Dave

Dave and his wife Jane own the bookstore. Unlike everyone else there, he knows nothing about the business - but from constantly asking questions, he’s trying to learn. The staff very much hopes he’ll succeed before he starts coming up with ideas he’d like them to implement. A trial lawyer in his prior life and now a part-time human rights lawyer focusing on Africa, he’s looking at the ways in which the bookstore can be a forum for critical issues. Examples include increasing diversity on the island, confronting xenophobia, racism, and considering the distinction between freedom of speech and hate speech.

 

Picks:

Staff Pick Badge
The Cockroach Cover Image
$11.00
ISBN: 9780593082423
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - October 8th, 2019

England's towering novelist, Ian McEwan (Man Booker award for Amsterdam and now this novella.) has decided to have some fun writing a political satire. (Good idea, that, since our two countries seem like they're trying hard to self-destruct.)   On the surface, it's all about Brexit and Boris but his readers will know he had his eye on a certain other political leader as he wrote it. With more than a nod to Kafka's Metamorphosis, he's turned the Prime Minister into a cockroach. In his new exoskeleton, the PM bludgeons his cabinet into support something he calls Reversalism. Henceforth, the flow of money is upended so workers pay a salary to be allowed to work. To get the needed cash, they earn it by going shopping, where the shops pay them for their purchases. Sounds like a country run by a maniac, doesn't it?


Staff Pick Badge
Chances Are . . .: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781101947746
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - July 30th, 2019

Pulitzer Prize winner ( Empire Falls, 2002) Richard Russo has pulled off another great novel. Three middle-class retirement-age white guys who graduated from a small private college 44 years earlier, are reuniting at Martha's Vineyard, where they had previously held a college farewell party. Ho hum? Not at all. The story begins the day they received their Viet Nam draft lottery numbers that changed their lives. They were each in love with their wild and rich sorority classmate Jacy Calloway, but as their farewell party ended, she disappeared without a trace. Slowly, Russo feeds his readers with bits of their intervening lives while weaving Jacy's disappearance into the telling. One of them secretly turns to a retired island cop for clues, which ultimately leads to the answer they've waited for, and an insightful exploration of the impact it had on how they felt about themselves and one another. You'll be right to think your hunches about what happened to Jacy will likely turn out to be hopelessly wrong. 


Staff Pick Badge
Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780307958020
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

Diplomacy is the business of discreetly representing one's country's interests by following orders of the President while prudently recommending to the boss what should be done. Beginning as a Foreign Service officer in Vietnam to his career's denouement after his brilliant work leading to the Dayton peace accords where he effectively ended the war in the Balkans, Richard Holbrooke did the opposite. Many fascinating examples are shared as to how, seemingly, he tried to fail. Despite this, throughout his long career he continued to distinguish himself as an insightful observer of the key foreign policy issues confronting all presidents from Nixon through Obama. Our Man is the book to read for a combination of best understanding a half century of American foreign policy and the jarring complexity of our most baffling diplomat. Parker suggests that we remember that an individual can be brilliant even though he may have been "...a child who fiercely resisted toilet training."


Staff Pick Badge
Machines Like Me: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385545112
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Nan A. Talese - April 23rd, 2019

The AI personal assistant McEwen puts in the flat of the not so clever protagonist, with a not much more clever girlfriend, is on steroids compared to the ones now on the market.  What it does to their lives should make all of us think twice about ever letting something like that in our house.  Or maybe it’s no longer an “it.” 


Staff Pick Badge
The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101986646
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - March 5th, 2019

If you are an experience mountaineer or (say) a designer of quilts, read this book since both of you will then have one thing in common; a sense of wonderment that any sane person would (let alone could) do what Alex Honnold did. Considered the last great rock climbing challenge, he climbed 3000 feet straight up the most difficult route on El Capitan without help - no rope, no partner, no equipment. The author, himself an elite rock climber, astutely explains how someone can seemingly lack the capacity to experience fear. The complexities of us humans are magnified in this telling. The purity of the pursuit butting up against the pressure to monetize doing the impossible; petty cruelty and selfless concern for others, and self-confidence bordering on insanity all the while preparing for the climb with thousands of hours choreographing the exact placement of every hand hold and a nubbin of friction for each foot hold. By the end we wonder; which of us is living the fullest of a lives. 


Staff Pick Badge
Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501123207
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 5th, 2019

We've all heard about how the Facebooks of the world only feed us versions of the truth supporting our biases, and how our every click feeds a clever algorithm giving us more content proving that our truth is THE truth. After all, how else will they keep us clicking their sites - which in turn drives advertisers to send us targeted ads? Jill Abramson, the former editor in chief of the New York Times, vividly makes it clear the problem is much worse than most of us probably think. It's hard to escape the conclusion that we are collectively getting dumber by only reading sources that are cheerleaders. Profiling the creation of BuzzFeed and Vice, and then the reinvention of the Washington Post and her old paper to compete with these assaults on balanced reporting, Abramson recounts the gritty details. Happily, the Post and Times finally got it right, assuring we can still get a broad spectrum of news. Luddites über alles.


Staff Pick Badge
Kingdom of the Blind: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250066206
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - November 27th, 2018

This is the most recent in a long series of Montreal based crime novels with a big following on Bainbridge. The ever-brilliant Chief Inspector has never been in the middle of a baffling murder investigation in which he is a key witness at the same time his career is on the line owing to a dicey judgment call he made concerning a major drug bust on a previous case. Penny’s clever if not devious mind links the murder of a prominent Montreal financier to a 150-year old dispute between beneficiaries of a will that gave all of an estate to each son of the deceased. And therein lies the tale.


Staff Pick Badge
Heart: A History Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374168650
Availability: Backordered
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 18th, 2018

Even if you're not among the large population of Americans with heart disease or a family history of it, Sandeep Jauhar'sHeart, a History is a gripping story. How our heart pump works, and the history of wacky and brilliant experiments into its mysteries that refused to go away, speaks to the broader issue of how science makes progress over time. From the fatal heart attack suffered by his grandfather in rural India to his own heart disease, this cardiologist clearly lifts the fog around the various ways the heart can fail and steps we can take to avoid the operating room.


Staff Pick Badge
The Winter Soldier Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316477604
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 11th, 2018

Leaving the comforts of Vienna, young Lucius Krzelwewski, a physician barely out of medical school, is posted to a WW I field hospital in the Carpathian Mountains. Sister Margarete, the head nurse who may or may not be a nun, and the brutal conditions of a nearly abandoned hospital, quickly upend his cloistered world. His struggle to comprehend how ill equipped he is as the only physician left in this nearly forgotten outpost, and what to make of the baffling head nurse, frame this tale. One day, a severely injured soldier who can’t or won’t talk arrives and is unresponsive to treatment. Krzelwewski sees no solution other than to send him away to an uncertain fate. The war ends, he returns to Vienna but is consumed with the need to find the woman he loves and perhaps come to peace with what happened to the winter soldier. All in all, a beautiful tale.


Staff Pick Badge
Manhattan Beach: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476716749
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 5th, 2018

Egan conjures up a wonderful tableau of characters in this richly told novel about NYC during WW II. A precocious ingénue turned hard hat diver is the star of the show, a crippled sister who briefly arises Lazarus-like, a fraught dad, and a gangster who can't quite decide if he fits the mold. This tale starts slowly but properly so, since developing these complex characters understandably takes time. The research into the functioning of New York's waterfront during the war effort is fascinating and her treatment of how all these lives connect delights to the very end. No wonder Egan is a previous Pulitzer Prize winner.  


Staff Pick Badge
Reporter: A Memoir Cover Image
please email (staff@eagleharborbooks.com) or call (206.842.5332) for price
ISBN: 9780307263957
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

One of our top investigative reporters for the past 50 years, Hersch details his most important work (the My Lai massacre, Vietnam, Watergate, Abu Ghraib) in this granular description of what it takes to dig, dig, dig to get the stories our government is so keen to hide. In his "just the facts ma'am" style, this very new memoir is replete with insider snapshots of well-known political figures (Kissinger) to lesser known cultural ones (The New Yorker's William Shawn). Although obviously bright and a wonderful writer, he makes clear that those are unimportant traits compared with tenacity and fervor in getting the job done. What he did to uncover the My Lai massacre is riveting, almost as much as his repeated descriptions of how hard our political leaders worked to hide the ball. That recurring theme through the book should remind us of the need to always question our political leaders' explanations of what they are doing and why. It also reminded me that Hersch has had one hell of a grand time during the course of his life.  


Staff Pick Badge
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781524731656
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 21st, 2018

Indomitable will, charisma, that level of hubris one equates with Silicon Valley, and the judgement of a fruit fly is John Carreyrou's description of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Teranos. In this fly-on-the-wall account of Holmes' determined effort to revolutionize the testing of blood, the author took no prisoners. Only a few years too old be seen as an ingénue, this story captures how she attracted a preeminent grey beard board of male directors to lend gravitas to her claims and how she let loose the lawyers on the increasing chorus of engineers and scientists wondering if there was any there, there. Like the skilled investigative reporter he is, Carreyrou's readers get all the facts to help us decide if she became a fully former huckster early on or if she honestly believed that, until Teranos imploded and the federal government prosecutors took notice, all she needed was a bit more time before permanent glory and riches were hers.


Staff Pick Badge
Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780465097821
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books - May 1st, 2018

Israel figures prominently in our political life and it's hard to see that changing. Understanding Bibi and what makes him tick will be essential to understand Israel going forward. His deep, personal connections to the U.S. coupled with his barely disguised loathing of most American Jews, his convoluted personal life, uncompromising view of what his country must have to survive, and his willingness to directly inject his government into our political system is richly told by Pfeffer in this comprehensive biography. This telling of the long conflict surrounding Palestine and Gaza and the Israeli internal politics driving that discussion is clear and vivid. It was refreshing to read a book on an individual and an issue about which so few find common ground that lets the facts rather than a political agenda be the focus of the story. On the other hand, it's hard to be neutral when reading about the bizarre power Netanyahu's wife seemingly has over his decisions as Israel's longstanding prime minister.


Staff Pick Badge
Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812988703
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - April 3rd, 2018

The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming! Actually, they had already come. Sputnik in 1957, then Laika the Samoyed, and finally Yuri Gugarin, up and back in 1961. The humiliation was too much for Kennedy. Months before he was killed, he announced we'd be on the Moon by the decade's end. We were in no position to come close, let alone beat the Soviets. That we did both, and within the deadline, is recounted using layman language in this wonderful new book; one of several coming out now to mark the 50th anniversary. An untested rocket, breaking free of Earth's orbit, getting to the precise spot needed for the trip around the moon's back side out of radio contact with Houston, and re-entry were all done for the first time by the crew of Apollo 8. Why not? After all, if the 7,100,000 of Apollo's parts and systems performed at 99.9% reliability, they only had to contend with the failure of 5,600 defects during the trip.


Staff Pick Badge
The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity Cover Image
please email (staff@eagleharborbooks.com) or call (206.842.5332) for price
ISBN: 9780544828704
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - January 23rd, 2018

From studies the world over of people in every economic strata, one in every six people suffered at least four "Adverse Childhood Experiences" (ACE) when they were young, with the result that they are 10 times as more likely to attempt suicide and significantly more at risk of heart disease, cancer, and any of the auto immune disorders. After reading Dr. Nadine Burke Harris' The Deepest Well, I learned how wrong I was to assume childhood trauma caused only psychological difficulties. It helps us to understand why effectively fighting obesity, diabetes, and ADHD to name a few may first require an understand of the underlying causes. Even if one believes the issue doesn't personally resonate, the science of how early trauma fundamentally alters the brains of its victims is fascinating.


Staff Pick Badge
Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781501163883
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - February 6th, 2018

A British alchemist of the English language paints a New York we could only imagine in the telling. The story revolves around the clash that results with the arrival of a mysterious transplant from England into the city’s affluent merchant class. Of course, Spufford throws a very baffling young woman into the mix. 


Staff Pick Badge
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393354775
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 31st, 2017

Both odd and lovely, this is the account of a friendship between two brilliant Israeli psychologists—Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky—whose research upended prior entrenched views about how the human mind works. 


Staff Pick Badge
Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780802127006
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - June 6th, 2017

We all have some sense of the Vietnam War, most of us viewing it as one of our major military failures. This granular coverage of a battle that U.S. forces ended up winning in the technical sense, but losing in every other way, is riveting for its lucid play by play coverage of how our soldiers fought against a motivated enemy. It also reminds us that our military and political leaders, in nearly every sense, were in denial of the forces against us and unwilling to respond to the needs of the front-line soldiers. I hope our current military leaders will read this book .


Staff Pick Badge
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399588174
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - November 15th, 2016

How is it that after spending four winters in Cape Town working on and reading about post-Apartheid South Africa that I remained relatively clueless about the complexity of the race question until I read this book? Stir in his childhood stories of being dragooned into multiple all Sunday church services by his formidable mama, and the result is pure joy and wonder. How did he survive to become the comic he is, or maybe, how could he have become who he is without growing up as he did? I haven't a clue but do know the clarity of his writing and his life as a kid in the fascinating mess of South Africa made for a marvelous read.


Staff Pick Badge
And Yet...: Essays Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781476772073
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 25th, 2016

This pile of Christopher Hitchens’ essays written in the decade before his death reminded me of his nasty wit and how few English language words I know. In one, he tips his hat to Charles Dickens while also making it clear the great man was all wet when writing about religion: “… with some of his less imposing and more moistly sentimental prose scenes in A Christmas Carol, (Dickens) took the Greatest Birthday Ever Told and helped make it into the near Ramadan of protracted obligatory celebration now darkening our Decembers.”


Staff Pick Badge
Nutshell: A Novel Cover Image
please email (staff@eagleharborbooks.com) or call (206.842.5332) for price
ISBN: 9780385542074
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Nan A. Talese - September 13th, 2016

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like for the fetus when mom is experiencing as much, if not more, intimate attention than is wanted at the moment, McEwan provides the answer through his narrator, the most precocious unborn in literature. Dryly humorous and poignant, McEwan gives us an incisive, talking and hearing being who misses nothing that mom, dad, and dad’s odious brother are doing while he/she bobs around in amniotic fluid, itching to get out and make things right.


Staff Pick Badge
Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544705173
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books - October 18th, 2016

Many of us from this part of the world don’t recognize the citizens of the country who voted for Trump.  Theroux’s account helps. Avoiding cities, he wanders through backwaters, talking and listening. What his readers get is an awakening, but one we expect when reading about, say, Mozambique. Over and over, we learn about trailer parks, gracious citizens, gun shows, and that running water is a luxury. But we don’t learn why the Gates Foundation has never been seen down there. Reading Deep South and what it says about the Trump phenomenon causes me to hope Theroux will next profile working class white men from, say, Ohio.


Staff Pick Badge
A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780670026197
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - September 6th, 2016

Towles is highly regarded for his novels set in sophisticated milieus. Still, how can any novel of the life of a man condemned to spend his entire life in a hotel possibly hold any sensible reader’s attention? It commanded rather than held mine. The simple tableau of the inside of a hotel allows the reader to focus on the plot, Towles exquisite development of the main characters, and the protagonist’s incisive mind. My greatest joy was experiencing Towles’ deft continual pulling rabbits out of a hat when I didn’t see them coming. Easily, my favorite fiction read of the past year or two.


Staff Pick Badge
The Good Lord Bird: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594632785
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 5th, 2014

This whimsical story starts in Kansas Territory in 1857, amid anti- and pro-slavery battlegrounds, in and between beer hall towns, where John Brown traveled before his ill-fated raid on Harpers Ferry. The narrator: Henry, a diminutive black shoe-shine boy who says he's 11 or 13 years old, makes some kind of sense of his life with John Brown during those years. James McBride, with an exquisite use of the patois of the times, recounts Brown's blinding adherence to his made-up version of the Bible in his effort to free slaves - whether they like it or not. The result is an hilarious and confounding story, rich in characters, and told through imagined conversations with the heroes of the fight against slavery, such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. But the story's true hero is language. The description of a how a dance-hall girl's dress, decorated with flowers, moved as she slithered down the stairs should be on anyone's list for the most delightful paragraph of fiction every written. It's well and good that McBride won a National Book Award for this one. 


A Tale of Love and Darkness Cover Image
By Amos Oz, Nicholas de Lange (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780156032520
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - November 1st, 2005

Staff Pick Badge
Tess of the D'Urbervilles Cover Image
By Thomas Hardy, Tim Dolin (Editor), Tim Dolin (Notes by), Margaret Randolph Higonnet (Introduction by)
$10.00
ISBN: 9780141439594
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - May 27th, 2003

Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy and George Eliot’s Middlemarch both revolve around 19th century English mores, particularly as they speak to both the constricted lives of peasant women (“Tess of the D’Ubervilles”) and the gentry (“Middlemarch”.  Tess can never outrun her shadow and the privileged women of Middlemarch are equally tethered to strict rules of acceptable behavior.  At least Eliot in her engrossing story makes clear that men are nearly as hidebound as women. 


Staff Pick Badge
Middlemarch Cover Image
By George Eliot, Rosemary Ashton (Editor), Rosemary Ashton (Introduction by), Rosemary Ashton (Notes by)
$12.00
ISBN: 9780141439549
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - March 25th, 2003

Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy and George Eliot’s Middlemarch both revolve around 19th century English mores, particularly as they speak to both the constricted lives of peasant women (“Tess of the D’Ubervilles”) and the gentry (“Middlemarch”.  Tess can never outrun her shadow and the privileged women of Middlemarch are equally tethered to strict rules of acceptable behavior.  At least Eliot in her engrossing story makes clear that men are nearly as hidebound as women. 


Experience: A Memoir (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780375726835
Availability: Special Order
Published: Vintage - June 12th, 2001

Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780140265668
Availability: Special Order
Published: Penguin Books - September 1st, 1998