A mesmerizing first novel about trust, dependence, and fear, from a major new writer
Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small. One day a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. This woman—Frida—claims to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth lets her in.
Now that Frida is in her house, is Ruth right to fear the tiger she hears on the prowl at night, far from its jungle habitat? Why do memories of childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency? How far can she trust this mysterious woman, Frida, who seems to carry with her own troubled past? And how far can Ruth trust herself?
The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane’s hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, trust, dependence, and fear; about processes of colonization; and about things (and people) in places they shouldn’t be. Here is a new writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to describe the mysterious workings of our minds.
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At age 75, Ruth is a widower, who lives alone in a remote beach home in Australia until one day a mysterious caretaker named Frida shows up to help around the house. But can Frida be trusted? Ruth’s mind isn’t what it once was, but she suspects her new friend isn’t all that she seems. The Night Guest is an impressive debut–a tender novel about old age and a psychological meditation on isolation–that moves with the curious pace of a mystery. Fiona McFarlane is a new voice that reads as if she has the experience of a familiar voice, like she’s been with us all along. –Kevin Nguyen
The author of the classic bestsellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel.
Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
Review PRAISE FOR THE SECRET HISTORY
“The Secret History succeeds magnificently….A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously well-paced entertainment…Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled.”--New York Times
“Tartt’s voice is unlike that of any of her contemporaries. Her beautiful language, intricate plotting, fascinating characters, and intellectual energy make her debut by far the most interesting work yet from her generation.”–Boston Globe
“Enthralling. . . . A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously well-paced entertainment. . . . Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled.”–New York Times Book Review
Hardcover: 784 pages Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 22, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 0316055433 ISBN-13: 978-0316055437
DOWNLOAD One Summer (America, 1927) by Bill Bryson
One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country—a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive for us on the page in this certain bestseller.
It’s been said that some people can sing the phone book and make it sound beautiful. Bill Bryson could write the phone book and make it interesting and entertaining, not that One Summer, America, 1927 is comparable at all to a phone book. One Summer vividly explores the U.S. during a particularly entrancing time when explorers were taking to the sky, Babe Ruth blasted onto the baseball field, talking pictures were invented and gangsters were rolling in the dough, getting rich from prohibition.
This is an excellent book – riveting from beginning to end. Every time I read a Bill Bryson book I have forgotten just how wonderful he is. I think high school kids would be better off ditching their dry history courses and would learn more from reading this book. The stories would certainly have more of an impact.
“A popular chronicler of life and lore vividly charts a particularly pivotal season in American history. . . . Bryson’s American pride saturates this rewarding book. A distinctively drawn time capsule from a definitive epoch.” —Kirkus Reviews
Brilliant, idealistic Esme Garland moves to Manhattan armed with a prestigious scholarship at Columbia University. When Mitchell van Leuven— a New Yorker with the bluest of blue New York blood—captures her heart with his stunning good looks and a penchant for all things erotic, life seems truly glorious . . . until a thin blue line signals a wrinkle in Esme’s tidy plan. Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he suddenly declares their sex life is as exciting as a cup of tea, and ends it all.
Determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore, finding solace in George, the laconic owner addicted to spirulina, and Luke, the taciturn, guitar-playing night manager. The oddball customers are a welcome relief from Columbia’s high-pressure halls, but the store is struggling to survive in this city where nothing seems to last.
When Mitchell recants his criticism, his passion and promises are hard to resist. But if Esme gives him a second chance, will she, like her beloved bookstore, lose more than she can handle? A sharply observed and evocative tale of learning to face reality without giving up on your dreams, The Bookstore is sheer enchantment from start to finish.
“Sometimes a book is perfect company, and The Bookstore is that and more, a deeply charming, beautifully written novel, both funny and moving; a love song to a city and to books with some side smooches for painting.” (Leslie Daniels, author of Cleaning Nabokov’s House)
“This is a gorgeous book, witty, lyrical, and bursting with heart, an unabashed love letter to books, to Manhattan, and to human goodness. You will race home to read it, and when you finish you will be smiling, wondering what happened next . . . and quietly formulating your next excuse for a trip to New York City.” (Gabrielle Donnelly, author of The Little Women Letters)
Paperback: 352 pages Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (August 20, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 147671424X ISBN-13: 978-1476714240
DOWNLOAD The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed
In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.
Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.
Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.
A writer of incandescent talent Annie Proulx A mix of intelligence, wit and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible Jennifer Egan [Gilbert] achieves the enviable feat of telling her characters’ stories in their own words, on their own terms, without pomp or superciliousness New York Times Book Review
John Grisham takes you back to where it all began . . .
John Grisham’s A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial-a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.
Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County’s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.
The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?
In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America’s favorite storyteller. Here, in his most assured and thrilling novel yet, is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller, nearly twenty-five years after the publication of A Time to Kill.
Review Praise for the novels of John Grisham “John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we’ve got in the United States these days.”—The New York Times Book Review
“John Grisham is exceptionally good at what he does—indeed, right now in this country, nobody does it better.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.
Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II.
A deeply evocative narrative about the profound connections between mothers and daughters, The Valley of Amazement returns readers to the compelling territory of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic insight and humor, she conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and stubbornness of love.
Editorial Reviews Review
“This utterly engrossing novel is highly recommended to all readers who appreciate an author’s ability to transport them to a new world they will not forget. As a plus, this reviewer sensed the harbinger of a sequel by the last page.”(Library Journal (starred review))
DOWNLOAD Provence, 1970 (M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste) by Luke Barr
Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment.
In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
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Over the long last weeks of 1970, the era’s true tastemakers–Julia Child, M.F.K. Fisher, James Beard, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones, among others–serendipitously found themselves gathered in Southern France. Decades later, Luke Barr, M.F.K. Fisher’s grand-nephew, discovered her journals and letters and set about recreating this time of improbably wonderful convergence, when they cooked, feasted, and talked deep into the night, arguing about technique and taste until loyalties were redrawn and opinions reinvented. Beard, Childs, and Fisher each came away with new visions for a new American food culture, distinctly different from their culinary heartland of France. With Fisher’s instinct for elegantly simple and sensuous detail, Barr immerse us in this sea change, when our collective culinary ambition started its shift from Mastering the Art of French Cooking to The Art of Simple Food. –Mari Malcolm
Review “Luke Barr has inherited the clear and inimitable voice of his great-aunt M.F.K. Fisher, and deftly portrays a crucial turning point in the history of food in America with humor, intimacy and deep perception. This book is beautifully written and totally fascinating to me, because these were my mentors—they inspired a generation of cooks in this country.”—Alice Waters
Hardcover: 320 pages Publisher: Clarkson Potter (October 22, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 0307718344 ISBN-13: 978-0307718341
DOWNLOAD The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now . . . not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are? Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire.
A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie–at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be. And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them . . .
Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.
(Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism)
After Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin wields her magic on another larger-than-life president, and another momentous and raucous American time period as she brings Theodore Roosevelt, the muckraking journalists, and the Progressive Era to life.
As she focused on the relationship between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and Lincoln and his Team, Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the “muckraking” press—including legendary journalists Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, William Allen White, and editor Sam McClure—Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business.
The rupture between the two led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that resulted in the election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson and the diminishment of Theodore Roosevelt’s progressive wing of the Republican Party.
Like Goodwin’s chronicles of the Civil War and the Great Depression, The Bully Pulpit describes a time in our history that enlightened and changed the country, ushered in the modern age, and produced some unforgettable men and women.
Hardcover: 960 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 5, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 141654786X ISBN-13: 978-1416547860