Shelley's Picks

Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250261878
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Celadon Books - April 21st, 2020

I absolutely loved Boylan’s 2003 autobiography.  “She’s Not There:  A Life in Two Genders” was the first bestselling book by a transgender American.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.  

In “Good Boy,” Boylan expands her story and traces her transition through the lens of seven dogs that were a major part of her life.  Incidentally, Jennifer was born James Boylan in Valley Forge, PA and graduated from The Haverford School.  

There’s plenty of local color and the book is written with warmth and affection for her furry friends. It’s a lovely memoir about the transformative power of loving dogs and how that translates into human relationships. According to Boylan, “everything I know about love, I learned from dogs.”  You know what Jen?  Me too!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062255662
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 3rd, 2014

I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, but this one grabbed me from the start.  This short and poignant fairy tale is narrated by an artist, who returns to his childhood home in Sussex, England for a funeral.  On a whim, he visits an old farm where he once played and is overwhelmed by memories of a magical event.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062420718
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - June 12th, 2018

At her heaviest, Gay weighed 557 pounds.  She describes packing on the weight to deal with the shame of a childhood trauma — being gang-raped at the age of 12.  At its core, Hunger is a book about being fat (Gay’s choice of word) in a fat-shaming world and the assumptions others make.  It’s also an eye-opening examination of food, weight and self image.

Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061864513
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 4th, 2014

Not interested in stories about the old West?  Me neither.  Don’t know or don’t care about Wyatt Earp?  I’m with you.  His common law wife of 50 years is another matter!  Who knew a Jewish girl from New York may have been the catalyst for the most famous shoot-out of all time?  

Josephine Marcus Earp was born around 1860 to respectable Polish-Jewish immigrant parents who moved to San Francisco.  At 18, she ran away from home, dreaming of making a life for herself on the stage. 

Marcus toured the Arizona Territory with a raggedy troupe, performing “H.M.S. Pinafore,” and in the town of Tombstone, she met her destiny - Wyatt Earp.  

Ann Kirschner tells Josephine’s story affection and attention to detail.  She really captures the thrill and squalor of frontier boomtowns and mining camps.  And gives the women of the period the due they deserve.  I really enjoyed learning about this world.