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The Encounter

by Crawford Power

Set in the small, sleepy town of Lulworth, Maryland, The Encounter is a gripping morality tale about ordinary people facing spiritual salvation -- and its opposite. Father Cawder dreams about the arrival of the carnival and the hubbub it will bring, but he cannot anticipate the heated tragedy of lovers Stella and Diamond, or the harsh judgment of his neighbor Mrs. Girard. With characters that leap off the page and stay with you long after the final lines, The Encounter is a shattering Southern novel and a landmark work of literature, now back in print for a new audience. .


by R. J. Ellory

Daniel Ford has thirty-six days to live. Accused of the horrific murder of his best friend Nathan twelve years before, he has exhausted all appeals and now faces the long walk to the electric chair. All he can do is make peace with his God. Father John Rousseau is the man to whom the last month of Daniel's life has been entrusted. All the two men have left to do is rake over the last ashes of Ford's existence. So he begins to tell his story. Daniel's story takes him from his first meeting with Nathan, aged six, on the shores of a lake in 1952, through first loves, Vietnam, the death of Kennedy and finally their flight from the draft which ends in Nathan's brutal murder. But meanwhile the clock is ticking and the days are running out . . .

Faces Under Water

by Tanith Lee

The Secret Books of Venusseries-each book woven around the alchemical elements of water, fire, earth, and air-begins with Faces Under Water, in which Tanith Lee immerses her readers in ancient Venetian canals and the secret terror that lies beneath. Lee's characters are immediately plunged into a fantastical world of sorcery, where horror and beauty mingle under breathless spells of enchantment and desire. In the hedonistic atmosphere of an eighteenth-century Venice Carnival, gaiety turns deadly when Furian Furiano happens upon a mask of Apollo floating in the murky waters of the canals. The mask hides a sinister art, and Furian finds himself trapped in a bizarre tangle of love, obsession, and evil, stumbling upon a macabre society of murderers. The beautiful but elusive Eurydiche holds the key to these murders and leads him further into a labyrinth of black magic and ancient alchemy. Why do secrets from Furian's past seem tied to the mysterious Eurydiche? In Tanith Lee's brilliantly imagined world of violence and terror, Furian must find a way to survive and stem the obsession driving him toward his hidden destiny.

Walking English

by David Crystal

A delightfully discursive, Bill Bryson-esque and personal journey through the groves and the thickets of the English language, by our foremost scholar of the history and structure of the English language. David Crystal has been described (by the Times Higher Education Supplement) as a sort of 'latter day Dr Johnson', a populist linguist who has promoted the study of the English language in an academic and broadcasting career that has so far spanned 40 years and nearly 100 books. Now he has written an engaging travel book of more general appeal. Inspired by W. G. Sebald's 'The Rings of Saturn' and by Bill Bryson's books, he has combined personal reflections, historical allusions and traveller observations to create a mesmerising (and entertaining) narrative account of his encounters with the English language and its speakers throughout the world - from Bangor to Bombay and from Stratford to San Francisco. 'By Hook or by Crook' is an attempt to capture the exploratory, seductive, teasing, tantalising nature of language study. As such, it will appeal to the ever-growing market who like to be entertained as well as instructed.

The Voyage of the Short Serpent

by Bernard Du Boucheron

Many years ago, a group left Europe to start a colony in Greenland, which they called New Thule. But as the years wore on, communication between New Thule and the people back home became less and less frequent, until finally it stopped altogether. Fearing that the people of New Thule have gone native - or, worse yet, gone pagan - an evangelical mission travels to the colony in a newly-built ship, The Short Serpent, which carries its crew toward a horror that no one could have conceived. The children of New Thule have taken on a primitive life, wandering the ice in search of seal meat, mounds of peat, and warm bodies with which to copulate. In an elegant, compulsive, and increasingly unhinged style, du Boucheron describes how the crew of The Short Serpent slowly succumb to the filth and depravity of New Thule. The Voyage of the Short Serpent is a masterpiece about mutable human morality in inhuman conditions - a story about truth, obsession, and the myth of utopia.

Venus Preserved

by Tanith Lee

Tanith Lee concludes her compelling Secret Books of Venusquartet with a haunting and suspenseful tale set in her brilliantly reimagined alternate Venice. Centuries into the future, the sunken city of Venus has been salvaged from beneath the sea and rebuilt there under a dome, where it is supported by a vast network of computers that regulate weather, noise, and the most precious undersea commodity of all-air. It is here that a macabre experiment takes place. Conducted by geneticists at the university, it consists of the resurrection of two lost souls, both murdered in their times: Jula, a first-century gladiatrix, and Cloudio Del Nero, the eighteenth-century composer who met his fate in Lee's acclaimed first volume of the Venusseries. An unexplained catastrophe occurs, claiming several lives. Was it merely an accident, computer failure, or has the experiment unleashed an airborne virus? Or is there an even more sinister danger afoot, a force from beyond that threatens the survival of Venus itself? To answer these questions, a traveler from the surface is forced to confront mysteries in his own past that have remained buried, and to reveal the connection that ties him to the unavenged spirits wreaking havoc on the doomed city.

Traitor to the Crown

by Ben Long James Long

1679, England: Fear of conspiracy and religious terrorism have provoked panic in politicians and a zealous reaction from the legal system. Everywhere?or so it is feared?Catholic agents are plotting to overthrow the King. Samuel Pepys, Secretary of the Admiralty, finds himself charged with treason and facing a show trial and execution. Imprisoned in the Tower of London, Pepys sets to work investigating his mysterious accuser, Colonel John Scott, and uncovers a life riddled with ambition, forgery, treason and?ultimately?murder. Using rare access to Pepys? account of the affair, James Long and Ben Long brilliantly evoke a turbulent period in England?s history?and tell the forgotten story of the two most dangerous years in the life of the legendary diarist. .

The Stories of English

by David Crystal

The English language is now accepted as the global lingua franca of the modern age. But how did it evolve? How did a language spoken originally be a few thousand Anglo-Saxons become one used by over a quarter of the human race? The Stories of English is a groundbreaking and entertaining history of the language by David Crystal, the world-renowned writer and linguist. Crystal turns the history of English on its head and provides a startlingly original view of where the richness, creativity, and diversity of the language truly lies-in the accents and dialects of nonstandard English users all over the world. Whatever their regional, social, or ethnic background, each group has a story worth telling, whether it is in Scotland or Canada, South Africa or the United States. Interwoven within this central chronological story are accounts of uses of dialect around the world and examples taken from current popular culture as well as literary classics. As Newsday wrote, "Crystal is bold, thoughtful, and often very funny. . . . His comparisons and allusions are effortless, and he's as up on Ali G and Middle Earth as he is on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English".

Splendidly Unreasonable Inventors

by Jeremy Coller

The lives loves and deaths of splendidly unreasonable inventors is a brilliant analysis of 30 inventors who changed the world. Coller observes that personality type dictates the potential for success in bringing inventions to fruition. Few people have the full package of skills required to make a success of their idea and failure results when an individual who excels in one area of competence attempts to become all things. Coller focuses on the people rather the inventions and the way in which they did or did not succeed in bringing their visions to fruition. On one level The lives loves and deaths of splendidly unreasonable inventors is a collection of fascinating stories; on another level these stories provoke an unconventional look at the inventive process that created such life-changing products.

Saint Fire

by Tanith Lee

Starting with the premise of four novels based on the phases of alchemy and the four primal elements, Tanith Lee created an evocative fantastical alternate to the historical Italy in her Secret Books of Venus series. In Saint Fire, the chilling second volume in the series, Volpa is a strangely beautiful servant girl who glows with an inhuman inner fire. When her master, an abusive wood seller, is mysteriously incinerated, Volpa begins to discover her power of fire. Church leaders, who see her as a mighty weapon in their holy wars, notice her gift, and unable to determine whether her powers are heavenly or demonic, are nonetheless determined to have Volpa on their side. This gripping fantasy of a mysteriously gifted Joan of Arc figure is stunning from beginning to end.

Rifling Paradise

by Jem Poster

When past indiscretions catch up with Charles Redbourne, a minor English landowner, he is propelled from England to Australia, where he plans to make his mark as a naturalist. There, his life begins to change dramatically, not least when he meets his host's wayward, artistic daughter. But it is on an expedition in search of scientific specimens in the Blue Mountains that events take a terrifying turn. Vividly conveying the unspoken codes of Victorian society, this is a gripping tale of an emotional and psychological reckoning, which offers an inspired meditation on the relationship between humankind and the natural world.

Peaches & Daddy

by Michael M. Greenburg

"Peaches Daddy" vividly recounts the amazing and improbable 1926 marriage and legal battle between a 51-year-old Manhattan millionaire and a 15-year-old girl. Their story captured the imagination of the American public and gave birth to tabloid journalism. 40 bw photographs.

The Imperial Capitals of China

by Arthur Cotterell

From the First Emperor's obsessive u and fatal u attempts to engage the Immortals in 219u210 BC, to the striking creativity that produced the golden age of literature and art in Tang Chang'an, to the culmination of architectural virtuosity seen in The Forbidden City of Yong Lee's Beijing in the fifteenth century, this absorbing new book offers a panoramic sweep of an empire that lasted over two millennia through the imperial cities that were the very foundations of each dynasty. Using original Chinese sources and eye-witness accounts, Arthur Cotterell provides an inside view of the rich array of characters, political and ideological tensions, and technological genius that defined the imperial cities of China, as each in turn is revealed, explored, and celebrated. The oldest continuous civilization in existence today stands to become the most influential, its economy expected to exceed that of the United States by 2020. From the cosmological foundations of the first capital to the politics of empire and cataclysmic civil wars, IMPERIAL CITIES OF CHINA offers a level of insight indispensable for a true understanding of China today.

The Empire of Tea

by Alan Macfarlane Iris Macfarlane

Apart from water, tea is more widely consumed than any other food or drink. Tens of billions of cups are drunk every day. How and why has tea conquered the world? Tea was the first global product. It altered life-styles, religions, etiquette and aesthetics. It raised nations and shattered empires. Economies were changed out of all recognition. Diseases were thwarted by the magical drink and cities founded on it. The industrial revolution was fuelled by tea, sealing the fate of the modern world. Green Gold is a remarkable detective story of how an East Himalayan camellia bush became the world's favourite drink. Discover how the tea plant came to be transplanted onto every continent and relive the stories of the men and women whose lives were transformed out of all recognition through contact with the deceptively innocuous green leaf.

David and Winston

by Robert Lloyd George

Although from different backgrounds, David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill forged a close friendship, delighting in each other's wit, oratory and unconventionality. Both were outsiders. Neither attended university. Above all, both loved political sparring - often together, in the epic parliamentary battles of the start of the century. Theirs was a personal friendship that involved frequent holidays together and support of each other's families. But their real shared passion was politics. For ten years between 1904 and 1914 they met together every day for an hour's private discussion. Lloyd George profoundly influenced Churchill's political philosophy and played a formative role in his career. Drawing on unseen family archive material, Robert Lloyd George provides an intimate biography of the friendship between his great-grandfather and Churchill, from their public politics to their private passions. He throws fresh light on the two greatest statesmen of twentieth century Britain in peace and in war, and on one of the most enduring friendships in modern politics.

A Bed of Earth

by Tanith Lee

The third book in Tanith Lee's compelling series based on alchemy and the elements focuses on the element of earth. It is a haunting journey to a parallel version of sixteenth-century Venice, where a fierce territorial rivalry between two noble families-the della Scorpias and the Barbarons-unearths a supernatural force from beneath the placid surface of the canals and rotting understructure of the city. The struggle between the two families for space on the Isle of the Dead, the overcrowded burial ground for generations of Venetian nobility, becomes more and more heated, and fourteen-year-old Meralda della Scorpia is forced to pay the ultimate price. But as the years pass on, parties complicit in her disappearance-from both houses-begin to suffer the consequences in a series of shocking deaths that could emanate from none other than a supernatural foe. As these bizarre events throw the city into a panic, a humble apprentice gravedigger is left to sort out the mysteries-an effort that will enable him to unearth the secrets of his own shadowy past. .

Adele: The Biography

by Chas Newkey-Burden

Adele's powerful voice and breathtaking songs have seen her top the charts around the planet, collect millions of admirers and win dozens of awards. When she became a mother, in 2012, her fans rejoiced in a fairytale moment for a young woman who has known so much pain in her personal life. At last, it seemed, she had it all. But who is Adele? Adele: The Biography traces her story from a humble childhood in London, where she began singing at the age of four, through to her phenomenal success of her first two albums, 19 and 21. It then brings her remarkable story up to date, examining her health scare, motherhood and triumphant comeback, singing Skyfall at the 2013 Oscars ceremony. Along the way, this unique book uncovers how her troubled private life influenced her heartbreaking tracks and how she gamely overcame a string of obstacles that threatened to derail her career. Here, you will discover the fascinating truth behind all the highs and the lows experienced by this fun, formidable woman, whose songs have become national anthems for the heartbroken. Adele has won well over 70 major musical prizes including Grammys, Brits and an Oscar - all before she turned 25. Yet she remains fully grounded, and regards the glitzy world of show business with an old-fashioned English combination of amusement and healthy suspicion. So here is Adele in all her glory - the curvy girl next door who compared the world. In this fully updated edition of his internationally-bestselling biography, Chas Newkey-Burden reveals the woman behind the music.

The Waiting Land

by Dervla Murphy

Dervla Murphy describes her various journeys by air, bicycle, and foot in the remote and mountainous Lantang region near Tibet. Written with charm and sensitivity, this book reveals the vitality of an age-old civilization.

Transylvania and Beyond

by Dervla Murphy

"While world attention was focused on Bucharest after the execution of Ceausescu, acclaimed travel writer Dervla Murphy spent eight months in Transylvania sharing the everyday lives of ordinary Romanians. Upon her arrival soon after the revolution, Murphy found a nation both exhilarated and bewildered; unlike other East Europeans, the Romanians had had no warning that they were about to be liberated. During a return visit in 1991, she noticed a profound change in the national mood. " "Candid and eye-opening, Transylvania and Beyond describes a journey on two levels - wandering through the remotest corners of the Carpathians, on foot or by bicycle, and into the often daunting mental terrain of a post-Communist society where nothing is quite as it seems. " "Murphy was overwhelmed by the warmth of the hospitality she received. In urban blocs, small towns and traditional villages she spent time with teachers, factory-workers, writers, farmers, professors, engineers, vets, army officers, shepherds, students and doctors. As they revealed their hopes, fears and prejudices to her, Dervla gained some unexpected insights into what she calls "one of Europe's least European countries. ""--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Stranger's Magic

by Max Frei

The addictive next book by the fantastical bestselling Max Frei the Labyrinths of Echo series-the adventures of Sir Max, who was once a loser but discovers a new world-has been an international literary sensation since its debut. In this new book, Sir Max once again travels to the enchanted parallel world of Echo, where magic is commonplace and where he fits right in. Plunging back into the astounding realm first portrayed in The Stranger (Fandomania. com's #1 Book of 2009) and continued in The Stranger's Woes, Frei's new work that blends fantasy, horror, philosophy, and comedy. Readers will welcome this "utterly original" (Bookslut) volume of the new adventures of Sir Max .

Still Life with Volkswagens

by Geoff Nicholson

"Barry Osgathorpe, known in the seventies as Ishmael the Zen Road Warrior, has decided to hole up for the nineties. A person can't even drive his Volkswagen Beetle with a clear conscience any more, for fear of polluting the environment. Yet, powerful forces are converging that will get him on the road again. When Barry learns that Volkswagens are being blown up all over the country, that a gang of skinheads is cruising the streets in a fleet of customized Beetles, and that his ex-girlfriend's deranged, Volkswagen-obsessed father and her current VW-collecting boyfriend are missing, he knows it's time to put the pedal to the metal. "--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

South from the Limpopo

by Dervla Murphy

Dervla Murphy's journal of her cycle tours of South Africa in 1994 gives a day-by-day view of that period.

Roots Schmoots

by Howard Jacobson

Whether one understands it as flight or restlessness, as ancient punishment or promise, the compulsion to travel is at the heart of historical Jewishness. Wherever there is a Jew, there is a journey, and for a Jew to go in search of his roots is doubly Jewish. As Howard Jacobson sets off in search of his Eastern European roots, he does so not with the sentimental hope of repossessing the sensation of belonging, but fully expecting to repossess nothing. As the journey takes him via the Catskills, Manhattan, Tucson, L. A. , Eilat, Jerusalem, Tiberias and Haifa, to say nothing of Stamford Hill and Llandudno - although there are shorter routes to Lithuania - he finds there is more to being Jewish than schmaltz and self-ridicule. Roots Schmoots is as fast, funny and furious as Howard Jacobson's fans would expect, but beneath its surface there is a profound and moving exploration of what it is to be a Jew in the late twentieth century.

The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman

by Bruce Robinson

Meet thirteen-year-old Thomas Penman. Growing up in a bizarre household of eccentrics, including a mother and father who wage a silent war against each other. Thomas downs his first drink, smokes his first cigarette, pursues the beautiful Gwendolin Hackett--all the while forming a special bond with his beloved, ailing Grandpa Walker, a World War II veteran prone to dark habits. An obsessive snooper, Thomas undertakes a quest to locate his grandfather's legendary pornography collection, setting in motion a series of misadventures that ultimately leads him to uncover secrets about his life that will change him irrevocably. The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman is a hilarious, engaging, and touching debut novel, a brilliant tale of one British working-class teen's unforgettable coming of age.

P. G. Wodehouse In His Own Words

by Barry Day Tony Ring

An unorthodox biography of "the greatest comic writer ever" (Douglas Adams) and a window into the mind of a brilliant humorist. From the publisher of the acclaimed collector's Wodehouse editions, P. G. Wodehouse In His Own Words is a sparkling collection of excerpts from the master's own writings that reveals a wonderfully entertaining gloss on Wodehouse's own life story. Quotations from a literary career spanning more than seventy years are arranged in chapters that move from childhood, to school years, to the various preoccupations of the grown man. a linking narrative, skillfully supplied by Wodehouse aficionado Barry Day, and former President of the International Wodehouse society Tony Ring brilliantly ties all the material together. Full of the scintillating wordplay and comedy that characterize Wodehouse's novels, stories, letters, and nonfiction, this handsome volume is the perfect addition to anyone's library. .

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