February 01, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon
Cal picked four books for Church Street Coffee and Books’ February 2018 “Books of the Month.” Copies will be available in the shop for purchase on and after their publication dates. If you read any of the February picks, make sure you chat with Cal about them!
Here are the titles, their publication dates, links to the books’ publishers, and summaries from the publishers’ websites:
ON SALE: February 6, 2018
From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays.
Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world’s preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.
Arranged into five sections–In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free–this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network–and Facebook itself–really about? “It’s a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore.” Why do we love libraries? “Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.” What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? “So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we’d just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes–and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat.”
ON SALE: February 6, 2018
And for a family in crisis, the ultimate test of the human spirit.
ON SALE: NOW
The award-winning creators of the New York Times best sellers What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem? return with a captivating story about a child who isn’t sure what to make of a chance encounter—and then discovers that when you have courage, take chances, and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen.
The final addition to the award-winning What Do You Do With…? picture book series created by New York Times best-selling author Kobi Yamada and illustrator Mae Besom, What Do You Do With a Chance? inspires kids of all ages and parents alike to find the courage to go for the opportunities that come their way. Because you never know when a chance, once taken, might be the one to change everything.
ON SALE: February 20, 2018
Marilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels, including Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson and Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs and disciplines daily life, Robinson’s peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display. What Are We Doing Here? is a call for Americans to continue the tradition of those great thinkers and to remake American political and cultural life as “deeply impressed by obligation [and as] a great theater of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still.”