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The People in the Trees
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 038553678X
Pages: 384
Year: 2013-08-13
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Readers of exciting, challenging and visionary literary fiction—including admirers of Norman Rush's Mating, Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, and Peter Matthiessen's At Play in the Fields of the Lord—will be drawn to this astonishingly gripping and accomplished first novel. A decade in the writing, this is an anthropological adventure story that combines the visceral allure of a thriller with a profound and tragic vision of what happens when cultures collide. It is a book that instantly catapults Hanya Yanagihara into the company of young novelists who really, really matter. In 1950, a young doctor called Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub "The Dreamers," who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He scientifically proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame and the Nobel Prize, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating personal consequences.
The Memory of Running
Author: Ron McLarty
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101201029
Pages: 384
Year: 2005-12-27
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Every decade seems to produce a novel that captures the public’s imagination with a story that sweeps readers up and takes them on a thrilling, unforgettable ride. Ron McLarty’s The Memory of Running is this decade’s novel. By all accounts, especially his own, Smithson "Smithy" Ide is a loser. An overweight, friendless, chain-smoking, forty-three-year-old drunk, Smithy’s life becomes completely unhinged when he loses his parents and long-lost sister within the span of one week. Rolling down the driveway of his parents’ house in Rhode Island on his old Raleigh bicycle to escape his grief, the emotionally bereft Smithy embarks on an epic, hilarious, luminous, and extraordinary journey of discovery and redemption.
In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods
Author: Matt Bell
Publisher: Soho Press
ISBN: 1616952539
Pages: 312
Year: 2013
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Escaping the busy confusion of his homeland and moving to an almost-uninhabited lakeshore where he plans on living simply and raising a family, a man descends into rage, obsession and an abstract sense of reality when his wife suffers multiple miscarriages. A first novel by the author of How They Were Found.
The Lacuna
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571252656
Pages: 688
Year: 2009-11-05
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From Pulitzer Prize nominee and award winning author of Homeland, The Poisonwood Bible and Flight Behaviour, The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man torn between the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s America in the shadow of Senator McCarthy. Born in America and raised in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social-climbing flapper mother, Salome. When he starts work in the household of Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo - where the Bolshevik leader, Lev Trotsky, is also being harboured as a political exile - he inadvertently casts his lot with art, communism and revolution. A compulsive diarist, he records and relates his colourful experiences of life with Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Trotsky in the midst of the Mexican revolution. A violent upheaval sends him back to America; but political winds continue to throw him between north and south, in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach - the lacuna - between truth and public presumption.
The Little Book
Author: Selden Edwards
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1440637547
Pages: 416
Year: 2008-08-14
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Thirty years in the writing, Selden Edwards' dazzling first novel is an irresistible triumph of the imagination. Wheeler Burden-banking heir, philosopher, student of history, legend's son, rock idol, writer, lover, recluse, half-Jew, and Harvard baseball hero-one day finds himself wandering not in his hometown of San Francisco in 1988 but in a city and time he knows mysteriously well: Vienna, 1897. Before long, Wheeler acquires a mentor in Sigmund Freud, a bitter rival, a powerful crush on a luminous young woman, and encounters everyone from an eight-year-old Adolf Hitler to Mark Twain as well as the young members of his own family. Solving the riddle of Wheeler's dislocation in time will ultimately reveal nothing short of one eccentric family's unrivaled impact upon the course of human history. Edwards, author of The Lost Prince, brilliantly weaves romance, art, history, and culture in this unforgettable and dazzling debut novel. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Which Way Tree
Author: Elizabeth Crook
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316434965
Pages: 288
Year: 2018-02-06
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The poignant odyssey of a tenacious young girl who braves the dangers of the Texas frontier to avenge her mother's death "When I began to read this book its unique voice appealed to me immediately. Elizabeth Crook has written a beautiful novel with wonderful characters." --Robert Duvall "A small-scale masterwork, richly detailed and beautifully rendered." --S. C. Gwynne, New York Times bestselling author of Empire of the Summer Moon Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas, a panther savagely attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, whose final act is to save her daughter's life. Samantha and her half brother, Benjamin, survive, but she is left traumatized, her face horribly scarred. Narrated in Benjamin's beguilingly plainspoken voice, The Which Way Tree is the story of Samantha's unshakeable resolve to stalk and kill the infamous panther, rumored across the Rio Grande to be a demon, and avenge her mother's death. In their quest she and Benjamin, now orphaned, enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a haunted, compassionate preacher with an aging but relentless tracking dog. As the members of this unlikely posse hunt the panther, they are in turn pursued by a hapless but sadistic Confederate soldier with troubled family ties to the preacher and a score to settle. In the tradition of the great pursuit narratives, The Which Way Tree is a breathtaking saga of one steadfast girl's revenge against an implacable and unknowable beast. Yet with the comedic undertones of Benjamin's storytelling, it is also a timeless tale full of warmth and humor, and a testament to the enduring love that carries a sister and brother through a perilous adventure with all the dimensions of a legend.
The Wild Trees
Author: Richard Preston
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588366030
Pages: 320
Year: 2007-04-10
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Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustained–the coast redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens. Ninety-six percent of the ancient redwood forests have been destroyed by logging, but the untouched fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods have trunks up to thirty feet wide and can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, redwoods were thought to be virtually impossible to ascend, and the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. In The Wild Trees, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine, and the tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, a world that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored. The canopy voyagers are young–just college students when they start their quest–and they share a passion for these trees, persevering in spite of sometimes crushing personal obstacles and failings. They take big risks, they ignore common wisdom (such as the notion that there’s nothing left to discover in North America), and they even make love in hammocks stretched between branches three hundred feet in the air. The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems that have fused and formed flying buttresses, sometimes carved into blackened chambers, hollowed out by fire, called “fire caves.” Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life that is unknown to science. Humans move through the deep canopy suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, knowing that the price of a small mistake can be a plunge to one’s death. Preston’s account of this amazing world, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, is an adventure story told in novelistic detail by a master of nonfiction narrative. The author shares his protagonists’ passion for tall trees, and he mastered the techniques of tall-tree climbing to tell the story in The Wild Trees–the story of the fate of the world’s most splendid forests and of the imperiled biosphere itself. From the Hardcover edition.
A Little Life
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385539266
Pages: 736
Year: 2015-03-10
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NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. Truly an amazement—and a great gift for its readers. When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever. In rich and resplendent prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.
The Hand That First Held Mine
Author: Maggie O'Farrell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547487274
Pages: 352
Year: 2010-04-12
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Lexie Sinclair is plotting an extraordinary life for herself. Hedged in by her parents' genteel country life, she plans her escape to London. There, she takes up with Innes Kent, a magazine editor who wears duck-egg blue ties and introduces her to the thrilling, underground world of bohemian, post-war Soho. She learns to be a reporter, to know art and artists, to embrace her life fully and with a deep love at the center of it. She creates many lives--all of them unconventional. And when she finds herself pregnant, she doesn't hesitate to have the baby on her own. Later, in present-day London, a young painter named Elina dizzily navigates the first weeks of motherhood. She doesn't recognize herself: she finds herself walking outside with no shoes; she goes to the restaurant for lunch at nine in the morning; she can't recall the small matter of giving birth. But for her boyfriend, Ted, fatherhood is calling up lost memories, with images he cannot place. As Ted's memories become more disconcerting and more frequent, it seems that something might connect these two stories-- these two women-- something that becomes all the more heartbreaking and beautiful as they all hurtle toward its revelation. Here Maggie O'Farrell brings us a spellbinding novel of two women connected across fifty years by art, love, betrayals, secrets, and motherhood. Like her acclaimed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, it is a "breathtaking, heart-breaking creation."* And it is a gorgeous inquiry into the ways we make and unmake our lives, who we know ourselves to be, and how even our most accidental legacies connect us. *The Washington Post Book World
This Is How It Begins
Author: Joan Dempsey
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 1631523090
Pages: 399
Year: 2017-10-03
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One of “5 more over 50” writers to watch—Poets & Writers magazine 2018 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST 2018 MAY SARTON WOMEN’S BOOK AWARD FINALIST WINNER, 2017 POETS & WRITERS MAUREEN EGEN WRITERS EXCHANGE AWARD “Beautifully written ... an ambitious and moving debut novel.” —LILY KING, award-winning national bestseller of Euphoria In 2009, eighty-five-year-old art professor Ludka Zeilonka gets drawn into a political firestorm when her grandson, Tommy, is among a group of gay Massachusetts teachers fired for allegedly discriminating against Christian kids in high school classrooms. The ensuing battle to reinstate the teachers raises the specter of Ludka's World War II past—a past she's spent a lifetime trying to forget. The firings are the brainchild of Warren Meck, a deeply religious local radio host and father of three who is hoping to pass a religious freedom bill in Massachusetts. Meck favors achieving his goals through careful planning and legislation, and is disturbed when violence erupts. His concern quickly turns to alarm when he realizes those within his inner circle might be inciting the violence. As Ludka's esteemed political family defends Tommy under increasingly vicious conditions, a stranger with connections to Ludka's past shows up and threatens to expose her for illegally hoarding a valuable painting presumed stolen by the Nazis. Only one other person knew about the painting—a man she's been trying to find for sixty years. Compulsively readable, This Is How It Begins is a timely novel about free speech, religious freedom, the importance of empathy and the bitter consequences of long-buried secrets.
Under the Udala Trees
Author: Chinelo Okparanta
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544003446
Pages: 336
Year: 2015-09-22
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Inspired by her mother s stories of war and Nigeria s folktale traditions, "Under the Udala Trees "is Chinelo Okparanta sdeeply searching, powerful debut about the dangers of living and loving openly"
Every Last One
Author: Anna Quindlen
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0679603727
Pages: 320
Year: 2010-04-13
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BONUS: This edition contains an Every Last One discussion guide and an excerpt from Anna Quindlen's Blessings. Mary Beth Latham has built her life around her family, around caring for her three teenage children and preserving the rituals of their daily life. When one of her sons becomes depressed, Mary Beth focuses on him, only to be blindsided by a shocking act of violence. What happens afterward is a testament to the power of a woman’s love and determination, and to the invisible lines of hope and healing that connect one human being to another. Ultimately, as rendered in Anna Quindlen’s mesmerizing prose, Every Last One is a novel about facing every last one of the things we fear the most, about finding ways to navigate a road we never intended to travel. Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more. RandomHouseReadersCircle.com
The Paper Road
Author: Erik Mueggler
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520950496
Pages: 376
Year: 2011-11-02
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This exhilarating book interweaves the stories of two early twentieth-century botanists to explore the collaborative relationships each formed with Yunnan villagers in gathering botanical specimens from the borderlands between China, Tibet, and Burma. Erik Mueggler introduces Scottish botanist George Forrest, who employed Naxi adventurers in his fieldwork from 1906 until his death in 1932. We also meet American Joseph Francis Charles Rock, who, in 1924, undertook a dangerous expedition to Gansu and Tibet with the sons and nephews of Forrest’s workers. Mueggler describes how the Naxi workers and their Western employers rendered the earth into specimens, notes, maps, diaries, letters, books, photographs, and ritual manuscripts. Drawing on an ancient metaphor of the earth as a book, Mueggler provides a sustained meditation on what can be copied, translated, and revised and what can be folded back into the earth.
The Lorax
Author: Dr. Seuss
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0394823370
Pages: 70
Year: 1971
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The Once-ler describes the results of the local pollution problem.
Old World Murder
Author: Kathleen Ernst
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 0738720879
Pages: 325
Year: 2010
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Chloe Ellefson, starting fresh as curator of Old World Wisconsin, finds herself in the middle of a mystery when a woman looking for a priceless eighteenth-century Norwegian ale bowl dies in a mysterious car crash and Chloe beings to realize that someone is trying to erase all traces of the bowl's existence.