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The Barefoot Contessa weighs in here with tips for  home cooking. Garten provides many recipes inspired by favorite foods of hers, such as fried chicken from The Shake Shack, as well as providing for store bought ingredients, mayonnaise for instance, making this her most accessible cookbook.

On Desperate Ground, is Hampton Sides’ brilliant account of a crucial battle, The Chosin Reservoir, during the Korean War. Riveting action, compelling individuals, and fascinating history blend perfectly in the narrative. Its depiction of pivotal choices taken for good and ill, along with the book’s resonance regarding the present moment, make this a great choice not only for those interested in history but also anyone looking to gain perspective on current events.

Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver is just magnificent. She has done what I would scarce have thought possible, outdone her prior fantasy triumph, Uprooted.  As complex as it is satisfying, it seamlessly weaves seven narratives voices, without respect to chapter breaks, and also blends Eastern European and Jewish history with the literary history of the fey and fairy roads all while reimagining the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Fascinating, nuanced and wonderful this is a book of riveting action and love stories which resonate.

Do hilariously grotesque photos of 1970's dinner party food serve a higher purpose? There's only one way to find out. You'll need to gift someone a copy of 70's Dinner Party. These photos of hideously elaborate food are much funnier than they have any right to be. Accompanied by unflattering commentary 70's Dinner Party will make you glad you are living in 2018. (Not Gluten Free)

A new Christmas story with a classic feel but by the very fine middle grade novelist Katherine Rundell, One Christmas Wish tells of the adventures which a young boy, left to himself by his self absorbed parents on Christmas Eve, finds himself in after his one wish is granted. "I wish to be un-alone," Theo exclaims after a shooting star passes. In an instant four Christmas tree ornaments come to life. Exploration and fresh understanding are found amidst wonder and mischief in this delightful story making it a perfect family read aloud for the holidays.

Bob is beloved at our bookstore, as Karin well says" Bob is that great little book that hits a sweet spot. It is a great read aloud, a great read for the young reader just beginning chapter books, and a gentle and kind story. Livy,10 1/2 is returning to Australia to visit her grandmother who she last visited when she was 5. Memories of the last visit are vague, however upon her return she starts to remember Bob. Bob has been waiting for Livy for 5 years, in a closet with a dictionary and a lego set. This is a wonderful story about friendship, keeping promises, and the power of working together. 

Jacob Sanger Weinstein's Lyric Mckerrigan is not only a humorous,  playful delight, but also demonstrates the power of giving just the right book to someone at the perfect moment. Lyric uses her ability to pick out the perfect book to carry out secret missions, defeat evil, and elevate the state of the world in general. Vera Brosgol's illustrations perfectly accentuate the story's delicious tone and literary puns.  If Lyric McKerrigan isn't a book you are giving to someone on your list she'll be very disappointed in you!

Who doesn't need to reach for a good laugh? When you reach for Classic Art Memes you will not reach in vain. This book of memes made to go with scenes in classic paintings is just the diversion you hope for from a humor book.  Clever and funny lines work off the paintings seamlessly in this  terrific gift book.

Katherine Bannen's stellar historical novel is set in the Mongul Empire.  This  book of riddles posed and answered is itself a kind of sublime riddle composed of the ingredients of a true classic tale. There is doomed love, an authentic historical backdrop, fallen kingdoms and thwarted destinies, sacrifices that elevate, and an ending which, by transcending its finality, takes the reader full circle to begin the tale again with fresh eyes.

This history of Maine, drawn from the objects in the collection of the Maine State Museum,is  as exquisite as it is informative.  Topically arranged in terms of both time and perspective the book features an array of fascinating objects along with expert commentary and beautiful layout and design. Whether from a an 1851 Temperance Banner, The 1757 Samuel Waldo Charter, a 1790's Penobscot Birchbark Container, or a Maine Potato Boy Advertising Display from the 1940s, the story of Maine comes vividly to life in this triumph of a coffee table history book.

What a remarkable intellectual and aesthetic feast this book is! Rich in the history of both art and spirituality the book presents the work of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.She produced her work during an historical moment when science was turning it's focus upon the invisible worlds of atoms, and microbes, an unseen universe Klint  was focused on exploring. Notes and Methods is a rich experience and will make a wonderful gift.

What nature lover wouldn't be delighted by this collection of essays by the inimitable and justly renowned naturalist, Bernd Heinrich. Heinrich, who grew up in Wilton after his family fled Europe shortly after the Second World War has done much of his research in Weld. These essays,  filled with both Maine and general interest, offer an easy fascination and delight. Essays such as, Ravens on My Mind, Endurance Predator, Arctic Bumblebees, Conversation With a Sapsucker, and Wooly and Wonderous, are just as engaging and enjoyable as their titles promise.

This series of superb photographs, taken by Senator King, are each accompanied by his candid and personal commentary.  The photographs are mostly from Maine and D.C. with a few others thrown in.  Many are charming and convey aspects of King's daily life, such as Ham and Cheese on Wheat, while others capture revealing moments of his work life. The pictures from Maine reveal both his travels around the state and a whole gallery of Maine places. This truly is a dynamic photographic essay which conveys King's life and character in the backdrop of the places he spends it.

Adrian SImcox Does Not Have A Horse is a book which embodies the idea of developing one's perceptions through experience, gaining open mindedness, and empathy. Chloe thinks that everything Adrian says about having a horse is untrue. She defines what is real by her own understanding. In time she comes to see that Adrian's understanding is different from her own, that in his world he very much has a horse.  Chloe augments her own world by her connection to Adrian. This point is made sublimely in the sudden combining of competing palettes, Adrian's and Chloe's, in the book's final glorious illustration which depicts a horse appearing in the absence of color.

Suzy finds that The Train To Impossible Places has made a stop in her living room. Talking her way on board past the exasperated Trolls running the train, she heads off with them. This is a a fun, inventive and lighthearted early middle grade romp but what I really liked was that Suzy, the young lead character, was on her own during the adventure. The pivotal nature of her experience was not diluted with incipient romance or friendship issues. This is a great story to share with an imaginative young reader.

For those who have already begun The Labyrinth is a sublime culmination to a truly outstanding series, but new  readers should feel free to start their journey here. Set in Barcelona from 1938 through the 1970's these four books deftly combine the world of bookselling, the long shadow of the Spanish Civil War, gothic literary interplay, wonderfully salty characters, sublime dialogue and verbal sparring, along with elaborate and satisfying exposition. Taken together or individually they represent a reading experience not to be missed.

This is the third book featuring Lucy and Sparkle, her unicorn. Sparkle, it must be said, looks very much like a goat with a conical birthday hat set on his forehead. In this charming Christmas story Sparkle's underlying goatish instincts interfere with Lucy's ideas for the holidays. Most unicorns don't eat presents and gift wrap, after all.  This is not only a lovely holiday story but also  fine friendship story in which disappointment gives way to appreciating the true nature of those we love.

As a rabbit which disappeared at a magicians hand but failed to reappear, class disappeared from American conversation during the cold war and has resisted attempts to summon it back. No more potent spell could be cast in that regard than Sarah Smarsh's powerful evocation of the class divide at the heart of her personal biography. Wielding clarity, integrity and the powerful metaphor of a child conceived only in her mind, Smarsh summons a gravitational pull which we have a deep responsibility to join her in opening our eyes and hearts in straining against.

This beautiful, and I must say hefty, two volume slip cased collection, includes almost three thousand New Yorker cartoons organized into more than two hundred and fifty categories. The broad expanse of time, the cartoons cover nearly one hundred years of work, makes each category a kind of mosaic in time. Editor Bob Manckoff's wry commentary is sprinkled throughout adding to this well crafted and vastly entertaining cartoon repository.

Sally Green, author of the terrific Half Bad trilogy, has a unique style and narrative posture. There is a determination, power, and maturity to her work that sets it apart. With The Smoke Thieves Green enters a new genre for her, epic fantasy, but brings the same strengths she employed in her earlier works. The storylines of five seemingly unconnected teen narrators are gradually brought together in a landscape of warring kingdoms, stark betrayals, and brilliantly drawn characters and scenes.

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