Spirit of '76 Events

The 4th Annual SALEM LITERARY FESTIVAL!

The Spirit of ’76 is proud to be the official bookseller for Salem Lit Fest, September 23–25!

Visit http://www.salemlitfest.com to check out the blockbuster list of authors that will be attending this weekend’s festival! Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), Brunonia Barry (The Lace Reader), Julia Glass (The Three Junes), Jenna Blum (Those Who Save Us), Hank Phillippi Ryan (Prime Time), Julia Fox Garrison (Don’t Leave Me This Way), Robert Booth (Death of an Empire), Laurie Faria Stolarz (The Blue is for Nightmares series) . . . and MANY more!

A $5 button gets you into all events (save for the opening night reception and the Saturday night dinner). Buttons are on sale at The Spirit of ’76, The Andover Bookstore and The Book Rack Bookstore.

GEORGE DAUGHAN: Discussing and signing "1812: The Navy's War" (Spirit/Abbot)

This discussion and book signing will take place at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St., Marblehead.

George C. DaughanIn 1812: The Navy’s War, award-winning naval historian George C. Daughan tells the astounding story of the War of 1812, when a tiny, battletested team of American commanders, seamen, and privateers took on the haughty skippers of the mighty Royal Navy, defeated them time and again, and played a key role in winning the conflict that cemented America’s newly won independence.

When war broke out in 1812, America’s prospects looked dismal. With the young republic’s merchantmen facing increasing harassment from the British navy on the high seas, it was clear that the ocean would be the war’s primary battlefield — but America’s navy, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British fleet of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, a handful of heroic captains — men like Oliver Hazard Perry, Stephen Decatur, John Rodgers, and Isaac Hull — and their stalwart crews managed to take the fight to the British, turning the tide of the war: on the Great Lakes, in the Atlantic, and even in the eastern Pacific.

Drawing on a wealth of archival research, Daughan thrillingly details the pitched naval battles that shaped the war, and shows how American naval efforts dovetailed with — and often salvaged — the U.S. Army’s troubled campaigns ashore. By the war’s end in 1815, no American could question the navy’s vital role in preserving the nation’s independence and safeguarding its interests, both at home and across the globe.

A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy’s War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America’s future.

George C. Daughan holds a Ph.D. in American History and Government from Harvard University and is a recipient of the 2008 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for his previous book, If By Sea. Daughan spent three years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, and was an instructor at the Air Force Academy and director of the MA program in international affairs there. Subsequently, he taught at the University of Colorado, the University of New Hampshire, Wesleyan University, and Connecticut College. He resides in Portland, Maine.

1812: The Navy's War Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780465020461
Availability: Special Order
Published: Basic Books - November 2011

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, America’s prospects looked dismal. It was clear that the primary battlefield would be the open ocean—but America’s war fleet, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British navy of more than a thousand men-of-war.


KATHLEEN KENT: Reading and signing "The Traitor's Wife" (Spirit)

(This novel was originally published under the title The Wolves of Andover.)

In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin’s household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and his mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of the role he played in the English Civil War. But in the rugged new world they inhabit, danger is ever present, whether it be from the assassins sent from London to kill the executioner of Charles I or the wolves-in many forms-who hunt for blood. At once a love story and a tale of courage, The Traitor’s Wife confirms Kathleen Kent’s ability to craft powerful stories from the dramatic background of America’s earliest days.

Kathleen KentKathleen Kent first learned about the Carrier family history from her mother and maternal grandmother when she was a child growing up in Texas. She attended the University of Texas at Austin, with a major in history, before moving to New York in 1978, where she worked first in commodities and then for a US company doing defense conversion work in the former Soviet Union. After moving with her family back to Dallas, she resigned as chief operating officer of her company to write the story of Martha Carrier’s trial and execution. She spent five years exhaustively researching the Salem witch trials and Early Colonial history, traveling to Massachusetts and visiting old family homesteads and historical buildings, for her debut novel The Heretic’s Daughter, a national best seller. Kathleen Kent is the recipient of the awarded the David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction.

Praise for Kathleen Kent and The Heretic’s Daughter:

. . .a powerful coming-of-age tale in which tragedy is trumped by an unsinkable faith in human nature.Like ‘The Crucible,’ The Heretic’s Daughter uses the Salem witch hunt to explore larger themes.but at its core, it’s a story about a family. – New York Times Book Review

Kent’s moving story comes straight from her heart as well as the historical record. Kent tells a heart-wrenching story of family love and sacrifice. Its warnings about the dire consequences of intolerance and fundamentalism still have meaning in the modern world. – USA Today

What Kent brings to an inglorious patch of U.S. history is a close look at family and village life. The misery behind bars reflects Kent’s rich imagination. She also shows the fruits of historical research in details that let you glimpse the past as it was lived, in the barn or field, at the inn or church. It goes on like that, wonderfully. I hope Kent does too. – Bloomberg News

The Traitor's Wife: A Novel Cover Image
$16.49
ISBN: 9780316068642
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - September 26th, 2011

This novel was originally published under the title The Wolves of Andover.


The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780316024495
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - October 12th, 2009

A woman condemned by the truth. Her daughter saved by a lie.
Salem, 1752. Sarah Carrier Chapman, weak with infirmity, writes a letter to her granddaughter that reveals the secret she has closely guarded for six decades: how she survived the Salem Witch Trials when her mother did not.


JOSHUA C. KENDALL: "The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture" (Spirit/Salem Athenaeum)

Mr. Kendall will be speaking at the Salem Athenaeum. Please note that there is a charge of $10 for Athenaeum members and $15 for non-members. Students are admitted free. You may register for this talk here.

Joshua KendallIn his brand-new book, Joshua C. Kendall tells story of Noah Webster, author of the first dictionary of American English — and a forgotten leader during a turning point in our nation’s history. Webster’s name is now synonymous with the dictionary he created, but although there is much more to his story than that singular achievement, his rightful place in American history has been forgotten over time. Webster hobnobbed with various Founding Fathers and was a young confidant of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. He started New York City’s first daily newspaper, predating Alexander Hamilton’s New York Post. His "blue-backed speller" for schoolchildren, his first literary effort, sold millions of copies and influenced early copyright law. He helped found Amherst College and served as a state representative for both Connecticut and Massachusetts. But perhaps most importantly, Webster was an ardent supporter of a unified, definitively American culture, distinct from the British, at a time when the United States of America were anything but unified — and his dictionary of American English is a testament to that.

In The Forgotten Founding Father, Joshua Kendall, author of The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness, and the Creation of Roget’s Thesaurus, gives us a well-researched and absorbing look into the life of Webster, another man driven by his obsessions and compulsions to compile and organize words. The result is a treat for word lovers and history buffs alike.

The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780399156991
Availability: Special Order
Published: Putnam Adult - April 14th, 2011

America's own The Professor and the Madman: the story of Noah Webster, author of the first dictionary of American English-and a forgotten leader during a turning point in our nation's history.


ROBERT BOOTH: "Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest City" (Spirit/Abbot)

This discussion and book signing will take place at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St., Marblehead.

Robert BoothDeath of an Empire is the true story of Salem after 1815, when it was the richest place, per capita, in America, with 200 tall ships and fabulously lucrative trading relationships with the Orient. Among the characters are the young (obscure) Nathaniel Hawthorne, Joseph Lee and Judge Joseph Story (natives of Marblehead), Story’s sisters and their husbands the White brothers, Nathaniel Bowditch, and various merchants, mariners, and denizens of Salem’s underworld. The protagonist is Stephen White, a progressive young merchant and civic leader who sought to transform Salem into a prosperous modern city; his nemesis was Dick Crowninshield, the brilliant but twisted son of the region’s most successful industrialist.

Booth’s book presents the realities of maritime commerce as both a huge money-maker for the owners and an often-fatal calling for the sailors. It shows how Salem’s approach toward overseas peoples — peaceful, respectful, constructive — led to several decades of harmonious relations between Americans and the East, including Islamic peoples. By 1819, in the face of a worldwide depression, Salem merchant shippers were hard-pressed to maintain their global empire, and resorted to trade with new markets and in new products, much longer and more dangerous voyages, and the use of opium as a medium of exchange. Salem’s empire of commerce collapsed at the end of the decade, with murderous double disasters — one in a genocidal attack at Sumatra and one at home as Stephen White and Dick Crowninshield were brought together in the infamous White Murder of April, 1830. Death of an Empire is the first non-witchcraft-related narrative history of Salem to appear in several decades.

Robert Booth is a native and resident of Marblehead, author of the guidebook Boston’s Freedom Trail and a chapter in Salem: Place, Myth, and Memory. He is a co-founder of the online Salem History Society, curator emeritus of the Pickering House of Salem, and the gentleman who has been doing the Marblehead house research and codfish signs for 35 years. He is also a featured author at the Salem Literary Festival in September.

Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest City Cover Image
$34.99
ISBN: 9780312540388
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - August 16th, 2011

Most readers know Salem only for the city's notorious witch trials. But years later it became a very different city, one that produced America's first millionaire (still one of history's 75 wealthiest men) and boasted a maritime trade that made it the country's richest city.


FRANCES GROTE: "Fire in the Henhouse" reading and signing! (Spirit at Abbot Public Library)

With razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye for the little insanities of those who believe they are in charge, Fire in the Henhouse takes the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride. Dooleysburg, PA, chock full of local celebrities like the cross-dressing car dealer who doubles as the town mascot and a police chief who had to get his own juvenile record expunged, prides itself on being progressive and tolerant, a great place to raise a family. Widowed Maggie Rifkin returns here with her fourteen-year-old son and her New York attitude, naively imagining she can leave her past behind. But this town where friendships ignore racial boundaries and sexual eccentricities are a family business has been tempting the Fates. When sudden tragedy strikes, the thread of destruction might well unravel all the way back to Maggie’s childhood secret. Grote is a master at building small everyday coincidences into the superstructure of events that ensnares her characters — and the reader.

Fire in the Henhouse Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780983334101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rule Bender Press - February 2011

With razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye for the little insanities of those who believe they are in charge, Fire in the Henhouse takes the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride.


A BIG HAIR event with KATE HOSFORD, author of the brand-new picture book, "Big Bouffant"! (Spirit)

Join us in welcoming Kate Hosford, author of the brand-new picture book Big Bouffant!

Young Annabelle is distraught. There are so many boring, uniform hairstyles on the first day of school! With inspiration from her grandma and some help from her mom, Annabelle finds the perfect hairdo to help her stand out: a big, giant, enormous bouffant. As the week unfolds, her gigantic hair brings giggles, admiration, and eventually . . . a whole classroom of copycats. This will not do. Annabelle must find a new way to be original. What will she concoct this time?

Kate will be reading Big Bouffant, answering questions (about fun hairstyles or about being a children’s book writer!) and afterwards, she will do bouffants on every young audience member! If your hair isn’t quite long enough for a bouffant, we will create another fun ’do — and boys are welcome to this event, too, as Kate is an expert at mohawks!

For more information about Kate, visit her website: http://khosford.com/

Big Bouffant Cover Image
By Kate Hosford, Holly Clifton-Brown (Illustrator)
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780761354093
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Carolrhoda Books - January 2011

"Ponytails and braids Ponytails and braids I don't see anything but ponytails and braids This class needs some fashion. This class needs some fun. I'll find a hairdo to impress everyone."


KEVIN WEEKS and PHYLLIS KARAS: "Where's Whitey?" book launch dinner (Spirit/Prince Pizzeria)

The North Suburban Jewish Community Center (NSJCC) in West Peabody invites the public to the U.S. launch of the much-anticipated Where’s Whitey?, the hot-off-the-press book by Kevin Weeks and Phyllis Karas, the New York Times bestselling authors of Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob.

Kevin WeeksWeeks and Karas will speak at Prince Pizzeria in Saugus about their new novel, an explosive fictional account of life inside the South Boston Irish mob.

Registration will open at 6 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30, a lecture at 7 pm and a book signing. The Spirit of ’76 will be selling copies of both Where’s Whitey? and Brutal at the event.

Tickets are $20/person, including dinner and program. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the North Suburban Jewish Community Center. Space is limited, so advanced reservations are recommended. RSVP online at http://www.nsjcc.org/ to be entered into a raffle to receive a free book, or call (978) 535-2968 to reserve your ticket.

JODI R.R. SMITH: THE ETIQUETTE BOOK: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners (Spirit/Abbot)

A discussion, Q&A and signing
with Jodi R.R. Smith, author of the brand-new
The Etiquette Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners
Tuesday, July 26th, 7pm · Abbot Public Library, Marblehead

When it comes to desired behavior, there really is a time and place for almost everything. Now the well-respected etiquette expert and coach, Jodi R. R. Smith, presents The Etiquette Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners. This witty and wise book provides us with timely tools we all can use to make our personal and professional encounters as smooth and pleasant as possible.

An up-to-date guide for minding your manners, The Etiquette Book includes advice on:


  • The appropriate attire, behavior, and communication (the etiquette A,B,C’s) needed for almost any occasion such as a client dinner or theater outing.
  • How to be a thoughtful and successful host from selecting the date and time of the event correctly to choosing the invitations and seating arrangements.
  • Guidelines to be a gracious guest, whether in a hotel or another friend’s home.
  • What you need to know about planning a memorable wedding including: buying the ring; planning the guest list and sending the invitations; dealing with the in-laws; choosing the menu and finding the dress; organizing the bachelor/bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinner; and writing the thank you notes.
  • How to avoid e-mail, phone, and internet faux pas in a high-tech society.
  • The ins and outs of making enjoyable and comfortable small talk.
  • How to successfully navigate the political scene at work as well as strategies to help conduct yourself professionally and respectably in the office.
  • Different modes and methods of expressing appreciation, from thank-you-notes to end of year tipping.
  • How to make memorable introductions and graceful exits in any type of interaction.
  • And so much more.

In The Etiquette Book, Smith arms readers with the confidence they need to successfully navigate life’s intricacies.

About the Author


President and owner of Mannersmith, Jodi R.R. Smith is an etiquette consultant who creates and leads seminars on personal and professional conduct. Educating in a way that is both instructional and entertaining, Smith has helped her clients increase their confidence levels and achieve success in today’s world. In 2005, Smith was named one of the thirty most extraordinary Bostonians by the Boston Event Guide and has appeared on Top Morning Shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, and the CBS Early Show. She can also be seen regularly in the greater Boston area on Fox 25 News. In addition, Smith has appeared in an array of National print including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, as well as Women’s Day.

The Etiquette Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781402776021
Availability: Special Order
Published: Sterling - May 2011

The ultimate guide to manners in the real world!


From Clueless to Class Act: Manners for the Modern Woman Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9781402739767
Availability: Special Order
Published: Sterling - April 2006

From Clueless to Class Act: Manners for the Modern Man Cover Image
$10.95
ISBN: 9781402739750
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Sterling Publishing (NY) - April 2006

To make a favorable impression in his social and professional circles, a man has to have panache, style, and excellent etiquette. He should know how to dress for a night on the town, how to transform himself into a gracious host and a welcome guest, and how to write an impressive e-mail.


Discussion, Q&A and book signing with JOAN LUISE HILL and KATIE MAHON, authors of "The Miracle Chase: Three Women, Three Miracles, and a Ten Year Journey of Discovery and Friendship" (Spirit/Abbot)

Abbot Public Library, Marblehead

What exactly is a miracle? That’s the question three women try to answer when one of them faces a sudden tragedy. In the process, they transform a simple friendship into a powerful spiritual odyssey. Joan’s son had survived a catastrophic illness. Katie had, perhaps with the aid of Divine intervention, escaped serial killer Ted Bundy. And Meb’s 6-month-old daughter had suffered abuse and was now blind; she coped through the power of prayer and faith. Katie was a skeptic, Meb a believer, and Joan struggled to mediate faith and doubt. The Miracle Chase is a story of how these three friends tried to discover what the voices of history and the traditions of religions around the world have to tell us about miracles, why some people are blessed with miracles when others aren’t, and how anyone could believe in miracles in an age of science. Perhaps all miracles require us to suspend disbelief, if only for a moment; but it is in that moment that we may find the secret of life.

About the Authors
Joan Hill has spent over twenty-five years in the health care industry. For ten years, she was President of the Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education. She lives in Pebble Beach, California. Katie Mahon is a three-time past President of the San Francisco Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, an organization that she helped take from a grass roots movement

The Miracle Chase: Three Women, Three Miracles, and a Ten Year Journey of Discovery and Friendship Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781402777653
Availability: Special Order
Published: Sterling Ethos - November 2010

"What exactly is a miracle?" That's the question three women try to answer when one of them faces a sudden tragedy. In the process, they transform a simple friendship into a powerful spiritual odyssey.


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