Terry

Terry has been with Third Place Books since 1999, not counting the fifteen months he spent wandering around the mountains and deserts of the western United States. That trip certainly intensified his reading in western history and geography, supplementing his existing interest in writers such as Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, and Rebecca Solnit. He also reads contemporary fiction and while some friends have called his tastes there arbitrary and dismissive, Terry believes a more accurate description is eclectic and judicious.

2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780804140232
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - August 5th, 2014

The Cat’s Pajamas is a Philadelphia jazz club about to be buried by city code violations. Madeleine is an almost ten-year-old with problems of her own, but also with a preternatural gift for singing the love back into life. Clearly they are meant for each other, and after a long, improbably action-packed day their destiny is joined. A shimmering urban fairy tale. -Terry

 


The Temporary Gentleman Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780670025879
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Viking - May 2014

Another cup of Irish cheer from the McNulty clan. Mai Kirwin’s father pleads with her not to get involved with Jack McNulty, convinced he will drag her down to his drunken level. Mai doesn’t listen and sure if that isn't exactly what happens. Jack tells the sorry tale from his refuge in Ghana, where he is waiting (unwittingly) to do just one good deed before he dies. -Terry


Want Not Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544228085
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Mariner Books - May 13th, 2014

The ineluctable wastes of civilization and the inconsistencies of the human heart are the twin themes of this novel. Happily, Miles creates characters human and substantial enough to carry his weighty ideas with lightness and grace. -Terry 


My Poets Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374533830
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 14th, 2013

I can't say I've ever been enthralled by poetry criticism, but I am enthralled by "My Poets," a very smart and very fun exploration of McLane's experience coming to understand, teach, and write poetry. Part memoir, part criticism, often in verse, so that it's not always clear where her poets leave off and her poetry begins. Enthralling. -Terry


On Sal Mal Lane: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555976767
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - May 20th, 2014

Joyous. Devastating. It's been a long time since a work of fiction has thrown me for such a loop. The people of this flowery little street--an ethnically diverse neighborhood on the eve of the Sri Lankan civil war--will be with me for a while. My number one book for 2013. -Terry

 


City of Bohane: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555976453
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Graywolf Press - June 4th, 2013

A crude, violent, and vice-soaked town clings mysteriously to the far western reaches of Ireland sometime in the not-too-distant future. Ethnically diverse, technologically regressed, sartorially proud and precise, the factions scheme and battle to control the ornate vice trade known as the Bohane Fancy. Above all they talk, in a vivid and original slang, and this exuberant language is what makes this a great book. Would make a pretty good movie too, though I'd be afraid to watch it. - Terry


When I Was a Child I Read Books: Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250024053
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - January 29th, 2013

Another winner from a writer who might be the sharpest social critic of our time. Open to any page and immerse yourself in clear analytic prose in pursuit of the deeply felt values of Judeo-Christian humanism, a quarter we don't hear enough from anymore. I read her and begin to think more clearly. What better recommendation is there than that? - Terry


Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143122043
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books - October 30th, 2012

Have a drink with Hemingway in Havana. Meet the young rebel Castro in the Sierra Madre. Then spend a long night in the streets of Albany with an activist priest, a gutsy but alcohol-poisoned black man, and a lovingly addled old man and his date, as together they make their way around a race riot to a jazz concert the day Bobby Kennedy was shot. Is any other American writing with such power at this late stage of life? - Terry


Never Say Die: The Myth of the New Old Age Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307456281
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Vintage - February 14th, 2012

Not the cheeriest book on the shelf, but an important one, particularly for those of us in that demographic bubble approaching or entering what Jacoby calls "young old age." Her book, though, is about "old old age," which more of us, mostly women, will reach without enough money or mind to take care of ourselves. She thinks we should probably give that some thought, while we can. - Terry


Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (Oxford History of the United States) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780199832460
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - October 2011

With all the talk now of "what the founders would think," Gordon Wood is an invaluable resource. In this thorough but highly readable book, Wood examines what the early leaders thought and did about issues of their day, and he eschews calling on them to answer questions they couldn't conceive of arising. Still, it is clear the founders argued as virulently on as many crucial issues as today's politicians. Though at a higher intellectual level. - Terry


Staff Pick Badge
Leaving the Atocha Station Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566892742
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Coffee House Press - August 23rd, 2011

An American poet on fellowship in Madrid finds his life following his poetry into the deep end of post-modernism. His problems with Spanish, tranquilizers, and hashish don't help him engage "reality," though Al Quaida gives him a nudge. It's a pretty hilarious book, just skimming the pitfalls of farce, and not without insight into "reality" or post-modernism. - Terry


The Thoreau You Don't Know: The Father of Nature Writers on the Importance of Cities, Finance, and Fooling Around Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061710322
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - March 8th, 2011

Thoreau typically gets reduced to some inspirational quotes or elevated to near-sainthood. Robert Sullivan does an excellent job of locating the real man: a practical, down-to-earth guy--no luddite, no recluse--who took on the seemingly inherent workaholism and acquisitiveness in the American spirit. He did so with a light, satirical wit, one he did not hesitate to aim at his own foibles. - Terry


The Hand That First Held Mine Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780547423180
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Mariner Books - January 26th, 2011

I confess: I'm lifting quotes from the back of the book. However! 1.) They're better than what I would have come up with, and 2.) They're true!! "O'Farrell manages to take two rather ordinary women in ordinary circumstances and create something extraordinary." AND "This book... will disarm you with its unannounced twists and tragedies and moments of unexpected beauty." - Terry


Light Fell Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781569475362
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Soho Press - January 2009

A Father leaving his young family for another man isn't so promising a premise. Leaving for the greatest rabbinical mind of his generation better captures both the intellectual fervor & doomed essence of this relationship. Top it off with a reunion dinner in Tel Aviv with his now-grown sons that comes off like truth itself and you have a concise and elegant gem of a novel. - Terry


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Elegies for the Brokenhearted Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393340235
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 18th, 2011

"Brokenhearted" is a generous word for these characters. Most of us would probably think of them as losers, not beautiful ones. Yet these are the people the narrator/elegist leans on and learns from as she negotiates her way through her mother's serial marriages and her search for her sister who has fled for parts unknown. Hodgen has written a novel of extraordinary empathy, evoking the spirit of Carson McCullers. - Terry


The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780312425326
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Picador - November 2005

Robinson delivers a humanist attack on the cultural-intellectual nexus of Darwin and Freud and seeks to rehabilitate that of Puritanism and John Calvin. With brilliant style and a withering sardonic wit, Robinson argues that the values of democracy, social justice, and human community were expanded under the latter and eclipsed under the former. Particularly surprising to me was her refusal to buy into the common argument that Darwin was innocent of Social Darwinism. Obviously there is a lot more to the discussion than this 1998 work, but to my mind Robinson has given Darwin in particular (she mostly just shreds Freud) a relentless run around the court. - Terry


Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781595587060
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: New Press - October 4th, 2011

My favorite political writer goes to Germany for a clear look at Social Democracy. The heavily unionized workforce pays somewhat higher taxes but still has a higher personal savings rate, produces a trade surplus, and earns six weeks vacation in the process. Their taxes buy healthcare, education, and rapid transit, items that raise quality of life, in contrast to the US, where our rising taxes buy us - well, that seems to be the problem, doesn't it? - Terry


The English Major Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780802144140
Availability: Backordered
Published: Grove Press - October 2009

Here's a winning entry to the canon of contemporary geezer-lit. His wife of 38 years divorces him and gets the farm he's worked for 25. Plus his dog dies, and guess which of the three he misses the most. So he takes off on a road trip, whimsical by definition but made earnest by his farmer's temperament. He has a lollapalooza of an affair but places more hope in the sandwich at the next bar. He's curious, unflappable, and a fountain of hilarious semi-sequitors. - Terry