In this exclusive essay, Juneau Black imagines the Shady Hollow denizen’s favorite reads.
Everyone wants to know about their favorite characters’ favorite books. Thus, your correspondents spent a day in Shady Hollow, interviewing all manner of creatures, spending time at Nevermore Books, the Mirror Lake Branch Library, and of course, Joe’s Mug. Here is what we discovered.
From Vera Vixen:
Game recognizes game. And Vera recognizes the special eminence of Carl Bernstein, a journalist who has witnessed so many world-shaping events and then reported on them for the world to read and process. Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom is the very best kind of memoir: informative, intimate, and moving. With a reporter’s skill and eye for detail, every page shines. This is a marvelous view into the ink-stained yet still glamorous era of newspapers.
From Lenore Lee:
No surprise that the raven Lenore is attracted to books that don’t pretend everything is all sunshine all the time. She was a big fan of Oliver Burkman’s The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. His most recent book, Four Thousand Weeks, is equally compelling, in that it’s ostensibly about productivity but is in fact about embracing the transience of life and the certainty of death. Burkman’s style of writing (British, skeptical, self-effacing) is an additional bonus.
From Gladys Honeysuckle:
Sure, it was the title—No One Is Talking About This—that caught the attention of our resident gossip, but then she was captured by the tale of a woman beguiled and betrayed by social media, until she retreats for a time into a more personal world, as a family tragedy creates its own drama offline. Lockwood’s past as a poet is on display here, and the result is half novel, half meditation on reality. Also, Gladys would very much like to be on Twitter, which is sadly unavailable in Shady Hollow.
From Orville Braun:
The deputy police bear does not have a great deal of free time for reading. When he does have time, he likes to read about his own kind. Recently, he enjoyed The Bear by Andrew Krivak. In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last two left. But when the girl suddenly finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness, which offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.
From Barry Greenfield:
Barry is Vera’s oft-cynical colleague at the newspaper. The rabbit has no patience for bad books, so he reads about things he really loves. His latest passion is Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession by Jess Damuck and Martha Stewart. Offering more than one hundred inspired recipes, -food stylist and recipe developer Jess Damuck shares her passion for making truly delicious salads. Salad Freak encourages readers to discover and embrace their own salad obsessions.
From Sun Li:
The panda restaurateur is rarely away from the Bamboo Patch. He likes to read vegetarian cookbooks to keep up on the latest food trends. His latest favorite is The Love & Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio. It includes a produce guide and incredible recipes for breakfast, dinner, and desserts.
Lefty’s evenings are usually busy, but when our night-shift raccoon reads, he’s naturally drawn to crime novels. Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle ticks all the boxes. A protagonist trying to rise above humble beginnings, some family and friends who have a fluid concept of property ownership, and of course, a perfect plan that goes perfectly wrong. The result is a gripping, funny, and often inquisitive tale. Whitehead’s prose is pure gold (and Lefty does like gold).