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Staff Pick

Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today's Rip-Off Artists

Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today's Rip-Off Artists

Abagnale, Frank
$19.00
Are you at risk of being scammed? Former con artist and bestselling author of Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale shows you how to stop scammers in their tracks.

Maybe you're wondering how to make the scam phone calls stop. Perhaps someone has stolen your credit card number. Or you've been a victim of identity theft. Even if you haven't yet been the target of a crime, con artists are always out there, waiting for the right moment to steal your information, your money, and your life.

As one of the world's most respected authorities on the subjects of fraud, forgery, and cyber security, Frank Abagnale knows how scammers work. In Scam Me If You Can, he reveals the latest tricks that today's scammers, hackers, and con artists use to steal your money and personal information--often online and over the phone. Using plain language and vivid examples, Abagnale reveals hundreds of tips, including:

- The best way to protect your phone from being hacked
- The only time you should ever use a debit card
- The one type of photo you should never post on social media
- The only conditions under which you should use WiFi networks at the airport
- The safest way to use an ATM

With his simple but counterintuitive rules, Abagnale also makes use of his insider intel to paint a picture of cybercrimes that haven't become widespread yet.

Doug says: This is the book you need, everybody needs, not just seniors who are seriously scam-able, but even smart kids - get it! Reads with the verve and sharp prose of a great detective novel and it is a non-fiction how-to book.

Bird Way

Bird Way

Ackerman, Jennifer
$28.00
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, a radical investigation into the bird way of being, and the recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds -- how they live and how they think.

"There is the mammal way and there is the bird way." But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviors they have, for years, dismissed as anomalies or mysteries -- What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, how they communicate, forage, court, breed, survive. They are also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own: deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, infanticide, but also ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play.

Some of these extraordinary behaviors are biological conundrums that seem to push the edges of, well, birdness: a mother bird that kills her own infant sons, and another that selflessly tends to the young of other birds as if they were her own; a bird that collaborates in an extraordinary way with one species--ours--but parasitizes another in gruesome fashion; birds that give gifts and birds that steal; birds that dance or drum, that paint their creations or paint themselves; birds that build walls of sound to keep out intruders and birds that summon playmates with a special call--and may hold the secret to our own penchant for playfulness and the evolution of laughter.

Drawing on personal observations, the latest science, and her bird-related travel around the world, from the tropical rainforests of eastern Australia and the remote woodlands of northern Japan, to the rolling hills of lower Austria and the islands of Alaska's Kachemak Bay, Jennifer Ackerman shows there is clearly no single bird way of being. In every respect, in plumage, form, song, flight, lifestyle, niche, and behavior, birds vary. It is what we love about them. As E.O Wilson once said, when you have seen one bird, you have not seen them all.

James says -Extraordinary intel on birds I never knew existed! Required for bird lovers!

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

Adams, Mark
$16.00
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING TRAVEL MEMOIR

What happens when an unadventurous adventure writer tries to re-create the original expedition to Machu Picchu?

In 1911, Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and "discovered" Machu Picchu. While history has recast Bingham as a villain who stole both priceless artifacts and credit for finding the great archeological site, Mark Adams set out to retrace the explorer's perilous path in search of the truth--except he'd written about adventure far more than he'd actually lived it. In fact, he'd never even slept in a tent.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu is Adams' fascinating and funny account of his journey through some of the world's most majestic, historic, and remote landscapes guided only by a hard-as-nails Australian survivalist and one nagging question: Just what was Machu Picchu?

Nora says this book is one of the greatest adventure books of all time.

Americanah

Americanah

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
$16.95

From the award-winning, bestselling author of We Should All Be Feminists and Half of a Yellow Sun--the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race, belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion--for each other and for their homeland.

Katia says: A poignant and complex love story; a sharp and sometimes heartbreaking exploration of identity, race and the immigrant experience. A beautiful read!

Death in the Family

Death in the Family

Agee, James; Earle, Steve (INT
$17.00
The classic American novel--winner of the 1958 Pulitzer Prize--now re-published for the 100th anniversary of James Agee's birth

One of Time's All-Time 100 Best Novels

A Penguin Classic

Published in 1957, two years after its author's death at the age of forty-five, A Death in the Family remains a near-perfect work of art, an autobiographical novel that contains one of the most evocative depictions of loss and grief ever written. As Jay Follet hurries back to his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, he is killed in a car accident--a tragedy that destroys not only a life, but also the domestic happiness and contentment of a young family. A novel of great courage, lyric force, and powerful emotion, A Death in the Family is a masterpiece of American literature.

Roxanne says: Published posthumously and awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Agee's ode to family and Southern living is both graceful and deeply resonant. 

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life (and Comedy)

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life (and Comedy)

Apatow, Judd
$18.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE A.V. CLUB - Includes new interviews!

From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years--including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Harold Ramis, Seth Rogen, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.

Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club--just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island--a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).

Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd--and he's still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.

Sick in the Head
gathers Apatow's most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime's worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.

Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow's gift to comedy nerds everywhere.

Praise for Sick in the Head

"I can't stop reading it. . . . I don't want this book to end."--Jimmy Fallon

"An essential for any comedy geek."--Entertainment Weekly

"Fascinating . . . a collection of interviews with many of the great figures of comedy in the latter half of the twentieth century."--The Washington Post

"Open this book anywhere, and you're bound to find some interesting nugget from someone who has had you in stitches many, many times."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"An amazing read, full of insights and connections both creative and interpersonal."--The New Yorker

"Fascinating and revelatory."--Chicago Tribune

"Anyone even remotely interested in comedy or humanity should own this book."--Will Ferrell

Roxanne says: A must read for any comedy aficionado or anyone brave enough to try stand-up! Apatow interviews all the greats: Seinfeld, Shandling, etc.

One and Only Bob

One and Only Bob

Applegate, Katherine
$18.99

A #1 New York Times bestseller!

Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan's friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn't over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!

One and Only Bob is an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, embraced by new and old fans of Katherine Applegate's beloved One and Only Ivan. Great for summer reading or anytime! ATodayshow pick for "25 children's books your kids and teens won't be able to put down this summer!

Melanie says: In the sequel to the award-winning book The One and Only Ivan, Bob, the sly stray dog, is on a dangerous mission along with his friends Ivan and Ruby. Bob is trying to find his long-lost sister when a hurricane comes! In this adventure the friends find courage and the true meaning of family.

Travelling Cat Chronicles

Travelling Cat Chronicles

Arikawa, Hiro
$20.00
A book that "speak[s] volumes about our need for connection--human, feline or otherwise" (The San Francisco Chronicle), The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a life-affirming anthem to kindness and self-sacrifice that shows how the smallest things can provide the greatest joy--the perfect gift for cat lovers and travellers!

We take journeys to explore exotic new places and to return to the comforts of home, to visit old acquaintances and to make new friends. But the most important journey is the one that shows us how to follow our hearts...

An instant international bestseller and indie bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles has charmed readers around the world. With simple yet descriptive prose, this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru's longtime friends. Or so Nana is led to believe...

With his crooked tail--a sign of good fortune--and adventurous spirit, Nana is the perfect companion for the man who took him in as a stray. And as they travel in a silver van across Japan, with its ever-changing scenery and seasons, they will learn the true meaning of courage and gratitude, of loyalty and love.

On New York Post's Required Reading List

Andrea says: A quiet ode to friendship, solitude and kindness. The characters are very human and humane and the animals chime in. For anyone who has loved a pet.

Transcription

Transcription

Atkinson, Kate
$16.99
A dramatic story of WWII espionage, betrayal, and loyalty, by the #1 bestselling author of Life After Life

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.

Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit, and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.

Melanie says: MI5 agent and later turned BBC producer finds enemies she’d made have reappeared. For Anglophiles, fans of espionage, and comical witty language.

Resurrecting Rain

Resurrecting Rain

Averbach, Patricia
$21.95

Deena's house is being auctioned off at sheriff's sale and her marriage is falling apart. As her carefully constructed life unravels, her thoughts return to the New Moon Commune outside Santa Fe where she was born, and to Rain, the lesbian mother she had abandoned at fourteen. No one, not even her husband and children, know about New Moon or that she sat Shiva for Rain in exchange for living in her Orthodox grandmother's house in an upscale suburb of Cleveland. Deena's story unfolds with empathy and wit as a cascade of disasters leaves this middle aged librarian unmoored from her home and family, penniless and alone on the streets of Sarasota, Florida. The novel is populated with deftly drawn characters full of their own secrets and surprises--from Deena's blue haired freegan daughter who refuses to tell her parents where she lives, to the octogenarian TV writer who believes that crows are the reincarnated souls of Jews lost in the Holocaust. Deena loses her house, but will she find a home? Maybe the crows know.

Resurrecting Rain explores the unanticipated consequences of the choices that we make, the bonds and boundaries of love and the cost of our infatuation with materialism. At its heart the novel is a tale of loss and redemption, a reevaluation of our material culture and an appreciation for the blessing of friends and family. It demonstrates that sometimes you have to lose everything before you find yourself.

Patricia Averbach, a Cleveland native, is former director of the Chautauqua Writers' Center in Chautauqua, New York. Her first novel, Painting Bridges (Bottom Dog Press, 2013) was described by Michelle Ross of the Cleveland Plain Dealer as intelligent, introspective and moving. Her poetry chapbook, Missing Persons (Ward Wood Publishing, 2013) received the Lumen/Camden prize in 2013 and was listed by Times of London Literary Supplement as one of the best short collections of the year. Previous work includes a memoir about her time as Anzia Yezierska's sixteen year old literary assistant, and an article about the Jewish community in a virtual world called Second Life.

Georgia says: Resurrecting Rain is a moving novel about the power of finding strength through the enduring bonds of family.

Anxious People

Anxious People

Backman, Fredrik
$28.00

Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

 

A People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, The Washington Post, New York Post, Shondaland, CNN, and more!

 

"[A] quirky, big-hearted novel...Wry, wise, and often laugh-out-loud funny, it's a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure." --People

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

 

Looking at real estate isn't usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can't fix their own marriage. There's a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can't seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment's only bathroom, and you've got the worst group of hostages in the world.

 

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them--the bank robber included--desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

 

Rich with Fredrik Backman's "pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature" (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope--the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.

Georgia says:  Anxious People is a humorous, heart-felt story of a bank robbery gone wrong that asks the questions: how, why and if any of us should keep on living.


Man Called Ove: A Novel

Man Called Ove: A Novel

Backman, Fredrik
$17.00
MORE THAN TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD

"You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel new sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life." --People

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon--the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell."

But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

Fredrik Backman's novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. "If there was an award for 'Most Charming Book of the Year, ' this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down" (Booklist, starred review).

Night Boat to Tangier

Night Boat to Tangier

Barry, Kevin
$16.00
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
NPR - THE ATLANTIC - THE MILLIONS - MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE - ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH - LIT HUB - LIBRARY JOURNAL - THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY


In the dark waiting room of the ferry terminal in the sketchy Spanish port of Algeciras, two aging Irishmen--Maurice Hearne and Charlie Redmond, longtime partners in the lucrative and dangerous enterprise of smuggling drugs--sit at night, none too patiently. The pair are trying to locate Maurice's estranged daughter, Dilly, whom they've heard is either arriving on a boat coming from Tangier or departing on one heading there.

This nocturnal vigil will initiate an extraordinary journey back in time to excavate their shared history of violence, romance, mutual betrayals, and serial exiles. Rendered with the dark humor and the hardboiled Hibernian lyricism that have made Kevin Barry one of the most striking and admired fiction writers at work today, Night Boat to Tangier is a superbly melancholic melody of a novel, full of beautiful phrases and terrible men.

Andrea says: I was entranced by this book. As the book moved back and forth in time, I wanted to know more and more about the complicated lives of the main characters. Who knew a ferry station in Spain could be so mesmerizing?

Vacuum in the Dark

Vacuum in the Dark

Beagin, Jen
$16.00
From the Whiting Award-winning author of Pretend I'm Dead and one of the most exhilarating new voices in fiction, a "thoroughly delightfully, surprisingly profound" (Entertainment Weekly) one-of-a-kind novel about a cleaning lady named Mona and her struggles to move forward in life.

Soon to be an FX television show starring Lola Kirke.

Mona is twenty-six and cleans houses for a living in Taos, New Mexico. She moved there mostly because of a bad boyfriend--a junkie named Mr. Disgusting, long story--and her efforts to restart her life since haven't exactly gone as planned. For one thing, she's got another bad boyfriend. This one she calls Dark, and he happens to be married to one of Mona's clients. He also might be a little unstable.

Dark and his wife aren't the only complicated clients on Mona's roster, either. There's also the Hungarian artist couple who--with her addiction to painkillers and his lingering stares--reminds Mona of troubling aspects of her childhood, and some of the underlying reasons her life had to be restarted in the first place. As she tries to get over the heartache of her affair and the older pains of her youth, Mona winds up on an eccentric, moving journey of self-discovery that takes her back to her beginnings where she attempts to unlock the key to having a sense of home in the future. The only problems are Dark and her past. Neither is so easy to get rid of.

Jen Beagin's Vacuum in the Dark is an unforgettable, astonishing read, "by turns nutty and forlorn...Brash, deadpan, and achingly troubled" (O, The Oprah Magazine). Beagin is "a wonderfully funny writer who also happens to tackle serious subjects" (NPR).

Dynasty

Dynasty

Benedict, Jeff
$30.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Tiger Woods comes the definitive inside story of the New England Patriots--the greatest sports dynasty of the 21st century.

It's easy to forget that the New England Patriots were once the laughingstock of the NFL, a nearly bankrupt team that had never won a championship and was on the brink of moving to St. Louis. Everything changed in 1994, when Robert Kraft acquired the franchise and soon brought on board head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Since then, the Patriots have become a juggernaut, making ten trips to the Super Bowl, winning six of them, and emerging as one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. Today, the team's twenty-year reign atop the NFL stands as the longest in league history.

How was the Patriots dynasty built? And how did it last for two decades? In The Dynasty, acclaimed journalist Jeff Benedict provides richly reported answers in a sweeping account based on exclusive interviews with more than two hundred insiders--including team executives, coaches, players, players' wives, team doctors, lawyers, and more--as well as never-before-seen recordings, documents, and electronic communications.

Through his exhaustive research, Benedict uncovers surprising new details about the inner workings of a team notorious for its secrecy. He puts readers in the room as Robert Kraft outmaneuvers a legion of lawyers and investors to buy the team. We listen in on the phone call when the greatest trade ever made--Bill Belichick for a first-round draft choice--is negotiated. And we look over the shoulder of forty-year-old Tom Brady as a surgeon operates on his throwing hand on the eve of the AFC Championship Game in 2018.

But the portrait that emerges in The Dynasty is more rewarding than new details alone. By tracing the team's epic run through the perspectives of Kraft, Belichick, and Brady--each of whom was interviewed for the book--the author provides a wealth of new insight into the complex human beings most responsible for the Patriots' success. We watch the NFL's savviest owner treat Brady like a son, empower Belichick to cut and trade beloved players, and spend sleepless nights figuring out diplomatic ways to keep Brady and Belichick together for two decades. We come to understand how a genius head coach keeps his players at an emotional distance and blocks out anything that gets in the way of winning. And we experience the relentless drive, ferocious competitive nature, and emotional sensitivity that allows Brady to continue playing football into his forties.

The result is an intimate portrait that captures the human drama of the dynasty's three key characters while also revealing the secrets behind their success. This is perhaps the most compelling and illuminating book that will ever be written about the greatest professional sports team of our time.

City of Thieves

City of Thieves

Benioff, David
$17.00
From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over and co-creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival -- and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis' brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter's wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, the New York Times bestseller City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Vanishing Half

Vanishing Half

Bennett, Brit
$27.00

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR

"Bennett's tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it's especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison's 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye." --Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal

"A story of absolute, universal timelessness ...For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be...." - Entertainment Weekly

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

Elsie says: Really fascinating!

Under the Harrow: A Novel

Under the Harrow: A Novel

Berry, Flynn
$16.00
A thriller for fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl...[with] a striking, original voice all Berry's own." --The New York Times Book Review

Winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel
Named one of the 10 Best Mystery Books and Thrillers of the Year by The Washington Post
Named one of the best books of the year by The Atlantic

The award-winning psychological thriller about a young woman who finds her sister brutally murdered, and the shocking incident in their past that may hold the key to finding the killer, from the author of A Double Life and the forthcoming Northern Spy



When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel's familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder.

Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can't return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can't trust them to find her sister's killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora's fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.

A riveting psychological thriller and a haunting exploration of the fierce love between two sisters, the distortions of grief, and the terrifying power of the past, Under the Harrow marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Nora says: My favorite book I read recently is an oldie, and an unusual choice for me, I never read suspense: Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry. Superb.


Guest Book

Blake, Sarah
$17.99
Name of This Book Is Secret -- Secret Series 1

Name of This Book Is Secret -- Secret Series 1

Bosch, Pseudonymous; Ford, Gil
$9.99
Read the series that's sold more than 2 million copies--if you dare!

Warning: this description has not been authorized by Pseudonymous Bosch. As much as he'd love to sing the praises of his book (he is very vain), he wouldn't want you to hear about his brave 11-year old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest. Or about how a mysterious box of vials, the Symphony of Smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. And he certainly wouldn't want you to know about the hair-raising adventures that follow and the nefarious villains they face. You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story inside is, too. For it concerns a secret. A Big Secret.

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Bradbury, Ray
$17.00
NOW AN HBO FILM STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND MICHAEL SHANNON

Sixty years after its originally publication, Ray Bradbury's internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family." But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn't live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer

Braithwaite, Oyinkan
$14.95
NOMINATED FOR THE 2019 BOOKER PRIZE
WINNER OF THE LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR MYSTERY/THRILLER
FINALIST FOR THE 2019 WOMEN'S PRIZE

Korede's sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola's knife. Korede's practicality is the sisters' saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood (bleach, bleach, and more bleach), the best way to move a body (wrap it in sheets like a mummy), and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures to Instagram when she should be mourning her "missing" boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she's exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she's willing to go to protect her.

Katia says: A darkly comic, kind of creepy read. Written sharply and beautifully. At its center it is an exploration of sisterhood, family bonds and the effects of trauma.

Little History of Poetry

Little History of Poetry

Carey, John
$25.00

A vital, engaging, and hugely enjoyable guide to poetry, from ancient times to the present, by one of our greatest champions of literature--selected as the literature book of the year by the London Times

 

"[A] fizzing, exhilarating book."--Sebastian Faulks, Sunday Times, London

 

"Delightful.'"--New York Times Book Review

 

What is poetry? If music is sound organized in a particular way, poetry is a way of organizing language. It is language made special so that it will be remembered and valued. It does not always work--over the centuries countless thousands of poems have been forgotten. But this Little History is about some that have not.

 

John Carey tells the stories behind the world's greatest poems, from the oldest surviving one written nearly four thousand years ago to those being written today. Carey looks at poets whose works shape our views of the world, such as Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Whitman, and Yeats. He also looks at more recent poets, like Derek Walcott, Marianne Moore, and Maya Angelou, who have started to question what makes a poem "great" in the first place.

 

For readers both young and old, this little history shines a light for readers on the richness of the world's poems--and the elusive quality that makes them all the more enticing.

Doug says: Bloody good! And, I really like Nick Morley’s linocut illustrations.

Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins

Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins

Casey, Susan
$16.95

A New York Times Bestseller

Inspired by a profound experience swimming with wild dolphins off the coast of Maui, Susan Casey set out on a quest to learn everything she could about these creatures. Her journey takes her from a community in Hawaii known as "Dolphinville," where the animals are seen as the key to spiritual enlightenment, to the dark side of the human-cetacean relationship at marine parks and dolphin-hunting grounds in Japan and the Solomon Islands, to the island of Crete, where the Minoan civilization lived in harmony with dolphins, providing a millennia-old example of a more enlightened coexistence with the natural world.

Along the way, Casey recounts the history of dolphin research and introduces us to the leading marine scientists and activists who have made it their life's work to increase humans' understanding and appreciation of the wonder of dolphins--the other intelligent life on the planet.

Moonglow

Moonglow

Chabon, Michael
$16.99
Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as "my grandfather." It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact--and the creative power--of keeping secrets and telling lies. It is a portrait of the difficult but passionate love between the narrator's grandfather and his grandmother, an enigmatic woman broken by her experience growing up in war-torn France. It is also a tour de force of speculative autobiography in which Chabon devises and reveals a secret history of his own imagination.
Obit

Obit

Chang, Victoria
$17.00
After her mother died, poet Victoria Chang refused to write elegies. Rather, she distilled her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing scores of poetic obituaries for all she lost in the world. In Obit, Chang writes of "the way memory gets up after someone has died and starts walking." These poems reinvent the form of newspaper obituary to both name what has died ("civility," "language," "the future," "Mother's blue dress") and the cultural impact of death on the living. Whereas elegy attempts to immortalize the dead, an obituary expresses loss, and the love for the dead becomes a conduit for self-expression. In this unflinching and lyrical book, Chang meets her grief and creates a powerful testament for the living.
Baby Sloth: Finger Puppet Book

Baby Sloth: Finger Puppet Book

Chronicle Books
$7.99
Where does Baby Sloth like to nap? Follow along with this cute baby animal as it experiences its world, from playtime to bedtime. The simple, comforting story in this go-to baby gift series have made it a multimillion seller. Featuring a permanently attached plush finger puppet, this volume offers parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read as they build a lifelong love of books together.

Melanie says: Children can play with a plush baby sloth puppet while their parents read a sweet story about how baby sloth spends his day. 


Baby Unicorn Finger Puppet Book

Baby Unicorn Finger Puppet Book

Chronicle Books (COR); Ying, V
$6.99
The Finger Puppet series has sold over a million copies worldwide

Simple, comforting story with a permanently attached finger puppet

Follow Baby Unicorn as she explores her world: Baby Unicorn Finger Puppet Book invites the youngest readers to follow along with Baby Unicorn as she explores her world and her special healing powers. The simple, comforting story is easy to follow and the permanently attached soft finger puppet keeps little ones engaged. Start building a lifelong love of books at story time with Baby Unicorn.

- Perfect size for curious babies and toddlers to hold and manipulate
- Fun and interactive way to play and read
- Full of colorful, soothing illustrations by Victoria Ying

Fans of other books in the Finger Puppet Book series such as Baby Elephant, Baby Bear, and Baby Fish will love exploring the enchanted forest with Baby Unicorn.

Babies and toddlers will love this board book's colorful pictures, simple story, and soft finger puppet. It's also sized perfectly for small hands to hold.

-Sturdy board book
- Makes a great gift and is a must-have for a baby's bookshelf
- Books for kids ages 0-2
- Interactive and fun

House on Mango Street - BC OCT 2017

House on Mango Street

Cisneros, Sandra
$11.95
Here is Sandra Cisnero's greatly admired and best-selling novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children and their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, "The House on Mango Street" has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics even as it depicts a new American landscape. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, "The House on Mango Street" tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong - not to her run-down neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become. "The San Francisco Chronicle" has called "The House on Mango Street" "marvelous... spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisnero's storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world." It is an extraordinary achievement that will live on for years to come.

Georgia says: Young Latina woman living on her own for the first time...poignant and hopeful and funny

Dinner in French

Dinner in French

Clark, Melissa
$37.50
New York Times star food writer Melissa Clark breaks down the new French classics with 150 recipes that reflect a modern yet distinctly French sensibility.

"Melissa Clark's contemporary eye is just what the chef ordered. Her recipes are traditional yet fresh, her writing is informative yet playful, and the whole package is achingly chic."--Yotam Ottolenghi

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR - Delish - Library Journal


Just as Julia Child brought French cooking to twentieth-century America, so now Melissa Clark brings French cooking into the twenty-first century. She first fell in love with France and French food as a child; her parents spent their August vacations traversing the country in search of the best meals with Melissa and her sister in tow. Near to her heart, France is where Melissa's family learned to cook and eat. And as her own culinary identity blossomed, so too did her understanding of why French food is beloved by Americans.

Now, as one of the nation's favorite cookbook authors and food writers, Melissa updates classic French techniques and dishes to reflect how we cook, shop, and eat today. With recipes such as Salade Nicoise with Haricot Vert, Cornmeal and Harissa Soufflé, Scalloped Potato Gratin, Lamb Shank Cassoulet, Ratatouille Sheet-Pan Chicken, Campari Olive Oil Cake, and Apricot Tarte Tatin (to name a few), Dinner in French will quickly become a go-to resource and endure as an indispensable classic.

Scott says: This is a lovely, lively, and delicious book from a seasoned staff writer for the New York Times Food section, perfect for home cooks looking for a more relaxed, contemporary, and healthy way to make great French food, from French Onion Soup with Grilled Gruyére Sandwiches, Truffled Mac and Cheese, and Roasted Tarragon Chicken with Crispy Mushrooms to Asparagus Almondine, Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Hazelnuts, Brown Butter Scallops with Parsley and Lemon, Almond Milk Sorbet, and Lavender Lemonade. Bon appetit!


Last Train to Key West

Last Train to Key West

Cleeton, Chanel
$16.00
Instant New York Times bestseller

One of Bustle's Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020

"The perfect riveting summer read!"--BookBub

In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys.



For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler's legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person's paradise can be another's prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

After the Cuban Revolution of 1933 leaves Mirta Perez's family in a precarious position, she agrees to an arranged marriage with a notorious American. Following her wedding in Havana, Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can't deny the growing attraction to her new husband, his illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.

Elizabeth Preston's trip to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles after the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.

Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women's paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.

American Dirt

American Dirt

Cummins, Jeanine
$27.99

#1 New York Times Bestseller
OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK

"Extraordinary."
--Stephen King

"This book is not simply the great American novel; it's the great novel of las Americas. It's the great world novel! This is the international story of our times. Masterful."
--Sandra Cisneros

También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they'll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy--two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia's husband's tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia--trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier's reach doesn't extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.

Already being hailed as a Grapes of Wrath for our times and a new American classic, Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

Coventry

Coventry

Cusk, Rachel
$27.00

NPR's Favorite Books of 2019

Rachel Cusk redrew the boundaries of fiction with the Outline Trilogy, three "literary masterpieces" (The Washington Post) whose narrator, Faye, perceives the world with a glinting, unsparing intelligence while remaining opaque to the reader. Lauded for the precision of her prose and the quality of her insight, Cusk is a writer of uncommon brilliance. Now, in Coventry, she gathers a selection of her nonfiction writings that both offers new insights on the themes at the heart of her fiction and forges a startling critical voice on some of our most urgent personal, social, and artistic questions.

Coventry encompasses memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about literature, with pieces on family life, gender, and politics, and on D. H. Lawrence, Françoise Sagan, and Kazuo Ishiguro. Named for an essay Cusk published in Granta ("Every so often, for offences actual or hypothetical, my mother and father stop speaking to me. There's a funny phrase for this phenomenon in England: it's called being sent to Coventry"), this collection is pure Cusk and essential reading for our age: fearless, unrepentantly erudite, and dazzling to behold.

Roxanne says: Cusk's essay "Lions on Leashes" alone is worth the price! Resonant and profound.

Sleepless Night

Sleepless Night

de Moor, Margriet
$15.95

"Compact, haunting, and lovely ... it is unhurried and assured; no word is wasted ... In both its rich and unapologetic descriptions of domesticity and frank attitude toward sex ... the book is a treatise on one individual's womanhood."
--Kirkus Reviews

A woman gets up in the middle of a wintry night and starts baking a Bundt cake while her lover sleeps upstairs. When it's time for her to take the cake out of the oven, we have read a tale of romance and death. The narrator of this novel was widowed years ago and is trying to find new passion. But the memory of her deceased husband and a shameful incident still holds her in its grasp. Why did he do it? Margriet de Moor, master storyteller and one of Europe's foremost novelists, recounts a gripping love story about endings and demise, rage and jealousy, knowledge and ambiguity--and the possibility of a fresh start.

Reading group guide is available at newvesselpress.com.


Nora says: Beautiful and mysterious, an elegiac study of love and loss. European best seller.

Hare With Amber Eyes : A Family's Century of Art and Loss 1/16/14

Hare With Amber Eyes : A Family's Century of Art and Loss 1/16/14

De Waal, Edmund
$18.00

A New York Times Bestseller

An Economist Book of the Year

Costa Book Award Winner for Biography

Galaxy National Book Award Winner (New Writer of the Year Award)

Edmund de Waal is a world-famous ceramicist. Having spent thirty years making beautiful pots--which are then sold, collected, and handed on--he has a particular sense of the secret lives of objects. When he inherited a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke, he wanted to know who had touched and held them, and how the collection had managed to survive.

And so begins this extraordinarily moving memoir and detective story as de Waal discovers both the story of the netsuke and of his family, the Ephrussis, over five generations. A nineteenth-century banking dynasty in Paris and Vienna, the Ephrussis were as rich and respected as the Rothchilds. Yet by the end of the World War II, when the netsuke were hidden from the Nazis in Vienna, this collection of very small carvings was all that remained of their vast empire.

Nora says: Memoir, history, art...this is brilliant!

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

deGrasse Tyson, Neil
$18.95

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

Scott says: An explanation of some of the most beautiful & complex concepts of astrophysics in layman’s terms. Get with the Cosmos!

Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao -- Pulitzer 2008

Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao -- Pulitzer 2008

Diaz, JUnot
$17.00

Winner of:
The Pulitzer Prize
The National Book Critics Circle Award
The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
The Jon Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize
A Time Magazine #1 Fiction Book of the Year

One of the best books of 2007 according to: The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, People, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Salon, Baltimore City Paper, The Christian Science Monitor, Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, New York Public Library, and many more...

Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read


Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who--from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister--dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú--a curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere--and risk it all--in the name of love.

Roxanne says: Junot Diaz's novel taught me about the Domincan Republic and Patterson, New Jersey...even better, it made me realize the burning need we have to be loved.

Little Boys Come from the Stars

Little Boys Come from the Stars

Dongala, Emmanuel; Rejouis, Jo
$15.00

Sardonic, subtle, and sweetly scathing, Little Boys Come from the Stars is satire at its best. Set in an unnamed country in equatorial Africa, it tells the story of Michel, a precocious teen dubbed Matapari ("trouble") because of his extraordinary birth. Though his father is a reclusive scholar, his mother a pious though confused Catholic, and his uncle a shameless opportunist determined to gain power in the shifting politics of their post-colonial nation, Matapari remains an unsullied child who wears Reeboks, drinks Coke, reads Japanese comics, and watches Rambo. But when his family becomes the nucleus of the revolution for democracy, Matapari proves to be the ideal narrator for this story of violent upheaval and bloody corruption-a voice whose ironic innocence makes bearable and even humorous the awful realities of the world it describes.

Katia says: Sometimes sweet, sometimes sardonic story told by a precious boy from an unnamed country in Africa. Very funny and sharp.

Smile

Smile

Doyle, Roddy
$25.00
From the author of the Booker Prize winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, a bold, haunting novel about the uncertainty of memory and how we contend with the past.

"It's his bravest novel yet; it's also, by far, his best." -- npr.org

"The closest thing he's written to a psychological thriller."- The New York Times Book Review

Just moved into a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly's for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and a pink shirt comes over and sits down. He seems to know Victor's name and to remember him from secondary school. His name is Fitzpatrick.

Victor dislikes him on sight, dislikes, too, the memories that Fitzpatrick stirs up of five years being taught by the Christian Brothers. He prompts other memories--of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor's own small claim to fame, as the man who would say the unsayable on the radio. But it's the memories of school, and of one particular brother, that Victor cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.

Smile has all the features for which Roddy Doyle has become famous: the razor-sharp dialogue, the humor, the superb evocation of adolescence, but this is a novel unlike any he has written before. When you finish the last page you will have been challenged to reevaluate everything you think you remember so clearly.

Garden Jungle

Garden Jungle

Druvert, Hélène
$24.95

Follow Tom to the edge of his garden, where the grass turns into a lush jungle and a walk turns into an expedition! Tom, a little boy who's bored, follows a butterfly deeper than he's ever been in his backyard and discovers uncharted territory. Here, the grass becomes a jungle, the cat turns into a leopard, and the only sounds come from leaves blowing in the wind. But all too soon, it's time to go back. Tom realizes his house is just behind those shrubs . . . It's so good to be bored!

This beautiful, colorful storybook is illustrated with laser-cut silhouettes that make the garden come alive. An exciting backyard adventure, Garden Jungle will appeal to children of all ages.

Middlemarch

Middlemarch

Eliot, George
$17.00
George Eliot's beloved masterpiece in a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with a foreword by Rebecca Mead, author of the bestselling memoir My Life in Middlemarch

A triumph of realist fiction, George Eliot's Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life explores a fictional nineteenth-century Midlands town in the midst of sweeping change. The proposed Reform Bill, the new railroads, and scientific advances are threatening upheaval on every front. Against this backdrop, the quiet drama of ordinary lives is played out by the novel's complexly portrayed characters--until the arrival of two outsiders further disrupts the town's equilibrium. Every bit as powerful and perceptive in our time as it was in the Victorian era, Middlemarch displays George Eliot's clear-eyed yet humane understanding of characters caught up in the mysterious unfolding of self-knowledge.

In this elegant Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, Rebecca Mead introduces the novel that shaped her life and reflects on its joys and its timeless relevance.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Nora says: If you haven’t read Middlemarch, now is the time—thought by many to be the best novel written in English.

Night Watchman

Night Watchman

Erdrich, Louise
$28.99

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF 2020

AMAZON BEST BOOK OF 2020

NPR BEST BOOK OF 2020

KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST FICTION OF 2020

CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY'S BEST OF THE BEST

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BEST BOOK OF 2020

Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich's grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.


Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new "emancipation" bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn't about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a "termination" that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans "for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run"?

Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice's shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn't been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life.

Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice's best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice.

In the Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.

Doug's Pick.

Go, Went, Gone

Go, Went, Gone

Erpenbeck, Jenny
$16.95
Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, "one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation" (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes. Exquisitely translated by Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time, facing it head-on in a voice that is both nostalgic and frightening.

Andrea says: An amazing examination of the plight of a group of African refugees and the quest for meaning in the life of a retired college professor. Moving and enlightening. Taught me a lot and made me cry.

Lying Life of Adults

Lying Life of Adults

Ferrante, Elena
$26.00

A NEW YORK TIMES & NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A BEST BOOK OF 2020
The Washington PostO, The Oprah Magazine・TIME Magazine・NPR・People MagazineThe New York Times Critics・The Guardian・Electric Literature・Financial Times・Times UK・Irish TimesNew York Post・Kirkus Reviews・Toronto StarThe Globe and MailHarper's Bazaar

A POWERFUL NEW NOVEL set in a divided Naples by ELENA FERRANTE, the New York Times best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend and The Lost Daughter. Soon to be a NETFLIX Original Series.

"Another spellbinding coming-of-age tale from a master."--People Magazine, Top 10 Books of 2020

Giovanna's pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016's most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world's most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

"There's no doubt [the publication of The Lying Life of Adults] will be the literary event of the year."--ELLE Magazine

Elsie says: Return to the Neapolitan world of Lenu and Lila. Great writing, great translation, great story. Read it and weep.


Beginning of Spring

Beginning of Spring

Fitzgerald, Penelope
$15.99
Short-listed for the Booker Prize

"Fitzgerald was the author of several slim, perfect novels. The Blue Flower and The Beginning of Spring both had me abuzz for days the first time I read them. She was curiously perfect."-- Teju Cole, author of Open City

"Writing so precise and lilting it can make you shiver." --

Los Angeles Times

March 1913. Moscow is stirring herself to meet the beginning of spring. English painter Frank Reid returns from work one night to find that his wife has gone away; no one knows where or why, or whether she'll ever come back. All Frank knows for sure is that he is now alone and must find someone to care for his three young children.

Into Frank's life comes Lisa Ivanovna, a quiet, calming beauty from the country, untroubled to the point of seeming simple. But is she? And why has Frank's bookkeeper, Selwyn Crane, gone to such lengths to bring these two together?

This new edition features an introduction by Andrew Miller, author of Pure, along with new cover art.

Blue Flower: A Novel

Blue Flower: A Novel

Fitzgerald, Penelope
$16.99
"An astonishing book . . . Fitzgerald's greatest triumph." --New York Times Book Review

The Blue Flower is set in the age of Goethe, in the small towns and great universities of late eighteenth-century Germany. It tells the true story of Friedrich von Hardenberg, a passionate, impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis. Fritz seeks his father's permission to wed his "heart's heart," his "spirit's guide"--a plain, simple child named Sophie von Kühn. It is an attachment that shocks his family and friends. Their brilliant young Fritz, betrothed to a twelve-year-old dullard? How can this be?

The irrationality of love, the transfiguration of the commonplace, the clarity of purpose that comes with knowing one's own fate--these are the themes of this beguiling novel, themes treated with a mix of wit, grace, and mischievous humor unique to the art of Penelope Fitzgerald.

"An extraordinary imagining . . . an original masterpiece." --Hermione Lee, Financial Times

Bookshop

Bookshop

Fitzgerald, Penelope
$15.99
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING EMILY MORTIMER, BILL NIGHY, AND PATRICIA CLARKSON

Short-listed for the Booker Prize
"A beautiful book, a perfect little gem." --BBC Kaleidoscope
"A marvelously piercing fiction." --

Times Literary Supplement

In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop--the only bookshop--in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town's less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors' lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence's warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn't always a town that wants one.

This new edition features an introduction by David Nicholls, author of One Day.

Elsie says: Penelope is regarded as one of England’s greatest writers of the 20th century…even though she began writing in her 60s. Clear, concise, will touch your heart.

Evening and the Morning

Evening and the Morning

Follett, Ken
$36.00

Melanie says: After 20 years, and much encouragement from readers, Ken Follett has written a prequel to the Kingsbridge Series. The Evening and the Morning is consummate Follett: a highly researched historical novel set in medieval England, fully developed characters both good and evil, and political intrigue of the times. 

 

While Follett revealed that The Pillars of the Earth, the first in the series, was the most difficult to write, The Evening and the Morning is a bit of an easier read. If you have not read any of the books, you are faced with the interesting dilemma of reading them in the order they were written or the order they occurred in time. Whatever you decide, just read them! 

In the Lateness of the World: Poems

In the Lateness of the World: Poems

Forche, Carolyn
$24.00
"An undisputed literary event." -- NPR

A new poetry collection of uncanny grace and moral force from one of our country's most celebrated poets

Over four decades, Carolyn Forché's visionary work has reinvigorated poetry's power to awaken the reader. Her groundbreaking poems have been testimonies, inquiries, and wonderments. They daringly map a territory where poetry asserts our inexhaustible responsibility to each other.

Her first new collection in seventeen years, In the Lateness of the World is a tenebrous book of crossings, of migrations across oceans and borders but also between the present and the past, life and death. The poems call to the reader from the end of the world where they are sifting through the aftermath of history. Forché envisions a place where you could see everything at once ... every moment you have lived or place you have been. The world here seems to be steadily vanishing, but in the moments before the uncertain end, an illumination arrives and there is nothing that cannot be seen. In the Lateness of the World is a revelation from one of the finest poets writing today.

Doug says: How do I even begin accounting for how much this work means to me. It required three readings following acquisition of the “uncorrected proof” (ARC). The second was about my technical curiosity as to what changed in the final edition. I only found a few hyphens were extracted. In the third reading I went searching for a line or two to share with you. There are too many, how could one choose? But these two, from “The Ghost of Heaven” haunt me: 

You will be asked who you are. Eventually, we are all asked who we are. 

What You Have Heard Is True

What You Have Heard Is True

Forche, Carolyn
$18.00
2019 National Book Award Finalist

Reading it will change you, perhaps forever." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Astonishing, powerful, so important at this time." --Margaret Atwood

What You Have Heard is True is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman's brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman's radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life.

Carolyn Forché is twenty-seven when the mysterious stranger appears on her doorstep. The relative of a friend, he is a charming polymath with a mind as seemingly disordered as it is brilliant. She's heard rumors from her friend about who he might be: a lone wolf, a communist, a CIA operative, a sharpshooter, a revolutionary, a small coffee farmer, but according to her, no one seemed to know for certain. He has driven from El Salvador to invite Forché to visit and learn about his country. Captivated for reasons she doesn't fully understand, she accepts and becomes enmeshed in something beyond her comprehension.

Together they meet with high-ranking military officers, impoverished farm workers, and clergy desperately trying to assist the poor and keep the peace. These encounters are a part of his plan to educate her, but also to learn for himself just how close the country is to war. As priests and farm-workers are murdered and protest marches attacked, he is determined to save his country, and Forché is swept up in his work and in the lives of his friends. Pursued by death squads and sheltering in safe houses, the two forge a rich friendship, as she attempts to make sense of what she's experiencing and establish a moral foothold amidst profound suffering. This is the powerful story of a poet's experience in a country on the verge of war, and a journey toward social conscience in a perilous time.

Nora says: An intellectually rigorous, beautifully written book on El Salvador. A must read!