Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected - by Stanley Kunitz. If you read no other poetry book, take a look at this one. In honor of National Poerty Month, I'm drawing attention to this collection by Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006). He was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2000, and continued writing and promoting poetry until he passed away at the age of 100. His unique and meaningful poems center largely on the themes of life and death, and he was once quoted as saying, "The deepest thing I know is that I am living and dying at once, and my conviction is to report that dialogue." My favorite in this collection is "The Layers."
The Gilly Salt Sisters - by Tiffany Baker. This is an unusual story about a small town in Cape Cod. The story centers around two estranged sisters, Claire and Jo. Their family farm, Salt Creek Farm, produces all of the salt for the town and the surrounding areas, and the salt believed to have unexplained powers. Every restaurant must have bowls of salt on all of the tables, and every grocery store must stock it or else they are doomed to fail. Every year, the town gathers for a bonfire and one of the sisters throws salt on the flame - if the flame turns blue there is a good year to come, red means love, and black is bad news for the town. Secrets, scandals and a beautiful setting keep the story moving and engaging.
The Up Series (DVD) This longitudinal documentary series began in 1964 with fourteen British children chosen to represent a diverse array of socio-economic classes. A new film, looking at their lives and development was produced every seven years. The latest installment, 56 Up, debuts on BBC this May. The series asks the question: Does socio-economic class predetermine future success or failure?
The Big Oyster - by Mark Kurlansky. Before it was the Big Apple, New York City could have rightfully been called the Big Oyster. Kurlansky cleverly tells the story of the greatest city in the world- its history, its culture, its cuisine- through the lens of that gastronomical delight: the oyster. The Big Oyster will satisfy foodies and history buffs alike.