Yes, I judged this book based on its cover, and it did not disappoint. I was immediately pulled into this Middle-Eastern fantasy of magic, mysteries, and djinn.
Nahri is a fascinating character – a con woman with a healing magic she can’t explain and a past she doesn’t know. When she accidentally summons an outcast Djinn named Dara to her side everything she thinks she knows changes. Dara is equally mysterious and sly and between him, Nahri, and Prince Alizayd of the legendary city of Daevabad, well, I was intrigued the entire ride. Wonderful world building, great characters, and a cliff hanger (fair warning!) that left me literally gasping and wanting the next book ASAP. I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.
Although Mrs. Osmond is basically a sequel to the 1881 Henry James classic The Portrait of a Lady, you do not have to have read that book (I haven’t) to enjoy this one. Banville skillfully captures the essence of James’s writing style, so much so that you’ll feel like James rose from the grave and wrote this book himself. An emotionally satisfying and acutely observed tale of female empowerment, this is the perfect read for those who yearn for a new classic.
A new direction, a new town, and this time, a new plot. Once again, our favorite humble hero, Jack Reacher, is caught up in something bigger than what he expected, but this time, it’s of his own volition. On a rest-stop stroll, Jack spies a West Point class ring in a pawn shop window. He knows that not only is this unusual, but unlikely that the owner would give up a class ring. Thinking it might have been stolen, Jack decides to buy the ring, and therefor starts the search for the rings rightful owner. Of course, in true Lee Child style, what Jack finds is so much more. By far the best Reacher book so far!
This book will bring the acclaimed chef and cookbook writer David Lebovitz many new admirers. On the surface, L’Appart appears to be about an ex-Pat’s adventure into buying and renovating an apartment in Paris, but it is also a story about changing one’s life. Entertaining and funny, Lebovitz also treats his readers to a story about French culture, Parisian people and of course food, plus a new batch of recipes.
An excellent mystery with twists and turns, it hooked me immediately and wouldn't let go. A quick, fun read. Abby left her small town home 10 years ago, and now she's back - investigating the big plastics company who may or may not be dumping waste into the town's water supply - but has the town folk hooked around their little finger. At the same time, Abby is dealing with old memories, old enemies, and her own demons. Particularly surrounding a missing school friend with a dark history. Bonfire is a strong mystery with fascinating characters and good storytelling instincts. Ritter blends a handful of plot lines seamlessly, and I loved seeing how it all turned out.
We all know the story of the Nutcracker, or at least we think we do. Once again we are taken into one of our favorite tales and spun around to see the other side, as Gregory Maguire takes us on a journey long before The Nutcracker to explore the most enigmatic character of all time – Herr Drosselmeier, the mysterious Godfather to Klara. From his beginnings as an orphan, and on through to his life as a Master Toymaker and Storyteller, once you’ve read this enchanting story, you’ll see The Nutcracker with an enlightened perspective. Maguire is himself a Master Storyteller.
Faced with a failing book, financial difficulties and writers block, Dickens returns to his writing roots to find not only his words, but himself. Written in tones of Dicken’s himself, Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a perfect holiday tale and companion to the original Christmas Carol. Get them both and add some magic to your holiday season.
What really matters? 200 women from a variety of backgrounds -some famous and some not- are asked this question along with 4 other ones. Their answers are equally moving and eye opening. Paired with a brief bio and stunning photograph of each woman, this makes an ideal gift full of inspiration!
Few modern photographers have a portfolio and client repertoire as vast as Annie Leibovitz. Few also have as distinct a style of portraiture- painterly, timeless, recognizable instantly when glanced on the cover of a glossy magazine. This collection of those portraits is at home on the shelf of the art critic, the movie buff, the music enthusiast, the fashion obsessed, and the casual celeb-stalker alike.
This book is perfect not only for fans of the iconic New York Times comic Barry Blitt, but admirers of brilliant illustrations! I first heard of Barry Blitt while studying Graphic Design and I was drawn in by his unique type found throughout all of his comics, and immediately fell in love with the witty content he created. Blitt is the ultimate collection of his comics and even includes personal notations throughout, making it more personal. Anyone who loves art and appreciates a good sense of political humor will love this book!
This memoir is the most powerful, influential story for today’s narrative on immigration policy! Every page of this book is a lesson in patriotism, our constitution, and the overwhelming courage and sacrifice this family endured to defend those freedoms. Personally, it should be required reading given our recent anti-immigrant speech.
With the #1 New York Times best-selling My Life in France, Alex Prud’homme helped his Great Aunt Julia Child share her inspiring story of finding her life’s calling in France. In France is a Feast, Prud’homme shares his Great Uncle Paul Child’s passion: photography, and in turn helps to chronicle Julia falling for French food and cooking as well as the country’s abundant culture and beauty in the years following World War II. More than 200 luscious, black-and-white photographs are included in the book, some intimate portraits of Julia, complete with the author’s personal stories about a couple who quite simply adored each other.
In Endangered, renowned photographer Tim Flach does an incredible job of capturing the ephemeral beauty of our planet’s most precious species. Flach’s breathtaking photographs should strike a chord with readers concerned with protecting our planet’s most precious species. By exposing readers to the threats that our global ecosystem faces (climate change, poaching, reduction in natural habitats, and deforestation), this book will inspire readers to make changes in their own day-to-day lives. Our future depends on it.
Just how big are the worlds we enter when we watch a movie? And just how far do the characters go? Cinemaps aims to show you, with exquisitely illustrated maps showing the locations in each film, and the paths characters took from place to place. Side bars give you trivia and additional commentary on specific locations, and each map is paired with an essay giving you a brief overview of the film and its geography. From Star Wars to Pulp Fiction, no film geography is too small or big to be displayed in this gorgeous book for film buffs and people who love to see all the details. All in all, 35 popular films are documented in this unique atlas, sure to bring hours of conversation and exploration to your favorite movie fan.
Even as a child, one of the most gifted, imaginative, and inventive characters, Leonardo was a man before his time. Ever wonder why the Mona Lisa is the most famous smile of all times? Isaacson has once again, taken one of history’s most famous persons, painted the most riveting picture of Leonardo in full-color, and written an engrossing true tale that you will not be able to stop reading.
American Wolf, which focuses on the life and adventures of the world-famous alpha female O-Six and her pack, is one of the most thrilling, affecting books I’ve ever read. O-Six and her family are besieged on all sides in and around Yellowstone National Park— by rival packs, by ranchers and hunters who would loving nothing more than to kill every wolf in America, and by state and federal politicians indifferent to the ecological importance of wolves. And yet O-Six, seemingly invincible, endures. Nate Blakeslee’s mythic story of an American legend is surely the best nature book of 2017.
Chris Ware has created his own artistic category, joining people like Miles Davis, David Bowie, and Andy Warhol as one who has taken an art form beyond its own preconceived borders. With this monograph of his work spanning decades, Ware shows us how he quickly outgrew the cartoonist label to become one of the most lauded graphic artists and pointed social critics of the modern age. An amazing book to be savored by even the most casual art lover.
Wise Trees is a glorious coffee table book depicting 50 wondrous ancient and sacred trees throughout the world. From familiar icons like Isaac Newton's Apple tree to the incomprehensibly massive Montezuma Cypress in Mexico, each one is astonishing. The format includes stunning photos and fascinating stories that will draw you into the lives of these profoundly magnificent living monuments.
Filled with striking photographs and vivid profiles, this book lives up to its billing: the best of the New York Times Home Section. The gorgeous interior and architectural designs found within span a wide range of styles, inspirations, and locales- from Alabama to Russia, with a wealth of gorgeous selections from the New York area alone. Any lover of beautiful and unique homes will enjoy sinking into the pages of this exceptional collection.
Waiting for the Punch is a selection of snippets from interviews Marc Maron conducted on his immensely popular podcast WTF! Every chapter is full of wisdom and humor from actors like Amy Poehler and Michael Keaton to comedians like Patton Oswalt and Louis CK and even Barack Obama. The list of heavy hitters in this book is massive, and the small excerpts from interviews, arranged by topic, are endlessly fascinating, perhaps because they are so masterfully woven together with commentary by Maron himself, or simply because the guests are so interesting. This book is great for fans of comedy and entertainment, or for someone who just needs a good quote to get them through the day.
What if everything we thought was true about how the world was run was not the truth? What would the world be like if women were the dominate sex? Would men be fighting for equality? How different would everything be? Thrilling to the very last sentence, Naomi Alderman brings us into the near future, building an alternate yet believable scenario, showing us that power without management, in anyone’s hands – in this case, teenage girls – is always corruptible.
The best magical realism comes from Alice Hoffman, and this book is no different. The story of Franny and Jet Owens (the aunts from Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic) is full of love and tragedy and hope. Their story gives dimension to the Owens family that I didn't realize was missing, and made me cry at least twice.
It's strange, but Fran and Jet were such their own beings that it never occurred to me that they are AUNTS and must therefore have a sibling somewhere. Vincent was everything I could have wanted him to be. The perfect piece to the story.
Recommended for any fans of magical realism, fans of Alice Hoffman, and those who ever wondered more about the Owens family, and the Aunts in particular.
Oh, and the best part? It begins "Once upon a time..."; the best possible opening for any book.
Devotions is stunningly honest, incredibly kind, and utterly hopeful. Mary Oliver writes with an essence of knowing, noticing, and pointing out. Pulled from 27 individual publications, the poems in this collection highlight her ability to string together quiet moments, and spin them into profound verse, often grounded in the natural world. This is a must-have for Oliver fans, poetry fanatics, and nature lovers, alike.
A wild ride through the history of one of our most iconic, truest symbols of our American selves, the triumphant/tragic saga of the wild Mustang is exhilarating, yet eye-opening. Protected but misunderstood the population of one of our country’s first natives is at risk of disappearing. Philipps has written a rich history spanning centuries, that delves deeply into the current day crisis, but also gives us hope for the future of this truly amazing animal.
Night Stories is a beautiful idea executed to perfection. Linden Frederick, known for his realistic paintings of rural New England at dusk and at night, gathered some of New England's favorite storytellers who used his art to tell stories that dive beyond the surface of the canvas and into the hearts and lives of the people you'd find in those scenes. Each author brings their own voice to Frederick's art in their own way. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, I'd say having both is even better!
An astounding debut from a talented author, this collection of stories is original, inventive, and wholly mesmerizing. Beautifully written with a dark and exhilarating edge, each tale vibrates with its own brilliant ferocity. Seamlessly blending aspects of realism and fantasy, the book also effortlessly manages to be funny, insightful, terrifying, and relatable.
In what is ultimately a book about what it means to be human, one of our greatest scientific minds explores the complicated relationship between the humanities, the sciences, and creativity itself in its myriad forms. Reaching back beyond the Paleolithic age to the dawn of our planet, Wilson explores genetic evolution, the origins of art and storytelling, and the miracle of language. A fascinating and invigorating read, this book simultaneously looks backward and forward, reminding us how far we've come and how much further we've yet to go.
This third book in the "John Dies at the End" series is simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny, and stay-up-all-night scary. This book is the forbidden fruit your parents would never let you read as a child: rife with beautifully-crafted toilet humor and surreal monsters which will make you question your reality. This book stands on its own but is best enjoyed after John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders.
Here’s a book not only for birders, but lovers of art and biographies. While I did, indeed spend hours just marveling at the detailed illustrations of the birds, their nests, and their eggs, I also enjoyed reading the history. I found Elphick’s writing approachable and soon was caught up the in voyages that allowed these artists, known and unknown to us, the chance to paint. What makes this a truly magnificent gift is the sumptuous prints included in this box set.
I loved this book so deeply that it's hard for me to articulate all the reasons why. Anna is a fierce and relatable protagonist with many responsibilities in the absence of her father- a man she adored, and whose disappearance still haunts her. The beautifully written story expands with cleverly interwoven storylines involving the Brooklyn Naval Yard, the organized crime scene in New York City, and even the Merchant Marine. Egan's first historical novel is an absolute triumph filled with vibrant details and flawed, compelling characters.
Does winter have you dreaming of escaping to far-away places? After reading this, we guarantee you’ll consider at least one of these 25 gorgeous destinations for your next trip. Comprised of alluring travel essays and stunning photography, each destination is sure to tantalize novices and seasoned travelers alike. This book will inspire you to dig your suitcase out of the closet and start packing!
America’s greatest storyteller isn’t finished yet. Culled from notes in an archive scribbled down after some particularly good bedtime stories for his daughters, Philip and Erin Stead have brought to life a lost Mark Twain tale. Complete with talking animals, mad kings, and magic seeds, this story is sure to satisfy the young and put a smile on the face of the old. Though the story is for children, Twain does not spare us his trademark wit and social commentary.
Since 1847, West Point has published and updated their own textbook for cadets, “The West Point History of Warfare.” Finally available to the public, this impressive tome is stocked with tactical maps, data visualizations, and newly commissioned chapters that make it the definitive history of our revolution. A book to be examined and revisited, appropriate for history fans young and old.
Hannah Kent does an amazing job of placing you right in the plot and setting of her books. I love that I could smell the scents and feel the dew as I read this book. Early Ireland--folklore, spirits, religion, healers—wow!! Is Nora’s grandson a changeling? Can he be healed? I’m flummoxed at the rituals and beliefs, along with the lack of support people had even amongst each other in the small villages. Beautiful and haunting!
When I started this book, I couldn’t imagine what the “best day ever” could be for this “perfect couple” with a “perfect home” and a “perfect life,” but as the day progressed, and small cracks began to appear in Paul Strom’s “perfect day,” the idea of perfect started to take on new meaning. Kaira Rouda takes us on a roller coaster ride – sometimes creepy, sometimes hilarious – all building toward an ending I couldn’t predict.-Terri
Liam Taggart, the private investigator from Once We Were Brothers, is called back to Northern Ireland to investigate his Uncle's death (murder?). Was this a crime of revenge, dating back to the 60's IRA vs. UUP? A greedy family member? As Liam is appointed the sole trustee of his Uncle's estate and trying to solve this case, he is forced to remember the past he ran away from. You will be guessing up until the last chapter. Serious nail biter!
Dan Jones is a master storyteller. In his hands, history becomes a "yarn" spun out of actual historical fact. The Knights Templar were the soldiers at the forefront of the Crusades. Along the way, they became very wealthy and maybe a little complacent and lazy. Follow the Templars through two hundred years of history (Richard the Lionhearted, Magna Carta, Saladin, etc.) and watch how politics unfolded and drove the spectacular rise and devastating fall of the order. It's a great "yarn"-exciting and extremely entertaining!
Where the Animals Go is a joy to read for lovers of animals, science, and graphics. Cheshire and Uberti tell highly engaging and well-researched stories of how animals navigate the world, and the relationship their navigation has with surrounding human populations. The maps and graphics Where the Animals Go contain are beautiful to look at, and bring to life environments and landscapes I had no familiarity with. After reading this book, you will want to study the animal kingdom more.
With a simple, lyrical writing style that sits somewhere between Ernest Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy, Savage Country tells the story of Elizabeth Coughlin, a determined woman left crippled by debt following the unexpected death of her foolhardy husband. In an act of desperation, Elizabeth enlists her husband’s mysterious brother to lead a buffalo hunt – which was a common, and exceedingly dangerous, get-rich-quick scheme in the years following the Civil War. Olmstead is one of the most under-the-radar American authors – if you’ve never read him before, do yourself a favor and start with this big, beautiful, often bloody adventure.
This is the follow up to Darktown, a great historical fiction/mystery set in Atlanta in the 1950's. Racism and corruption are still rampant (will they ever go out of style? We can only hope) and black cops Smith and Boggs combat crime with scant help from the rest of the force. The Klan's role in maintaining "southern traditions" plays a major part and it is hard to believe that this group still attracts a following today. Warning: the frequent use of the n- word in this mystery is cringe-worthy but historically accurate.
— Mary T.
Historical fiction at its best! If you liked One Thousand White Women, you have to read this new continuing story by Jim Fergus. Told from the point of view of Irish Meggie Kelly, and newcomer to the "brides for Indians" program Molly McGill, this is a powerful tale of our history, passion, family bonds, sisterhood, and Cheyenne culture in the 1870's West. At times, the historical accuracy is a bit violent. Very rarely do I stay up past midnight to find out what happens, but these incredibly strong warrior women will have you doing just that. The perfect escape!
This engrossing story begins with a fire and a home burning to the ground in the otherwise "perfect' community of Shaker Heights, Ohio. You will meet the members of two very different yet intertwined families that forever change each other's lives. Ng is especially adept at revealing the motivations behind each character's actions, even giving us a glimpse of their souls.
This is a book to help you figure out your stuff and change your ways. That is also to say, it’s a guide to advise you on what may be holding you back from accomplishing goals, realizing dreams, getting ahead at the office, success, happiness. It contains the always intriguing work of Gretchen Rubin, the popular author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before and host of the podcast, Happier, who shares her research on personality types. It can also serve as a very helpful how-to for bosses, teachers, coaches, therapists, parents, and others who are trying to understand and bring out the best in those they manage/love/care for... Ultimately, a fascinating book about human behavior, human nature and empathy.
Jamie Ford has written a delightful, heart-wrenching, and yet hopeful, tale of love and fate, loosely based on a true story.
Sold by his mother at a young age, Ernest is shipped from his home in China to Oregon and raised as a servant in a boarding school. He knows that he is incredibly lucky to get an education, but is also determined to move on someday. Then, he is surprised to find himself raffled off at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and “won” by Madame Flora, the owner of an upscale brothel in town.
As an errand runner, Ernest is happy where he landed and finds himself falling in love with two girls: Maisie, the madam’s daughter, and Fahn, a scullery maid in the house. From there, it’s a beautiful coming of age tale centered around these three close friends.
Balancing past with present, as Ernest’s journalist daughter digs into her parents’ past in 1962, the mystery of who Ernest married, and what happened along the way, builds throughout. Wonderfully written with fascinating characters.
Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, Lois' life takes an unexpected turn when she is given a sourdough starter with a mysterious provenance. The unhappy techie becomes increasingly involved with San Francisco's Foodie culture, and other cultures, where old techniques and new technologies are recombined in the quest for the next edible epiphany.Fast-paced, enjoyable and though-provoking!
Danielle Allen begins by writing a memoir and tribute to her beloved cousin. What happens next takes us to a place where we question what it's like to be a young black male in America. This is an important book that makes you question everything you know about the justice system and the lifetime impact it has on those who become incarcerated.
Thoughtful, well written and researched. If you've ever thought "hey, I'm addicted to social media or my phone or a game..." and then picked up your phone (or sat at your computer) and looked at or played said thing anyway ... this book is for you.
As I read this book, I found myself stopping. And thinking. And evaluating myself. The author suggests reading through once, and then reading again with the intention of doing the activities (which are simple and few). It’s a great idea.
What I loved most is that the author focused on her research, and interviews, and then accented them with her own issues/actions/addictions. Bored and Brilliant is a fascinating look at how technology has taken over and a lesson in how we can use our favorite apps and programs with more intention.
“Find Your Way Home” can be considered the theme of this book! Whether it’s through love, hopes, ghosts of the past, or dreams-each character has their own struggle. Beautifully written and realistically tragic! I regularly commented out loud with concern for what was happening. Jesmyn Ward does NOT disappoint in this latest novel.
Naomi is one of the most highly sought after missing children detective, her almost instinctive knack stemming from once being “lost” herself, which still causes nightmares. She has no memories of herself or her life before being “found.” While working on a cold case, the similarities start to trigger feelings of a loss she cannot describe, but cannot seem to remember. Will uncovering the truth behind a missing girl help her to uncover her own truth? Rene Denfeld’s writing will grab you from the first chapter and does not let you go until you, too, are lost to the very end.
Set in present day, the third book in the George Smiley series centers on Peter Guillam, Smiley’s once right-hand man, as he is called to account for his role in a Cold War mission gone bad. Le Carre’s firsthand spying experience shines through in brilliant detail – the story feels grounded and authentic; the dialogue crackles while avoiding cliché; and the way in which he intersperses top secret reports (containing vital information AND misinformation) between agents is simply ingenious. Slowly the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together –and what a puzzle it is!