Growing up in the storytelling culture of Nigeria, Arimah handily hones her skills within these pages. Each of her short stories opens with magic and intensity. Yet it is the wicked finish that 'packs a punch' every time! You'll despair, empathize and struggle along with mothers, fathers, lovers and children--and you'll love the tragedy of it all. What a gifted conjuror of words and worlds!
As adrenaline-fueled and hyperactively paced as its dynamic protagonist, The Warrior’s Apprentice is a fantastic character-driven space opera written by local author and winner of the most Hugo awards living today, Lois McMaster Bujold. The story follows the physically handicapped strategic genius Miles Vorkosigan as he careens through space, thwarting plots, possibly committing treason, and accidentally becoming the commander of an interstellar mercenary fleet. Great for fans of Ender’s Game.
Tess is a twentysomething who just landed a gig as a back waiter at one of Manhattan’s greatest restaurants. Join her for a year in her life as she develops her palate for truffles, champagne, lust, cocaine, and oysters. From a tumultuous affair with the bad boy waiter to her desperate need of Simone’s approval. Read with snack in hand and see how life can be both sweet and bitter.
Mary Roach does it again with her humorous journalistic writing style, this time about the science of keeping soldiers alive, sane, sanitary and parasite-free. From ruptured submarine simulations to dead chicken-launchers, Grunt offers readers a fascinating (albeit cringe-worthy) ride through the nerdy side of the military sciences. A magnificent book for mature readers with a good sense of humor and a love of all things weird!
Shaun Tan is a multifaceted artist surprising at every turn. Out of earthen clay and papier-mâché, Tan forms seventy-five beguiling narrative sculptures, shedding new light on fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Paging through the photographs of this book is akin to wandering an artist exhibition and gazing on an enchanted forest of collected ancient folklore--you might never imagine the golden locks of the young woman in the tower the same way again. You will want reach in and hold these storied figurines that fit the palm of a hand.
The Taj Mahal. A run-of-the-mill travel book will steer you towards such popular destinations, but there's an antidote to predictable travel in this very “Rumpian” guidebook. When traveling to India, why not also visit the Karni Mata Rat Temple (p. 131), where you may walk among 20,000 rats believed to be descendants of a reincarnated Hindu goddess? Teeming with quirky sightseeing recommendations, Atlas Obscura will inspire you whether you are actually traveling or living vicariously.
The Nix is a spirit from Norwegian mythology who takes what you love and makes it disappear. Eleven year old Samuel Andresen-Anderson’s mother disappears on a seemly ordinary day. She’s been planning it for some time, but the reason is a mystery that Samuel carries with him well into adulthood. When out of the blue his runaway mother is headlined in the news, Samuel feels that the time is right to get to the bottom of his personal mystery. Hill’s novel travels thru different decades from differing points of view. It’s a wild ride!
Finding the words of your own soul within the soul of another is a sacred and mysterious experience. Throughout her life and work as a poet, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver has quietly spoken into the hearts of thousands, using her love of the natural world, as well as her love of literature, as muses. Upstream is a collection of beloved essays from her many books, carefully chosen to reflect upon her journey towards self discovery, and seen through the lenses of flora, fauna, and even Walt Whitman. A precious and beautiful memoir of musings, this novel is one to revisit again and again.
Pulitzer prize winner Michael Chabon has written his most ambitious and moving novel yet. Inspired by confessions from his grandfather’s deathbed, Moonglow is a fictionalized, dreamlike exploration of Chabon’s family history told from the perspective of one man’s long and event-filled life. The horrors of World War II, the strain of mental illness, long-kept family secrets, true love and loss, and even the high aspirations and secret dark side of the history of rocketry and space travel all factor into a narrative that condenses and pulls apart an entire lifetime.
Calling all children of the 80s! Cline delivers a fast-paced futuristic romp chock-full of hilarious 80s pop culture references, mainly set in a virtual reality. Everything about this book is pitch-perfect; it has heart, humor, and enough suspense to keep you turning pages late into the night as you follow its teenage protagonist on his virtual quest to solve a mystery worth millions. Read it before the movie comes out!
For adults who love a graphic treat, take a bite right out of this delicious graphic memoir. You will truly relish your time spent along with Lucy reading about her adventures in life, love, and the culinary arts. With recipes at the end of every chapter you won’t want to read this without a tasty treat by your side. It will pique your appetite and your funny bone. Bon Appétit!
Adventure; philosophy; war; romance — all of these elements combine to create the beatific opus that is Shantaram. In this fictionalized account of Gregory David Roberts’ life, the reader vigilantly toes the line between hope and reality, theory and experience, corruption and salvation. Roberts’ dedication to honesty, even in his most unflattering self-reflection, reveals the dark side of purity, the morality of crime and the malignancy of love.
Cape Ann is one of my favorite novels of all time; this is a prequel to that story. Both are set in the fictitious small town of Harvester, MN. Faith Sullivan’s newest book is about friendship, family, and the day to day challenges everyone faces. The central character, Nell Stillman, turns to P.G. Wodehouse at the many crossroads of her life. Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse is a tribute to reading as a means of dealing with sad times, happy times, and all the times in-between. Now to reread Cape Ann and a little Wodehouse.
This book brings to mind one thing: Quality. Starting with the design itself, with its reassuring heft and clean, uncomplicated layout, The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide is focused on the art of simple things done well. If you’re looking to learn how to fight off a crocodile or jump from a burning building, this is not the guide for you. But if you want to correctly fold a pocket square, grow a tomato, or make a perfectly poached egg, pick up a copy and master a new skill today!
In 1938, a U.S. Senator’s daughter is expected to swoon over her father’s choice of future husband, not sass back that she ‘could never respect a man who didn’t work’. That kind of talk infuriates the Senator, and quicker than she can spell proletariat, Miss Layla Beck is forced to accept a job with the Federal Writers’ Project in small town Macedonia, West Virginia! Annie Barrows is brilliant at writing about characters in this town riddled with secrets and lies. With heart and humor, Macedonia and all of its inhabitants become larger than life. Some of them are still gossiping quietly in my living room; I don’t want them to leave anytime soon.
The hundredth anniversary of The Best American Short Stories collection offers the opportunity for a victory lap, and a chance to remark upon the rude health of the short story in the US. This best-of-the-best anthology collects big hitters—Cheever, Paley, O’Connor and Hemingway (the selection here his first published story); oft-overlooked gems—Tillie Olsen’s ‘I Stand Here Ironing,’ and Donald Barthelme’s ‘The School’; and the work of those currently pushing the form forward—George Saunders and ZZ Packer, among others. Short essays from co-editor Heidi Pitlor put the selections in context, and an introduction from Lorrie Moore sets everything rolling.
Coralie and Eddie live in NYC in the early 1900’s however their lives couldn’t be more different. Coralie’s father owns a Coney Island museum where he amazes the public with his weird exhibits. Eddie has run away from his Jewish Orthodox upbringing and picks up a camera to photograph the streets of the city. As he accidentally captures the horrible Triangle Shirtwaist fire, Eddie becomes embroiled in the mystery of a missing young women. At the same time, Coralie is being transformed into a mermaid for exhibition. Coralie and Eddie’s lives run parallel until fate takes over. I loved these two characters and love Alice Hoffman for writing their stories.
Victoria has aged out of the foster care system and is out on her own. Life is precarious at best, but her love of flowers gives her a starting point to start anew. At first she finds herself homeless and sleeping in a park, but soon an interested florist takes her under her wing and Victoria feels she might have a future after all. However there are several secrets from her past that just might keep her from finding peace. Diffenbaugh has given us characters that break our hearts and make us smile. I think that is a rare thing.
For seventy-five years starting in 1854, orphans were placed on trains from the East Coast and sent to the Midwest. Along the way, people met the trains at various stations and chose the children they wanted to bring into their homes. Some were adopted by loving families and others were taken into homes to become unpaid labor. Orphan Train is the story of Vivian Daly whose life is remembered in modern times as Molly, a young woman doing community service, helps Vivian clean out her attic. This is an unforgettable work of historical fiction.
One book, and three haunting tales of seeking and finding, losing and forgetting. Shaun Tan addresses themes of depression, not belonging anywhere, as well the gradual violence of colonization in these three uncanny and beautifully illustrated yarns.
Most every family has experienced immigration. But for those who haven’t had that experience - what is it like? Shaun Tan’s The Arrival is a beautiful silent graphic novel that took over four years to complete, with intricate charcoal drawings depicting the everyday challenges a new immigrant might experience. Tan has invented his own world where readers of any cultural background can grasp the many feeling and struggles of beginning a life far from home.
What if the earth stopped spinning? Or you pitched a baseball at ninety percent the speed of light? And for those days when you're just too lazy to cook, what height do you have to drop a steak from in order for it to be cooked when it reaches the ground? Randall Munroe has answers. Featuring the best of his popular webcomic xkcd, plus 51%(!) totally new content, this mind-bending volume is a must-read for inquiring minds everywhere. And, FYI: make sure you drop that steak from a suborbital rocket. You're welcome.
These short stories by Margaret Atwood are like the bedtime stories you'd wish to read about the stranger you pass on the street. The warm but still distant characters are woven together in fantastical ways. The sharp and peculiar wit of Atwood touches on the theme of aging, and the trail left behind from a person's actions in their world. The stories are written like tales, and most of the characters have wicked tendencies that are reminiscent of a Grimm's fairytale. If you enjoy the thrill of danger and sweetness, this collection could be the perfect before bed escape.