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John Updike's fiftieth book and fifth collection of assorted prose, most of it first published in The New Yorker, brings together eight years' worth of essays, criticism, addresses, introductions, humorous feuilletons, and -- in a concluding section, "Personal Matters" -- paragraphs on himself and his work. More matter, indeed, in an age which, his introduction states, wants "real stuff -- the dirt, the poop, the nitty gritty -- and not . . . the obliquities and tenuosities of fiction." Still, the fiction writer's affectionate, shaping hand can be detected in many of these considerations. Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, Dawn Powell, Henry Green, John Cheever, Vladimir Nabokov, and W. M. Spackman are among the authors extensively treated, along with such more general literary matters as the nature of evil, the philosophical content of novels, and the wreck of the Titanic. Biographies of Isaac Newton and Queen Elizabeth II, Abraham Lincoln and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Benchley and Helen Keller, are reviewed, always with a lively empathy. Two especially scholarly disquisitions array twentieth-century writing about New York City and sketch the ancient linkage between religion and literature. An illustrated section contains sharp-eyed impressions of movies, photographs, and art. Even the slightest of these pieces can twinkle.Updike is a writer for whom print is a mode of happiness: he says of his younger self, "The magazine rack at the corner drugstore beguiled me with its tough gloss," and goes on to claim, "An invitation into print, from however suspect a source, is an opportunity to make something beautiful, to discover within oneself a treasure that would otherwise have remained buried."From the Hardcover edition.
Phil Hastings was a lucky man-he had money, a growing reputation as a screenwriter, a happy, loving family with three kids, and he'd just moved into the house of his dreams in rural of magic-and about to be altered irrevocably by a magic more real than any he dared imagine. For with the Magic came the Bad Thing, and the Faerie, and then the cool. . .and the resurrection of a primordial war with a forgotten people-a war that not only the Hastings but the whole human race could lose.From the Paperback edition.
Aboard a fishing boat named "Genevieve," a small group of British officers and French fishermen--armed only with a flame thrower and small arms--plan a secret commando mission against the might of the German army after the fall of France in World War II. Each man has experienced a terrible loss of one kind or another, and each is fully prepared to face the risks of their desperate gesture of defiance. Most Secret is classic Shute: a thrilling tale of sacrifice and courage and the heroism of ordinary men that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
The year was 1765. Eminent botanist Philibert Commerson had just been appointed to a grand new expedition: the first French circumnavigation of the world. As the ships' official naturalist, Commerson would seek out resources--medicines, spices, timber, food--that could give the French an edge in the ever-accelerating race for empire. Jeanne Baret, Commerson's young mistress and collaborator, was desperate not to be left behind. She disguised herself as a teenage boy and signed on as his assistant. The journey made the twenty-six-year-old, known to her shipmates as "Jean" rather than "Jeanne," the first woman to ever sail around the globe. Yet so little is known about this extraordinary woman, whose accomplishments were considered to be subversive, even impossible for someone of her sex and class. When the ships made landfall and the secret lovers disembarked to explore, Baret carried heavy wooden field presses and bulky optical instruments over beaches and hills, impressing observers on the ships' decks with her obvious strength and stamina. Less obvious were the strips of linen wound tight around her upper body and the months she had spent perfecting her masculine disguise in the streets and marketplaces of Paris. Expedition commander Louis-Antoine de Bougainville recorded in his journal that curious Tahitian natives exposed Baret as a woman, eighteen months into the voyage. But the true story, it turns out, is more complicated. In The Discovery of Jeanne Baret, Glynis Ridley unravels the conflicting accounts recorded by Baret's crewmates to piece together the real story: how Baret's identity was in fact widely suspected within just a couple of weeks of embarking, and the painful consequences of those suspicions; the newly discovered notebook, written in Baret's own hand, that proves her scientific acumen; and the thousands of specimens she collected, most famously the showy vine bougainvillea. Ridley also richly explores Baret's awkward, sometimes dangerous interactions with the men on the ship, including Baret's lover, the obsessive and sometimes prickly naturalist; a fashion-plate prince who, with his elaborate wigs and velvet garments, was often mistaken for a woman himself; the sour ship's surgeon, who despised Baret and Commerson; even a Tahitian islander who joined the expedition and asked Baret to show him how to behave like a Frenchman. But the central character of this true story is Jeanne Baret herself, a working-class woman whose scientific contributions were quietly dismissed and written out of history--until now. Anchored in impeccable original research and bursting with unforgettable characters and exotic settings, The Discovery of Jeanne Baret offers this forgotten heroine a chance to bloom at long last.From the Hardcover edition.
If Gabriel García Márquez had chosen to write about Pakistani immigrants in England, he might have produced a novel as beautiful and devastating as Maps for Lost Lovers. Jugnu and Chanda have disappeared. Like thousands of people all over Enland, they were lovers and living together out of wedlock. To Chanda's family, however, the disgrace was unforgivable. Perhaps enough so as to warrant murder.As he explores the disappearance and its aftermath through the eyes of Jugnu's worldly older brother, Shamas, and his devout wife, Kaukab, Nadeem Aslam creates a closely observed and affecting portrait of people whose traditions threaten to bury them alive. The result is a tour de force, intimate, affecting, tragic and suspenseful.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut's shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut's audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative vision. From the Trade Paperback edition.
In a historic farmhouse outside Boston, seventy-year-old Percy Darling is settling happily into retirement: reading novels, watching old movies, and swimming naked in his pond. His routines are disrupted, however, when he is persuaded to let a locally beloved preschool take over his barn. As Percy sees his rural refuge overrun by children, parents, and teachers, he must reexamine the solitary life he has made in the three decades since the sudden death of his wife. No longer can he remain aloof from his community, his two grown daughters, or, to his shock, the precarious joy of falling in love. One relationship Percy treasures is the bond with his oldest grandchild, Robert, a premed student at Harvard. Robert has long assumed he will follow in the footsteps of his mother, a prominent physician, but he begins to question his ambitions when confronted by a charismatic roommate who preaches--and begins to practice--an extreme form of ecological activism, targeting Boston's most affluent suburbs. Meanwhile, two other men become fatefully involved with Percy and Robert: Ira, a gay teacher at the preschool, and Celestino, a Guatemalan gardener who works for Percy's neighbor, each one striving to overcome a sense of personal exile. Choices made by all four men, as well as by the women around them, collide forcefully on one lovely spring evening, upending everyone's lives, but none more radically than Percy's. With equal parts affection and satire, Julia Glass spins a captivating tale about the loyalties, rivalries, and secrets of a very particular family. Yet again, she plumbs the human heart brilliantly, dramatically, and movingly.From the Hardcover edition.
A masterly debut novel, visceral in its power, heartbreaking in its tenderness. Transporting the reader from the 1940s to the present, from a convent in India to a cargo ship bound for the Yemen, from a tiny operating theatre in Ethiopia to a hospital in the Bronx, Cutting for Stone is a thrilling epic of conjoined twins, doctors and patients, temptation and redemption, home and exile--and a riveting family story, irresistibly charged with strange happenings, humour and pathos, that grabs you from its harrowing opening and never lets go. Marion and Shiva Stone are twin sons of a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon at Missing hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother s death in childbirth and their father s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the brothers come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics their passion for the same woman that tears them apart and forces Marion to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as a surgical intern at an underfunded, overcrowded hospital. When the past catches up with him, Marion must trust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him, and the brother who betrayed him. Cutting for Stone is both an unforgettable story of lives cut in half and a gripping evocation of the power, intimacy, danger and curious beauty of the ancient art that is at its heart.
Elements of Style, the Pulitzer Prize--winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein's first novel, is a scathing comedy about New York's high society facing the post--9/11 world. Francesca Weissman, an Upper East Side pediatrician rated number one by Manhattan magazine, floats on the fringes of the upper strata of privilege and aspiration. Through her bemused eyes we meet the thoroughbred socialite Samantha Acton; relentless social climber Judy Tremont; Barry Santorini, an Oscar-winning moviemaker accustomed to having his way; his supermarket heiress wife, Clarice; and more, tossed together in a frothy stew of outrageous conspicuous consumption and adulterous affairs that play out on Page Six. But when Wasserstein's madcap tour of the social lives and mores of twenty-first-century Manhattan veers into tragedy, we finally see the true cost of her characters' choices, and the beating heart of this dazzling novel.From the Trade Paperback edition. and his wife, the Italian supermarket heiress and former media rep for Giorgio Armani . . . and many more. As Elements of Style opens out, we see a madcap mosaic of the social lives and mores of twenty-first century Manhattan--of romance, work, family, and friendship. Satiric, fierce, touching--and deliciously Wasserstein."Pure Wendy! She effortlessly makes the leap from stage to page with a novel that is loving, compassionate, flat-out funny. Wendy loved the word 'scintillating,' which is the best way to describe her stunning Elements of Style."--John Guare"Wasserstein gets the trappings and tribulations (of friendship and of romance) right, making her depiction of the rich and fab trying to connect with one another witty and entertaining."--Publishers Weekly"Bold, nimble, and funny to its fingertips, Elements of Style is a delight, a triumph. A book that no self-respecting New Yorker should be without. Those cursed with the hell of multiple residences will self-evidently need several copies--and spares, for houseguests."--Flora FraserFrom the Hardcover edition.
First published in 1967, Thomas Savage's western novel about two brothers and the competition between them when one marries now includes an afterword by Annie Proulx.
There's something about the New York Times bestselling Julie James... FATE HAS THROWN TWO SWORN ENEMIES... Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago--and nearly ruining his career... ...INTO EACH OTHER'S ARMS Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it's no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes--and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension...
Dawn Madison has captured the master of the London Underground, but now must face her followers-a vicious pack of undead teenage girls who put the vamps in Los Angeles to shame.
New in the Spur Award-winning Herschel Baker series When Sheriff Herschel Baker's young cousin, Wulf, turns out to be good with a gun, Baker pins a deputy badge on him. But once the lawmen track down a thief, Wulf finds that he has a score or two to settle back home.
What do you do when desire drives you to the very brink? Someone wants the Native Americans off their sacred land. And when Navajo journalist Katherine James and park ranger Gabriel Rossiter team up to investigate why, their passion for the truth-and each other-makes them targets for those desperate enough to kill.
Messenger Melina Markowitz, a go-between for paranormal forces and supernatural creatures, must find an envelope stolen from her--or watch out-of-control Chinese vampires take down rival gang members in an all-out street war.
Still smarting over the break-up with her boyfriend, Josh, Chloe Carter takes a job as a cookbook writer's assistant-a job that puts her in contact with Josh's chef friend, Digger. But when Digger dies in a supposed grease fire, Chloe starts mixing ingredients to find out how he really died-and who killed him.
The national bestselling author of Fragile returns with a luscious new blend of sex and suspense. Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter for a private detective agency in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He's drawn to her-but he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else. Sarah McElyea is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She has a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can't risk telling him the secrets she's hiding. But Quinn must get closer to Sarah when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and both Quinn and Sarah will have to expose their true feelings-as well as their fragile hearts-if their love is to survive.
Surprising. Provocative. Honest. For Unveiled, reporter Cheryl Reed interviewed more than 300 nuns of diverse beliefs, lifestyles, and orders. She lived and prayed with them, witnessed their vows, mourned and celebrated with them, and asked questions no one had ever dared before: about love and sex, life and death, faith and joy, and loss and regret. In the process, Reed would discover more about motherhood, relationships, faith, and feminism than she ever gleaned from the outside world.
From the author of The Accidental Bestseller comes a wonderfully entertaining book about what to do when life comes at you full swing. At forty-one, Vivian Armstrong Gray's life as an investigative journalist is crumbling. Humiliated after taking a bullet in her backside during an exposé, Vivi learns that she's pregnant, jobless, and very hormonal. This explains why she says 'yes' to a dreadful job covering suburban living back home in Georgia, a column she must write incognito. Down South, it's her sister's ballroom dance studio that becomes her undercover spot where she learns about the local life-and where unexpected friendships develop. As she digs up her long buried roots, she starts to wonder if life inside the picket fence is really so bad after all. Read Wendy Wax's post on the Penguin Blog. .
Read Skyler White's posts on the Penguin Blog. View our feature on Skyler White's and Falling, Fly. An edgy, erotic blend of fantasy and romance-from a debut author whose star is on the rise. In a dark and seedy underground of burned-out rock stars and angels- turned-vampires, a revolutionary neuroscientist and a fallen angel must pit medicine against mythology in an attempt to erase their tortured pasts...but at what cost? Olivia, vampire and fallen angel of desire, is hopeless...and damned. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions. When his research and her despair collide at L'OtelMathillide- a subterranean hell of beauty, demons, and dreams-rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and damnation that threatens to destroy them both.
A fascinating look at a bizarre, forgotten epidemic from the national bestselling author of The American Plague. In 1918, a world war raged, and a lethal strain of influenza circled the globe. In the midst of all this death, a bizarre disease appeared in Europe. Eventually known as encephalitis lethargica, or sleeping sickness, it spread worldwide, leaving millions dead or locked in institutions. Then, in 1927, it disappeared as suddenly as it arrived. Asleep, set in 1920s and '30s New York, follows a group of neurologists through hospitals and asylums as they try to solve this epidemic and treat its victims-who learned the worst fate was not dying of it, but surviving it.
From the author of The Curious Gardener's Almanac, a fascinating miscellany that explores the mysterious world of birds. Comprising more than 1,000 entries of remarkable information about birds, bird life, and bird-watching, Bald Coot and Screaming Loon reveals the intriguing evolution and behavior patterns of these avian creatures. Woven into this wealth of knowledge are quotations, anecdotes, traditional sayings, lines of verse, practical advice for attracting and spotting birds, and words of rural wisdom, covering such topics as: ?How birds came to be ?Courtship and breeding ?Why birds sing and call ?Avian anatomy ?Birds and man ?How and why birds fly ?The mystery of migration ?Bird Brains: Instinct or intelligence? ?How birds cope in a damaged world
A ship from Earth arrives at Coyote bearing news: the survivor of the Robert E. Lee explosion is still alive on their homeworld-but the person who destroyed the ship is somewhere on Coyote.
Sixteen original stories about taking your dream vacation-in any era you desire. Take a vacation through time with the help of a Time Travel Agency offering excursions into the past and future. Readers will find themselves in exotic, adventurous locales-and in all manner of trouble and mysteries. And figures from the past will be able to squeak by the other way. Picture Cleopatra in modern-day New York City, or Hannibal searching for elephants at Wisconsin's Circus World. And that's just the beginning of the thrills and danger...
AN ANCIENT CODE A clay tablet covered in ancient writing is found by an English couple in Morocco. A day later they are dead, killed in a car crash. But where is the relic they died to protect? A SINISTER SECRET Determined to uncover a secret that's endured for two millennia, Chris Bronson follows a trail of clues that lead him from the hustle of a Moroccan souk to the deserted caves of Qumran; from the sinister echoes of a water-filled tunnel under the city of Jerusalem to a windswept fortress whose name spells death. A DEADLY CHASE FOR THE TRUTH . . . Threatened on every side by violent extremists, Bronson is plunged into a mystery rooted in biblical times. For the stone he must find is older and far more dangerous than he could ever have imagined . . .
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