Staff Pick

Heinerth, a diver, photographer, and filmmaker, is one of the few women in the rarefied field of underwater cave exploration, a “sport” that claims more deaths than mountain climbing. Feeling at home in water as she seldom does on land, Heinerth finds an exhilarating freedom when plunged miles below the surface—despite being strapped into equipment weighing as much as 250+ pounds. In her astounding memoir she recounts her record-breaking dives to map cave networks around the world, including, most spectacularly—and dangerously—her exploration of “the largest moving object on earth,” the Antarctic’s B-15 iceberg. But Heinerth’s rich descriptions of otherworldly seascapes, the fascinating glimpses of the technology that makes long, deep dives possible, her tales of the adventures involved in just getting to the dive sites, and the chilling reports of illness, accidents, and fatalities, are only half her story. The other half is the self-scrutiny of a talented, ambitious woman struggling with doubt, insecurity, and rampant sexism even as she sets records, leads dangerous projects, and proves herself over and over again. Launched into diving as a way to manage two traumatizing experiences when she was in college, she found her calling when she “learned to embrace fear as a positive catalyst in my life.”

Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062691545
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Ecco - August 20th, 2019

Staff Pick

Although the population of people over age 60 is the fastest growing group in the world, Gerrard observes that being old is still “something of a disgrace,” with the elderly often invisible to the rest of society. This dehumanization is even truer for those who suffer from dementia, and Gerrard’s compelling and beautifully written book is a plea to make society more accountable “to the suffering of others”—who, in fact, are not as “other” as we assume. Starting with her father’s diagnosis and decline, she engages in extended discussions with several patents, their relatives, and caregivers to find out what dementia feels like from the inside. Covering issues ranging from denial, shame, the challenges of home care, the option of suicide, and the crushing decision to send a loved one to a nursing home, these chapters illuminate the complexities of dealing with an incurable disease. But by letting the patients themselves speak, Gerrard also shows that it’s often society, not necessarily the disease, that makes these people helpless and miserable. Many are able to enjoy nature, art, and much else even in the later stages of the condition, and though they lose memories and language, they keep their core self and the need to communicate. Given “kindness and hope” rather than isolation, they can continue to enjoy life; when we just write them off, “we are all diminished.”


The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525521969
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Press - August 13th, 2019

Staff Pick

Teicher is a poet, and much of what he says in these elegant essays about poetic development has poetry’s unmistakable depth charge: poetry is a “reader’s art,” one whose future depends on the work that has preceded it.  Revising a predecessor himself, he sees poetry as a “means of knowledge, a way,” not of happening, but “of understanding the self” and the world.  It is also an essential connection between people, a tool “to bring the inner out, to give my blue to you.” Finally, a poem is “something that can’t otherwise be said addressed to someone who can’t otherwise hear it.” Teicher grounds these beautiful abstractions in the lives and work of a handful of twentieth-century and contemporary poets, such as John Ashbery (“his style is the sound of Zeitgeist itself”), James Wright, W.S. Merwin, Louise Glück (whose poems “shun excitement but court surprise”), D.A. Powell (a poet of saturation, writing mash-ups of the Bible and 1980s club music), francine j. harris, and Lucille Clifton. He traces these poets’ evolution from early to late, identifying the moments they found their true voices, and showing what they, and later poets, made of them. Writing with authority and passion, Teicher brilliantly evokes the twists and turns of an art that stems from “an awareness of the unsayable” and reads poems as necessary and vital outgrowths of the lives and culture they came from.

We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978211
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Graywolf Press - November 6th, 2018