Five books to be grateful for.



N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims

By N.C. Wyeth, with text by Robert San Souci


The forty murals of Pilgrim life that N.C. Wyeth made for New York's Metropolitan Life Insurance Company might not be totally factually accurate, but they are gorgeous. San Souci's carefully delineated history of the Pilgrims' trip on the Mayflower accompanies Wyeth's visual depiction of the culture that gave birth to our November ritual.



The Gift of Thanks

By Margaret Visser


An "anthropologist of everyday life," Visser investigates the cultural significance of gratitude from why parents feel so determined to get their kids to say "thank you" to how other cultures handle such things. Exploring the topic from diverse scientific and historical perspectives, Visser's illuminating book earns the reader's gratitude many times over.





Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving

By Joseph Bruchac


Told from the Native American perspective, this book for young readers follows Squanto as he is kidnapped to be put into slavery in Europe and then escapes to England, where he learns the language before returning to his homeland to play a crucial role in helping the first New England colonists survive.



A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles

Edited by M.J. Ryan


Blessings over the evening meal can help build community, foster conversation, and create gratitude for all that we have. Ryan gathers 365 of them, broken down by season and topic, from every source imaginable: from religious leaders of all stripes to the secular musings of Lennon and McCartney. Amen.





Christmas Memory, One Christmas, and the Thanksgiving Visitor

By Truman Capote


Capote's nuanced read-aloud storybook for children set in 1932 rural Alabama tells a tale of forgiveness and grace. At its center is the troubled school bully, Odd Henderson, who is invited to the home of one of his main victims for Thanksgiving -- only to be caught stealing from his host.



April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."