What are we reading? | VailDaily.com

What are we reading?

Daily Staff Writer

Verbatim Booksellers of Vail Village1. “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. 2. “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. 3. “Flavors of Vail,” by Peak Properties: Now you can enjoy recipes from award-winning restaurants and acclaimed chefs. Treat yourself to what everyone is tasting in Vail.4. “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. 5. “In the Deep Heart’s Core,” by Michael Johnston: In the fall of 1997, Michael Johnston went to the rural Mississippi Delta – the “deep heart’s core” of the South – as a member of the Teach for America program, to become an English teacher in one of the poorest districts in the nation. At Greenville High School, he confronted a racially divided world in which his African-American students had to struggle daily against a legacy of crippling poverty and the scourges of drug addiction and gang violence that ravaged their community. In the Deep Heart’s Core tells the story of how Johnston reached out to inspire his teenage students with all the means at his disposal – from the language of the great poets to the strategies of chess to the vigor of athletics. 6. “America (The Book),” by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show staff: 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.7. “Riding the Bus with my Sister,” by Rachel Simon: Beth is a spirited woman with mental retardation, who spends nearly every day riding the buses in Philadelphia. The drivers, a lively group, are her mentors; her fellow passengers are her community. When Beth asks her sister Rachel to accompany her on the buses for one year, they take a transcendent journey together that changes Rachel’s life in incredible ways and leads her to accept her sister at long last-teaching her to slow down and enjoy the ride.8. “A Salty Piece of Land,” by Jimmy Buffet: Jimmy Buffett, #1 bestselling author, 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. If Tully Mars had known what he was getting himself into when he agreed to help find the lost lens belonging to the lighthouse on Cayo Loco–well, he might never have agreed to help in the first place. Then again, maybe he simply would have taken a slightly longer nap before setting off on his wild adventure. And it isn’t just Tully–whom Buffett fans will remember well from Jimmy’s bestselling Tales from Margaritaville–on the madcap quest. There’s Ix-Nay, an Indian shaman with a dislike of the media; Mr. Twain, Tully’s loyal steed; Cleopatra Highbourne, the 102-year-old owner of Cayo Loco and Cuban baseball addict; Captain Kirk, fishing trip leader and boatman extraordinaire; former country music star Sean Spurl, aka Tex Sex; Bucky Norman, a Wyoming cowboy who has found his way to the ocean; and even a fellow named Jimmy Buffett, who decides he might as well join in on the party. 9. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,” by Mark Haddon: Christopher John Francis Boone cannot stand to be touched. He relates well to animals, though, like his pet rat, Toby, and his neighbor’s dog, Wellington. He can calculate complicated mathematical problems in his head for fun…and uses this device when he faces something he cannot comprehend–like emotions. Christopher is autistic. When Wellington is killed with a garden fork, Christopher cannot help but find the killer. He turns to his favorite fictional character to help him “detect” the clues he’ll need, even though he “doesn’t like Arthur Conan Doyle.” His sleuth-work gets him into all kinds of trouble, not only with the local constabulary, but his father and neighbors as well.10. “Vail: Triumph of a Dream,” by Peter Seibert: This is the inside story of Vail by the man who created it. A ski trooper and member of the famed 10th Mountain Division during World War II, Seibert came back from the war with wounds so severe he was not expected to ski again. Against all odds he became a champion ski racer and a member of the 1950 Men’s Alpine Team. The he focused on the dream he had since childhood- of building his own ski resort. The Bookworm of Edwards1. “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. “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. 3. “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. 4. “America (The Book),” by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show staff: 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. “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? 6. “Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd: Sue Monk Kidd’s ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the town’s fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love–a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.7. “A Salty Piece of Land,” by Jimmy Buffet: Jimmy Buffett, #1 bestselling author, 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. If Tully Mars had known what he was getting himself into when he agreed to help find the lost lens belonging to the lighthouse on Cayo Loco–well, he might never have agreed to help in the first place. Then again, maybe he simply would have taken a slightly longer nap before setting off on his wild adventure. And it isn’t just Tully–whom Buffett fans will remember well from Jimmy’s bestselling Tales from Margaritaville–on the madcap quest. There’s Ix-Nay, an Indian shaman with a dislike of the media; Mr. Twain, Tully’s loyal steed; Cleopatra Highbourne, the 102-year-old owner of Cayo Loco and Cuban baseball addict; Captain Kirk, fishing trip leader and boatman extraordinaire; former country music star Sean Spurl, aka Tex Sex; Bucky Norman, a Wyoming cowboy who has found his way to the ocean; and even a fellow named Jimmy Buffett, who decides he might as well join in on the party. 8. “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. 9. “Five People You Meet in Heaven,” by Mitch Albom: From the author of the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, a novel that explores the unexpected connections of our lives, and the idea that heaven is more than a place; it’s an answer. 10. “State of Fear,” by Michael Chrichton: Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world. From the streets of Paris, to the glaciers of Antarctica to the exotic and dangerous Solomon Islands, State of Fear takes the reader on a rollercoaster thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear.




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