ink fish picks

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by local author Leigh Medeiros!

Here’s what our staff is #currentlyreading.

 
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Kitchen yarns by ann hood

In this warm collection of personal essays and recipes, best-selling author Ann Hood nourishes both our bodies and our souls. From her Italian American childhood through singlehood, raising and feeding a growing family, divorce, and a new marriage to food writer Michael Ruhlman, Ann Hood has long appreciated the power of a good meal. Growing up, she tasted love in her grandmother’s tomato sauce and dreamed of her mother’s special-occasion Fancy Lady Sandwiches. Later, the kitchen became the heart of Hood’s own home. She cooked pork roast to warm her first apartment, used two cups of dried basil for her first attempt at making pesto, taught her children how to make their favorite potatoes, found hope in her daughter’s omelet after a divorce, and fell in love again—with both her husband and his foolproof chicken stock.

“Eminently readable, Kitchen Yarns, Ann Hood’s tender, witty, and funny voyage through a life of food, reminds us that the visceral taste memories of our past are essential benchmarks of our life, and that the stories of a family are always best felt and expressed through those dishes.” — Jacques Pépin, world-renowned chef and author of Heart & Soul in the Kitchen

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house of ashes by loretta marion

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it’s by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter—but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

“Loretta Marion’s House of Ashes offers a layered, suspenseful plot, a cast of engaging characters, and a sympathetic heroine dealing with forces both earthly and supernatural… A perfect read for fans of Kate Morton and Susannah Kearsley.” — Rosie Genova, national bestselling author of the Italian Kitchen Mysteries

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This 2001 novel by Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a worldwide best seller. The book was translated into English in 2004 by Lucia Graves. The time is 1950; the place is Barcelona. Daniel Sempere, the son of a widowed bookstore owner, is 10 when he discovers a novel, The Shadow of the Wind , by Julián Carax. The novel is rare, the author obscure, and rumors tell of a horribly disfigured man who has been burning every copy he can find of Carax's novels. The man calls himself Laín Coubert—the name of the devil in one of Carax's novels. As he grows up, Daniel's fascination with the mysterious Carax links him to a blind femme fatale with a "porcelain gaze," Clara Barceló; another fan, a leftist jack-of-all-trades, Fermín Romero de Torres; his best friend's sister, the delectable Beatriz Aguilar; and, as he begins investigating the life and death of Carax, a cast of characters with secrets to hide. Why we like this - gorgeous storytelling at its best!

One gorgeous read.” — Stephen King

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Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Tara Westover is barely 30; could she really write a necessary and timely memoir already? Absolutely. Raised largely 'off the grid' in rural Idaho - without school, doctor visits, a birth certificate, or even a family consensus on the date of her birth - Tara nevertheless decides she wants to go to college. This is a story in two parts: First, Tara's childhood working in a dangerous scrapyard alongside her six siblings, her survivalist father, and her mother, a conflicted but talented midwife and healer, while fearing Y2K and the influence of the secular world; then, her departure from her mountain home to receive an education. Both halves of her story are equally fascinating. Educated is a testament to Tara's brilliance and tenacity, a bittersweet rendering of how family relationships can be cruel or life-saving, and a truly great read from the first page to the last.” 

“Westover is a keen and honest guide to the difficulties of filial love, and to the enchantment of embracing a life of the mind.” The New Yorker

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Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Goodwin (Team of Rivals) further burnishes her credentials as a popular historian with this thoughtful revisiting of the lives of four presidents to whom she has previously dedicated individual books—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson—with the aim of obtaining answers to eternal questions about leadership, including what life experiences contribute to it and whether “the times make the leader” or vice versa. She toggles back and forth between her subjects in sections that trace their upbringings and ambitions, the adversities that tested them (such as personal tragedies and crippling illness), and their approach to the major challenges that confronted them as presidents. 

“After five decades of magisterial output, Doris Kearns Goodwin leads the league of presidential historians. Insight is her imprint.”—USA TODAY

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Gmorning, Gnight! By Lin-Manuel Miranda, Illustrated by Jonny Sun 

Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.

“When the world is bringing you down, Gmorning, Gnight! will remind you that you are awesome.”—Booklist