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HomeNewsArchivesAt Dockside: 'Glassbottom Days,' Humor, A Thriller, and A Children's Story

At Dockside: 'Glassbottom Days,' Humor, A Thriller, and A Children's Story

Here is where you will find what's new at St. Thomas' well-known, well-read Dockside Bookshop at Havensight Mall. Every week you will find new titles to peruse. Look for updates of our "picks" for fiction and nonfiction.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Phone: 340-774-4937
E-mail: dockside@islands.vi
"Glassbottom Days" by Willie Wilson.
Bonne Resolution Press, West Indian literature, 259 p. $24.95
In "Glassbottom Days," author Willie Wilson revisits scenes from his Virgin Islands childhood in an engaging narrative that is part coming-of-age, part investigation — one where memories are peeled back and old assumptions reconsidered. Along the way, we witness childhood dislocations in a tropical world, one populated by schoolyard bullies, calypso music, sexual awakening, parental infidelity, madness, grave robbers, and young love. One particular childhood memory resonates years later, when eight people are gunned down on a St. Croix golf course.
These vignettes combine with observations made decades later to offer a compelling portrait of a boy, a family, and an island in transition. The book becomes, in effect, its own glass bottom, traveling the shoals of the author's childhood, revealing colorful and startling sights. At times, peering into some of the darker crevices, the author discovers things even he didn't know were there. What becomes clear in the end is that the actual writing of "Glassbottom Days," is an important part of the story, and largely what leads to the book's ultimate note of reconciliation and hope, and to the understanding that truth often dwells in unexpected places.
Read Shaun Pennington's review of this book here.
"Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook" by Shel Silverstein.
HarperCollins, children's hardcover, 96 pp. $17.99.
Runny Babbit lent to wunch And heard the saitress way, "We have some lovely stabbit rew — Our Special for today."
From the legendary creator of "Where the Sidewalk Ends," "A Light in the Attic," "Falling Up," and "The Giving Tree" comes an unforgettable new character in children's literature.
Welcome to the world of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, and many others who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own.
So if you say, "Let's bead a rook That's billy as can se," You're talkin' Runny Babbit talk, Just like mim and he."
"Nothing's Sacred" by Lewis Black.
Simon Spotlight Entertainment, humor, 224 pp. $22.95.
Black, a playwright, stand-up comedian, and a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, includes both his personal history and his observations on current events in this hilarious, informative book delivered in his particular blend of charged humor.
With subversive wit and intellectual honesty, Lewis examines the events of this life that shaped his antiauthoritarian point of view and developed his comedic perspective. Growing up in 1950s suburbia when father knew best and there was a sitcom to prove it, he began to regard authority with a jaundiced eye at an early age. And as that sentiment grew stronger with each passing year, so did his ability to hone in on the absurd.
True to form, he puts common sense above ideology and distills hilarious, biting commentary on all things politically and culturally relevant. "No one is safe from Lewis Black's comic missiles." (The New York Times)
"Dead of Night" by Randy Wayne White.
Putnam Publishing Group, fiction hardcover, 368 pp. $24.95.
Later, my conscience would play the inevitable game of "What if . . ." What if I had stopped by Jobe's home on Friday morning instead of Sunday night? What if I hadn't interrupted the two people who were alternately interrogating and beating him? Would he have lived? Or would he have died? And what would have happened then?
It started when Doc Ford got a call from his old friend Frieda Matthews; her reclusive biologist brother, Jobe, wasn't answering the phone — could Doc check up on him? Ford can't think of a reason not to, but soon he will think of a hundred. Not only will it be one of the worst scenes he has ever encountered, the consequences will draw him into the heart of a nightmare. A catastrophe is coming to Florida, and just maybe there is something Ford can do about it — but he doesn't know how or where or when . . . or even if he is already too late.
Brimming with the remarkable prose and rich atmosphere that have won White so many fans already, and featuring some of the best characters in suspense fiction today, "Dead of Night" is White's biggest thriller yet.
[This is the 12th in The Doc Ford Series.]
"Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel" by Aaron McGruder.
Three Rivers Press, humor, 144 pp. $13.95.
This scathingly hilarious political satire — produced from a collaboration of three of our funniest humorists — answers the burning question: Would anyone care if East St. Louis seceded from the Union?
East St. Louis, Illinois ("the inner city without an outer city"), is an impoverished town, so poor that Fred Fredericks, its idealistic mayor, starts off Election Day by collecting the city's trash in his own minivan. But the mayor believes in the power of democracy and rallies his fellow citizens to the polls for the presidential election, only to find hundreds of them turned away for trumped-up reasons. Even sweet old Miss Jackson — not to mention the mayor himself — is denied the vote because her name turns up on a bogus list of felons. The national election hinges on Illinois' electoral votes and, as a result of the mass disenfranchisement of East St. Louis, a radical right-wing junta led by a dim-witted Texas governor seizes the Oval Office.
Prodded by shady black billionaire and old friend John Roberts, Fredericks devises a radical plan of protest: East St. Louis will secede from the Union. Roberts opens an "offshore" bank (albeit in the heart of the United States) to finance the newly liberated country, and suddenly East St. Louis becomes the Switzerland of the American heartland, flush with money. It also begins to attract a motley circus of idealistic young militants, OPEC-funded hitmen, CIA operatives, tabloid reporters, and AWOL black servicemen eager to protect and serve the new nation.
Problems set in almost immediately: Controversies rage over the name and national anthem of the new country (they decide on the Republic of Blackland with an anthem sung to the tune of the theme from Good Times), and local thug Roscoe becomes a warlord and turns his gang into a paramilitary force. When the U.S. military begins to move in, Fredericks is forced to decide whether his protest is worth taking all the way.
"Birth of a Nation" starts with a scenario drawn from the botched election of 2000 and spins it into a brilliantly absurd work of sharply pointed satire. Along the way the authors lay into a host of hot social and cultural issues — skewering white supremacists, black nationalists, and everyone in between — drawing real blood and real laughs in equal measure in this riotous send-up of American politics.
We will gladly order any books you want. E-mail us at dockside@islands.vi, or call 340-774-4937.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Phone: 340-774-4937
E-mail: dockside@islands.vi

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