Hampton Roads Writers

Other Books Recommended by HRW Members

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Tiny Poems for Women Who Think They Hate Poetry

Jean Hendrickson
ISBN: 1424102383, Paperback - $16.95 BUY

Tiny Poems for women who think they hate poetry is a collection that follows women’s journeys from teenage years to old age through the soaring joys and inevitable heartaches of our lives.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao--2008 Pulitizer Prize winner for Fiction

Junot Díaz
ISBN: 1594489580 Hardback - 16.47 BUY

The book is the story of a multi-generational family curse that courses through the book, leaving troubles and tragedy in its wake. Areader might at first be surprised by how many chapters of a book entitled The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao are devoted not to its sci fi–and–fantasy-gobbling nerd-hero but to his sister, his mother and his grandfather. However, Junot Diaz's dark and exuberant first novel makes a compelling case for the multiperspectival view of a life, wherein an individual cannot be known or understood in isolation from the history of his family and his nation.

What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 --2008 Pulitizer Prize winner for History

Daniel Walker Howe
ISBN: 0195078942 Hardback - 23.10 BUY

Both academics and lay readers praise What Hath God Wrought, but they appreciate it for different reasons. It is certainly an exhaustively researched and well-written historical survey—exactly what a volume in the Oxford History Series ought to be. American historians admire its elegant synthesis but also understand that Howe is attempting to lead his readers and colleagues away from the strictly economic explanations that have often dominated writing on this period.

Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father --2008 Pulitizer Prize winner for Biography

John Matteson
ISBN: 0393059642 Hardback - $19.77 BUY

Bronson Alcott filled hundreds of pages with minute observations of his infant daughters, believing that fatherhood was the ideal laboratory for testing his beliefs in the natural genius of children and a holistic mode of education. Yet he was baffled by the willfulness of his second-born, Louisa May. And so begins the dramatic father-daughter relationship on which first-time biographer Matteson so adeptly builds a riveting double portrait of two exceptional Americans and abolitionists: one a man of quixotic dreams and abject failures; the other a resourceful, self-sacrificing, and revolutionary woman writer.

Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005--Winner 2007 National Book Award (Poetry), Winner 2008 Pulitizer Prize for Poetry

John Matteson
ISBN: 0061349607 Hardback - $15.61 BUY

The first book in 10 years from former U.S. poet laureate Hass may be his best in 30: these new poems show a rare internal variety, even as they reflect his constant concerns.

Failure--Winner 2008 Pulitizer Prize for Poetry

Philip Schultz
ISBN: 0151015260 Hardback - $17.25 BUY

A driven immigrant father, an old poet, Isaac Babel in the author’s dreams—Philip Schultz gives voice to failures in poems that are direct and wry. He evokes other lives, too—family, beaches, dogs, the pleasures of marriage, New York City in the 1970s, "when nobody got up before noon, wore a suit/or joined anything"—and a mind struggling with revolutions both interior and exterior. Failure is a superb new collection from one of America’s great poets.

August: Osage County--Winner 2008 Pulitizer Prize for Drama

Tracy Letts
ISBN: 1559363304 Paperback - $11.16 BUY

One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent Broadway history, August: Osage County is a portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest-and absolute worst. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed. The three-act, three-and-a-half-hour mammoth of a play combines epic tragedy with black comedy, dramatizing three generations of unfulfilled dreams and leaving not one of its thirteen characters unscathed. After its sold-out Chicago premiere, the play has electrified audiences in New York since its opening in November 2007.

Best American Fantasy (2007)

Guest Edited by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer
ISBN: 0809562804 Paperback - 11.21 BUY

In a genre where yearly best of volumes often repeat one another, the first in Prime's new annual fantasy anthology series is a breath of eclectic and delightfully innovative fresh air. While the VanderMeers have included such fantasy veterans as Kelly Link and Elizabeth Hand, most of the 29 stories are by nongenre authors as well as gifted newcomers.

The Best American Mystery Stories 2007

Carl Hiaasen (Editor), Otto Penzler (Series Editor)
ISBN: 0618812652 Paperback - 5.97 BUY

The 11th volume in this consistently high-quality series features such household names as Joyce Carol Oates and Lawrence Block, but for the most part it's the lesser lights who shine brightest with superb short crime stories that evoke human passions and bring characters to life with a few well-chosen phrases or images.

The Pushcart Prize XXXI--The best of the small presses 2007

Bill Henderson (Editor), Otto Penzler (Series Editor)
ISBN: 1888889446 Paperback - 12.71 BUY

This venerable yet ever youthful annual gathering of the best small-press short stories, essays, and poetry enters its fourth decade with pomp and circumstance as the man behind the pushcart, Bill Henderson, is recognized for his inspired and unwavering support of literature with awards from the National Book Critics Circle and from Poets & Writers.

New Stories from the South (2007)

Edward P. Jones (Editor)
ISBN: 1565125568 Paperback - 8.97 BUY

This is the 21st edition of Algonquin's signature anthology. This is an evocative selection of 18 stories for those sons and daughters of the South who yearn for fiction that eschews the moonlight-and-magnolias claptrap. Traditional big hitters are featured: Rick Bass, James Lee Burke, Alan Gurganus and Tim Gautreaux, whose "The Safe" is outstanding. But the real excitement is reading stories by up-and-coming writers, such as National Book Award finalist Joshua Ferris.

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho (Author), Alan R. Clarke (Translator)
ISBN: 0061122416 Paperback - 11.16 BUY

The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sniff a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.

Best New American Voices 2007

John Kulka (Editor), Natalie Danford (Editor)
ISBN: 0156031558 Paperback - 11.20 BUY

Guest editor Miller presents the cream of the nation's writing workshops in this latest volume in this vibrant annual short story collection. It has been argued that academic workshops make for processed stories, but Miller, herself a seasoned writing teacher, offers irrefutable evidence to the contrary. The 15 stories she has selected are robust, nervy, and distinctive. Polished yet spirited, inventive and entrancing, these vital tales are bright spots on the literary front.

Tree of Smoke--Winner 2007 National Book Award (Fiction)

Dennis Johnson
ISBN: 0374279128 Hardback - 17.89 BUY

As with all of Johnson's work-the stories in Jesus' Son, novels like Resuscitation of a Hanged Man and Fiskadoro-the real point is the possibility of grace in a world of total mystery and inexplicable suffering. In Johnson's honest world, no one story dominates. For all the story lines, the structure couldn't be simpler: each year, from 1963 (the book opens in the Philippines: "Last night at 3:00 a.m. President Kennedy had been killed") to 1970, gets its own part, followed by a coda set in 1983. Readers familiar with the Vietnam War will recognize its arc-the Tet offensive (65 harrowing pages here); the deaths of Martin Luther King and RFK; the fall of Saigon, swift and seemingly foreordained. Skip is a CIA recruit working under his uncle, Francis X. Sands, known as the Colonel. Skip is mostly in the dark, awaiting direction, living under an alias and falling in love with Kathy while the Colonel deals in double agents, Bushmills whiskey and folk history. He's a soldier-scholar pursuing theories of how to purify an information stream; he bloviates in gusts of sincerity and blasphemy, all of it charming.

Olive Kitteridge

Elizabeth Strout
ISBN: 140006208X Hardback - $16.50 BUY

In a voice more powerful and compassionate than ever before, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout binds together thirteen rich, luminous narratives into a book with the heft of a novel, through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge.

I Remember Running: The Year I Got Everything I Ever Wanted - and ALS

Darcy Wakefield
ISBN: 1569242798 Paperback - $10.17 BUY

A little over a year ago, Darcy Wakefield was a single, 33-year-old, athletic, workaholic English professor, a vegetarian who had never had a serious health problem or injury. Then she was diagnosed with ALS, and her world turned upside down. I Remember Running is Darcy's story of change and loss and challenges during her first year with ALS, as she struggles to make sense of her diagnosis and redefine herself in the face of this terminal illness. With unflagging courage, wit, and eloquence, Darcy shares what she calls her “fast-forward” life, a life in which she applies for disability, leaves her job, and plans her own funeral as well as meets and moves in with her true love, buys a house, and gives birth to her first child in less time than it takes most of us to accomplish even one of these things.
Beautifully written and wholly inspiring, I Remember Running proves that it is possible to live a rich, meaningful life after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. This book will move readers to see the world in a different light.

"Work Hard, Study . . . and Keep Out of Politics!"

James A. Baker
ISBN:0810124890 Pre-Order now, Paperback - $13.57 BUY

Prominent Republican James Baker recalls his life in politics in this candid memoir. Crediting tennis partner George H. W. Bush for drawing him into the arena after the death of his wife in 1970, Baker starts with his first political posts in the Ford administration and proceeds to the disputed presidential election of 2000, in which Baker directed the Republicans' legal strategy. Those interested in political gossip will relish these stories as Baker's replies to various tell-alls written by veterans from the Reagan era, while those intrigued by the practicalities of power might see in Baker's career an example of how to succeed in American democratic politics. However frequently Baker praises public service in this memoir, he as often admits that the need for power is what motivated him. This honesty lends credence to his anecdotes, many of which originate in the presidential campaigns Baker managed for Ford, Bush, and Reagan. PRE-ORDER NOW. BOOK DELIVERED AFTER JUN 1, 2008.

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
ISBN: 1401323251 Paperback - $12.07 BUY

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living. In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Under the Tuscan Sun

ISBN: 0767916069 Bargain Paperback - New and used from $2.25 BUY

In this memoir of her buying, renovating, and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Frances Mayes reveals the sensual pleasure she found living in rural Italy, and the generous spirit she brought with her. She revels in the sunlight and the color, the long view of her valley, the warm homey architecture, the languor of the slow paced days, the vigor of working her garden, and the intimacy of her dealings with the locals. Cooking, gardening, tiling and painting are never chores, but skills to be learned, arts to be practiced, and above all to be enjoyed. At the same time Mayes brings a literary and intellectual mind to bear on the experience, adding depth to this account of her enticing rural idyll.

The Scandel of the Evangelical Mind

Mark A. Noll
ISBN: 0802841805 Paperback $14.96 BUY

Claiming that "the scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind," historian Noll sets out to trace the reasons for what he sees as the great divorce between intellect and piety in North American Evangelical Christianity. Noll loves God and he loves academics, but he is wounded because many of his colleagues deny the possibility of maintaining the integrity of both loves. Noll's epistle is a memoir, a historical study, and a wide-ranging piece of cultural criticism that argues, "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind." Noll considers the effects of evangelical intellectual atrophy on American politics, science, and the arts, and he ultimately offers wise and practical advice for readers who want to explore the full intellectual implications of the incarnation of Christ.

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