- Category: Ron
The Impossible Climb by Mark Synnott
A look at events leading up to Alex Honnold's free solo of El Capitan, described by the New York Times as "one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever." Big wall climber and alpinist Mark Synnott, a self-described old silverback to his young alpha climbing friend of ten years, has enriched this story immeasurably by expanding the scope of the book beyond Honnold to include climbing history, personal memoir, and a cast of colorful characters that includes Alex Lowe, Jimmy Chin, Warren Harding, John Bachar and Dean Potter, as well as stories of climbs and expeditions around the world. If all you care about is Honnold, climbing's "It boy" of the moment, then just go read the expanded edition of Alone on the Wall and watch (the Oscar winning) Free Solo over and over. Those with a deeper curiosity should love this book, even though it's sure to inspire arguments and discussion among the climbing tribe.
Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr2052930
Undercard by David Albertyn
Four childhood friends who haven’t seen each other in years are unexpectedly re-united by a Las Vegas casino prizefight and a high profile murder. Set over the course of 24 hours, this debut novel is a Dewey Diva pick and has been called “a terrific thriller and a sharp commentary on our turbulent times” by David Bezmozgis. The book practically screams movie adaptation, or some sort of Fargo-esque TV series reimagining, so it’s no surprise that screen rights have just been picked up. Learn more about South African born, Toronto based tennis pro turned thriller writer Albertyn, here.
Adult Fiction Paperback pr2086059
- Category: Ron
Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography by Andrea Warner
Biographies of musicians are usually read by fans, skipped by those that aren’t. This book might possibly have pulled in some others who know Sainte-Marie for her activism or have an interest in Indigenous issues. Which is a shame, as this book deserves to be widely read. Not only has Sainte-Marie lived a life more interesting than most could imagine, she has passed through a slew of challenges with an almost shocking amount of intelligence and positivity. One might not only forgive, but expect, her voice to be a strident and bitter one and yet the Cree singer, visual artist, actress, composer, educator and humanitarian from the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan is a relentlessly energetic and hopeful one. Whether you like or even know her music or name, read this book.
Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr2365882
The Falconer by Dana Czapnik
Beautifully written coming of age tale about a 17 year old girl in early 90s NYC, obsessed with basketball and the unrequited love of her best friend. The praise rolling in from Salman Rushdie, Ann Patchett and Rivka Galchen is well deserved. I wish I'd had this book to give to my daughter in her teens while knowing she might enjoy it even more now, from her later perspective. Positive proof that the oldest stories in the world (e.g. coming of age) can be told with brilliance and verve countless times in the hands of debut authors whose next work we'll eagerly await.
Adult Fiction Hardcover pr2606197
- Category: Ron
So Many Doors by Oakley Hall
This classic noir tale of a destructive love triangle set around Bakersfield around the time of WWII was first published in 1950. Cognitive dissonance drew me to this novel that revolves around a cat-skinner (I'm going to let you look that up) and a young farmer's daughter. The lurid cover of this Vintage Crime edition is all pulp and cheesy noir, yet graced with great praise from Michael Chabon, who says "So Many Doors is a beautiful, powerful, even masterful novel by a writer whose work enriched American literature." Even more striking, there is a blurb by Amy Tam on the back cover, saying in part that "he is the master of characterization, narrative immediacy, and the art of luring you into a gripping story."
After reading, I was glad to have taken a closer look at the book with the tall busty blonde with a strangely enormous left foot on the cover of an advance reader copy. I've seldom read a book that captured the mad yearning, inchoate confusion, madness and near horror of existence so pitch perfectly. It actually made me feel glad to be north of 50, which doesn't happen too often. I’ve since learned that Oakley Hall’s work included the novel Warlock, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1958. The Downhill Racers, a 1969 movie starring Robert Redford, was based on another of his books. Hall taught at the University of California, Irvine, where he mentored Richard Ford, in addition to Chabon and Tan. He received lifetime achievement awards from the PEN American Center and the Cowboy Hall of Fame, and died in 2008.
Adult Fiction Paperback pr2096511
Let's Go (So We Can Get Back) by Jeff Tweedy
A funny, charming, self-aware look back by the Wilco front man, from growing up in SW Illinois to present day. You really needn't be a fan of Uncle Tupelo, Wilco in any of its configurations, or have even heard of Jeff Tweedy to enjoy this book (although that would help, of course). Read it if you enjoy memoirs by interesting people with the ability to tell a good story well. I'll admit that I've seen him in concert probably a dozen times, but not for almost two decades, and haven't engaged with his music since Mermaid Avenue Vol. II was released in 2000 (doesn't matter: it's a great read). For a deeper dive into the book and where Tweedy is at these days, you can find a full length review from Gentleman's Quarterly here.
Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr2093580