Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Greetings from Three Lives & Company

The latest newsletter from one of my favourite NY bookstores who I am delighted to note survived superstorm Sandy.

It has been a tough time, a harrowing time, a heart-breaking time and it has been a time of beauty and grace. Sandy blew through and changed a great many lives. We are very fortunate to report the little bookshop made it through without any damage or flooding. We did lose power for the week and managed to make it to the shop for three of those days, opening the doors during the daylight hours to welcome neighbors as they went about their errands in a remarkably quiet West Village. As the temperatures fell through the week they showed up with ever more layers of clothing to ward off the cold and take a moment to use our working landline, swap information on locations to recharge a cellphone, or just to chat.  Riding bikes across the Manhattan Bridge or making epic subway journeys from Queens the crew here made great efforts to make it to the shop and keep it chugging along, receiving boxes from the amazing folks at UPS, shelving books in the chilly near-dark, and remaining in great spirits.

Through it all our thoughts returned again and again to our neighbors in the far West Village and the folks in the Rockaways, Red Hook, Hoboken, Staten Island, along the Jersey Shore and the many places in between all affected by Sandy.  Our concern and well wishes go out to them all.

And, if we may borrow a sentiment expressed in a newsletter from the good people at Tekserve, as we slowly return to our regular concerns of our lives, when you head out to do your shopping please consider calling on the affected small businesses and restaurants that make our cities and neighborhoods so wonderfully unique and rich; whether cheese shop, bistro, espresso cafe, or clothing retailer, your support will be hugely appreciated by both business owner and employees alike.

It is with gratitude that we turn to the books and offer our latest newsletter.  This fall season is one of the more remarkable in recent years with so many well-known and favorite authors presenting new work -- and there are still more to come with Alice Munro, Colm Toibin, and Ian McEwan still to publish later this month.  Below are some of our recommendations from this crowded field -- as well as favorites now available in paperback and a nice selection of signed books.

We wish you well.

Happy Reading!


by Zadie Smith
The plot is simple - the experiences of four people making adult lives outside the housing estate of their childhood, circa 1970's London. It's been seven years since Zadie Smith's last novel, and her wry humor and close observation of social culture is on abundant display. It is also a mature, accomplished and disturbing piece of fiction questioning what it means to be human. A big, satisfying, intense reading experience! (Penguin Press)

The Forgiven 
by Lawrence Osborne
The place is Morocco. The setting is a party. Richard and Dally have invited a large group of friends for a weekend of decadent leisure. One couple, David and Jo, Londoners, have accepted the invitation - but a late arrival, perhaps too much to drink, and an unfamiliar road, set the stage for a incident that will change the trajectory of their lives. Two young men spring from the roadside - one is struck and the other runs into the hills. And it is here, as the couple arrive at the party with the dead body in the car, that Osborne's stunning novel unfolds and takes us on a dark, psychological journey. (Hogarth)

John Saturnall's Feast
by Lawrence Norfolk
Norfolk's latest is an extensively researched look into 17th-century England, with a orphaned kitchen boy in the starring role. John Saturnall's palate quickly elevates him to a lofty position in the culinary ranks at Lord William Fremantle's manor, but his real goal--the favor of Fremantle's obstinate daughter Lucretia--will put his cooking skills to a unique test. Norfolk's novel is resplendent with the tastes and smells of 1600s England, creating an evocative historical portrait. (Grove)

The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death
by Jill Lepore
What do board games, birth control, and cryonic resurrection have in common? They're all threads in this tightly-written history of human attitudes toward life and death. Lepore splits her book into sections based on the stages of life--infancy, adulthood, dotage, the afterlife--and devotes each to a fascinating cultural exploration. For childhood she tackles the history of children's libraries; for mother- and fatherhood, the advent of parenting magazines. Every section is packed with interesting and surprising tidbits. (Knopf)

Several Short Sentences About Writing
by Verlyn Klinkenborg
Klinkenborg's poetic ode to the art of writing is also a practical handbook. Several Short Sentences breaks writing down to its essential unit, the sentence, and argues that yours should be shorter, simpler, and more precise. Taking examples from admired prose stylists, Klinkenborg demonstrates how to "know what each sentence says, what it doesn't say, and what it implies." (Knopf)

This Is How You Lose Her
by Junot Diaz
This new collection of short stories showcase Diaz's remarkable power and exuberance as a writer, material that has earned him a nomination for this year's National Book Award. Diaz is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. (Riverhead)

Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America
by Christopher Bram
Chris Bram's book is an eye opener. It begins with Gore Vidal and Truman Capote in the 50's, bringing each young man vividly alive - and showing us how their upbringing, ambitions, uncertainties, friendships, loves, and times shaped their work. From the 50's through to present day - covering Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, Christopher Isherwood, Edward Albee, Mart Crowley, Larry Kramer, Tony Kushner, Michael Cunningham and many others. Bram links their lives with their work to tell an extraordinary history. What a revelation this book was. Read and pass it on! (Twelve)

On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual
by Merle Miller 
Penguin Classics has re-issued a truly groundbreaking work. Merle Miller wrote an essay in 1971 for The New York Times Magazine - nothing like it had ever been in a newspaper like the Times before. It is a time capsule of what it was like to be gay in that period. In addition to Miller's essay - this slim 65 page book includes Miller's afterword chronicling his inspiration and readers' responses to the Time's piece. Dan Savage's very personal foreword makes Miller's essay all the more astonishing by showing the great progress made. While Charles Kaiser's afterword gives us a sense of what it was like to be a college student in 1971 and finding Miller's essay in the Sunday Times. (Penguin)

Poems 1962 - 2012 by Louise Gluck (FSG)
The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010 (Boa Editions)
New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry (Counterpoint)
In Beauty Bright by Gerald Stern 
Wheel with a Single Spoke: And Other Poems by Nichita Stanescu (Archipelago Books)
Mayakovsky's Revolver by Matthew Dickman (Norton)
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver (The Penguin Press)
Nice Weather by Frederick Seidel (FSG)
Thrall by Natasha Trethewey (HMH)
Memorial, A Version of Homer's Iliad by Alice Oswald (Norton)
Passwords Primeval by 20 Poets In Their Own Words, Interviews by Tony Leuzzi (Boa Editions)
A Night in Brooklyn by D. Nurkse (Knopf)

Three Lives & Company, Booksellers
154 W 10 Street
NY  NY  10014

Monday and Tuesday 11am-8pm
Wednesday-Saturday 11am-8:30pm
Sunday Noon-7pm

A/C/E or B/D/F/M - W 4th St

1 - Christopher St/Sheridan Sq

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