduction by Mario Batali
Hardcover, illustrated, 275pp, $26

Friday, March 3, 2017

Old, Small and Charming

They are not the tiniest of tiny books, but you can get an idea of their size by comparing their height to the Golden Books behind The Tiny Little House book on the left.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Refreshing View From the Top of the Heap

I’ve been impatiently awaiting delivery of this book and am delighted to find blurbs on the back cover from Barbara Ehrenreich and Robert Reich, two writers two economic issues I greatly admire. I love Nick Hanauer’s statements in support of the book, too--
Born on Third Base explodes the myth of the self-made man, but it also celebrates true achievement in the classic American sense....
while Peter Buffett calls it a “Declaration of Interdependence.”

The publisher puts it like this:
With the heart of an agitator and the soul of a storyteller, inequality expert Chuck Collins upends our assumptions about America’s deep wealth divide—one that, for the first time in recent history, locks the nation’s youth into a future defined by their class and wealth at birth. [At the same time, lest you fear!] ... Collins calls for an end to class war ... and offers bold new solutions for bridging the economic divide and re-engaging the wealthy in rebuilding communities for a resilient future. 
The publisher, by the way, is Chelsea Green, and engages my trust before I even open the book.

Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the
Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good
by Chuck Collins
Paper, 267pp w/ index

Friday, February 10, 2017

What Says Love Better Than Poetry?

I cannot begin to tell you about all the poetry books here at Dog Ears Books. New, used, old and quaint, poetry for all ages and all budgets. The quartet pictured here are all small books with eye-catching covers, but they barely hint at the possibilities waiting on my shelves to be discovered and claimed! Come in today or tomorrow (before 3 p.m.) and find something very special for your special valentine, because the shop will be closed Sunday through Tuesday.