Dan Lorber

Dan has been a voracious reader since the age of 9. After studying creative writing with Toni Morrison in graduate school, Dan opened Down in Denver Used and Rare Books and operated it for 27 years. Although starting out as a lover of Literature and Literary Fiction, he has cultivated a keen interest in non-fiction. primarily Biography, History, Memoir, Native American History and Exploration & Outdoor Adventure. However, fiction is still in his literary diet and he has recently been plowing through 20th Century American literature.

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

In this comprehensive and lively history, Howard Zinn shows how, in the last 244 years, democratic rights, justice and equality were never given freely by the American government to any minority (i.e. this includes everyone who wasn't affluent, white & male) unless that minority demanded and fought for those rights. Zinn reveals hundreds of details about American history that none of us ever got to read in high school or college textbooks, all of which are meticulously researched and supported by 500 listed sources. A book for those who really want to understand the history of American democracy -- or lack of it.

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

This is one of the most fascinating and exciting books that I've read in years. There are two stories running concurrently in this book: First: What life was like for American Whale hunters at the beginning of the 19th century, especially those sailing out of Nantucket. Never dull, always interesting, this part of the book is a perfect compliment to the second -- the incredible true story about the Essex, a whaling vessel that is rammed by a whale in the Pacific Ocean, 10,000 miles from home, and how the sailors cope with the outcome. A total page turner if there ever was one.

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

How many of us have ever spent a night out in the woods -- alone? I've spent a few hundred nights in the woods, but only three times alone -- totally alone -- the whole night. Christopher Knight, the unusual subject of this book, spent very close to 10,000 consecutive nights in the woods, in a tent, IN NORTHERN MAINE -- completely alone. In all that time he only saw one person, a hiker, and said only one word to him -- "Hi" -- the only word he spoke to another human being in 27 years. Read how this incredible man left home and society at the age of 20 and walked into the woods, not to emerge until nearly three decades later.

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff

The cover illustration on this book tells it all: a lonely little boy in the back of his mother's car, driving along a desolate western highway. She is a single mom who cares deeply for her son, fleeing a "bad situation" and hoping to start a new, better life for both of them. With simple yet compelling prose, Woolf totally captures what his childhood was like -- lonely, economically tenuous and with a mother who sometimes made poor decisions, especially when it came to men, which tended to have profound efftects on the young Tobias. A sweet little book and a triumph by one of America's unsung gifted writers of many fiction and non-fiction books. This is his best!

More Recommendations from Dan:

On the Road  by Jack Kerouac

Touching the Void  by Joe Simpson

A Fan's Notes  by Frederick Exley

Sometimes a Great Notion  by Ken Kesey

Cannery Row  by John Steinbeck

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Story & Song Neighborhood Bookstore Bistro

1430 Park Avenue :: Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

(904) 601-2118

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