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A LONG WAY FROM BROOKLYN - An Italian-American Journey, by John Tursi and Thelma Palmer (Cave Art Press, $16.95)
Originally published in 1989 as Long Journey to the Rose Garden, this is a revised and updated edition of the inspiring memoir by the late Anacortes resident John Tursi. An impoverished Depression-era kid from Brooklyn, Tursi's life was transformed when he joined the CCCs—the Civilian Conservation Corps. Stationed at Deception Pass State Park, in Washington State, he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest, and with a girl in the nearby town of Anacortes. The two set about building a life together—until World War II broke out. John was vilified as an Italian-American, but he joined the U.S. Army and, with the 342nd Engineers, landed in France three days after D-Day, dodged bullets behind enemy lines, got caught up in the Battle of the Bulge, and became unwittingly involved in black-market operations run by an aristocratic Belgian seductress. After the war, he returned home to Anacortes and became a refinery engineer, philanthropist and community icon. This is a classic account of a poor American kid pulling himself up by the bootstraps—and succeeding beyond his wildest dreams!
NEW AND NOTABLE
END OF WATCH, by Stephen King (Scribner, $30.00) The spectacular finale to the trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something evil has awakened. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, has been lying in a vegetative state for the past five years. According to his doctors, there's almost no hope of recovery. But behind the drool and the stare, the "Mercedes Killer" is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever having to leave his hospital room. As Brady drives his enemies to suicide, retired police detective Bill Hodges and his investigative partner Holly Gibney must figure out a way to stop him, or they'll be victims themselves.
WINTERING, by Peter Geye (Knopf, $26.95) Highly acclaimed Minnesota novelist Peter Geye delivers a true epic: a sixty-year love story, generations' worth of feuds, and secrets witheld and revealed.Two principal stories are bound together when elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding northernmost wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint, Minnesota - instantly changing the Eide family and many other lives, forever. Richard Russo says of this book, "The last time I read a literary thriller so profound Cormac McCarthy's name was on its spine. But Peter Geye is his own man and Wintering is as unique and menacingly beautiful is its Minnesota borderlands setting."
THE GENIUS OF BIRDS, by Jennifer Ackerman (Penguin, $28.00) As she travels around the world to cutting-edge frontiers of avian research, award winning science writer Jennifer Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently discovered genius of birds, she also delves deeply into the latest findings about bird brains that are changing our human view of what it means to be intelligent. Beyond highlighting how birds exhibit unique technical abilities, Ackerman points out the impressive social smarts of birds: they deceive and manipulate; they eavesdrop; they give gifts; the kiss to console one another; they blackmail their parents; they alert one another to danger; they summon. Richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures.
THE GREEN ROAD, by Anne Enright (Norton, $15.95) Spanning thirty years, this novel tells the story of the Madigans, a family on the cusp of either coming together or falling irreparably apart, and their indomitable matriarch, Rosaleen. In masterful prose, Enright, the inaugural Irish Laureate for Fiction, weaves together a spell-binding story of family and fracture, selfishness and compassion, in her most unforgettable novel to date.