Off the Common Books
Off the Common Books is a form of assisted self-publishing. In order to provide an ISBN to an author, we must have some relationship with the title and we do this by acting as a limited distributor. The books must be available in our stores and/or on our webstore on a consignment basis. The author still retains all financial responsibility as well as all control over the title. Learn more about Off the Common self-publishing.
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Tom Zink was born in a blizzard in 1947, a child of winter. Seasoned: A Memoir of Grief and Grace is the story of Tom’s unwitting grief journey of five decades that begins when his older brother Steve is hit by a car and killed while on the paper route the two boys shared. It’s the story of a conservative German Lutheran family and the ways in which the parents and surviving children protect each other in loss with a silent acceptance that does not serve them in the long run. Tom buries his grief along with his brother so he can carry on with his life. His career after high school takes him around the world, across the country, and back again.
It is only after Tom is married and a father of two teen-aged sons that, in a moment of profound grace, he realizes the depth and importance of his loss. His faith and new-found desire as an adult to process Steve’s death take Tom full circle back to his brother’s grave. But this is not merely a story of grief and recovery; it is also a tender and lighthearted look at humor and laughter, winning and losing, and doubt and faith.
In a world overwhelmed by clamoring voices, haiku offers living proof that the less said the better. — Stuart Tarry. Jack Barry lives in the hills of Western Massachusetts. This is his fourth volume of haiku.
Janice N. Rowan
Shutesbury writer Janice N. Rowan will transport you a century back in time, to the Alaska Territory and an arctic goldmine won in a poker game. You will be drawn into months of below freezing temperatures that don’t let up during her grandfather’s search first for his brother and later for himself in this unforgiving […]
Nerissa Nields wrote the poems for The Pantsuit in the Back of the Closet as part of a fundraiser for Center for New Americans called 30 Poems in November.
by W. J. Mullin, University of Massachusetts Amherst; W. J. Gerace, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; J. P. Mestre, University of Illinois; and S. L. Velleman, University of Vermont
Fundamentals of Sound (2nd ed., 2016) is a book designed for persons interested in learning about the physics of sound and how it applies to the speech and hearing processes. The physics of sound is basic to the understanding of how we communicate, but students interested in speech and hearing may not possess the background for attaining a deep understanding within their own areas of study. The book is meant to provide the basics in the physics of sound, at a level appropriate for undergraduate non-physical-science majors, for further study of speech and hearing.
John Irving Clapp
It’s a familiar story here in western Massachusetts; a once-thriving neighborhood is dismantled in order to supply drinking water for the benefit of many. It happened in Northampton, piece by piece; first one dam, then another, then a re-routing of the little brook, the taking of homes and farms, the creation of a watershed, etc.
Enid Keil Sichel
The year is 1933 and the political climate at Oxford is volatile with Communist sympathizers on the political left and Nazi sympathizers on the right. David Cholmondeley is blessed with a penetrating intelligence and cursed with clumsiness.
In 1965, the architect and design theorist Christopher Alexander published a landmark theoretical critique of modern urban design, and by extension, modern design in general.
Healthy Principles for Designing the Built World
Priscilla Kane Hellweg and Rachel Kuhn of Enchanted Circle Theater
A few years ago, the Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue Committee asked us if we were interested in writing an educational theater production about the life Sojourner Truth—the brilliant abolitionist and women’s rights warrior who had lived in Western Massachusetts from 1843-1857.
“I have just finished reading this long-awaited book. It’s worth reading, even if you do not need convincing that Decon is a fraud. The revelation is the depth and extent of the fraud.” — Andrés Duany
The first in a four book series, The Summer of Quiet Light recounts the early days of Alexandra Stepp’s journey from little girl to young woman.
Mara and John Stoffolano
This is a short story about such a wonderful tale of a young girl who experiences some of these things with her grandfather who is an entomologist. Writing the story was easy. The more difficult challenge was to get his co-author, Mara, to spend enough time to listen to the script and draw what she heard.
“If you ever wondered what John Updike would read like on acid, trip out with Dick Bentley. He can take you far out and then surprise you by evoking ordinary life and feeling so unerringly. Flashbacks guaranteed.” —Diane Lefer
This is a collection of photographs I’ve taken over the past several years and poems that I wrote more than 25 years ago. It’s an experiment presenting younger and older points of view. How does the world look now compared to how it looked then? How can visual and written expression represent the same world view? Does one inform the other? Can you step into the same river twice?
National Co-op Month Committee
Every minute of every day cooperatives are impacting the lives of Americans. Because this unique form of private enterprise is a powerful economic force, we have created this publication to celebrate its importance to our nation.
Bill Bradley, R.D.
Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World.
Voices from Inside
“If courage is grace under pressure, then these poems are graceful expressions under the real pressures of confinement. Poetry’s acclaimed power to liberate is vividly exemplified in Women’s Writing in Prison,; each poem is at once a private act of escape and confrontation.” —Billy Collins, New York State Poet Laureate, former Poet Laureate of the United States
Voices from Inside
“In this second Voices from Inside collection, the writers confront with startling honesty who they have been, who they are, and who they are laboring to become. Their work is raw, poignant, and powerful. This is a moving and illuminating collection.” — Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed
Nikos A. Salingaros
Unified Architectural Theory re-invents architecture by uncovering its forgotten languages. Organized in 44 sections, this book contains lecture notes and readings from a course based on Christopher Alexander’s The Nature of Order, Book 1, and using Salingaros’ A Theory of Architecture.
Bill Bradley, R.D., L.D.N.
One Black Bean Stew Recipe, 41 Black Bean Stew dishes, 12 Accompanying recipes—Plus much more!
Brian Turner and John Bowman
Even the most devoted fan may not realize how far back baseball can trace its history in small towns like Northampton, Massachusetts. Some may be aware of the semi-professional teams of the 1920s and 1930s, but few know about the minor league, independent, and amateur clubs that came before, nor do they know about the many talented players who stopped in towns like Northampton on their way to the big leagues.
Can an island disappear? This classic tale of a mysterious island off the coast of Cape Cod has entranced readers since it was first published in 2000.
Haymarket People's Fund
In 1998 Haymarket People’s Fund, an anti-racist, multi-cultural foundation embarked on a deliberate process to advance the mission, and undo the racism ingrained in every aspect of the organization. This open-ended process has been transformative throughout the structure, staffing, grantmaking, and fundraising activities of Haymarket.
Oral history interviews
The Prize-winning Series Published in the Northampton Daily Gazette
I have loved writing this memoir of my parents. While not a comprehensive Seidman family history, it is a reconstruction of my understanding of parts of my parents’ background in Ukraine, their coming to this country, and the life they made here, all told from my point of view as the youngest of four siblings.
Howard Sachs, PhD, MD
“Never give up,” the Dalai Lama says. This is the memoir of a man whose circumstances – and spirit – required him to live by this principle his whole life. Beginning in pain and poverty, Howard Sachs’ life story has been a quest to ease the suffering of as many people as he could, in as many third world countries as he could reach, and experience as much of nature’s glory as he could discover.
Ralph E. Bruce
This new title is a compilation of research which Ralph E. Cortis has been doing over the last 25+ years on the town of Russell, Massachusetts. This book focuses on the information he has researched and gathered from a wide variety of local and regional resources over that time.
How Insurgents Transformed the Labor Movement
Roy A. Wiley
And so begins Roy Wiley’s story of his life as a homesteader in New Mexico with charming anecdotes and comments on everything he meets in his new home in the Southwest. It is all quite new for this farmer from western New York state but he approaches it all with curiosity and an open mind.
Nikos A. Salingaros
This book explains how cities actually work as networks. It addresses the needs of politicians, professional urbanists, teachers, and students who wish to understand how and why cities are successful or not, depending on their form, components, and substructure. Drawing upon science and mathematics, yet written in plain language, it serves as a guide and inspiration for planners to re-humanize our cities using “urban coherence”.
What accounts for the persistence and spread of “commoning,” the irrepressible desire of people to collaborate and share to meet everyday needs? How are the more successful projects governed? And why are so many people embracing the commons as a powerful strategy for building a fair, humane and Earth-respecting social order?
Barbara B. Blumenthal
I am a hand bookbinder and a rare book librarian, privileged to live in the Pioneer Valley, with its remarkable book arts community. This chapbook, issued in the 350th year of the life of Northampton, documents this unusual group’s past and present and looks toward its future. I say unusual, because many of us are practicing what others consider outmoded crafts — letterpress printing, not desktop publishing, hand bookbinding, paper decorating, and writing with pen and ink. In this book I hope to demonstrate how and why we exist in this concentration in this beautiful place.
Architect William Fenno Pratt
Shaping Northampton’s Townscape, 1654-2004
Marsha A. Kunin
Marsha Kunin, a nature enthusiast, lives and works in Massachusetts.
This collection of stories is written by a modest man who has had a tremendous impact on his family, his grandchildren, his nation and all who know him. Each story is a chapter in the life of Frederick Irving’s journey from hard but loving beginnings, through the struggles of WW II, during which he was a Prisoner of War, to his role as a mentor and guide for peace and understanding between countries.
Nine distinguished teachers of the Alexander Technique — Elisabeth Walker, Frank Ottiwell, Anne Battye, Joan and Alex Murray, Sarnie Ogus, Rome Earle, Ann Mathews, and Jane Heirich — speak with Ruth Rootberg about their lives, their work, and their approach to using their Alexander skills as they face aging, loss of loved ones, and the challenges of illness and injury.
roxann A. Callender
Introducing, a collection of poems by roxann A. Callender, a feminist scholar, who spent her first twenty-five years in the tropics, and has lived and studied in several European countries before calling western Massachusetts home.
Kyabje Dodrupchen Rinpoche
Kyabje Dodrupchen Rinpoche is one of the most important living masters of the Nyinma and Dzogchen schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche made frequent visits to the West, first in 1973, when he established a temple in Massachusetts in the USA.
While the title of this book – Labor of Love – captures the essence of our father’s lifetime hobby, it applies equally to the five years spent cataloging thousands of autographed baseball items – auctioned off over almost two years by Heritage Auctions – to determine those which would be most fascinating to baseball fans and collectors of all ages.
Penina Migdal Glazer
Creating a vibrant community in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Irving and Myron Glasser
This collection of twenty-four stories, essays, and vignettes captures the experiences of two brothers who grew up in Brooklyn a decade apart. Irving (Itzik) Glasser (1925-1994) reveals the bittersweet experiences of growing up during the Great Depression.
Roy Kimmel has a good story to tell – two stories, actually. One is about his experiences as a transit bus driver in western Massachusetts. He gives us a look into part of the background of daily life, and he has something to say, too, about some wacky passengers he encounters.
Honoring Truth is honoring all of you throughout the Pioneer Valley who made the building of this statue the enormous success it became; a statue deeply appreciated, in the end, by everyone.
Marsha lives in Central Massachusetts and is the author of Out of Its Cage, a collection of poems published in 2012. Her paintings and drawings are housed in private collections in the United States and in Israel.
Charles A. Sheffield
Many events have occurred in Florence that have rendered it a village of especial interest and have given it distinction, and this work is offered to the public in the hope that not only its present citizens, but those who will make Florence their home, in years to come, may find it both interesting and valuable.
Hilary B. Price
Record birthdays and anniversaries in this whimsical birthday reminder calendar and boost important date recall by 365%!
At the age of 90 Maggie Thompson ran the bridge club at her senior center, taught English to Haitian immigrants at her church and began writing her memoir. Many nights she did not sleep. She had stories that she needed to get down.
Edited by John H. Clippinger and David Bollier
What can we learn from Bitcoin and Burning Man about re-inventing money and designing better forms of self-governance?
Why are “decentralized autonomous organizations” the next great Internet disruption?
This new title is an in-depth and intimate exploration of Zen Buddhist philosophy, practice and awakening. Specific pointers are offered on working with the mind and emotions, practicing deep zazen meditation and working intensely with koans and inquiry.
Geoff Allison was a long-time friend and neighbor to the plant world. Blind from birth, Geoff studied and related to plants all his life. He wrote this collection of articles in order to help raise our consciousness about Nature and our place within it.
Emancipated Women (Emancypantki), by the acclaimed Polish author Boleslaw Prus, was first published as a serial in the Daily Courier (Kurier Codzienny) from 1890 to 1893, and as a book in 1894. Translated by Stephanie Kraft.
J. Stuart Walter
Ecological Spirituality is a foundation work, examining human spiritual necessity with an understanding of spiritual mechanisms anchored in biological and social existence.
Divine Renovations is a personal story of love, loss and faith. During a kitchen renovation, author Janice Beetle unexpectedly met her soul mate, only to lose him eight years later to cancer.
Chogyam Trungpa was among the most influential and controversial Tibetan Buddhist lamas to live and teach in the West until his death in 1987. Tony Cape became his devoted student in the mid-70s and eventually one of his kusung or personal attendants.
Mehaffy & Salingaros
In this brief, accessible volume, the authors — an urban philosopher and a mathematician-physicist — explain the surprising new findings from the sciences that are beginning to transform environmental design in the modern era.
This is a collection of 42 poems that are dialogues from soul to soul. They offer an opportunity to see beyond the confines of linear time and space into a truer, more encompassing reality. Their essence ties into cosmologies that go back thousands of years and span the globe.
The memoir is not only dedicated to Marie’s five grandchildren so they may know Grandma Marie but it also integrates the delightful stories of the grandkids so that in some sublime, spiritual world, Marie will get to know her grandchildren.
Susan Lewis Well
James Frances Cahillane
This book has all the ingredients of a traditional Irish-American saga — eloquence, humer, pathos — but this is also the fast-moving story of immigration in the twentieth century and how one dynamic go-getter embodies multigenerational progress.
Twelve Lectures on Architecture is a profound philosophical work presented as a set of architectural lecture notes. It reads very easily, explaining why certain buildings and places speak to our hearts, thus illuminating many of our old assumptions about taste.
Alexandra Stepp is back, and not only can she tap into the Quiet Light, she now moves with the Swift-footed Wind. This new gift from the Great Spirit, Gitche Manitou, however, revives the jealousy of this brother, Matchi Manitou.
By 1850, the small village of Florence (then Bensonville), counted among its population a higher percentage of African Americans than nearby Springfield or even other strongly abolitionist Massachusetts communities in New Bedford and Boston.
More than a decade in the making, this is a textbook of architecture, useful for every architect: from first-year students, to those taking senior design studio, to graduate students writing a Ph.D. dissertation in architectural theory, to experienced practicing architects.
This is the story of one house and one neighborhood in the city of Northampton. Wherever they are, ordinary places hold stories worth telling.
In the early 1870s a poor fur trapper named Bill Dart found a pretty, wooded point on a lake deep in the wilderness. With stunning skill and audacity he created a world-class Adirondack resort. By 1931, however, the resort was bankrupt and this “mountain gem” was tattered and facing subdivision.
These poems let you explore what it means to belong. In this book Roberta Visser speaks to her new grandson, Ezra, meditating on meaning, belonging, and uncertainties of faith. Illustrations by Rachel Harper.
The book ends with five recipes from different cultures using this ingredient.
Robert Seydel, photographer, artist and poet was a beloved professor of art at Hampshire College, who inspired students and colleagues alike. His syllabi, works of art in themselves, are a window into his extraordinary intellect and provide a guide for developing our best artistic thinking and work.
Life-long poet and storyteller, Rochelle Wildfong has been the Children’s Librarian at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, Massachusetts for over 30 years. A Midwest transplant, she now lives in the green hills of Ashfield, Massahusetts.
In this 100-page novella three women who’ve passed their 70th birthdays look around to find time short. How to spend these coming years? Nikki divides the days remaining into millions of minutes, Chessa gets a dog and Pru downsizes to a condo, only to discover that—with the loss of familiar objects—even her children begin to look a bit strange.
James Francis Cahillane
This new book ventures to interpret twenty-one dreams during an induced-coma following two January 2010 colon surgeries at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
James B. Ricci
Growing up on a twenty-five acre farm in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the 1950s, author James B. Ricci had his eye on the Locke Power Lawn Mower; it was a familiar sight in the Northeast back then, with its dark green body and yellow pinstripes. In 1992, Jim bought his own Locke and became interested in penning a booklet about the power lawn mowers made by The Locke Steel Chain Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut.