Choose Your Free Book!
Winners of special promotions such as the Christmas Wordplay will be able to choose the books of their choice from the list of currently available books.
Below is a list of books available at this time, which changes as books are selected and new books are added.
This list is updated in real time - all books shown are currently available.
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
by Carol Berkin.
Hardcover, 256 pages.
From the award-winning historian and author of Revolutionary Mothers (“Incisive, thoughtful, spiced with vivid anecdotes. Don’t miss it.”—Thomas Fleming) and Civil War Wives (“Utterly fresh . . . Sensitive, poignant, thoroughly fascinating.”—Jay Winik), here is the remarkable life of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, renowned as the most beautiful woman of nineteenth-century Baltimore, whose marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, became inextricably bound to the diplomatic and political histories of the United States, France, and England.
In Wondrous Beauty, Carol Berkin tells the story of this audacious, outsized life. We see how the news of the union infuriated Napoleon and resulted in his banning the thenpregnant Betsy Bonaparte from disembarking in any European port, offering his brother the threat of remaining married to that “American girl” and forfeiting all wealth and power—or renouncing her, marrying a woman of Napoleon’s choice, and reaping the benefits.
Jérôme ended the marriage posthaste and was made king of Westphalia; Betsy fled to England, gave birth to her son and only child, Jérôme’s namesake, and was embraced by the English press, who boasted that their nation had opened its arms to the cruelly abandoned young wife.
Berkin writes that this naïve, headstrong American girl returned to Baltimore a wiser, independent woman, refusing to seek social redemption or a return to obscurity through a quiet marriage to a member of Baltimore’s merchant class. Instead she was courted by many, indifferent to all, and initiated a dangerous game of politics—a battle for a pension from
Napoleon—which she won: her pension from the French government arrived each month until Napoleon’s exile.
Using Betsy Bonaparte’s extensive letters, the author makes clear that the “belle of Baltimore” disdained America’s obsession with moneymaking, its growing ethos of democracy, and its rigid gender roles that confined women to the parlor and the nursery; that she sought instead a European society where women created salons devoted to intellectual life—where she was embraced by many who took into their confidence, such as Madame de Staël, Madame Récamier, the aging Marquise de Villette (goddaughter of Voltaire), among others—and where aristocracy, based on birth and breeding rather than commerce, dominated society.
Wondrous Beauty is a riveting portrait of a woman torn between two worlds, unable to find peace in either—one a provincial, convention-bound new America; the other a sophisticated, extravagant Old World Europe that embraced freedoms, a Europe ultimately swallowed up by decadence and idleness.
A stunning revelation of an extraordinary age.
You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About
by Dave Barry.
Hardcover, 240 pages.
A brilliantly funny exploration of the twin mysteries of parenthood and families from the Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times?bestselling author of Insane City.
In his New York Times?bestselling I’ll Mature When I’m Dead, Dave Barry embarked on the treacherous seas of adulthood, to hilarious results. What comes next? Parenthood, of course, and families.
In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating (he’s serious about that title: ?When my daughter can legally commence dating?February 24, 2040?I intend to monitor her closely, even if I am deceased”) to funeral instructions (?I would like my eulogy to be given by William Shatner”), the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning of Fifty Shades of Grey, and a father’s ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert (?It turns out that the noise teenaged girls make to express happiness is the same noise they would make if their feet were being gnawed off by badgers”).
Let’s face it: families not only enrich our lives every day, they drive us completely around the bend. Thank goodness we have Dave Barry as our guide!
The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning
by Julene Bair.
Hardcover, 288 pages.
A love affair unfolds as crisis hits a family farm on the high plains
Julene Bair has inherited part of a farming empire and fallen in love with a rancher from Kansas’s beautiful Smoky Valley. She means to create a family, provide her son with the father he longs for, and preserve the Bair farm for the next generation, honoring her own father’s wish and commandment, ?Hang on to your land!” But part of her legacy is a share of the ecological harm the Bair Farm has done: each growing season her family?like other irrigators?pumps over two hundred million gallons out of the Ogallala aquifer. The rapidly disappearing aquifer is the sole source of water on the vast western plains, and her family’s role in its depletion haunts her. As traditional ways of life collide with industrial realities, Bair must dramatically change course.
Updating the territory mapped by Jane Smiley, Pam Houston, and Terry Tempest Williams, and with elements of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, The Ogallala Road tells a tale of the West today and points us toward a new way to love both the land and one another.
Lexicon: A Novel
by Max Barry.
Paperback, 400 pages.
?The words brilliant and exemplary aren’t adequate enough to convey the amazing craft of Lexicon.” ?The Associated Press
Few books are greeted with rave reviews everywhere from Time magazine and Salon to Boingboing and io9. Yet, Max Barry’s Lexicon is that rare thing: a thriller as high-octane as they come, driven by a brilliant and original plot that connects very modern questions of privacy and data collection to centuries-old ideas about the power of language.
At an exclusive training school at an undisclosed location outside Washington, D.C., students are taught to control minds, to wield words as weapons. The very best graduate as ?poets” and enter a nameless organization of unknown purpose. Recruited off the street, whip-smart Emily Ruff quickly learns the one key rule: never allow another person to truly know you. Emily becomes the school’s most talented prodigy, until she makes the catastrophic mistake of falling in love.
By its Cover: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery (Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries)
by Donna Leon.
Hardcover, 288 pages.
Donna Leon’s critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has attracted readers the world over with the beauty of its setting, the humanity of its characters, and its fearlessness in exploring politics, morality, and contemporary Italian culture. In the pages of Leon’s novels, the beloved conversations of the Brunetti family have drawn on topics of art and literature, but books are at the heart of this novel in a way they never have been before.
One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem?the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist.
As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty.
High Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and Dread
by Joyce Carol Oates.
Hardcover, 224 pages.
Joyce Carol Oates is an unparalleled investigator of human flaws. In these eight stories, she deftly tests the bonds between damaged individuals?a brother and sister, a teacher and student, two strangers on a subway?in the fearless prose for which she’s become so celebrated.
In the title story ?High Crime Area,” a white, aspiring professor is convinced she is being followed. No need to panic, she has a handgun stowed away in her purse?just in case. But when she turns to confront her black, male shadow, the situation isn’t what she expects. In ?The Rescuer,” a promising graduate student detours to inner city Trenton, New Jersey to save her brother from a downward spiral. But she soon finds out there may be more to his world than to hers. And in ?The Last Man of Letters,” the world-renowned author X embarks on a final grand tour of Europe. He has money, fame, but not a whole lot of manners. A little thing like etiquette couldn’t bring a man like X down, could it?
In these biting and beautiful stories, Oates confronts, one by one, the demons within us. Sometimes it’s the human who wins, and sometimes it’s the demon.
Song of Ireland
by Juilene Osborne-McKnight.
Paperback, 336 pages.
The Danu. The “little people.” Everyone who is Irish knows of this mystical race. Many doubt they ever existed. However, there are as many today who claim that they are still among us. What if the Danu were not myth but were based on historical evidence?
Song of Ireland is Juilene Osborne McKnight’s tale of the coming of the Celts to Eire and what they find there: a land of abundance and beauty that the Celts would make their own. But the Danu have secrets of their own, and those who wish to conquer find that it is not only their sword hands being challenged but their hearts. And the coming battle to claim a new world may change both races forever.
The House on the Cliff: A Novel
by Charlotte Williams.
Paperback, 352 pages.
Jessica Mayhew is a sharp, successful therapist with a thriving practice and loving family. But the arrival of a new client, actor Gwydion Morgan, coincides with a turbulent moment in her life: her husband has just confessed to a one-night stand with a younger woman. The son of a famous stage director, Gwydion is good-looking and talented but mentally fragile, tormented by an intriguing phobia. When Jessica receives a frantic call warning that he is suicidal, she decides to make a house call.
The Morgans live in a grand clifftop mansion overlooking the rocky Welsh coast. It seems to be a remote paradise, but there's something sinister about it too: Jessica learns that the family's former au pair drowned in the bay under mysterious circumstances. In her quest to help Gwydion, to whom she's grown increasingly attached, Jessica becomes ensnared in the Morgan family mystery, which soon becomes an explosive public scandal—one that puts her directly in harm's way. Meanwhile, Jessica is doing her best to keep her marriage and family together, but her growing attraction to Gwydion is impossible to ignore.
Smart, stylish, and suspenseful, The House on the Cliff announces the arrival of a winning female protagonist in Jessica Mayhew and an exciting new crime writer in Charlotte Williams.
Red Moon: A Novel
by Benjamin Percy.
Paperback, 544 pages.
"A werewolf epic. Can't stop thinking about it."--Stephen King
They live among us.
They are our neighbors, our mothers, our lovers.
When government agents kick down Claire Forrester's front door and murder her parents, Claire realizes just how different she is.
Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and hours later stepped off it, the only passenger left alive, a hero.
Chase Williams has sworn to protect the people of the United States from the menace in their midst, but he is becoming the very thing he has promised to destroy.
So far, the threat has been controlled by laws and violence and drugs. But the night of the red moon is coming, when an unrecognizable world will emerge...and the battle for humanity will begin.
The Last First Day: A Novel
by Carrie Brown.
Hardcover, 304 pages.
From the author of The Rope Walk, here is the story of a woman’s life in its twilight, as she looks back on a harrowing childhood and on the unaccountable love and happiness that emerged from it.
Ruth has always stood firmly beside her upstanding, brilliant husband, Peter, the legendary chief of New England’s Derry School for boys. The childless couple has a unique, passionate bond that grew out of Ruth’s arrival on Peter’s family’s doorstep as a young girl orphaned by tragedy. And though sometimes frustrated by her role as lifelong helpmate, Ruth is awed by her good fortune in her life with Peter. As the novel opens, we see the Derry School in all its glorious fall colors and witness the loosening of the aging Peter’s grasp: he will soon have to retire, and Ruth is wondering what they will do in their old age, separated from the school into which they have poured everything, including their savings. The narrative takes us back through the years, revealing the explosive spark and joy between Ruth and Peter—undiminished now that they are in their seventies—and giving us a deeply felt portrait of a woman from a generation that quietly put individual dreams aside for the good of a partnership, and of the ongoing gift of the right man’s love.
by Mary Kay Andrews.
Hardcover, 304 pages.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and Savannah was breezy
But there's trouble afoot - and it's heading toward Weezie.
Seems BeBe’s been holding a big secret back
that would make Santa’s reindeer stop dead in their tracks.
Can these two best friends wriggle out of these twists?
Will they do it in time to ensure CHRISTMAS BLISS?
Return to the wonderful world of Mary Kay Andrews' Savannah with Christmas Bliss.
Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor: An Irish Country Novel
by Patrick Taylor.
Hardcover, 432 pages.
Fans of Taylor’s bestselling Irish Country novels know Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly as the irascible senior partner of a general practice in the colorful Irish village of Ballybucklebo. Newly married to his once long-lost sweetheart, he’s ready to settle into domestic bliss, but there’s always something requiring his attention, be it a riding accident, a difficult patient with a worrisome heart condition, a spot of grouse-hunting, or even some tricky shenanigans at the local dog races.
The everyday complications of village life are very different from the challenges Fingal faced nearly thirty years earlier, when fresh out of medical school, the young Dr. O’Reilly accepts a post at the Aungier Street Dispensary, tending to the impoverished denizens of Dublin’s tenement slums. Yet even as he tries to make a difference, Fingal’s tireless devotion to his patients may cost him his own true love….
Shifting back and forth between the present and the past, Patrick Taylor’s captivating Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor, brings to life both the green young man O’Reilly once was and the canny village doctor readers have come to know and admire.
Raw: A Love Story
by Mark Haskell Smith.
Paperback, 352 pages.
"Only an imaginative satirist can outpace the world's absurdity, but Mark Haskell Smith manages it with Raw, a super-fun, super-wild, and sneakily thoughtful take on American literary and entertainment excess."—Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist
Sepp Gregory, a reality-TV hunk and one of People magazine's "sexiest men alive," is on tour to promote his debut novel. Not that Sepp's actually read the book—he doesn't have to, he lived it! And everyone just wants him to take his shirt off.
The book has hit the bestseller list and is even getting rave reviews from serious critics. Aside from Harriet Post, that is. One of the blogosphere's most respected literary minds, Harriet fears that the novel's reception means the end of civilization is upon us. Determined to pen an expose on the publishing industry, Harriet hijacks the book tour and uncovers the ghostwriter. Reality and "reality" collide, and a tragic accident sends Sepp and Harriet off on a sex-fueled roadtrip through the southwest. Raw: A Love Story is Mark Haskell Smith at his raucous best, dangerously sexy and wickedly funny.
Adé: A Love Story
by Rebecca Walker.
Hardcover, 128 pages.
In this stunning debut novella, Rebecca Walker turns her attention to the power of love and the limitations of the human heart. When Farida, a sophisticated college student, falls in love with Adé, a young Swahili man living on an idyllic island off the coast of Kenya, the two plan to marry and envision a simple life together—free of worldly possessions and concerns. But when Farida contracts malaria and finds herself caught in the middle of a civil war, reality crashes in around them. The lovers’ solitude is interrupted by a world in the throes of massive upheaval that threatens to tear them apart, along with all they cherish.
Haunting, exquisite, and certain to become a classic, Adé will stay with you long after you put it down. This is a timeless love story set perfectly, heartbreakingly, in our time.
Inventing the Enemy: Essays
by Umberto Eco.
Paperback, 240 pages.
“Underscores the writer’s profound erudition, lively wit, and passion for ideas of all shapes and sizes . . . Eco’s pleasure in such explorations is obvious and contagious.” — Booklist
Inventing the Enemy covers a wide range of topics on which Eco has written and lectured over the past ten years: from a disquisition on the theme that runs through his recent novel The Prague Cemetery — every country needs an enemy, and if it doesn’t have one, must invent it — to a discussion of ideas that have inspired his earlier novels (and in the process he takes us on an exploration of lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world); from indignant reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, to an examination of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s notions about the soul of an unborn child, to censorship and violence and WikiLeaks.
These are essays full of passion, curiosity, and obsession by one of the world’s most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, best-selling novelists.
“True wit and wisdom coexist with fierce scholarship inside Umberto Eco, a writer who actually knows a thing or two about being truly human.” — Buffalo News
"Thought provoking . . . nuanced . . . the collection amply shows off Eco's sophisticated, agile mind." — Publishers Weekly
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
by Greg Sestero.
Hardcover, 288 pages.
The hilarious and inspiring story of how a mysterious misfit got past every roadblock in the Hollywood system to achieve success on his own terms: a $6 million cinematic catastrophe called The Room.
Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau’s scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, “I have to do a scene with this guy.” That impulse changed both of their lives. Wiseau seemed never to have read the rule book on interpersonal relationships (or the instructions on a bottle of black hair dye), yet he generously offered to put the aspiring actor up in his LA apartment. Sestero’s nascent acting career first sizzled, then fizzled, resulting in Wiseau’s last-second offer to Sestero of costarring with him in The Room, a movie Wiseau wrote and planned to finance, produce, and direct—in the parking lot of a Hollywood equipment-rental shop.
Wiseau spent $6 million of his own money on his film, but despite the efforts of the disbelieving (and frequently fired) crew and embarrassed (and frequently fired) actors, the movie made no sense. Nevertheless Wiseau rented a Hollywood billboard featuring his alarming headshot and staged a red carpet premiere. The Room made $1800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. One reviewer said that watching The Room was like “getting stabbed in the head.”
The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero’s laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity. Written with award-winning journalist Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist is an inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will improbably capture your heart.
by Clare Clark.
Paperback, 512 pages.
“Clare Clark’s fiction manages to maintain historical accuracy even as it indulges in great storytelling and lush prose . . . A captivating fable of truth and memory, Beautiful Lies speaks to us quietly yet with strength.” —New York Times Book Review
London 1887. For Maribel Campbell Lowe, the beautiful bohemian wife of a maverick politician, it is the year to make something of herself. A self-proclaimed Chilean heiress educated in Paris, she is torn between poetry and the new art of photography. But it is soon plain that Maribel’s choices are not so simple. As her husband’s career hangs by a thread, her real past, and the family she abandoned, come back to haunt them both. When the notorious newspaper editor Alfred Webster begins to take an uncommon interest in Maribel, she fears he will not only destroy Edward’s career but both of their reputations.
In Sunlight and in Shadow
by Mark Helprin.
Paperback, 720 pages.
In the summer of 1946, New York City pulses with energy. Harry Copeland, a World War II veteran, has returned home to run the family business. Yet his life is upended by a single encounter with the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale, as each falls for the other in an instant. They pursue one another in a romance played out in Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, the offices of financiers, and the haunts of gangsters. Catherine’s choice of Harry over her longtime fiancé endangers Harry’s livelihood and threatens his life. In the end, Harry must summon the strength of his wartime experience to fight for Catherine, and risk everything.
“In its storytelling heft, its moral rectitude, the solemn magnificence of its writing and the splendor of its hymns to New York City, [In Sunlight and in Shadow] is a spiritual pendant to Winter’s Tale and every bit as extraordinary . . . Even the most stubbornly resistant readers will soon be disarmed by the nobility of the novel’s sentiments and seduced by the pure music of its prose.” — Wall Street Journal
Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time
by Caleb Daniloff.
Paperback, 256 pages.
“Running Ransom Road is Caleb Daniloff’s unblinking, ultimately triumphant account of his journey from mean, hopeless drunk back to humanity and himself—through distance running. It’s a searing tale of spiritual redemption—one marathon, one mile, one brave, difficult step at a time.”—Steve Friedman, co-author of New York Times bestseller Eat and Run and author of the memoir Lost on Treasure Island
For fifteen years, the words that best described Caleb Daniloff were “drunk,” “addict,” and “abuser.” These days, the best word to describe him is “runner.”
In Running Ransom Road, the long-since-sober Daniloff confronts his past by setting out to run races in each of the cities where he once lived and wreaked havoc during that lost period of his life. As he competes in marathons from Boston to Vermont to Moscow, he explores his old destructive life and how running’s sobering and inspiring effects have changed him for the better. In doing so, he connects with others like him, illuminating the connection between addiction and running. Running Ransom Road is at once a memoir of addiction, finding oneself, and learning to push past barriers both physical and emotional.
“Just as Caleb Daniloff’s life was about to tumble into the abyss of addiction, he was lucky enough to discover he liked to run, simply for himself. In Running Ransom Road, his captivating narrative describes a journey of personal redemption that, fortunately for us, he is willing to share.”—Frank Shorter, Olympic marathon gold medalist
Going Home Again
by Dennis Bock.
Hardcover, 272 pages.
After two acclaimed historical novels, one of Canada’s most celebrated young writers now gives us the vibrant, contemporary story of a man studying the suddenly confusing shape his life has taken, and why, and what his responsibilities—as a husband, a father, a brother, and an uncle—truly are.
Charlie Bellerose leads a seminomadic existence, traveling widely to manage the language academies he has established in different countries. After separating, somewhat amicably, from his wife, he moves from Madrid back to his native Canada to set up a new school, and for the first time he forges a meaningful relationship with his brother, who’s going through a vicious divorce. Charlie’s able to make a fresh start in Toronto but longs for his twelve-year-old daughter, whom he sees only via Skype and the occasional overseas visit. After a chance encounter with a girlfriend from his university days, a woman now happily married and with children of her own, he works through a series of memories-including a particularly painful one they share-as he reflects on questions of family, home, fatherhood, and love. But two tragic events (one long past, the other very much in the present) finally threaten to destroy everything he's ever believed in.
by Andre Dubus III.
Hardcover, 304 pages.
In this heartbreakingly beautiful book of disillusioned intimacy and persistent yearning, beloved and celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking gratification in food and sex, work and love.
In these linked novellas in which characters walk out the back door of one story and into the next, love is "dirty"—tangled up with need, power, boredom, ego, fear, and fantasy. On the Massachusetts coast north of Boston, a controlling manager, Mark, discovers his wife's infidelity after twenty-five years of marriage. An overweight young woman, Marla, gains a romantic partner but loses her innocence. A philandering bartender/aspiring poet, Robert, betrays his pregnant wife. And in the stunning title novella, a teenage girl named Devon, fleeing a dirty image of her posted online, seeks respect in the eyes of her widowed great-uncle Francis and of an Iraq vet she’s met surfing the Web.
Slivered by happiness and discontent, aging and death, but also persistent hope and forgiveness, these beautifully wrought narratives express extraordinary tenderness toward human beings, our vulnerable hearts and bodies, our fulfilling and unfulfilling lives alone and with others.
Ruler of the World
Empire of the Moghul
by Alex Rutherford.
Paperback, 416 pages.
Alex Rutherford’s internationally bestselling series continues with Ruler of the World, the story of the third great Moghul Emperor, Akbar, leader of a triumphant dynasty which contained the seeds of its own destruction.
Akbar, ruler of a sixth of the world's people, colossally rich and utterly ruthless, was a contemporary of Elizabeth I, but infinitely more powerful. He extended his empire over much of Asia, skillfully commanding tens of thousands of men, elephants and innovative technology, yet despite the unimaginable bloodshed which resulted his rule was based on universal religious tolerance.
However, Akbar's homelife was more complicated. He defied family, nobles and mullahs to marry a beautiful Rajput princess, whose people he had conquered; but she hated Akbar and turned Salim, his eldest son, against him. What's more, as any Moghul prince could inherit his father's crown and become Emperor, his sons were brought up to be intensely competitive and suspicious of each other: to see each other as rivals for the greatest prize of all. And, as Salim grew to manhood, the relationship between father and son became tainted by rebellion and competition to be the greatest Moghul of them all.
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag
A Memoir of a Life Through Events--the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don't
by Jennifer Gilbert.
Paperback, 224 pages.
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag is a warm, wise, and wholly original memoir of survival, renewal, and transformation, by one of New York City’s most successful and respected special events coordinators.
With her top-level events company, Save the Date, Jennifer Gilbert has worked with Fortune 500 companies, broadcast media giants, international nonprofit organizations, and celebrities from Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates and beyond. Yet few of her clients or colleagues have known, until now, that Jennifer not only a self-made success: she’s also a survivor. After a random, near-fatal attack left her body in critical condition on a crowded city street, and left her with emotional wounds that would take years to heal, Jennifer embarked upon a journey to reclaim her life.
This is her story, in her own words: I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag, an intimate, poignant, inspiring memoir of perseverance, rediscovery, and hope.
The Gilded Life and Tragic Times of J. Paul Getty III
by Charles Fox.
Hardcover, 304 pages.
The glamorous life, gilded family, and tragic times of J. Paul Getty III, whose kidnapping made headlines in 1973
J. Paul (“Little Paul”) Getty III, the grandson of Getty Oil founder J. Paul Getty, may have been cursed by money and privilege from the moment he was born. Falling in with the wrong people and practically abandoned by his famous family, Getty was a child of his international jet set era, moving from Marrakesh to Rome, nightclubs to well-appointed drug dens. His high-profile kidnapping defined the decade—and was permanently memorable for the ear that was mailed to his mother as evidence of the kidnappers’ intentions.
Uncommon Youth is richly reported, and includes many interviews with Getty himself conducted from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, that raise new angles about the case. How much did Getty acquiesce to the kidnappers? Why wouldn’t his rich-as-Croesus grandfather pay the ransom, which began at the equivalent of $550,000 in lire and bulged to 3.6 million as the months dragged on? Charles Fox began following and researching this story since the days shortly after Getty’s disappearance. Fox’s writing captures the voices of models and maids, mistresses and mothers, carabinieri and club-owners, drug dealers and drivers, alongside the Getty family members themselves to paint an evocative portrait of an era and one of its most misunderstood participants.
Mending the Moon
by Susan Palwick.
Hardcover, 336 pages.
Melinda Soto, aged sixty-four, vacationing in Mexico, is murdered by a fellow American tourist.
Back in her hometown of Reno, Nevada, she leaves behind her adopted son, Jeremy, whom she rescued from war-torn Guatamala when he was a toddler—just one of her many causes over the years. And she leaves behind a circle of friends: Veronique, the academic stuck in a teaching job from which she can't retire; Rosemary, who's losing her husband to Alzheimer's and who's trying to lose herself in volunteer work; Henrietta, the priest at Rosemary's and Melinda's church.
Jeremy already had a fraught relationship with his charismatic mother and the people in her orbit. Now her death is tearing him apart, and he can barely stand the rituals of remembrance that ensue among his mother’s friends. Then the police reveal who killed Melinda: a Seattle teenager who flew home to his parents and drowned himself just days later.
It's too much. Jeremy's not the only one who can't deal. Friendships fray. But the unexpected happens: an invitation to them all, from the murderer's mother, to come to Seattle for his memorial. It's ridiculous. And yet, somehow, each of them begins to see in it a chance to heal. Aided, in peculiar ways, by Jeremy's years-long obsession with the comic-book hero Comrade Cosmos, and the immense cult of online commentary it's spawned.
Shot through with feeling and inventiveness, Susan Palwick's Mending the Moon is a novel of the odd paths that lead to home.
Brand New Human Being
by Emily Jeanne Miller.
Paperback, 272 pages.
“A fast-paced, first-rate book by an immensely talented new writer.” —Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep
Stay-at-home dad Logan Pyle is holding his life together by a thread: his larger-than-life father, Gus, has just died, his wife is distant, and his kindergarten-age son has regressed to drinking from a baby bottle and sucking his thumb. Complicating matters further is Bennie, Gus’s beautiful young widow, with whom Logan has a troubled past. When the thread finally snaps, Logan’s actions threaten to tear the family he treasures apart. Carried by Logan’s wry, original voice, this moving debut follows one man’s journey from child to parent.
“Compelling . . . The strength of Brand New Human Being is its realistic portrayal of trauma and its aftermath.” —Washington Post
“Introspective and honest . . . Miller’s novel is sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always a worthy, exciting read.” —Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone
“I devoured this novel. Miller’s debut is funny, fast-paced and poignant, and it depicts a father-son relationship unlike any I’ve read before.” —Jim Gavin, author of Middle Men
The Year of the Gadfly
by Jennifer Miller.
Paperback, 384 pages.
“Do you know what it took for Socrates’ enemies to make him stop pursuing the truth?”
Storied, fiercely competitive Mariana Academy was founded with a serious honor code; its reputation has been unsullied for decades. Now a long-dormant secret society, Prisom's Party, threatens its placid halls with vigilante justice, exposing students and teachers alike for even the most minor infraction.
Iris Dupont, a budding journalist whose only confidant is the chain-smoking specter of Edward R. Murrow, feels sure she can break into the ranks of The Devil’s Advocate, the Party’s underground newspaper, and there uncover the source of its blackmail schemes and vilifying rumors. Some involve the school’s new science teacher, who also seems to be investigating the Party. Others point to an albino student who left school abruptly ten years before, never to return. And everything connects to a rare book called Marvelous Species. But the truth comes with its own dangers, and Iris is torn between her allegiances, her reporter's instinct, and her own troubled past.
The Year of the Gadfly is an exhilarating journey of double-crosses, deeply buried secrets, and the lifelong reverberations of losing someone you love. Following in the tradition of classic school novels such as A Separate Peace, Prep, and The Secret History, it reminds us how these years haunt our lives forever.
Pray for Us Sinners
by Patrick Taylor.
Hardcover, 336 pages.
A British Army bomb-disposal expert goes undercover to try to identify the source of the bombs being used by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in Pray for Us Sinners, a thrilling novel by New York Times bestseller Patrick Taylor
In Belfast in 1973 the Troubles are raging. Two Ulstermen. Two sides. On one, British Army bomb-disposal officer Marcus Richardson; on the other, Davy MacCutcheon, Provisional IRA armourer who has been constructing bombs since his teens. Both men are committed to their causes until events shatter their beliefs, leaving each with a crisis of faith and an overpowering need to get out—but with honour.
When he is nearly killed by an exploding car bomb, Marcus welcomes the offer of a transfer to the elite SAS—provided that he first accept an undercover mission to infiltrate the Falls Road ghetto, join the Provisional IRA, identify their upper echelon, and expose their bomb-maker.
When Davy’s devices are used for civilian disruption rather than military targets, the bomb-maker begins to question what he’s doing. His work is being used to maim and kill innocent people. His request to be discharged is countered by an order that he go on one last mission. Success will bring Davy redemption and permission to leave Ireland with Fiona Kavanagh, the woman he loves.
When the paths of the two men cross, Davy realizes that he can use Marcus’s expertise in plastic explosives. A runaway series of events leaves both men in an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of a plot to kill the British Prime Minster. Can Marcus find a way to thwart the plan and escape with his life?
Shout Her Lovely Name
by Natalie Serber.
Paperback, 240 pages.
A New York Times Notable Book
“Nuanced and smart . . . Serber knows that neglect or disconnect doesn’t always turn into trauma or damage. Life isn’t algebra. Which events lead to pain, and which to growth and awareness, remains unpredictable. The one reliable truth is that mistakes illuminate the most, albeit with fractured light.”
—The New York Times Book Review
Mothers and daughters ride a familial tide of joy, pride, regret, guilt, and love in these acclaimed stories of flawed, resilient women. Wheat bread and plain yogurt become weapons in a battle between a teenage daughter and her mother. An aimless college student, married to her much older professor, sneaks cigarettes while caring for their newborn son. On the eve of her husband’s fiftieth birthday, a pilfered fifth of rum, rogue teenagers, and an unexpected tattoo has a woman questioning her place in her children’s lives. And we follow through two decades the family created when capricious, magnetic Ruby, an ambitious college student, becomes a single mother to cautious daughter Nora in 1970s California. Shout Her Lovely Name is a “funny, bittersweet” (Vanity Fair) book that announces the arrival of a stunning new writer.
“Powerful and disquieting . . . Serber writes with exquisite patience and sensitivity, and is an expert in the many ways that love throws people together and splits them apart, often at the same time.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Always, Serber's writing sparkles: practical, strong, brazenly modern, marbled with superb descriptions . . . Take my word: Shout Her Lovely Name will reach inside readers and squeeze. On second thought, don't take my word. Read these lovely stories.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence: A Novel
by David Samuel Levinson.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
Catherine Strayed is living a quiet, un?remarkable life in a secluded college town following the mysterious death of her husband, a promising writer whose death may have been an accident, a suicide, or perhaps even a murder. When her former mentor (and onetime lover)—a powerful critic who singlehandedly destroyed her late husband’s chance for success—takes a teaching job at the college, Catherine’s world threatens to collapse. For with him has come his latest protégé, an exotic young woman named Antonia Lively. Antonia’s debut novel has become a literary sensation—but it is, in fact, an almost factual retelling of ?a terrible crime that she relates without ?any concern for the impact its publication will have on the lives of those involved.
As Antonia insinuates herself into Catherine’s life, mysterious and frightening things start to happen, because unbeknownst to Catherine, the younger woman intends to plunder her own dark, regrettable past—and the unsolved death of her husband—for her next literary triumph.
Provocative and cunning, Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence asserts that fiction is never truly fictional and asks, What does stealing another’s life do to your soul? Levinson spins a tale of surprises, peeling back one revelation only to find another in this tightly wrought, wickedly cynical look at the worlds of academia, publishing, and celebrity.
by Karen Mack.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
His theories would change the world?and tear hers apart.
A page-turning novel inspired by the true-life love affair between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law.
It is fin-de-siècle Vienna and Minna Bernays, an overeducated lady’s companion with a sharp, wry wit, is abruptly fired, yet again, from her position. She finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895, the city may be aswirl with avant-garde artists and revolutionary ideas, yet a woman’s only hope for security is still marriage. But Minna is unwilling to settle. Out of desperation, she turns to her sister, Martha, for help.
Martha has her own problems?six young children and an absent, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. At this time, Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses. And while Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband’s ?pornographic” work, Minna is fascinated.
Minna is everything Martha is not?intellectually curious, engaging, and passionate. She and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, yet something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape.
In this sweeping tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal?between a husband and a wife, between sisters?fact and fiction seamlessly blend together, creating a compelling portrait of an unforgettable woman and her struggle to reconcile her love for her sister with her obsessive desire for her sister’s husband, the mythic father of psychoanalysis.
The Coldest Night
by Robert Olmstead.
Paperback, 320 pages.
Henry Childs is just seventeen when he falls into a love affair so intense it nearly destroys him. To escape the wrath of the young girl’s father, Henry joins the Marines, arriving in Korea on the eve of the brutal battle of the Chosin Reservoir—the defining moment of the Korean War. There he confronts an enemy force far beyond the scope of his imagining, but the challenges he meets upon his return home, scarred and haunted, are greater by far.
From the steamy streets of New Orleans to the bone-chilling Korean landscape, award-winning author Robert Olmstead takes us into one of the most physically challenging battles in history and, with just as much intensity, into an electrifying, all-consuming love affair.
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
by Scott Jurek.
Paperback, 288 pages.
“In pursuing the mental side of endurance, Jurek uncovers the most important secrets any runner can learn.”—Amby Burfoot, author of The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life
For nearly two decades, Scott Jurek has been a dominant force—and darling—in the grueling and growing sport of ultrarunning. Until recently he held the American 24-hour record and he was one of the elite runners profiled in the runaway bestseller Born to Run.
In Eat and Run, Jurek opens up about his life and career as a champion athlete with a plant-based diet and inspires runners at every level. From his Midwestern childhood hunting, fishing, and cooking for his meat-and-potatoes family to his slow transition to ultrarunning and veganism, Scott’s story shows the power of an iron will and blows apart the stereotypes of what athletes should eat to fuel optimal performance. Full of stories of competition as well as science and practical advice—including his own recipes—Eat and Run will motivate readers and expand their food horizons.
“Jurek’s story and ideas should easily manage to speak to and cheer on anyone seeking to live life as fully as possible.”—Denver Post
“A shockingly honest, revealing, and inspiring memoir.”—Trail Runner
A Kingdom Divided: Empire of the Moghul
by Alex Rutherford.
Paperback, 448 pages.
Already an international bestseller, A Kingdom Divided continues the epic story of the Moghuls, one of the most magnificent and violent dynasties in world history.
India, 1530. Humayun, the newly crowned second Moghul emperor, is a fortunate man. His father has left him wealth, glory, and an empire that stretches a thousand miles south of the Khyber Pass. But, unbeknownst to him, his half-brothers are plotting against him. They doubt that he has the strength, the will, the brutality needed to command the Moghul armies and lead them to still-greater glories. Soon Humayun will be locked in a terrible battle: not only for his crown, not only for his life, but for the existence of the very empire itself.
by Kathy Hepinstall.
Paperback, 288 pages.
"A first-rate choice for fans of intelligent historical romances."—Library Journal, starred review Amid the mayhem of the Civil War, Iris Dunleavy is put on trial by her husband, convicted of madness, and sent to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a compliant Virginia plantation wife. But her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing on notions of cruelty and property. On this remote Florida island, Iris meets a wonderful collection of inmates in various states of sanity, including Ambrose Weller, a Confederate soldier haunted by war, whose dark eyes beckon to her. Can love in such a place be real? Can they escape, and will the war have left any way—any place—for them to make a life together?
"An absorbing story that explores both the rewards and perils of love, pride, and sanity."—Publishers Weekly "With Blue Asylum, Hepinstall presents the reader with the rare and delicious quandary of whether to race through and find out what happens to her characters or to linger over her vivid, beautifully crafted sentences. For me, the only resolution was to read it twice." —Hillary Jordan, author of Mudbound and When She Woke "A gripping story of love and madness in the midst of the Civil War—I couldn’t put it down!"—Kathleen Grissom, author of The Kitchen House
The Lower River
by Paul Theroux.
Paperback, 336 pages.
“[Hock] knows he is ensorcelled by exoticism, but he can’t help himself. And, as things go from bad to worse and the pages start to turn faster, neither can we. A.”—Entertainment Weekly
When he was a young man, Ellis Hock spent four of the best years of his life with the Peace Corps in Malawi. So when his wife of forty-two years leaves him, he decides to return to the village where he was stationed in search of the happiness he’d been missing since he left. But what he finds is not what he expected. The school he built is a ruin, the church and clinic are gone, and poverty and apathy have set in among the people.
They remember Ellis and welcome him with open arms. Soon, however, their overtures turn menacing; they demand money and refuse to let him leave the village. Is his new life an escape or a trap?
“Theroux’s bravely unsentimental novel about a region where he began his own grand career should become part of anybody’s education in the continent.”—Washington Post
“The Lower River is riveting in its storytelling and provocative in its depiction of this African backwater, infusing both with undertones of slavery and cannibalism, savagery and disease.”—New York Times Book Review