Chasing Chopin, by Annik LaFarge

Staff Pick

 

I fell in love with this elegantly-written book from the moment I began reading an advance copy several months ago. Whether or not you are a classical music expert, it is worth joining LaFarge on a wonderful journey that begins with her personal experiences as an amateur pianist and goes on to illuminate Chopin as a man and composer, explain the technological evolution of the piano, and offer a modern-day appreciation of Chopin’s music in shaping history and culture over the past few centuries. A review in The New York Times calls Chasing Chopin a “charming and loving new book.” Making the reading experience even richer is that Lafarge has assembled a wonderful companion website, www.whychopin.com with links to relevant pieces of music that can be listened to chapter by chapter.  

Chasing Chopin: A Musical Journey Across Three Centuries, Four Countries, and a Half-Dozen Revolutions By Annik LaFarge Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501188718
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 11th, 2020

Deacon King Kong, by James McBride

Staff Pick

James McBride, who won the National Book Award for his 2013 novel, The Good Lord Bird, is unique among contemporary writers of fiction for the singular humanity he brings to his characters. In this newest novel, built around Sportcoat, a beloved figure in a New York City housing project, McBride tours a landscape of race, politics, class, ethnicity, and social change with such acute sensibility that the reader feels thoroughly absorbed in the complications and contradictions inherent in the story’s place and time. Just as comedians are often the best truth-tellers, McBride edges close to farce in Deacon King Kong, using humor as he often does to expose deeper, painful realities about a world in transition. Bottom line: McBride does not disappoint.

Deacon King Kong (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel By James McBride Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735216723
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2020

Pelosi, by Molly Ball

Staff Pick

As a native of the Bay Area and having once covered Baltimore politics as a journalist, I thought I knew everything about Nancy Pelosi, from her political roots in Charm City to her political ascent in San Francisco. But reading Ball’s excellent biography, I realized quickly that I knew less than I thought. Ball’s dispassionate reporting (which includes interviews with Pelosi) left me even more admiring of Pelosi’s extraordinary rise from housewife in the Mad Men era to the nation’s first woman Speaker of the House. Ball explores and explains the discipline, energy, tenacity, and sheer political skill required on Pelosi’s part, especially as she constantly confronted double standards as a woman. As flattering as the portrait is, it is not a whitewash but a rich portrait of an historic figure in American politics.

Pelosi By Molly Ball Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250252869
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 5th, 2020

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