Held by Anne Michaels

Staff Pick

While anchored in time and place—from 1908 Paris to 1951 London to 2025 Finland—the episodes making up this dazzling novel are free floating and timeless. The dates and geography suggest an epic sweep, but the stories are presented nonchronologically and don’t so much build on as echo each other, as Michaels uses the various interrelated characters to reach beyond individuals to something cosmic, just as her narrative lines move beyond the finite to the infinite. But this poet/novelist’s greatest theme and main character is language itself. Each page features lines to savor, ponder, and return to, as much for their lyricism as for their profundity on topics including love, memory, art, history, and war.


Held: A novel By Anne Michaels Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593536865
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Knopf - January 30th, 2024

The Underworld by Susan Casey

Staff Pick

Early maps marked uncharted seas as dragon territory; later explorers treated ocean depths as lifeless wastelands. As Casey shows in her vivid account of human forays into the deep, the first estimations were closer to the truth—the colorful monsters detailed on Olaus Magnus’s 16th century Cartus Marina, for instance, while imaginary, heralded the actual bioluminescent creatures, bat-like sponges, “crystal-white anemones,” and startling snail fish to come when technology at last gave us access to the deepest, abyssal, or hadal (yes, from hades) layer of ocean with its absolute darkness and crushing weight of “eleven hundred atmospheres.” Casey makes the machines—Beebe’s bathysphere, OceanX robotic subs--as much part of her adventure as the trenches, ocean volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, and “undulating carpet of fine gold sediment” they reveal (along with the mountains of plastic, dumped munitions, drift nets, and other human waste).  Her awe-inspiring book is at once rigorous science and a “psilocybin vision.”

The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean By Susan Casey Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385545570
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Doubleday - August 1st, 2023

Wildscape by Nancy Lawson

Staff Pick

Lawson’s beautiful tour presents the garden from the perspectives of the birds, animals, and insects that live in and visit it. From what monarchs need in addition to milkweed to how mowing the lawn drives away fireflies, Lawson illuminates what people mostly miss, showing how human agendas—uniform, smooth turf grass; monocultures of lilies or hostas; tidy, leaf-blown beds—run counter to the needs of wild creatures, often dangerously so, even when we intend to help, as with keeping honeybees. But once we become aware of the yard as a complex ecosystem and start paying attention to what the creatures themselves tell us, we can alter our role by filling the space with native plants, lowering the lights, leaving the leaves—and begin to live in true harmony with the denizens of the garden. 

Wildscape: Trilling Chipmunks, Beckoning Blooms, Salty Butterflies, and other Sensory Wonders of Nature By Nancy Lawson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781797222479
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Princeton Architectural Press - March 28th, 2023