Lincoln in the Bardo by #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. "My poor boy, he was too good for this earth," the president says at the time. "God has called him home." Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy's body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state--called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo--a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie's soul. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction's ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end? Praise for Lincoln in the Bardo "A luminous feat of generosity and humanism."--Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review "A masterpiece."--Zadie Smith "Ingenious . . . Saunders--well on his way toward becoming a twenty-first-century Twain--crafts an American patchwork of love and loss, giving shape to our foundational sorrows."--Vogue "Saunders is the most humane American writer working today."--Harper's Magazine "The novel beats with a present-day urgency--a nation at war with itself, the unbearable grief of a father who has lost a child, and a howling congregation of ghosts, as divided in death as in life, unwilling to move on."--Vanity Fair "A brilliant, Buddhist reimagining of an American story of great loss and great love."--Elle "Wildly imaginative"--Marie Claire "Mesmerizing . . . Dantesque . . . A haunting American ballad."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Exhilarating . . . Ruthless and relentless in its evocation not only of Lincoln and his quandary, but also of the tenuous existential state shared by all of us." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "It's unlike anything you've ever read, except that the grotesque humor, pathos, and, ultimately, human kindness at its core mark it as a work that could come only from Saunders."--The National
Publication Date: 2017-02-14
Ms. Drezner wept openly on the subway platform. So many of us loved this book for its beautiful, funny, heart-rending take on Lincoln’s most devastating loss.
The Underground Railroad by The Newest Oprah Book Club 2016 Selection From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned--Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor--engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver's Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey--hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Publication Date: 2016-08-02
Read it as an allegory, read it as a disturbing, interconnected series of short stories—either way it deserved its Pulitzer. Pair it with Kathryn Schulz’s thoughtful review, here, where she asks whether escape *north* was as important as white northern readers today wish it to have been. This one is a favorite of Ms. Drezner, Ms. Moore, and Mr. Henneberry.
Delicious Foods by WINNER OF THE 2016 PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FOR FICTION WINNER OF THE HURSTON/WRIGHT LEGACY FICTION AWARD FINALIST FOR THE 2016 DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES PRIZE FOR FICTION NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, Kirkus, BuzzFeed, National Post, Kansas City Star TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Publishers Weekly TOP 15 BOOKS OF THE YEAR: BookPage Held captive by her employers--and by her own demons--on a mysterious farm, a widow struggles to reunite with her young son in this uniquely American story of freedom, perseverance, and survival. Darlene, once an exemplary wife and a loving mother to her young son, Eddie, finds herself devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband. Unable to cope with her grief, she turns to drugs, and quickly forms an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace. Unbeknownst to eleven-year-old Eddie, now left behind in a panic-stricken search for her, Darlene has been lured away with false promises of a good job and a rosy life. A shady company named Delicious Foods shuttles her to a remote farm, where she is held captive, performing hard labor in the fields to pay off the supposed debt for her food, lodging, and the constant stream of drugs the farm provides to her and the other unfortunates imprisoned there. In Delicious Foods, James Hannaham tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them. Through Darlene's haunted struggle to reunite with Eddie, through the efforts of both to triumph over those who would enslave them, and through the irreverent and mischievous voice of the drug that narrates Darlene's travails, Hannaham's daring and shape-shifting prose infuses this harrowing experience with grace and humor. The desperate circumstances that test the unshakeable bond between this mother and son unfold into myth, and Hannaham's treatment of their ordeal spills over with compassion. Along the way we experience a tale at once contemporary and historical that wrestles with timeless questions of love and freedom, forgiveness and redemption, tenacity and the will to survive.
Publication Date: 2016-01-19
Not what we would call a beach read, but the narrative voices will captivate (and shock) any reader. Ms. Williams
Ecology Without Nature by In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. Ecological writers propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the "nature" they revere. The problem is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe in which we are living. Morton sets out a seeming paradox: to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish the idea of nature once and for all. Ecology without Nature investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and deeply engaging. Ranging widely in eighteenth-century through contemporary philosophy, culture, and history, he explores the value of art in imagining environmental projects for the future. Morton develops a fresh vocabulary for reading "environmentality" in artistic form as well as content, and traces the contexts of ecological constructs through the history of capitalism. From John Clare to John Cage, from Kierkegaard to Kristeva, from The Lord of the Rings to electronic life forms, Ecology without Nature widens our view of ecological criticism, and deepens our understanding of ecology itself. Instead of trying to use an idea of nature to heal what society has damaged, Morton sets out a radical new form of ecological criticism: "dark ecology."
Publication Date: 2009-09-15
This one references Wordsworth and Lord Byron, and calls out numerous staples of American popular culture in an effort to help us reexamine our relationship with nature. It will change the way you think about a hamburger.
Watership Down by A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for more than forty years, Richard Adams's Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.
Publication Date: 2005-11-01
The classic allegorical rabbit epic that taught Ms. Drezner how to read when she was an adolescent, because it rewarded flipping back and forth across the pages, reading and re-reading.
The Sympathizer by The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, compared by critics to the works of Graham Greene, Denis Johnson, and George Orwell,The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity, politics, and America, wrought in electric prose. The narrator, a Vietnamese army captain, is a man of divided loyalties, a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist sleeper agent in America after the end of the Vietnam War. A powerful story of love and friendship, and a gripping espionage novel,The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
Publication Date: 2016-04-12
To say that this is a book about the Vietnam War and its legacy does not do it justice. A new favorite of Ms. Moore.
The Known World by One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, The Known World is a daring and ambitious work by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones. The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order, and chaos ensues. Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all its moral complexities.
Publication Date: 2006-08-29
Another Pulitzer winner—possibly Ms. Drezner’s favorite book for its breadth, intricacy, and absorbing plots and subplots.
Never Let Me Go by From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special-and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.
Publication Date: 2006-03-14
What’s fantastic about this book, says Ms. Drezner, is that the narrator thinks she’s telling us the story of her boarding school education, but we very quickly begin to pick up on other, more unsettling details, and a more interesting plot takes shape.
The Art of Fielding by At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended. Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, "The Art of Fielding is mere baseball fiction the way Moby Dick is just a fish story" (Nicholas Dawidoff). It is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.
Publication Date: 2012-05-01
This book is for everyone who likes baseball, or who has ever felt performance anxiety, or who has spent time at a small college in the midwest. (Ms. Drezner, Ms Moore, Ms. Clapps)
Imagine Me Gone by FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION TOP 10 NOVELS OF THE YEAR -- TIME, Newsday TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2016 -- San Francisco Chronicle 20 BOOKS THAT DEFINED OUR YEAR -- Wall Street Journal ONE OF THE YEAR'S BEST BOOKS: Barnes & Noble, BookPage, BuzzFeed, Elle, Financial Times, Huffington Post, Kirkus, NPR, Refinery29, Seattle Times, Shelf Awareness, WBUR's On Point Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Fiction Prize, the Kirkus Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize "Haslett is one of the country's most talented writers, equipped with a sixth sense for characterization" -Wall Street Journal "Ambitious and stirring . . . With Imagine Me Gone, Haslett has reached another level." --New York Times Book Review New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a ferociously intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: how far will we go to save the people we love the most? When Margaret's fianc_, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings -- the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec -- struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence. Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, and yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family. With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.
Publication Date: 2017-02-21
This passionate, absorbing story addresses sexuality and mental health in a family. (Ms. Moore, Ms. Bediako, Mr. Henneberry)
All the Light We Cannot See by Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Doerr's "stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors" (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill" (Los Angeles Times).
Publication Date: 2017-04-04
An obvious choice (another Pulitzer winner), but it’s one of the recent books many of us felt we fell into deeply as soon as we began to read. We pitch it to students by saying it’s kind of like The Book Thief, but for grown-ups. (Ms. Drezner)
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by The mesmerizing New York Times bestseller by the author of Night Film Marisha Pessl’s dazzling debut sparked raves from critics and heralded the arrival of a vibrant new voice in American fiction. At the center of Special Topics in Calamity Physics is clever, deadpan Blue van Meer, who has a head full of literary, philosophical, scientific, and cinematic knowledge. But she could use some friends. Upon entering the elite St. Gallway School, she finds some—a clique of eccentrics known as the Bluebloods. One drowning and one hanging later, Blue finds herself puzzling out a byzantine murder mystery. Nabokov meets Donna Tartt (then invites the rest of the Western Canon to the party) in this novel—with visual aids drawn by the author—that has won over readers of all ages.
Publication Date: 2007-04-24
A thrilling, funny, creepy page turner. (Ms. Drezner)
The God of Small Things by The beloved debut novel about an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969, from the author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * MAN BOOKER PRIZE WINNER Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy's modern classic is equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing "big things [that] lurk unsaid" in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated. Praise for The God of Small Things "Dazzling . . . as subtle as it is powerful."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "[The God of Small Things] offers such magic, mystery, and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It's that haunting."--USA Today "The quality of Ms. Roy's narration is so extraordinary--at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple--that the reader remains enthralled all the way through."--The New York Times Book Review "A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does."--John Updike, The New Yorker "Outstanding. A glowing first novel."--Newsweek "Splendid and stunning."--The Washington Post Book World
Publication Date: 2008-12-16
After re-reading it in preparation for her World Literature class, Ms. Moore was reminded of how compelling this intergenerational novel is.
Faithful Place by From Tana French, "the most interesting, most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post), the bestseller called "the most stunning of her books"(The New York Times) and a finalist for the Edgar Award. Don't miss her newest, The Trespasser, now available. Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was a nineteen-year-old kid with a dream of escaping hisi family's cramped flat on Faithful Place and running away to London with his girl, Rosie Daly. But on the night they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn't show. Frank took it for granted that she'd dumped him-probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again. Neither did Rosie. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie's suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank, now a detective in the Dublin Undercover squad, is going home whether he likes it or not. Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he's a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly-and he's willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done.
Publication Date: 2011-06-28
Ms. Clapps reports that Tana French’s Irish murder mysteries “go down like candy”; they’re perfect beach reads. The best part is that you’re always left wondering whether the murder will be solved before the beleaguered detective has a breakdown.
Every Day Is for the Thief by NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY DWIGHT GARNER, THE NEW YORK TIMES * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle | NPR | The Root | The Telegraph | The Globe and Mail NATIONAL BESTSELLER * FINALIST, PHILLIS WHEATLEY BOOK AWARD * TEJU COLE WAS NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS OF THE YEAR BY NEW AFRICAN MAGAZINE For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Michael Ondaatje, Every Day Is for the Thief is a wholly original work of fiction by Teju Cole, whose critically acclaimed debut, Open City, was the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than twenty publications. Fifteen years is a long time to be away from home. It feels longer still because I left under a cloud. A young Nigerian living in New York City goes home to Lagos for a short visit, finding a city both familiar and strange. In a city dense with story, the unnamed narrator moves through a mosaic of life, hoping to find inspiration for his own. He witnesses the "yahoo yahoo" diligently perpetrating email frauds from an Internet caf#65533;, longs after a mysterious woman reading on a public bus who disembarks and disappears into a bookless crowd, and recalls the tragic fate of an eleven-year-old boy accused of stealing at a local market. Along the way, the man reconnects with old friends, a former girlfriend, and extended family, taps into the energies of Lagos life--creative, malevolent, ambiguous--and slowly begins to reconcile the profound changes that have taken place in his country and the truth about himself. In spare, precise prose that sees humanity everywhere, interwoven with original photos by the author, Every Day Is for the Thief--originally published in Nigeria in 2007--is a wholly original work of fiction. This revised and updated edition is the first version of this unique book to be made available outside Africa. You've never read a book like Every Day Is for the Thief because no one writes like Teju Cole. Praise for Every Day Is for the Thief "A luminous rumination on storytelling and place, exile and return . . . extraordinary."--San Francisco Chronicle "Cole is following in a long tradition of writerly walkers who, in the tradition of Baudelaire, make their way through urban spaces on foot and take their time doing so. Like Alfred Kazin, Joseph Mitchell, J. M. Coetzee, and W. G. Sebald (with whom he is often compared), Cole adds to the literature in his own zeitgeisty fashion."--The Boston Globe "Crisp, affecting . . . Cole constructs a narrative of fragments, a series of episodes that he allows to resonate."--The New York Times Book Review "Hugely rewarding . . . both a celebration of one of the world's most vibrant cities and a lament over what can be one of the most frustrating and difficult places to live. It is also a story of family breakup and an uneasy homecoming--the narrator has been away for fifteen years and must relearn how to navigate a place that was once home."--NPR "[Every Day Is for the Thief has] a restraint that allows [Cole] to slip in these exquisitely rendered observations on life, love, art that leave you feeling richer and more attuned to your own reality once you've finished reading."--Dinaw Mengestu, The Atlantic From the Hardcover edition.
Publication Date: 2015-03-03
A writer returns to his homeland of Nigeria after fifteen years in the United States. Essentially, it’s a book about wandering, but the narrator’s compelling voice holds together this episodic narrative. Ms. Bediako insists that even if you've never been to Lagos--and even if you didn't love Cole's more popular book Open City--readers will relate to the feeling of alienation upon attempting to go home again.
The Turner House by NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family. The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone--and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future. Praised by Ayana Mathis as "utterly moving" and "un-putdownable,"The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.
Publication Date: 2015-04-14
The story of a family, a house and the city of Detroit. Well deserved National Book award finalist. (Ms. Williams)
I Capture the Castle by One of the 20th Century's most beloved novels is still winning hearts! I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of thereader-- in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments. "This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met." --J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series
Publication Date: 2003-04-01
A quirky, charming novel by the author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Narrated by Cassandra Mortmain, a teenager living with her eccentric family in a decaying castle in 1930s England, the novel is a wry homage to Jane Austen, George Meredith, and the Brothers Grimm, as it combines elements of romance, fairytale, and comedy to render a humorous and heartfelt coming of age story. Truly one of a kind. (Dr. Hughes)
The End of the Affair by "A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses a moment of experience from which to look ahead..." "This is a record of hate far more than of love," writes Maurice Bendrix in the opening passages of The End of the Affair, and it is a strange hate indeed that compels him to set down the retrospective account of his adulterous affair with Sarah Miles. Now, a year after Sarah's death, Bendrix seeks to exorcise the persistence of his passion by retracing its course from obsessive love to love-hate. At first, he believes he hates Sarah and her husband, Henry. Yet as he delves further into his emotional outlook, Bendrix's hatred shifts to the God he feels has broken his life, but whose existence at last comes to recognize. Originally published in 1951, The End of the Affair was acclaimed by William Faulkner as "for me one of the best, most true and moving novels of my time, in anybody's language." This Penguin Deluxe Edition features an introduction by Michael Gorra. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 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.
Publication Date: 2004-08-31
“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” This is the first sentence of Graham Greene’s End of the Affair, which is simultaneously a love story and a book about how to write a love story. Set during the end of World War II in England, in its own gritty, British manner it’s a perfect little jewel of a novel. (Dr. Hughes)
Blankets by Quaint, meditative and sometimes dreamy, blankets will take you straight back to your first kiss. - The GuardianBlankets is the story of a young man coming of age and finding the confidence to express his creative voice. Craig Thompson's poignant graphic memoir plays out against the backdrop of a Midwestern winterscape: finely-hewn linework draws together a portrait of small town life, a rigorously fundamentalist Christian childhood, and a lonely, emotionally mixed-up adolescence. Under an engulfing blanket of snow, Craig and Raina fall in love at winter church camp, revealing to one another their struggles with faith and their dreams of escape. Over time though, their personal demons resurface and their relationship falls apart. It's a universal story, and Thompson's vibrant brushstrokes and unique page designs make the familiar heartbreaking all over again. This groundbreaking graphic novel, winner of two Eisner and three Harvey Awards, is an eloquent portrait of adolescent yearning; first love (and first heartache); faith in crisis; and the process of moving beyond all of that. Beautifully rendered in pen and ink, Thompson has created a love story that lasts.
Publication Date: 2015-10-13
While Blankets was hailed as one of the best graphic novels in years upon its release in 2003, it has become an unfortunately neglected book in recent years. An autobiographical coming of age story, it’s a kind of tip of the hat to James Joyce’s Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man, and its final pages are every bit as moving as Joyce’s conclusion to Portrait. A breathtaking story of art, memory, and romance -- you’ll probably end up reading it in one sitting. (Dr. Hughes)
The Sun Is Also a Star by The Instant New York Times Bestseller! Soon to be a Major Motion Picture! The dazzling new novel from Nicola Yoon, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything (in theaters May 2017!), will have you falling in love with Natasha and Daniel as they fall in love with each other! Natasha: I'm a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I'm definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won't be my story. Daniel: I've always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents' high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store--for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? *** A 2016 National Book Award Finalist A New York Times Notable Book A BuzzFeed Best YA Book of the Year A POPSUGAR Best Book of the Year A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year A Booklist Editor's Choice A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens An Amazon Best Book of the Year "Beautifully crafted."--People Magazine "A book that is very much about the many factors that affect falling in love, as much as it is about the very act itself . . . fans of Yoon's first novel, Everything Everything, will find much to love--if not, more--in what is easily an even stronger follow up." --Entertainment Weekly "Transcends the limits of YA as a human story about falling in love and seeking out our futures." --POPSUGAR.com ★ "An exhilarating, hopeful novel exploring identity, family, the love of science and the science of love, dark matter and interconnectedness--is about seeing and being seen and the possibility of love... and it shines." --Shelf Awareness, starred review ★ "Moving and suspenseful." --Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ "Fans of Eleanor & Park and The Fault in Our Stars are destined to fall for Daniel and Natasha." --The Horn Book, starred review ★ "Lyrical and sweeping, full of hope, heartbreak, fate. . . and the universal beating of the human heart." --Booklist, starred review ★"Profound . . . both deeply moving and satisfying."--Kirkus, starred review ★"A love story that is smart without being cynical, heartwarming without being cloying, and schmaltzy in all the best ways." --The Bulletin, starred review "This wistful love story will be adored by fans of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park." --SLJ Praise for Everything, Everything: "[A] fresh, moving debut." --Entertainment Weekly "Gorgeous and lyrical." --The New York Times Book Review "Will give you butterflies." --Seventeen "A do-not-miss for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell (aka everyone)." --Justine "YA book lovers, your newest obsession is here."--MTV.com
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
Ms. Bediako unabashedly recommends this YA novel to young adults as well as older adults like herself. It's a story about two teens who fall in love against the backdrop of one's impending deportation. The story is told from the perspectives of not just the two adolescent protagonists, but of various seemingly peripheral characters. The love story isn't even the best part (though, if you can suspend disbelief and ignore the problems with so-called "instalove", the love story is pretty enjoyable). The best part of the novel is the way the author skillfully intertwines themes like science, race, culture, fate, and the interconnectedness of human beings into one narrative.