Issue of May 1, 2011

If April showers bring May flowers, what does May bring? At BiblioBuffet it brings some damn good books. We loved them. We know you are going to  love them too.

“God, what a book,’ Nicki Leone wrote in her e-mail that accompanied her column this week. What she’s speaking of is a book re-issued by the New York Review of Books in 2001, a book that somehow has bypassed most fans of travel literature. What is it? Find out in A Stranger in a Strange Land.

In a powerful no-disclaimer-need memoir by Andres Dubus III that she loves, Lindsay Champion finds the finds a “deeply personal exploration of one man’s violence, told not with rage, but with disarming vulnerability and wisdom.” Why this is very much worth reading, even if you haven’t yet read his novels, she shares in Like Father, Like Son.

Laine Farley returns to BiblioBuffet with a thrilling yet disturbing history on a bookmark from H.D. Cushman issued in the late nineteenth century for its cigar-shaped menthol inhalers designed to combat “sneezing, snuffling and coughing”—and many other illnesses as well in Sells All the Year.

Guest columnist Katharine Hauswirth ponders two books that focus on how people endure the aftermath of tragedy, one that offers a “brave attempt to address the age-old mystery of what larger, unseen truths may be behind, or perhaps hover above, it all,” and a second, a book of poetry that “builds a case for deep appreciation of the natural world and the experience of being human in it” in What’s It All About? Two Offerings.

And Lauren Roberts wishes you all a fine beginning to May. As for her, things are not quite so “spring-y” this week so she begs your indulgence. Be sure to check out the book festivals, publisher of the week, reading image, and the rest of the editor’s letter in May Fever.

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