Displaying articles for: May 2014

The Good Spy

CIA operative Robert Ames was a true-life James Bond who died striving for peace in the Middle East. With cameos from Nixon, Kissinger, and Arafat, and nailbiter scenes from the Iranian hostage crisis and Beirut embassy bombing, Kai Bird's riveting biography is equal parts thriller and touching elegy.

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Becoming Freud

Who's up to the task of diagnosing the father of modern psychology? None other than iconoclastic therapist Adam Phillips (Missing Out), whose revealing look at Sigmund's immigrant youth and rise to fame asks where we'd be (and what we'd be thinking) without him.

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Encounters at the Heart of the World

The Mandan tribes who clustered along the Missouri River, and who entered history books via their association with Lewis and Clark, have found their Homer and Edward Gibbon in Elizabeth Fenn, who richly brings to life their culture and daily trials.

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Bending Adversity

The curious case of contemporary Japan—a country beset by disaster and economic challenge, while remaining cohesive and proud—is finely explicated by David Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times.

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The Third Plate

Hungry for something new? Renowned chef Dan Barber's radical ideas challenge our approaches to environmental sustainability, flavor, farming, and jamón ibérico, the coveted Spanish king of hams.

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The Dylanologists

Detectives on the trail of a musical enigma, Bob Dylan’s most tenacious fans prove nearly as intriguing as the elusive artist they revere. A study in the rewards of devotion and the price of obsession from Pulitzer-winning journalist David Kinney.

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Little Demon in the City of Light

Steven Levingston digs up a doozy of a case, involving mesmeric murderess Gabrielle Bompard, an international manhunt, and a cast of Gallic sleuths, criminals and shocked citizens. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

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The Empathy Exams

Leslie Jamison unbridles the bonds that link one individual to another, using her own experiences as well as a raft of cultural observations to find that essential trait which separates the gentle from the sociopathic.

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American Smoke

Iain Sinclair leaves behind his mythic England for American shores, in a literary travelogue following the crooked and tangled paths of the Beats, conjuring up the legacy of Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Burroughs with fresh eyes.

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Plato at the Googleplex

Using Plato as her yardstick, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein measures the modern tendency to reduce all issues to scientific ones, and tries to assess how our newest technologies help or hinder the ancient ways of soul-searching.

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All at Once

Since his 1969 debut Lies, C. K. Williams has won nearly every major poetry award extant.  Here he assembles vignettes that contour the places, people and dreams of his life in sensitive, deeply personal verse.

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

A sparkling debut novel, full of fairytale wisdom and mythic conundrums. Born with wings, Ava Lavender sets out to discover her true nature and her place in the world, encountering love and disappointment and myriad uncanny moments along her path.

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In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist

Employing modern Israel as a heady backdrop, Ruchama King Feuerman assembles a motley crew of lost souls in search of an ancient pottery shard containing First Temple secrets.

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Nothing Holds Back the Night

With flair and compassion, Delphine de Vigan charts the chaotic, precious, tragic life of her own mother Lucile, whom fate left to raise Delphine and her sister without much help.

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The Blessings

The death of John Blessing reverberates through his tangled North Philly clan in a big-hearted family saga from novelist Elise Juska. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

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A Train in Winter

Caroline Moorehead unveils stories of ordinary resistance and extraordinary courage in the lives of the French women who fought Fascism.

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Thunderstruck

It's been two decades since Elizabeth McCracken's bravura story collection Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry.  At long last she returns to the form in this collection, nine tales of ordinary lives transformed in ways large and small.  The title promises electricity: the contents deliver.

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The Noble Hustle

Can the gunslinging romance of championship poker survive its ascent into an Internet-fueled phenomenon? Novelist Colson Whitehead goes to Vegas in pursuit of the new American Dream: the million-dollar pot.

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From Pompeii

And you thought your town was dusty. The history of today's ash-petrified city of Pompeii is nearly as rich as its original ancient existence. With humor, Ingrid Rowland charts the peculiar interpretations of the ruins from the moment of their initial uncovering in 1599 to the present day.

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Painted Cities

With ashcan realism, Alexai Galaviz-Budziszewski chronicles the inner life of an entire Chicago neighborhood through these vivid and authentic stories.  A touch of magical realism creates zest comparable to the humanist parables of Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut.

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The Land of Steady Habits

Ted Thompson's humorous, empathetic debut novel finds satirical footing in the wilds of Connecticut's suburbs, where an aging hero battles the expectations of family, friends and breaking the tedium of his routines.  A Discover Great New Writers selection.

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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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