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Something New: April 23, 2013

Amanda Quick, one of my favorite historical romance authors, has just released The Mystery Woman, the second in the "Ladies of Lantern Street" series. Quick’s books are a lively mix of romance and suspense with a dash of the paranormal tossed in to add that little something extra.

The Golem and the Jinni, by debut author Helene Wecker, has been receiving advance praise for the last few months and promises to be a wonderful fantasy read. It is on my holds list and I can’t wait to give it a try. This week’s new releases also include two other debut authors, Susanna Calkins has authored a historical mystery titled A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate and Bee Ridgeway is out with a time travel novel named The River of No Return. Readers of mystery and fantasy looking to discover new authors should give these three a try.

Street literature and urban fiction fans will be delighted to learn that New York Times bestselling authors Wahida Clark and Eric Jerome Dickey are presenting new books. Clark’s Honor Thy Thug is the sixth entry in her “Thug” series and Dickey’s book Decadence is a follow up to his 2009 novel Pleasure.

Several noteworthy nonfiction releases due this week should appeal to news and political junkies. Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, will no doubt be making the rounds of network and cable news shows once the book is released. The book discusses America's new covert wars and the documentary of the same name was honored with the Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2013. Erica Grieder, an editor at Texas Monthly and a contributor to The Economist has written Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas and according to EarlyWord, Ms. Grieder will be making “appearances on Fox Business’s Stossel, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Martin Bashir and All In with Chris Hayes” discussing her book. Speaking of news shows, Brian Stelter, a media reporter for the New York Times, is out with Top of the Morning which his website says “reveals the dish and dirt behind the polite smiles and perky demeanors of morning television” shows such as the Today, GMA, and CBS This Morning.

Check the catalog items below for more new hardcover fiction and nonfiction releases.


The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick
Amazon Says: Under the plain gray skirts of Miss Beatrice Lockwood’s gown, a pistol waits at the ready. For Beatrice is a paid companion on a secret mission—and with a secret past—and more...
Amazon Says: Under the plain gray skirts of Miss Beatrice Lockwood’s gown, a pistol waits at the ready. For Beatrice is a paid companion on a secret mission—and with a secret past—and she must be prepared to fight for her life at any moment. Yet she is thrown oddly off guard by the fierce-looking man who joins her in foiling a crime outside a fancy ball—and then disappears into the shadows, leaving only his card. His name is Joshua Gage, and he claims to know Beatrice’s employers. Beyond that, he is an enigma with a hypnotically calm voice and an ebony-and-steel cane. . . . Joshua, who carries out clandestine investigations for the Crown, is equally intrigued. He has a personal interest in Miss Lockwood, a suspected thief and murderer, not to mention a fraudster who claims to have psychical powers. The quest to discover her whereabouts has pulled him away from his mournful impulses to hurl himself into the sea—and engaged his curiosity about the real Beatrice Lockwood, whose spirit, he suspects, is not as delicate as her face and figure. He does know one thing, though: This flame-haired beauty was present the night Roland Fleming died at the Academy of the Occult. Guilty or not, she is his guide to a trail of blood and blackmail, mesmerism and madness—a path that will lead both of them into the clutches of a killer who calls himself the Bone Man. . . . less...
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Amazon Says: In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.Chava is a golem, more...
Amazon Says: In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely freeAhmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale. less...
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A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins
Amazon Says: In Susanna Calkins's atmospheric debut novel, a chambermaid must uncover a murderer in seventeenth-century plague-ridden LondonFor Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century more...
Amazon Says: In Susanna Calkins's atmospheric debut novel, a chambermaid must uncover a murderer in seventeenth-century plague-ridden LondonFor Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone she loves is wrongly arrested for the crime. In a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren't permitted to defend their clients, and--if the plague doesn't kill them first--public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never see this person alive again. Unless, that is, she can identify the true murderer. Determined to do just that, Lucy finds herself venturing out of her expected station and into raucous printers' shops, secretive gypsy camps, the foul streets of London, and even the bowels of Newgate prison on a trail that might lead her straight into the arms of the killer. In her debut novel, Susanna Calkins seamlessly blends historical detail, romance, and mystery into a moving and highly entertaining tale. less...
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The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
Amazon Says: In Bee Ridgway’s wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, th more...
Amazon Says: In Bee Ridgway’s wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, the future. “You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman. In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance. less...
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Honor Thy Thug by Wahida Clark
Amazon Says: Urban lit’s favorite ride or die couple, Trae and Tasha, are back as they fight to hold onto their volatile relationship which gets closer to exploding with each passing day more...
Amazon Says: Urban lit’s favorite ride or die couple, Trae and Tasha, are back as they fight to hold onto their volatile relationship which gets closer to exploding with each passing day. Their friends, Angel and Kaylin, are caught up in their own drama which pits brother against brother in a final showdown. Faheem and his wife Jaz, face their worst nightmare which almost takes them totally out of the game. Meanwhile, Kyron, who brought Trae to the brink of murder and Tasha to the edge of insanity, is back and hell bent on revenge. When Trae makes the deadly decision to work for the most violent Chinese crime organization in the city and renew a business relationship with Charli Li, the one woman who can never be trusted, his rocky marriage and life are threatened. Tasha is forced to step in, and things get really crazy. Can Trae escape the grips of the mob with his life and hold on to his wife? Honor Thy Thug will leave you gasping for more. less...
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Decadence by Eric Jerome Dickey
Amazon Says: New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey returns to the life of Nia Simone Bijou (of Pleasure fame) as she embarks on a quest to enhance her artistic gif more...
Amazon Says: New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey returns to the life of Nia Simone Bijou (of Pleasure fame) as she embarks on a quest to enhance her artistic gifts through heightened sensory experience, Hollywood-style. Four years have passed since the events of Pleasure, and Nia’s success as a writer has grown, bringing her from Atlanta to Los Angeles. But she remains on a quest to quiet her inner storm, to draw on her well of emotions and explore them fully before leaving this season of her life and moving on to what could be the next stage: marriage and motherhood. Drawn to an exclusive pleasure palace, where patrons try on roles as they actively shun their respective realities, Nia’s ability to balance truth and fantasy becomes increasingly blurred. What has happened to the compartments she has so carefully created for the different aspects of her life? Will her relationship with the mysterious, often unavailable Prada survive the countless temptations? Will her successful literary career be given over to impulse indulgence? Does decadence know any bounds? When Nia’s past comes back to mingle with her present, and when her staid public persona clashes with her fantasy life of decadence, readers will be stunned by the outcome. Eric Jerome Dickey’s newest tale of excess—and its sky-high costs—is a thrilling portrait of a glittering world. less...
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Amazon Says: Like Bill Carter chronicling the late night wars in his classic The Late Shift, star New York Times reporter Brian Stelter reveals all the dish and dirt behind the polite smil more...
Amazon Says: Like Bill Carter chronicling the late night wars in his classic The Late Shift, star New York Times reporter Brian Stelter reveals all the dish and dirt behind the polite smiles and perky demeanors of morning television in his much-anticipated... TOP OF THE MORNING When America wakes up with personable and charming hosts like Matt Lauer, Robin Roberts, and George Stephanopoulos, it's hard to imagine their show bookers having to guard a guest's hotel room all night to prevent rival shows from poaching. But that is just part of the intense reality New York Times staff writer Brian Stelter reveals in TOP OF THE MORNING--a gripping look at the most competitive time slot in television, complete with Machiavellian booking wars and manic behavior by the producers, executives, and stars. Stelter is behind the scenes as Ann Curry replaces Meredith Vieira on the Today show, only to be fired a year later in a fiasco that made national headlines. He's backstage as Good Morning America launches an attack to dethrone Today and end the longest consecutive winning streak in morning television history. And he's there as Roberts is diagnosed with a crippling disease-on what should be the happiest day of her career. Featuring exclusive material about current and past morning stars like Katie Couric and all the major players of the 2000s, TOP OF THE MORNING illuminates what it takes to win the AM, when every single viewer counts, tons of jobs are on the line, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. Among the questions Stelter answers for the first time: Why did NBC really decide to oust Curry from her chair? What was her replacement Savannah Guthrie's reaction? Was Matt Lauer really at fault? So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and discover the dark side of the sun. less...
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Amazon Says: Texas may well be America’s most controversial state. Evangelicals dominate the halls of power, millions of its people live in poverty, and its death row is the busiest in t more...
Amazon Says: Texas may well be America’s most controversial state. Evangelicals dominate the halls of power, millions of its people live in poverty, and its death row is the busiest in the country. Skeptical outsiders have found much to be offended by in the state’s politics and attitude. And yet, according to journalist (and Texan) Erica Grieder, the United States has a great deal to learn from Texas. In Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right, Grieder traces the political history of a state that was always larger than life. From its rowdy beginnings, Texas has combined a long-standing suspicion of government intrusion with a passion for business. Looking to the present, Greider assesses the unique mix of policies on issues like immigration, debt, taxes, regulation, and energy, which together have sparked a bonafide Texas Miracle of job growth. While acknowledging that it still has plenty of twenty-first-century problems to face, she finds in Texas a model of governance whose power has been drastically underestimated. Her book is a fascinating exploration of America’s underrated powerhouse. less...
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Amazon Says: A New York Times bestseller Now also an Oscar-nominated documentary In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater, takes us inside more...
Amazon Says: A New York Times bestseller Now also an Oscar-nominated documentary In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater, takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies. Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA’s Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command ( JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through “black budgets,” Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy. Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government. As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk—we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as “suspected militants.” Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden. less...
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Amazon Says: A guy walks into a bar car and... From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: more...
Amazon Says: A guy walks into a bar car and... From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humor and intelligence and leave you deeply moved. Sedaris remembers his father's dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy. With Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris shows once again why his work has been called "hilarious, elegant, and surprisingly moving" (Washington Post). less...
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The Hit by David Baldacci
Amazon Says: From David Baldacci--#1 bestselling author and one of the world's most popular, widely read storytellers--comes the most thrilling novel of the year. THE HIT Will Robie is more...
Amazon Says: From David Baldacci--#1 bestselling author and one of the world's most popular, widely read storytellers--comes the most thrilling novel of the year. THE HIT Will Robie is a master of killing. A highly skilled assassin, Robie is the man the U.S. government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst-enemies of the state, monsters committed to harming untold numbers of innocent victims. No one else can match Robie's talents as a hitman...no one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, equally professional and dangerous, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now, she's gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency. To stop one of their own, the government looks again to Will Robie. His mission: bring in Reel, dead or alive. Only a killer can catch another killer, they tell him. But as Robie pursues Reel, he quickly finds that there is more to her betrayal than meets the eye. Her attacks on the agency conceal a larger threat, a threat that could send shockwaves through the U.S. government and around the world. less...
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Fly Away by Kristin Hannah
Amazon Says: Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. more...
Amazon Says: Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . . Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate---to be there for Kate’s children---but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people. Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother’s death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.Dorothy Hart---the woman who once called herself Cloud---is at the center of Tully’s tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter’s side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs.A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need each one another---and maybe a miracle---to transform their lives.An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness. Told with her trademark powerful storytelling and illuminating prose, Kristin Hannah reveals why she is one of the most beloved writers of our day.  less...
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Wedding Night: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella
Amazon Says: #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella returns with her trademark blend of sparkling wit and playful romance in this page-turning story of a wedding to remember more...
Amazon Says: #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella returns with her trademark blend of sparkling wit and playful romance in this page-turning story of a wedding to remember—and a honeymoon to forget.   Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose, but then his big question involves a trip abroad—not a trip down the aisle. Completely crushed, Lottie reconnects with an old flame, and they decide to take drastic action. No dates, no moving in together, they’ll just get married . . . right now. Her sister, Fliss, thinks Lottie is making a terrible mistake, and will do anything to stop her. But Lottie is determined to say “I do,” for better, or for worse. Praise for Wedding Night   “Sophie Kinsella is beloved by millions—her books are properly mood-altering. Wedding Night is funny, fast, and farcical. I loved it.”—JoJo Moyes, bestselling author of Me Before You “[A] fun novel that’s as light and bubbly as a glass of wedding champagne.”—USA Today   “Filled with laugh-out-loud moments, this is Sophie Kinsella at her wittiest. . . . An engrossing novel.”—Bookreporter   “You won’t be able to stop reading. . . . The narrative gallops along with humorous scenes and great one-liners.”—The Daily Mail   “A fast-paced, hilarious comedy [with] a charming cast of characters.”—Kirkus Reviews less...
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Amazon Says: #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 21 DAYS! In The Skinny Rules, celebrity trainer and coach of NBC’s The Biggest Loser Bob Harper d more...
Amazon Says: #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 21 DAYS! In The Skinny Rules, celebrity trainer and coach of NBC’s The Biggest Loser Bob Harper delivers the ultimate strategy for healthy, long-term weight loss and “thin maintenance.” But what if you have a big event looming—a reunion, wedding, beach vacation, or other special occasion—and need a fast-acting plan to meet your short-term goals?   Jumpstart to Skinny features thirteen short-term Rules (no one gets thin on mere suggestions) that will supercharge your weight loss. Taking any confusion or decision making out of the equation, Harper also provides a day-by-day plan for success, including his body-toning “Jumpstart Moves” and deliciously slimming recipes specially designed for your get-skinny needs.   Jumpstart to Skinny lets you in on the secrets Bob shares with his red-carpet celebrity clients. This is not a marathon diet; it’s a quick sprint to the finish line. And the victory lap comes when you slip into that sexy dress or swimsuit and feel fantastic. Get started today!   THE FOUR-PART JUMPSTART PLAN TO A SKINNIER YOU   • Your Jumpstart Rules: Thirteen must-follow principles to get you ready for your own “big reveal,” including Rule #1, a precise breakdown of the proper protein/carbohydrate/fat proportions for every meal, and Rule #3, which explains why you need to just say no to complex carbs after breakfast during this three-week plan. These are the Rules that Bob Harper and his celebrity clients use to get ready for their big events—and now you’re in on the secrets, too.   • Your Jumpstart Day-by-Day: No decisions, no confusion! Here is the simple, three-week game plan: the food to buy and prepare ahead each week, when and how much to eat each day, and the when and how of your exercise schedule.   • Your Jumpstart Moves: Bob’s unique, twenty-minute, at-home exercise routines. From sit-ups, push-ups, and squats to jumping rope, lateral jumps, and simple chair dips, choose one of the seven “packages” of body-toning moves when your day calls for Bob’s “metabolic conditioning.”   • Jumpstart Recipes: Cleansing or juice fasting? No way! You need to eat to lose weight, so here are twenty-one days of slimmingly delicious recipes—including “Peanut Butter and Jelly” Oatmeal, Sweet Potato Hash, Spaghetti Squash Bolognese, Buffalo Chicken Salad, and Bob’s signature Shrimp Skimpy—formulated with your Jumpstart protein/carb/fat proportions (see Rule #1!) and calorie maximums in mind. less...
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Maya's Notebook: A Novel by Isabel Allende
Amazon Says: Maya’s Notebook is a startling novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende. This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya more...
Amazon Says: Maya’s Notebook is a startling novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende. This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Maya grew up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandmother Nini, whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973 with a young son, and her grandfather Popo, a gentle African-American astronomer. When Popo dies, Maya goes off the rails. Along with a circle of girlfriends known as "the vampires," she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime--a downward spiral that eventually leads to Las Vegas and a dangerous underworld, with Maya caught between warring forces: a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol. Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. In the care of her grandmother’s old friend, Manuel Arias, and surrounded by strange new acquaintances, Maya begins to record her story in her notebook, as she tries to make sense of her past and unravel the mysteries of her family and her own life. less...
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Amazon Says: The man who got America fired up about grilling now extends his serious outdoor skills to low and slow barbecue and the intoxicating flavors of wood smoke.   You’ve more...
Amazon Says: The man who got America fired up about grilling now extends his serious outdoor skills to low and slow barbecue and the intoxicating flavors of wood smoke.   You’ve always known the best grilling recipes come from chef-restaurateur and Food Network star Bobby Flay. Now, just as on his Emmy award-winning show of the same name, Bobby turns his attention to true barbecue in Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction. With this book you get the best of both worlds and can decide whether to barbecue Tuscan Rosemary Smoked Whole Chickens or quickly grill some Pimiento Cheese-Bacon Burgers, depending upon your craving.    Here is everything you need for a great backyard bash: pitchers of cold drinks, such as Sparkling Bourbon Lemonade, and platters of starters to share, like Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Cilantro-Mint Chutney, and inventive sides, including New Potato-Corn Chowder Salad.    You’ll also find tons of helpful information on the pros and cons of different cookers, fuels, woods, and grilling gear; how to light and tend a fire; how to tell when your steaks are done; as well as Bobby’s top ten tips for the perfect cookout. With 150 recipes and 100 color photographs, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction is the new outdoor cooking manifesto for fellow worshippers of smoke, fire, and good times. less...
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Amazon Says: Wall Street Journal best-selling author Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome. Over the last 100 years, the road to su more...
Amazon Says: Wall Street Journal best-selling author Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome. Over the last 100 years, the road to success for most everyone has been divided into predictable stages. But three things have changed the path to success: Boomers are realizing that a lot of the things they were promised aren’t going to materialize, and they have started second and third careers. Technology has given access to an unprecedented number of people who are building online empires and changing their lives in ways that would have been impossible years ago. The days of “success first, significance later,” have ended. While none of the stages can be skipped, they can be shortened and accelerated. There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives readers practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.   less...
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Amazon Says: “Important, possibly life-altering, reading for every living, breathing human being." --Boston Globe In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previ more...
Amazon Says: “Important, possibly life-altering, reading for every living, breathing human being." --Boston Globe In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us. The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life. less...
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Amazon Says: Frozen in Time is a gripping true story of survival, bravery, and honor in the vast Arctic wilderness during World War II, from the author of New York Times bestseller Lost in more...
Amazon Says: Frozen in Time is a gripping true story of survival, bravery, and honor in the vast Arctic wilderness during World War II, from the author of New York Times bestseller Lost in Shangri-La.On November 5, 1942, a US cargo plane slammed into the Greenland Ice Cap. Four days later, the B-17 assigned to the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on board survived, and the US military launched a daring rescue operation. But after picking up one man, the Grumman Duck amphibious plane flew into a severe storm and vanished.Frozen in Time tells the story of these crashes and the fate of the survivors, bringing vividly to life their battle to endure 148 days of the brutal Arctic winter, until an expedition headed by famed Arctic explorer Bernt Balchen brought them to safety. Mitchell Zuckoff takes the reader deep into the most hostile environment on earth, through hurricane-force winds, vicious blizzards, and subzero temperatures.Moving forward to today, he recounts the efforts of the Coast Guard and North South Polar Inc. – led by indefatigable dreamer Lou Sapienza – who worked for years to solve the mystery of the Duck’s last flight and recover the remains of its crew.A breathtaking blend of mystery and adventure Mitchell Zuckoff's Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of our military personnel and a tribute to the everyday heroism of the US Coast Guard. less...
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Amazon Says: From one of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals, a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos What is time? This deceptively simple question is more...
Amazon Says: From one of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals, a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos What is time? This deceptively simple question is the single most important problem facing science as we probe more deeply into the fundamentals of the universe. All of the mysteries physicists and cosmologists face—from the Big Bang to the future of the universe, from the puzzles of quantum physics to the unification of forces and particles—come down to the nature of time. The fact that time is real may seem obvious. You experience it passing every day when you watch clocks tick, bread toast, and children grow. But most physicists, from Newton to Einstein to today’s quantum theorists, have seen things differently. The scientific case for time being an illusion is formidable. That is why the consequences of adopting the view that time is real are revolutionary. Lee Smolin, author of the controversial bestseller The Trouble with Physics, argues that a limited notion of time is holding physics back. It’s time for a major revolution in scientific thought. The reality of time could be the key to the next big breakthrough in theoretical physics. What if the laws of physics themselves were not timeless? What if they could evolve? Time Reborn offers a radical new approach to cosmology that embraces the reality of time and opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. There are few ideas that, like our notion of time, shape our thinking about literally everything, with huge implications for physics and beyond—from climate change to the economic crisis. Smolin explains in lively and lucid prose how the true nature of time impacts our world. less...
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Amazon Says: How seemingly innocuous technologies are unsettling the balance of power by putting it in the hands of the masses - and what a world without "big" will mean for all of us.In T more...
Amazon Says: How seemingly innocuous technologies are unsettling the balance of power by putting it in the hands of the masses - and what a world without "big" will mean for all of us.In The End of Big, social media pioneer, political and business strategist, and Harvard Kennedy School faculty member Nicco Mele offers a fascinating, sometimes frightening look at how our ability to stay connected - constantly, instantly, and globally - is dramatically changing our world.Governments are being upended by individuals relying only on social media. Major political parties are seeing their power eroded by grassroots forces through online fund-raising. Universities are scrambling to preserve their student populations in the face of less expensive, more accessible online courses. Print and broadcast news outlets are struggling to compete with citizen journalists and bloggers. Our traditional institutions are being disrupted in revolutionary ways, some for the better. But, as Nicco Mele argues, the benefits of new technology come with unintended consequences. In The End of Big, Mele examines:How fringe political forces enter the mainstream and gain traction using everyday technology - with the enormous potential to undermine central power What happens when investigative journalism is replaced by ad hoc bloggers, mobile video, and instantaneous tweets…and whether they challenge or simply enable power Why Web-based micro-businesses are outcompeting major corporations, and what innovations will alter the way we work, own things, and pay for goods and services The collapse of traditional party politics, and the rise of a new kind of democracy, one which could produce dynamic and effective leaders…or demagogues How citizen initiatives can replace local and state government functions, such as safety regulations, tax collection, and garbage pickup, and do so cheaper, faster, and betterMele argues that unless we exercise caution in our use of these new technologies, we risk a dark and wildly unstable future, one in which our freedoms and basic human values could be destroyed rather than enhanced. Both hopeful and alarming, The End of Big is a thought-provoking, passionately argued book that offers genuine insight into the ways we are using technology, and how it is radically changing our world in ways we are only now beginning to understand. less...
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Amazon Says: Blood of Tyrants reveals the surprising details of our Founding Fathers’ approach to government and this history’s impact on today. Delving into the forgotten—and often l more...
Amazon Says: Blood of Tyrants reveals the surprising details of our Founding Fathers’ approach to government and this history’s impact on today. Delving into the forgotten—and often lurid—facts of the Revolutionary War, Logan Beirne focuses on the nation’s first commander in chief, George Washington, as he shaped the very meaning of the United States Constitution in the heat of battle. Key episodes illustrate how the Founders dealt with thorny wartime issues: Who decides war strategy? When should we use military tribunals over civilian trials? Should we inflict harsh treatment on enemy captives if it means saving American lives? How do we protect citizens’ rights when the nation is struggling to defend itself? Beirne finds evidence in previously-unexplored documents such as General Washington’s letters debating torture, an eyewitness account of the military tribunal that executed a British prisoner, Founders’ letters warning against government debt, and communications pointing to a power struggle between Washington and the Continental Congress. Vivid stories from the Revolution frame Washington’s pivotal role in the drafting of the Constitution. The Founders saw the first American commander in chief as the template for all future presidents: a leader who would fiercely defend Americans’ rights and liberties against all forms of aggression. Blood of Tyrants pulls the reader directly into the scenes, filling the void in our understanding of the presidency and our ingenious Founders’ pragmatic approach to issues we still face today. less...
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Amazon Says: While fighting his way toward Atlanta, William T. Sherman encountered his biggest roadblock at Kennesaw Mountain, where Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee held a heavily f more...
Amazon Says: While fighting his way toward Atlanta, William T. Sherman encountered his biggest roadblock at Kennesaw Mountain, where Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee held a heavily fortified position. The opposing armies confronted each other from June 19 to July 3, 1864, and Sherman initially tried to outflank the Confederates. His men endured heavy rains, artillery duels, sniping, and a fierce battle at Kolb's Farm before Sherman decided to directly attack Johnston's position on June 27. Kennesaw Mountain tells the story of an important phase of the Atlanta campaign. Historian Earl J. Hess explains how this battle, with its combination of maneuver and combat, severely tried the patience and endurance of the common soldier and why Johnston's strategy might have been the Confederates' best chance to halt the Federal drive toward Atlanta. He gives special attention to the engagement at Kolb's Farm on June 22 and Sherman's assault on June 27. A final section explores the Confederate earthworks preserved within the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. less...
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Amazon Says: Here, for the first time, is a collection of short speeches by the charismatic doctor and social activist Paul Farmer. One of the most passionate and influential voices for g more...
Amazon Says: Here, for the first time, is a collection of short speeches by the charismatic doctor and social activist Paul Farmer. One of the most passionate and influential voices for global health equity and social justice, Farmer encourages young people to tackle the greatest challenges of our times. Engaging, often humorous, and always inspiring, these speeches bring to light the brilliance and force of Farmer’s vision in a single, accessible volume. A must-read for graduates, students, and everyone seeking to help bend the arc of history toward justice, To Repair the World: • Challenges readers to counter failures of imagination that keep billions of people without access to health care, safe drinking water, decent schools, and other basic human rights; • Champions the power of partnership against global poverty, climate change, and other pressing problems today; • Overturns common assumptions about health disparities around the globe by considering the large-scale social forces that determine who gets sick and who has access to health care; • Discusses how hope, solidarity, faith, and hardbitten analysis have animated Farmer’s service to the poor in Haiti, Peru, Rwanda, Russia, and elsewhere; • Leaves the reader with an uplifting vision: that with creativity, passion, teamwork, and determination, the next generations can make the world a safer and more humane place. less...
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The Humanity Project by Jean Thompson
Amazon Says: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home, a dazzling new novel already being hailed as an “instantly addictive...tale of yearning, paradox, an more...
Amazon Says: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home, a dazzling new novel already being hailed as an “instantly addictive...tale of yearning, paradox, and hope.” (Booklist) After surviving a shooting at her high school, Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, who doesn’t quite understand how he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen adolescent girl. Art’s neighbor, Christie, is a nurse distracted by an eccentric patient, Mrs. Foster, who has given Christie the reins to her Humanity Project, a bizarre and well-endowed charity fund. Just as mysteriously, no one seems to know where Conner, the Fosters’ handyman, goes after work, but he has become the one person Linnea can confide in, perhaps because his own home life is a war zone: his father has suffered an injury and become addicted to painkillers. As these characters and many more hurtle toward their fates, the Humanity Project is born: Can you indeed pay someone to be good? At what price? Thompson proves herself at the height of her powers in The Humanity Project, crafting emotionally suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining characters, in which we inevitably see ourselves. Set against the backdrop of current events and cultural calamity, it is at once a multifaceted ensemble drama and a deftly observant story of our twenty-first-century society. less...
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Amazon Says: Get your style therapy with Power of Style: Everything You Need to Know Before You Get Dressed Tomorrow by Today Show style editor Bobbie Thomas.This thoughtful and inspiring more...
Amazon Says: Get your style therapy with Power of Style: Everything You Need to Know Before You Get Dressed Tomorrow by Today Show style editor Bobbie Thomas.This thoughtful and inspiring guide provides the information you need to feel stylish, smart, sexy, and satisfied—with a look that’s uniquely your own—in order to become your most confident and beautiful self.You’re invited to gain self-awareness, clarity, and confidence, and take full advantage of the fashion tips, tools, and lessons that Bobbie Thomas lays out, including how to identify your best colors, how to select the most flattering clothes for your individual shape, how to edit your closet, and how to shop smart—to harness the power of self-expression.The foreword by fashion icon Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, and color illustrations throughout, reinforce Bobbie’s mantra of self-expression: “Style is the way you to speak to the world without words.” less...
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Amazon Says: In an unparalleled collaboration, two leading global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs give us their widely anticipated, transformational vision of the future: a worl more...
Amazon Says: In an unparalleled collaboration, two leading global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs give us their widely anticipated, transformational vision of the future: a world where everyone is connected—a world full of challenges and benefits that are ours to meet and to harness. Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley’s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world’s most influential companies. Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas and a former adviser to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. With their combined knowledge and experiences, the authors are uniquely positioned to take on some of the toughest questions about our future: Who will be more powerful in the future, the citizen or the state? Will technology make terrorism easier or harder to carry out? What is the relationship between privacy and security, and how much will we have to give up to be part of the new digital age? In this groundbreaking book, Schmidt and Cohen combine observation and insight to outline the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. At once pragmatic and inspirational, this is a forward-thinking account of where our world is headed and what this means for people, states and businesses. With the confidence and clarity of visionaries, Schmidt and Cohen illustrate just how much we have to look forward to—and beware of—as the greatest information and technology revolution in human history continues to evolve. On individual, community and state levels, across every geographical and socioeconomic spectrum, they reveal the dramatic developments—good and bad—that will transform both our everyday lives and our understanding of self and society, as technology advances and our virtual identities become more and more fundamentally real. As Schmidt and Cohen’s nuanced vision of the near future unfolds, an urban professional takes his driverless car to work, attends meetings via hologram and dispenses housekeeping robots by voice; a Congolese fisherwoman uses her smart phone to monitor market demand and coordinate sales (saving on costly refrigeration and preventing overfishing); the potential arises for “virtual statehood” and “Internet asylum” to liberate political dissidents and oppressed minorities, but also for tech-savvy autocracies (and perhaps democracies) to exploit their citizens’ mobile devices for ever more ubiquitous surveillance. Along the way, we meet a cadre of international figures—including Julian Assange—who explain their own visions of our technology-saturated future. Inspiring, provocative and absorbing, The New Digital Age is a brilliant analysis of how our hyper-connected world will soon look, from two of our most prescient and informed public thinkers. less...
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Amazon Says: When Jessie Hawkins’ adopted daughter told her she had another mom back in Ethiopia, Jessie didn’t, at first, know what to think. She’d wanted her adoption to be great s more...
Amazon Says: When Jessie Hawkins’ adopted daughter told her she had another mom back in Ethiopia, Jessie didn’t, at first, know what to think. She’d wanted her adoption to be great story about a child who needed a home and got one, and a family led by God to adopt. Instead, she felt like she’d done something wrong. Adoption has long been enmeshed in the politics of reproductive rights, pitched as a “win-win” compromise in the never-ending abortion debate. But as Kathryn Joyce makes clear in The Child Catchers, adoption has lately become even more entangled in the conservative Christian agenda. To tens of millions of evangelicals, adoption is a new front in the culture wars: a test of “pro-life” bona fides, a way for born again Christians to reinvent compassionate conservatism on the global stage, and a means to fulfill the “Great Commission” mandate to evangelize the nations. Influential leaders fervently promote a new “orphan theology,” urging followers to adopt en masse, with little thought for the families these “orphans” may already have. Conservative evangelicals control much of that industry through an infrastructure of adoption agencies, ministries, political lobbying groups, and publicly-supported “crisis pregnancy centers,” which convince women not just to “choose life,” but to choose adoption. Overseas, conservative Christians preside over a spiraling boom-bust adoption market in countries where people are poor and regulations weak, and where hefty adoption fees provide lots of incentive to increase the “supply” of adoptable children, recruiting “orphans” from intact but vulnerable families. The Child Catchers is a shocking exposé of what the adoption industry has become and how it got there, told through deep investigative reporting and the heartbreaking stories of individuals who became collateral damage in a market driven by profit and, now, pulpit command. Anyone who seeks to adopt—of whatever faith or no faith, and however well-meaning—is affected by the evangelical adoption movement, whether they know it or not. The movement has shaped the way we think about adoption, the language we use to discuss it, the places we seek to adopt from, and the policies and laws that govern the process. In The Child Catchers, Kathryn Joyce reveals with great sensitivity and empathy why, if we truly care for children, we need to see more clearly.   less...
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Amazon Says: A search for a radio-tagged Indiana bat roosting in the woods behind her house in New York’s Hudson Valley led Akiko Busch to assorted other encounters with the natural worl more...
Amazon Says: A search for a radio-tagged Indiana bat roosting in the woods behind her house in New York’s Hudson Valley led Akiko Busch to assorted other encounters with the natural world—local ecological monitoring projects, community-organized cleanup efforts, and data-driven citizen science research. Whether it is pulling up water chestnuts in the Hudson River, measuring beds of submerged aquatic vegetation, or searching out vernal pools, all are efforts that illuminate the role of ordinary citizens as stewards of place. In this elegantly written book, Busch highlights factors that distinguish twenty-first-century citizen scientists from traditional amateur naturalists: a greater sense of urgency, helpful new technologies, and the expanded possibilities of crowdsourcing. The observations here look both to precisely recorded data sheets and to the impressionistic marginalia, scribbled asides, and side roads that often attend such unpredictable outings. While not a primer on the prescribed protocols of citizen science, the book combines vivid natural history, a deep sense of place, and reflection about our changing world. Musing on the expanding potential of citizen science, the author celebrates today’s renewed volunteerism and the opportunities it offers for regaining a deep sense of connection to place. less...
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Amazon Says: Earl “The Pearl” Monroe is a basketball legend whose impact on the game transcends statistics, a player known as much for his unorthodox, “playground” style of play more...
Amazon Says: Earl “The Pearl” Monroe is a basketball legend whose impact on the game transcends statistics, a player known as much for his unorthodox, “playground” style of play as his championship pedigree. Observers said that watching him play was like listening to jazz, his moves resembling freefloating improvisations. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with the ball,” Monroe once admitted, “and if I don’t know, I’m quite sure the guy guarding me doesn’t know either.”Traded to the New York Knicks before the 1971–72 season, Monroe became a key member of the beloved, star-studded 1972–73 Knicks team that captured the NBA title. And now, on the 40th anniversary of that championship season—the franchise’s last—Monroe is finally ready to tell his remarkable story.Written with bestselling author Quincy Troupe (Miles, The Pursuit of Happyness) Earl the Pearl will retrace Monroe’s life from his upbringing in a tough South Philadelphia neighborhood through his record-setting days at Winston-Salem State, to his NBA Rookie of the Year season in 1967, his tremendous years with the Baltimore Bullets and ultimately his redemptive, championship glory with the New York Knicks. The book will culminate with a revealing epilogue in which Monroe reflects on the events of the past 40 years, offers his insights into the NBA today, and his thoughts on the future of the game he loves. less...
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Amazon Says: “A work of astonishing ingenuity, intellectual and emotional depth, and (most of all) brilliant writing.”—John Demos, author of The Unredeemed Captive In the tradition o more...
Amazon Says: “A work of astonishing ingenuity, intellectual and emotional depth, and (most of all) brilliant writing.”—John Demos, author of The Unredeemed Captive In the tradition of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s classic, A Midwife’s Tale, comes this groundbreaking narrative by one of America’s most promising colonial historians. Joshua Hempstead was a well-respected farmer and tradesman in New London, Connecticut. As his remarkable diary—kept from 1711 until 1758—reveals, he was also a slave owner who owned Adam Jackson for over thirty years. In this engrossing narrative of family life and the slave experience in the colonial North, Allegra di Bonaventura describes the complexity of this master/slave relationship and traces the intertwining stories of two families until the eve of the Revolution. Slavery is often left out of our collective memory of New England’s history, but it was hugely impactful on the central unit of colonial life: the family. In every corner, the lines between slavery and freedom were blurred as families across the social spectrum fought to survive. In this enlightening study, a new portrait of an era emerges. 16 pages of illustrations; 2 maps less...
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Amazon Says: For James Barilla and his family, the dream of transforming their Columbia, South Carolina, backyard into a haven for wildlife evoked images of kids catching grasshoppers by d more...
Amazon Says: For James Barilla and his family, the dream of transforming their Columbia, South Carolina, backyard into a haven for wildlife evoked images of kids catching grasshoppers by day and fireflies at night, of digging up potatoes and picking strawberries. When they signed up with the National Wildlife Federation to certify their yard as a wildlife habitat, it felt like pushing back, in however small a way, against the tide of bad news about vanishing species, changing climate, dying coral reefs. Then the animals started to arrive, and Barilla soon discovered the complexities (and possible mayhem) of merging human with animal habitats. What are the limits of coexistence, he wondered? To find out, Barilla set out across continents to explore cities where populations of bears, monkeys, marmosets, and honeybees live alongside human residents. My Backyard Jungle brings these unique stories together, making Barilla’s yard the centerpiece of a meditation on possibilities for coexistence with animals in an increasingly urban world. Not since Gerald Durrell penned My Family and Other Animals have readers encountered a naturalist with such a gift for storytelling and such an open heart toward all things wild. less...
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The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Chantal W. Says: Book Trailer for The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker .
YouTube Says: Available April 23rd, 2013! In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century...
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