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DDG Holiday Picks Previews!

It is easy to see why Maine trooper Timothy Cotten is so beloved. His easy humor, toughness, eye for detail, and love of place infuse these Maine stories with character. The Detective in the Dooryard, the highlights of Cotten's long and rich career, is sure to captivate lover's of Maine non-fiction .


That Lauren Castillo’s Our Friend Hedgehog is evocative of childhood classic read-aloud stories is unmistakable. The comfort found in the timeless charm of Our Friend Hedgehog will be a happy discovery to many readers who are living through this most unsettled and uncertain of times. For adults, sharing it with a child, it will be a welcome passage back to treasured inner landscapes of their own childhood, the very agency of association enhancing the comforting effect of experiencing a new world so imbued with beloved aspects of the past. For children it will be just sheer delight, companionship, and wonder. Our Friend Hedgehog is a book that will still be there whenever you return to it. It is of course a book to share. That’s why I’m sharing it with you.


The past, present, and future eh? You can't ask for more coverage than that! Delightful and informative anecdotes, captivating historical photos, and great recipes abound in this triumphant Maine bicentennial cookbook. No Maine kitchen should be caught without a copy!


Words like powerful and searing came into the lexicon to describe a book like Kerri Arseanault's Mill Town. This unsparing, relentless account of the price paid for Rumford/Mexico's prosperity will leave no reader unmoved. A nationally-acclaimed book loaded with both local interest and timely environmental issues of broad concern, Mill Town is hard to put down. Arsenault's flair for language and penetrating eye for human interplay are everywhere evident in this riveting and important book.


The charm of an exchange of vibrant and well-turned letters is one of literature's enduring pleasures. The correspondence of E.B. White and Edmund Ware Smith found in Chickens, Gin, and  a Maine Friendship, so full of wit, life, wry humor, and nuanced affection is a pure pleasure to read. No matter how dreary the world may be on a given day, there is no fog so thick that a few of these epistles cannot dispel it with these warm voices from a sunny world


Sunny the Meerkat goes in adventure seeking the sort of Christmas he has read about in books and seen in a magazine. When Santa finds a postcard Sunny sent to his family he sees in him a means of illustrating the true meaning of Christmas. This is a holiday story filled with charm and the wonderful illustrations Emily Gravett always brings to accompany her rich story telling. Delightful!


Moore delivers a powerhouse here, a detective story which transcends its genre and defies its readers' expectations. Her take-no-prisoners style left no possibility for a sequel and leaves its readers with a story which lingers in the mind long after the last word is read. Long Bright River delivers an exceptional detective story and exposes the true nature of a profound and ongoing social tragedy in doing so.


Stefan Bachman's gift for nuanced tales of dark and mysterious farces is everywhere on display in this immersive coming of age tale set in the atmospheric halls of Blackbird Castle. The unexpected inheritance of Zita, a twelve year old orphan, the other residents of Blackbird offer Zita dangerous and alluring possibilities. Cinders & Sparrows brings a fresh and vibrant account of a haunted house which mirrors the perilous maze which a coming of age is in its essence.


What a remarkable book Piranesi is. Fifteen years have passed since Clarke's last novel, the magnificent Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.  Clarke has transposed this period of stasis in her life into the pages and passages of Piranesi, infusing the tale with atmosphere and insight. Piranesi, he who is the mysterious hero of this tale, inhabits an almost infinite house filled with halls of porcelain statues and a questing sea whose tides he has mastered. As the truth of his odd existence unspools, it feeds a quiet intensity that suddenly steps out into the light of a brilliant and satisfying conclusion. Many are the tales of portals to adjacent worlds. Piranesi has an air of authenticity about which is unique.


This sumptuous new cookbook from culinary tour de force Yotam Ottolenghi embodies its title. Rich in recipe, lore, and imagery, this is a book whose ingredients combine into a composition greater than the sum of its parts. The perfect gift for yourself or others, Flavor shows that Ottolenghi remains in his culinary prime.


The Ranger is an unusual story, spare in its telling and powerful in its rendering.  A Ranger cares for a wounded fox and receives a lesson in that caring is not a quid pro quo but an act unto itself. This deeply resonant book of is a treasure to share.


This is not only a book of shapes but also a source of uproarious humor and wonder, as apt to teach as it is to evoke belly laugh. Young children will never forget the shapes and colors they learned in  these delightful and sturdy pages which mix whimsy with structure in a most winning way.


Naomi Novick, always an intricate storyteller, weaves her magic upon the worthy subject of a school of dark magic as explored though they eyes of a most dangerous student narrator, Galadrial. Galadrial has no interest in giving either her readers or her classmates the story they expect. The challenging engagement offered by her unsettling narrator is used to great effect by Novick. A Deadly Education which will delight her existing fans as well as drawing in the readers of other tales of nefarious magical education such as Lev Grossman's Magicians Trilogy.


Foodie Faces is just genius. This series of emotive faces rendered from pieces of food, will cause the most serious mien to bend into a smile. The magic that the Wurtzel team brings to these pages creates the best kind of learning, where knowledge just happens in the process of discovery and enjoyment. If you don't  love Foodie Faces your heart is astray indeed.


Foodie Faces is just genius. This series of emotive faces rendered from pieces of food, will cause the most serious mien to bend into a smile. The magic that the Wurtzel team brings to these pages creates the best kind of learning, where knowledge just happens in the process of discovery and enjoyment. If you don't  love Foodie Faces your heart is astray indeed.


This young adult novel, told in alternating voices by two different authors, follows a black and a white high school student thrown together during a race riot which erupts at a football game. These unexpected companions share an edgy, eventful night which is as exciting as it is insightful. I’m Not Dying with You Tonight explores the themes of race relations, police violence, and protest and looting in a manner sure to connect with a teen audience. Thought provoking without offering easy answers, entertaining  without being trite, this book is a great choice as a gift.


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By Minh Lê, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
$16.19

Minh Le's engaging, high concept tale of multiple dimensions accessed within an apartment building by a magical elevator, is brought vividly to life by Dan Santat's sublime art. This is just the book for anyone looking to give a more challenging picture book to engage the imagination of 4-6 year olds. There is so much to discover, so many unexpected twists and turns, that children will wander its pages over and over again.


Amidst  a broad array of recent books on race and discontent, Wilkerson's account has stood out by virtue of its literary style, historical sweep, and trenchant lens. Her use of the concept of caste in America is both effective and insightful. Anyone looking to stretch their minds and understanding will be well rewarded by a sojourn in the pages of Caste.


Schwab proffers up a deliciously atmospheric story, one which adds elements of attitude and agency to the traditional tale of a Faustian bargain. Addie Laroux, seeking escape from an arranged marriage in the rural France of 1714, makes a bargain with a god who answers in the night and grants her an immortal life which leaves no trace on those living around her. Addie cannot be remembered by any of the lives she touches. Yet she transcends her circumstances in a manner that other Gothic victims such as Melmoth the Wanderer can only envy from a distance. This is a compelling and deeply absorbing account, a page turner with real depth. A novel not to be missed.


This book of shapes brilliantly takes a complex idea and renders it in a manner sure to evoke wonder and understanding in a very young audience.  Exploring the manner in which the same objects, the sun, a flower, a lion are transformed in different environments make this the perfect puzzle book to share with toddlers. Truly the great Kevin Henkes has outdone himself here.


DDG's Weekly Top 2 Newsletter Picks - 15% Off During Their Week of Glory

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