Login  /  Register  | 3 premium articles left before you must register.

HomeZip06 - The SoundLivingPage Turners

Page Turners

Every other week, we invite local booksellers to submit suggestions for the best books on shelves now—it’s all part of our mission to keep our readers informed, up-to-date, and entertained.

  • Balls on the Lawn: Games to Live By by Brooks Butlers Hays

    I love this book and now want a big lawn. Horseshoes, badminton, bocce, KanJam?…It’s all here. Illustrated history, rules, necessary equipment, and recommended cocktails for 10 iconic games. Written with a grin, for grins. Lawn games make you think, move, laugh, form alliances, build friendships, and connect you to an ancient global history of pastimes. Fill the cooler; call your friends. Summer is waiting for you.

    —Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities

    1 of 8


  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, by Roz Chast

    Roz Chast, a veteran cartoonist for The New Yorker, takes on a subject painfully familiar to many of us—the decline and demise of elderly parents—but the genius in her work is the application of her trademark candor and wit and even a four-color cartoon format to the whole dire predicament. Though the parental quirks may be personal, not so the theme of mortality and its final indignities. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but you can’t walk away unscathed. I loved it.

    —Maureen of Breakwater Books, Guilford

    2 of 8


  • Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale by Josh Wilker

    A memoir? Baseball? I was totally captivated by the family narrative despite an embarrassing lack of baseball knowledge. This gem of a novel is about growing up in liberal ’70s hippie New England, a fascination for baseball heroes, a card collection, and an adored big brother. Each chapter leads with a color reproduction of a Topps "god," tying an unconventional, often-funny childhood to the larger world of Vietnam, Watergate, rock concerts, and waiting for that winning game.

    —Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

    3 of 8


  • Euphoria by Lily King

    This is a novel that sneaks up on you. King’s prose is effortless, and halfway through Euphoria, I wondered how she got me so involved. Set in New Guinea and loosely based on the life of Margaret Mead, this is an enthralling love story.

    —Andrew of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

    4 of 8


  • The Quick by Lauren Owen

    The promise of a sister to take care of her brother begins this extraordinary debut novel. Fragments of diaries and bits of knowledge are intertwined until I realized their story is just a small part of an old dark secret in Victorian London. Foggy lamp-lit streets are the perfect backdrop for the moral and philosophical questions and the quiet intense love stories. Owen is a mesmerizing storyteller!

    —Jamie of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

    5 of 8


  • Sparta by Roxana Robinson

    This is a moving portrait of one U.S. Marine’s struggle to survive in civilian life after he returns from war. Conrad Farrell has served a four-year tour in Iraq and returns home whole in body but damaged mentally. He must learn to deal with his traumas while struggling to reconnect with his family and girl friend. Sadly, the author’s depiction of the incompetency of our Department of Veterans Affairs brings to light the shameful treatment of our returning soldiers.

    —Sue of Breakwater Books, Guilford

    6 of 8


  • The Strenuous Life of Harry Anderson by Roger Vaughan

    A sailing and racing treasure, this biography spans the life and legacy of the man many consider "America’s greatest living yachtsman." Harry Anderson is New York Yacht Club commodore, America’s Cup judge, Yale scholar, yacht owner, world traveler, and a character of high caliber. Documentary photographs and personal anecdotes complete a journey of 80 years at the vanguard of sail, inspiring young yachters in its wake. Anderson is man of unwavering integrity whom I’ve known for 24 years; he’s my great-uncle. Meet him yourself at the store’s booksigning on Saturday,
    July 26.

    —Ellen of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

    7 of 8


  • The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

    At this point, if you ask me, anything Neil Gaiman touches turns to gold. Here, Neil has collaborated with renowned artist Eddie Campbell to bring to life his unbelievable story of family, the otherworld, and an epic search for hidden treasure. Unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, Truth pieces together a spectrum of storytelling tools—from panels to paintings, rough sketches to smudged charcoal—to deliver one of the most unique pieces to add to your ever-growing Gaiman collection.

    —Courtney of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

    8 of 8


Past Page Turners

Bathing Costume by Charlotte Moundlic and Oliver Tallec

 July 2, 2014

A humorous picture book about spending summer with grandparents. Inviting illustrations. The adventures are in diary form, and the water is the bluest of blues. A cool read for hot summer days.

—Linda of Burgundy Books, Westbrook

1 of 10

The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

 July 2, 2014

The Farm is a psychological thriller of the highest order with some depraved Scandinavian-style evil thrown in. Daniel is told by his father that his mother is insane, but she counters that accusation with claims of a terrifying conspiracy. Whom to believe? You will be kept in page-turning suspense until the conclusion you didn’t see coming.

—Julie of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

2 of 10

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied by Jess Keating

 July 2, 2014

What is it like to live in a zoo? If you’re a teen and love animals, you won’t mind the elephant droppings, right? Find out what is making Ana’s life miserable in junior high school. An unusual and fun summer read.

—Linda of Burgundy Books, Westbrook

3 of 10

Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving

 July 2, 2014

In that inimitable Irving style, one incident sparks a 50-year journey and meditation on love and revenge. A 12-year-old boy mistakes the town constable’s girlfriend for a bear and shoots. His father, Angel, protects him and their secrets. From a logging camp in New Hampshire, into Vermont, down to Boston’s North End, up to Toronto, and back, it is a New England tour (de force) with great heart.

—Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

4 of 10

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

 July 2, 2014

Killed in the heat of passion, a girl is found with her face missing! The main character is similar to Jason Bourne—no identity and a past filled with uncertainty. It is certain, however, that he has written a book, and the crimes described in it are now being committed! Can he track down the person who is committing the perfect crimes? Or will he fail? Read this bone-chilling mystery.

—Kat of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

5 of 10

The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry

 July 2, 2014

Once again, Larry McMurtry comes through with the most colorful characters and wittiest dialogue as the aging Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday "take their ease" on the saloon porch often—rehashing their heyday and occasionally trying to recreate it. This book had me wanting to belly up to a bar for a whiskey and a slab of antelope rump, find a high-stakes poker game, and then mosey on outback to smoke with a cowpoke.

—Val of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

6 of 10

Nobody’s Secret by Michaela MacColl

 July 2, 2014

Connecticut author MacColl’s protagonist is 15-year-old Emily Dickinson, an original thinker, a little plain, often in trouble. A Puritan heritage and propensity for Yankee thrift mean hard work and restrictions. With a nod to Little Women, a murder to solve, a little romance, and clean prose, this is truly young adult historical fiction. Each chapter begins with a script snippet of Dickinson’s work, aptly chosen and lovely to read. Perfect for a new generation of power-reader girls.

—Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

7 of 10

The Pilot and the Little Prince by Peter Sis

 July 2, 2014

Enjoy the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, in a colorful picture book. The drawings and Illustrations are beautiful, bringing the reader’s imagination well into the clouds over the planet. A very special children’s book.

—Linda of Burgundy Books, Westbrook

8 of 10

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo

 July 2, 2014

A book about summers on the Cape seems like perfect seasonal reading. Being a novel by Russo, it’s entertaining, cynical, and funny. Have patience with the protagonist’s mid-life crises and stand by for his return to the Cape with the urns of his un-reconciled parents’ ashes in the car trunk, his marriage on shaky ground, his daughter’s wedding to attend, and a lifetime of New England snobbery and yearning to revisit. You will laugh before the fat lady sings.

—Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

9 of 10

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Jeremy Holmes

 July 2, 2014

Based on the beloved nursery rhyme, this odd skinny book catches your eye across the store. Divided into thirds, at top is the Old Lady’s spectacled face, the middle a belly of pages, and at bottom, stocking feet. The illustrations are fresh, perfectly fitting the rhyme in a twisty, tasteful way. Just when you think it’s creepy enough, the last page is engineered so her pale blue eyelids close (she swallows a horse, of course.)

—Ellen of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

10 of 10

Around Essex by Robbi Storms and Don Malcarne

 May 7, 2014

I’m an Ivoryton native and was oblivious to the more than 300-year history of this area. Contributing authorship from the Ivoryton Library Association offers rich accounts of Essex, Centerbrook, and Ivoryton—which comprise Essex village, or "The Point" of Petapoug Quarter. Filled with 19th-century photography, history, and storytelling at its best. Come read about and visit this village still steeped in a ship-building, inn-dwelling, British-raiding past.

—Ellen of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

1 of 9

Becoming Americans Edited by Ilan Stevens

 May 7, 2014

Four hundred years of a fundamental if cliché fact—we are an immigrant nation. Eighty-five writers in memoirs, letters, and fiction—among them Thomas Mann, Vladamir Nabokov, Junot Diaz, Frank McCourt, and Anita Dessai—are a remarkable convocation of voices. Puritans, Colonials, indentured servants, slaves, deportees, refugees, explorers, and entrepreneurs through time share the threads of departure and arrival. The process of being and becoming American resonates over the centuries.

—Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

2 of 9

The British Raid on Essex by Jerry Roberts

 May 7, 2014

A brand-new release. The forgotten battle of the forgotten war is no longer forgotten thanks to Jerry Roberts. On April 8, 1814 the British burned the American privateer on the Connecticut River in Essex. A who-dun-it with lots of research creates an exciting and informative read.

—Helen of the Connecticut River Museum Store, Essex

3 of 9

The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer

 May 7, 2014

Charlotte lives in a world in which the U.S. lost the Revolutionary War. Her family works for the resistance, making her an exile living in hiding. Life was going according to plan until a boy shows up with no memory. He doesn’t even remember his name. The secrets he keeps forces them to do the unthinkable: leave the catacombs and go above to the Empire. If you’re a fan of Steampunk, then this is definitely the book for you! For readers aged 12 and older.

—Serafina of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

4 of 9

Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich

 May 7, 2014

How does an atheist interpret mystical experiences? Barbara Ehrenreich’s new memoir reflects on her life in relation to a journal she kept as a precocious young woman—addressed to her future self—that posed questions still difficult to answer. By referring back and forth between her familial past and the present day, she accounts for her interest in the fields in which she is best known—feminism, politics, social science—and the reader benefits from the musings of her keen intelligence.

—Maureen of Breakwater Books, Guilford

5 of 9

New Life, No Instructions by Gail Caldwell

 May 7, 2014

New Life, No Instructions is a short, but important message of support, hope, and inspiration. After losing her best friend, her mother, and her dog in a short span of time, Gail finds a way back through friendly support and sheer physical determination. Diagnosed with polio at six months, she learned to be a fighter with steadfast encouragement from her parents. Her story shows how it changed many other things in her life as well. This book is both humorous and amazingly uplifting.

—Barb of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

6 of 9

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

 May 7, 2014

Most of us don’t think about the Danbury Correctional Institute, a federal prison in Connecticut, or the volume of women incarcerated for non-violent, mostly drug-related, crimes. Now be glad your stupid 20-something mistakes weren’t this stupid. Careless acts hurt those you love and contribute profound harm to a larger population. This recognition is among the most redeeming aspects of Kerman’s memoir; blunt, respectful, and oddly inspiring to read.

—Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities, Essex

7 of 9

The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore

 May 7, 2014

A bawdy, raucous delight—don’t worry if you’ve forgotten your Shakespeare, this is an unholy remix that includes a judgmental chorus and a lurking man-eating serpent. Moore’s wit is razor-sharp and will leave you in tears of laughter.

—Jamie of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

8 of 9

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

 May 7, 2014

You’ll love this story with its unconventional characters and many literary references. Shelf talkers even start each chapter giving you insight on bookstore owner A.J. Fikry. The story takes off when A.J. finds Maya, an abandoned baby in the store with a note pinned to her coat. With Maya, A.J.’s Island Books becomes "the" place for the whole community. It’s a fast-paced story that I read in a day. It’s also quirky and may seem unbelievable, but it always comes down to this: books have a magical way of connecting us all.

—Sue of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison

9 of 9

The Headmaster’s Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene

 April 24, 2014

I had come to disregard the cliché "I couldn’t put that book down" until I came face to face with this novel. I also avoided using "spellbinding," "riveting," and "memorable," but these words have real meaning here. Without giving too much away, this is the story of the headmaster of a prestigious boarding school and the tragedy that envelops him, his wife, and son. Greene manages to weave together the themes of love and loss wrapped in a mystery that rivals Gone Girl.
— Peggy of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison
1 of 9

Love You, Hug You, Read to You! by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Frank Endersby

 April 24, 2014

Best-selling and award-winning children’s book author Tish Rabe brings us a charming new board book for parents and caregivers to read to their young children. Educational research indicates that reading to children and fully engaging with them by asking questions while reading the story, will help to develop their reading and critical thinking skills. Rabe beautifully integrates questions throughout the story, while Frank Endersby provides precious illustrations reminiscent of all of the classic and beloved children’s books of our childhood memories. A must "Read to You" book!
— Susan K. McCann of Essex Books, Ivoryton
2 of 9

The Moustache Grower’s Guide by Lucien Edwards

 April 24, 2014

Hipster beards may be trending, but moustaches are classic. With the weather warming, it’s time to style and trim. This fantastic kooky compilation depicts ’staches from the "handlebar" to the "Fu Manchu." Complete with photographs of 30 facial hair-wears, it’s also a grower’s guide combining history with contemporary technique. The fine title Beard is also in stock, but one thing at a time, gents!
— Ellen of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities
3 of 9

Found by Salina Yoon (for ages 3 to 6)

 April 24, 2014

Salina Yoon has done it again! Her latest, absolutely adorable book Found tells the story of Bear and a lost stuffed bunny. While searching for the owner, Bear becomes quite attached to his new friend. The perfect read-aloud story with bright illustrations and heartwarming text, Found is definitely one of my new favorites!
— Kathy of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison
4 of 9

An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clarke

 April 24, 2014

Sam Pulsifer hides in The Emily Dickinson House looking for ghosts, accidentally starts a fire, which accidentally consumes a couple having sex on the historic grounds. Post jail-time, married with children, life is pretty regular—until someone begins burning the homes of famous writers (not Sam). Entertaining and original, this who-dunnit and literary satire is a comically profound look at life and the stories we tell.
— Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities
5 of 9

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

 April 24, 2014

Astonish Me is Shipstead’s second novel after her successful debut, Seating Arrangements. You don’t have to be a ballet enthusiast to embrace this story of love, friendship, truth, and secrets. It’s an impressive psychological study of talent, betrayal, and parenthood. Told in alternating chapters of time and characters, we see how intense the world of ballet is through the eyes of a group of friends whose lives are entwined over a period of 20-plus years.
— Sue of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison
6 of 9

A Dog’s History of America by Mark Derr

 April 24, 2014

Hunting dogs, sled dogs, guide dogs, presidential dogs. Where would we be without our canine companions or—more aptly—the most valuable domesticated animal of the Americas? This detailed footnote is a touching, if at times difficult, read. Three hundred years of New World history can be gritty. Our humanity, or lack thereof, is linked and shaped with canine interactions. Favorite dogs to lesser-known heroes offer a striking perspective on American history.
— Linda of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities
7 of 9

And the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass

 April 24, 2014

And the Dark Sacred Night is one of those multi-layered family stories—under which lies a deep secret. Kit Noonan needs to find the answer to who his father is or was, a never-shared secret his mother refused to divulge, until now. This is a novel that will make you steal away an hour here and there to move through, and then be sorry to have it end.
— Barb of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison
8 of 9

The Art of Stand Up Paddling by Ben Marcus

 April 24, 2014

Last summer I saw people on the Connecticut shore enjoy a cross of surfing and kayaking. Curious, I tried stand up paddling (SUP) in Florida and loved it! I’m excited to try the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound next. This guide covers history of the sport, choosing the correct board, and step-by-step instruction. I won’t be surfing white water, but as Marcus encourages, "give the technique two weeks and you’ll be hooked!"
— Karen of The Griswold Inn Store ~ Goods & Curiosities
9 of 9

What's Happening

Editor's Picks

A total of 10 events have been found.

Adam Kolker Quartet — 8:00 pm; Thu., Jul. 24

Billy Stritch & Jim Caruso — 8:00 pm; Thu., Jul. 24

Friday Night Fun and Silly Hat Parade at Ocean Beach — 7:30 pm; Fri., Jul. 25

The Dick Campo Big Band — 6:30 pm; Fri., Jul. 25

'Back to the Future" - Outdoor Movie in the Park — 8:30 pm; Sat., Jul. 26

'Old Neighbors' Colonel Ledyard School Reunion — 11:30 am; Sat., Jul. 26

Fish Tales, Tugs & Sails — 11:00 am; Sat., Jul. 26

Kids' Day at the Hempsted Houses — 1:00 pm; Sat., Jul. 26

Living Columnists

A la Carte by Lee WhiteA la Carte
Lee White

The Perfect Dessert
 (0)

Ask the Organizer by Kristin MastromarinoAsk the Organizer
Kristin Mastromarino

Discuss it with the DesignerDiscuss it with the Designer
Jennifer Walker

Perfecting Living-Room Layout
 (0)

Shoreline Living
Juliana Gribbins

Summer Lovin’
 (0)

Creatively Thrifty
Naomi Migliacci

Tag Sales and Lemonade Stands
 (0)

 

Movie Times


E-Newsletter Sign-Up