Kent edits the QuailMail and QuailEvents newsletters, wrangles staff picks, assists in the Publicity Department, is the book clubs liaison, answers store email, and works the sales floor. In previous lives he's been a computer programmer, an ecologist, and a midcentury modern collector! He loves history, biography, and anthropology.
Psstt, there's 11 books on this list. We won't tell if you don't.
This science fiction novel was supposedly Asimov's answer to critics who said he was poor at writing about mature love stories and relationships. Never mind that the relationship that he satisfied those critics with turned out to be a triad union of gaseous beings living in a parallel universe.
A crazy quilt of entertaining characters strives for immortality and enlightenment across time, the key to which may just be a perfume based on beet root or jasmine. Robbins somehow weaves the themes of fragrance and transcendence together into a tale that will transport you too.
It's the story of the comeback of Frank Lloyd Wright, of modern architecture, of Pittsburgh and the Kaufmann merchant family--and of course the house itself--all fantastically woven together.
Pepys rose from minor civil servant to assistant to King Charles II. He lived through the English Civil War, the Great Fire of London, and the bubonic plague. He kept a secret diary, not just of all that, but also of the everyday peccadillos of people, from the king down to his chambermaid, and especially his own. This is unvarnished, you-are-there history.
Recounts his path to becoming an accomplished writer. He discusses his own reading life, friendships with other authors, and becoming "a man of letters." He will lead you to other great authors to read.
Based on his life as an antiquarian bookseller and collector. His chapters are short and accessible, and his plain speaking and humor easily draw you in.
This is a novel about the odd thoughts and mental digressions that you thought nobody else but you had--you'll appreciate yourself and humanity a little bit more after this.
Traces the inheritance of a collection of exquisite Japanese figurines known as netsuke down through his illustrious family, ultimately to himself, uncovering an incredible history of achievement, grandeur, and staggering loss.
In 1417, ex-papal secretary Poggio Bracciolini discovered a copy of a humanistic book written by Lucretius in the 1st century BC. The text was key, Greenblatt says, to inspiring the Renaissance and shaping our modern world.
You will be rapt by this beautiful exploration of pianos: their past, how they work, and how pianos and people are matched.
In the 1850s Whitman and a circle of eccentric, experimental writers and artists began meeting in a Manhattan beer cellar, determined to challenge the establishment. A wonderfully juicy account.