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Bel Canto

by Ann Patchett

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gunwielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.

The Best Contemporary Women's Fiction

by Nicole Mones Maggie O'Farrell Jenna Blum Elizabeth Benedict Ann Patchett Molly Gloss

Best Contemporary Women's Fiction: Six Novels includes works by some of the finest novelists of today. Almost by Elizabeth Benedict chronicles the attempt of writer Sophy Chase to come to terms with the death of her almost ex-husband -- who may have committed suicide on the New England resort island where she left him just months before.Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum follows Trudy, a professor of German history, as she investigates her mother's past and the truth surrounding her life in Germany during WWII. Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame. The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss is a heartwarming, greatly satisfying story of a young woman with the rare talent of "gentling" wild horses and the unexpected and profound connections between people and animals. The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones takes readers inside the hidden world of elite cuisine in modern China through the story of an American food writer in Beijing. When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husband's estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell is a gothic, intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth that will haunt you long past its final page. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett tells the story of a secretive magician's death that sets in motion his partner's journey of self-discovery.

The Magician's Assistant

by Ann Patchett

Sabine-- twenty years a magician's assistant to her handsome, charming husband-- is suddenly a widow. In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick; a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well. Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine's life and set her on an adventure of unraveling his secrets, from sunny Los Angeles to the windswept plains of Nebraska, that will work its own sort of magic on her.

Patron Saint of Liars

by Ann Patchett

Since her first publication in 1992, celebrated novelist Ann Patchett has crafted a number of elegant novels, garnering accolades and awards along the way. Now comes a beautiful reissue of the best-selling debut novel that launched her remarkable career. St. Elizabeth's, a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, usually harbors its residents for only a little while. Not so Rose Clinton, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, and stays. She plans to give up her child, thinking she cannot be the mother it needs. But when Cecilia is born, Rose makes a place for herself and her daughter amid St. Elizabeth's extended family of nuns and an ever-changing collection of pregnant teenage girls. Rose's past won't be kept away, though, even by St. Elizabeth's; she cannot remain untouched by what she has left behind, even as she cannot change who she has become in the leaving.

Run

by Ann Patchett

Since their mother's death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving, possessive, and ambitious father. As the former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see his sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard Doyle cares about is his ability to keep his children-all his children-safe. Set over a period of twenty-four hours, Run takes us from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard to a home for retired Catholic priests in downtown Boston. It shows us how worlds of privilege and poverty can coexist only blocks apart from each other, and how family can include people you've never even met. As in her bestselling novel Bel Canto, Ann Patchett illustrates the humanity that connects disparate lives, weaving several stories into one surprising and endlessly moving narrative. Suspenseful and stunningly executed, Run is ultimately a novel about secrets, duty, responsibility, and the lengths we will go to protect our children.

State of Wonder

by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett has dazzled readers with her award-winning books, including The Magician's Assistant and the New York Times bestselling Bel Canto. Now she raises the bar with State of Wonder, a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle. Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have all but disappeared in the Amazon while working on what is destined to be an extremely valuable new drug, the development of which has already cost the company a fortune. Nothing about Marina's assignment is easy: not only does no one know where Dr. Swenson is, but the last person who was sent to find her, Marina's research partner Anders Eckman, died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding her former mentor as well as answers to several troubling questions about her friend's death, the state of her company's future, and her own past. Once found, Dr. Swenson, now in her seventies, is as ruthless and uncompromising as she ever was back in the days of Grand Rounds at Johns Hopkins. With a combination of science and subterfuge, she dominates her research team and the natives she is studying with the force of an imperial ruler. But while she is as threatening as anything the jungle has to offer, the greatest sacrifices to be made are the ones Dr. Swenson asks of herself, and will ultimately ask of Marina, who finds she may still be unable to live up to her teacher's expectations. In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, and a neighboring tribe of cannibals, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss. It is a tale that leads the reader into the very heart of darkness, and then shows us what lies on the other side.

Taft

by Ann Patchett

Best-selling novelist Ann Patchett's second, "strikingly original"* novel tells the moving story of John Nickel, an ex-jazz musician who wanted nothing more than to be a good father. When his lover takes away his son, he's left only with his Beale Street, Memphis bar. He hires a young waitress named Fay Taft who brings with her a desperate, dangerous brother, Carl, and the possibility of new intimacy. Nickel finds himself consumed with Fay and Carl's dead father--Taft--obssessing over and reconstructing the life of a man he never met.A stunning artistic achievement, Taft confirms Ann Pathcett's standing as one of the most gifted writers of her generation and reminds us of our deepest instincts to protect the people we love.*Kirkus Reviews

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

by Ann Patchett

The New York Times bestselling author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto creates a resonant portrait of a life in this collection of writings on love, friendship, work, and art."The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living."So begins This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, an examination of the things Ann Patchett is fully committed to--the art and craft of writing, the depths of friendship, an elderly dog, and one spectacular nun. Writing nonfiction, which started off as a means of keeping her insufficiently lucrative fiction afloat, evolved over time to be its own kind of art, the art of telling the truth as opposed to the art of making things up. Bringing her narrative gifts to bear on her own life, Patchett uses insight and compassion to turn very personal experiences into stories that will resonate with every reader.These essays twine to create both a portrait of life and a philosophy of life. Obstacles that at first appear insurmountable--scaling a six-foot wall in order to join the Los Angeles Police Department, opening an independent bookstore, and sitting down to write a novel--are eventually mastered with quiet tenacity and a sheer force of will. The actual happy marriage, which was the one thing she felt she wasn't capable of, ultimately proves to be a metaphor as well as a fact: Patchett has devoted her life to the people and ideals she loves the most.An irresistible blend of literature and memoir, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a unique examination of the heart, mind, and soul of one of our most revered and gifted writers.

Truth & Beauty: A Friendship

by Ann Patchett

A touching story of the friendship of Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy and how their paths intertwined. This is a tender, brutal book about loving a person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

What Now?

by Ann Patchett

Based on her lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, this stirring essay by bestselling author Ann Patchett offers hope and inspiration for anyone at a crossroads, whether graduating, changing careers, or transitioning from one life stage to another. With wit and candor, Patchett tells her own story of attending college, graduating, and struggling with the inevitable question, What now? From student to line cook to teacher to waitress and eventually to award-winning author, Patchett's own life has taken many twists and turns that make her exploration genuine and resonant. As Patchett writes, "'What now?' represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life." She highlights the possibilities the unknown offers and reminds us that there is as much joy in the journey as there is in reaching the destination.

The Worst Noel

by Joni Rodgers Ann Patchett Elizabeth Noble Mitchell Symons Cintra Wilson Collected Authors Of The Worst Noel

Does the thought of mistletoe give you hives? Does the sound of jingling bells instill fear in your heart? Do you hide under the covers from the day after Thanksgiving till New Year's Day? And even if you love Christmas, do thehyperconsumerism, overindulgence, andtinsel-covered everything make you crazy? If you said yes to any of these questions, this is the book for you. You are not alone. Everyone has a Christmas-nightmare story to tell. Some of the best writers around have gone through some of the worst Christmases ever. Their tales of holly-draped horror are gathered here for your amusement, from NEAL POLLACK's Christmas-ham disaster to the accidental Santahood of JONI RODGERS to BINNIE KIRSHENBAUM's receiving what may be the worst gift ever given. And Stanley Bing gives us a peek at the lonely guy's Xmas feast. All this, plus many more recollections of Worst Noels past. So pour yourself a glass of eggnog, chisel off a piece of rock-hard fruitcake, and curl up in the big comfy chair by the fireplace where the stockings have been hung with such care -- and settle in to read The Worst Noel.

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