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"Blood is a terrible gossip, it tells everything."Dr. Miranda is faced with a tragedy: his father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has only a few weeks to live. He is also faced with a dilemma: How does one tell his father he is dying?Ernesto Duran, a patient of Dr. Miranda's, is convinced he is sick. Ever since he separated from his wife he has been presenting symptoms of an illness he believes is killing him. It becomes an obsession far exceeding hypochondria. The fixation, in turn, has its own creeping effect on Miranda's secretary, who cannot, despite her best intentions, resist compassion for the man.A profound and philosophical exploration of the nature and meaning of illness, Alberto Barrera Tyszka's tender, refined novel interweaves the stories of four individuals as they try, in their own way, to come to terms with sickness in all its ubiquity.
A classic how-to manual, William Wallace Cook's Plotto is one writer's personal method, painstakingly diagrammed for the benefit of others. The theory itself may be simple - "Purpose opposed by Obstacle yields Conflict" - but Cook takes his "Plottoist" through hundreds of situations and scenarios, guiding the reader's hand as a dizzying array of purposes and obstacles come to a head. Cook's method is broken down into three stages: First, the master plot. This four-page chart distills the most basic plot points into a three-line sentence. Next, the conflict situation. Each master plot leads the reader to a list of circumstances, distributed among 20 different conflict groups (these range from "Love's Beginning" to "Personal Limitations" to "Transgression"). There are over 2,000 unique conflict situations in the book, and each is cross-referenced with designs for how the situation might have started, or where it might go. Finally, there are character combinations - Cook offers an extensive index of protagonists, each cross-referenced with various supporting players - themselves tied to various conflict situations, for what appears to be an inexhaustible reservoir of suggestions and inspiration.
Cleaning up her father's home after his death, Gwenaëlle Aubry discovered a handwritten, autobiographical manuscript with a note on the cover: "to novelize." The title was The Melancholic Black Sheep, but the subtitle, An Inconvenient Specter, had been crossed out. The specter? Her father's disabling bipolar disorder. Aubry had long known that she wanted to write about her father; his death, and his words, gave her the opportunity to explain his many absences - even while he was physically present - and to sculpt her memory of him. No One is a fictional memoir in dictionary form that investigates the many men behind the masks, and a unified portrait evolves. "A" describes her father's adopted persona as Antonin Artaud, the poet/playwright; "B" is for James Bond; and, finally, "Z" is for Zelig, the Woody Allen character who could transform his appearance to that of the people around him. Letter by letter, Aubry gives shape and meaning to the father who had long disappeared from her view.The whole is a beautifully written, vivid exploration of a particular experience of mental illness and what it can reveal more generally about human experience.
Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska.Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel's sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories-the remnants-of those around her and she begins to tell her own story.
In the tradition of Vladimir Nabokov and Henry Miller, John Franc's masterful novel explores sexual obsession, as a group of male friends delve further and further into the world of brothels under the gleaming surface of their cosmopolitan city. Told through an anonymous collective point of view, the narrative names no character or location, implying that these men speak for all men. All seems well in this world where men sneak off to betray their wives and children, visiting brothel after brothel. But while toasting themselves and their moxie, evaluating the quality of their liaisons and caliber of their bought lovers, one man in the group becomes wracked by a guilt that threatens to undo them all.
Inspired by one of the world's greatest novels, Ohio artist Matt Kish set out on an epic voyage of his own one day in August 2009. More than one hundred and fifty years following the original publication of Moby-Dick, Kish began illustrating Herman Melville's classic, creating an image a day over the next eighteen months based on text selected from every page of the 552-page Signet Classics paperback edition. Completely self-taught, Kish refused to set any boundaries for the artwork and employed a deliberately low-tech approach in response to the increasing popularity of born-digital art and literature. He used found pages torn from old, discarded books, as well as a variety of mediums, including ballpoint pen, marker, paint, crayon, ink, and watercolor. By layering images on top of existing words and images, Kish has crafted a visual masterpiece that echoes the layers of meaning in Melville's narrative.
Fantastic Women comprises eighteen stories by some of the most exciting contemporary women writers in the United States. The daughters of Franz Kafka and Mary Shelley, the Brothers Grimm, and Angela Carter, these inventive, insightful authors steep their narratives in a heady potion of surrealism and macabre black comedy. The result is wildly creative work that captures the potent truth about human nature far more clearly than much of the fiction (or, for that matter, the nonfiction) being written today.Why just women? More and more women writers are creating work that not only pushes the envelope but also folds realistic fiction into an origami dragon, transporting readers into worlds we've never seen before and digging deeper into the psychic bedrock than their male counterparts.So slip into a pocket universe, drive through a family's home, awake in the night to find you've become a deer, and dive into the ocean to join your mermaid mother. We can't imagine ever wanting to escape this spellbinding world, but if you must, best leave a trail of crumbs along your way.
Facing the prospect of fatherhood, disillusioned by his fledgling teaching career, and mourning the loss of a fraught former relationship, 25-year-old Francis Mason is a prisoner of his past mistakes. But when his second-grade class discovers a dead body during a field trip to a San Francisco beach, Francis spirals into unbearable grief and all-consuming paranoia. As his behavior grows increasingly erratic, and tensions arise with the school principal and the parents of his students, he faces the familiar urge to flee - a choice that forces him to confront the character weaknesses that have shattered his life again and again - and to accept the wrenching truth about the past he's never been able to move beyond.
For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart. The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see. Lucy's family has deep roots in the Ozarks, part of a community that is fiercely protective of its own. Yet despite her close ties to the land, and despite her family's influence, Lucy--darkly beautiful as her mother was--is always thought of by those around her as her mother's daughter. When Cheri disappears, Lucy is haunted by the two lost girls--the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't save--and sets out with the help of a local boy, Daniel, to uncover the mystery behind Cheri's death. What Lucy discovers is a secret that pervades the secluded Missouri hills, and beyond that horrific revelation is a more personal one concerning what happened to her mother more than a decade earlier. The Weight of Blood is an urgent look at the dark side of a bucolic landscape beyond the arm of the law, where a person can easily disappear without a trace. Laura McHugh proves herself a masterly storyteller who has created a harsh and tangled terrain as alive and unforgettable as the characters who inhabit it. Her mesmerizing debut is a compelling exploration of the meaning of family: the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love. Praise for The Weight of Blood "With her riveting debut, The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh makes a strong bid at cementing a new tradition of regional crime fiction while keeping tourism low in the Ozarks. . . . [A] powerful sense of place is the anchor of The Weight of Blood. The well-drawn townspeople and oppressive, dread-soaked atmosphere sprout from the soil of Henbane. . . . The prose is strong, with evocative paint strokes in all the right places. McHugh is an artful, efficient writer who tells her story in vicious blows. . . . McHugh has crafted a sharp, haunting tale of blood in the Ozarks, as substantial as it is pleasurable to read."--Los Angeles Times"Laura McHugh's atmospheric debut, The Weight of Blood . . . conjures a menacingly beautiful Ozark setting and a nest of poisonous family secrets reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone."--Vogue ("Spring's Ten Best Suspense Novels")"A fantastic novel, rich in character and atmosphere . . . This is one you won't want to miss."--Karin Slaughter, author of Unseen "A suspenseful thrill ride that satisfies in all the right ways . . . Daniel Woodrell had better watch his back. . . . The Weight of Blood is a tense, taut novel and a truly remarkable debut."--BookPage"Laura McHugh's vivid and enthralling The Weight of Blood centers on a mother and daughter in a seemingly benign yet deeply horrifying small town. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last."--Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of FlowersFrom the Hardcover edition.
From the bestselling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, a fascinating portrait of Europe from 1900 up to the outbreak of World War I. The century since the end of the Napoleonic wars had been the most peaceful era Europe had known since the fall of the Roman Empire. In the first years of the twentieth century, Europe believed it was marching to a golden, happy, and prosperous future. But instead, complex personalities and rivalries, colonialism and ethnic nationalisms, and shifting alliances helped to bring about the failure of the long peace and the outbreak of a war that transformed Europe and the world. The War That Ended Peace brings vividly to life the military leaders, politicians, diplomats, bankers, and the extended, interrelated family of crowned heads across Europe who failed to stop the descent into war: in Germany, the mercurial Kaiser Wilhelm II and the chief of the German general staff, Von Moltke the Younger; in Austria-Hungary, Emperor Franz Joseph, a man who tried, through sheer hard work, to stave off the coming chaos in his empire; in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his wife; in Britain, King Edward VII, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, and British admiral Jacky Fisher, the fierce advocate of naval reform who entered into the arms race with Germany that pushed the continent toward confrontation on land and sea. There are the would-be peacemakers as well, among them prophets of the horrors of future wars whose warnings went unheeded: Alfred Nobel, who donated his fortune to the cause of international understanding, and Bertha von Suttner, a writer and activist who was the first woman awarded Nobel's new Peace Prize. Here too we meet the urbane and cosmopolitan Count Harry Kessler, who noticed many of the early signs that something was stirring in Europe; the young Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty and a rising figure in British politics; Madame Caillaux, who shot a man who might have been a force for peace; and more. With indelible portraits, MacMillan shows how the fateful decisions of a few powerful people changed the course of history. Taut, suspenseful, and impossible to put down, The War That Ended Peace is also a wise cautionary reminder of how wars happen in spite of the near-universal desire to keep the peace. Destined to become a classic in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August, The War That Ended Peace enriches our understanding of one of the defining periods and events of the twentieth century. Advance praise for The War That Ended Peace "[A] richly textured narrative about World War I . . . addressing the war's build-up . . . MacMillan tells this familiar story with panache. A major contribution, however, is her presentation of its subtext, as Europe's claims to be the world's most advanced civilization 'were being challenged from without and undermined from within.' . . . MacMillan eloquently shows that 'turning out the lights' was not inevitable, but a consequence of years of decisions and reactions: a slow-motion train wreck few wanted but none could avoid."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"The War That Ended Peace tells the story of how intelligent, well-meaning leaders guided their nations into catastrophe. These epic events, brilliantly described by one of our era's most talented historians, warn of the dangers that arise when we fail to anticipate the consequences of our actions. This is one of the finest books I have ever read on the causes of World War I."--Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state
From Robert D. Kaplan, named one of the world's Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, comes a penetrating look at the volatile region that will dominate the future of geopolitical conflict. Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated nine hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries' worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict. The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future. In Asia's Cauldron, Robert D. Kaplan offers up a vivid snapshot of the nations surrounding the South China Sea, the conflicts brewing in the region at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and their implications for global peace and stability. One of the world's most perceptive foreign policy experts, Kaplan interprets America's interests in Asia in the context of an increasingly assertive China. He explains how the region's unique geography fosters the growth of navies but also impedes aggression. And he draws a striking parallel between China's quest for hegemony in the South China Sea and the United States' imperial adventure in the Caribbean more than a century ago. To understand the future of conflict in East Asia, Kaplan argues, one must understand the goals and motivations of its leaders and its people. Part travelogue, part geopolitical primer, Asia's Cauldron takes us on a journey through the region's boom cities and ramshackle slums: from Vietnam, where the superfueled capitalism of the erstwhile colonial capital, Saigon, inspires the geostrategic pretensions of the official seat of government in Hanoi, to Malaysia, where a unique mix of authoritarian Islam and Western-style consumerism creates quite possibly the ultimate postmodern society; and from Singapore, whose "benevolent autocracy" helped foster an economic miracle, to the Philippines, where a different brand of authoritarianism under Ferdinand Marcos led not to economic growth but to decades of corruption and crime. At a time when every day's news seems to contain some new story--large or small--that directly relates to conflicts over the South China Sea, Asia's Cauldron is an indispensable guide to a corner of the globe that will affect all of our lives for years to come.Advance praise for Asia's Cauldron "Asia's Cauldron is a perfect summation of the present turbulent moment in history, when the World War II security structure is beginning a rapid transformation. Kaplan engages the striking possibilities of where the current confrontation between China and Japan could lead, and underscores the point that this is a lot more significant than a simple border dispute."--Paul Bracken, Yale University, author of The Second Nuclear Age "Master global strategist Robert D. Kaplan turns his gaze to the bubbling heat of the South China Sea in his latest tour de force. Asia's Cauldron deconstructs the extreme volatility of this enormous, dangerous, and vital maritime space."--Admiral James Stavridis, United States Navy (Ret.), dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 2009-2013From the Hardcover edition.
Who is A. N. Dyer? & Sons is a literary masterwork for readers of The Art of Fielding, The Emperor's Children, and Wonder Boys--the panoramic, deeply affecting story of an iconic novelist, two interconnected families, and the heartbreaking truths that fiction can hide. The funeral of Charles Henry Topping on Manhattan's Upper East Side would have been a minor affair (his two-hundred-word obit in The New York Times notwithstanding) but for the presence of one particular mourner: the notoriously reclusive author A. N. Dyer, whose novel Ampersand stands as a classic of American teenage angst. But as Andrew Newbold Dyer delivers the eulogy for his oldest friend, he suffers a breakdown over the life he's led and the people he's hurt and the novel that will forever endure as his legacy. He must gather his three sons for the first time in many years--before it's too late. So begins a wild, transformative, heartbreaking week, as witnessed by Philip Topping, who, like his late father, finds himself caught up in the swirl of the Dyer family. First there's son Richard, a struggling screenwriter and father, returning from self-imposed exile in California. In the middle lingers Jamie, settled in Brooklyn after his twenty-year mission of making documentaries about human suffering. And last is Andy, the half brother whose mysterious birth tore the Dyers apart seventeen years ago, now in New York on spring break, determined to lose his virginity before returning to the prestigious New England boarding school that inspired Ampersand. But only when the real purpose of this reunion comes to light do these sons realize just how much is at stake, not only for their father but for themselves and three generations of their family. In this daring feat of fiction, David Gilbert establishes himself as one of our most original, entertaining, and insightful authors. & Sons is that rarest of treasures: a startlingly imaginative novel about families and how they define us, and the choices we make when faced with our own mortality.Praise for & Sons "A Franzenish portrait of a biting, aging New York writer, David Gilbert's novel is perceptive, witty, and--like all great books about remote fathers and their sons--prone to leaving male readers either cursing or calling their dads."--New York "In her iconic essay 'Goodbye to All That,' Joan Didion famously described New York City as 'the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself.' . . . David Gilbert's layered & Sons probes that nexus from the inside, limning the emotional decay of two prominent Manhattan families and literary masterpiece that cages them. . . . Vivid, inventive."--O: The Oprah Magazine "The book's central figure is an aging, Salinger-esque writer, A. N. Dyer, who, as his health declines, grapples with complexities involving family, friendships and his influential life's work. Gilbert could have dealt with Dyer's books as a necessary afterthought, tossing off some titles and quickly setting down to the real business of regret and death and endlessly messy human relationships. Instead, Gilbert really got into it. & Sons conjures a career's worth of drool-worthy fictional fiction that's so convincingly evoked, I almost recall writing a paper on it in freshman English class."--The New York Times MagazineA NEWSDAY SUMMER READING PICKFrom the Hardcover edition.
Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose during lunch at one of London's fanciest restaurants. But when his big question involves a trip abroad, not a trip down the aisle, she's completely crushed. So when Ben, an old flame, calls her out of the blue and reminds Lottie of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. No formal dates--just a quick march to the altar and a honeymoon on Ikonos, the sun-drenched Greek island where they first met years ago. Their family and friends are horrified. Fliss, Lottie's older sister, knows that Lottie can be impulsive--but surely this is her worst decision yet. And Ben's colleague Lorcan fears that this hasty marriage will ruin his friend's career. To keep Lottie and Ben from making a terrible mistake, Fliss concocts an elaborate scheme to sabotage their wedding night. As she and Lorcan jet off to Ikonos in pursuit, Lottie and Ben are in for a honeymoon to remember, for better . . . or worse.Advance praise for Wedding Night "Author of the popular Shopaholic series, [Sophie] Kinsella has again created a fast-paced, hilarious comedy filled with bubbly banter and a charming cast of characters. The lovers (more self-deluded than star-crossed) are delightfully flawed, and the rivals are sweetly vulnerable. Bright, bouncy, engaging and perfect for filming."--Kirkus Reviews "There's plenty of silly fun to be had in this charming comedy of errors."--Booklist "Kinsella fans will be charmed."--Publishers WeeklyFrom the Hardcover edition.
From one of the twentieth century's master novelists, the author of the classic All Quiet on the Western Front, comes Heaven Has No Favorites, a bittersweet story of unconventional love that sweeps across Europe. Lillian is charming, beautiful . . . and slowly dying of consumption. But she doesn't wish to end her days in a hospital in the Alps. She wants to see Paris again, then Venice--to live frivolously for as long as possible. She might die on the road, she might not, but before she goes, she wants a chance at life. Clerfayt, a race-car driver, tempts fate every time he's behind the wheel. A man with no illusions about chance, he is powerfully drawn to a woman who can look death in the eye and laugh. Together, he and Lillian make an unusual pair, living only for the moment, without regard for the future. It's a perfect arrangement--until one of them begins to fall in love. "The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."--The New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
In Spark of Life, a powerful classic from the renowned author of All Quiet on the Western Front, one man's dream of freedom inspires a valiant resistance against the Nazi war machine. For ten years, 509 has been a political prisoner in a German concentration camp, persevering in the most hellish conditions. Deathly weak, he still has his wits about him and he senses that the end of the war is near. If he and the other living corpses in his barracks can hold on for liberation--or force their own--then their suffering will not have been in vain. Now the SS who run the camp are ratcheting up the terror. But their expectations are jaded and their defenses are down. It is possible that the courageous yet terribly weak prisoners have just enough left in them to resist. And if they die fighting, they will die on their own terms, cheating the Nazis out of their devil's contract. "The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."--The New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
A haunting classic from the author of All Quiet on the Western Front, Shadows in Paradise reveals the deepest scars of the men and women who experienced the Holocaust. After years of hiding and surviving near death in a concentration camp, Ross is finally safe. Now living in New York City among old friends, far from Europe's chilling atrocities, Ross soon meets Natasha, a beautiful model and fellow émigré, a warm heart to help him forget his cold memories. Yet even as the war draws to its violent close, Ross cannot find peace. Demons still pursue him. Whether they are ghosts from the past or the guilt of surviving, he does not know. For he is only beginning to understand that freedom is far from easy--and that paradise, however perfect, has a price. "The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."--The New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Wire to Wire assembles a cast of train-hopping, drug-dealing, glue-huffing lowlifes, tells a harrowing tale of friendship and loss, and creates a stunning portrait of Northern Michigan in the late 1970s.While riding a freight car through Detroit, Michael Slater suffers a near-fatal accident-a power line to the head. After recovering, he tries to lead a quiet life in the desert, but his problems just follow him. Slater returns to his native Michigan to seek out his old train-hopping pal, only to find that the Pleasant Peninsula of his youth is none too pleasant. Before long he finds his way into a love triangle, gets caught in the schemes of the resident drug lord, and manages to end up on the wrong side of everyone and everything in the small town of Wolverine. When the violent sociopath Slater left to die in the desert tracks him down, the chance of getting out of this hell unscathed starts to look slim.Three years later, Slater sits in a dark video-editing suite, popping speed like penny candy, trying to reconcile himself with the unfilmed memories that haunt his screens and his conscience.Scott Sparling's debut novel, with echoes of Robert Stone and Denis Johnson, pays homage to one of our most popular and enduring genres-the American crime novel.
Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (1973), set in an alternative-universe version of World War II, has been called a modern Finnegan's Wake for its challenging language, wild anachronisms, hallucinatory happenings, and fever-dream imagery. With Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow, artist Zak Smith at once eases and expands readers' experience of the book. A leading exponent of punk-based, DIY art, Smith here presents his most ambitious project to date - an art book exactly as long as the work it's interpreting: 760 drawings, paintings, photos, and less definable images in 760 pages. Extraordinary tableaux of the detritus of war - a burned-out Königstiger tank, a melted machine gun - coexist alongside such phantasmagoric Pynchon inventions as the "stumbling bird" and "Girgori the octopus." Smith has stated his aim to be "as literal as possible" in interpreting Gravity's Rainbow, but his images are as imaginative and powerfully unique as the prose they honor.
Ever accidentally sent a mass email to your office describing your not-safe-for-work fantasy kingdom? Or been confused about the ground rules at a cuddle party? Looking to rent an overpriced room in the Hamptons from a codependent sociopath with a checkered past (and a hot tub)? No? Well . . . huh. Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason collects Mike Sacks's unique humor pieces -- Craigslist ads, lesser-known tantric positions, letters to famous authors, lists, jokes, and the occasional illustration -- into one handsome volume. Originally published in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and McSweeney's, among other venerable publications, Sacks' writing is original and sharp, yet broadly funny. Whether it's a groom tweeting his wedding in real time, or a publisher offering editorial suggestions for The Diary of Anne Frank, Sacks' work tangles contemporary social satire with his absurdist sensibilities.
Falling in love is a complicated, messy, mad endeavor -- and staying in love is even worse. But while bitter experience and brutal statistics may tell us that it will probably all end in tears, we still continue to believe in and pursue romance, even if it means losing sleep, friends, or sanity in the process. In this nimble and original exploration of love's hidden motivations and manifestations, Anouchka Grose tries to get to the heart of its hold over us. Along the way, she examines relationships between famous couples from Burton and Taylor to Romeo and Juliet, and draws on personal anecdotes, case studies, and theories about love offered by philosophy, psychoanalysis, and anthropology. Guiding us from the first flirtatious text message to dodging insults in divorce court, through swooning, stalking, and swearing undying devotion, this cheerful book about the horrors of love is essential reading for anyone who has ever loved and lost. And then loved all over again.
A sacred pledge and a gypsy's curse drive this medieval love story. Günter Behaim, a professional soldier in the service of Emperor Charles V, has been hardened by betrayal and disloyalty in his life, and he has sworn to make few promises of his own and keep those until death. When his closest friend is mortally wounded on the battlefield, however, Günter pledges to marry the other man's betrothed and keep her safe. That woman turns out to be a Spanish beauty named Alonsa García de Aranjuéz, but she will have no part of such an agreement. Trying to keep his promise, Günter uses every weapon in his romantic arsenal to convince the reluctant woman to marry him, and he begins to love her very much. Meanwhile, Alonza is falling in love too, but she dares not reveal her feelings because she is under a curse that brings misfortune to any man who loves her. As war draws near and danger surrounds them, the couple has to make a crucial decision: accept their fates or risk everything to be together?
Abyssinia, 1866. The crazed (some say) but dynamic Christian King of Kings has taken power as Tewodros II. His vision: to reunite Ethiopia under one crown, one God. To that end he moves his massive, gorgeously arrayed army from province to province. But rebellion is continuous and, in the end, he is Emperor of only the remote and inaccessible rock Magdala, where he holds political prisoners, spouses, and relations he's tired of and fifty Europeans. Into the barbaric and breathtaking kingdom comes American adventurer, linguist, and ethnologist, Captain Ravinger Howland. Becoming Tewodros' right-hand man, Ravi is allowed all the privileges of a royal son: concubines, armory, all the raw beef he can eat but not the returned Queen of Sheba. American doctor Delphine Chambliss, Tewodros believes, is the reincarnation of Makeda from who all Abyssinian kings are descended. But even as Ravi begins to question Tewodros' sanity, he falls for the bitterly bereaved Dr. Chambliss. And now, as the kingdom crumbles, Ravi and Tewodros lock horns over the woman in a battle to the death.
Stanley Johnson is an ordinary man, widower, early retiree, biding his time until Social Security kicks in. An ex-prostitute, heroin junkie, just trying to hang on to life. Her Sugar Daddy is wealthy, powerful, mysterious. The couple in the apartment across from Stan. His ex-employer. His landlady. His would-be girlfriend. The ghosts of his wife and son. The upcoming presidential election. And a plot so convoluted, so sick and twisted, it will rock the world. The President's Nemesis. They will stop him if they can.
Private investigator Jake Helman has battled a demon, his minions, the walking dead, and beings from the dimensions of the Sphere of Light and the Dark Realm, but now he faces the greatest evil the world has ever known in the third installment of this loosely knit trilogy. Jake is hired by the wife of New York City mayor Myron Madigan to prove his infidelity. Meanwhile, the ex-girlfriend of his old partner Edgar needs Jake's help when her son joins a cult that worships space aliens. And Jake's late wife, Sheryl, now an "agent of Light," asks him to locate a monster called the Destroyer of Souls-who may be responsible for the disappearance of the Biblical entity known as Abel. The investigation of Madigan leads to Karlin Reichard, a wealthy industrialist and political kingmaker-head of a cabal that has secretly manipulated world affairs for generations. In order to bring these men down, Jake must join them. With earthly and otherworldly forces marshaled against him, Jake battles human assassins and supernatural creatures in his quest to uncover the mystery behind the Order of Avademe and a monster willing to destroy heaven and hell to rule the earth.
Women who are trying to conceive will find a holistic approach in this hands-on manual. Step-by-step guidelines help implement a three-part program-of yoga, hypoallergenic and anti-inflammatory nutrition, and stress-reduction techniques-to cleanse the body, mind, and spirit in preparation for pregnancy. In addition, this program draws on cleansing methods from traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda and has been specifically designed for women who are trying naturally or with assisted-reproduction plans. Also based on new clinical research that suggests that gut health, chronic inflammation, and environmental toxins may be root causes of infertility, this important book offers all women a natural, holistic approach to readying the womb for a child and includes a DVD of yoga exercises.
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