HILLBILLY ELEGY, by Vance

Travel
Tuesday, September 3, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis By J. D. Vance Cover Image

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (Paperback)

$17.99


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"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

J.D. Vance grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq. A graduate of the Ohio State University and Yale Law School, he has contributed to the National Review and the New York Times, and works as an investor at a leading venture capital firm. Vance lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his family.

Product Details ISBN: 9780062300553
ISBN-10: 0062300555
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 1st, 2018
Pages: 288
Language: English

“[A] compassionate, discerning sociological analysis…Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election, and he’s done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans. Imagine that.” — Jennifer Senior, New York Times

“[Hillbilly Elegy] is a beautiful memoir but it is equally a work of cultural criticism about white working-class America….[Vance] offers a compelling explanation for why it’s so hard for someone who grew up the way he did to make it…a riveting book.” — Wall Street Journal

“[Vance’s] description of the culture he grew up in is essential reading for this moment in history.” — David Brooks, New York Times

“[Hillbilly Elegy] couldn’t have been better timed...a harrowing portrait of much that has gone wrong in America over the past two generations...an honest look at the dysfunction that afflicts too many working-class Americans.” — National Review

"[A]n American classic, an extraordinary testimony to the brokenness of the white working class, but also its strengths. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read… [T]he most important book of 2016. You cannot understand what’s happening now without first reading J.D. Vance." — Rod Dreher,The American Conservative

“J.D. Vance’s memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy”, offers a starkly honest look at what that shattering of faith feels like for a family who lived through it. You will not read a more important book about America this year.” — The Economist

“[A] frank, unsentimental, harrowing memoir...a superb book...” — New York Post

“The troubles of the working poor are well known to policymakers, but Vance offers an insider’s view of the problem.” — Christianity Today

“Vance movingly recounts the travails of his family.” — Washington Post

“What explains the appeal of Donald Trump? Many pundits have tried to answer this question and fallen short. But J.D. Vance nails it...stunning...intimate...” — Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“[A] new memoir that should be read far and wide.” — Institute of Family Studies

“[An] understated, engaging debut...An unusually timely and deeply affecting view of a social class whose health and economic problems are making headlines in this election year.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, this memoir is akin to investigative journalism. … A quick and engaging read, this book is well suited to anyone interested in a study of modern America, as Vance’s assertions about Appalachia are far more reaching.” — Library Journal

“Vance compellingly describes the terrible toll that alcoholism, drug abuse, and an unrelenting code of honor took on his family, neither excusing the behavior nor condemning it…The portrait that emerges is a complex one…Unerringly forthright, remarkably insightful, and refreshingly focused, Hillbilly Elegy is the cry of a community in crisis.” — Booklist

To understand the rage and disaffection of America’s working-class whites, look to Greater Appalachia. In HILLBILLY ELEGY, J.D. Vance confronts us with the economic and spiritual travails of this forgotten corner of our country. Here we find women and men who dearly love their country, yet who feel powerless as their way of life is devastated. Never before have I read a memoir so powerful, and so necessary. — Reihan Salam, executive editor, National Review

“A beautifully and powerfully written memoir about the author’s journey from a troubled, addiction-torn Appalachian family to Yale Law School, Hillbilly Elegy is shocking, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and hysterically funny. It’s also a profoundly important book, one that opens a window on a part of America usually hidden from view and offers genuine hope in the form of hard-hitting honesty. Hillbilly Elegy announces the arrival of a gifted and utterly original new writer and should be required reading for everyone who cares about what’s really happening in America.” — Amy Chua, New York Times bestselling author of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

“Elites tend to see our social crisis in terms of ‘stagnation’ or ‘inequality.’ J. D. Vance writes powerfully about the real people who are kept out of sight by academic abstractions.” — Peter Thiel, entrepreneur, investor, and author of Zero to One



HAVANA, by Kurlansky

Travel
Tuesday, August 6, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Havana: A Subtropical Delirium By Mark Kurlansky Cover Image

Havana: A Subtropical Delirium (Paperback)

$16.00


Backordered

A city of tropical heat, ramshackle beauty, and its very own cadence--a city that always surprises--Havana is brought to pulsing life by New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky.

Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky presents an insider's view of Havana: the elegant, tattered city he has come to know over more than thirty years. Part cultural history, part travelogue, with recipes, historic engravings, photographs, and Kurlansky's own pen-and-ink drawings throughout, Havana celebrates the city's singular music, literature, baseball, and food; its five centuries of outstanding, neglected architecture; and its extraordinary blend of cultures.

Like all great cities, Havana has a rich history that informs the vibrant place it is today--from the native Taino to Columbus's landing, from Cuba's status as a U.S. protectorate to Batista's dictatorship and Castro's revolution, from Soviet presence to the welcoming of capitalist tourism. Havana is a place of extremes: a beautifully restored colonial city whose cobblestone streets pass through areas that have not been painted or repaired since long before the revolution.

Kurlansky shows Havana through the eyes of Cuban writers, such as Alejo Carpentier and José Martí, and foreigners, including Graham Greene and Hemingway. He introduces us to Cuban baseball and its highly opinionated fans; the city's music scene, alive with the rhythm of son; its culinary legacy. Through Mark Kurlansky's multilayered and electrifying portrait, the long-elusive city of Havana comes stirringly to life.

Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of Milk!, Cod, Salt, Paper, The Basque History of the World, 1968, The Big Oyster, International Night, The Eastern Stars, A Continent of Islands, and The White Man in the Tree and Other Stories. He received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonviolence, Bon Appetit’s Food Writer of the Year Award, the James Beard Award, and the Glenfiddich Award. Salt was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. He spent ten years as Caribbean correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. He lives in New York City. www.markkurlansky.com.
Product Details ISBN: 9781632863928
ISBN-10: 1632863928
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: March 6th, 2018
Pages: 272
Language: English

"Kurlansky reaches back 500 years to track the city's evolving history, separating out the different strands--Spanish, African, American, Russian; political, social, musical, culinary--that slowly steeped to create Havana's piquant blend of static defiance." - New York Times, "Summer's Best Travel Books"

"A happy hybrid, Havana: A Subtropical Delirium invokes the Cuban capital as an occasion to discuss the country's history, politics, food, architecture, music, religion and passion for baseball . . . Kurlansky approaches Havana like an Impressionist painter, building the image of this metropolis of 2 million inhabitants with subtle brushstrokes." - The Washington Post

"During his decade-long tenure as the Chicago Tribune's Caribbean correspondent in the 1980s, Mark Kurlansky began traveling to Cuba. Since this introduction to the island nation, the journalist grew to know and love the beautiful, messy capital. Drawing on Havana's history, Kurlansky starts with Columbus' arrival in 1492 and examines the city's role in the slave trade and its lasting effects. But he also brings us into the contemporary culture, highlighting the city's lively music, dance and art scenes, and supplying us with recipes to tasty Cuban dishes." - Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Best Travel Books of 2017"

"This little gem of a book by the prolific Kurlansky is a revelation . . . At a most auspicious moment in the history of Cuba and Havana, Kurlansky, who has spent much time in the country as a journalist, writes an eloquent love letter to one of the world’s great cities." - starred review, Booklist

"An affectionate, richly detailed, brief biography of a unique city." - Kirkus Reviews

"This extremely readable book is not preachy, not dogmatic, not shrill. As in life, there is a mixture of both good and evil, and Kurlansky, a frequent Cuba correspondent, covers it well." - starred review, Library Journal

"Warmly rendered and rich with the insights of an observer intimate with his subject, this paean to the city of Havana is as engaging as it is timely. The chapters read like a series of colorful picture postcards, each one a touchstone of Havana’s history and Cuban culture." - Publishers Weekly

"Few countries seem as alluring as this island nation, long cloistered from American travelers, which welcomed its first commercial U.S. flight--from Fort Lauderdale--this past August . . . Havana is Mark Kurlansky's cultural history of a city that he began visiting regularly in the 1980s, when he covered the Caribbean for the Chicago Tribune." - Publishers Weekly, "Spring Travel Books"

"We are in good hands to explore this diabolically alluring city with New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky in Havana: A Subtropical Delirium. His is an insider's view of the ramshackle charm and special cadence of Havana, its tattered and elegant surprises and pulsating fun-loving life." - New York Journal of Books

"Havana is sui generis and addictive, and Mark Kurlansky really gets it." - BookPage

"Biographical portraits of cities are in vogue. This lively addition to the genre is essentially a history . . . Kurlansky found international fame in 1997 with his piscatorial portrait, Cod. The lengthy list of other titles he has penned is enough to make most professional writers want to shoot themselves--not only more than a dozen non-fiction works but novels and children's books as well. The bugger is also an award-winning food writer. Narrative history is his forte, however. His vignettes of the figures who moulded Havana are excellent. The story unfurls through grisly post-independence dictatorships and ends, inevitably, with Castro. Kurlansky is even-handed." - Literary Review

"A highly readable and entertaining account of Cuban history and culture that I found hard to put down." - San Francisco Book Review

"HAVANA is as enjoyable as it is fair, and above all features the beauty and essence of the city that makes it unmistakable. It is a colorful, descriptive piece that any person should warmly enjoy." - Bookreporter.com

"Perfect for anyone headed there or simply wishing to learn more about a city and country cloaked in romance and mystery." - BookFilter

"Havana is an electrifying and multi-layered portrait of the long-elusive city." - BookBrowse

"Not quite a book on the history of Havana, but rather, the history of Havana-isms . . . The result is a book that strays from repeating what most already know about Havana, and instead tells the origins of the city's unique cultural characteristics . . . Kurlansky's guide to Havana is an entertaining collage of the attitudes that have existed throughout its five-century history." - Cuba Trade Magazine



MOTHER TONGUE, by Romanov

Travel
Tuesday, July 2, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Mother Tongue: A Saga of Three Generations of Balkan Women By Tania Romanov Cover Image

Mother Tongue: A Saga of Three Generations of Balkan Women (Paperback)

$18.99


Special Order—Subject to Availability
*** A MUST READ FOR TRAVELERS TO CROATIA ***

Mother Tongue is an exploration of lives lived in the chaos of a part of the world known as the Balkans. It follows the lives of three generations of women―Katarina, Zora, and Tania―over the last 100 years. It follows countries that dissolved, formed, and reformed. Lands that were conquered and subjugated by Fascists and Nazis and nationalists. Lives lived in exile, in refugee camps, in new worlds.

Tania Romanov's story clarifies the history and geography of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro by pulling you into the lives of real people. It makes those countries come alive.

And through it all glows a love of language.

What is your mother tongue? What language did you speak with your mother? What language did you speak with your father? What language did you speak with your brother? For Tania Romanov there are three different answers to those questions.

Did you speak your mother tongue with anyone except your mother? That is the most bizarre question of all. But for Tania Romanov, the answer is no. She spoke a unique language with her mother, one in which she is still fluent. And by the way, it was not her mother's native language.

The language is Serbian. Tania's mother was Croatian. Her father was Russian. Tania was born in Serbia, but left when she was six months old. She and her brother grew up in San Francisco speaking English. She didn't speak any language until she was two.

Tania doesn't know why she spoke Serbian, rather than Croatian, with her mother Zora. It never occurred to her to ask until she started writing her memoir. And by then, her mother was gone.

The country of birth listed on Tania's American passport changed four times in four successive renewals. Until the first time, she believed your country of birth was a fixed point. Today she knows better.

Go with her as she journeys through time and history looking for answers, and finding some.

Product Details ISBN: 9781609521271
ISBN-10: 1609521277
Publisher: Travelers' Tales
Publication Date: March 1st, 2018
Pages: 340
Language: English


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