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The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha

by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Like the River Ganges flowing down from the Himalayas, the entire Buddhist tradition flows down to us from the teachings and deeds of the historical Buddha, who lived and taught in India during the fifth century B.C.E. To ensure that his legacy would survive the ravages of time, his direct disciples compiled records of the Buddha's teachings soon after his passing. In the Theravada Buddhist tradition, which prevails in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, these records are regarded as the definitive "word of the Buddha." Preserved in Pali, an ancient Indian language closely related to the language that the Buddha spoke, this full compilation of texts is known as the Pali Canon. At the heart of the Buddha's teaching were the suttas (Sanskrit sutras), his discourses and dialogues. If we want to find out what the Buddha himself actually said, these are the most ancient sources available to us. The suttas were compiled into collections called "Nikayas," of which there are four, each organized according to a different principle. The Digha Nikaya consists of longer discourses; the Majjhima Nikaya of middle-length discourses; the Samyutta Nikaya of thematically connected discourses; and the Anguttara Nikaya of numerically patterned discourses. The present volume, which continues Wisdom's famous Teachings of the Buddha series, contains a full translation of the Anguttara Nikaya. The Anguttara arranges the Buddha's discourses in accordance with a numerical scheme intended to promote retention and easy comprehension. In an age when writing was still in its infancy, this proved to be the most effective way to ensure that the disciples could grasp and replicate the structure of a teaching.

If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break

by James Ishmael Ford

Using vignettes and anecdotes from his own life - as well as quotations drawn from sources as varied as the Bible, Yiddish aphorisms, and stand-up comedy - Zen teacher and Unitarian Universalist minister James Ishmael Ford shares the gifts won over his lifetime of full-hearted engagement with the Zen path. "I've found myself broken open," Ford says, "and found in that opening my fundamental connection to the whole world." What's more, If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break breathes new life into the Buddhist ideas of karma and rebirth - as well as the Buddhist precepts of ethical action - and finds for them kinship in other spiritual endeavors. Even the most cynical of hearts will find resonance in Ford's compassionate presentation of basic human truths.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English

by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

In simple and straightforward language, Bhante Gunaratana shares the Buddha's teachings on mindfulness and how we can use these principles to improve our daily lives, deepen our mindfulness, and move closer to our spiritual goals. Based on the classic Satipatthana Sutta, one of the most succinct yet rich explanations of meditation, Bhante's presentation is nonetheless thoroughly modern. The Satipatthana Sutta has become the basis of all mindfulness meditation, and Bhante unveils it to the reader in his trademark "plain English" style. Contemplating the Four Foundations of Mindfulness--mindfulness of the body, of feelings, of the mind, and of phenomena themselves--is recommended for all practitioners. Newcomers will find The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English lays a strong groundwork for mindfulness practice and gives them all they need to get started right away, and old hands will find rich subtleties and insights to help consolidate and clarify what they may have begun to see for themselves. People at every state of the spiritual path will benefit from reading this book.

The Arts of Contemplative Care

by Judith Simmer-Brown Pat Enkyo O'Hara Cheryl A Giles Willa B Miller

Powerful and life-affirming, this watershed volume brings together the voices of pioneers in the field of contemplative care--from hospice and hospitals to colleges, prisons, and the military. Illustrating the day-to-day words and actions of pastoral workers, each first-person essay in this collection offers a distillation of the wisdom gained over years of compassionate experience. The stories told here are sure to inspire--whether you are a professional caregiver or simply feel inclined toward guiding, healing, and comforting roles. If you are inspired to read this book, or even one touching story in it, you just might find yourself inspired to change a life.

A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages

by Thupten Jinpa Je Tsongkhapa Gavin Kilty

Tsongkhapa's A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages (1419) is a comprehensive presentation of the highest yoga class of Buddhist tantra, especially the key practices - the so-called five stages (pancakrama) - of the advanced phase of Guhyasamaja tantra. Beginning with a thorough examination of the Indian sources, Tsongkhapa draws particularly from the writings of Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Candrakirti, and Naropa to develop a definitive understanding of the Vajrayana completion stage. Whereas in the generation stage, meditators visualize the Buddha in the form of the deity residing in a mandala palace, in the completion stage discussed in the present volume, meditators transcend ordinary consciousness and actualize the state of a buddha themselves. Among other things, Tsongkhapa's work covers the subtle human physiology of channels and winds along with the process of dying, the bardo, and rebirth. This definitive statement on Guhyasamaja tantra profoundly affected the course of Buddhist practice in Tibet.

Like a Yeti Catching Marmots

by Josh Bartok Pema Tsewang Shastri

The Yeti, or Dremo in Tibetan, is a dim-witted mythical beast said to feed only on marmots. It sees a marmot, grabs the hapless creature, and then sits on it - saving the delicious morsel for later. And then the Yeti sees another marmot and leaps up to snatch it while the first marmot makes a quick break for freedom. An image of bumbling, foolish effort. This enchanting little book contains 108 traditional Tibetan proverbs - conveying the wit and wisdom of one of the world's most unique cultures. The proverbs appear in English and Tibetan script, along with a brief explanation of how and when to use each saying. Often funny and wise, these proverbs always remind us of our experiences in a natural and meaningful way.

The Circle of a Promise

by Helen A Rosburg

Romance

Paper Hearts

by S R Savell

A pushy counselor, school bullies, a neglectful mother, and a dead father have ruined seventeen-year-old high school senior Michelle Pearce's perspective on life. A social reject living in self-imposed exile, Michelle has little use for anything or anyone-until Nathaniel comes along. A high school dropout who works three jobs to care for his dying grandmother, he's all but convinced Michelle that there is some good left in humanity.And then humanity proves him wrong. The unforgivable happens, destroying Michelle's newfound faith in life and threatening to unravel a love in the making.

Lisa Marie Wilkinson Romance Bundle

by Lisa Marie Wilkinson

In Stolen Promises, Cultures clash and passions collide when a stunning deathbed confession by his mother sends Evan Dark, the heir to a sprawling South Carolina plantation, to England in search of information about the father he never knew. Evan, a Southern gentleman who has just discovered his Gypsy heritage, cannot resist coming to the aid of a spirited young Gypsy woman, Jade of the Lowara tribe, who has fled her campsite after learning she is betrothed to a brutal clansman. Jade's father, seeing an opportunity to bring wealth to his clan through marriage, pegs Evan as Jade's bridegroom. Coerced into marrying Jade, Evan intends to abandon his Gypsy bride and return to South Carolina, where his own fiancée awaits him, unaware that she has been unfaithful with his half brother and that the two are plotting to challenge Evan's status as heir. When loyalties divide and fortunes are at risk, will Jade's love be enough? In Fire at Midnight, Rachael Penrose is confined to Bedlam insane asylum in London after discovering that her uncle Victor plans to kill her brother in order to inherit the family fortune. Victor, with a gang of criminals, uses French privateer Sebastien Falconer as the scapegoat for his crimes. When Victor spreads the lie that Rachael informed on Falconer's smuggling activities, Falconer vows revenge on the girl. Gripping suspense and romance play out in front of numerous historical details, including a violent storm that devastated England in 1703 and swept the Eddystone Lighthouse into the sea.

Lost Touch Series

by Amy Tolnitch

In A Lost Touch of Bliss, Cain Veuxfort, Earl of Hawksdown, followed duty and broke Amice de Monceaux's heart five years ago. But now he needs her. Amice is a Spirit Goddess, able to help restless souls move on, and Cain needs a ghost to leave his castle. When Cain offers Amice an Italian villa on the sea, Amice agrees to help. But there is more going on at Castle Falcon's Craig than a simple haunting and more than one tragic tale of unrequited love. Yet to set things right for both the living and the dead, Cain and Amice must move beyond their past. In A Lost Touch of Paradise, Lugh MacKeir, Laird of Tunvegan, finds himself in a battle he cannot win. His precious daughter is dying of the same illness that claimed his wife. The Isle of Parraba is a whispered legend, a place rumored to be ruled by a sorceress, an isle no one can reach. Yet legend speaks of a powerful healer as well. Lugh MacKeir, desperate, determines he will find Parraba and face its mysterious ruler. Iosobal is the Lady of Parraba, mystical and magical, a woman apart from the world around her, but the child's illness defies Iosobal's skill. The secret to saving Lugh's daughter lies in Iosobal's ability to open her heart to a brash warrior who has invaded her tranquil sanctuary. In A Lost Touch of Innocence, Piers Veuxfort touched a magic crystal and freed the essence of wicked Fin Man, who now resides within Piers. A surprise for Piers arrives at Falcon's Craig Castle: a bride who was raised to be a nun and views him as something just short of the devil. What can he do but send her back? Condemned for her "sight, " Giselle St. Germain's is thrown out of the nunnery. Piers is devoted to his pleasures and increasingly displays a dark side. What's a girl to do but cling more tightly to what she knows? In A Lost Touch of Magic, Paroseea dwells hidden within the stone walls of a medieval fortress, Castle MacCoinneach. Yet danger has escaped paradise and stalks the halls seeking vengeance. Padruig MacCoinneach will do anything to save his clan. He never expected he would have to marry his ally's daughter, whom he deems both a reckless child and a potent temptation. Aimili de Grantham has long admired Padruig, but a dismissive stranger has replaced the golden man of her dreams. Worse, the fey part of her senses that evil lurks in the shadows of Castle MacCoinneach, and she has nowhere to turn.

Dreamer's Cycle Series

by Holly Taylor

In Night Birds' Reign, the high king is dead and the land is in peril. A child has been born to save his people, but a traitor lurks with murder in his heart, dogging the footsteps of those who protect the babe who would be king. But high magic is at work. When Gwydion the Dreamer awakes, the Shining Ones entrust him with protecting young Arthur and locating the high king's lost sword. A woman holds the key to unlock a horrible secret. Fighting assassins to find her, Gwydion sets out upon his odyssey and finds that fate cannot be fulfilled without sacrificing the life of someone he loves. In Crimson Fire, the lone survivor of a shipwreck gives birth and dies. So begins a cycle of events that will end in a tragic war. When Havgan of Corania becomes Warleader of Corania, he sets the might of the Empire against Kymru. Gwydion the Dreamer dreams of the coming destruction of his country and the deaths of those he loves. He seeks out Rhiannon in a race against time to save Kymru and escape Corania alive. In Cry of Sorrow, Havgan seeks to proclaim himself High King of Kymru. Dogged by Havgan's soldiers, Gwydion the Dreamer and his family face a difficult journey made even harder by the distrust they have for each other. Arthur risks his life and his very soul in the deadly game. In May Earth Rise, the Y Dawnus, "the Gifted," are High King Arthur's early medieval society living in a mysterious land in 500 A.D. The Dreamers, the Dewin, the Druids, and the Bards--these chosen ones are his talented pillars. Without them his empire cannot survive. Cruel deprivation and a full-scale conflict bring the Y Dawnus to the brink of annihilation. Confronting his mortal enemy, Havgan the Warleader, Arthur and his forces must fight a formidable opponent backed by menacing powers that threaten to end their magical, elite kingdom.

Agnes Hahn Collection

by Richard Satterlie

In Agnes Hahn, Agnes went to live with her great aunts Gert and Ella at the age of four. Gert is now deceased, and Ella is in a nursing home in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's. Agnes's life is mundane; her work at the animal shelter routine--until she is arrested for a string of unimaginably heinous murders. Driven by the opportunity to write a bestseller, reporter Jason Powers covers the killings and soon uncovers a tangle of Hahn family secrets including one about Agnes's mysterious twin sister. Just when Powers is breaking through Ella's dementia to put together the puzzle behind the carnage, Ella is murdered. Now motivated by the family's unanswered questions, Powers strives to discover the truth about Agnes, her aunts, and the mysteries that surround them. In Imola, after witnessing the horrific murder of her twin sister Lilin, Agnes Hahn developed a multiple personality disorder in the form of her dead sibling and was admitted to the Napa State Mental Institution, simply known as "Imola" to its residents. By controlling her sister's body, Lilin escapes from the institution and begins a killing spree throughout northern California. Calling on the lessons learned in her therapy sessions and with the support of investigative reporter Jason Powers, Agnes begins to challenge her maniacal sister. Wrestling with the secrets of her dark past and her persistent inner demon, Agnes finds herself in the ultimate battle to regain her life.

Erin Samiloglu Horror Collection

by Erin Samiloglu

Gossamer Hall Juan Fuentes can make objects appear out of nowhere. On a stormy night during a history class at Brookhaven College, Juan makes the dead come alive. Ruthless nineteenth-century murderers Mack "Mad" Maron and his three henchmen rise from their unmarked graves ready for vengeance. The night becomes one of survival for the students of Gossamer Hall. Disconnection A serial killer is on the loose in New Orleans. Someone is branding, stabbing, and strangling young girls and dumping them in the depths of the Mississippi River. Beleaguered Detective Lewis Kline and his colleagues believe the occult may be involved, but they have no leads. When Sela, a troubled young woman, answers a stranger's cell phone in a dark Bourbon Street bar, on the other end is Chloe Applegate, the serial killer's most recent victim. So begins Sela's journey into a nightmare from which she cannot awaken.

Paws Positively Guilty

by Saucy Lucy Series

In The Saucy Lucy Murders, hometown and family beckon Lexie when she can no longer tolerate her husband's wandering eye. Bereft, she moves with her teenage daughter Eva back to Moose Creek Junction, Wyoming, to be near her sister Lucy and open a business--The Saucy Lucy Café. Lexie's sister is a churchgoing woman who believes her sister must remarry in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, and suddenly, Lexie finds herself back in the dating pool. The trouble is, all of her dates wind up at Stiffwell's Funeral Parlor--dead. Gossiping townspeople begin to mistrust the sisters while café customers and eligible men dwindle. Business is down the toilet and, according to Lexie, the police simply aren't getting the job done. She declares it's time to intervene. In Paws-itively Guilty, Lexie Lightfoot, owner of the Saucy Lucy Café, doesn't have an ounce of law enforcement training in her body, but when a friend goes missing and Lexie finds her buried in a garden, she decides to lend the police department a hand. Once the investigation begins, Lexie and her sister Lucy manage to rattle a few old skeletons and dig up secrets that folks would rather leave hidden. When things start to cook, the sisters and Lurch, their adopted oversize canine investigator, find themselves in a heap of hot water.

Hook and Shoot

by Jeremy Brown

The scrappy martial arts fighter Aaron "Woodshed" Wallace prepares for his first big break stemming from the legitimate MMA promotion Warrior, Inc., in this second installment of the Woodshed Wallace series. Having fought to survive his entire life, Woodshed thinks such an opportunity will forever change his life for the better, but before he can put his shady past behind him, a band of Japanese mobsters threaten Warrior, Inc., and its president, Banzai Eddie Takanori. Seeking to collect on the debt Eddie owes, the gang wants to take payment in blood. Calling on all of his mixed martial arts skills in and out of the cage, Woodshed attempts to help Eddie and his ex-SAS bodyguard, Mr. Burch, stay alive and keep the company intact.

The Tools

by Phil Stutz Barry Michels

A groundbreaking book about personal growth that presents a uniquely effective set of five tools that bring about dynamic change--as seen on The Dr. Oz Show The Tools offers a solution to the biggest complaint patients have about therapy: the interminable wait for change to begin. The traditional therapeutic model sets its sights on the past, but Phil Stutz and Barry Michels employ an arsenal of techniques--"the tools"--that allow patients to use their problems as levers that access the power of the unconscious and propel them into action. Suddenly, through this transformative approach, obstacles become opportunities--to find courage, embrace discipline, develop self-expression, deepen creativity. For years, Stutz and Michels taught these techniques to an exclusive patient base, but with The Tools, their revolutionary, empowering practice becomes available to every reader interested in realizing the full range of their potential. The authors' goal is nothing less than for your life to become exceptional--exceptional in its resiliency, in its experience of real happiness, and in its understanding of the human spirit."An 'open secret' in Hollywood . . . [Stutz and Michels] have developed a program designed to access the creative power of the unconscious."--The New YorkerFrom the Hardcover edition.

Cathedral of the Wild

by Boyd Varty

Boyd Varty had an unconventional upbringing. He grew up on Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, a place where man and nature strive for balance, where perils exist alongside wonders. Founded more than eighty years ago as a hunting ground, Londolozi was transformed into a nature reserve beginning in 1973 by Varty's father and uncle, visionaries of the restoration movement. But it wasn't just a sanctuary for the animals; it was also a place for ravaged land to flourish again and for the human spirit to be restored. When Nelson Mandela was released after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, he came to the reserve to recover. Cathedral of the Wild is Varty's memoir of his life in this exquisite and vast refuge. At Londolozi, Varty gained the confidence that emerges from living in Africa. "We came out strong and largely unafraid of life," he writes, "with the full knowledge of its dangers." It was there that young Boyd and his equally adventurous sister learned to track animals, raised leopard and lion cubs, followed their larger-than-life uncle on his many adventures filming wildlife, and became one with the land. Varty survived a harrowing black mamba encounter, a debilitating bout with malaria, even a vicious crocodile attack, but his biggest challenge was a personal crisis of purpose. An intense spiritual quest takes him across the globe and back again--to reconnect with nature and "rediscover the track." Cathedral of the Wild is a story of transformation that inspires a great appreciation for the beauty and order of the natural world. With conviction, hope, and humor, Varty makes a passionate claim for the power of the wild to restore the human spirit. Advance praise for Cathedral of the Wild "This is a gorgeous, lyrical, hilarious, important book. Boyd Varty is as brilliant a storyteller and as kind a companion as you'll ever meet. He describes a life that has been spent forging a new way of thinking and being, in harmony with both Nature writ large and the human nature that is you. Read this and you may find yourself instinctively beginning to heal old wounds: in yourself, in others, and just maybe in the cathedral of the wild that is our true home."--Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Own North Star "Cathedral of the Wild is the captivating story of the joyful, occasionally terrifying, but always interesting life of Boyd Varty. It is also a tale of healing, and of one family's passion to restore our broken connection to nature. Be prepared to fall in love with Varty, his sister, his parents, his uncle, the ideals they fiercely hold to protect the African bush, and the wild animals and people that surround them. With his campfire wit and poet's ear, Varty is a wonderful new voice in adventure writing."--Susan Casey, author of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean"From the first chapter of Cathedral of the Wild, Boyd Varty's South Africa grabs your heart, rather like the giant mamba he encountered as a boy. The deadly snake moved on, but Varty's stories stick. Here is a rare and moving tale of a young man who learns that the greatest dangers, at least to the human soul, are not to be found in the natural world, but in the emptiness beyond it--and that even mambas carry the power to heal."--Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature PrincipleFrom the Hardcover edition.

New Life, No Instructions

by Gail Caldwell

The Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of Let's Take the Long Way Home now gives us a stunning, exquisitely written memoir about a dramatic turning point in her life, which unexpectedly opened up a world of understanding, possibility, and connection. New Life, No Instructions is about the surprising way life can begin again, at any age. "What do you do when the story changes in midlife? When a tale you have told yourself turns out to be a little untrue, just enough to throw the world off-kilter? It's like leaving the train at the wrong stop: You are still you, but in a new place, there by accident or grace, and you will need your wits about you to proceed. "Any change that matters, or takes, begins as immeasurably small. Then it accumulates, moss on stone, and after a few thousand years of not interfering, you have a glen, or a waterfall, or a field of hope where sorrow used to be. "I suppose all of us consider our loved ones extraordinary; that is one of the elixirs of attachment. But over the months of pain and disrepair of that winter, I felt something that made the grimness tolerable: I felt blessed by the tribe I was part of. Here I was, supposedly solo, and the real truth was that I had a force field of connection surrounding me. "Most of all I told this story because I wanted to say something about hope and the absence of it, and how we keep going anyway. About second chances, and how they're sometimes buried amid the dross, even when you're poised for the downhill grade. The narrative can always turn out to be a different story from what you expected." Advance praise for New Life, No Instructions "New Life, No Instructions is beautifully written, lucid, and wise. We come of age again and again during the course of our lives, and need those who have traveled the path before us to shine a light, to lend a hand. Caldwell's story is moving and gripping. I found myself feeling that I had indeed been given a valuable set of instructions for how to proceed with eyes and heart wide open."--Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion and Slow Motion "In Gail Caldwell's New Life, No Instructions we see a Pultizer Prize winner once again go out and earn the title. It is a meditation on how seemingly faint winds can blow us wildly off course; on how spending time with a beloved animal can benefit our basic humanity; and on what it means to overcome, at middle age, a multitude of blows. It is lyrical and smart and triumphant and you won't read a more honest memoir in your life."--Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and Half a Life Praise for Let's Take the Long Way Home "A near-perfect memoir: beautiful, humble, intimate and filled with piercing insights."--Time (Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2010) "Stunning . . . gorgeous . . . intense and moving . . . a book of such crystalline truth that it makes the heart ache."--The Boston GlobeFrom the Hardcover edition.

Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers #12)

by Alan Furst

It is the late summer of 1938, Europe is about to explode, the Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie for Paramount France. The Nazis know he's coming--a secret bureau within the Reich Foreign Ministry has for years been waging political warfare against France, using bribery, intimidation, and corrupt newspapers to weaken French morale and degrade France's will to defend herself. For their purposes, Fredric Stahl is a perfect agent of influence, and they attack him. What they don't know is that Stahl, horrified by the Nazi war on Jews and intellectuals, has become part of an informal spy service being run out of the American embassy in Paris. From Alan Furst, the bestselling author, often praised as the best spy novelist ever, comes a novel that's truly hard to put down. Mission to Paris includes beautifully drawn scenes of romance and intimacy, and the novel is alive with extraordinary characters: the German Baroness von Reschke, a famous hostess deeply involved in Nazi clandestine operations; the assassins Herbert and Lothar; the Russian film actress and spy Olga Orlova; the Hungarian diplomat and spy, Count Janos Polanyi; along with the French cast of Stahl's movie, German film producers, and the magnetic women in Stahl's life, the socialite Kiki de Saint-Ange and the émigré Renate Steiner. But always at the center of the novel is the city of Paris, the heart and soul of Europe--its alleys and bistros, hotels grand and anonymous, and the Parisians, living every night as though it was their last. As always, Alan Furst brings to life both a dark time in history and the passion of the human hearts that fought to survive it.Advance praise for Mission to Paris "The writing in Mission to Paris, sentence after sentence, page after page, is dazzling. If you are a John le Carré fan, this is definitely a novel for you."--James Patterson "I am a huge fan of Alan Furst. Furst is the best in the business--the most talented espionage novelist of our generation."--Vince Flynn Praise for Alan Furst "Unfolds like a vivid dream . . . One couldn't ask for a more engrossing novel."--The Wall Street Journal, about Spies of the Balkans "Though set in a specific place and time, Furst's books are like Chopin's nocturnes: timeless, transcendent, universal. One does not so much read them as fall under their spell."--Los Angeles Times, about The Spies of Warsaw "Alan Furst's novels swing a beam into the shadows at the edges of the great events leading to World War II. Readers come knowing he'll deliver effortless narrative."--USA Today, about The Foreign Correspondent "Positively bristles with plot, characters and atmosphere . . . Dark Voyage has the ingredients of several genres--the mystery, the historical novel, the espionage thriller, the romance--but it rises above all of them."--The Washington Post, about Dark Voyage "No other espionage writer touches [Furst's] stylish forays into Budapest and Berlin, Moscow and Paris. No other writer today captures so well the terror and absurdity of the spy, the shabby tension and ennui of émigré communities at the time. His characters are hopeless, lethal, charming. His voice is, above all, knowing."--Boston Sunday Globe, about Blood of VictoryFrom the Hardcover edition.

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table

by Ruth Reichl

This deliciously crafted memoir is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told. A witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist's coming-of-age.

Blood & Beauty

by Sarah Dunant

The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Italian Renaissance novels--The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan, and Sacred Hearts--has an exceptional talent for breathing life into history. Now Sarah Dunant turns her discerning eye to one of the world's most intriguing and infamous families--the Borgias--in an engrossing work of literary fiction. By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and inside the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: He is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women, and power must use papacy and family--in particular, his eldest son, Cesare, and his daughter Lucrezia--in order to succeed. Cesare, with a dazzlingly cold intelligence and an even colder soul, is his greatest--though increasingly unstable--weapon. Later immortalized in Machiavelli's The Prince, he provides the energy and the muscle. Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is the prime dynastic tool. Twelve years old when the novel opens, hers is a journey through three marriages, and from childish innocence to painful experience, from pawn to political player. Stripping away the myths around the Borgias, Blood & Beauty is a majestic novel that breathes life into this astonishing family and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex and relentless.Praise for Blood & Beauty "The big, bad Borgia dynasty undergoes modern reconsideration in [Sarah Dunant's] epic new biofiction. . . . Dunant's biggest and best work to date, this intelligently readable account of formative events and monster players has Hilary Mantel-era quality best-seller stamped all over it." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"Hugely enjoyable . . . an old-fashioned rollercoaster of a story . . . [Dunant] triumphs, like all good novelists . . . in a deft, shrewd, precise use of killer detail." --The Guardian (UK) "[Dunant] is in her element. . . . She brings 15th-century Italian cities vividly alive. . . . [Blood & Beauty] is an intelligent and passionate book that will no doubt thrill Borgia-lovers." --The Sunday Times (UK) "What a marvelous feast of vices and desires Sarah Dunant gives us--lust and ambition, passion and power, destiny born and bought. The Borgias are arguably the most intriguing and ruthless family in all of history, and Dunant brings them ravishingly, bristlingly to life." --Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife "An astounding achievement, extensively researched and exquisitely written . . . The Borgias have never been so human, and so humanely portrayed." --Melanie Benjamin, author of The Aviator's Wife "A fascinating read full of vivid detail and human pathos . . . Dunant opens a window into the extraordinary machinations and skullduggery of the Borgias and provides us with a richness of description that beautifully locates them in their own time." --Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire

A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

by Neil Sheehan

Outspoken, professional and fearless, Lt. Col. John Paul Vann went to Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. He was soon appalled by the South Vietnamese troops' unwillingness to fight, by their random slaughter of civilians and by the arrogance and corruption of the US military. He flouted his supervisors and leaked his sharply pessimistic - and, as it turned out, accurate - assessments to the US press corps in Saigon. Among them was Sheehan, who became fascinated by the angry Vann, befriended him and followed his tragic and reckless career.

If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

by Robin Black

FINALIST FOR THE FRANK O'CONNOR SHORT STORY AWARDNOW WITH AN ADDITIONAL STORY.Heralding the arrival of a stunning new voice in American fiction, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This takes readers into the minds and hearts of people navigating the unsettling transitions that life presents to us all: A father struggles to forge an independent identity as his blind daughter prepares for college. A mother comes to terms with her adult daughter's infidelity. An artist mourns the end of a romance while painting the portrait of a dying man. Brilliant, hopeful, and fearlessly honest, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This illuminates the truths of human relationships, truths we come to recognize in these characters and in ourselves. Look for the If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This discussion guide inside.Join the Circle for author chats and more.RandomHouseReadersCircle.com

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

by Reza Aslan

From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the "Kingdom of God." The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal. Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry--a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious "King of the Jews" whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity. Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth's life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion.Advance praise for Zealot "A bold, powerfully argued revisioning of the most consequential life ever lived."--Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief "The story of Jesus of Nazareth is arguably the most influential narrative in human history. Here Reza Aslan writes vividly and insightfully about the life and meaning of the figure who has come to be seen by billions as the Christ of faith. This is a special and revealing work, one that believer and skeptic alike will find surprising, engaging, and original."--Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power "In Zealot, Reza Aslan doesn't just synthesize research and reimagine a lost world, though he does those things very well. He does for religious history what Bertolt Brecht did for playwriting. Aslan rips Jesus out of all the contexts we thought he belonged in and holds him forth as someone entirely new. This is Jesus as a passionate Jew, a violent revolutionary, a fanatical ideologue, an odd and scary and extraordinarily interesting man."--Judith Shulevitz, author of The Sabbath World

Who Is My Self?

by Ayya Khema

Self-transformation is an essential element in all forms of Buddhist meditation--from Tantra to Zen. Ayya Khema, author of the best-selling Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, uses one of the earliest Buddhist suttas to guide us along the path of the oldest Buddhist meditative practice for understanding the nature of "self." By following the Buddha's explanation with clear, insightful examples from her years of teaching meditation, she guides us back and forth between the relative understanding and higher realizations of the Buddhist concept of "self." Her thoughtful contemplation of the Buddha's radical understanding of "self" and her practical advice for achieving insight offer the reader a profound understanding of the "self." Both beginning and advanced practitioners will greatly benefit from Ayya Khema's warm and down-to-earth exposition of the Buddha's meditation on "self."

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