An Upper Valley native, Emma moved back to the area after 5 years working in sunny Los Angeles. After nearly a decade at Hanover-based INGO Grassroot Soccer she joined the Norwich Bookstore in late fall, 2020. Dedicated to all things garden- and tennis-related…with a fondness for Ottolenghi and appealing book covers.
Reminiscent of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse....images and phrases to get lost in. Lovely. -Emma C.
From the first few pages you know a small handful of characters are going to die by the end of the book... and thus begins the clever morality play set during the sunny summer holidays on the coast of England just after WWII. It's not a whodunit, but a brilliant who's-gonna-make-it....and who's not... Delightfully transporting - like diving into a Merchant Ivory film. -Emma C.
How does someone endure decades of showing up at every death in NYC (including 9/11)? Bravely and barely… A must-read for any true crime fan, but also a poignant memoir from a professional that picks herself up again and again when being human betrays her. -Emma C
I was utterly charmed by this board book and its 'prequel'. Joyful colorful images make the most of the book's unique shape. It's just different enough to provide surprise and reward with each turn of the page. -Emma C.
The setting: a house with secret rooms, booby-traps, and a hidden treasure up for grabs. The story: a clever whodunit written with interesting and engaging vocabulary. The characters: eccentric, loveable, and relatable. The book…. a new favorite of mine that I highly recommend! I can’t wait to read what this author writes next. -Emma C.
Delivering a beautiful and wrenching story set during the Sri Lankan Civil War, the author highlights the importance of documenting individual experiences during conflicts so that history isn't a concoction created by the powerful. I was enthralled by the determination of the characters--especially the women-- in this novel. It lived up to the rave reviews (from the NYTimes, among others). -Emma C.
The two women behind The Land Gardeners are humble powerhouses in the world of gardening. They bring their exquisite garden flowers into Central London every week of the year. They are at the forefront of the sustainable agriculture push in Britain; participating in practical and scientific studies on green waste and compost.
This gorgeous book is filled with luscious images, the gardeners' tips, their story, and endless inspiration. -Emma C.
The characters, the relationships… it’s all worth the tears that are guaranteed. Funny and devastating throughout. -Emma C.
Hilarious and tragic; just how I like 'em. Winner of the 2013 EU Prize for Literature. A terrifically bizarre road trip from Denmark to...well, let's just see how far this pair can get! -Emma C.
A fascinating and informative behind-the-scenes tour of the human body. Dr. Reisman is an engaging guide to how our organs function and what he sees when they don't work well. His well-traveled and open-minded perspective on treatment and care makes for an enjoyable read. I learned quite a lot and I'd recommend The Unseen Body to anyone who wants to bone up on their anatomy...pun intended. -Emma C.
The Colony exposes complex topics (colonialism, authenticity, even Art) and manages to be --as John Self of Air Mail put it-- "provocative but not shouty." Beautifully written and often funny. Longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize and thoroughly deserving. -Emma C.
Two families meet for the first time to toast the newly engaged couple. What could go wrong? Nothing really, at first, but as the bride's mother says, 'life is not simple'... Against the backdrop of modern London, Ali weaves together the family members' stories, their personal histories, and their future hopes and ambitions. I loved it. -Emma C.
George Orwell grew roses - he grew plenty of veggies as well. Orwell's Roses could really be called 'Orwell and Roses: Annotated'. From Stalin's obsession with growing lemon trees in an outrageously inhospitable climate, the labor movement's 'Bread & Roses' song, and Columbia's greenhouses filled with scentless roses; Solnit links Orwell's life and political beliefs with roses; their history, beauty, and symbolism in society. In short, completely brilliant. -Emma C.
My favorite kind of book - utterly hilarious then surprisingly moving. Mayflies is about the friendship of two Scottish men during different points in their lives. They're rough and tumble kids, passionate and thrill-seeking young men, then in their 50's confronting mortality. After I finished the book, I realized I missed the characters - it was that good.
Reading Zorrie is a bit like turning the pages of a generations-old family photo album with an ancient relative telling you about the places and people in the pictures. At first, Zorrie the character and Zorrie the novel appear simple, but I found that weighty topics abound - sometimes just outside the frame of view. Zorrie is a quick read, but it sinks in slowly and powerfully.
Even the cover art, which drew me to the hardcover book in the first place, plays a part in Eula Biss’s examination of our economic system at a personal level. (The cover contains details from a conceptual art project by Danica Phelps: in brief, every green line represents a dollar of income, a red line represents a dollar spent…)
Though relevant to any readers, this book is likely to resonate with the author’s (and my own) demographic [College-educated liberal American woman under 45-ish, especially with family and friends in academia...too specific?] as we confront societal, familial, and personal expectations in our career paths and life choices. Eula Biss grounds her shrewd observations in research, studies, and history.
Frankly, it’s quite satisfying to have someone articulate and reflect on one's own ruminations in a published book ...especially with an appealing and clever cover.
A novel shortlisted for the Booker Prize is always worth a try, but Burnt Sugar is not to be missed. Avni Doshi’s depiction of the relationship between a mother and daughter is filled with raw honesty and brutal humor — not unlike the 2020 Booker winner, Shuggie Bain (which I thoroughly enjoyed as well.)
A collection of intense short stories that capture pivotal moments in ordinary lives. Moniz's intimate stories are quick, tight, and often jarring. They will haunt you and you’ll want to read them again.