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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

Mar
31
Alan Lightman (Tuesday, March 31 at 00am)
Alan Lightman (Ideas and opinions, A Sense of the Mysterious, Dance for Two, Einstein's Dreams, Ghost, GOOD BENITO, Reunion, The Diagnosis, The Discoveries, Screening Room, Mr g, The accidental universe)

Alan Lightman is the author of six novels, including the international best seller Einstein’s Dreams and The Diagnosis, which was a National Book Award finalist. He is also the author of two collections of essays and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. A theoretical physicist as well as a writer, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities. He lives in the Boston area. (added from Random House)… (more)
Mar
31
Alan Lightman, Screening Room (Tuesday, March 31 at 7pm)
"The cumulative effect of Lightman’s memories is wrenching: loss and illness and death wander freely in his pages, reminding us of the evanescence of youth and promise. The author shows us many small moments, igniting each with sparks of passion, memory and intelligence." — Kirkus (starred review)

From the acclaimed author of the international best seller Einstein’s Dreams, a lyrical memoir of Memphis from the 1930s through the 1960s: the music and the racism, the early days of the movies, and a powerful grandfather whose ghost continues to haunt the family.

Alan Lightman’s grandfather M.A. Lightman was the family’s undisputed patriarch: it was his movie theater empire that catapulted the family to prominence in the South; his fearless success that both galvanized and paralyzed his descendants, haunting them for a half century after his death. In this lyrical and impressionistic memoir, Lightman writes about returning to Memphis in an attempt to understand the people he so eagerly left behind forty years earlier. As aging uncles and aunts begin telling family stories, Lightman rediscovers his southern roots and slowly realizes the errors in his perceptions of his grandfather and of his own father, who had been crushed by M.A. Here is a family saga set against a throbbing century of Memphis—the rhythm and blues, the barbecue and pecan pie, and the segregated society—that includes personal encounters with Elvis, Martin Luther King, Jr., and E. H. "Boss" Crump. At the heart of it all is a family haunted by the ghost of the domineering M.A., and the struggle of the author to understand his conflicted loyalties to his father and grandfather.

Alan Lightman is the author of six novels, including the international best seller Einstein's Dreams and The Diagnosis, which was a National Book Award finalist. He is also the author of two collections of essays and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. A theoretical physicist as well as a writer, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities. He lives in the Boston area.

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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Apr
1
Early Literacy Panel (Wednesday, April 1 at 7pm)
Join three local experts for a discussion of strategies for bringing literacy skills to children.

Cheryl Dressler has specialized in creating literacy programs for English language learners. She is a researcher and has experience designing and implementing evaluation tools to assess learning outcomes of educational programs. Cheryl has a deep appreciation for Waldorf pedagogy and understands the healing nature of its potential.

Michelle Laskey is the literacy playgroup coordinator for Somerville Public Schools.

Julie Wood is a creative educational media developer, literacy advisor, writer, researcher, speaker, blogger, and digital media expert.

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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Apr
2
Seth Koven, The Match Girl and the Heiress (Thursday, April 2 at 7pm)
Nellie Dowell was a match factory girl in Victorian London who spent her early years consigned to orphanages and hospitals. Muriel Lester, the daughter of a wealthy shipbuilder, longed to be free of the burden of money and possessions. Together, these unlikely soulmates sought to remake the world according to their own utopian vision of Christ's teachings. The Match Girl and the Heiress paints an unforgettable portrait of their late-nineteenth-century girlhoods of wealth and want, and their daring twentieth-century experiments in ethical living in a world torn apart by war, imperialism, and industrial capitalism.

In this captivating book, Seth Koven chronicles how each traveled the globe--Nellie as a spinster proletarian laborer, Muriel as a well-heeled tourist and revered Christian peacemaker, anticolonial activist, and humanitarian. Koven vividly describes how their lives crossed in the slums of East London, where they inaugurated a grassroots revolution that took the Sermon on the Mount as a guide to achieving economic and social justice for the dispossessed. Koven shows how they devoted themselves to Kingsley Hall--Gandhi's London home in 1931 and Britain's first "people's house" founded on the Christian principles of social sharing, pacifism, and reconciliation--and sheds light on the intimacies and inequalities of their loving yet complicated relationship.

The Match Girl and the Heiress probes the inner lives of these two extraordinary women against the panoramic backdrop of shop-floor labor politics, global capitalism, counterculture spirituality, and pacifist feminism to expose the wounds of poverty and neglect that Christian love could never heal.

Seth Koven teaches history at Rutgers. He is also the author of Slumming: Social and Sexual Politics in Victorian London.

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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Apr
6
Vivek Bald, Bengali Harlem and Lost Histories of South Asian America (Monday, April 6 at 7pm)
In the final years of the nineteenth century, small groups of Muslim peddlers arrived at Ellis Island every summer, bags heavy with embroidered silks from their home villages in Bengal. The American demand for Oriental goods took these migrants on a curious path, from New Jersey's beach boardwalks into the heart of the segregated South. Two decades later, hundreds of Indian Muslim seamen began jumping ship in New York and Baltimore, escaping the engine rooms of British steamers to find less brutal work onshore. As factory owners sought their labor and anti-Asian immigration laws closed in around them, these men built clandestine networks that stretched from the northeastern waterfront across the industrial Midwest.

The stories of these early working-class migrants vividly contrast with our typical understanding of immigration. Vivek Bald's meticulous reconstruction reveals a lost history of South Asian sojourning and life-making in the United States. At a time when Asian immigrants were vilified and criminalized, Bengali Muslims quietly became part of some of America's most iconic neighborhoods of color, from Tremé in New Orleans to Detroit's Black Bottom, from West Baltimore to Harlem. Many started families with Creole, Puerto Rican, and African American women.

As steel and auto workers in the Midwest, as traders in the South, and as halal hot dog vendors on 125th Street, these immigrants created lives as remarkable as they are unknown. Their stories of ingenuity and intermixture challenge assumptions about assimilation and reveal cross-racial affinities beneath the surface of early twentieth-century America.

Vivek Bald is Associate Professor of Writing and Digital Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the director of three documentary films: Taxi-vala/Auto-biography, Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music, and In Search of Bengali Harlem (forthcoming).

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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Apr
7
Lily King, Euphoria (Tuesday, April 7 at 7pm)
"With Euphoria, Lily King gives us a searing and absolutely mesmerizing glimpse into 1930’s New Guinea, a world as savage and fascinating as Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, where obsessions rise to a feverish pitch, and three dangerously entangled anthropologists will never be the same again. Jaw-droppingly, heart-stoppingly beautiful. I loved this book." —Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.

English anthropologist Andrew Banson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers’ deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell’s poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control.

Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.

Lily King’s first novel, The Pleasing Hour, won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her second book, The English Teacher, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award. Father of the Rain was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Novel of the Year, and winner of the 2010 New England Book Award for Fiction. Lily King lives with her family in Maine.

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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Apr
8
Breakfast with Lily King at Henrietta's Table (Wednesday, April 8 at 08:30am)
Join Lily King, award-winning author of Euphoria, for a breakfast talk held at Henrietta's Table at the Charles Hotel.

Tickets are $25, which covers meal and tip, and are available through the Charles Hotel's website. We're keeping this to a small, comfortable number of attendees, so ticket quantities are limited.

From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.

English anthropologist Andrew Banson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers’ deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell’s poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control.

Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.

Location: Street: Henrietta's Table Additional: 1 Bennett St. City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02138 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Apr
8
Laura Lebow, The Figaro Murders (Wednesday, April 8 at 7pm)
In 1786 Vienna, Lorenzo Da Ponte is the court librettist for the Italian Theatre during the height of the enlightened reign of Emperor Joseph II. This exalted position doesn’t mean he’s particularly well paid, or even out of reach of the endless intrigues of the opera world. In fact, far from it.

One morning, Da Ponte stops off at his barber, only to find the man being taken away to debtor's prison. Da Ponte impetuously agrees to carry a message to his barber’s fiancée and try to help her set him free, even though he’s facing pressures of his own. He's got one week to finish the libretto for The Marriage of Figaro for Mozart before the opera is premiered for the Emperor himself.

Da Ponte visits the house where the barber’s fiancée works—the home of a nobleman, high in the Vienna’s diplomatic circles—and then returns to his own apartments, only to be dragged from his rooms in the middle of the night. It seems the young protégé of the diplomat was killed right about the time Da Ponte was visiting, and he happens to be their main suspect. Now he's given a choice—go undercover into the household and uncover the murderer, or be hanged for the crime himself.

Brilliantly recreating the cultural world of late 18th century Vienna, the epicenter of the Enlightenment, Lebow brings to life some of the most famous figures of music, theatre, and politics.

Laura Lebow studied European history at Brandeis University and earned a Master in City Planning from MIT. After a career as an environmental policy analyst, she now writes historical mysteries full-time. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and an ever-expanding collection of opera CDs. The Figaro Murders is her first novel.

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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Apr
9
Mark Elson, Battlefields of Honor (Thursday, April 9 at 7pm)
On the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the Confederacy, join us for a new look at the people who spend their days reenacting the Civil War.

Some 150 years on, interest in the American Civil War (1861–65) is at an all-time high, no more so than among the thousands of people across the United States and Europe who participate in reenactments. They leave their jobs and homes behind to become battle-weary soldiers, courageous generals, dedicated nurses and even eager newspaper reporters, adopting not only the clothes of the era, but also the language, mannerisms and food.

In Battlefields of Honor, Mark Elson’s expressive images, themselves evoking the look and style of nineteenth-century photographs, capture the painstaking attention to detail that goes into such reenactments. Exploring such themes as the meticulous choreography frequently involved in the restaging of battles, the role women played in the conflict, and the behind-the-scenes work of artisans responsible for crafting replica uniforms, weaponry and utensils, this is a fascinating documentary essay on the men and women who feel an intense, often personal connection to a monumental period in America’s past.

Mark Elson is a photographer and film-maker who specializes in wet-plate processes.

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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Apr
10
Jane Hirschi, Ripe for Change (Friday, April 10 at 7pm)
"The benefits of garden-based learning are enormous. Ripe for Change is a powerful tool to enhance learning that every school should utilize." — Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Ripe for Change: Garden-Based Learning in Schools takes a big-picture view of the school garden movement and the state of garden-based learning in public K–8 education. The book frames the garden movement for educators and shows how school gardens have the potential to be a significant resource for teaching and learning. In this inviting and accessible book, the author:

Summarizes the current school gardening movement and the emerging field of garden-based learning Provides an overview of the origins, benefits, and barriers to school gardening Explores sustainable models for garden-based learning Includes five case studies of successful partnerships between urban districts and nonprofit school gardening organizations around the country Illustrates how gardens can be used for integrating academic lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards Includes examples of important tools available for assessing the impact of school gardens

Ripe for Change reveals a wealth of resources to show how garden-based learning is being implemented in a systematic way in public education, and offers next steps to widen and deepen the practice to reach children in all schools.

Jane S. Hirschi is the founding director of CitySprouts in Cambridge and Boston.

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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Apr
12
Book Club (Sunday, April 12 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)
Apr
13
Book Club (Monday, April 13 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)
Apr
14
The Opposite of Loneliness (Tuesday, April 14 at 7pm)
Join Tracy and Kevin Keegan for the paperback release of their daughter Marina's collected writings.

The instant New York Times bestseller and publishing phenomenon: Marina Keegan's posthumous collection of award-winning essays and stories "sparkles with talent, humanity, and youth" (O, The Oprah Magazine). Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of writing that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story "Cold Pastoral" was published on NewYorker.com. Her essay "Even Artichokes Have Doubts" was excerpted in the Financial Times, and her book was the focus of a Nicholas Kristof column in the New York Times. Millions of her contemporaries have responded to her work on social media.

As Marina wrote: "We can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over...We're so young. We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have." The opposite of loneliness is an unforgettable collection of Marina's essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to impact the world. "How do you mourn the loss of a fiery talent that was barely a tendril before it was snuffed out? Answer: Read this book. A clear-eyed observer of human nature, Keegan could take a clever idea...and make it something beautiful" (People).

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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Apr
15
Nina MacLaughlin, Hammer Head (Wednesday, April 15 at 5pm)
Nina MacLaughlin spent her twenties working at a Boston newspaper, sitting behind a desk and staring at a screen. Yearning for more tangible work, she applied for a job she saw on Craigslist -- Carpenter's Assistant: Women strongly encouraged to apply -- despite being a classics major who couldn't tell a Phillips from a flathead screwdriver. She got the job, and in Hammer head she tells the rich and entertaining story of becoming a carpenter.

Writing with infectious curiosity, MacLaughlin describes the joys and frustrations of making things by hand, reveals the challenges of working as a woman in an occupation that is 99 percent male, and explains how manual labor changed the way she sees the world. We meet her unflappable mentor, Mary, a petite but tough carpenter-sage (Be smarter than the tools), as well as wild demo dudes, foul-mouthed plumbers, grizzled hardware store clerks, and the colorful clients whose homes she and Mary work in.

Whisking her readers from job to job building a wall, remodeling a kitchen, gut-renovating a house MacLaughlin examines the history of the tools she uses and the virtues and varieties of wood. Throughout, she draws on the wisdom of Ovid, Annie Dillard, Studs Terkel, and Mary Oliver to illuminate her experience of work. And, in a deeply moving climax, MacLaughlin strikes out on her own for the first time to build bookshelves for her own father.

Hammer head is a passionate book full of sweat, swearing, bashed thumbs, and a deep sense of finding real meaning in work and life.

Nina MacLaughlin grew up in Massachusetts and lives in Cambridge, where she works as a carpenter. Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she has written for the Believer, Bookslut, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.

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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Apr
16
Michael Downing, The Chapel (Thursday, April 16 at 7pm)
Recently widowed, unhappily stuck on a pricey whiplash tour of Italy, Elizabeth Berman comes face to face with the first documented painting of a teardrop in human history, and in the presence of that tearful mother, and the arresting company of the renowned and anonymous women painted by Giotto in the Arena Chapel, she wakes up to the possibility that she is not lost.

That's how Elizabeth winds up on a tour better suited to her late husband, a Dante scholar. Mitchell masterminded the itinerary as a surprise for their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary "even though—Surprise!—I would have preferred a week of watching movies in bed with takeout Chinese."

Itching to leave as soon as she arrives in Padua, Elizabeth's efforts to book a ticket home are stymied by her aggressively supportive children, the ministrations of an incomprehensibly Italian hotel staff, and the prospect of forfeiting the sizable chunk of cash she shelled out for the trip. But there are consolations—arugula pizza and ancient arcades and Aperol spritzes in the piazza with her odd-lot of fellow castaways, including a melancholy doctor who claims his name is T.

Instead of deconstructing their disappointing former lives, they are drawn together by their longing to understand how something beautiful is made. They dive headlong into the Arena Chapel, trying to untangle the roles played by Dante, Giotto's famous friend; Enrico Scrovegni, Giotto's patron and Italy's wealthiest moneylender; and Giotto himself, whose frescoes in Padua secured his reputation as the world’s greatest painter. And then one phone call erases everything Elizabeth understands about T. and her future, so she packs up her sorrows and books herself a ticket home.

Tracking the hopes and heartaches and hangovers of a woman with a history of disappearing, The Chapel shows us that happiness is as fragile as a fresco by Giotto.

Michael Downing’s novels include the national bestseller Perfect Agreement, named one of the 10 Best Books of the year by Amazon and Newsday, and Breakfast with Scot, a comedy about two gay men who inadvertently become parents. An American Library Association honor book, Breakfast with Scot was adapted as a movie that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. His nonfiction includes Shoes Outside the Door: Desire, Devotion, and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center, hailed by the New York Review of Books as a "dramatic and insightful" narrative history of the first Buddhist monastery outside of Asia, and by the Los Angeles Times as "a highly readable book." His essays and reviews appear in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other periodicals. Michael teaches creative writing at Tufts University. He and his partner have lived together in Cambridge for more than 25 years.

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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Apr
17
The Force of What's Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde (Friday, April 17 at 7pm)
Is there any avant-garde? What's at stake when 100 writers think through issues of accessibility and audience? This is a book comprised of answers -- to these questions and their offspring -- as various and contradictory as its contributors, ranging from Eileen Myles, Lyn Hejinian, and Joyelle McSweeney to Blake Butler, Jenny Boully, and Rikki Ducornet, among dozens of others. The results here provide discrepant engagements on the most pressing questions of the literary, the political, and the force of what's possible for writers in the 21st century.

Five contributors will be at Porter Square Books to read from their essays and discuss the future of literature: Cole Swensen Greg Howard Jackie Wang Brian Evenson Timothy Liu

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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Apr
20
The Roundtable at Porter Square Books: Journal of the Month (Monday, April 20 at 7pm)
Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
Apr
21
Greer Gilman, Cloud and Ashes, and Sonya Taaffe, Ghost Signs (Tuesday, April 21 at 7pm)
In the eighteen years since her IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award-winning debut novel Moonwise, Greer Gilman's writing has only grown more complex and entrancing. Cloud & Ashes is a slow whirlwind of language, a button box of words, a mythic Joycean fable that will invite immersion, study, revisitation, and delight. Cloud & Ashes comprises three tales: Jack Daw's Pack (Nebula finalist, 2001), A Crowd of Bone (World Fantasy Award winner, 2004) and the new third part, a whole novel, Unleaving. Inventive, playful, and erudite, Gilman is an archeolexicologist rewriting language itself in these long-awaited tales.

Greer Gilman is the author of Moonwise. A graduate of Wellesley and the University of Cambridge, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She likes to quip that she does everything James Joyce ever did, only backward and in high heels.

A lantern hangs for the ghosts, both desolate and numinous. The white road and the black river run down into the dark and return again. In this collection of thirty-six poems and one story, Rhysling Award-winning poet Sonya Taaffe traces the complex paths between the dead, memory, and living. A two-part cycle written over the course of seven years, "Ghost Signs" leads the reader through the underworld of myth to the hauntings of the present, where the shades of Sappho, Alan Turing, and Ludwig Wittgenstein exist alongside Charon, Dido, and The War of the Worlds. "The Boatman's Cure" follows a haunted woman and a dead man as they embark on a road trip through coastal New England, an exorcism at its end. Sharply imagined, deeply personal, Taaffe's work in Ghost Signs is at once an act of remembrance and release.

Sonya Taaffe's short fiction and poetry can be found in the collections Ghost Signs (Aqueduct Press), A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), and in anthologies including Aliens: Recent Encounters, Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, and The Best of Not One of Us. She is currently senior poetry editor at Strange Horizons; she holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object. She lives in Somerville with her husband and two cats.

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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Apr
22
Mary Pinard, Portal, and Moira Linehan, Incarnate Grace (Wednesday, April 22 at 7pm)
Opening into a story of familial loss and its environmental echo, Portal traces the salvaging of what remains. At the center of Mary Pinard’s lyrical and formally expansive collection is a brother lost at sea in a freak tugboat accident, with the subsequent search for cause and comfort rippling throughout.

Mary Pinard teaches poetry and literature at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, Georgia Review, Boston Review, and Salamander, among others. She has published essays on poets Lorine Niedecker and Alice Oswald. She was born and raised in Seattle.

In her collection Incarnate Grace, poet Moira Linehan explores, questions, and ultimately celebrates her attempt to live in the temple of the present.

After learning she has breast cancer, the poet struggles to live an examined life. Alienated and estranged from her own body, she turns her cancer into "these binoculars, / this new way of looking," and uses it as a way of fixing herself firmly within the moment. As she travels Ireland and the Pacific Northwest, her busy mind moves from the knot in her breast to the knots in her knitting to the illuminated knots of The Book of Kells to the tossing, knotted surface of the sea; from the margins of her surgery--clean but not ideal--to the margins of illuminated manuscripts. She links the mundane to the mythic, intertwining connections between scripture and nature, storms and loss, winter and light, breast cancer and embroidery. As she returns to her home on a small pond in Massachusetts, she takes with her the fruits of her travels: the incarnate grace of the ordinary.

Vivid and compelling, Incarnate Grace finds beauty in the worst of circumstances and redemption in the fabric of daily life.

After careers as a high school English teacher and an administrator in high tech and academic settings, Moira Linehan now writes full-time and occasionally leads poetry writing workshops. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Alaska Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, Image, Notre Dame Review, Poetry, Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, and TriQuarterly.

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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Apr
23
Nathan Gorenstein, Tommy Gun Winter (Thursday, April 23 at 7pm)
A veteran journalist tracks down a family secret and rediscovers the story of Jewish gangsters run amok in 1930s Boston.

This is the true tale of two brothers, sons of a successful Jewish contractor, who along with an MIT graduate and a minister’s daughter once competed for headlines with John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde.

The gang was led by the angry, violent, yet often charismatic Murton Millen, a small-time hoodlum and aspiring race-car driver. With his younger brother, Irv, and later joined by neighborhood buddy and MIT graduate Abe Faber, Murt launched a career of increasingly ambitious robberies. But it was only after his sudden marriage to the beautiful eighteen-year-old Norma Brighton that the gang escalated to murder. Their crime wave climaxed at a Needham, Massachusetts, bank on February 2, 1934, when Murt cut down two local police officers—Francis Haddock and Forbes McLeod—with a Thompson submachine gun stolen from state police.

The killings, the dogged investigation by two clever detectives, and the record-setting trial with seventeen psychiatrists were national news. In Depression-era America this Boston saga of sex, ethnicity, and bloodshed made the trio and their "red-headed gun moll" infamous. Gorenstein’s account explores the Millen, Faber, and Brighton families and introduces us to cops, psychiatrists, newspaper men and women, and ordinary citizens caught up in the extraordinary Tommy Gun Winter of 1934.

Nathan Gorenstein is a former investigative reporter with the Philadelphia Inquirer and a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. His very wonderful grandmother was a Millen. He lives in Delaware.

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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Apr
24
Suzi Eszterhas, Eye on the Wild (Friday, April 24 at 7pm)
In this exciting new series of children's books, Suzi Eszterhas follows the lives of baby animals from birth to adulthood as they grow up in the wild.

Follow elephant, tiger, lion, sea otter, orangutan, brown bear, cheetah, and gorilla babies as they learn to navigate their environments, find their own food, and become independent.

These beautifully photographed books for young children (ages 4-7) show all aspects of the animal's life in the wild, with close-up pictures of the family group in its natural habitat.Suzi Eszterhas is an award-winning wildlife photographer based in California. Best known for her work documenting family life on the African savanna, she has undertaken commissions and led instructional photography tours and workshops everywhere from Antarctica to the Arctic and Alaska to Montana. Her photographs have been published in books, magazines and newspapers all over the world.

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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Apr
25
Jessica Herthel, I Am Jazz (Saturday, April 25 at 4pm)
"All young people — regardless of difference — deserve the things Jazz shares in her lovely book: a loving family, supportive friends, and the freedom to be their true selves. A beautifully illustrated and accessible primer on one trans girl's journey of living her truth." — Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness

"A terrific and timely book that explains to kids what it means to be transgender and — more importantly — that reminds kids our similarities are much more important than our differences." — Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of The Storyteller and Between the Lines

The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.

From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.

Jessica Herthel is the Director of the Stonewall National Education Project. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Jessica spent several years in private law practice before taking time off to raise her three daughters and travel abroad in the United Arab Emirates. Upon returning to Florida, Jessica began working on LGBTQ-inclusive projects with Broward County Public Schools' Office of Diversity, Cultural Outreach & Prevention. In that office Jessica oversaw the development of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum and lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school students; she was also the primary editor of Broward County's "LGBTQ Critical Support Guide" which is currently being implemented throughout the district. Jessica feels privileged to have worked with the indomitable Jazz on this book, and knows that Jazz's message of courage and self-worth will continue to inspire children and adults from around the world.

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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Apr
27
Lori Goldstein, Becoming Jinn (Monday, April 27 at 7pm)
Azra Nadira's Jinn ancestry means magic has always been inside her. But the rules don't allow her to begin drawing upon it until the day she turns sixteen. The day she receives the silver bangle that releases her powers and transforms her into a genie.

It doesn’t have to be tight like a handcuff to achieve the same effect.

Her destiny is now controlled by the powerful Afrit who rule over the Jinn world, and she must keep her true identity a secret from all but the fellow Jinn who make up her Zar sisterhood.

Though she grew up with these five Jinn "sisters," they’ve always wanted the one thing Azra never has: to become a Jinn. This fact separates Azra from them now more than ever. When she reconnects with Henry, the human boy across the street she used to play with as a child, she finds in him the best friend her Zar sisters are supposed to be.

The more she uses her powers, the less she feels like a Jinn. Maybe that’s because her focus begins to shift to Nate, the lifeguard with the underwear model exterior and sweet, shy interior.

Her attachments to Henry and Nate and the human world begin to further strain her ties to her Zar and the Jinn. With her attention divided, she skirts the rules, and her genie mistakes begin to mount, along with the consequences.

As Azra uncovers the darker world of Becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

Lori Goldstein was born into an Italian-Irish family and raised in a small town on the New Jersey shore. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Lehigh University and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before becoming a full-time author. She currently lives and writes outside of Boston.

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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Apr
28
Erika DeSimone and Fidel Louis, Voices Beyond Bondage (Tuesday, April 28 at 7pm)
Slaves in chains, toiling on master’s plantation. Beatings, bloodied whips. This is what many of us envision when we think of 19th century African Americans; source materials penned by those who suffered in bondage validate this picture. Yet slavery was not the only identity of 19th-century African Americans. Whether they were freeborn, self-liberated, or born in the years after the Emancipation, African Americans had a rich cultural heritage all their own, a heritage largely subsumed in popular history and collective memory by the atrocity of slavery.

The early 19th century birthed the nation's first black-owned periodicals, the first media spaces to provide primary outlets for the empowerment of African American voices. For many, poetry became this empowerment. Almost every black-owned periodical featured an open call for poetry, and African Americans, both free and enslaved, responded by submitting droves of poems for publication. Yet until now, these poems -- and an entire literary movement -- have been lost to modern readers.

The poems in Voices Beyond Bondage address the horrific and the mundane, the humorous and the ordinary and the extraordinary. Authors wrote about slavery, but also about love, morality, politics, perseverance, nature, and God. These poems evidence authors who were passionate, dedicated, vocal, and above all resolute in a bravery which was both weapon and shield against a world of prejudice and inequity. These authors wrote to be heard; more than 150 years later it is at last time for us to listen.

Erika DeSimone earned her undergraduate degree from Westfield State University (Massachusetts), where she engaged with poetry and other creative writing projects. She later earned a Certificate of Editorial Study from New York University’s School of Professional Studies. She is currently an editorial assistant at the Modern Language Association, where she has worked for more than a decade.

Fidel Louis attended New York University, where he earned both a bachelor’s degree in linguistics (1991) and a master’s degree in mass communications (1994). While in school, he wrote and edited newspaper articles for Haiti Observateur and The Alliance. He joined the New York Amsterdam News as a contributing writer and the Caribbean News Network as managing editor. He has also written several screenplays. He speaks five languages fluently and is certified as interpreter and translator for the New York state court system.

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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Apr
29
Michael Gerhard Martin, Easiest If I Had a Gun, and Pablo Medina, The Weight of the Island (Wednesday, April 29 at 7pm)
Like his mentors Chuck Kinder and Lewis Nordan, Michael Gerhard Martin writes deeply textured stories that take you into the minds and souls of the people you see in discount stores, grocery aisles, and gas stations. In the tradition of Raymond Carver, Martin’s tales give dignity and grace to adults caught in the cold grip of poverty and to their children, who struggle mightily with broken homes, bullying, racism, and the constant hum of anger, violence, and resentment that is their lives.

In a voice ringing with emotion, the stories in Easiest If I Had A Gun will remind you what literature is for—that great project of taking us deeper into life, laying it bare, and transforming it with words into something we can hold in our hearts.

Michael Gerhard Martin grew up in rural Pennsylvania, and took his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He teaches at Babson College and for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Summer Programs. He is the winner of the 2013 James Knudsen Prize from the University of New Orleans for his story, "Shit Weasel Is Late For Class." His work has appeared in Junctures, Bayou Magazine, and The Ocean State Review. Easiest If I Had A Gun is his first book.

Dramatist, novelist, critic and poet Virgilio Piñera (1912-1979) was one of the greatest writers of twentieth-century Cuba. Little known outside the island, his poems have been called "feverishly tropical" and "champions against indifference." With a linguistic skill reminiscent of Borges and a gift for metaphor that rivals Neruda and García Lorca, Piñera's poems celebrate daily life in Cuba with brilliance and humor. Pablo Medina's remarkable translations from The Weight of the Island (La isla en peso), the first book-length collection of Piñera's work in English, now renew Piñera's gifts to the world.

Pablo Medina was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved with his family to New York City at the age of twelve. Medina's writing has been acclaimed as "lyrical and powerfully evocative" and "deserving a prominent spot in today's literature of exile." He teaches at Emerson College.

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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