What are we reading? | VailDaily.com

What are we reading?

Daily Staff Report

The Bookworm of Edwards1. “Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini: “The Kite Runner” follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule.2. “Virgin’s Lover,” by Philippa Gregory: In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. One woman hears the tidings with utter dread. She is Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, and she knows that Elizabeth’s ambitious leap to the throne will pull her husband back to the very center of the glamorous Tudor court, where he was born to be. Amy had hoped that the merciless ambitions of the Dudley family had died on Tower Green when Robert’s father was beheaded and his sons shamed; but the peal of bells she hears is his summons once more to power, intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young queen. Can Amy’s steadfast faith in him, her constant love, and the home she wants to make for them in the heart of the English countryside compete with the allure of the new queen? 3. “Under the Banner of Heaven,” by Jon Krakauer: Jon Krakauer’s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. In “Under the Banner of Heaven,” he shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders. At the core of his book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this “divinely inspired” crime, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, and unyielding faith. Along the way, he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest-growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief. 4. “Night Fall,” by Nelson Demille: Five years after the crash of Flight 800 two members of the Elite Anti-terrorist Task Force suspect it was no accident and they set out to recover the one piece of evidence to prove it: a videotape that shows a couple making love on the beach as the airliner crashes.5. “Birth of Venus,” by Sarah Dunant: Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers. 6. “Salty Piece of Land,” by Jimmy Buffet: Jimmy Buffett, bestselling author of “Tales from Margaritaville” and hero to “parrotheads” everywhere, flies back into view with a novel set in the Caribbean, involving a lighthouse, a mystery, a wild cast of characters, and more than a few bottles of tequila. Raucous, wise, and familiar with the world’s wonderful strangeness, “A Salty Piece of Land” is the escapism at its best.7. “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” by Patricia Schultz: Packed with recommendations of the world’s best places to visit, on and off the beaten path, 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE is a joyous, passionate gift for travelers, an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more. There’s Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the covered souks of Aleppo, the Tuscan hills surrounding San Gimignano, Canyon de Chelly, the Hassler hotel in Rome, Ipanema Beach, the backwaters of Kerala, Oaxaca’s Saturday market, the Buddhas of Borobudur, Ballybunion golf club-all the places guaranteed to give you the shivers.8. “Five People You Meet in Heaven,” by Mitch Albom: Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”9.”America (The Book),” by Jon Stewart: American-style democracy is the world’s most beloved form of government, which explains why so many other nations are eager for us to impose it on them. But what is American democracy? In America (The Book), Jon Stewart and The Daily Show writing staff offer their insights into our unique system of government, dissecting its institutions, explaining its history and processes, and exploring the reasons why concepts like one man, one vote, government by the people, and every vote counts have become such popular urban myths. 10. “On the Road to Vail and Beyond,” by Dick Hauserman: Dick Hauserman has done it again with a new book about the landmarks along I-70. He enhances the spectacular scenery along the I-70 corridor with tales of history, science, and the environment. Verbatim Booksellers of Vail Village1. “On the Road to Vail and Beyond,” by Dick Hauserman: Dick Hauserman has done it again with a new book about the landmarks along I-70. He enhances the spectacular scenery along the I-70 corridor with tales of history, science, and the environment. 2. “Don’t Think of an Elephant!,” by George Lakoff: Don’t Think of An Elephant! is the antidote to the last forty years of conservative strategizing and the right wing’s stranglehold on political dialogue in the United States. It is the definitive handbook for understanding and communicating effectively about key issues in the 2004 election, and beyond. 3. “Inventors of Vail,” by Dick Hauserman: This book tells the entire story of the remarkable men and women who created a world-class community from acres of pasture. More than 60 interviews were conducted with early founders, pioneers, and entrepreneurs of Vail in order to piece together a fascinating history replete with detail, fact, intrigue, conflict, and romance. 4. “America (The Book),” by Jon Stewart: American-style democracy is the world’s most beloved form of government, which explains why so many other nations are eager for us to impose it on them. But what is American democracy? In America (The Book), Jon Stewart and The Daily Show writing staff offer their insights into our unique system of government, dissecting its institutions, explaining its history and processes, and exploring the reasons why concepts like one man, one vote, government by the people, and every vote counts have become such popular urban myths. 5. “Polar Express,” by Chris Van Allsburg: A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa. 6. “Shepherds Abiding,” by Jan Karon: Since he was a boy growing up in Mississippi, Father Tim has lived what he calls “the life of the mind.” Except for cooking and gardening and washing his dog, he never learned to savor the work of his hands. And then he finds a derelict nativity scene-twenty figures, including a flock of sheep, that have suffered the indignities of time and neglect. Could he give the small company new life? Restore the camel’s ear, repaint every piece, and replace a missing nose on a wise man? “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” he reminds himself. It’s when he imagines the excitement in Cynthia’s eyes that he steps up to the plate-and begins a small journey of faith that touches everyone around him. 7. “Flavors of Vail,” by Peak Properties: You can enjoy recipes from award-winning restaurants and acclaimed chefs. This cookbook also features special family recipes from around the world. Treat yourself to what everyone is tasting in Vail. 8. “He’s Just Not That Into You,” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo: For ages women have come together to analyze the puzzling behavior of men. Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo are here to say that you’re wasting your time. The truth may be the he’s just not that into you. Guys are too terrified to ever directly tell a woman, “you’re not the one.” But their actions absolutely show how they feel. This book is based on a popular episode of Sex and the City and educates otherwise smart women on how to tell when a guy just doesn’t like them enough, so they can stop wasting time making excuses for a dead-end relationship. 9. “Adventures of Fraser the Yellow Dog,” by Jill Sheeley: Fraser follows Courtney, a young girl skiing Vail Mountain on a sunny powder day. When she’s caught in a snow slide, her faithful dog Fraser leads ski patrollers to her rescue in this uplifting story about courage, companionship and ski safety. 10. “Mountain Ranges of Colorado,” by John Fielder: John Fielder’s latest coffee table book celebrates Colorado’s unique mountain ranges. Beautiful color photographs and narrative text help the reader get a better sense of the ecology and geology in the state. Even the cover is designed to simulate granite.Vail Colorado




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