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Infinite Jest

by David Foster Wallace

A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.

Holidays on Ice

by David Sedaris

David Sedaris's beloved holiday collection is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy's elf and the annals of two very competitive families, are Sedaris's tales of tardy trick-or-treaters ("Us and Them"); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French ("Jesus Shaves"); what to do when you've been locked out in a snowstorm ("Let It Snow"); the puzzling Christmas traditions of other nations ("Six to Eight Black Men"); what Halloween at the medical examiner's looks like ("The Monster Mash"); and a barnyard secret Santa scheme gone awry ("Cow and Turkey").No matter what your favorite holiday, you won't want to miss celebrating it with the author who has been called "one of the funniest writers alive" (Economist).

Soulless

by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?SOULLESS is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking. The Parasol ProtectorateSoullessChangelessBlamelessHeartlessTimelessFor more from Gail Carriger, check out:The Custard ProtocolPrudenceImprudenceFinishing School (YA)Etiquette & EspionageCurtsies & ConspiraciesWaistcoats & WeaponryManners & Mutiny

The Age of the Unthinkable

by Joshua Cooper Ramo

Today the very ideas that made America great imperil its future. Our plans go awry and policies fail. History's grandest war against terrorism creates more terrorists. Global capitalism, intended to improve lives, increases the gap between rich and poor. Decisions made to stem a financial crisis guarantee its worsening. Environmental strategies to protect species lead to their extinction.The traditional physics of power has been replaced by something radically different. In The Age of the Unthinkable, Joshua Cooper Ramo puts forth a revelatory new model for understanding our dangerously unpredictable world. Drawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, psychology, immunology, and the science of networks, he describes a new landscape of inherent unpredictability--and remarkable, wonderful possibility.

Use of Weapons

by Iain M. Banks

The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action.The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a lost cause. But not even its machine could see the horrors in his past. Ferociously intelligent, both witty and horrific, USE OF WEAPONS is a masterpiece of science fiction.

Confetti Girl

by Diana López

Apolonia "Lina" Flores is a sock enthusiast, a volleyball player, a science lover, and a girl who's just looking for answers. Even though her house is crammed full of books (her dad's a bibliophile), she's having trouble figuring out some very big questions, like why her dad seems to care about books more than her, why her best friend's divorced mom is obsessed with making cascarones (hollowed eggshells filled with colorful confetti), and, most of all, why her mom died last year. Like colors in cascarones, Lina's life is a rainbow of people, interests, and unexpected changes.In her first novel for young readers, Diana López creates a clever and honest story about a young Latina girl navigating growing pains in her South Texan city.

Entangled

by Amy Rose Capetta

Alone was the note Cade knew best. It was the root of all her chords. Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan. Cade's quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws--her first friends--on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there's no turning back.

Boston Jacky: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Taking Care of Business

by L. A. Meyer

Jacky Faber makes waves, even when docked in her adopted city of Boston to attend to the business of Faber Shipping Worldwide. With big dreams and perhaps too much exuberance for the Puritan populace, she quickly finds herself at odds with the Women's Temperance Union and a town roiling over the arrival of hundreds of Irish laborers, brought in on Jacky's Lorelei Lee. Thwarted at every turn by her enemies, Jacky is forced to acknowledge her shortcomings--and possibly lose her beloved Jaimy Fletcher. Will the impulsive Jacky Faber finally get her comeuppance?

Map: Collected and Last Poems

by Wislawa Szymborska Stanislaw Baranczak Clare Cavanagh

A new collected volume from the Nobel Prize-winning poet that includes, for the first time in English, all of the poems from her last Polish collectionOne of Europe's greatest recent poets is also its wisest, wittiest, and most accessible. Nobel Prize-winner Wislawa Szymborska draws us in with her unexpected, unassuming humor. Her elegant, precise poems pose questions we never thought to ask. "If you want the world in a nutshell," a Polish critic remarks, "try Szymborska." But the world held in these lapidary poems is larger than the one we thought we knew. Carefully edited by her longtime, award-winning translator, Clare Cavanagh, the poems in Map trace Szymborska's work until her death in 2012. Of the approximately two hundred and fifty poems included here, nearly forty are newly translated; thirteen represent the entirety of the poet's last Polish collection, Enough, never before published in English.Map is the first English publication of Szymborska's work since the acclaimed Here, and it offers her devoted readers a welcome return to her "ironic elegance" (The New Yorker).

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal

by Margarita Engle

One hundred years ago, the world celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, which connected the world's two largest oceans and signaled America's emergence as a global superpower. It was a miracle, this path of water where a mountain had stood--and creating a miracle is no easy thing. Thousands lost their lives, and those who survived worked under the harshest conditions for only a few silver coins a day. From the young "silver people" whose back-breaking labor built the Canal to the denizens of the endangered rainforest itself, this is the story of one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, as only Newbery Honor-winning author Margarita Engle could tell it.

The Year of the Baby

by Andrea Cheng Patrice Barton

Last year, Anna learned how to be a good friend. Now that her family has adopted a baby girl from China, she wants to learn how to be a good sister. But the new year proves challenging when the doctor warns that the baby isn't thriving. Can Anna and her best friends, Laura and Camille, create a science project that saves the day? In this heartwarming sequel to The Year of the Book, readers will be just as moved by Anna's devotion to her new sister as they will be inspired by her loving family and lasting friendships.

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets

by Evan Roskos

2014 Morris Award finalist "I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself." Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James's painful struggle with anxiety and depression--along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister's exile--make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant.e, but we never doubt that James will pull himself out of his hole, as he searches for and finds help in surprising places. This debut novel by MFA Evan James Roskos offers an incredibly compelling view of teen angst and depression, capturing all the anxiety, dorkiness, emotion, conflicts, passion, and confusion that teens can go through.

Under the Light

by Laura Whitcomb

Helen needed a body to be with her beloved. Jenny had to escape from hers before her spirit was broken. It was wicked, borrowing it, but love drives even the gentlest soul to desperate acts. And Helen, who has returned to help Jenny, finds herself trapped, haunting the girl she wished to save. Jenny and Billy's love story begins out-of-body and continues into the tumultuous realm of the living, where they are torn apart even as they slowly remember falling in love.

The Savage Day

by Jack Higgins

A mission to reclaim a fortune in gold leads a man into the hair-raising heart of a terrorist underworld Simon Vaughan's life of adventure and arms trafficking came to an abrupt end the day the police threw him into a jail cell in Greece. But then the British Army comes calling with an offer he can't refuse. In exchange for his freedom, Vaughan must recover a bounty of gold stolen by the IRA in Belfast, and extinguish the organization's ruthless leader in the process. Now Vaughan must brave a new kind of war zone, one where he'll fight to hang on to his freedom, and his life.

Passage by Night

by Jack Higgins

In the shadow of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a deep-sea diver out for revenge must thwart a deadly terrorist conspiracy Harry Manning fled Cuba for the Bahamas to escape the chaos of the Revolution; to find solace in a bottle of rum and comfort in the arms of his girlfriend, Maria. But when Cuban terrorists bomb a plane in which Maria is traveling, Manning's quest for a separate peace gives way to a thirst for vengeance. To take down the terrorists, Manning must navigate the web of betrayal and intrigue that threatens to renew a nuclear standoff.

To Catch a King

by Jack Higgins

A bartender and nightclub singer are thrown into the midst of a treacherous Nazi plot in war-torn Lisbon As the Nazi war machine prepares to invade England, Hitler plots to kidnap the Duke and Duchess of Windsor while they travel in Portugal, and install them as puppet monarchs under the thumb of his fascist regime. But when an American bartender and a young Jewish nightclub singer catch wind of the scheme, they set out to derail the Nazi conspiracy. As Hitler's henchmen close in, their thrilling rescue mission--and the surprising help it receives--will have the power to turn the tide of the Nazi progress toward European domination.

Midnight Never Comes

by Jack Higgins

A former intelligence operative must stop a group of ruthless Russian spies from obtaining Britain's newest and deadliest high-tech missileFor ten years, Paul Chavasse was one of Britain's most promising intelligence agents. But when a botched mission in Albania destroyed him physically and psychologically, he was discharged from the agency a broken man. To regain his life of adventure, Chavasse trains under Chinese martial arts master Yuan Tao, gathering his strength and focusing his energy. And he will tackle his deadliest assignment yet: foiling a Russian plot to steal a high-powered British missile.

The Way I Was

by Marvin Hamlisch Gerald Gardner

Marvin Hamlisch got his start as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand, and went on to co-create A Chorus Line, write the Oscar-winning musical score for The Way We Were, and win many other awards for the music he wrote for the stage and screen. Hamlisch is one of only a handful of people to win a Grammy, a Tony, an Oscar, and an Emmy. In this revealing autobiography, written in partnership with noted freelance writer Gerald C. Gardner, Hamlisch tells the story of his childhood, his marriage, and his friendships with stars including Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, and Groucho Marx. The autobiography paints a nostalgic and intimate picture of Broadway and Hollywood. After his death in 2012, Barbra Streisand made a tribute to him in her appearance on the 2013 Oscar broadcast. This book includes moving words from Hamlisch's many celebrity friends during the memorial service held shortly after his death. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012) was an award-winning American composer and conductor. Born in Manhattan to Viennese Jewish parents, Hamlisch was a child prodigy, and was admitted into the Juilliard School at the age of seven. He wrote his first Billboard Hot 100 song at the age of 21. Hamlisch wrote music for several early Woody Allen films, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Way We Were, and the original theme music for Good Morning America--among many other compositions. He also served as Principal Pops Conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, and several others. He is one of only a handful of people in the world to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. He also won two Golden Globes and a Pulitzer Prize. Hamlisch was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Soundtrack Awards in 2009. Gerald C. Gardner is an author, scriptwriter, producer, and screenwriter. He is the author of 22 episodes of The Monkees and 11 episodes of Get Smart, several of which were nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards. He was also a senior writer for the series of live news satire broadcasts That Was the Week That Was. He is also the author of over 30 books.

To Be Loved

by Berry Gordy

If you love the music of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, or Smokey Robinson, you will love Berry Gordy's life story. Founder of Motown, Gordy was instrumental in launching the careers of these and many other popular musicians, singers and songwriters.In this candid autobiography, Gordy gives an authentic personal account of his career--from the inception of his label, founded with $800 borrowed from his family, to the development of an entertainment empire sold to MCA for $61 million. Along the way, Gordy and his artists faced racism and both personal and professional challenges--and overcame them to leave an indelible mark on American popular culture.To Be Loved is the inspiration for Motown The Musical, which opened on Broadway in April 2013.ABOUT THE AUTHORBerry Gordy is the founder of Motown Records, the hit-making enterprise that nurtured the careers of Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, and many other music greats. The "Motown Sound" reached out across a racially divided, politically and socially charged country to transform popular music.Mr. Gordy is also a songwriter, boxer, producer, director, innovative entrepreneur, teacher and visionary. Actively involved in the Civil Rights movement, he released the recorded speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His films include Lady Sings the Blues, which garnered five Academy Award nominations.Among the awards recognizing Gordy's accomplishments are the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, the Gordon Grand Fellow from Yale University, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, the Rainbow Coalition's Man of the Millennium Award, the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Grammy Salute To Industry Icon's President's Merit Award. In February 2011, President Barack Obama honored him with a Salute to Motown evening at the White House. In 2013 the Songwriter's Hall of Fame awarded him their Pioneer Award, which honors the career of a historic creator of an extensive body of musical work that has been a major influence on generations of songwriters.Berry Gordy's unparalleled contribution to music and popular culture is the basis for his play, Motown The Musical, which had its world premiere on Broadway on April 14, 2013.ENDORSEMENTS "This brought back memories long forgotten, memories of how I, and so many others like me, became stars. TO BE LOVED captures the spirit of those magical years when we were young and full of dreams and hope. We believed in him and he taught us to believe in ourselves. I've seen him during his best times -I've seen him during his worst times. For the first time he tells why and how it all happened. I know it's all true because I was there from the beginning." -Smokey Robinson "Berry Gordy, as a young black man in the inhospitable 1950s, set out to make music for all people, whatever their color or place of origin. TO BE LOVED is the very frank, sometimes hilarious, always fascinating account of how he made his impossible dream come true. Berry fills his story, as he fills his life, with an unforgettable case of characters--including the stars you may think you already know--that you won't want to leave when the book is over." -Sidney Poiter "An astounding story not only of a great artist but a great visionary who did it all--developed the talents of others, achieved wealth and fame, and most of all, changed American music forever." -David Geffen

If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young

by Kurt Vonnegut

Master storyteller and satirist Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most in-demand commencement speakers of his time. For each occasion, Vonnegut's words were unfailingly unique, insightful, and witty, and they stayed with audience members long after graduation.As edited by Dan Wakefield, this book reads like a narrative in the unique voice that made Vonnegut a hero to readers of all ages. At times hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and deeply serious, these reflections are ideal for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their "long-delayed puberty ceremony"-marking the passage from student to full-time adult.This book makes the perfect gift for high school or college graduates-or for parents and grandparents who remember Vonnegut fondly and want to connect with him in a new context.

The Boer War

by Sir Winston S. Churchill

As a young, ambitious soldier, Winston Churchill managed to get himself posted to the 21st Lancers in 1899 as a war correspondent for the Morning Post--and joined them in fighting the rebel Boer settlers in South Africa. In this conflict, rebel forces in the Transvaal and Orange Free State had proclaimed their own statehood, calling it the Boer Republic.This book is actually two separate works in one. Perhaps the most riveting personal account is found in London to Ladysmith via Pretoria, where Churchill is captured in Pretoria not long after he arrives to join the British forces--and is frustrated not by the conditions in the prison, but by the fact that he was missing the action. Churchill tells the story of how he escaped and made a daring overland crossing, traveling only at night to avoid detection. More a recounting of his own personal adventures and observations than a comprehensive history of the conflict, this book is nonetheless fascinating for both its historical and personal perspective.ABOUT THE AUTHORSir Winston Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values."Over a 64-year span, Churchill published over 40 books, many multi-volume definitive accounts of historical events to which he was a witness and participant. All are beautifully written and as accessible and relevant today as when first published.During his fifty-year political career, Churchill served twice as Prime Minister in addition to other prominent positions--including President of the Board of Trade, First Lord of the Admiralty, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Home Secretary. In the 1930s, Churchill was one of the first to recognize the danger of the rising Nazi power in Germany and to campaign for rearmament in Britain. His leadership and inspired broadcasts and speeches during World War II helped strengthen British resistance to Adolf Hitler--and played an important part in the Allies' eventual triumph.One of the most inspiring wartime leaders of modern history, Churchill was also an orator, a historian, a journalist, and an artist. All of these aspects of Churchill are fully represented in this collection of his works.ABOUT THE SERIESWell before he began his political career, Winston Churchill was a war correspondent and a soldier in the British Army, starting in 1895. He saw action in conflicts such as the Second Boer War and the Mahdist War, as well as in World War I. His writings during this time are insightful eyewitness accounts of war--fascinating both for their historical significance and the insights they offer into Churchill as an author and a future world leader.

The Grand Alliance: The Second World War, Volume 3

by Winston S. Churchill

In this third volume of a six-volume series, Winston Churchill draws upon thousands of personal memoranda, war correspondence, and internal government memos to describe the full entry of the US into World War II--adding considerable strength to British military operations and morale. While America had contributed to the British war effort before, primarily through the "Lend-Lease" program providing material support to Britain and later to Russia, it was Churchill who finally persuaded an isolationist US Congress to fully join the cause. This account not only documents historical events with thrilling immediacy--it also gives intimate insight into Churchill's state of mind as a military leader. With the US on Britain's side, Churchill's certainty of success stayed with him throughout the war--and made him the indomitable leader history remembers.

The Child in Time

by Ian Mcewan

The Child in Time shows us just how quickly life can change in an instant. Stephen Lewis is a successful author of children's books. It is a routine Saturday morning and while on a trip to the supermarket, Stephen gets distracted. Within moments, his daughter is kidnapped and his life is forever changed. From that moment, Lewis spirals into bereavement that has effects on his relationship with his wife, his psyche, and with time itself: "It was a wonder there could be so much movement, so much purpose, all the time. He himself had none."

The Comfort of Strangers

by Ian Mcewan

Colin and Mary are lovers on holiday in Italy, their relationship becoming increasingly problematic as they become increasingly alienated from one and other. They move from place to place in this foreign land but seemingly without aim or purpose and more, seemingly bored and without attachment. Then they meet a man named Robert and his wife, Caroline, who is crippled. Colin and Mary seem happy for the diversion--happy to meet another couple that takes the focus of off them (off of each other) for a while. Things become strange (and stranger yet; one could say horrific) when they attempt to leave: Robert and Caroline insist that they stay with them for a while longer. While Mary and Colin indeed rediscover each other in ways during this time--an erotic attraction to each other that was below the surface--they also find that their relationship/friendship with Robert and Caroline takes turns that are likewise erotic and violent in nature. A pervasive dread runs through this novel, leading to the terrible climax that no reader could predict. Absolutely in the key of McEwan, without match in the genre, and a very worthwhile read.

The Cement Garden

by Ian Mcewan

Ian McEwan is known to skirt the edge with his writing; the fringes of society, to test the limits of what we can handle perhaps in our worlds as we bring his writing home with us and allow a whole new being to enter. So it is with The Cement Garden, the story of dying family who live in a dying part of the city. The father of four children decides, in an effort to make his garden easier to control, to pave it over. In the process, he has a heart attack and dies, leaving the cement garden unfinished and the children to the care of their mother. Soon after, the mother too dies and the children, fearful of being separated by social services, decide to cover up their parents' deaths: they bury their mother in the cement garden. All of the children are free thinking independent-minded teenagers. The story is told from the point of view of Jack, one of the sons, the narrator who is entering adolescence with all of its curiosity and appetites that he must contend with (along with the sure confusion of what the children have done). Julie, the eldest, is almost a grown woman. Sue is rather bookish and observes all that goes on around her. And Tom is the youngest and the baby of the lot. The children seem to manage in this perverse setting rather well until Julie brings home a boyfriend who threatens their secret by asking too many questions (like what is buried beneath the cement pile, etc), surely threatening the status quo (however morbid) that the children have come to accept as "normal" and as "home". We understand through McEwan that home is not to be defined by anyone else but it is, instead, what you know and have known that makes you feel safe, even if it is rather dangerous and macabre.

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