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2013 L.A. Times Book Prize Finalists

The 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalists have been named and the winners will be awarded their prizes on April 11, 2014. The Los Angeles Book Prize has been awarded annually since 1980 and honors book in 10 categories: Biography, Current Interest, Fiction, History, Poetry, Science and Technology, First Fiction, Young Adult Literature, Mystery/Thriller, and most recently Graphic Novels.

Take a look at the list below to perhaps find your next great read.

2013 BOOK PRIZES FINALISTS

Biography

  • Bolivar: American Liberator, by Marie Arana
  • Wilson, by A. Scott Berg
  • The Red Man’s Bones: George Catlin, Artist and Showman, by Benita Eisler
  • Country Girl: A Memoir, by Deborah Solomon
  • American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, by Edna O’Brien
  • Current Interest

  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, by Sheri Fink
  • Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel
  • Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff
  • Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom, by Barry Siegel
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief , by Lawrence Wright
  • Fiction

  • Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, by Percival Everett
  • The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud
  • A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
  • Spectacle: Stories, by Susan Steinberg
  • The Maid’s Version: A Novel, by Daniel Woodrell
  • The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

  • We Need New Names, by NoViolet Bulawayo
  • Mira Corpora, by Jeff Jackson*
  • The Night Guest, by Fiona McFarlane
  • I Want to Show You More, by Jamie Quatro*
  • The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, by Ethan Rutherford
  • Graphic Novel/Comics

  • Incidents in the Night: Volume 1, by David B.
  • Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories, by Ben Katchor
  • Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust
  • The End, by Anders Nilsen*
  • The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme, by Joe Sacco
  • History

  • FDR and the Jews, by Richard Breitman & Allan J. Lichtman
  • The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, by Christopher Clark
  • The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, by Glenn Frankel
  • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, by AlanTaylor
  • Mystery / Thriller

  • Hour of the Red God, by Richard Crompton
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith
  • Sycamore Row, by John Grisham
  • The Rage, by Gene Kerrigan
  • The Collini Case, by Ferdinand von Schirach
  • Poetry

  • The Inside of an Apple, by Joshua Beckman*
  • Hello, the Roses, by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
  • Collected Poems, by Rod Padgett*
  • On Ghosts, by Elizabeth Robinson*
  • Debts & Lessons, by Lynn Xu
  • Science & Technology

  • Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect, by Matthew D. Lieberman
  • Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, by Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld
  • Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures, by Virginia Morell
  • Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, by Annalee Newitz
  • Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, by Alan Weisman
  • Young Adult Literature

  • Mortal Fire, by Elizabeth Knox*
  • Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
  • What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings, by Joyce Sidman*
  • Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud
  • Boxers & Saints, by Gene Luen Yang
  • * denotes books not currently owned by Richland Library


    Amazon Says: It is astonishing that Simón Bolívar, the great Liberator of South America, is not better known in the United States. He freed six countries from Spanish rule, traveled more more...
    Amazon Says: It is astonishing that Simón Bolívar, the great Liberator of South America, is not better known in the United States. He freed six countries from Spanish rule, traveled more than 75,000 miles on horseback to do so, and became the greatest figure in Latin American history. His life is epic, heroic, straight out of Hollywood: he fought battle after battle in punishing terrain, forged uncertain coalitions of competing forces and races, lost his beautiful wife soon after they married and never remarried (although he did have a succession of mistresses, including one who held up the revolution and another who saved his life), and he died relatively young, uncertain whether his achievements would endure. Drawing on a wealth of primary documents, novelist and journalist Marie Arana brilliantly captures early nineteenth-century South America and the explosive tensions that helped revolutionize Bolívar. In 1813 he launched a campaign for the independence of Colombia and Venezuela, commencing a dazzling career that would take him across the rugged terrain of South America, from Amazon jungles to the Andes mountains. From his battlefield victories to his ill-fated marriage and legendary love affairs, Bolívar emerges as a man of many facets: fearless general, brilliant strategist, consummate diplomat, passionate abolitionist, gifted writer, and flawed politician. A major work of history, Bolívar colorfully portrays a dramatic life even as it explains the rivalries and complications that bedeviled Bolívar’s tragic last days. It is also a stirring declaration of what it means to be a South American. less...
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    Wilson by A. Scott Berg
    Amazon Says: Longlisted for the 2014 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography “With the prescience that all truly great biographers possess, Berg discover more...
    Amazon Says: Longlisted for the 2014 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography “With the prescience that all truly great biographers possess, Berg discovered in Woodrow Wilson a figure who would understand Washington’s current state of affairs.”—Vanity Fair “A brilliant biography that still resonates in Washington today.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin   From Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times–bestselling author A. Scott Berg comes the definitive—and revelatory—biography of one of the great American figures of modern times. One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic. And now, after more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg has completed Wilson--the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the 28th President. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents in the Wilson Archives, Berg was the first biographer to gain access to two recently-discovered caches of papers belonging to those close to Wilson. From this material, Berg was able to add countless details--even several unknown events--that fill in missing pieces of Wilson’s character and cast new light on his entire life. From the scholar-President who ushered the country through its first great world war to the man of intense passion and turbulence , from the idealist determined to make the world “safe for democracy” to the stroke-crippled leader whose incapacity and the subterfuges around it were among the century’s greatest secrets, the result is an intimate portrait written with a particularly contemporary point of view – a book at once magisterial and deeply emotional about the whole of Wilson’s life, accomplishments, and failings. This is not just Wilson the icon – but Wilson the man. less...
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    Amazon Says: The first biography in over sixty years of a great American artist whose paintings are more famous than the man who made them. George Catlin has been called the “first artis more...
    Amazon Says: The first biography in over sixty years of a great American artist whose paintings are more famous than the man who made them. George Catlin has been called the “first artist of the West,” as none before him lived among and painted the Native American tribes of the Northern Plains. After a false start as a painter of miniatures, Catlin found his calling: to fix the image of a “vanishing race” before their “extermination”—his word—by a government greedy for their lands. In the first six years of the 1830s, he created over six hundred portraits—unforgettable likenesses of individual chiefs, warriors, braves, squaws, and children belonging to more than thirty tribes living along the upper Missouri River. Political forces thwarted Catlin’s ambition to sell what he called his “Indian Gallery” as a national collection, and in 1840 the artist began three decades of self-imposed exile abroad. For a time, his exhibitions and writings made him the most celebrated American expatriate in London and Paris. He was toasted by Queen Victoria and breakfasted with King Louis-Philippe, who created a special gallery in the Louvre to show his pictures. But when he started to tour “live” troupes of Ojibbewa and Iowa, Catlin and his fortunes declined: He changed from artist to showman, and from advocate to exploiter of his native performers. Tragedy and loss engulfed both. This brilliant and humane portrait brings to life George Catlin and his Indian subjects for our own time. An American original, he still personifies the artist as a figure of controversy, torn by conflicting demands of art and success. 8 pages of color, 8 pages of black-and-white illustrations less...
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    Country Girl: A Memoir by Edna O'Brien
    Amazon Says: "Country Girl is Edna O'Brien's exquisite account of her dashing, barrier-busting, up-and-down life."--National Public Radio When Edna O'Brien's first novel, The Country Girl more...
    Amazon Says: "Country Girl is Edna O'Brien's exquisite account of her dashing, barrier-busting, up-and-down life."--National Public Radio When Edna O'Brien's first novel, The Country Girls, was published in 1960, it so scandalized the O'Briens' local parish that the book was burned by its priest. O'Brien was undeterred and has since created a body of work that bears comparison with the best writing of the twentieth century. Country Girl brings us face-to-face with a life of high drama and contemplation. Starting with O'Brien's birth in a grand but deteriorating house in Ireland, her story moves through convent school to elopement, divorce, single-motherhood, the wild parties of the '60s in London, and encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars, and literary titans. There is love and unrequited love, and the glamour of trips to America as a celebrated writer and the guest of Jackie Onassis and Hillary Clinton. Country Girl is a rich and heady accounting of the events, people, emotions, and landscape that have imprinted upon and enhanced one lifetime. less...
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    Amazon Says: “Welcome to Rockwell Land,” writes Deborah Solomon in the introduction to this spirited and authoritative biography of the painter who provided twentieth-century America w more...
    Amazon Says: “Welcome to Rockwell Land,” writes Deborah Solomon in the introduction to this spirited and authoritative biography of the painter who provided twentieth-century America with a defining image of itself. As the star illustrator of The Saturday Evening Post for nearly half a century, Norman Rockwell mingled fact and fiction in paintings that reflected the we-the-people, communitarian ideals of American democracy. Freckled Boy Scouts and their mutts, sprightly grandmothers, a young man standing up to speak at a town hall meeting, a little black girl named Ruby Bridges walking into an all-white school—here was an America whose citizens seemed to believe in equality and gladness for all.            Who was this man who served as our unofficial “artist in chief” and bolstered our country’s national identity?  Behind the folksy, pipe-smoking façade lay a surprisingly complex figure—a lonely painter who suffered from depression and was consumed by a sense of inadequacy. He wound up in treatment with the celebrated psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. In fact, Rockwell moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts so that he and his wife could be near Austen Riggs, a leading psychiatric hospital. “What’s interesting is how Rockwell’s personal desire for inclusion and normalcy spoke to the national desire for inclusion and normalcy,” writes Solomon. “His work mirrors his own temperament—his sense of humor, his fear of depths—and struck Americans as a truer version of themselves than the sallow, solemn, hard-bitten Puritans they knew from eighteenth-century portraits.”           Deborah Solomon, a biographer and art critic, draws on a wealth of unpublished letters and documents to explore the relationship between Rockwell’s despairing personality and his genius for reflecting America’s brightest hopes. “The thrill of his work,” she writes, “is that he was able to use a commercial form [that of magazine illustration] to thrash out his private obsessions.” In American Mirror, Solomon trains her perceptive eye not only on Rockwell and his art but on the development of visual journalism as it evolved from illustration in the 1920s to photography in the 1930s to television in the 1950s. She offers vivid cameos of the many famous Americans whom Rockwell counted as friends, including President Dwight Eisenhower, the folk artist Grandma Moses, the rock musician Al Kooper, and the generation of now-forgotten painters who ushered in the Golden Age of illustration, especially J. C. Leyendecker, the reclusive legend who created the Arrow Collar Man.            Although derided by critics in his lifetime as a mere illustrator whose work could not compete with that of the Abstract Expressionists and other modern art movements, Rockwell has since attracted a passionate following in the art world. His faith in the power of storytelling puts his work in sync with the current art scene. American Mirror brilliantly explains why he deserves to be remembered as an American master of the first rank.   less...
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    Amazon Says: One of the New York Times’s Best Ten Books of the Year Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction Winner of the 2014 J. Anthony Lukas more...
    Amazon Says: One of the New York Times’s Best Ten Books of the Year Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction Winner of the 2014 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Ridenhour Book Prize, and the SIBA 2014 Book Award for Nonfiction An ALA Notable Book, finalist for the NYPL 2014 Helen Bernstein Award, finalist for the SIBA Book Award, shortlisted for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Award, and shortlisted for ALA Andrew Carnegie Medal An NPR “Great Reads” Book, a Chicago Tribune Best Book, a Seattle Times Best Book, a Time Magazine Best Book, Entertainment Weekly’s #1 Nonfiction Book, a Christian Science Monitor Best Book, and a Kansas City Star Best Book Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice. In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing. In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.   less...
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    Amazon Says: From a MacArthur Fellow and the author of The Good Soldiers, a profound look at life after war The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, more...
    Amazon Says: From a MacArthur Fellow and the author of The Good Soldiers, a profound look at life after war The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, but none has reckoned with the psychology of these wars as intimately as the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel. For The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel embedded with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion during the infamous “surge,” a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed them all forever. In Finkel’s hands, readers can feel what these young men were experiencing, and his harrowing story instantly became a classic in the literature of modern war.      In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel has done something even more extraordinary. Once again, he has embedded with some of the men of the 2-16—but this time he has done it at home, here in the States, after their deployments have ended. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done.      The story Finkel tells is mesmerizing, impossible to put down. With his unparalleled ability to report a story, he climbs into the hearts and minds of those he writes about. Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of these two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for? One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2013 One of The Washington Post’s Top 10 Books of the Year A New York Times Notable Book of 2013 An NPR Best Book of 2013 A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013 less...
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    Amazon Says: A New York Times Bestseller “A book full of both literary grace and hard-won world-weariness... Iggy Pop meets Jim Carroll and Charles Bukowski” –Kirkus, STARRE more...
    Amazon Says: A New York Times Bestseller “A book full of both literary grace and hard-won world-weariness... Iggy Pop meets Jim Carroll and Charles Bukowski” –Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW Back in his broken hometown, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charlie LeDuff searches through the ruins for clues to its fate, his family’s, and his own. Detroit is where his mother’s flower shop was firebombed in the pre-Halloween orgy of arson known as Devil’s Night; where his sister lost herself to the west side streets; where his brother, who once sold subprime mortgages with skill and silk, now works in a factory cleaning Chinese-manufactured screws so they can be repackaged as “May Be Made in United States.” Having led us on the way up, Detroit now seems to be leading us on the way down. Once the richest city in America, Detroit is now the nation’s poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age—mass production, blue-collar jobs, and automobiles—Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, dropouts, and foreclosures. It is an eerie and angry place of deserted factories and abandoned homes and forgotten people. Trees and switchgrass and wild animals have come back to reclaim their right¬ful places. Coyotes are here. The pigeons have left. A city the size of San Francisco and Manhattan could neatly fit into Detroit’s vacant lots. After revealing that the city’s murder rate is higher than the official police number—making it the highest in the country—a weary old detective tells LeDuff, “In this city two plus two equals three.” With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation only a native son possesses, LeDuff sets out to uncover what destroyed his city. He embeds with a local fire brigade struggling to defend its city against systemic arson and bureaucratic corruption. He investigates politicians of all stripes, from the smooth-talking mayor to career police officials to ministers of the backstreets, following the paperwork to discover who benefits from Detroit’s decline. He beats on the doors of union bosses and homeless squatters, powerful businessmen and struggling homeowners, and the ordinary people holding the city together by sheer determination. If Detroit is America’s vanguard in good times and bad, then here is the only place to turn for guid¬ance in our troubled era. While redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city, Detroit: An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable. LeDuff shares an unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer. Detroit is a dark comedy of the absurdity of American life in the twenty-first century, a deeply human drama of colossal greed and endurance, ignorance and courage. less...
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    Amazon Says: In this remarkable legal page-turner, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Barry Siegel recounts the dramatic, decades-long saga of Bill Macumber, imprisoned for thirty-eight y more...
    Amazon Says: In this remarkable legal page-turner, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Barry Siegel recounts the dramatic, decades-long saga of Bill Macumber, imprisoned for thirty-eight years for a double homicide he denies committing. In the spring of 1962, a school bus full of students stumbled across a mysterious crime scene on an isolated stretch of Arizona desert: an abandoned car and two bodies. This brutal murder of a young couple bewildered the sheriff ’s department of Maricopa County for years. Despite a few promising leads—including several chilling confessions from Ernest Valenzuela, a violent repeat offender—the case went cold. More than a decade later, a clerk in the sheriff ’s department, Carol Macumber, came forward to tell police that her estranged husband had confessed to the murders. Though the evidence linking Bill Macumber to the incident was questionable, he was arrested and charged with the crime. During his trial, the judge refused to allow the confession of now-deceased Ernest Valenzuela to be admitted as evidence in part because of the attorney-client privilege. Bill Macumber was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.The case, rife with extraordinary irregularities, attracted the sustained involvement of the Arizona Justice Project, one of the first and most respected of the non-profit groups that represent victims of manifest injustice across the country. With more twists and turns than a Hollywood movie, Macumber’s story illuminates startling, upsetting truths about our justice system, which kept a possibly innocent man locked up for almost forty years, and introduces readers to the generations of dedicated lawyers who never stopped working on his behalf, lawyers who ultimately achieved stunning results. With precise journalistic detail, intimate access and masterly storytelling, Barry Siegel will change your understanding of American jurisprudence, police procedure, and what constitutes justice in our country today. less...
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    Amazon Says: National Book Award Finalist A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, more...
    Amazon Says: National Book Award Finalist A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard. We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract. In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is. less...
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    Amazon Says: “Anything we take for granted, Mr. Everett means to show us, may turn out to be a lie.” —Wall Street Journal* Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize * Finalist f more...
    Amazon Says: “Anything we take for granted, Mr. Everett means to show us, may turn out to be a lie.” —Wall Street Journal* Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize * Finalist for the PEN / Faulkner Award for Fiction *A story inside a story inside a story. A man visits his aging father in a nursing home, where his father writes the novel he imagines his son would write. Or is it the novel that the son imagines his father would imagine, if he were to imagine the kind of novel the son would write?Let’s simplify: a woman seeks an apprenticeship with a painter, claiming to be his long-lost daughter. A contractor-for-hire named Murphy can’t distinguish between the two brothers who employ him. And in Murphy’s troubled dreams, Nat Turner imagines the life of William Styron. These narratives twist together with anecdotes from the nursing home, each building on the other until they crest in a wild, outlandish excursion of the inmates led by the father. Anchoring these shifting plotlines is a running commentary between father and son that sheds doubt on the truthfulness of each story. Because, after all, what narrator can we ever trust?Not only is Percival Everett by Virgil Russell a powerful, compassionate meditation on old age and its humiliations, it is an ingenious culmination of Everett’s recurring preoccupations. All of his prior work, his metaphysical and philosophical inquiries, his investigations into the nature of narrative, have led to this masterful book. Percival Everett has never been more cunning, more brilliant and subversive, than he is in this, his most important and elusive novel to date. less...
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    The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
    Amazon Says: From the New York Times best-selling author of The Emperor’s Children, a masterly new novel: the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed and betrayed by a desir more...
    Amazon Says: From the New York Times best-selling author of The Emperor’s Children, a masterly new novel: the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed and betrayed by a desire for a world beyond her own. Nora Eldridge, an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, long ago compromised her dream to be a successful artist, mother and lover. She has instead become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and neighbor always on the fringe of others’ achievements. Then into her life arrives the glamorous and cosmopolitan Shahids—her new student Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale, and his parents: Skandar, a dashing Lebanese professor who has come to Boston for a fellowship at Harvard, and Sirena, an effortlessly alluring Italian artist. When Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies, Nora is drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family; she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora’s happiness explodes her boundaries, and she discovers in herself an unprecedented ferocity—one that puts her beliefs and her sense of self at stake. Told with urgency, intimacy and piercing emotion, this brilliant novel of passion and artistic fulfillment explores the intensity, thrill—and the devastating cost—of embracing an authentic life. less...
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    Amazon Says: A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki—shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award more...
    Amazon Says: A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki—shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award “A?time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.” In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.     less...
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    Spectacle: Stories by Susan Steinberg
    Amazon Says: An inventive new collection from the author of Hydroplane and The End of Free Love* A San Francisco Chronicle, Complex, Flavorwire, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Largehearted Boy and Slau more...
    Amazon Says: An inventive new collection from the author of Hydroplane and The End of Free Love* A San Francisco Chronicle, Complex, Flavorwire, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Largehearted Boy and Slaughterhouse 90210 Best Book of the Year *In these innovative linked stories, women confront loss and grief as they sift through the wreckage of their lives. In the title story, a woman struggles with the death of her friend in a plane crash. A daughter decides whether to take her father off life support in the Pushcart Prize-winning “Cowboys.” And in “Underthings,” when a man hits his girlfriend, she calls it an accident. Spectacle bears witness to alarming and strange incidents: carnival rides and plane crashes, affairs spied through keyholes and amateur porn, vandalism and petty theft. These wounded women stand at the edge of disaster and risk it all to speak their sharpest secrets.In lean, acrobatic prose, Susan Steinberg subverts assumptions about narrative and challenges conventional gender roles. She delivers insight with a fierce lyric intensity in sentences shorn of excessive sentiment or unnecessary ornament. By fusing style and story, Steinberg amplifies the connections between themes and characters so that each devastating revelation echoes throughout the collection. A vital and turbulent book from a distinctive voice, Spectacle will break your heart, and then, before the last page is turned, will bind it up anew.“Experimental but never opaque, Steinberg’s stories seethe with real and imagined menace.” —Publishers Weekly less...
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    The Maid's Version: A Novel by Daniel Woodrell
    Amazon Says: The American master's first novel since Winter's Bone (2006) tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations. Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of thr more...
    Amazon Says: The American master's first novel since Winter's Bone (2006) tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations. Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident? Alma thinks she knows the answer-and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. Her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. By telling her story to her grandson, she finally gains some solace-and peace for her sister. He is advised to "Tell it. Go on and tell it"-tell the story of his family's struggles, suspicions, secrets, and triumphs. less...
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    We Need New Names: A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo
    Amazon Says: A remarkable literary debut -- shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize! The unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America. Darling is more...
    Amazon Says: A remarkable literary debut -- shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize! The unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America. Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo's belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the school closed, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad. But Darling has a chance to escape: she has an aunt in America. She travels to this new land in search of America's famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few. NoViolet Bulawayo's debut calls to mind the great storytellers of displacement and arrival who have come before her-from Junot Diaz to Zadie Smith to J.M. Coetzee-while she tells a vivid, raw story all her own. less...
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    The Night Guest: A Novel by Fiona McFarlane
    Amazon Says: A mesmerizing first novel about trust, dependence, and fear, from a major new writer Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of more...
    Amazon Says: A mesmerizing first novel about trust, dependence, and fear, from a major new writer Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small. One day a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. This woman—Frida—claims to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth lets her in.      Now that Frida is in her house, is Ruth right to fear the tiger she hears on the prowl at night, far from its jungle habitat? Why do memories of childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency? How far can she trust this mysterious woman, Frida, who seems to carry with her own troubled past? And how far can Ruth trust herself?      The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane’s hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, trust, dependence, and fear; about processes of colonization; and about things (and people) in places they shouldn’t be. Here is a new writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to describe the mysterious workings of our minds. A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013 less...
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    I Want To Show You More by Jamie Quatro
    Amazon Says: “A brilliant new voice in American fiction has arrived. Bright, sharp, startling, utterly distinctive, passionate, and secretive, Quatro’s stories are missives from deep more...
    Amazon Says: “A brilliant new voice in American fiction has arrived. Bright, sharp, startling, utterly distinctive, passionate, and secretive, Quatro’s stories are missives from deep within the landscape of American womanhood. . . . She has earned a place alongside Amy Hempel, Lydia Davis, and Alice Munro.”—David Means “Fasten your seat belt: Jamie Quatro is a writer of great talent who knows how to take a dark turn without ever tapping the brakes and then bring you back into daylight with breathtaking precision. These amazing stories explore the human boundaries between the physical world and the spiritual—lust, betrayal, and loss in perfect balance with love, redemption, and grace.”—Jill McCorkle Sharp-edged and fearless, mixing white-hot yearning with daring humor, Jamie Quatro’s debut collection is a beautiful and disquieting portrait of infidelity, faith, and family. The hypnotically intimate, urgent stories in I Want to Show You More are about lives stretched between spirituality and sexuality in the New American South. In narrative modes ranging from the traditional to the fabulist, these stories are interconnected explorations of God, illicit sex, raising children—and running. Jamie Quatro’s stories confront us with dark theological complexities, fractured marriages, and mercurial temptations: a wife comes home with her husband to find her lover’s corpse in their bed; a teenager attends a Bible Camp where he seduces a young cancer survivor with hopes of curing his own rare condition; marathon runners on a Civil War battlefield must carry phallic statues and are punished if they choose to unload their burdens; a girl’s embarrassment over attending a pool party with her quadriplegic mother turns to fierce devotion under the pitying gaze of other guests; and a husband asks his wife to show him how she would make love to another man. I Want to Show You More unleashes Quatro’s exhilarating talent for exposing the quiet terrors of modern life with stunning and subversive energy. less...
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    Amazon Says: The stories in The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, a collection from Ethan Rutherford, map the surprising ways in which the world we think we know can unexpectedly revea more...
    Amazon Says: The stories in The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, a collection from Ethan Rutherford, map the surprising ways in which the world we think we know can unexpectedly reveal its darker contours.In stories that are alternately funny, persuasive, and compelling, unforgettable characters are confronted with, and battle against, the limitations of their lives.Rutherford’s work has been selected by Alice Sebold for inclusion in the volume of The Best American Short Stories that she edited, and also published in Ploughshares, One Story, and American Short Fiction. less...
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    Amazon Says: L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist (Graphic Novel/Comics) 2013Eisner Award Nomination (Best U.S. Edition of International Material)In Incidents in the Night David B. more...
    Amazon Says: L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist (Graphic Novel/Comics) 2013Eisner Award Nomination (Best U.S. Edition of International Material)In Incidents in the Night David B. sets out to explore the uncharted territories of overflowing and dusty shelves of Paris' legendary book shops. His journey quickly turns into an obsessive vision quest in pursuit of a mysterious nineteenth-century journal: Incidents In the Night. Mountains of books become sites of archeological digs as the author excavates layers of myth, fact and fiction in search of the elusive thread that links them all. Along the way he stumbles on fanatical Bonapartists, occult conspiracies and the angel of death. Incidents in the Night is an intricate, ever-expanding web of dream and reality exquisitely translated by Brian Evenson.David B. is one of France's finest cartoonists and one of the co-founders of the legendary L'Association collective. He is the author a many books: The Armed Garden and Noctural Conspiracies, among many others. Epileptic was was awarded Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize for Scenario and the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist.Brian Evenson is the author of ten books of fiction. He is the winner of the International Horror Guild Award, and the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, and others. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship. He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. less...
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    Amazon Says: **Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year 2013** **NPR's Best Books of the Year 2013** WITH BEAUTIFUL FULL-COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT From one of the most original and more...
    Amazon Says: **Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year 2013** **NPR's Best Books of the Year 2013** WITH BEAUTIFUL FULL-COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT From one of the most original and imaginative American cartoonists at work today comes a collection of graphic narratives on the subjects of urban planning, product design, and architecture—a surrealist handbook for the rebuilding of society in the twenty-first century. Ben Katchor, a master at twisting mundane commodities into surreal objects of social significance, now takes on the many ways our property influences and reflects cultural values. Here are window-ledge pillows designed expressly for people-watching and a forest of artificial trees for sufferers of hay fever. The Brotherhood of Immaculate Consumption deals with the matter of products that outlive their owners; a school of dance is based upon the choreographic motion of paying with cash; high-visibility construction vests are marketed to lonely people as a method of getting noticed. With cutting wit Katchor reveals a world similar to our own—lives are defined by possessions, consumerism is a kind of spirituality—but also slightly, fabulously askew. Frequently and brilliantly bizarre, and always mesmerizing, Hand-Drying in America ensures that you will never look at a building, a bar of soap, or an ATM the same way. less...
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    Amazon Says: A powerful debut graphic memoir. Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and more...
    Amazon Says: A powerful debut graphic memoir. Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece. Miraculously combining a perfect memory for both emotional and physical detail with the sometimes painful lucidity two and half decades’ distance have brought to her understanding of the events, Lust meticulously shows the who, where, when, and how (specifically, how an often penniless young girl can survive for months on the road) of a sometimes dangerous and sometimes exhilarating journey. Particularly haunting is her portrait of her fellow traveler, the gangly, promiscuous devil-may-care Edi who veers from being her spunky, funny best friend in the world to an out-of-control lunatic with no consideration for anything but her own whims and desires. Universally considered one of the very finest examples of the new breed of graphic novels coming from Europe, Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life won the 2011 Angouleme “Revelation” prize, and Fantagraphics is proud to bring it to English speaking readers. Two color throughout less...
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    Amazon Says: From “the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman” (Economist) comes a monumental, wordless depiction of the most infamous day of World War I. Launched on July 1, 1916, the Ba more...
    Amazon Says: From “the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman” (Economist) comes a monumental, wordless depiction of the most infamous day of World War I. Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted. In The Great War, acclaimed cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot- long panorama: from General Douglas Haig and the massive artillery positions behind the trench lines to the legions of soldiers going “over the top” and getting cut down in no-man’s-land, to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers retreating and the dead being buried en masse. Printed on fine accordion-fold paper and packaged in a deluxe slipcase with a 16-page booklet, The Great War is a landmark in Sacco’s illustrious career and allows us to see the War to End All Wars as we’ve never seen it before. 24 plates less...
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    FDR and the Jews by Richard Breitman
    Amazon Says: Nearly seventy-five years after World War II, a contentious debate lingers over whether Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned his back on the Jews of Hitler's Europe. Defenders cla more...
    Amazon Says: Nearly seventy-five years after World War II, a contentious debate lingers over whether Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned his back on the Jews of Hitler's Europe. Defenders claim that FDR saved millions of potential victims by defeating Nazi Germany. Others revile him as morally indifferent and indict him for keeping America's gates closed to Jewish refugees and failing to bomb Auschwitz's gas chambers. In an extensive examination of this impassioned debate, Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman find that the president was neither savior nor bystander. In FDR and the Jews, they draw upon many new primary sources to offer an intriguing portrait of a consummate politician-compassionate but also pragmatic-struggling with opposing priorities under perilous conditions. For most of his presidency Roosevelt indeed did little to aid the imperiled Jews of Europe. He put domestic policy priorities ahead of helping Jews and deferred to others' fears of an anti-Semitic backlash. Yet he also acted decisively at times to rescue Jews, often withstanding contrary pressures from his advisers and the American public. Even Jewish citizens who petitioned the president could not agree on how best to aid their co-religionists abroad. Though his actions may seem inadequate in retrospect, the authors bring to light a concerned leader whose efforts on behalf of Jews were far greater than those of any other world figure. His moral position was tempered by the political realities of depression and war, a conflict all too familiar to American politicians in the twenty-first century. less...
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    Amazon Says: One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the YearWinner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is hist more...
    Amazon Says: One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the YearWinner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark’s riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself, but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict.Clark traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts between the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade, and examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers is a dramatic and authoritative chronicle of Europe’s descent into a war that tore the world apart. less...
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    Amazon Says: In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches. She was raised by the tribe and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years more...
    Amazon Says: In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches. She was raised by the tribe and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity. Cynthia Ann's story has been told and re-told over generations to become a foundational American tale. The myth gave rise to operas and one-act plays, and in the 1950s to a novel by Alan LeMay, which would be adapted into one of Hollywood's most legendary films, The Searchers, "The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest... and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made!" directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. Glenn Frankel, beginning in Hollywood and then returning to the origins of the story, creates a rich and nuanced anatomy of a timeless film and a quintessentially American myth. The dominant story that has emerged departs dramatically from documented history: it is of the inevitable triumph of white civilization, underpinned by anxiety about the sullying of white women by "savages." What makes John Ford's film so powerful, and so important, Frankel argues, is that it both upholds that myth and undermines it, baring the ambiguities surrounding race, sexuality, and violence in the settling of the West and the making of America. less...
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    Amazon Says: One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. “A tale so gripp more...
    Amazon Says: One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. “A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue” (Associated Press). The gap between rich and poor has never been wider…legislative stalemate paralyzes the country…corporations resist federal regulations…spectacular mergers produce giant companies…the influence of money in politics deepens…bombs explode in crowded streets…small wars proliferate far from our shores…a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life. These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit—a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history. The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure. Goodwin’s narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt’s death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men. The Bully Pulpit, like Goodwin’s brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history—an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals. less...
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    Amazon Says: Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for History This searing story of slavery and freedom in the Chesapeake by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian reveals the pivo more...
    Amazon Says: Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for History This searing story of slavery and freedom in the Chesapeake by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian reveals the pivot in the nation’s path between the founding and civil war. Frederick Douglass recalled that slaves living along Chesapeake Bay longingly viewed sailing ships as "freedom’s swift-winged angels." In 1813 those angels appeared in the bay as British warships coming to punish the Americans for declaring war on the empire. Over many nights, hundreds of slaves paddled out to the warships seeking protection for their families from the ravages of slavery. The runaways pressured the British admirals into becoming liberators. As guides, pilots, sailors, and marines, the former slaves used their intimate knowledge of the countryside to transform the war. They enabled the British to escalate their onshore attacks and to capture and burn Washington, D.C. Tidewater masters had long dreaded their slaves as "an internal enemy." By mobilizing that enemy, the war ignited the deepest fears of Chesapeake slaveholders. It also alienated Virginians from a national government that had neglected their defense. Instead they turned south, their interests aligning more and more with their section. In 1820 Thomas Jefferson observed of sectionalism: "Like a firebell in the night [it] awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once the knell of the union." The notes of alarm in Jefferson's comment speak of the fear aroused by the recent crisis over slavery in his home state. His vision of a cataclysm to come proved prescient. Jefferson's startling observation registered a turn in the nation’s course, a pivot from the national purpose of the founding toward the threat of disunion. Drawn from new sources, Alan Taylor's riveting narrative re-creates the events that inspired black Virginians, haunted slaveholders, and set the nation on a new and dangerous course. 35 illustrations; 4 maps less...
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    Amazon Says: The Maasai believe in two gods. Enkai Narok, the Black God, is benign. Enkai Nanyokie, the Red God, is the god of anger, vengeance, and death. Nairobi, 2007. In Africa’s sp more...
    Amazon Says: The Maasai believe in two gods. Enkai Narok, the Black God, is benign. Enkai Nanyokie, the Red God, is the god of anger, vengeance, and death. Nairobi, 2007. In Africa’s sprawling megacity, a small elite holds power over an impoverished, restless majority. Corruption, exploitation, and ethnic rivalry are part of everyday life. Amid claims of vote rigging and fraud, the presidential elections could be the spark that sets this city ablaze.      With chaos looming, few care about one dead prostitute. But Detective Mollel does. For Mollel is a former Maasai warrior, and the dead girl was a Maasai, too.      As he ventures from slums to skyscrapers, from suburbs to sewers, Mollel begins to realize that there is more at stake than just this murder. But even as he is forced to confront his turbulent past, he begins to doubt his warrior’s instincts.      Can Mollel manage to find the killer and solve the case before the Red God consumes all?      With the sophistication of Ian Rankin and Colin Harrison, and set against the backdrop of Kenya’s turbulent 2007 elections, Richard Crompton’s Hour of the Red God brings Nairobi vividly to life: gritty and modern, with an extraordinary blend of tribal and urban elements. In this dark thriller, tradition and power collide, arriving at a shocking, unforgettable end. And in the Maasai hero Mollel, a new detective icon is born.  One of Publishers Weekly's Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2013 less...
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    The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
    Amazon Says: The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran more...
    Amazon Says: The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this. less...
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    Sycamore Row by John Grisham
    Amazon Says: John Grisham takes you back to where it all began . . . John Grisham's A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous cour more...
    Amazon Says: John Grisham takes you back to where it all began . . . John Grisham's A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial-a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history. Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row? In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America's favorite storyteller. Here, in his most assured and thrilling novel yet, is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller, nearly twenty-five years after the publication of A Time to Kill. less...
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    The Rage by Gene Kerrigan
    Amazon Says: Vincent Naylor, just released from jail, resumes doing what he does best, planning for an armored car robbery. Bob Tidey, an honest policeman, discouraged by his colleagues ma more...
    Amazon Says: Vincent Naylor, just released from jail, resumes doing what he does best, planning for an armored car robbery. Bob Tidey, an honest policeman, discouraged by his colleagues making deals with criminals and about to commit perjury, is investigating the murder of a crooked banker. A call from an old acquaintance will change his course of investigation. Maura Coady, a retired nun living on regrets and bad memories, sees something that she can't ignore and decides to tell someone. She makes a phone call that sets in motion a violent fate. less...
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    The Collini Case: A Novel by Ferdinand von Schirach
    Amazon Says: The internationally bestselling courtroom drama centering on a young German lawyer and a case involving World War II A bestseller in Germany since its 2011 rele more...
    Amazon Says: The internationally bestselling courtroom drama centering on a young German lawyer and a case involving World War II A bestseller in Germany since its 2011 release—with rights sold in seventeen countries—The Collini Case combines the classic courtroom procedural with modern European history in a legal thriller worthy of John Grisham and Scott Turow. Fabrizio Collini is recently retired. He’s a quiet, unassuming man with no indications that he’s capable of hurting anyone. And yet he brutally murders a prominent industrialist in one of Berlin’s most exclusive hotels. Collini ends up in the charge of Caspar Leinen, a rookie defense lawyer eager to launch his career with a not-guilty verdict. Complications soon arise when Collini admits to the murder but refuses to give his motive, much less speak to anyone. As Leinen searches for clues he discovers a personal connection to the victim and unearths a terrible truth at the heart of Germany’s legal system that stretches back to World War II. But how much is he willing to sacrifice to expose the truth?   less...
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    Hello, the Roses by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
    Amazon Says: American poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge makes her New Directions debut with this breathtaking new collection A poet of “epic perception” and “subtle music,” Mei-mei Bersse more...
    Amazon Says: American poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge makes her New Directions debut with this breathtaking new collection A poet of “epic perception” and “subtle music,” Mei-mei Berssenbrugge opens form into long, shimmering lines of profound emotional intensity and multivalent voices, splintered with space, silence, and desert light. Her new collection of poems, Hello, the Roses, is composed of three parts. The opening poems delve into an array of unities, of myth and landscape, fashion and culture, experience and forgetting, boys and ravens. The central poems explore an invisible world where plants, animals, and the self communicate and coexist. The final part contemplates the individual’s relationship to night, weather, and cosmological time as Berssenbrugge limns a karmic temporal continuum, a mandala of perception. Throughout are the roses, transforming slowly, almost imperceptibly,deepening awareness, creating fields: a rosette of civilization — a wild rose, a Delphic rose, imagined roses, white cabbage roses, an Apache rose, a Bourbon rose, our sacred mortality “saturated with being” in pink petals and gray-green leaves. Hello, the Roses is poetry enraptured with the phenomenal fullness of the world. less...
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    Debts & Lessons by Lynn Xu
    Amazon Says: The poems in Lynn Xu’s striking debut collection, Debts & Lessons, travel under the power of history’s illusory engine and echo its ululations of love, violence, and lamen more...
    Amazon Says: The poems in Lynn Xu’s striking debut collection, Debts & Lessons, travel under the power of history’s illusory engine and echo its ululations of love, violence, and lament. Named after the first part of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, this book also finds its way across oceans and between languages, as the poet looks to the dead for guidance amid the abstractions of contemporary life. Xu pays her phantoms (and her readers) with the dream-currency of hallucinatory songs, which balance her finely-tuned ear against a world of awakenings. less...
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    Amazon Says: We are profoundly social creatures – more than we know.  In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuro more...
    Amazon Says: We are profoundly social creatures – more than we know.  In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience revealing that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter.  Because of this, our brain uses its spare time to learn about the social world – other people and our relation to them. It is believed that we must commit 10,000 hours to master a skill.  According to Lieberman, each of us has spent 10,000 hours learning to make sense of people and groups by the time we are ten.   Social argues that our need to reach out to and connect with others is a primary driver behind our behavior.  We believe that pain and pleasure alone guide our actions.  Yet, new research using fMRI – including a great deal of original research conducted by Lieberman and his UCLA lab -- shows that our brains react to social pain and pleasure in much the same way as they do to physical pain and pleasure.  Fortunately, the brain has evolved sophisticated mechanisms for securing our place in the social world.  We have a unique ability to read other people’s minds, to figure out their hopes, fears, and motivations, allowing us to effectively coordinate our lives with one another.  And our most private sense of who we are is intimately linked to the important people and groups in our lives.  This wiring often leads us to restrain our selfish impulses for the greater good.  These mechanisms lead to behavior that might seem irrational, but is really just the result of our deep social wiring and necessary for our success as a species.   Based on the latest cutting edge research, the findings in Social have important real-world implications.  Our schools and businesses, for example, attempt to minimalize social distractions.  But this is exactly the wrong thing to do to encourage engagement and learning, and literally shuts down the social brain, leaving powerful neuro-cognitive resources untapped.  The insights revealed in this pioneering book suggest ways to improve learning in schools, make the workplace more productive, and improve our overall well-being.  less...
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    Amazon Says: FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE IN SCIENCE What can’t neuroscience tell us about ourselves? Since fMRI—functional magnetic resonance imaging—was int more...
    Amazon Says: FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE IN SCIENCE What can’t neuroscience tell us about ourselves? Since fMRI—functional magnetic resonance imaging—was introduced in the early 1990s, brain scans have been used to help politicians understand and manipulate voters, determine guilt in court cases, and make sense of everything from musical aptitude to romantic love. But although brain scans and other neurotechnologies have provided groundbreaking insights into the workings of the human brain, the increasingly fashionable idea that they are the most important means of answering the enduring mysteries of psychology is misguided—and potentially dangerous. In Brainwashed, psychiatrist and AEI scholar Sally Satel and psychologist Scott O. Lilienfeld reveal how many of the real-world applications of human neuroscience gloss over its limitations and intricacies, at times obscuring—rather than clarifying—the myriad factors that shape our behavior and identities. Brain scans, Satel and Lilienfeld show, are useful but often ambiguous representations of a highly complex system. Each region of the brain participates in a host of experiences and interacts with other regions, so seeing one area light up on an fMRI in response to a stimulus doesn’t automatically indicate a particular sensation or capture the higher cognitive functions that come from those interactions. The narrow focus on the brain’s physical processes also assumes that our subjective experiences can be explained away by biology alone. As Satel and Lilienfeld explain, this “neurocentric” view of the mind risks undermining our most deeply held ideas about selfhood, free will, and personal responsibility, putting us at risk of making harmful mistakes, whether in the courtroom, interrogation room, or addiction treatment clinic. A provocative account of our obsession with neuroscience, Brainwashed brilliantly illuminates what contemporary neuroscience and brain imaging can and cannot tell us about ourselves, providing a much-needed reminder about the many factors that make us who we are. less...
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    Amazon Says: Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and mi more...
    Amazon Says: Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals.      Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a fish? Or a parrot, dolphin, or elephant?  Do they experience thoughts that are similar to ours, or have feelings of grief and love? These are tough questions, but scientists are answering them. They know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, and that rats love to be tickled. They’ve discovered that dogs have thousand-word vocabularies, that parrots and dolphins have names, and that birds practice their songs in their sleep. But how do scientists know these things?    Animal Wise takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals from ants to wolves, and among the pioneering researchers who are leading the way into once-forbidden territory: the animal mind. With thirty years of experience covering the sciences, Morell uses her formidable gifts as a story-teller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to animal-cognition scientists and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects.  She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do.  She probes the moral and ethical dilemmas  of recognizing that even “lesser animals”  have cognitive abilities such as  memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness–traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique  to human beings.    By standing behaviorism on its head, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply felt appreciation of the human-animal bond, and she shares her admiration for the men and women who have simultaneously chipped away at what we think makes us distinctive while offering a glimpse of where our own abilities come from. less...
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    Amazon Says: In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, more...
    Amazon Says: In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How? As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past suggests that we are overdue for a catastrophic disaster, whether caused by nature or by human interference. It’s a frightening prospect, as each of the Earth’s past major disasters—from meteor strikes to bombardment by cosmic radiation—resulted in a mass extinction, where more than 75 percent of the planet’s species died out. But in Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Annalee Newitz, science journalist and editor of the science Web site io9.com explains that although global disaster is all but inevitable, our chances of long-term species survival are better than ever. Life on Earth has come close to annihilation—humans have, more than once, narrowly avoided extinction just during the last million years—but every single time a few creatures survived, evolving to adapt to the harshest of conditions.      This brilliantly speculative work of popular science focuses on humanity’s long history of dodging the bullet, as well as on new threats that we may face in years to come. Most important, it explores how scientific breakthroughs today will help us avoid disasters tomorrow. From simulating tsunamis to studying central Turkey’s ancient underground cities; from cultivating cyanobacteria for “living cities” to designing space elevators to make space colonies cost-effective; from using math to stop pandemics to studying the remarkable survival strategies of gray whales, scientists and researchers the world over are discovering the keys to long-term resilience and learning how humans can choose life over death.      Newitz’s remarkable and fascinating journey through the science of mass extinctions is a powerful argument about human ingenuity and our ability to change. In a world populated by doomsday preppers and media commentators obsessively forecasting our demise, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a compelling voice of hope. It leads us away from apocalyptic thinking into a future where we live to build a better world—on this planet and perhaps on others. Readers of this book will be equipped scientifically, intellectually, and emotionally to face whatever the future holds. less...
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    Amazon Says: A powerful investigation into the chances for humanity's future from the author of the bestseller The World Without Us. In his bestselling book The World Without Us, Alan Wei more...
    Amazon Says: A powerful investigation into the chances for humanity's future from the author of the bestseller The World Without Us. In his bestselling book The World Without Us, Alan Weisman considered how the Earth could heal and even refill empty niches if relieved of humanity's constant pressures. Behind that groundbreaking thought experiment was his hope that we would be inspired to find a way to add humans back to this vision of a restored, healthy planet-only in harmony, not mortal combat, with the rest of nature. But with a million more of us every 4 1/2 days on a planet that's not getting any bigger, and with our exhaust overheating the atmosphere and altering the chemistry of the oceans, prospects for a sustainable human future seem ever more in doubt. For this long awaited follow-up book, Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth--and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth? Weisman visits an extraordinary range of the world's cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems to learn what in their beliefs, histories, liturgies, or current circumstances might suggest that sometimes it's in their own best interest to limit their growth. The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent, and, ultimately, deeply hopeful. By vividly detailing the burgeoning effects of our cumulative presence, Countdown reveals what may be the fastest, most acceptable, practical, and affordable way of returning our planet and our presence on it to balance. Weisman again shows that he is one of the most provocative journalists at work today, with a book whose message is so compelling that it will change how we see our lives and our destiny. less...
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    Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
    Amazon Says: In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and h more...
    Amazon Says: In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to. Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? less...
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    Amazon Says: A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young more...
    Amazon Says: A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business. In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day? Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud's internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series. less...
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    Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
    Amazon Says: China,1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient more...
    Amazon Says: China,1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers - commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from "foreign devils." Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of "secondary devils" - Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity. ---- Boxers & Saints is an innovative new graphic novel in two volumes - the parallel stories of two young people caught up on opposite sides of a violent rift. American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang brings his clear-eyed storytelling and trademark magical realism to the complexities of the Boxer Rebellion and lays bare the foundations of extremism, rebellion, and faith. ---- Discover the other side of the Boxer Rebellion in Saints - the companion volume to Boxers. less...
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    Saints by Gene Luen Yang
    Amazon Says: China, 1898. An unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family. She finds friendship—and a name, Vibiana—in the most unlikely of places: more...
    Amazon Says: China, 1898. An unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family. She finds friendship—and a name, Vibiana—in the most unlikely of places: Christianity. But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is murdering Westerners and Chinese Christians alike. Torn between her nation and her Christian friends, Vibiana will have to decide where her true loyalties lie . . . and whether she is willing to die for her faith. ----Boxers & Saints is a groundbreaking graphic novel in two volumes. This innovative format presents two parallel tales about young people caught up on opposite sides of a violent rift. Saints tells Vibiana's story, and the companion volume, Boxers, tells the story of Little Bao, a young man who joins the Boxer Rebellion. American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang brings his trademark magical realism to the complexities of the Boxer Rebellion, and lays bare the universal foundations of extremism, rebellion, and faith. less...
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