Stephen's favorites

Stephen has always been a reader, even if sometimes the books are beyond his grasp.



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The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) Cover Image
By J. A. Baker, Robert MacFarlane (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590171332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New York Review of Books - December 31st, 2004

To call J.A. Baker's book a book about birds is similar to saying Moby-Dick is a book about whales. This is so much more than ornithology. It's a marvelously textured, understated, and beautifully written account of a man's quest to learn certain aspects of the natural world--to become part of the corner of the universe he's come to inhabit. Baker's language is precise and poetic and his insights, on the behavior of birds and man, are remarkable. I love this book all out of proportion.

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Outline (Outline Trilogy #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250081544
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - February 9th, 2016

Bold and elliptical, Outline does as much to reinvent the novel as anything published in the past twenty years, while still managing to be an unlikely page-turner about a woman who struggles simply to be present in her own life.

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An Elemental Thing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811216944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - May 17th, 2007

Eliot Weinberger, a college drop-out turned tanslator (of Paz, Borges, Bei Dao, and others) writes essays unlike anything you've read. These pieces -- erudite, wide-ranging, poetic -- are of universal scope, touching on topics as diverse (and cohesive) as the varieties of Chinese wind, a history of the rhinocerous in Europe, the Nazca lines in the Peruvian desert, and a reverie on the stars that is breathtakingly beautiful. Weinberger's vast learning is matched by an equally encompassing sense of wonder, and his ability to draw the "exotic" closer, while still permitting it an air of mystery, is a thing to marvel at.

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A Country Called Childhood: Children and the Exuberant World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619025844
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 10th, 2015

What a book this is! Written with a passionate exuberance that nearly makes the words jump off the page, A Country Called Childhood is a fierce cry against the (artificial) disconnect between children and the nature. Griffiths hones her righteous indignation, and a variety of examples from indigenous cultures and literature, to argue that children are healthiest when intimately entangled with animals, mud, and the untameable forces of the living world. 

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The Fountains of Neptune (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781564781550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - March 14th, 2015

A novel dredged from the depths of the sea.

Drawing a Tree (About the Workshop Series) Cover Image
By Bruno Munari (Artist)
ISBN: 9788887942767
Availability: Special Order
Published: Corraini Editore - July 15th, 2004

A simple and effective guide to drawing trees that just might change the way you see the world.

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The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Landscapes #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780147509796
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 24th, 2013

If the best books are those that make you itch for something new—or, in this case, something as ancient as walking—Robert Macfarlane’s poetic travel memoir is certainly one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Tracing his ramblings across moors and seas, up mountains, and along meandering paths, Macfarlane describes in lush, precise prose a natural (and human) world that reveals itself leisurely, step by step. Full of remarkable scenes and a memorable cast of characters, The Old Ways brings to mind recent memoirs like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and classic nature writing a la Peter Matthiessen. I recommend it with only one caveat: read it with your hiking boots on; it’ll make you want to get up and go.

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The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226213200
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - November 10th, 2014

Add to CartAdd to Wish List Taking as his inspiration Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings, Caspar Henderson set out to investigate those seemingly too strange to be real creatures that are, in fact, alive on our strange planet. From the axolotl to the zebra fish, this book demonstrates just how wondrous biology is and how bizarre the journey to get to this point has been.

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Counternarratives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811225526
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - May 17th, 2016

An unforgettable and haunting collection of thematically linked stories tracing the black experience in the new world. Written in a virtuosic range of styles, Counternarratives announces John Keene as one of our great--and seriously underappreciated--talents.

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Lolly Willowes: Or the Loving Huntsman (New York Review Books #5) Cover Image
By Sylvia Townsend Warner, Alison Lurie (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780940322165
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New York Review of Books - September 30th, 1999

Lolly Willowes is utterly beguiling. A prim and proper British spinster decides unexpectedly to renounce the normality of her staid life and dashes off into the wilds, where witchy things await. Lolly is one of the most memorable characters I've had the pleasure of meeting.

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Ninety-Nine Stories of God Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941040355
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - July 12th, 2016

Joy Williams is an American treasure and Ninety-Nine Stories of God, a collection of sharp-eyed, occasionally heartbreaking, and often mordantly funny short fictions has become for me an instant desert island book. Williams is no stranger to the darker, inexplicable currents of life, which gives this book a weight far beyond its slimness.