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After more than a decade as a high school history teacher, Brendie decided to explore the wondrous world of bookselling. Want to know where a certain book is? If she tells you it’s the ninth book from the left-hand side of the fourth shelf of the sixth bookcase in the fiction section, she’s probably right. In addition to reading, her interests include cookies, hanging out with her dog and navigating this weird world of ours.
In an era of airliners, it’s tough to remember that “around the world in eighty days” was once considered a remarkable accomplishment. This story of Bly and Bisland’s 1889 competition to outdo the feat of Jules Verne’s Phineas Fogg brings that age to vivid life. Journeying in opposite directions by steamship and rail, determined to beat time and each other, the journalists encounter every hazard of 19th century travel, along with the everyday hazards that met 19th century women. A terrific adventure story about two very different people, this book also reminds us that along with its dark moments, history can be rousing and fun. ~ Brendie
A coyote rides the subway! A red panda plays tourist in our nation’s capital! What might have been urban legends in the past have become daily viewing on Twitter and YouTube. This charming story collection seeks to put some of the legend back into encounters between people and so-called “city beasts.” From tropical birds on the lam in Central Park to a twist on “The Princess and the Frog,” Kurlansky brings the same wonder and spirit of adventure to these fictional tales as he has to histories of food and cultures. You might be left wondering whose perspective you identify with more—the human or the animal. ~ Brendie
You can spend your entire life in Alaska and never see a wolf. What can happen when you do? Nick Jans’ moving book is the story of how his life and the lives of others changed when a young wolf inched closer and closer to his neighborhood in Juneau. Over the course of six years, Romeo (as Jans nicknames him) becomes many things to the people and dogs in that community—concern, companion, curiosity—but this wild wolf remains wild. This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in wolves, or the dynamics that go along with people and wild animals increasingly sharing living space. ~ Brendie