August 2014



Great Aunt Sophia's Lessons for Bombshells
by Lisa Cach

A Ph.D. in sex appeal ? Grace Cavanaugh is hell-bent on proving her Women's Studies dissertation thesis that beauty only leads to misery. And what better research subject than her great-aunt Sophia, a former B-movie star? Now eighty-five and facing surgery, Sophia has asked Grace for company. . . . Grace imagines a helpless, lonely old woman, forced to turn to a great-niece she barely knows. Instead she finds the aging diva holding court in a Pebble Beach mansion, oozing a bombshell-itude-arthritis and wrinkles be damned-that captivates every male in sight. To Grace's dismay, her greataunt decides a perfect distraction would be transforming the frumpy feminist into a femme fatale who purrs for her suitors . . . or devours them. She ordains classes in everything from carb cutting to lingerie, culminating in a challenging final exam. The newly svelte Grace must test her wiles-on both devilishly handsome and morally corrupt Declan and sensitive but painfully awkward Dr. Andrew. Newly unleashed desires-and the discovery of a closely held family secret- threaten the bookworm-turned-babe's entire feminist upbringing. Her thesis gone sadly awry, Grace wonders if her great-aunt is right: Will trusting her heart lead her to find beauty in the most unexpected places?


The girls from Corona del Mar
by Rufi Thorpe

"Why did Lorrie Ann look graceful in beat-up Keds and shorts a bit too small for her? Why was it charming when she snorted from laughing too hard? Yes, we were jealous of her, and yet we did not hate her. She was never so much as teased by us, we roaming and bratty girls of Corona del Mar, thieves of corn nuts and orange soda, abusers of lip gloss and foul language." nbsp; An astonishing debut about friendships made in youth, The Girls from Corona del Mar is a fiercely beautiful novel about how these bonds, challenged by loss, illness, parenthood, and distance, either break or endure. Mia and Lorrie Ann are lifelong friends: hard-hearted Mia and untouchably beautiful, kind Lorrie Ann. While Mia struggles with a mother who drinks, a pregnancy at fifteen, and younger brothers she loves but can't quite be good to, Lorrie Ann is luminous, surrounded by her close-knit family, immune to the mistakes that mar her best friend's life. Then a sudden loss catapults Lorrie Ann into tragedy: things fall apart, and then fall further--and there is nothing Mia can do to help. And as good, brave, fair Lorrie Ann stops being so good, Mia begins to question just who this woman is, and what that question means about them both. A staggeringly honest, deeply felt novel of family, motherhood, loyalty, and the myth of the perfect friendship, The Girls from Corona del Mar asks just how well we know those we love, what we owe our children, and who we are without our friends. nbsp;


History of the Rain
by Niall Williams

We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. That's how it seems to me, being alive for a little while, the teller and the told. So says Ruthie Swain. The bedridden daughter of a dead poet, home from college after a collapse (Something Amiss, the doctors say), she is trying to find her father through stories--and through generations of family history in County Clare (the Swains have the written stories, from salmon-fishing journals to poems, and the maternal MacCarrolls have the oral) and through her own writing (with its Superabundance of Style). Ruthie turns also to the books her father left behind, his library transposed to her bedroom and stacked on the floor, which she pledges to work her way through while she's still living.In her attic room, with the rain rushing down the windows, Ruthie writes Ireland, with its weather, its rivers, its lilts, and its lows. The stories she uncovers and recounts bring back to life multiple generations buried in this soil--and they might just bring her back into the world again, too.




Wayfaring Stranger 

by James Lee Burke


In his most ambitious work yet, New York Times bestseller James Lee Burke tells a classic American story through one man's unforgettable life-connecting a fateful encounter with Bonnie and Clyde to heroic acts at the Battle of the Bulge and finally to the high-stakes gambles and cutthroat players who ushered in the dawn of the American oil industry. In 1934, sixteen-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends with Weldon firing a gun and being unsure whether it hit its mark. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland barely survives the Battle of the Bulge, in the process saving the lives of his sergeant, Hershel Pine, and a young Spanish prisoner of war, Rosita Lowenstein-a woman who holds the same romantic power over him as the strawberry blonde Bonnie Parker, and is equally mysterious. The three return to Texas where Weldon and Hershel get in on the ground floor of the nascent oil business. In just a few years' time Weldon will spar with the jackals of the industry, rub shoulders with dangerous men, and win and lose fortunes twice over. But it is the prospect of losing his one true love that will spur his most reckless, courageous act yet-one that takes its inspiration from that encounter long ago with the outlaws of his youth. A tender love story and pulse-pounding thriller that crosses continents and decades of American history, Wayfaring Stranger "is a sprawling historical epic full of courage and loyalty and optimism and good-heartedness that reads like an ode to the American Dream" (Benjamin Percy, Poets & Writers ).


11 Rings
by Phil Jackson

During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the "Zen master" half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded; who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players' nature, not their egos, fear, or greed. This is the story of a preacher's kid from North Dakota who grew up to be one of the most innovative leaders of our time. In his quest to reinvent himself, Jackson explored everything from humanistic psychology and Native American philosophy to Zen meditation. In the process, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork that turned the hypercompetitive world of professional sports on its head. In Eleven Rings , Jackson candidly describes how he: Learned the secrets of mindfulness and team chemistry while playing for the champion New York Knicks in the 1970s Managed Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the world, and got him to embrace selflessness, even if it meant losing a scoring title Forged successful teams out of players of varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync Inspired Dennis Rodman and other "uncoachable" personalities to devote themselves to something larger than themselves Transformed Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager into a mature leader of a championship team. Eleven times, Jackson led his teams to the ultimate goal: the NBA championship--six times with the Chicago Bulls and five times with the Los Angeles Lakers. We all know the legendary stars on those teams, or think we do. What Eleven Rings shows us, however, is that when it comes to the most important lessons, we don't know very much at all. This book is full of revelations: about fascinating personalities and their drive to win; about the wellsprings of motivation and competition at the highest levels; and about what it takes to bring out the best in ourselves and others.



Saints of New York
by R.J. Ellory

By the author of A Quiet Belief in Angels, praised by Michael Connelly as #147;a beautiful and haunting book," Saints of New York is a powerful new crime novel. The death of a young heroin dealer causes no great concern for NYPD Detective Frank Parrish#151;Danny Lange is just another casualty of the drug war. But when Danny's teenage sister winds up dead, questions are raised that have no clear answers. As the homicides continue#151;and a disturbing pattern emerges#151;Frank tries desperately to make some sense of the deaths, while battling with his own demons. Trying to live up to the reputation of his father, John#151;not only a legendary NYPD detective, but also one of the original #147;Saints of New York"#151;the men charged with the responsibility of ridding New York of the final vestiges of Mafia control in the 1980s#151;Parrish struggles to come to terms with the broken pieces of his own life. But, as the murders escalate, he must discover the truth behind them before there are further innocent victims Dark and intense, Saints of New York is a novel of corruption and redemption, of the relentless persistence required to find the truth, and of one man's search for meaning amidst the ghosts of his own conscience.



Mambo in Chinatown
by Jean Kwok

From the bestselling author of Girl in Translation , a novel about a young woman torn between her family duties in Chinatown and her escape into the world of ballroom dancing. Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Wong grew up in New York's Chinatown, the older daughter of a Beijing ballerina and a noodle maker. Though an ABC (America-born Chinese), Charlie's entire world has been limited to this small area. Now grown, she lives in the same tiny apartment with her widower father and her eleven-year-old sister, and works#151;miserably#151;as a dishwasher. But when she lands a job as a receptionist at a ballroom dance studio, Charlie gains access to a world she hardly knew existed, and everything she once took to be certain turns upside down. Gradually, at the dance studio, awkward Charlie's natural talents begin to emerge. With them, her perspective, expectations, and sense of self are transformed#151;something she must take great pains to hide from her father and his suspicion of all things Western. As Charlie blossoms, though, her sister becomes chronically ill. As Pa insists on treating his ailing child exclusively with Eastern practices to no avail, Charlie is forced to try to reconcile her two selves and her two worlds#151;Eastern and Western, old world and new#151;to rescue her little sister without sacrificing her newfound confidence and identity.



Hot Lead, Cold Iron
by Ari Marmell

Hot Lead, Cold Iron is the first novel in a brand-new fantasy detective series that will appeal to fans of Rivers of London and The Dresden Files Chicago, 1932. Mick Oberon may look like just another private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he's got pointy ears and he's packing a wand. Oberon's used to solving supernatural crimes, but the latest one's extra weird. A mobster's daughter was kidnapped sixteen years ago, replaced with a changeling, and Mick's been hired to find the real child. The trail's gone cold, but what there is leads Sideways, to the world of the Fae, where the Seelie Court rules. And Mick's not really welcome in the Seelie Court any more. He'll have to wade through Fae politics and mob power struggles to find the kidnapper - and of course it's the last person he expected.



The Book of Life
by Deborah Harkness

The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches After traveling through time in Shadow of Night , the second book in Deborah Harkness's enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew's ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy's final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago. With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness's legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

July 2014

The Closer: my story
by Mariano Rivera
 
The greatest relief pitcher of all time shares his extraordinary story of survival, love, and baseball. Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic. What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time. With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings. In The Closer, Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers. But he also takes us on that jog from the bullpen to the mound, where the game -- or the season -- rests squarely on his shoulders. We come to understand the laserlike focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. Many of the tools he used so consistently and gracefully came from what was inside him for a very long time -- his deep passion for life; his enduring commitment to Clara, whom he met in kindergarten; and his innate sense for getting out of a jam. When Rivera retired, the whole world watched -- and cheered. In The Closer, we come to an even greater appreciation of a legend built from the ground up.
 

Cop Town
by Karin Slaughter
 
Karin Slaughter, author of the New York Times bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as "one of the best crime novelists in America" ( The Washington Post ). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice. Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city's police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She's determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way--wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It's also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war. Kate isn't the only woman on the force who's feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city's darkest heart. Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter's most powerful novel yet--a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.
 

The Beekeeper's Ball
by Susan Wiggs
 
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs returns to sun-drenched Bella Vista, where the land's bounty yields a rich harvest...and family secrets that have long been buried. Isabel Johansen, a celebrated chef who grew up in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel, is transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school-a unique place for other dreamers to come and learn the culinary arts. Bella Vista's rambling mission-style hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel's project...and the perfect place for her to forget the past. But Isabel's carefully ordered plans begin to go awry when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O'Neill arrives to dig up old history. He's always been better at exposing the lives of others than showing his own closely guarded heart, but the pleasures of small-town life and the searing sensuality of Isabel's kitchen coax him into revealing a few truths of his own. The dreamy sweetness of summer is the perfect time of year for a grand family wedding and the enchanting Beekeeper's Ball, bringing emotions to a head in a story where the past and present collide to create an unexpected new future. From "one of the best observers of stories of the heart" (Salem Statesman-Journal), The Beekeeper's Ball is an exquisite and richly imagined novel of the secrets that keep us from finding our way, the ties binding us to family and home, and the indelible imprint love can make on the human heart.
 
 
 
Euphoria
by Lily King
 
From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the #145;30's caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone's control. Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.
 
 

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
 
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
 
 
 
 
The Book of Unknown Americans
by Cristina Henriquez
 
"A triumph of storytelling. Henríquez pulls us into the lives of her characters with such mastery that we hang on to them just as fiercely as they hang on to one another and their dreams. This passionate, powerful novel will stay with you long after you've turned the final page." --Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk nbsp; A boy and a girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American. Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she'll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better. When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It's also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel's core. Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart. Suspenseful, wry and immediate, rich in spirit and humanity, The Book of Unknown Americans is a work of rare force and originality.
 
The Sleepwalkers Guide to Dancing
by Mira Jacob
 
With depth, heart, and agility, debut novelist Mira Jacob takes us on a deftly plotted journey that ranges from 1970s India to suburban 1980s New Mexico to Seattle during the dot.com boom. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing is an epic, irreverent testimony to the bonds of love, the pull of hope, and the power of making peace with life’s uncertainties.

Celebrated brain surgeon Thomas Eapen has been sitting on his porch, talking to dead relatives. At least that is the story his wife, Kamala, prone to exaggeration, tells their daughter, Amina, a photographer living in Seattle.

Reluctantly Amina returns home and finds a situation that is far more complicated than her mother let on, with roots in a trip the family, including Amina’s rebellious brother Akhil, took to India twenty years earlier. Confronted by Thomas’s unwillingness to explain himself, strange looks from the hospital staff, and a series of puzzling items buried in her mother’s garden, Amina soon realizes that the only way she can help her father is by coming to terms with her family’s painful past. In doing so, she must reckon with the ghosts that haunt all of the Eapens.
 
 
 
Take This Man
by Brando Skyhorse
 
From PEN/Hemingway award winner Brando Skyhorse comes this stunning, heartfelt memoir in the vein of The Glass Castle or The Tender Bar , the true story of a boy's turbulent childhood growing up with five stepfathers and the mother who was determined to give her son everything but the truth. When he was three years old, Brando Kelly Ulloa was abandoned by his Mexican father. His mother, Maria, dreaming of a more exciting life, saw no reason for her son to live his life as a Mexican just because he started out as one. The life of "Brando Skyhorse," the American Indian son of an incarcerated political activist, was about to begin. Through a series of letters to Paul Skyhorse Johnson, a stranger in prison for armed robbery, Maria reinvents herself and her young son as American Indians in the colorful Mexican-American neighborhood of Echo Park, California. There Brando and his mother live with his acerbic grandmother and a rotating cast of surrogate fathers. It will be over thirty years before Brando begins to untangle the truth of his own past, when a surprise discovery online leads him to his biological father at last. From an acclaimed, prize-winning novelist celebrated for his "indelible storytelling" ( O, The Oprah Magazine ), this extraordinary literary memoir captures a son's single-minded search for a father wherever he can find one, and is destined to become a classic.
 
The Prime Minister's Secret Agent
by Susan Elia Macneal
 
For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry, The Prime Minister's Secret Agent is a gripping new mystery featuring intrepid spy and code breaker Maggie Hope. And this time, the fallout of a deadly plot comes straight to her own front door. World War II rages on across Europe, but Maggie Hope has finally found a moment of rest on the pastoral coast of western Scotland. Home from an undercover mission in Berlin, she settles down to teach at her old spy training camp, and to heal from scars on both her body and heart. Yet instead of enjoying the quieter pace of life, Maggie is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue. When three ballerinas fall strangely ill in Glasgow--including one of Maggie's dearest friends--Maggie partners with MI-5 to uncover the truth behind their unusual symptoms. What she finds points to a series of poisonings that may expose shocking government secrets and put countless British lives at stake. But it's the fight brewing in the Pacific that will forever change the course of the war--and indelibly shape Maggie's fate.
 
 
 
Haatchi and Little B: The True Story of One Boy and His Dig
by Wendy Holden
 
#1 International Bestseller When Owen met Haatchi, the lives of one adorable little boy and one great, big dog were destined to change forever. Owen--known to his family as "little buddy" or "Little B"--has a rare genetic disorder that leaves him largely confined to a wheelchair. Before being united with Haatchi, Little B was anxious and found it difficult to make friends. Haatchi--an adorable Anatolian Shepherd puppy--was abused and left for dead on railroad tracks. He was struck by an oncoming train, and although his life was saved, his leg and tail were partially severed. Haatchi was left massively disabled and totally dispirited. But kind-hearted Will and Colleen Howkins, Little B's father and step-mother, decided to introduce the big dog and the little boy to each other, and an unbelievable bond was formed that transformed both boy and dog in miraculous ways. Wendy Holden's Haatchi & Little B is the true story of an astonishing little boy, a very special dog, and the inspiring, inseparable pair that they make together.

June 2014




I Just Graduated... Now What?
By Katherine Schwarzenegger


The new go-to book of advice for graduates, with insightful advice from: Eva Longoria "Your degree is just a stepping-stone." John Legend "It's not wrong to be afraid." Bear Grylls "The path less traveled always makes for a more interesting journey." Andy Cohen "When I got my first job, I felt like a success." Lauren Bush Lauren "It may take three or four jobs to discover your true career path." Blake Mycoski "When you are good at something, the money always follows." And many more . . . Graduation is a time of tough questions whose answers we don't--and sometimes can't--know the day we receive our diploma. Determined to power through the uncertainty of post-gradua­tion, bestselling author Katherine Schwarzenegger embarked on a yearlong quest to gather the best guid­ance possible from more than thirty highly success­ful people working in fields like business, media, fashion, technology, sports, and philanthropy. Along the way, Katherine uncovered the essential and often surprising advice they have for graduates, including answers to questions like: * How do I find my first job in a tough economy?* How do I decide between a career that pays well and one that I'm passionate about? * How do I balance work with friends, relationships, and family?* Should I take a "gap year" before starting my first job? * What should I do about my student loan debt?Drawing on the stories and real-life experi­ences of contributors such as Anderson Cooper, Eva Longoria, Blake Mycoskie of TOMS shoes, Lauren Bush Lauren, Andy Cohen, Meghan McCain, Gayle King, and more, Katherine has written the must-have guide for recent and soon-to-be gradu­ates as they prepare to seek success and fulfillment in their work, relationships, and lives.


Brothers Forever
By Tom Sileo

Four weeks after Navy SEALs had killed Osama bin Laden, the President of the United States stood in Arlington National Cemetery. In his Memorial Day address, he extolled the courage and sacrifice of the two young men buried side by side in the graves before him: Travis Manion, a fallen US Marine, and Brendan Looney, a fallen US Navy SEAL. Although they were killed three years apart, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, these two best friends and former roommates were now buried together-"brothers forever." Award-winning journalist Tom Sileo and Travis's father, former Marine colonel Tom Manion, tell the intimate and personal story of how these Naval Academy roommates defined a generation's sacrifice after 9/11, and how Travis and Brendan's loved ones overcame heartbreak to carry on in their memory. From Travis's incredible heroism on the streets of Fallujah to Brendan's anguished Navy SEAL training in the wake of his friend's death and his own heroism in the mountains of Afghanistan, Brothers Forever is a remarkable story of friendship, family, and war.

Finding Me
By Michelle Knight

Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken. In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.


Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 
By Francine Prose

A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, exploring the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself Paris in the 1920s. It is a city of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club's loyal denizens, including the rising photographer Gabor Tsenyi, the socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol, and the caustic American writer Lionel Maine. As the years pass, their fortunes; and the world itself; evolve. Lou falls in love and finds success as a race car driver. Gabor builds his reputation with vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant twenties give way to darker times, Lou experiences another metamorphosis that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more sinister: collaboration with the Nazis. Told in a kaleidoscope of voices, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 evokes this incandescent city with brio, humor, and intimacy. A brilliant work of fiction and a mesmerizing read, it is Francine Prose's finest novel yet.


The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street
By Susan Jane Gilman

In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street. Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality. Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone . And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.


The Hurricane Sisters
By Dorothea Benton Frank

Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, The Hurricane Sisters is New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations. Beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank once again takes us deep in the heart of the magical Lowcountry-a sultry land of ancient magic, glorious sunsets, and soothing coastal breezes, where three generations of strong women wrestle with the expectations of family while struggling to understand their complicated relationships with each other. Best friends since the first day of classes at The College of Charleston, Ashley Anne Waters and Mary Beth Smythe, now 23 years old, live in Ashley's parents' beach house rent free. Ashley is a gallery assistant who aspires to become an artist. Mary Beth, a gifted cook from Tennessee, works for a caterer while searching for a good teaching job. Though they both know what they want out of life, their parents barely support their dreams and worry for their precarious finances. While they don't make much money, the girls do have a million-dollar view that comes with living in that fabulous house on Sullivans Island. Sipping wine on the porch and watching a blood-red sunset, Ashley and Mary Beth hit on a brilliant and lucrative idea. With a new coat of paint, the first floor would be a perfect place for soireés for paying guests. Knowing her parents would be horrified at the idea of common strangers trampling through their home, Ashley won't tell them. Besides, Clayton and Liz Waters have enough problems of their own. A successful investment banker, Clayton is too often found in his pied-à-terre in Manhattan-which Liz is sure he uses to have an affair. And when will Ashley and her brother, Ivy, a gay man with a very wealthy and very Asian life partner-ever grow up? Then there is Maisie, Liz's mother, the family matriarch who has just turned eighty, who never lets Liz forget that she's not her perfect dead sister, Juliet. For these Lowcountry women, an emotional hurricane is about to blow through their lives, wreaking havoc that will test them in unexpected ways, ultimately transforming the bonds they share.



The Secret Life of Violet Grant
By Beatriz Williams

Passion, redemption, and a battered suitcase full of secrets: then New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale. Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family's past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history. Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant's magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe's fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband's perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel's shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own. As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt's past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet's story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future--and the love--she wants most.


The Setup Man
By T. T. Monday

"A throwback Southern California mystery in modern pinstripes . . . A treat for readers of mystery or baseball novels."--KIRKUS REVIEWS
Johnny Adcock is an aging Major League pitcher with the perfect retirement plan--he moonlights as a private investigator. Major League Baseball, as it turns out, is a prime source of employment for a philosophically inclined, discreet detective who has both the brains and the brawn to handle the unique problems of professional athletes. Those infamous baseball salaries attract gangsters, hustlers, and predators of every persuasion who prey on the outsized egos of primetime stars. When players, coaches, agents, or wives have a problem they can't make public, they call Johnny Adcock. On the team bus after a game, teammate Frankie Herrera confides in Adcock that he has a "problem with his wife." What sounds like the standard story of a pro athlete's marriage gone sour quickly turns into the most dangerous case of Adcock's second career when Frankie is killed in a car accident, leaving far too many questions unanswered. The investigation takes Adcock into uncharted territory, drawing him into a deadly ring of murder, porn, Mexican cartels, and a conspiracy that threatens to become the biggest scandal to hit baseball since HGH and steroids. A new heavy hitter on the thriller scene, T. T. Monday takes readers inside a rich and highly entertaining world where crime and baseball intersect and delivers a debut that moves like a 96-mile-an-hour fastball.


Save the Date
By Mary Kay Andrews

A savannah florist is about to score the wedding of a lifetime--one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials. Ironically, Cara Kryzik doesn't believe in love, even though she creates beautiful flower arrangements to celebrate them. But when the bride goes missing and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must find the bride and figure out what she believes in. Maybe love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all. Told with Mary Kay Andrews' trademark wit and keen eye for detail, mark your calendars for Save the Date!


Carsick
By John Waters

A cross-country hitchhiking journey with America's most beloved weirdo John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads "I'm Not Psycho," he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash? Before he leaves for this bizarre adventure, Waters fantasizes about the best and worst possible scenarios: a friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? His real-life rides include a gentle eighty-one-year-old farmer who is convinced Waters is a hobo, an indie band on tour, and the perverse filmmaker's unexpected hero: a young, sandy-haired Republican in a Corvette. Laced with subversive humor and warm intelligence, Carsick is an unforgettable vacation with a wickedly funny companion--and a celebration of America's weird, astonishing, and generous citizenry.

May 2014



Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation
by Dan Fagin

The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. One of New Jersey's seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town's namesake river. In an astonishing feat of investigative reporting, prize-winning journalist Dan Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China. He tells the stories of the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and brings to life the everyday heroes in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn't want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change. A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed.


The Serpent of Venice
by Christopher Moore

New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore channels William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in this satiric Venetian gothic featuring the irresistibly mischievous Pocket of Dog Snogging, the eponymous hero of Fool Venice, a really long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: the rascal-Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters; the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago; have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening with a rare Amontillado sherry and a fetching young noblewoman. Their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged; the girl is nowhere in sight. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool . . . and the story is only beginning. Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire, a dramedy mash-up rich with delights, including (but not limited to): foul plots, counterplots, true love, jealousy, murder, betrayal, revenge, codpieces, three mysterious locked boxes, a boatload of gold, a pound of flesh, occasional debauchery, and water (lots of water). Not to mention a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a bunch of other guys whose names end in o; a trio of comely wenches; Desdemona, Jessica, Portia; the brilliant Fool; his large sidekick, Drool; Jeff, the pet monkey; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (yes, there's always a bloody ghost). Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, The Serpent of Venice pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can. Note: The book, too, is a veritable work of art. Rich creamy stock is enhanced by two-color printing, featuring part/chapter titles, running heads, and folios printed in red ink. The text block has blue-stained edges. The book opens to reveal two-page spread endpapers decorated with a sepia-toned antique map of Venice; an antique map of Italy graces the book's front matter, printed in red. The jacket sports a matte finish with embossed author and title type; gold foil embellishes the title and illustration detail.

The Player
by Brad Parks

When he hears residents of a Newark neighborhood are getting sick--and even dying--from a strange disease, investigative reporter Carter Ross dives into the story--so deep he comes down with the illness himself. With even more motivation to track down the source of the disease, Carter soon hits upon a nearby construction site. But when the project's developer is found dead, and his mob ties surface, Carter knows he's looking at a story much bigger--and with even more dangerous consequences--than an environmental hazard. Back in the newsroom, Carter has his hands full with his current girlfriend and with the paper's newest eager intern, not to mention his boss and former girlfriend Tina Thompson, who has some news for Carter that's about to make tangling with the mob seem simple by comparison, in The Player by Brad Parks.
 

The Land of Steady Habits
by Ted Thompson
 
Anders Hill, entering his early sixties and seemingly ensconced in the "land of steady habits"--a nickname for the affluent, morally strict hamlets of Connecticut that dot his commuter rail line--abandons his career and family for a new condo and a new life. Stripped of the comforts of his previous identity, Anders turns up at a holiday party full of his ex-wife's friends and is surprised to find that the very world he rejected may be one he needs. Thus Anders embarks on a clumsy, hilarious, and heartbreaking journey to reconcile his past with his present. Like the early work of John Updike, Ted Thompson's first novel finely observes a man in deep conflict with his community. With compassion for its characters and fresh insight into the American tradition of the "suburban narrative," THE LAND OF STEADY HABITS introduces an auspicious talent.
 

The Lincoln Myth
by Steve Berry
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Steve Berry returns with his latest thriller, a Cotton Malone adventure involving a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln, and a political issue that's as explosive as it is timely--not only in Malone's world, but in ours. September 1861: All is not as it seems. With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln. And as the first bloody clashes of the Civil War unfold, Lincoln alone must decide how best to use this volatile knowledge: save thousands of American lives, or keep the young nation from being torn apart forever? The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers whose nineteenth-century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of an international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot--a man driven by divine visions to make a prophet's words reality. And in a matter of a few short hours, Cotton Malone has gone from quietly selling books at his shop in Denmark to dodging bullets in a high-speed boat chase. All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly the ex-agent is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence. It's just the kind of perilous business that Malone has been trying to leave behind, ever since he retired from the Justice Department. But once he draws enemy blood, Malone is plunged into a deadly conflict--a constitutional war secretly set in motion more than two hundred years ago by America's Founding Fathers. From the streets of Copenhagen to the catacombs of Salzburg to the rugged mountains of Utah, the grim specter of the Civil War looms as a dangerous conspiracy gathers power. Malone risks life, liberty, and his greatest love in a race for the truth about Abraham Lincoln--while the fate of the United States of America hangs in the balance.
 
The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942
by Nigel Hamilton
 
Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR's masterful--and underappreciated --command of the Allied war effort. Hamilton takes readers inside FDR's White House Oval Study--his personal command center--and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war. Time and again, FDR was proven right and his allies and generals were wrong. When the generals wanted to attack the Nazi-fortified coast of France, FDR knew the Allied forces weren't ready. When Churchill insisted his Far East colonies were loyal and would resist the Japanese, Roosevelt knew it was a fantasy. As Hamilton's account reaches its climax with the Torch landings in North Africa in late 1942, the tide of war turns in the Allies' favor and FDR's genius for psychology and military affairs is clear. This intimate, sweeping look at a great president in history's greatest conflict is must reading.
 
 Savage Girl
by Jean Zimmerman
 
A riveting tale from the author of The Orphanmaster about a wild girl from Nevada who lands in Manhattan's Gilded Age society Jean Zimmerman's new novel tells of the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society. Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl's illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered. Zimmerman's tale is narrated by the Delegate's son, a Harvard anatomy student. The tormented, self-dramatizing Hugo Delegate speaks from a prison cell where he is prepared to take the fall for his beloved Savage Girl. This narrative, a love story and a mystery with a powerful sense of fable, is his confession.
 

March/April 2014

The Promise of  Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change
by Adam Braun
The riveting story of how a young man turned $25 into more than 200 schools around the world and the guiding steps anyone can take to lead a successful and significant life. Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, "A pencil." This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving one of the world's most prestigious jobs to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 200 schools around the world. The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun's journey to find his calling, as each chapter explains one clear step that every person can take to turn your biggest ambitions into reality, even if you start with as little as $25. His story takes readers behind the scenes with business moguls and village chiefs, world-famous celebrities and hometown heroes. Driven by compelling stories and shareable insights, this is a vivid and inspiring book that will give you the tools to make your own life a story worth telling. *All proceeds from this book will support Pencils of Promise.



Shotgun Lovesongs
by Nickolas Butler
Welcome to Little Wing. It's a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends -- all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town -- it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own or struggling to do so. One of them never left, still working the family farm that has been tilled for generations. But others felt the need to move on, with varying degrees of success. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit, and one of them even hit it big as a rock star. And then there's Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives. Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stresses -- among the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love. Seldom has the American heartland been so richly and accurately portrayed. Though the town may have changed, the one thing that hasn't is the beauty of the Wisconsin farmland, the lure of which, in Nickolas Butler's hands, emerges as a vibrant character in the story. Shotgun Lovesongs is that rare work of fiction that evokes a specific time and place yet movingly describes the universal human condition. It is, in short, a truly remarkable book -- a novel that once read will never be forgotten.


Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss and the Battle to Control the Skies
by Lawrence Goldstone
From acclaimed historian Lawrence Goldstone comes a thrilling narrative of courage, determination, and competition: the story of the intense rivalry that fueled the rise of American aviation. The feud between this nation's great air pioneers, the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss, was a collision of unyielding and profoundly American personalities. On one side, a pair of tenacious siblings who together had solved the centuries-old riddle of powered, heavier-than-air flight. On the other, an audacious motorcycle racer whose innovative aircraft became synonymous in the public mind with death-defying stunts. For more than a decade, they battled each other in court, at air shows, and in the newspapers. The outcome of this contest of wills would shape the course of aviation history--and take a fearsome toll on the men involved. Birdmen sets the engrossing story of the Wrights' war with Curtiss against the thrilling backdrop of the early years of manned flight, and is rich with period detail and larger-than-life personalities: Thomas Scott Baldwin, or "Cap't Tom" as he styled himself, who invented the parachute and almost convinced the world that balloons were the future of aviation; John Moisant, the dapper daredevil who took to the skies after three failed attempts to overthrow the government of El Salvador, then quickly emerged as a celebrity flyer; and Harriet Quimby, the statuesque silent-film beauty who became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. And then there is Lincoln Beachey, perhaps the greatest aviator who ever lived, who dazzled crowds with an array of trademark twists and dives--and best embodied the romance with death that fueled so many of aviation's earliest heroes.





The Setup Man
by T. T. Monday
Johnny Adcock is an aging Major League pitcher with the perfect retirement plan--he moonlights as a private investigator. Major League Baseball, as it turns out, is a prime source of employment for a philosophically inclined, discreet detective who has both the brains and the brawn to handle the unique problems of professional athletes. Those infamous baseball salaries attract gangsters, hustlers, and predators of every persuasion who prey on the outsized egos of primetime stars. When players, coaches, agents, or wives have a problem they can't make public, they call Johnny Adcock. On the team bus after a game, teammate Frankie Herrera confides in Adcock that he has a "problem with his wife." What sounds like the standard story of a pro athlete's marriage gone sour quickly turns into the most dangerous case of Adcock's second career when Frankie is killed in a car accident, leaving far too many questions unanswered. The investigation takes Adcock into uncharted territory, drawing him into a deadly ring of murder, porn, Mexican cartels, and a conspiracy that threatens to become the biggest scandal to hit baseball since HGH and steroids. A new heavy hitter on the thriller scene, T. T. Monday takes readers inside a rich and highly entertaining world where crime and baseball intersect and delivers a debut that moves like a 96-mile-an-hour fastball.



The Frangipani Hotel
by Violet Kupersmith
An extraordinarily compelling debut--ghost stories that grapple with the legacy of the Vietnam War. A beautiful young woman appears fully dressed in an overflowing bathtub at the Frangipani Hotel in Hanoi. A jaded teenage girl in Houston befriends an older Vietnamese gentleman she discovers naked behind a dumpster. A trucker in Saigon is asked to drive a dying young man home to his village. A plump Vietnamese-American teenager is sent to her elderly grandmother in Ho Chi Minh City to lose weight, only to be lured out of the house by the wafting aroma of freshly baked bread. In these evocative and always surprising stories, the supernatural coexists with the mundane lives of characters who struggle against the burdens of the past. Based on traditional Vietnamese folk tales told to Kupersmith by her grandmother, these fantastical, chilling, and thoroughly contemporary stories are a boldly original exploration of Vietnamese culture, addressing both the immigrant experience and the lives of those who remained behind. Lurking in the background of them all is a larger ghost--that of the Vietnam War, whose legacy continues to haunt us.



The Daring Ladies of Lowell
by Kate Alcott
Eager to escape life on her family's farm, Alice Barrow moves to Lowell in 1832 and throws herself into the hard work demanded of "the mill girls. In spite of the long hours, she discovers a vibrant new life and a true friend--a saucy, strong-willed girl name Lovey Cornell. But conditions at the factory become increasingly dangerous, and Alice finds the courage to represent the workers and their grievances. Although mill owner, Hiram Fiske, pays no heed, Alice attracts the attention of his eldest son, the handsome and reserved Samuel Fiske. Their mutual attraction is intense, tempting Alice to dream of a different future for herself. This dream is shattered when Lovey is found strangled to death. A sensational trial follows, bringing all the unrest that's brewing to the surface. Alice finds herself torn between her commitment to the girls in the mill and her blossoming relationship with Samuel. Based on the actual murder of a mill girl and the subsequent trial in 1833, THE DARING LADIES OF LOWELL brilliantly captures a transitional moment in America's history while also exploring the complex nature of love, loyalty, and the enduring power of friendship.



The Cairo Affair
by Olen Steinhauer
Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated. Omar Halawi has worked in Egyptian intelligence for years, and he knows how to play the game. Foreign agents pass him occasional information, he returns the favor, and everyone's happy. But the murder of a diplomat in Hungary has ripples all the way to Cairo, and Omar must follow the fall-out wherever it leads. American analyst Jibril Aziz knows more about Stumbler, a covert operation rejected by the CIA, than anyone. So when it appears someone else has obtained a copy of the blueprints, Jibril alone knows the danger it represents. As these players converge in Cairo in The Cairo Affair , Olen Steinhauer's masterful manipulations slowly unveil a portrait of a marriage, a jigsaw puzzle of loyalty and betrayal, against a dangerous world of political games where allegiances are never clear and outcomes are never guaranteed.



A Fall of Marigolds
by Susan Meissner
A beautiful scarf, passed down through the generations, connects two women who learn that the weight of the world is made bearable by the love we give away.... September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries;and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she's made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her? September 2011. On Manhattan's Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michaels has convinced herself that she is living fully, working in a charming specialty fabric store and raising her daughter alone. Then a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is forced to relive the terrible day her husband died in the collapse of the World Trade Towers;the same day a stranger reached out and saved her. Will a chance reconnection and a century-old scarf open Taryn's eyes to the larger forces at work in her life?



Code Name: Johnny Walker
by Johnny Walker
This is the unforgettable story of how an ordinary Iraqi became a hero to America's elite warriors--and how that debt was repaid with the gift of freedom. He was the seals' most trusted interpreter . . . and more Night after night, while his homeland was being destroyed around him, he guided the U.S. Navy SEALs through Iraq's most dangerous regions. Operating under the code name "Johnny Walker," he risked his life on more than a thousand missions and became a legend in the U.S. special-ops community, many of whose members credit him with saving their lives. But in the eyes of Iraq's terrorists and insurgents, he and his family were marked for death because he worked with the Americans. . . . Then the SEALs stood up to protect the man who had watched their backs through the entire war. Over the course of eight years, the Iraqi native traveled around the country with nearly every SEAL and special-operations unit deployed there. Using his wits to outthink the insurgency, Johnny Walker unmasked countless terrorists and helped foil an untold number of plots against Americans and their allies. He went on hundreds of missions, saved dozens of American lives--both SEAL and civilian--and risked his own life daily. He and his family lived in constant jeopardy, surviving multiple assassination attempts and a host of threats in Mosul, until a desperate escape through the desert late in the war took them to the relative safety of Baghdad. Fearing for Johnny's long-term safety after the war, the SEALs--now as close as brothers to Johnny--took it upon themselves to bring him to the United States, where today he and his family live their version of the American Dream. He remains in the fight by helping train the next generation of American special-operations warriors. For the first time ever, a "terp" tells what it was like in Iraq during the American invasion and the brutal insurgency that followed. With inside details on SEAL operations and a humane understanding of the tragic price paid by ordinary Iraqis, Code Name: Johnny Walker reveals a side of the war that has never been told before.


Eliot Ness
by Douglas Perry
The true story of Eliot Ness, the legendary lawman who led the Untouchables, took on Al Capone, and saved a city’s soul.  Eliot Ness is famous for leading the Untouchables against the notorious mobster Al Capone. But it turns out that the legendary Prohibition Bureau squad’s daring raids were only the beginning. Ness’s true legacy reaches far beyond Big Al and Chicago.  Eliot Ness follows the lawman through his days in Chicago and into his forgotten second act. As the public safety director of Cleveland, he achieved his greatest success: purging the city of corruption so deep that the mob and the police were often one and the same. And it was here, too, that he faced one of his greatest challenges: a brutal, serial killer known as the Torso Murderer, who terrorized the city for years.  Eliot Ness presents the first complete picture of the real Eliot Ness. Both fearless and shockingly shy, he inspired courage and loyalty in men twice his age, forged law-enforcement innovations that are still with us today, and earned acclaim and scandal from both his professional and personal lives. Through it all, he believed unwaveringly in the integrity of law and the basic goodness of his fellow Americans.


Whistling Past the Graveyard
by Susan Crandall
Whistling past the graveyard . That's what Daddy called it when you did something to keep your mind off your most worstest fear. . . . In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old Starla Claudelle runs away from her strict grandmother's Mississippi home. Starla's destination is Nashville, where her mother went to become a famous singer, abandoning Starla when she was three. Walking a lonely country road, Starla accepts a ride from Eula, a black woman traveling alone with a white baby. Now, on the road trip that will change her life forever, Starla sees for the first time life as it really is-as she reaches for a dream of how it could one day be.



A Star for Mrs.Blake
by April Smith
The United States Congress in 1929 passed legislation to fund travel for mothers of the fallen soldiers of World War I to visit their sons' graves in France. Over the next three years, 6,693 Gold Star Mothers made the trip. In this emotionally charged, brilliantly realized novel, April Smith breathes life into a unique moment in American history, imagining the experience of five of these women. They are strangers at the start, but their lives will become inextricably intertwined, altered in indelible ways. These very different Gold Star Mothers travel to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery to say final good-byes to their sons and come together along the way to face the unexpected: a death, a scandal, and a secret revealed. None of these pilgrims will be as affected as Cora Blake, who has lived almost her entire life in a small fishing village off the coast of Maine, caring for her late sister's three daughters, hoping to fill the void left by the death of her son, Sammy, who was killed on a scouting mission during the final days of the war. Cora believes she is managing as well as can be expected in the midst of the Depression, but nothing has prepared her for what lies ahead on this unpredictable journey, including an extraordinary encounter with an expatriate American journalist, Griffin Reed, who was wounded in the trenches and hides behind a metal mask, one of hundreds of "tin noses" who became symbols of the war. With expert storytelling, memorable characters, and beautiful prose, April Smith gives us a timeless story, by turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, set against a footnote of history--little known, yet unforgettable.



Queen Sugar
by Natalie Baszile
A mother-daughter story of reinvention;about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana Why exactly Charley Bordelon's late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that's mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man's business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart. Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction#151;from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar , we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and intimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.