Martha's Vineyard Times File Photo
New non-fiction recommended by Bunch of Grapes
"Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution" by Nathaniel Philbrick – Nathaniel Philbrick, our Nantucket neighbor, National Book Award winner, and author of "In the Heart of the Sea" and "Mayflower" brings us another fascinating piece of history. This time he covers the city of Boston from the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, which was the first engagement and bloodiest battle of the Revolution. He includes the heroes and villains from both the British and the American sides. A rewarding read.
"Wave" by Sonali Deraniyagala – On December 26, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed Deraniyagaia's father, mother, husband, and two sons. Only she survived. She describes her survival, rescue, and tremendous shock and her suicidal despair in the aftermath. Miraculously, she finally reaches the point where she dares to remember as she does in this memoir.
"Frozen in Time" by Mitchell Zuckoff – Zuckoff, author of "Lost in Shangri-La," tells the harrowing story of the crew of a B-17 bomber that in 1942 crashed on the Greenland ice cap. They have little food and cold weather gear, are in danger of falling through the ever-shifting crevasses, and are starving, suffering with gangrene, frostbite, and madness.
"Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation" by Michael Pollan – He has given us the rules for food and what is wrong with our diets. Now, Pollan finally gets to how to cook food. He does this with the four classical elements: fire, water, earth, and air. The book has four sections, each devoted to one of the elements, from gourmet to basic. He tells us we only have saved 30 minutes a day by turning over our family meals to corporations in exchange for extra fat, salt, and sugar.
"Gulp: An Adventure on the Alimentary Canal" by Mary Roach – Mary Roach again writes a fascinating book, grounded in science, that will astound you and perhaps even gross you out. She takes the reader down the alimentary canal, beginning with the mouth and ending...oh, you know where. Along this journey we learn the history of flatulence, how spit works, and just how do criminals hide contraband in their bodies, told with a grand bit of wit.
Dealer's choice recommended by Book Den East
"The Spray," Joshua Slocum's yawl in which he sailed alone around the world, is analyzed in detail by R. Bruce Roberts-Goodson, and deemed to be "the ultimate cruising boat." Ah! if wishes were horses...or better yet, cruising yawls. $50
After the cruise, peruse "The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Wine Beer Spirits & Liqueurs" to decide the best way to loosen up for the evening. $30
Then dip into Ralph Ginzburg's hard-bound magazine "Eros" (Volume One, 1962, all four numbers), which includes a portfolio from Marilyn Monroe's last studio portraits. $200
Then what about some songs? We offer the 1924 compilation "Wharf and Fleet: Ballads of the Fishermen of Gloucester" (with photos and paintings) compiled by Joanna C. Colcord. $45
And finally enjoy "The Cigar Connoisseur" by Nathaniel and Andrew Laude, which has all the illustrated info you need for the perfect relaxing end-of-the-day smoke. $20