Carmichael's 2011 Holiday Catalog
Can a poem change the world? Harvard professor and bestselling Shakespeare biographer Greenblatt ably shows in this mesmerizing intellectual history that it can. A richly entertaining read, almost a detective story, about a Florence bookseller searching through European monasteries for ancient Roman writing, who finds a lost work by Lucretius—a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas—that shook Renaissance Europe and inspired shockingly modern ideas (like the atom) that still reverberate today.
So a humor book and a serious theology book meet up in a bar.... Martin, a Jesuit who is something of a regular on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, makes a strong case for the necessity of humor in the spiritual life, offering what he calls a serious argument for joy. Weaving funny anecdotes and jokes with biblical and historical research and interviews with scholars, Martin does much to rescue the Christian tradition from joylessness. His Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything was a huge hit at Carmichael’s and we see no reason that Between Heaven and Mirth won’t continue Martin’s winning streak.
This is a little book from a very big talent. Sharon Montrose’s animal photography is renowned, appealing to art and animal lovers alike, and has appeared in magazines and art exhibits around the world. In Menagerie we have a lovely, small-format collection of her stark yet gorgeous photographs of animals isolated in plain surroundings that allows them to jump from the page. Every page offers a new adventure: a clever frame; an intriguing illustration; a beautiful animal, bird, or reptile. It’s a nice gift for the hard-to-buy-for, small and inexpensive, but one that is packed with dazzle and drama.
From the same team that brought you Show Me How and More Show Me How comes a whole new way of looking at the crazy facts that drive the world—and discovering that real life is not only stranger than fiction but more unexpected than anything you’ve ever dreamed of. Trivia fanatics and anyone fascinated by the new frontiers of visual information design—books like Everything Explained Through Flowcharts, Visual Miscellaneum, and the cartooning of Chris Ware—will be enthralled by the quirky, captivating graphics of Listomania.
Once peaceful and prosperous, the spectacular Land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: the Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes. That Dorothy. There’s an all-out war in Oz and in this stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the bestselling series begun with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises—the hallmarks of the unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.
Sports take a backseat to covering sports in this feisty, full-contact memoir. Sportswriter Feinstein recounts his exploits gathering material for his bestselling sports epics, from his celebrated sagas of college basketball seasons to insider tell-alls on pro tennis, golf, and the Army-Navy football rivalry. In his account of the sportswriter’s game, everything comes down to access—there are innumerable scenes in which he chases down media-shy athletes and coaches, dodges interfering PR flacks, and even faces down Czech KGB goons during the Cold War to interview the mother of a defected hockey player. Feinstein’s punchy, evocative prose and irreverent jabs at superstars make for lively play-by-play with the sports greats of our era.
For the first time in its one-hundred-and-twenty-five-year history, the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate has authorized a new Sherlock Holmes novel. Once again, the game is afoot. London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap, a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened—and then the first murder takes place. Horowitz, bestselling author of the young adult series of Alex Rider novels, proves to be the perfect choice to give us a new Holmes tale.
A woman living in an abandoned rural lodge is suddenly forced to raise her dead sister’s two wild young children. Neither of them has spoken a word since witnessing their mother’s brutal murder, and they’ve developed a fondness for breaking things and starting fires. These mute, trouble-making kids are among Frazier’s best characters. And Luce, the adoptive mother, is brilliantly drawn and may be Frazier’s most memorable heroine. Nightwoods is a lean, taut story, a beautifully written novel that more than justifies the praise he originally garnered with Cold Mountain.
Keaton not only reveals herself to us, she also lets us meet, in intimate detail, her mother. Over the course of her life, Keaton’s mother Dorothy kept journals—literally thousands of pages—in which she wrote about her marriage, her children, and, most probingly, herself. Keaton has sorted through these pages to paint an unflinching portrait of her mother—a woman restless with intellectual and creative energy, struggling to find an outlet for her talents—as well as her entire family, recounting a story that spans four generations and nearly a hundred years.
From the author of the delightful Paris to the Moon comes one man’s quest for the meaning of food in a time when people are obsessed with what to eat. Never before have we cared so much about food. Gopnik is intensely curious about how in just a generation we have gone from Chef Boyardee and Hamburger Helper to pomegranates, pork bellies, and acai berries. Locating the roots of our foodways in France, he traces our rapid evolution from commendable awareness to manic compulsion and how, on the way, we lost sight of a timeless truth: what goes on around the table—families, friends, lovers coming together, or breaking apart; conversation across the simplest or grandest board—is always more important than what we eat put on the table.
Richard Paul Roe spent more than twenty years traveling the length and breadth of Italy on a literary quest of unparalleled significance. Using the text from Shakespeare’s ten “Italian Plays” as his only compass, Roe determined the exact locations of nearly every scene in Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, and the remaining dramas set in Italy. Equal parts literary detective story and vivid travelogue—containing copious annotations and more than 150 maps, photographs, and paintings—The Shakespeare Guide to Italy is a unique, compelling, and deeply provocative journey, an obsession really, with The Bard’s Italian plays.
Last year at Carmichael’s, if you saw a group of people huddled around a book and laughing until they cried, they were most likely poring through Awkward Family Photos. Now comes another compendium of cringe-worthy, embarrassing photos, this time featuring not only families, but the family pet as well. What’s interesting is that it’s not the pets that put hilarity on every page, but the kind of weird, slightly creepy, enormously awkward behavior of the pet owners. It’s the perfect gift for someone with just a little kink in their sense of humor.
As much a book about thriving in hard times as it is a business book, Great by Choice examines seven companies that have managed to not only survive, but thrive in tough economic times, and why. Collins’s Good to Great has been a bestseller for more than a decade because he defines, both with theory and hard facts, what makes a great company. By looking at companies like Intel and Southwest Airlines, and trying both to quantify and tease out their hidden philosophy, Collins provides a roadmap for both companies and individuals for how to prosper while others fail.
Weil’s enormously successful blend of mainstream and alternative therapies has earned him the reputation as a guru of a new kind of medicine. In Spontaneous Happiness he develops a guide to help patients beat back the blues. He gives us the foundation for attaining and sustaining optimum emotional health. Rooted in Dr. Weil’s pioneering work in integrative medicine, the book suggests a reinterpretation of the notion of happiness, discusses the limitations of the biomedical model, and elaborates on the inseparability of body and mind. Come along and get happy!
This has been one of the most anticipated novels of the year. The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —Q is for “question mark.” The New York Times said “Murakami is like a magician who explains what he’s doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers . . . But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it’s the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves.”
Shortly after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, with a nation deep in mourning and the world looking on in stunned disbelief, Jacqueline Kennedy found the strength to set aside her own personal grief for the sake of posterity and begin the task of documenting and preserving her husband’s legacy. In January of 1964, she and Robert F. Kennedy approved a planned oral-history project that would capture their first-hand accounts of the late President as well as the recollections of those closest to him throughout his extraordinary political career. She never spoke of that time again for the rest of her life. This book and 8-CD collection of those talks represents a milestone in the Kennedy legacy.
A bestselling author of seagoing epics now celebrates an American classic. Philbrick offers a cabin master’s tour of a spellbinding novel rich with adventure and history. He skillfully navigates Melville’s world and illuminates the book’s humor and unforgettable characters—finding the thread that binds Ishmael and Ahab to today’s time and, indeed, to all times. A perfect match between author and subject, Why Read Moby-Dick? gives readers a renewed appreciation of both Melville and the proud seaman’s town of Nantucket that Philbrick himself calls home.
James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what happened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in turmoil and medicine from the Middle Ages. As in her wonderful book River of Doubt, Millard does more than make history come alive, she allows you to live it yourself.
With nearly 900 illustrations (formal portraits, news photos, historic lithographs, broadsides, flyers, posters, newspaper clippings, advertisements) complemented by a succinct but informing text, Harvard professor Gates provides a visual sojourn through African American history, a generally upbeat march from Juan Garrido accompanying Cortés in 1519, to Barack Obama taking the presidential oath in 2008. Gates’s encyclopedic scope includes both the familiar and famous as well as the less known and nearly forgotten. In this sumptuous volume, he has assembled an affirming, illuminating, and needed tribute.
Sometimes it takes an outsider to shed new light on a well-worn topic: Meat-eating chef Yotam Ottolenghi makes vegetarian cooking sexy and exciting again. Counterintuitive? Yes, but it works. Imbued with a Middle Eastern flair, the recipes reimagine vegetables and grains for a new audience, though even the most seasoned of vegetarians will find the food flavorful and inventive. Ottolenghi's gift may be the food, but he also has an infectious fervor for making stars out of ingredients that traditionally sit on the sidelines. Plenty has been on almost every Best Cooksbooks of 2011 lists.
Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking was a brilliantly sad book that was hard to read, but impossible not to recommend to a friend. In Blue Nights Didion writes with stunning frankness about the death of her daughter, Quintana Roo, as well as thoughts and fears about having children and about growing old. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, she asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were missed or perhaps displaced. Now coping with not only grief and regret but also illness and age, Didion is courageous in both her candor and artistry, ensuring that this infinitely sad yet beguiling book of distilled reflections and remembrance is graceful and illuminating in its blue musings.
This groundbreaking book continues Pinker’s exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives—the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away—and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind’s inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated from coffee shops to the Pentagon, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.
Have you tried mixing a Mojito? What about a Rusty Nail? Or a Cosmopolitan? With See Mix Drink, the first-ever cocktail book to offer instruction through info-graphics, making the drinks you love at home is as easy as, well, See Mix Drink. This unique, illustrated guide graphically demonstrates how to make 100 of today’s most popular cocktails. No other cocktail book is this easy or fun. Instantly understandable 1-2-3 steps show exactly how each drink is prepared, and anecdotes, pronunciation guides, and photographs of the finished drinks will turn newbie bartenders into instant mixologists.
In his new book, President Clinton writes, “There is simply no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an anti-government strategy, based on a philosophy grounded in ‘you’re on your own’ rather than ‘we’re all in this together.’”He believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be good politics but has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with not enough jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position. In the real world, cooperation works much better than conflict, and “Americans need victories in real life.” It’s a reasoned and powerful argument.
The folks at Mental Floss have a way of taking our somewhat warped cultural circumstances and making them both interesting and highly amusing. In this collection of quirky “lists” we find Five Presidential Fashion Flubs, Five Units of Measurement Weirder Than the Metric System, Seven Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever, Seven Things Walmart Has Banned, Four TV Shows That Changed the Course of History, Five Doomsdays We’ve Already Survived, and many more. It’s disturbing sometimes, but always loads of fun.
The Art of Fielding is mere baseball fiction the way Moby-Dick is just a fish story. At Westish College (whose team name The Harpooners came about because some rare Melville papers were discovered in the library), a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. Witty and intelligent, but also big-hearted and engrossing, The Art of Fielding is a novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment—to oneself and to others. It is a wonderful first novel.
Roger Ebert developed cancer in 2006 that left him unable to speak, but as he notes in his new autobiography, Life Itself, his silence has made his inner voice more vivid and this book is proof of it. In particular, he summons his youth (he was born in 1942) and those who were close to him then—family, friends, neighbors, teachers—with a wealth of detail that is at once a tribute to the vigorous fullness with which he has lived and to his power of perception, recollection, and description. Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Anyone who questions the idea of buying a book about fonts and typography might consider that millions of people bought a book about grammar called Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Just My Type is part history textbook, part design manual, part subtle stand-up comedy routine, shot through with a cheeky irreverence. The book holds a special place for us at Carmichael’s because our logo was one of a few bookstores across the country Garfield chose to analyze: “This font is a classic. It’s called Benguiat Book, and creator Ed Benguiat is one of the foremost type designers in the US.…This choice says ‘classic but forward-thinking,’ and has a slight art-deco feel, especially with that unmissable A falling onto the R and E. The letters look slightly devilish and mischievous, suggestive of a vibrant independent spirit.” We offer a tip of the hat to Walter McCord, who designed the Carmichael’s logo 33 years ago.
John Hodgman is perhaps the quirkiest of all the characters on The Daily Show, and has written two books in a trilogy that he calls Complete World Knowledge. A series that began with The Areas of My Expertise, continued with More Information Than You Require, completes his vision with That Is All. Like its predecessors, That Is All compiles incredibly handy made-up facts into brief articles, overlong lists, and beguiling narratives on new and familiar themes. It picks up exactly where More Information left off—specifically, at page 596—and finishes the work, just in time for the return of Quetzalcoatl and the end of human history in 2012.
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and co-workers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” She is probably best known as a writer, then director, and now executive producer of the sitcom The Office, as well as playing the role of Kelly Kapoor. This is more than just another hilarious memoir of the immigrant experience. The New York Times said “She’s like Tina Fey’s cool little sister. Or perhaps… the next Nora Ephron.”
The New York Times has been offering up dream weekends with practical itineraries in its popular weekly “36 Hours” column since 2002. In this collection of short trips to 150 cities in the U.S. and Canada, expert contributors, experienced travelers, and accomplished writers all have brought careful research, insider’s knowledge, and a sense of fun to their destinations, always with an eye to getting the most out of a short trip. Louisville and Lexington are among the locales included, and we will ‘fess up to the fact that we love this book, not for its gorgeous photographs and unique suggestions, but because the entry on Louisville calls Carmichael’s “one of the last great bookstores.”
In 1953, an 11-year-old boy’s life is permanently upended when he leaves Colombo, Ceylon, to begin a new life in London with his mother. His 21 unsupervised days aboard the ocean liner Oronsay prove momentous as significant events during the crossing profoundly impact the boy’s future while immensely expanding his world. The boy, Michael, and two companions have the run of the ship. They get up early each morning for adventures that are sometimes juvenile hijinks but often bump up against the confounding complexities of the adult world. These three weeks shape the rest of Michael’s life, and The Cat’s Table is Michael Ondaatje’s best novel since The English Patient.
Pearl is a perfectly lovable porcupine, but who wants hugs from a porcupine? In this adorable picture book she struggles to invent proactive schemes to solve a problem thrust on her by nature—how to get and give a hug without needing a box of Band-Aids. It is a book that sets a good example for children encountering their own struggles. The Library Journal said, “This warm-hearted story will fit right into storytimes and one-on-one reading sessions at home.”
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live and others die. As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience. This is a good gift choice for fans of the Twilight Series.
Bumble-Ardy has evolved from an animated segment Sendak produced for “Sesame Street” that aired in the early 1970s to a glorious picture book about a mischievous pig who has reached the age of nine without ever having had a birthday party. But all that changes when Bumble throws a party for himself and invites all his friends, leading to a wild masquerade that quickly gets out of hand. In this highly anticipated picture book, Sendak once again explores the exuberance of young children and the unshakable love between parent (in this case, an aunt) and child.
Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone. That same night, an alchemist’s apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable. This compelling tale from best-selling author Lauren Oliver is perfect for middle school readers and above.
Fans of Meloy’s indie-rock band, The Decemberists, will recognize themes running through his engaging debut young adult novel celebrating the struggle of ordinary folk (including plants and animals) to throw off tyranny and shape their destinies. When her baby brother is carried off by crows to the Impassable Wilderness, stubbornly courageous Prue McKeel, age 12, sets out to reclaim him, accompanied by annoying schoolfellow and class pariah Curtis Mehlberg. Their quest soon becomes entangled with longstanding conflicts among residents of this magical wilderness, which harbors secrets both strange (talking animals, sentient plants) and familiar (xenophobic mistrust, government red tape). We can’t wait for Book II in the series.
Janie, 14, has been living happily with her screenwriter parents in Hollywood. But it’s 1952, and blacklisting makes it imperative that the family move to London. Janie is not happy about this, but a startling adventure opens to her as she becomes friends with Benjamin Burrows, whose father is an apothecary, and not just any apothecary. Mr. Burrows is part of a small, international group of scientists who are trying to contain the destructive results of the atomic bomb, including a weapon that is being tested off the coast of Russia. This is first-rate. fiction for teenagers.
Selznick follows his Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret with another illustrated novel that should reinforce his reputation as one of the most innovative storytellers at work today. He masterfully uses pencil and paper like a camera, starting a sequence with a wide shot and zooming in on details on successive pages. The focus of the novel is the parallel stories of Ben and Rose, both hearing-impaired—he is 12 in 1977 and she is the same age 50 years earlier. The two strands of the story come together in a most satisfying way at the end, and Wonderstruck shows that his award was no fluke.
The three wise men, or the three kings, are familiar figures in the Christmas tradition. Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park has taken the brief biblical references to the three as the starting point for a new story. In it we meet a boy who is learning his father’s trade; a man who gathers resin from certain trees; a merchant in the marketplace; and three strangers in brightly colored robes who are shopping for a gift for a baby. Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline with exquisite paintings, this simple, moving tale of ordinary people involved in an extraordinary event brings new resonance to the well-known gift list of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia? And if so, at what cost? This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.
Similar in tone and execution to her bestselling On the Night You Were Born, Tillman's latest contribution will be welcomed by her fans. This slightly more imaginative take again speaks to the child directly, describing a crown placed on a child’s head that imbues that child with all that makes him or her unique and special. This fanciful, soft-focus artwork portrays a growing child adorned with the sparkling crown in a series of vignettes: from a baby, sleeping on a lily pad, to a young child riding a leopard; and so on, until the images come full circle and the child is shown sleeping under the stars with a zebra standing by. This is soothing, visually attractive, and makes for a comforting bedtime read-aloud story.
An homage to everything that gets tossed, thrown, and hurled in order to free a kite. When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? And that’s only the beginning of this delightful and absurdly funny picture book. Childlike in concept and vibrantly illustrated as only Oliver Jeffers can, here is a picture book worth rescuing from any tree.
Judge’s latest may be virtually wordless, but it packs a powerful visual punch that will stick with readers long after the final page is turned. At the end of a winter day, a child props the titular sled outside a cozy cabin. A bear finds it there and sets off to enjoy the ride of all rides, joined in turn by some other forest denizens. As each joins the ride, the animals’ positions change: The bear is on his back with the rabbit perched on his feet, then he is atop the moose’s antlers, a position next occupied by an exhilarated-looking porcupine. It’s a joyful and hilarious read-together picture book for little ones.
Five birds live in the old iron cage at the back of the Glendoveer rose garden, and 12-year-old Clara has never felt friendly toward them until she befriends the smallest one and learns to communicate with it. Set in the Gilded Age of the early 20th century, The Aviary has just the right mix of romantic setting and spooky goings on to appeal to any middle grade or teenage reader. The Library Journal said, “O’Dell weaves a tapestry of hauntingly gorgeous imagery with this atmospheric tale of suspense, magic, and adventure. Readers will be captivated from the first page on.”
Mina loves the night. While everyone else is in a deep slumber, she gazes out the window, witness to the moon’s silvery light. In the stillness, she can even hear her own heart beating. This is when Mina feels that anything is possible and her imagination is set free. In this lyrical prequel to Almond’s bestselling Skellig, Mina begins keeping a journal, making discoveries about herself and her world that are both trivial and profound. She is a delightful character whose open mind and heart have much to teach young people about life and the mysteries that surround us.
Keri Smith has created a one-woman industry with quirky little projects that invite the “reader” to participate in the act of creation. In books like Wreck this Journal and This is Not a Book, Smith’s “books” weren’t really books, but more opportunities to create books. Now, in F nish Th s B k she goes a step further by offering up some strange and random pages abandoned in a park, and an invitation to take off your reader hat and become the author of a puzzling mystery. Keri Smith is a true original, and it is difficult to describe what she does—perhaps the best description comes from her introduction: “this book does not exist without you.”
It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafes on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives in The Marriage Plot the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.
Written by students who collect oral histories from Appalachian locals, Foxfire magazine preserves the traditions of the mountain folk culture. The current collection continues to survey the simple life with recollections that go “back to the times of one-room schools, first automobiles, and just plain hard living.” “Daddy Was a Farmer” offers an account of the Farm Families school program, when sharecroppers were given a farm to work and required to attend adult education classes. The crafts chapter covers such topics as braiding a bullwhip and chair-bottoming with poplar bark. Outstanding are 130 pages on the bluegrass musicians who took that “high-lonesome sound” from family reunions and county fairs all the way to the Grand Ole Opry.
Rooted in the values, lessons, and verities of generations past and of his South Dakota upbringing, Brokaw weaves together inspiring stories of Americans who are making a difference, with personal stories from his own family history, to engage us in a conversation about our country and to offer ideas for how we can revitalize the promise of the American Dream. Offering ideas from Americans who are change agents in their communities, in The Time of Our Lives Brokaw gives us a wise, honest, and wide-ranging book, a nourishing vision of hopefulness in an age of diminished expectations.
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Dove takes a fresh look at the canon of 20th-century American poetry in this hefty anthology. Dove by no means seeks to include an example of every kind of poem written during the century; rather, as she poetically says in her introduction, she picked “the poems I see emblazoned on pennants along the road we have just traversed.” Dove has created an anthology that represents the full spectrum of aesthetic sensibilities—from styles and voices to themes and cultures—while balancing important poems with significant periods of each poet. Featuring poems both classic and contemporary, this collection reflects both a dynamic and cohesive portrait of modern American poetry.
Weiner, a longtime “spiritual voyeur” and inveterate traveler, realizes that while he has been privy to a wide range of religious practices, he’s never seriously considered these concepts in his own life. Face to face with his own mortality, and spurred on by the question of what spiritual principles to impart to his young daughter, he decides to correct this omission, undertaking a worldwide exploration of religions and hoping to come, if he can, to a personal understanding of the divine. The journey that results is rich in insight, humor, and heart—whether meeting lamas in Tibet, whirling Sufi dervishes in Turkey, or Raelians (the world’s largest UFO-based religion) in Las Vegas. At a time when more Americans than ever are choosing a new faith, and when spiritual questions loom large in the modern age, Man Seeks God presents a perspective on religion that is sure to delight, inspire, and entertain.
The fifteen poems and one essay included here, personally selected by Wendell Berry from among his previously published work, quietly and joyously celebrate the enduring satisfactions of good work and a happy home. Originally published as a limited edition in 1988, Traveling at Home pairs Mr. Berry’s eloquent essays and poetry with John DePol’s exquisite woodcuts. It is one of the most beautiful presentations of this treasured Kentucky writer’s work.
Over the past two centuries and more, black Louisville faced many challenges, from creating a free black community in the midst of slavery to attempting to make real a notion of equality that existed in name only. The purpose of Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History is simply to tell the story of this struggle in words and images—a history in which all, irrespective of race and place, can take pride.
It wouldn’t be a Carmichael’s holiday catalog without an elegant offering from Gray Zeitz and his Larkspur letterpress in Monterey. This year’s treat comes from one of Kentucky’s writing treasures, Silas House. Larkspur has a new edition of his short story “Recruiters” that appeared first in The Anthology of Appalachian Writing. It is illustrated by Arwen Donahue and includes “Brennen’s Ballad” by Sue Massek, the inspiration for Silas’s story. Also available in a hardcover edition.
For years, one of the most oft-requested books at Carmichael’s was Sam Thomas’s history of the Crescent Hill neighborhood, Crescent Hill Revisited, originally published in 1978 and long unavailable. Finally, Sam and his wife Deborah have updated, expanded and enhanced the original book and re-issued it as Crescent Hill: Its History and Resurgence. Aside from a chorus of hallelujahs, this new edition is almost a completely new book—the photographs are brighter, the layout cleaner, and the text corrects and adds new material to much of the history of this great Louisville neighborhood.
Country Houses of Louisville, 1899-1939 presents an in-depth view of 32 spectacular country estates in Louisville, and the families and architects who built them. Focusing on houses constructed around Frederick Law Olmsted’s Cherokee Park and along the bluffs overlooking the Ohio River, the book features works by distinguished local and national architects and landscape architects whose work in Kentucky is not widely known. This period and genre of residential architecture and related social history in Louisville have never before been documented this thoroughly or extensively. The book includes over 300 contemporary and archival illustrations, a great number of which are being published her for the first time ever.