Welcome to CAPE EYE ON BOOKS WITH ANNE LECLAIRE, a column for people who are passionate about books and curious about their universe. We’ll chat about reading and writing and explore many different aspects including book selling and publication from the viewpoint of editors, agents and store owners. You’ll meet authors from the Cape and Islands and beyond, learn more about our neighborhood booksellers in our Featured Bookstores section and meet our Featured Authors. You’ll even have an opportunity to enter contests and win prizes (Okay, we’re not Oprah so you won’t win a car, but winners will get a copy of books months before their official publication.) Like all good book clubs, we hope to promote lively discussion and invite you to join the conversation.
How appropriate that our inaugural column begins in January, the month of new beginnings. In fact in the publishing industry it is known as the New Year, New You season when a raft of books is released on diets and exercise and all manner of self help that promise to match aspirations with results. So seductive, this idea we can remake ourselves, our bodies, our lives. Or at least formulate a resolution or two that might tweak things for the better. And new beginnings are so promising. New jobs. New relationships. New gym memberships. New diets. All promise that we can turn the page and begin anew. Move beyond old failures and disappointments.
The desire to aspire is as ancient as we are, witness writings of Aristotle or Montague and classics in the field like Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends And Influence People.” More recently “I’m OK, You’re OK,” the book one New York agent called a watershed, opened the floodgates for New Age self betterment in a major way resulting in shelves that were flooded with the genre.
Do you make resolutions? I don’t. Instead, my husband and I take stock. We reflect on the past year and talk about how we envision the coming months. We talk about what is important to us and verbalize our intentions to focus on those things. And I clean, behavior I attribute to my mother who even in her 80s began each January with a thorough house cleaning. (Her idea of cleaning the kitchen cabinets was to empty them, wash the shelves and then apply a fresh coat of paint.) I look forward to reading Marie Kondo’s new book, “Spark Joy,” one of the selections of our Featured Bookstore, Main Street Books in Orleans.
Each month we will offer three lists of five books, my choices and recommendations from the featured bookstore and featured author. The January selections are thought-provoking books to enrich winter days ranging from poetry and novels to spirituality plus a bonus book for play
Here are my recommendations:
“SECRET MESSAGES OF WATER,” by Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto, explores the ground-breaking experiments that led to a new way of looking at the world. It examines the power of our thoughts and words and how their vibration influences the impact on the earth and our bodies.
“ESSAYS OF MONTAIGUE”: Writings on how to be a good human being.
“PLANT PURE NATION COOKBOOK: The Official Companion to the Breakthrough Film,” by Kim Campbell. “A powerful, science-based approach to nutrition . . . promoting the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet.”
“BEING MORTAL” by Dr. Atul Gawande, a New York Times best-seller about medicine, the choices we face in life and what matters most. Dr Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and writer for the New Yorker. The Boston Globe reviewer said “A masterful exploration of aging, death and the medical professions mishandling of both.”
“IN PRAISE OF SLOWNESS: Challenging the Cult of Speed” by Carl Honore. A sensible and sane look at the price we pay for a pace of life spinning out of control.
And finally . . .
Each month the winner will win an ARC (an Advance Reader’s Copy that the publisher sends out to bookstores and reviewers prepublication) from a best-selling author.
The January question: What book did you read that gave you a new way of looking at love and why? Answer in the comments section below. Entries must be submitted by 1/20/16.
Happy New Year. Happy reading.
Keep Reading: This month’s featured bookstore: Main Street Books, Orleans, click here or on the button below!
Courtesy of: capecod.com