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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

Sep
17
Judges Who Write: Gordon Martin and Michael Ponsor (Wednesday, September 17 at 7pm)
Join two Massachusetts judges who are writers as well, one with a memoir of his work in the civil rights movement and one with a legal thriller.

The personal account of a community and a lawyer united to battle one of the most recalcitrant bastions of resistance to civil rights.

In 1961, Forrest County, Mississippi, became a focal point of the civil rights movement when the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit against its voting registrar Theron Lynd. While 30 percent of the county's residents were black, only twelve African Americans were on its voting rolls. United States v. Lynd was the first trial that resulted in the conviction of a southern registrar for contempt of court. The case served as a model for other challenges to voter discrimination in the South and was an important influence in shaping the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Count Them One by One is a comprehensive account of the groundbreaking case written by one of the Justice Department's trial attorneys. Gordon A. Martin, Jr., then a newly minted lawyer, traveled to Hattiesburg from Washington to help shape the federal case against Lynd. He met with and prepared the government's sixteen courageous black witnesses who had been refused registration, found white witnesses, and was one of the lawyers during the trial.

Decades later, Martin returned to Mississippi to find these brave men and women he had never forgotten. He interviewed the still-living witnesseses, their children, and friends. Martin intertwines these current reflections with vivid commentary about the case itself. The result is an impassioned, cogent fusion of reportage, oral history, and memoir about a trial that fundamentally reshaped liberty and the South.

Gordon A. Martin, Jr., Boston, Massachusetts, is a retired trial judge and an adjunct professor at New England School of Law. His work has been published in the Boston Globe, Commonweal, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, various law reviews, and other periodicals.

When a drive-by shooting in Holyoke, Massachusetts, claims the lives of a Puerto Rican drug dealer and a hockey mom volunteering at an inner-city clinic, the police arrest a rival gang member. With no death penalty in Massachusetts, the US attorney shifts the double homicide out of state jurisdiction into federal court so he can seek a death sentence.

The Honorable David S. Norcross, a federal judge with only two years on the bench, now presides over the first death penalty case in the state in decades. He must referee the clash of an ambitious female prosecutor and a brilliant veteran defense attorney in a high-stress environment of community outrage, media pressure, vengeful gang members, and a romantic entanglement that threatens to capsize his trial—not to mention the most dangerous force of all: the unexpected.

Michael Ponsor graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed him a life-tenured US district judge. From 2000 to 2001, he presided over a five-month death penalty trial, the first in Massachusetts in over fifty years. Judge Ponsor continues to serve as a senior US district judge in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Western Division. The Hanging Judge is his 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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Sep
18
David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks (Thursday, September 18 at 6:30pm)
Join us at First Parish Church in Harvard Square to hear David Mitchell in conversation with Joe Hill, reading from his latest novel.

This is a ticketed event. One ticket is included with each copy of the book.

(If you are ordering online, please put "ticket" in the comments. Online orders must be prepaid. Choose "pay by credit card" at checkout.)

Books and tickets can be picked up in the store after the book goes on sale on September 2, or at the event.

"Is The bone clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? . . . From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, David Mitchell’s novel is a thing of beauty."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

An elegant conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and master prose stylist, David Mitchell—the prizewinning author of Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet—has become one of the leading literary voices of his generation. His hypnotic new novel, The bone clocks, crackles with invention and wit—fiction at its most spellbinding and memorable.

Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people" Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life. For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly's life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born. A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

Joe Hill is the author of three novels, Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, and NOS4A2, as well as a prize-winning collection of stories, 20th Century Ghosts. He also wrote a pair of comics: Locke & Key and Wraith (which ties into the world of NOS4A2). Some nice people gave him an Eisner Award for his work in funny books, which is a great honor, even if "funny" probably doesn’t do a good job of describing the kinds of things that happen in the comics.

Location: Street: First Parish Church Additional: 1 Church St. City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02138 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Sep
21
Book Club (Sunday, September 21 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)
Sep
21
Dinner with Laird Hunt (Sunday, September 21 at 7pm)
Join Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome, for an evening of food, drink, and books.

Dinner is at Christopher's, across Mass. Ave. from the bookstore, and the ticket price includes appetizer, entree, beverage (beer or wine), tax, and tip.

Neverhome is available now, and we will also have copies for sale at the dinner. Because Neverhome is an Indie Next List Pick, it will be 20% off during the month of September.

"The Civil War has given us so many great literary works that I couldn't have imagined a new fictional approach that was both stunningly original and yet utterly natural, even inevitable. But this is just what Laird Hunt brilliantly delivers in his new novel. The key is his central character: in her voice, her personality, her yearning, she deeply touches our shared and enduring humanity. Neverhome is masterful work by one of our finest writers."—Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

"Laird Hunt's new novel is a beguiling and evocative story about love and loss, duty and deceit. Through the assured voice of his narrator and the subtle beauty of his writing, Neverhome took me on a journey so thoroughly engrossed that there were times the pages seemed to turn themselves."—Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

She calls herself Ash, but that's not her real name. She is a farmer's faithful wife, but she has left her husband to don the uniform of a Union soldier in the Civil War. Neverhome tells the harrowing story of Ash Thompson during the battle for the South. Through bloodshed and hysteria and heartbreak, she becomes a hero, a folk legend, a madwoman and a traitor to the American cause.

Laird Hunt's dazzling new novel throws a light on the adventurous women who chose to fight instead of stay behind. It is also a mystery story: why did Ash leave and her husband stay? Why can she not return? What will she have to go through to make it back home?

In gorgeous prose, Hunt's rebellious young heroine fights her way through history, and back home to her husband, and finally into our hearts.

Laird Hunt is the author of several works of fiction and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, a two-time finalist for the PEN Center USA Award in Fiction, and the winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award. A former United Nations press officer currently on the faculty of the University of Denver's creative writing program, he and his wife, the poet Eleni Sikelianos, live in Boulder, Colorado, with their daughter, Eva Grace.

Location: Street: Christopher's Additional: 1920 Massachusetts Ave. City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Sep
22
Book Club (Monday, September 22 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)
Sep
22
Mary Gordon, The Liar's Wife (Monday, September 22 at 7pm)
The beloved author at her storytelling best: four wonderful novellas of Americans abroad and Europeans in America. In these tales of relationships at home and abroad, both historical and contemporary, we meet the ferocious Simone Weil during her final days as a transplant to New York City; a vulnerable American grad student who escapes to Italy after her first, compromising love affair; the charming Irish liar of the title novella, who gets more out of life than most of us; and an American high school kid meeting Thomas Mann. These stories dazzle on the surface, with beautifully rendered settings and vistas, and dig deep psychologically. At every turn Gordon reveals in her characters' interactions those crucial flashes of understanding that change lives forever. So richly developed it is hard to believe they fit into novella-sized packages, these tales carry us away both as individual stories and as a larger, book-length experience of Gordon's mastery and human sympathy.

Mary Gordon is the author of six novels, including Final Payments, Pearl, and The Love of My Youth; the memoirs The Shadow Man and Circling My Mother; and The Stories of Mary Gordon, which was awarded the Story Prize. She has received numerous other honors, including a Lila Wallace-Reader′s Digest Writers′ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Academy Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She teaches at Barnard College and lives in New York City.

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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Sep
23
Lauren Beukes in conversation with Joe Hill (Tuesday, September 23 at 7pm)
Lauren Beukes visits Cambridge to share her new book, Broken Monsters, in conversation with novelist Joe Hill.

A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses in Lauren Beukes's new genre-bending novel of suspense.

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?

If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you're Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you'll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe--and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.

If Lauren Beukes's internationally bestselling The Shining Girls was a time-jumping thrill ride through the past, her Broken Monsters is a genre-redefining thriller about broken cities, broken dreams, and broken people trying to put themselves back together again.

Lauren Beukes writes novels, comics and screeplays. She's the author of the critically-acclaimed international best-seller, The Shining Girls, about a time traveling serial killer, Zoo City, a phantasmagorical Joburg noir which won the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award, the neo political thriller, Moxyland. She worked as a journalist and as show runner on one of the South Africa's biggest animated TV shows, directed an award-winning documentary and wrote the New York Times best-selling graphic novel, Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Joe Hill is the author of three novels, Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, and NOS4A2, as well as a prize-winning collection of stories, 20th Century Ghosts. He also wrote a pair of comics: Locke & Key and Wraith (which ties into the world of NOS4A2). Some nice people gave him an Eisner Award for his work in funny books, which is a great honor, even if "funny" probably doesn’t do a good job of describing the kinds of things that happen in the comics.

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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Sep
24
Somerville Farmers Market (Wednesday, September 24 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 local authors.

You can find us at the farmers market on these dates: September 24 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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Sep
25
Andrea McDonnell, Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines, and Deborah Feingold, Music (Thursday, September 25 at 7pm)
A media scholar and a celebrated photographer discuss celebrity culture, the stories behind the pictures, and the power of words and images created and consumed by women.

Americans are obsessed with celebrities. While our fascination with fame intensified throughout the twentieth century, the rise of the weekly gossip magazine in the early 2000s confirmed and fueled our popular culture’s celebrity mania. After a decade of diets and dates, breakups and baby bumps, celebrity gossip magazines continue to sell millions of issues each week. Why are readers, especially young women, so attracted to these magazines? What pleasures do they offer us? And why do we read them, even when we disagree with the images of femininity that they splash across their hot-pink covers?

Andrea McDonnell answers these questions with the help of interviews from editors and readers, and her own textual and visual analysis. McDonnell’s perspective is multifaceted; she examines the notorious narratives of celebrity gossip magazines as well as the genre’s core features, such as the "Just Like Us" photo montage and the "Who Wore It Best?" poll. McDonnell shows that, despite their trivial reputation, celebrity gossip magazines serve as an important site of engagement for their readers, who use these texts to generate conversation, manage relationships, and consider their own ideas and values.

Andrea McDonnell is a media scholar and author, whose work examines the production, content, and audience reception of popular cultural texts that are produced for and consumed by women. Professor McDonnell holds a B.A. in American Culture from Vassar College and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan. Andrea also holds a graduate certificate in Museum Studies and has worked in fine arts and children's museums throughout the northeast.

Made over the past three decades, photographer Deborah Feingold's iconic portraits are filled with personality, simplicity and eloquence. Her portraits of figures as varied as musical icons, famed actors, award-winning authors, Nobel laureates and presidents, have appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, Time and numerous international publications. This volume concentrates on Feingold's portraits of popular musicians such as Mick Jagger, Madonna, Pharrell Williams, Bono, Prince, Keith Richards, Chet Baker, James Brown, Joey Ramone and Cyndi Lauper, and bands such as The Replacements, The Beastie Boys, REM and more. Alongside Feingold's black-and-white and color photographs, this volume includes an introduction by Anthony DeCurtis, a Grammy Award winner and noted music writer.

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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Sep
26
Marc Abrahams, This Is Improbable Too (Friday, September 26 at 7pm)
Marc Abrahams collects the odd, the imaginative, and the brilliantly improbable from around the world. Here he investigates research on the ins and outs of the very improbable evolutionary innovation that is the human body (brain included). This is Improbable Too explores the odd questions that researchers are asking, such as: What's the best way to get a monkey to floss regularly? How much dandruff do soldiers in Pakistan's army have? If you add an extra henchman to your bank-robbing gang, how much more money will you earn? Why is it so impossible to estimate the number of stupid people in circulation? How many dimples will be found on the cheeks of 28,282 Greek children? Who is the Einstein of pork carcasses? This is Improbable Too also investigates unlikely medical cases, including a boy with an "Eiffel head injury" (involving a toy tower), and even more unlikely inventions, such as a patented system for attacking your enemy with a bio-waste bomb.

Marc Abrahams writes the "Improbable Research" column for the Guardian and is the author of This Is Improbable. He is an editor of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research and a founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, which are presented annually at Harvard. A monthly guest on NPR's nationally syndicated Science Friday, Abrahams and the Igs have been covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Scientific American, and numerous other outlets. He and his wife, Robin, a columnist for The Boston Globe, live in Cambridge, MA.

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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Sep
27
Boston Teen Author Festival (Saturday, September 27 at 11am)
Porter Square Books is delighted to be selling books at the Boston Teen Author Festival at the Cambridge Public Library again this year.

The Boston Teen Author Festival is the first of its kind in Boston, geared entirely toward the young adult genre! This year, twenty-five local authors will descend upon the Cambridge Public Library for a day of literary fun including a writing workshop, five fun panels, book sales provided by Porter Square books, and a massive group signing. Readers of all ages are welcome, and attendance is 100% free!

Featured authors this year include MT Anderson, Julie Berry, Alexandra Bracken, Cammie McGovern, Francisco Stork, and many more. There will be opportunities for teens to win free books, ask successful authors questions, and celebrate a general love of reading. Priority seating is also available for school groups coming together.

Visit the Boston Teen Author Festival website for schedule and more information.

Location: Street: Cambridge Public Library Additional: 449 Broadway City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02138 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)
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Sep
28
10th Anniversary Celebration (Sunday, September 28 at 3pm)
Join us at the store on Sunday, September 28, to celebrate ten years of selling books in Porter Square. Visit with favorite local authors, enjoy refreshments, and enter a raffle.

Raffle prizes: One set of all of our Staff Picks of the Decade Your choice of 10 advanced reader's copies from our back room Your choice of 10 paperbacks Gift bags

Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)… (more)
Sep
29
Brian Francis Slattery, The Family Hightower (Monday, September 29 at 7pm)
In 1968 two boys are born into a large family, both named for their grandfather, Peter Henry Hightower. One boy—Peter—grows up in Africa and ends up a journalist in Granada. The other—Petey—becomes a minor criminal, first in Cleveland and then in Kiev. In 1995, Petey runs afoul of his associates and disappears. But the criminals, bent on revenge, track down the wrong cousin, and the Peter in Granada finds himself on the run. He bounces from one family member to the next, piecing together his cousin's involvement in international crime while learning the truth about his family's complicated history. Along the way the original Peter Henry Hightower's story is revealed, until it catches up with that of his children, revealing how Peter and Petey have been living in their grandfather's shadow all along.

The novel takes a look at capitalism and organized crime in the 20th century, the legend of the self-made man, and what money can do to people. Like Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, The Family Hightower stretches across both generations and continents, bearing the weight of family secrets and the inevitable personal toll they take on loved ones despite our best intentions.

Novelist, musician, and editor Brian Francis Slattery is the author of three previous novels. Spaceman Blues (2007) was nominated for the Lambda Award and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. Liberation (2008) was named by Amazon's editors the best science-fiction book of 2008. Lost Everything (2012) won the 2012 Philip K. Dick Award. He was previously a senior editor of the Journal of International Affairs and an editor and co-founder of the New Haven Review. His short fiction is published in Glimmer Train, McSweeney’s, the Revelator, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife and son in New Haven, 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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Sep
30
Caspar Henderson, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings (Tuesday, September 30 at 7pm)
"A sublime rumination on existence. In twenty-seven exquisitely crafted cameos, Caspar Henderson reveals the hidden wonders of life in all its exuberant strangeness, at the same time illuminating our own place in the world. Simply stunning." -- Callum Roberts, author of Ocean of Life

"A rich mixture of science, mythology, and literature, whose plethora of entertaining digressions left me impressed." -- Richard Fortey, author of Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms

From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t.

With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change.

Caspar Henderson is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times, the Independent, and New Scientist. He lives in Oxford, UK.

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
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 (Tuesday, October 7 at 7pm)
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
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
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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