Blessed

By Ellen Michaud

Hardcover ($16.95)

Look for inspiration, and it’s easy to find. That’s the pick-me-up message in this heartwarming collection of short essays in which the author uncovers the bountiful blessings she found in such ordinary, everyday activities as polishing a teapot, visiting a dairy farm, cleaning out her basement, and riding on an airplane with the bodies of three American soldiers “coming home.”

—Neil Pond, American Profile

Billy Joel—Live at Shea Stadium

CD + DVD ($13.99)

For less than the price of a concert ticket, you can experience the piano man’s full-length 2008 show, the last musical performance at the legendary New York venue before its date with the wrecking ball. Joel makes a passionate, keyboard-pounding romp through greatest hits and old favorites, and Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks and other all stars drop by for duets. For the Bronx-born Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, it was one huge, harmonious homecoming---and a festive farewell to an arena that was a part of rock ’n’ roll history for more than half a century.

—Neil Pond, American Profile  

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Sports & Recreation

Edited by Charles Reagan Wilson

Softcover, 408 pages ($45)

Volume 16 of the award-winning compendium of all things Southern turns its attention to the many ways people below the Mason-Dixon spend their leisure time—and what those pursuits reveal about the region’s values, history and culture. You don’t have to be Southern to appreciate the book’s unique, distinct spin on sports, hunting, honky-tonkin’, porch-setting, whittling, catfish noodling (depicted on the cover) and dozens of other time-honored pastimes woven into the fabric of the American South.  

—Neil Pond, American Profile

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