Celebrate Morningstar: Growing Up With Books with Ann Hood

Join us Sunday afternoon October 29th at 3:00p.m. for a very special author talk with Ann Hood, author of Morningstar: Growing Up With Books. To register and save a spot, click HERE.

About the book:

In her admired works of fiction, including the recent The Book That Matters Most, Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature. Now, with warmth and honesty, Hood reveals the personal story behind these beloved novels.

Growing up in a mill town in Rhode Island, in a household that didn’t foster a love of literature, Hood discovered nonetheless the transformative power of books. She learned to channel her imagination, ambitions, and curiosity by devouring ever-growing stacks. In Morningstar, Hood recollects how The Bell Jar, Marjorie Morningstar, The Harrad Experiment, and The Outsiders influenced her teen psyche and introduced her to topics that could not be discussed at home: desire, fear, sexuality, and madness. Later, Johnny Got His Gun and The Grapes of Wrath dramatically influenced her political thinking, while the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings became headline news and classics such as Dr. Zhivago and Les Miserables stoked her ambitions to travel the world. With characteristic insight and charm, Hood showcases the ways in which books gave her life and can transform–even save–our own lives.

About the author: 

Ann Hood is the author of the best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, The Obituary Writer, and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Review Quotes:

Morningstar is a love letter to the very act of reading and the power of books to light the way. I can think of no better guide than Ann Hood, whose generosity of spirit, courage, humor, gumption, and grace are a powerful reminder that language and story have the capacity to heal, to instruct, and to change our lives. What a mighty little book, so full of heart. –Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion and Slow Motion

From Alice: I have read and loved this book dearly. Maybe I am just the right age to remember just how books defined certain periods of my life, but this book hit all the right makes for me. Read it, you will remember your own past and the books that resonated then.

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Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage

By Dani Shapiro. The best-selling novelist and memoirist Dani Shapiro delivers the most intimate and powerful work of her career: an achingly honest hymn to an imperfect but precious life; a piercing, shattering, life-affirming memoir about marriage and memory, about the frailty and elasticity of our most essential bonds, and about the accretion, over time, of both sorrow and love.
Hourglass is an inquiry into how marriage is transformed by time–abraded, strengthened, shaped in miraculous and sometimes terrifying ways by accident and experience.  With courage and relentless honesty, Dani Shapiro opens the door to her house, her marriage, and her heart,
and invites us to witness her own marital reckoning–a reckoning in which she confronts both the life she dreamed of and the life she made, and struggles to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.
What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting, and commit ourselves for all time when the self is so often in flux?  What happens to love in the face of the unexpected, in the face of disappointment and compromise–how do we wrest beauty from imperfection, find grace in the ordinary, desire what we have rather than what we lack?  Drawing on literature, poetry, philosophy, and theology, Shapiro writes gloriously of the joys and challenges of matrimonial life, in a luminous narrative that unfurls with urgent immediacy and sharp intelligence.  Artful, intensely emotional work from one of our finest writers.

What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir

What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir Abigail Thomas Presents an uplifting memoir about the author’s life after the devastating loss of her husband, changes in a once-platonic friendship, her daughter’s illness, and the death of a beloved dog.

Fire Shut Up In My Bones

Fire Shut UpBy Charles M. Blow

“”Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is a luminous memoir that digs deep into territory I’ve longed to read about in black men’s writing into the horror of being submerged in a vast drowning swirl of racial, spiritual, and sexual complexity, only to somehow find one’s self afloat, though gasping for breath, and then, at long last and at great cost, swimming. I believe both Ancestors and Descendants will cheer.”
–ALICE WALKER

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

By Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess

For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris – Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives – the ones we’d like to pretend never happened – are in fact the ones that define us. In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

“The Bloggess writes stuff that actually is laugh-out-loud, but you know that really you shouldn’t be laughing and probably you’ll go to hell for laughing, so maybe you shouldn’t read it. That would be safer and wiser.”

–Neil Gaiman

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

By A.J. Jacobs

“A.J. Jacobs is very, very bad for your health. He will keep you up reading til 2 a.m., disturbing your circadian rhythms, making you sleep through breakfast and overeat at lunch. He is delicious. He’s habit-forming. He will give you infectious titters and terminal glee. Don’t let that stop you. Indulge.” —Mary Roach, author of Bonk and Packing for Mars

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