February 2020
Last month I started the newsletter with excitement over the publication of American Dirt , a novel by Jeanine Cummins. This was a highly anticipated book across the country which had been positively reviewed by many prominent authors. Since then, the book and Ms. Cummins have become embroiled in tremendous controversy. Here is a New York Times article with some background. 
Ms. Cummins was due to appear at the Northshire in Manchester in March, but the publisher has canceled her entire tour, largely due to serious threats against her person. There are many levels to this, but my most basic reaction is sadness that a work of fiction, however imperfect, has led to threats of violence. We need to be able to talk about controversial topics and our differences in constructive ways if we are to evolve and learn. The Twitter mob has dictated real world events in a way that diminishes us all. 
That is not to say that many of the criticisms of the book and how it was marketed are not valid. The general conversation has been very informative, illuminating and, hopefully, productive. I know I have learned a lot. ( Here is an article that encapsulates many of the criticisms). The power to decide what gets published has traditionally been controlled by a homogeneous group, so opportunities are lost, diverse voices are under-represented and good intentions crash on the shores of limited perspectives. 
I agree with PEN America ’s statement which said, in part, "The breadth of passionate perspectives unleashed by this controversy has sparked an overdue public conversation. We urge that this dialogue unfold in the realm of ideas and opinions, and avoid descending into either ad hominem attacks or caricature. As defenders of freedom of expression, we categorically reject rigid rules about who has the right to tell which stories. We see no contradiction between that position and the need for the publishing industry to urgently address its own chronic shortcomings. If the fury over this book can catalyze concrete change in how books are sourced, edited, and promoted, it will have achieved something important."

May the conversation continue,
Chris Morrow
Please note the location of each event Manchester Center or Saratoga Springs

Bennington novelist Meg Little Reilly returns to Northshire Bookstore for a conversation about her new novel  The Misfortunes of Family  with Garrett Graff author of the  NY Times -bestselling  The Only Plane in the Sky . In Reilly’s novel of family dysfunction, the adult children of Senator Bight arrive in the Berkshires for a family vacation. As the secrets tumble out, an invited film crew starts documenting.

Join children's book authors Jennifer Swender & Paul DuBois Jacobs at 2 pm on Sunday, February 16 as they celebrate the launch of their delightful new Mack Rhino early chapter book series!
Mack Rhino is a private detective—who just so happens to be a rhinoceros—in this silly, fun-to-read chapter book that’s perfect for emerging readers!

We are thrilled to be hosting for the launch of her latest Mystery  The Sun Down Motel , staff favorite & award-winning author Simone St. James in conversation with acclaimed bestseller Vermont’s own Jennifer McMahon whose Thriller  The Invited  is now in paperback!

Join us for a fascinating evening with author and maritime archaeologist Joseph Zarzynski as he discusses his new book Ghost Fleet Awakened which reveals the untold story of a little-recognized sunken fleet of British warships, bateaux, from the French and Indian War (1755-1763). 

We are thrilled to host Clare Beams, whose electrifying new novel The Illness Lesson set in an 1870s all-girls school is a powerful exploration of women’s bodies, women’s minds, and the time-honored tradition of doubting both.

“[B]oth classical ghost story...and scream of female outrage.” --Elizabeth Gilbert

Northshire Bookstore is thrilled to partner with Yaddo to present an evening with Jenny Offill as part of our Yaddo Presents series on Friday, February 28th at 7 pm. The Yaddo Presents speakers series brings the best in new writing and new ideas to the Capital District. Offill will discuss her new book Weather with Rachel Person, Northshire's Event Manager.
From the author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation --one of the New York Times Book Review 's Ten Best Books of the Year--a shimmering tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis.

Featured Book of the Month

Discover the debut novel hailed as “brilliant” (Ian McEwan), “stunningly original” (Etaf Rum), “storytelling at its best” (Anne Enright), “a drama of childhood that is as wild as it is intimate” (Chigozie Obioma).
Down market lanes crammed with too many people, dogs, and rickshaws, past stalls that smell of cardamom and sizzling oil, below a smoggy sky that doesn’t let through a single blade of sunlight, and all the way at the end of the Purple metro line lies a jumble of tin-roofed homes where nine-year-old Jai lives with his family. From his doorway, he can spot the glittering lights of the city’s fancy high-rises, and though his mother works as a maid in one, to him they seem a thousand miles away.  Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line  plunges readers deep into this neighborhood to trace the unfolding of a tragedy through the eyes of a child as he has his first perilous collisions with an unjust and complicated wider world.

Jai drools outside sweet shops, watches too many reality police shows, and considers himself to be smarter than his friends Pari (though she gets the best grades) and Faiz (though Faiz has an actual job). When a classmate goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him. He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants, and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit.

But what begins as a game turns sinister as other children start disappearing from their neighborhood. Jai, Pari, and Faiz have to confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force, and rumors of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again.

Drawing on real incidents and a spate of disappearances in metropolitan India,  Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line  is extraordinarily moving, flawlessly imagined, and a triumph of suspense. It captures the fierce warmth, resilience, and bravery that can emerge in times of trouble and carries the reader headlong into a community that, once encountered, is impossible to forget.

February Pre-order Highlight

The #1  New York Times  bestselling author of  The Devil in the White City  and  Dead Wake  delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.

In  The Splendid and the Vile , Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, his wartime retreat, and, of course, 10 Downing Street. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family.
The Splendid and the Vile  takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

New Fiction on our Shelves
New Non-Fiction on our Shelves
New Paperbacks on our Shelves
From our own Shires Press

Women from Louisiana have a reputation of being exceptional cooks; showing their love for family and friends with the delicious, savory meals they concoct. Furaha Youngblood (Cat-Eyed Woman From Louisiana) continues this tradition, but in a slightly different way. Her desire to nourish those she loves is also demonstrated in the literary works that she creates.

In A Pinch of Poetry, A Dash of Drama, a Scoop of Short Stories to Nourish the Mind and Heart , Youngblood demonstrates versatility and maturity in the poems that range from erotic romance, to drama that reflects the ordinary lives of African Americans, and short stories that hold the attention of readers, many of whom measure time in texting.

With this collection, containing poems, short stories, and a TV drama, Furaha Youngblood offers her readers a menu of human emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences from which to choose for enlightenment, enjoyment, and insight.

Enjoy your meal!

New Releases from our Children's Department

We are featuring some of our signed books from publishers and author events online. You can also come into our bookstores to see all of our signed books.

*Limited quantities; while supplies last.
Find out what we're reading here , then join us! Please note that reading groups might not meet monthly; some are bi-monthly.
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