In White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Knopf, $27.95), accomplished biographer Brenda Wineapple has struck on a rich subject, one combining literature, American history, and fascinating personalities. Everyone has heard of Emily Dickinson, although she remains enigmatic. By contrast, Higginson is unfamiliar today, though renowned in his time as a journalist, editor, abolitionist, and activist for black enfranchisement and women’s rights. He led the Union Army’s first black regiment, the First South Carolina volunteers, formed in 1862. Higginson met Dickinson just twice—an experience he said “drained my nerve power”—but the two corresponded for nearly 25 years, and Higginson left some of the few first-hand impressions of the poet that we have. 

White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781400044016
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - August 12th, 2008

White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307456304
Availability: Backordered
Published: Anchor - December 1st, 2009

With his newest collection, When You Are Engulfed In Flames (Little, Brown, $25.99), David Sedaris chronicles the seemingly irrelevant minutiae of his life, twisting the most mundane situations into riotously memorable events.  At a time when everyone needs a laugh, these essays are perfect. Sedaris captures the tone and rhythm of everyday dialogue so well that the reader feels a part of the scene. Sedaris has a gift for making the stories relate to each of us, whether discussing acquiring a skeleton as a gift, or the difficulties of quitting smoking.  His account of sitting in a French doctor’s waiting room is so awkward and so universal, it can’t help being funny.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316154680
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Back Bay Books - June 2nd, 2009

Open Schott’s Miscellany 2009 (Bloomsbury, $30) to any page and you’ll find something interesting.  Broken up into sections that go from “The World & Gazetteer,” “Society & Health,” “Government,” to “Form & Faith,” this quirky almanac is full of random surveys, facts, figures, and even, which I thought was great, an “In Brief” section which handily sums up major stories and personalities of the last year.  There seems to be a little bit of everything here (do you know what QWERTY Tummy is? Well, I sure didn’t. Or how about Globaloney? Check it out on page 196).  This is a book that I will definitely keep where I can grab it for a quick, informative read.

Schott's Miscellany 2009: An Almanac Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781596915428
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA - October 28th, 2008

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