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Emily Hamm

Porter Square Books

25 White Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

United States

(617) 491-2220; infoportersquarebooks.com

Type: Bookstore — new books

Web site: http://portersquarebooks.com/

Events: http://www.portersquarebooks.com/event

Twitter account: @PorterSqBooks

Amenities: wifi, food/drink

Description: We love to talk about books and have plenty of perfect gift and great read suggestions. If you can't find the right book we also sell gift cards. We are happy to order books for you. We also offer shipping, complementary gift wrapping and audio book rental.

Porter Square Books also sells ebooks in a number of formats for a wide variety of reading devices. Read more here.

Cafe Zing inside Porter Square Books features products from local bakeries served alongside fair-trade coffee and organic espresso from Equal Exchange, as well as a free hour of wifi with every purchase!

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Upcoming events

Oct
1
Somerville Farmers Market (Wednesday, October 1 at 12pm)
One local bookseller. One local publisher. One local farmers market.

Join Porter Square Books and Candlewick Press at the Davis Square Farmers Market in Somerville throughout this fall. Each week we'll be bringing a selection of books to share, and there will be fun activities and visits from some of our favorite authors.

This week's theme is picture books.

You can find us at the farmers market on these dates: October 1 October 8 October 15 November 19 November 26

Location: Street: Davis Square Farmers Market Additional: Day & Herbert Streets City: Somerville, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02144 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
1
Jim Vrabel, A People's History of the New Boston, and Kenneth Mack, Representing the Race (Wednesday, October 1 at 7pm)
Two new books explore the evolution of Boston and the city's role in the civil rights movement's legal battles.

"Vrabel has resurrected the voices of so many everyday (and yet extraordinarily fierce!) neighborhood folks who have stood up to the powers that be and grabbed the reins of leadership on all issues that directly impacted their lives. In this book, history is not only prelude to present, it is inspiration to all of us that we can indeed change our future." — Michael Patrick MacDonald, author of All Souls: A Family Story from Southie

Although Boston today is a vibrant and thriving city, it was anything but that in the years following World War II. By 1950 it had lost a quarter of its tax base over the previous twenty-five years, and during the 1950s it would lose residents faster than any other major city in the country.

Credit for the city’s turnaround since that time is often given to a select group of people, all of them men, all of them white, and most of them well off. In fact, a large group of community activists, many of them women, people of color, and not very well off, were also responsible for creating the Boston so many enjoy today. This book provides a grassroots perspective on the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s, when residents of the city’s neighborhoods engaged in an era of activism and protest unprecedented in Boston since the American Revolution.

Using interviews with many of those activists, contemporary news accounts, and historical sources, Jim Vrabel describes the demonstrations, sit-ins, picket lines, boycotts, and contentious negotiations through which residents exerted their influence on the city that was being rebuilt around them. He includes case histories of the fights against urban renewal, highway construction, and airport expansion; for civil rights, school desegregation, and welfare reform; and over Vietnam and busing. He also profiles a diverse group of activists from all over the city, including Ruth Batson, Anna DeFronzo, Moe Gillen, Mel King, Henry Lee, and Paula Oyola. Vrabel tallies the wins and losses of these neighborhood Davids as they took on the Goliaths of the time, including Boston’s mayors. He shows how much of the legacy of that activism remains in Boston today.

Jim Vrabel is a longtime Boston community activist and historian. He is author of When in Boston: A Time Line & Almanac and Homage to Henry: A Dramatization of John Berryman’s "The Dream Songs."

"Although civil rights lawyers occupy a central place in our nation’s history, the nuances of their own position with regard to race, class, and professional stature bear closer examination. In this compelling new book, Mack recreates their individual and collective struggles and the triumphs that defined an era.—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University

Representing the Race tells the story of an enduring paradox of American race relations, through the prism of a collective biography of African American lawyers who worked in the era of segregation. Practicing the law and seeking justice for diverse clients, they confronted a tension between their racial identity as black men and women and their professional identity as lawyers. Both blacks and whites demanded that these attorneys stand apart from their racial community as members of the legal fraternity. Yet, at the same time, they were expected to be “authentic”—that is, in sympathy with the black masses. This conundrum, as Kenneth W. Mack shows, continues to reverberate through American politics today.

Mack reorients what we thought we knew about famous figures such as Thurgood Marshall, who rose to prominence by convincing local blacks and prominent whites that he was—as nearly as possible—one of them. But he also introduces a little-known cast of characters to the American racial narrative. These include Loren Miller, the biracial Los Angeles lawyer who, after learning in college that he was black, became a Marxist critic of his fellow black attorneys and ultimately a leading civil rights advocate; and Pauli Murray, a black woman who seemed neither black nor white, neither man nor woman, who helped invent sex discrimination as a category of law. The stories of these lawyers pose the unsettling question: what, ultimately, does it mean to "represent" a minority group in the give-and-take of American law and politics?

Kenneth Mack is Lawrence D. Biele Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
2
Daniel Mendelsohn and William Giraldi discuss Augustus (Thursday, October 2 at 7pm)
Daniel Mendelsohn, who wrote the introduction to this new edition of John Williams' award-winning novel Augustus, discusses the book and Williams' body of work with novelist and critic William Giraldi.

In Augustus, the third of his great novels, John Williams took on an entirely new challenge, a historical novel set in classical Rome, exploring the life of the founder of the Roman Empire, whose greatness was matched by his brutality. To tell the story, Williams also turned to a genre, the epistolary novel, that was new to him, transforming and transcending it just as he did the western in Butcher’s Crossing and the campus novel in Stoner. Augustus is the final triumph of a writer who has come to be recognized around the world as an American master.

"John Williams re-creates the Roman Empire from the death of Julius Caesar to the last days of Augustus, the machinations of the court, the Senate, and the people, from the sickly boy to the sickly man who almost dies during expeditions to what would seem to be the ruthless ruler. He uses an epistolary, polylogic format, and in the end all these voices, like a collage, meld together around the main character. Monologue becomes action, but action never becomes character. Instead, an image of brutality questions its own origins. Read it in conjunction with Robert Graves’s more flamboyant Claudius and Claudius the God, Hermann Broch’s The Death of Virgil, and Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian." —Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation

Daniel Mendelsohn, the author of the international bestseller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, is an award-winning writer, critic and translator. His essays, reviews and articles appear in many publications, most frequently in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and the New York Times Book Review, where he is a columnist for "Bookends." Formerly the weekly book critic for New York magazine, he is presently a Contributing Editor at Travel + Leisure.

William Giraldi teaches at Boston University and is Senior Fiction Editor for AGNI. His nonfiction and fiction have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Georgia Review, Bookforum, Southern Review, The Believer, Kenyon Review, Poets & Writers, Yale Review, The American Scholar, Antioch Review, TriQuarterly, and Salmagundi. His essay on amateur bodybuilding, “Freaky Beasts,” received a Pushcart Prize and was listed among Most Notable Essays in Best American Essays 2010. His essay “The Physics of Speed” was a finalist for a 2011 National Magazine Award. Giraldi lives in Boston with his wife and son.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
3
Storytime with Michael Muller and Mirabelle (Friday, October 3 at 11am)
Join the star of the Mirabelle books for a special storytime event!

Michael Muller is a photographer, collage artist, and proprietor of the Mirabelle line of greeting cards. He and Mirabelle, a real Boston terrier, began their lives together in 2006. They live in Washington, D.C., and online at adventuresofmirabelle.com.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)… (more)
Oct
6
The Roundtable at Porter Square Books (Monday, October 6 at 7pm)
Join Porter Square Books for a monthly reading series curated by Boston area literary magazines and journals.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
Oct
7
Rick Riordan, Blood of Olympus--SOLD OUT (Tuesday, October 7 at 7pm)
TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT HAVE SOLD OUT

Join Rick Riordan to celebrate the launch of the final book in the Heroes of Olympus series!

This event takes place at Temple Ohabei Shalom. Tickets are required. See below for all the details.

About the book: Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them-and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-The Blood of Olympus-in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it might be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

About the event: The book launch is at Temple Ohabei Shalom, on Beacon Street in Brookline. There is parking available, and the temple is also T-accessible: take the C branch of the Green Line (Cleveland Circle) to Kent Street. Tickets are $5 each. Every person attending the event must have a ticket. Tickets are available through our website and in the store. Tickets are limited to 4 per customer at this time. Signed copies of Blood of Olympus will be available for purchase. You can purchase a copy ahead of time or buy one that evening.

Location: Street: Temple Ohabei Shalom Additional: 1187 Beacon St. City: Brookline, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02446 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
8
Somerville Farmers Market (Wednesday, October 8 at 12pm)
One local bookseller. One local publisher. One local farmers market.

Join Porter Square Books and Candlewick Press at the Davis Square Farmers Market in Somerville throughout this fall. Each week we'll be bringing a selection of books to share, and there will be fun activities and visits from some of our favorite authors.

This week's theme is picture books.

You can find us at the farmers market on these dates: October 8 October 15 November 19 November 26

Location: Street: Davis Square Farmers Market Additional: Day & Herbert Streets City: Somerville, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02144 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
8
PSB at the 'Stand: Catherine Walthers, Kale, Glorious Kale (Wednesday, October 8 at 6:30pm)
With the guidance of bestselling cookbook author Cathy Walthers and the stunning photography of Alison Shaw, every home cook can explore the multitude of ways this most healthy of foods can be made into delectable and satisfying meals. From Baked Eggs Over Kale in the morning to kale snacks and appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes and main courses like Pork Braised with Kale and Cider for dinner, Kale, Glorious Kale will be your complete guide to the greatest of green vegetables.

Catherine Walthers is an award-winning journalist and food writer. She has worked for the past 15 years as a private chef and cooking instructor in the Boston area and on Martha’s Vineyard. She is food editor of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, and the author of Raising the Salad Bar, as well as co-author of Greens, Glorious Greens.

This event takes place at Kickstand Cafe in Arlington. We're delighted to partner with Kickstand, cousin to Cafe Zing here in the store. Watch for more PSB at the 'Stand events in 2015!

Location: Street: Kickstand Cafe Additional: 594 Massachusetts Avenue City: Arlington, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02474 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
8
Kim Triedman, Hadestown, and Joanne DeSimone Reynolds, Comes a Blossom (Wednesday, October 8 at 7pm)
"In his final penitential labor, the Greek hero Heracles descends into the underworld to capture Cerberus, the nether region’s three-headed guard dog – the West’s primordial pit-bull. In Hadestown, her wildly evocative and dazzlingly associative sequence of prose poems, Kim Triedman transforms the hero’s descent into a fraught road trip plumbing the cultural, social, and psychological depths. Part mythic quest, part post-apocalyptic travel narrative, Hadestown is a palimpsest that overlays traditional storytelling with shadows of immigrant passages and the dire conflicting histories of our own moment. In doing so, she has carried into the light a vision of our contemporary underworld. Euripides meets Blade Runner. Beckett meets Survivor." – Daniel Tobin

Kim Triedman is both an award-winning poet and a novelist. Her debut novel, The Other Room, and two full-length poetry collections, Plum(b) and Hadestown, all released in 2013. The Other Room was one of four finalists for the 2008 James Jones First Novel Fellowship, and Kim’s poetry has garnered many awards, including the 2008 Main Street Rag Chapbook Award and the 2010 Ibbetson Street Poetry Award. Her poetry has been published in numerous anthologies and literary journals including Prairie Schooner, Salamander, WomenArts Quarterly, and Poetry Salzburg Review. Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Kim co-organized and co-chaired a collaborative poetry reading at Harvard University to benefit Partners in Health and the people of Haiti. The reading was featured on NPR’s Here and Now with Robin Young and led to the publication of a Poets for Haiti anthology, which Kim developed and edited. A graduate of Brown University, Kim lives in the Boston area.

The mother-daughter bond, and the losses it anticipates, are at the heart of Joanne DeSimone Reynolds’ breathtaking debut collection Comes a Blossom. There is little that’s left to chance in these poems: gestures here are small and circumscribed – the curve of a hand, a rinsing of hair, the drift of a newborn’s eyes as it follows its mother’s gaze across a room. But in Reynolds’ sure hand, these small everyday nuances become anything but ordinary, and what emerges are poems so distilled, so intricate and precise, they feel not so much written as etched. Such is the skill of this new voice that a subject as broad and unwieldy as motherhood itself can be rendered with the adroitness and precision of an engraving: filigree-fine. -- Kim Triedman

Joanne DeSimone Reynolds was born in Pennsylvania and raised in New Jersey. A graduate of Boston University, her poems have been published in Salamander, Ibbetson Street Press, Wilderness House Literary Review and LBJ Literary Bird Journal. She is a member of the Concord Poetry Center and has written reviews for the Boston Area Small Press. The mother of two grown children, she lives on the south shore of Boston with her husband. This is her first collection.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
9
Julie Salamon and Jill Weber, Cat in the City (Thursday, October 9 at 7pm)
"Bittersweet and meaningful, Cat in the City shows the solemnity and inevitability of change and the importance of finding a family and a home to call your own." — School Library Journal

A city savvy stray cat named Pretty Boy has always managed to make it on his own. He’s as vain as they come, and he won’t admit to being dependent on anyone. But as he discovers the pleasures of friendship, he learns that home really is where the heart is. Or, at the very least, home is where his friends are. And with friends all around New York City, Pretty Boy will always have a place to call home.

The author and illustrator team who brought us the New York Times bestseller The Christmas Tree introduce an unforgettable animal adventure in the tradition of A Cricket in Times Square and The One and Only Ivan. The result is a story that will captivate readers of all ages with its warmth and wit.

Julie Salamon is the author of several award- winning books, including the New York Times bestsellers Wendy and the Lost Boys and The Christmas Tree, her previous collaboration with illustrator Jill Weber. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and many others. Cat in the City is her debut children's book. She lives in Manhattan with her family.

Jill Weber lives on a farm in New Hampshire with her family and their pets. She has illustrated many books for adults and for children.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
10
Andrea Werblin, Sunday with the Sound Turned Off (Friday, October 10 at 7pm)
"The through line of Sunday with the Sound Turned Off is Werblin's voice that wavers not in its navigation of wavering states—of mind, location, and heart. Personal pronouns are not just protagonists here; they are also vehicles, allowing us to get from 'I tell you these songs go only so far' to 'you can majesty your ice-age excuses' to 'his human capacity for rain.' Finally, it is a lyrical relation to the self in the world, and the self with other selves, that this book allows us to enter and to hold." —Barbara Cully, author of Under the Hours, Desire Reclining & The New Intimacy

Andrea Werblin is a manuscript reviewer at Kore Press and the author of one previous book of poems, Lullaby for One Fist (Wesleyan University Press, 2001). Her work has appeared in BOOG Reader, EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts, The Massachusetts Review, and Smartish Pace. She works as a freelance Copy Director, and writes about neuroplasticity, extreme landscapes, amateur pastry-chef adventures, and stretch pants.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
11
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story (Saturday, October 11 at 7pm)
"A gripping personal record: tracing the arc from stunning rookie phenom to defeated hero. The story is moving. It's a book that devotees of sport have to have on their bookshelves." — Winnipeg Free Press

Bobby Orr is often referred to as the greatest defenseman ever to play the game of hockey. But all the brilliant achievements leave unsaid as much as they reveal. They don’t tell what inspired Orr, what drove him, what it was like for a shy small-town kid to suddenly land in the full glare of the media. They don’t tell what it was like when the agent he regarded as a brother betrayed him and left him in financial ruin. They don’t tell what he thinks of the game of hockey today.

Now he breaks his silence in a memoir as unique as the man himself... Bobby Orr played for the Boston Bruins from 1966 to 1976, and then two more years for the Chicago Blackhawks. Among other records and honors, he remains the only defenseman to win the Art Ross Trophy league scoring title—twice—and he still holds the record for most points and assists at that position. He also won a record eight consecutive Norris Trophies as the NHL’s best defenseman, and three consecutive Hart Trophies as the league’s MVP, as well as two Conn Smythe Trophies as the Stanley Cup MVP. Orr was the youngest living player to be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame, at thirty-one.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
13
Anjali Mitter Duva, Faint Promise of Rain (Monday, October 13 at 7pm)
Join us for the launch of a debut novel from a local author.

"Faint Promise of Rain is a gorgeous book, a story that is at once spare and lush, wrenching and restoring. The characters are so fully realized, so keenly nuanced, that they linger with you long after the last page, like the sweet smell of a recent storm." —Bret Anthony Johnston, Director of Creative Writing, Harvard University, and author of Remember Me Like This

It is 1554 in the desert of Rajasthan, an outpost of resistance against a new Mughal emperor. In a family of Hindu temple dancers a daughter, Adhira, must carry on her family's sacred tradition. Her father, against his wife and sons' protests, insists Adhira "marry" the temple deity and give herself to a wealthy patron. But after one terrible evening, she makes a brave choice that carries her family's story and their dance to a startling new beginning. Told from the memory of this exquisite dancer and filled with the sounds, sights and flavors of the Indian desert, this is the story of a family and a girl caught between art, duty, and fear in a changing world.

Anjali Mitter Duva is a writer who grew up in France and has family roots in Calcutta, India. After completing graduate studies at MIT and launching a career in urban planning, she found the call of storytelling too great to resist. A switch to freelance writing and project management allowed her more time for her own creative pursuits. She is a co-founder of Chhandika, an organization that teaches and presents India’s classical storytelling kathak dance. Anjali lives near Boston with her husband and two daughters, and is at work on her second novel, set in 19th century Lucknow.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
14
E.B. Moore, An Unseemly Wife (Tuesday, October 14 at 7pm)
1867. Ruth Holtz has more blessings than she can count—a loving husband, an abundant farm, beautiful children, and the warm embrace of the Amish community. Then, the English arrive, spreading incredible stories of free land in the West and inspiring her husband to dream of a new life in Idaho. Breaking the rules of their Order, Ruth’s husband packs up his pregnant wife and their four children and joins a wagon train heading west. Though Ruth is determined to keep separate from the English, as stricture demands, the harrowing journey soon compels her to accept help from two unlikely allies: Hortence, the preacher’s wife, and the tomboyish, teasing Sadie. But as these new friendships lead to betrayal, what started as a quest for a brighter future ends with Ruth making unthinkable sacrifices, risking faith and family, and transforming into a woman she never imagined she’d become…

E. B. Moore is a metal sculptor turned writer. Her chapbook of poems, New Eden, A Legacy, (Finishing Line Press, 2009) served as the foundation for her novel, An Unseemly Wife (forthcoming from NAL/Penguin). These writings are based on family stories from her Amish roots in Lancaster Pennsylvania. She graduated from Grub Street’s Novel Incubator and has received full fellowships to The Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
15
Somerville Farmers Market (Wednesday, October 15 at 12pm)
One local bookseller. One local publisher. One local farmers market.

Join Porter Square Books and Candlewick Press at the Davis Square Farmers Market in Somerville throughout this fall. Each week we'll be bringing a selection of books to share, and there will be fun activities and visits from some of our favorite authors.

This week's theme is weather.

You can find us at the farmers market on these dates: October 15 November 19 November 26

Location: Street: Davis Square Farmers Market Additional: Day & Herbert Streets City: Somerville, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02144 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
15
Daniel Tobin, The Net, and Kenneth Lee, Lake Effect (Wednesday, October 15 at 7pm)
Two local poets read from their new collections.

"These are very beautiful poems, and The Net is a very beautiful book—surpassingly so." -- David Ferry

Unified by its theme of metamorphosis, these poems descend deeply into subjects as divergent as a jetty that disappears during high tide, to a talking parasitical head, to a sandlot baseball legend, to a famine road in Ireland, to Orpheus, to Wittgenstein, to a murdered poet and his wife, and finally to grave personal loss, tracing through all of its many attentions the thread that binds the physical to the metaphysical—a psychic passage from death back to life again. Childhood joy, the delights of long marriage, moments of quiet reflection, the losses attendant on aging, and the life-saving gifts offered by the natural world and grandchildren—they are all here in Lake Effect, Kenneth Lee’s third book of poems, one that is in itself life-saving. Early readers have been enthusiastic about this new offering from a remarkable poet-pathologist. Vijay Seshadri, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry, writes that "Kenneth Lee's Lake Effect is a memory palace of splendid chambers, mysterious portals, secret corridors, chests filled with treasure, and passageways leading to the alternate universe that is the human mind. The culminating effect of the innumerable effects in this beautiful book of poems is to make us feel that the poet’s lovingly rendered past and his keenly embodied consciousness are our own."

Daniel Tobin is the author of five previous books of poems, Where the World is Made, Double Life, The Narrows, Second Things, and Belated Heavens (winner of the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry, 2011), along with the critical studies Passage to the Center and Awake in America. He is the editor of The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, The Selected Poems and Lola Ridge, and (with Pimone Triplett) Poet’s Work, Poet’s Play: Essays on the Practice and the Art. His awards include the "The Discovery/The Nation Award," The Robert Penn Warren Award, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize, and creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Kenneth Lee is a pathologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. His second book of poetry, Lake Effect, was published in 2014 by Antrim House. Previous books include Sweet Spot in 2012, also by Antrim House, and Cleaning the Attic, a chapbook by Finishing Line Press. He is also co-author with Christopher Crum and Marisa Nucci of the popular textbook, Diagnostic Gynecologic and Obstetric Pathology.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
16
Ellen Harris, George Frideric Handel (Thursday, October 16 at 7pm)
An intimate portrait of Handel’s life and inner circle, modeled after one of the composer’s favorite forms: the fugue.

During his lifetime, the sounds of Handel’s music reached from court to theater, echoed in cathedrals, and filled crowded taverns, but the man himself—known to most as the composer of Messiah—is a bit of a mystery. Though he took meticulous care of his musical manuscripts and even provided for their preservation on his death, very little of an intimate nature survives.

One document—Handel’s will—offers us a narrow window into his personal life. In it, he remembers not only family and close colleagues but also neighborhood friends. In search of the private man behind the public figure, Ellen T. Harris has spent years tracking down the letters, diaries, personal accounts, legal cases, and other documents connected to these bequests. The result is a tightly woven tapestry of London in the first half of the eighteenth century, one that interlaces vibrant descriptions of Handel’s music with stories of loyalty, cunning, and betrayal.

With this wholly new approach, Harris has achieved something greater than biography. Layering the interconnecting stories of Handel’s friends like the subjects and countersubjects of a fugue, Harris introduces us to an ambitious, shrewd, generous, brilliant, and flawed man, hiding in full view behind his public persona.

Ellen T. Harris is professor emeritus at MIT and has served on the music faculties of Columbia University and the University of Chicago. Her previous books include Handel as Orpheus: Voice and Desire in the Chamber Cantatas, and she has spoken at Lincoln Center and appeared on PBS NewsHour and BBC Radio 3.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
17
SOLD OUT: Cary Elwes, As You Wish (Friday, October 17 at 6pm)
Tickets for this event are now sold out. Signed copies of As You Wish are still available to order.

After the author talk, the Brattle will be showing The Princess Bride. Tickets are available now at the theater website.

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come. Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years.

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.

Location: Street: Brattle Theater Additional: 40 Brattle St. City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02138 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
18
Tomie dePaola, Leslie Riedel Memorial Lecture (Saturday, October 18 at 6:30pm)
The Leslie Riedel Memorial Lecture is a tribute to our longtime bookselling colleague, presented annuallly by the Concord Festival of Authors. The 2014 lecture will be delivered by children's author and illustrator Tomie dePaola.

Tomie dePaola (pronounced Tommy da-POW-la) is best known for his books for children.

He's been published for over 40 years and has written and/or illustrated nearly 250 books, including Strega Nona, 26 Fairmount Avenue, The Art Lesson, and Christmas Remembered. Over 15 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.

Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," and the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association.

He was also the United States nominee in 1990 for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in illustration. The American Library Association has honored him with a Caldecott Honor Book, a Newbery Honor Book, and the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."

The University of Connecticut, Georgetown University and Pratt Institute, among others, have granted him honorary doctoral degrees. In 1999, he was selected for the New Hampshire's Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure.

Tomie dePaola lives in New London, New Hampshire, with his Airedale terrier, Brontë, and works in a renovated 200-year-old barn.

The lecture takes place at the Concord Public Library. Reservations are required, and can be made through the library website after October 1.

Location: Street: Concord Public Library Additional: 129 Main St. City: Concord, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 01742 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
19
Book Club (Sunday, October 19 at 11am)
Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
Oct
20
Book Club (Monday, October 20 at 4pm)
Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
Oct
20
Belinda Rathbone, The Boston Raphael (Monday, October 20 at 7pm)
The riveting story of a museum director caught in a web of local and international intrigue while secretly pursuing a forgotten Renaissance painting—the Boston Raphael.

On the eve of its centennial celebrations in December, 1969, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts announced the acquisition of an unknown and uncatalogued painting attributed to Raphael. Boston's coup made headlines around the world. Soon afterward, an Italian art sleuth began investigating the details of the painting's export from Italy, challenging the museum's right to ownership. Simultaneously, experts on both sides of the Atlantic lined up to debate its very authenticity. While these contests played themselves out on the international stage, the crisis deepened within the museum as its charismatic director, Perry T. Rathbone, faced the most challenging crossroads of his thirty-year career. The Boston Raphael was a media sensation in its time, but the full story of the forces that converged on the museum and how they intersected with the challenges of the Sixties is now revealed in full detail by the director's daughter.

In her quest for the true story behind this pivotal event in her father's life, Belinda Rathbone digs into the background of the affair as it was reported in the popular press, both question- ing the inevitability of its outcome and revealing the power struggle within the museum that led to his resignation. She draws almost entirely from primary source material in various archival collections and over a hundred contemporary and personal interviews. The book is lavishly illustrated with full-color plates and many previously unpublished photographs.

Belinda Rathbone is a biographer and historian who has written widely on 20th-century American photography. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Walker Evans: A Biography, as well as important essays on the work of Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, and many contemporary artists and photographers. Rathbone is also the author of a memoir, The Guynd: A Scottish Journal. As a fine arts journalist, she has written for House and Garden, The World of Interiors, and the magazine Antiques.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
21
James Russell, Social Insecurity (Tuesday, October 21 at 7pm)
"This is the story of how one individual fought bureaucracy—and won.... His campaign is truly a case history to be emulated, one that requires much patience and time." — Booklist

A retirement crisis is looming. In 2008, as the 401(k) fallout rippled across the country, horrified holders watched 25 percent of their funds evaporate overnight. Average 401(k) balances for those approaching retirement are too small to generate more than $4,000 in annual retirement income, and experts predict that nearly half of middle-class workers will be poor or near poor in retirement. But long before the recession, signs were mounting that few people would ever be able to accumulate enough wealth on their own to ensure financial security later in life. This hasn’t always been the case.

Each generation of workers since the nineteenth century has had more retirement security than the previous generation. That is, until 1981, when shaky 401(k) plans began replacing traditional pensions. For the last thirty years, we’ve been advised that the best way to build one’s nest egg is to heavily invest in 401(k)-type programs, even though such plans were originally designed to be a supplement to rather than the basis for retirement.

This financial experiment, promoted by neoliberals and aggressively peddled by Wall Street, has now come full circle, with tens of millions of Americans discovering that they would have been better off under traditional pension plans long since replaced. As James W. Russell explains, this do-it-yourself retirement system—in which individuals with modest incomes are expected to invest large sums of capital in order to reap the same rewards as high-end money managers—isn’t working.

Social insecurity tells the story of a massive and international retirement robbery—a substantial transfer of wealth from everyday workers to Wall Street financiers via tremendously costly hidden fees. Russell traces what amounts to a perfect swindle, from its ideological origins at Milton Friedman’s infamous Chicago School to its implementation in Chile under Pinochet’s dictatorship and its adoption in America through Reaganomics. Enraging yet hopeful, Russell offers concrete ideas on how individuals and society can arrest this downward spiral.

James W. Russell is the author of eight books, including Double Standard: Social Policy in Europe and the United States. An authority on retirement policy in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, Russell led one of the first employee movements to successfully challenge the dominant trend and replace a 401(k)-like plan with a more secure traditional pension plan. He has taught at universities in the United States and as a Fulbright professor in Mexico and the Czech Republic. He lives in Storrs, Connecticut.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
22
Sarah Payne Stuart, Perfectly Miserable (Wednesday, October 22 at 7pm)
"The book is a love letter to the author’s family, her fellow 'old-moneyed Yankees' and even to herself.... It's on contemporary Concord that Stuart is at her best.... The real action in the book is the deployment of Stuart's fantastic knowledge of this subculture for comic delight."—The New York Times Book Review

At eighteen, Sarah Payne Stuart fled her mother and all the other disapproving mothers of her too perfect hometown of Concord, Massachusetts, only to return years later when she had children of her own. Whether to defy the previous generation or finally earn their approval and enter their ranks, she hurled herself into upper-crust domesticity full throttle. In the twenty years Stuart spent back in her hometown—in a series of ever more magnificent houses in ever grander neighborhoods—she was forced to connect with the cultural tradition of guilt and flawed parenting of a long legacy of local, literary women from Emerson’s wife, to Hawthorne’s, to the most famous and imposing of them all, Louisa May Alcott’s iconic, guilt-tripping Marmee.

When Stuart’s own mother dies, she realizes that there is no one left to approve or disapprove. And so, with her suddenly grown children fleeing as she herself once did, Stuart leaves her hometown for the final time, bidding good-bye to the cozy ideals invented for her by Louisa May Alcott so many years ago, which may or may not ever have been based in reality.

Sarah Payne Stuart has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review. She divides her time between Maine and New York.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Oct
23
A.X. Ahmad, The Last Taxi Ride, and Bridgett Davis, Into the Go-Slow (Thursday, October 23 at 7pm)
NYC taxi driver Ranjit Singh has 10 days to prove his innocence…

Bollywood film icon Shabana Shah has been murdered, her body found in the apartment where Ranjit ate dinner mere hours before. Ranjit’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a statue of the elephant god Ganesh used to grotesquely smash the actress’ beautiful face. Caught on film leaving the apartment alone, Ranjit is accused by the NYPD as an accessory to murder.

Ranjit’s only credible alibi is Shabana’s Indian doorman, but he has vanished. With a Grand Jury arraignment looming in 10 days, and Ranjit’s teenage daughter about to arrive from India, he must find the doorman. His search through the underbelly of New York leads to the world of high-end nightclubs, and to Jay Patel, a shady businessman who imports human hair. As the search for the true killer reveals layers of Shabana Shah’s hidden past, Ranjit does not know whom to trust. He can rely only on his army training, his taxi-driver knowledge of New York, and his cabbie friends.

With time quickly running out, can Ranjit clear his name before his fare is up?

A.X. Ahmad was raised in India, educated at Vassar College and M.I.T., and has worked as an international architect.

He is the author of The Caretaker (2013), the first in a trilogy from St. Martin’s Press featuring ex-Indian Army Captain Ranjit Singh. His second book, The Last Taxi Ride, about the murder of a Bollywood actress, was published in June 2014. He is at work on the third book, The Hundred Days.

In 1986 Detroit, twenty-one-year-old Angie passes time working in a mall and watching sitcoms with her mom. But beneath the surface, she is consumed by thoughts of her sister’s death years earlier in Nigeria. Ella had introduced Angie to Black Power and a vision of returning to Africa. On impulse, Angie travels to Lagos and begins to retrace Ella’s steps. Against a backdrop of the city’s infamous go-slow — traffic as wild and unpredictable as a Fela lyric — she uncovers some harsh truths. For anyone who has wished to be of a different era, this book captures the pain of living vicariously and the exhilaration of finding yourself.

Bridgett M. Davis's debut novel, Shifting through Neutral, was a finalist for the 2005 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Davis is the books editor at Bold As Love Magazine, an online black-culture site, and her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Essence, O, The Oprah Magazine, and TheRoot.com, among other publications.

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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