Sarah Pinneo, co-author of The Ski House Cookbook, turns her hand to fiction with her debut novel, Julia’s Child. It’s a paperback original from Plume/Penguin ($15); the pricepoint (we have the “it’s got to be in paperback!” rule) and themes make it a good selection for discussion groups. This is a lighthearted look at some of the hard decisions one might face in motherhood; the tagline says it all: A delectable comedy for every woman who’s ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.
Oh, and there are recipes woven into the novel – check back on Saturday when I’ll feature one of my favorites!
Sarah is a food journalist who lives in the Green Mountain State of Vermont. In this Spotlight on Bookstores post she shines the light on Northshire Bookstore in Manchester. You know I adore these Spotlight pieces, which allow us to travel (in our minds) to bookstores we might never see in person … I’ll be visiting Northshire next month, and I thank you, Sarah, for this sneak peek of the treasure I’ll find.
Vermont, I’ll have you know, is the 49th most populous state in the union. And we’re very proud of that. We are small, but we read. Here on the border of Vermont and New Hampshire, I am surrounded by independent bookstores. For a writer, this place is heaven.
In an old building in the ski town of Manchester Center, Vermont, stands a teeming testament to the power of books. Two rambling floors, miles of titles. To go there is to know that books are still as important as I wish them to be. One can read as many dire publishing headlines as the news can churn out, but when I stand on the wide plank floors at Northshire, everything is right with the world.
And I’m not the only disciple of the Northshire religion. Coordinator Mary Allen offers outstanding author events on a regular basis. I’ve been to see authors like Richard Russo read there, and later this month Geraldine Brooks will appear. Lucky for me, there’s an occasional opening for debut novelists. And when a newbie like me reads at Northshire, it’s as exciting as a six year-old girl’s first visit to Cinderella’s Castle at Disney. For that hour, you’re the princess.
First, you will find your cover art and picture on a poster in the doorway. Next you’ll be shown to the podium. Readings are held in a roomy spot upstairs. You will hear your name and event touted over the speaker system. (I should have asked my mother to accompany me there for my Julia’s Child event last month. She would have enjoyed that part.)
And—this is the really sexy part—when it’s time to descend that old wooden staircase and sign books, the pen cabinet is waiting. You can lift the glass cover and try to guess which one the last National Book Award or Pulitzer winner used when he or she read at Northshire.
Northshire is a place where books are still important. If the store were a bit closer to me, I’d pop in just to breathe the air every time I became discouraged. If you’re anywhere near Manchester, Vermont, I highly recommend a visit. Have a cup of coffee and peruse the vast shelves. If you’re an Indie author, you might be interested to know that Northshire was one of the first stores in the world to get an Espresso Book Machine.
I love Northshire because they believe in the printed page. And so do I.