Book of the Week (6/14/2021)

Pretty/Ugly by Jennifer Anne Gordon (Livre Maison, 2021).

Concord-based author Jennifer Anne Gordon thrills and delights in her new horror fantasy novel!

"Omelia fills the empty place in her heart with Instagram clicks, likes, and subscribes, hiding the scars of grief under a mask of makeup, cloaked in an online personality. She yearns to be someone new: a girl in a magazine, a character in a book, a beauty queen. Anything not to feel, to be numb, but the sharp pain accompanying the red spot on her face cannot be ignored. Nor can the black, spindly tarantula-like vines that creep up the side of her face and the fever she spikes, forcing her to confront the fact that the person she has become may not be who she is at all.

Dubbed 'the New JFK, ' Sam is the heir apparent to a powerful but emotionally distant political family, living the life he neither dreamed nor wanted. He sleepwalks through his days filled with self-loathing, rage, boredom, and an ache under his heart that reminds him that he is not complete. He is roused from slumber when a political scandal erupts that coincides with the end of the world. Too many Adderall and Old-Fashioneds leave Sam wondering, is he crazy or haunted?

When lives are emotionally ended in childhood, it takes an apocalypse to see the ephemeral beauty of living again." --Publisher's blurb 

Come enjoy an in-person discussion with author Jennifer Anne Gordon at Gibson's Bookstore in Concord, NH on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021, 6-7pm. This is a ticketed event with limited occupancy, and a firm ending time.



Book of the Week (6/7/2021)

Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly (HarperCollins, 2015).

The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.

Reminiscent of Frankenstein and the tales of the Brothers Grimm, this debut novel by MarcyKate Connolly stands out as a compelling, original story that has the feel of a classic. – Publisher’s blurb



NH's 2021 Route One Read

Route One Reads is a virtual reading trip along Route One. For this year's summer road trip the Center for the Book in each state along Route One was asked to select a book of poetry. This was a challenge for the NH Center as the Granite State is home to lots of wonderful poets. 

Since we couldn't bring ourselves to choose just one poet, we selected an anthology: Covid Spring: Granite State Pandemic Poems. This volume was edited by New Hampshire's current Poet Laureate, Alexandria Peary, and was published by our own Hobblebush Books

In her introduction Alex explains how this volume came to be:

This anthology is April 202 in the Granite State, but I also believe it is the future. The book pulses with the creative energy of poets from across teh state coming together over a a compressed amount of time to write a manuscript together, responding to the call Kirsty Walker, President of Hobblebush Books, and I sent out in late March for an anthology on the pandemic. Over the course of eight meetings every Wednesday and Saturday during April, fifty-eighte writers from New Hampshire met with me in an online writers' group to help each other start poems about the crisis. 

...At the conclusion of National Poetry Month, writers were invited to submit their poems for blind review, thought participation in the virtual writing group was not required for publication, nor a guarantee. The time frame for creation was compressed and intense: writers would give form and shape to these experiences in real time within a month; a book-length manuscript would result within thirty days. Many New Hampshire writers answered the call to create out of this crisis; we received far more poems than we could fit into the anthology and had to turn away work we admired. 

Fifty-four of the state's poets are represented in this anthology, writing of job loss, loneliness and love, masks, social distancing, surreal visitors, uncertainty, graduations deferred, grief, neighborly and less-than-neighborly acts, observing the beginning of the pandemic and making projections about the future, recalibrating or confirming what it means to be human, to be a resident of  this region.

If this volume whets your appetite for Granite State poets I invite you to revisit our 2021 National Poetry Month celebration which featured the work of many of these same poets. 




Book of the Week (5/31/2021)

John G. Kemeny and Dartmouth College: The Man, the Times, and the College Presidency by Stephen J. Nelson (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019).
"Featuring never before published excerpts from his unfinished autobiography, this book explores the career of John G. Kemeny, mathematician, educator, and president of Dartmouth College. Nelson presents a portrait of Kemeny’s presidential leadership during the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s, exemplifying his resolute commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, learning, human understanding, equity, and justice. Through this discussion of Kemeny’s life, Nelson identifies the ideal qualities of a leader: willingness to ponder, consider, and achieve the best actions he could conceive; compassion, understanding and empathy for others; absolute belief in the rising generation of college students; and courage in the face of challenging public issues, contentious and warring opinions, and concerns. From immigrant roots to college presidency and the national stage, this book tells the full story of a genius and giant of the world of academia." --Publisher's blurb


Book of the Week (5/24/2021)

All Morning the Crows by Meg Kearney (Washington, D.C.: Word Works, 2021). 

Meg Kearney draws on her acute powers of observation, a lively curiosity, and her gift for gorgeous imagery to take us on a journey of personal exploration, discovery, and reconciliation. Surprising poems bring together the parallel but discreet worlds of humans and birds, which speak to each other across the gulf between them. With a knowledge of birds and their behavior sufficient to satisfy even the most demanding birder, but never alienating the casual observer, with wit, musicality, and her unflinching eye, Kearney gives us a page-turner we want never to end, its subject being the work in progress which is life and its abundant mysteries. -- Publisher's blurb

Join NH author Meg Kearney with her invited guest Sally Rosen Kindred as they read from and discuss their new poetry books in a Zoom online event hosted by Toadstool Bookshop on June 10th, 2021 at 8 pm. Find more information and the Zoom link, here: https://www.toadbooks.com/event/poetry-reading-meg-kearney-and-sally-rosen-kindred-zoom