Displaying articles for: November 2013

Orr: My Story

Even folks who don't follow hockey know the name of Bobby Orr, in his quiet retirement given to inspiring philanthropy.  This long-awaited autobiography conveys the legend's achievements on and off the ice with humble wit.

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The Skin

Curzio Malaparte's 1943 magically naturalistic novel charts the shifting fates of wartime Italy in a trenchant, hard-hitting fashion that balances the play of larger forces against affairs of the human heart.

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Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us

Fearless sex writer Jesse Bering argues that all of us have some kind of paraphilia (intense erotic attraction to atypical fodder) - and should embrace it, via the teachings of Freud and Kinsey, and the shapely curves of the Eiffel Tower.

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The Death of Santini

Few autobiographical novels have accrued as loyal and enthusiastic a following as Conroy's The Great Santini.  This follow-up memoir strips away the pseudonyms and recounts the full and final saga of the writer and his autocratic father.

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Falling Upwards

No method of human flight is more entrancing than ballooning, and the earliest days of the pastime are brought to cinematic life by popular historian Richard Holmes, who find a circus of colorful characters to enliven his pages.

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Solo: A James Bond Novel

Literary giant William Boyd's tale is a crackerjack spy story of Agent 007, and a rebel movement in the fictional African land of Zanzarim during the Golden Age of the 1960s.

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The Letters of John F. Kennedy

On the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, historian Martin W. Sandler compiles a telling epistolary portrait of the late President, in this revealing collection of political and personal correspondence.

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The Republic of Thieves

The long-awaited third volume in Lynch's highly acclaimed "Gentleman Bastards" fantasy series combines criminals and sorcery in a fully-fleshed otherworld of rogues, alchemists, and femme fatales.

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Extortion

Peter Schweitzer's shocking and rousing study of bipartisan disgrace investigates "How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets".

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Respect Yourself

Anyone who has ever danced alone in their pajamas to the soul-stirring music of Booker T. & the M.G.s or a dozen other phenomenal groups on the Stax label will take feverish delight in this history of the trend-setting record label.

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Doomed

Fight Club author Palahniuk reanimates his dead tweener heroine Madison Spencer for another feisty shamble through the brain-dead lives of mere mortals.

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Young Mr. Roosevelt

FDR's introduction to politics was one of turmoil and rude awakenings, yet his reformer spirit endured, as seen in this this enlightening biography of the playboy-turned-president's rise to fame during World War I. 

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The Good Lord Bird

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction. The astonishing odyssey of a boy plucked out of slavery by the radical abolitionist John Brown is a marvel of storytelling in the tradition of Mark Twain. And don't miss our revealing interview with author James McBride about the challenges and joys of irreverently rewriting history.

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The Unwinding

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction.  George Packer gives voice to Americans grappling with a transformed nation in this panoramic, deeply felt portrait of small towns and once-thriving cities on the decline.  Our reviewer Brooke Allen found in Packer's true stories "the expansive fictional techniques of Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo."

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The Inheritor's Powder

An engrossing history that recounts the popularity of arsenic poisoning in the early 19th century, and its enormous influence on the future of forensic toxicology.

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By the Rivers of the Water

The complex and fascinating biography of pious mid-19th century newlyweds Jane and John Leighton Wilson - American Southerners who thrived as Liberian missionaries, developed anti-slavery views, then returned to find their native Georgia at the height of the U.S. Civil War.

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Police

The tenth encounter of Jo Nesbø’s Oslo cop Harry Hole with the Nordic crime scene finds the wounded detective bed-bound on the edge of death, while friends and co-workers carry the thrilling tale of serial cop assassination to its grim and unforgettable conclusion.

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David and Goliath

Malcolm Gladwell's latest cerebral rummaging through the labyrinth of the world weighs the disparity between the Big Guys and the Little Guys, and discloses how the odds are not always in favor of the former.

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Old Mars

Editors George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois assemble a stellar crew of high-powered contributors to cover an inhabited Mars full of aliens, canals and ruins, recreating the exotic ambiance of Bradbury and Burroughs.

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Life at the Speed of Light

The esteemed science writer of A Life Decoded is back, with a wealth of bold new research on the study which has emerged as his professional life's great passion: the Human Genome Project.

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The Elixir of Immortality

An ancient family who has passed down instructions to achieving eternal life for centuries faces extinction when its last descendant realizes he has no heirs to whom he can entrust the secret.

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The Double

In his second outing, George Pelecanos's D.C. private eye Spero Lucas confronts internet scammers, gigolo blackmailers, murderers and art thieves in a whirlwind of sleuthing, violence, and passion on the side.

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1913: The Year Before the Storm

An acclaimed bestseller throughout Europe, this wry study of the titular year's biggest names - Ford, Chaplin, Chanel, Prada, Proust, Stavinsky - depicts a cultural revolution undercut by the destruction of World War I that soon followed.

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Wonderbook

Jeff VanderMeer offers the world's first "illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction", with advice from contributors George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. LeGuin, and many more.

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We All Sleep in the Same Room

In Paul Rome's rousing debut novel, a New York labor lawyer grows intensely attached to his cases (an abused receptionist, a teacher who fears deportation) and his young new assistant.  A taut and stylistically vanguard legal drama.

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Provence, 1970

Subtitled "M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste", Luke Barr's colorful recreation of a vital moment zeroes in on the outsized personalities and revolutionary culinary predilections that would forever alter the American way of cooking and dining.

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Furious Cool

The uproarious life of Richard Pryor, who was raised in his grandmother's brothel, married seven times, kicked drug addiction, and became arguably history's greatest and most influential stand-up comedian.

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The Story of the Human Body

With bold illustrations and bolder thinking, Daniel Lieberman unlocks our anatomical mysteries, from our humble beginnings as fruitarians walking on four legs to a potential future of curing fatal and chronic diseases.  

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The Vikings

An engaging new history of the Nordic explorers that goes beyond their famed pillaging and instead recounts their knack for navigation, as well as ingenious nautical innovations.

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Good Indian Girls

In twelve vivid stories, Ranbir Singth Sidhu paints tender, uproarious and incredibly insightful portraits of Indians living in America.

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The Wolves of Midwinter

Eschewing her trademark vampires for werewolves, Rice delves deeper into the career of her fledgling Man Wolf, Reuben Golding (introduced in The Wolf Gift), bringing him to a ceremony rife with ghosts and assignations.

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When Did You See Her Last?

The incorrigible and dastardly Lemony Snicket returns with the second volume of his new series, each volume of which manages to depict and solve a baffling mystery while simultaneously flailing about madly and entertainingly in all the wrong directions.

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The Green Child

The welcome return of this singular 1935 fantastical masterpiece should acquaint a new generation with his eccentric visions of loss and redemption that prefigure Latin American magical realism.

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See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody

The genre of rock musician biographies receives a winning contribution with this no-holds-barred and revelatory memoir from Bob Mould, the leader of Hüsker Dü.  The punk era has never before seemed both so ancient and so perpetually happening.

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Luminous Chaos

The sequel to Jean-Christophe Valtat's acclaimed steampunk novel Aurorarama enhances his vivid world of time-traveling Legionnaires, as they encounter Proust, Mallarmé, and a Paris on the rise.

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Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

A stirring account of the life and legacy of China's renowned reform leader - dubbed a "needle in a ball of cotton" by Mao - illustrating his storied political alliances and ambitions. 

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Shores of Knowledge

A fascinating and original look at New World exploration that focuses on scientific discoveries and innovations that were propelled by these 15th-century voyages to exotic lands.

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We Are Water

Bestselling author Wally Lamb delivers an affecting story of a Connecticut family in upheaval as its wife and mother leaves and plans to marry a successful businesswoman.

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Critical Mass

James Wolcott collects the best of his captivating essays from his earliest days at The Village Voice to his monthly column in Vanity Fair, still essential reading each month for its "Hand Grenades, and Hurrahs".

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Dirty Love

The author of House of Sand and Fog elegantly chronicles the tragedies and epiphanies of average Joes and Janes, in four bittersweet novellas of grace, ingenuity and intimacy.

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Bound in Venice

Bibliophiles will delight in this portrait of Aldo Manuzio, the fifteenth-century Italian who first brought the Koran, Talmud, and classics of Greek poetry to his fair city, thereby becoming history's first modern publisher.

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Roth Unbound

A fitting capstone to Philip Roth's recent retirement, Pierpont's insightful overview captures not only the journalistic details of Roth's life and literary output, but also the essential story-telling and truth-telling genius that characterized his canon.

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Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow

Andy Sturdevant offers up lively essays concerning the contemporary Midwest, Buffalo Wild Wings and futuristic birdhouses, among other curious topics.

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Crossing the Bay of Bengal

A fascinating look into the history of a little-known area that played an enormous role in the global trading industry and the journeys of its migrant workers.

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The Last Banquet

A man who has an insatiable quest to taste every flavor in existence is the engaging protagonist of this sensuous novel set against the backdrop of the French Enlightenment.

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The Black Spider

This infamously creepy horror tale recounts a remote Swiss village coming into contact with pure evil, and the horrifying consequences of one woman's defiance.

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Smart Cities

Anthony M. Townsend's savvy approach to urban planning accounts for the growing fluxuation between suburbia and the metropolis, while investigating what living in a GPS-navigated world does to our sense of place.

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Emily Dickinson: The Gorgeous Nothings

These manuscripts handwritten on envelopes by the beloved poet offers intimate insight into the process and personality of a veiled American master.

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The Keats Brothers

John and George Keats - "Man of Genius and Man of Power" as John himself put it - are profiled in this portrait of the English Romantic era and two of its icons.

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July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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