Displaying articles for: August 2012

The Bartender's Tale

For years, Tom Harry has been content to look no further than the front door of The Medicine Lodge, the saloon he owns in northern Montana circa 1960. But when an old flame returns, bringing with her portents of the radical change that will soon sweep the country, Tom and his son Rusty's lives are upended. Ivan Doig's masterful new novel reveals why he's considered one of fiction's premiere storytellers.

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Miami and the Siege of Chicago

As the presidential election fast approaches, there's no more appropriate book to revisit than Norman Mailer's evocation of the chaotic nomination processes of both parties in 1968. Personal, unflinching, and illuminating in its consideration of American political culture, this is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how today's bitterly divided country arose.

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Fire in the Ashes

Jonathan Kozol has famously documented the lives of children growing up poor in the land of plenty in works like Death at an Early Age and Amazing Grace. Now he reflects on the successes and failures of those he's followed through adulthood. These are inspirational, often heartrending stories of strength and love in the face of adversity.

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The Lost Casebooks of Sherlock Holmes

Avid fans of Arthur Conan Doyle's master sleuth will thrill to read this collection of sixteen tales by Donald Thomas featuring the world-renowned consulting detective. Whether partnering with a young Winston Churchill or unearthing the truth behind an eccentric aristocrat's supernatural curse, Holmes is at the peak of his powers of deduction.

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Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist

The Renaissance master was captivated by the human body's elaborate interior, and Martin Clayton and Ron Philo here collect 90 of da Vinci's most gorgeous sketches of musculature, organs, and bones, as well as his remarkably accurate notes about physiological function and form.

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The Orchardist

Set in the Pacific Northwest during the early twentieth century, Amanda Coplin's compelling debut novel tells the story of Talmadge, a stoic man who tends his fruit trees while avoiding human company. When two young girls seek shelter on his land, the events that follow unfold with heartstopping, lyric power. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

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The Last Bohemia

Robert Anasi provides a firsthand account of how drastically Williamsburg, Brooklyn has changed since he first moved there in 1994. From factory backwater to hipster mecca, the neighborhood's transformation mirrors profound shifts in American culture that the author parses with humor, insight, and a poignant nostalgia for simpler -- albeit grimier -- times.

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The Guardian of All Things

Memory makes us human. So argues Michael S. Malone, who entertainingly maps human history against the brain's evolution, and its astonishing ability to recall the past and convey that information to others. A brilliant marriage of neuroscience and anthropology you won't soon forget. 

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People Who Eat Darkness

In the summer of 2000, Lucie Blackman, a young British woman living in Japan, was abducted from the streets of Tokyo and found dismembered the following winter. Award-winning foreign correspondent Richard Lloyd Perry peers into the seedy underworld that swallowed her up and recounts the trial of her killer in this gripping true crime narrative.

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Aftermath

In a book that rocked her native Britain, celebrated author Rachel Cusk anatomizes the dissolution of her marriage with unflinching honesty. This is reading sure to prompt deep conversations about love and commitment in the twenty-first century.

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Hello Goodbye Hello

Author Craig Brown traces a loop of chance encounters between celebrities, politicians, artists, and authors. Whether marveling at Mark Twain's gracious reception of a 23-year-old Rudyard Kipling or casting an incredulous eye on the praise H. G. Wells heaps on Stalin, you'll be astonished by the extent to which everyone is connected.

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In the Shadow of the Banyan

Seven-year-old Raami's family members are minor Cambodian royalty who find themselves fleeing Phnom Penh as the brutal Khmer Rouge take the city. Her story -- based largely on novelist Vaddey Ratner's own experiences -- is a devastating epic of love, suffering, and survival during a historic tragedy.  (And don't miss this revealing interview about the author's childhood and how she came to write the novel).

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What Light Can Do

In his first collection of essays in more than 25 years, Robert Haas considers subjects that include photography, the relationship between art and violence, and our relationship with the natural world. Interspersed with photos and characterized by the author's unparalleled erudition, this volume perfectly illustrates Hass's claim that "the deepest response to a work of art is, in fact, another work of art."

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City of Women

The title of David R. Gillham's historical novel refers to Berlin 1943; with most men serving the Nazi war effort, a world of intrigue -- and surprising heroism -- remains in the German capital. And one soldier's wife is faced with a dramatic choice between familiar duty and the call to confront the evil around her.

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Leaving the Atocha Station

Living in Madrid on a prestigious fellowship, young American poet Adam Gordon searches for authenticity, not only in his own work but also in his relationships with others. Author Ben Lerner reflects on life, creativity, and what it means to be genuine in a novel that eschews pretension in favor of an earnest -- often humorous -- consideration of art and those who make it.

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Dare Me

Megan Abbott's Edgar Award-winning masterpiece, Queenpin, took noir fiction for a wild ride with an unforgettable dame in the lead. Her latest novel, Dare Me, brings a similarly dark sensibility to the world of high school cheerleading. When the captain of the squad clashes with a new coach, the result is seriously cutthroat competition.

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette

On the eve of a family trip to Antarctica, brilliant recluse Bernadette Fox disappears. Her fifteen-year-old daughter, Bee, decides it's up to her to find her Mom, piecing together the mystery in this razor-sharp, madcap epistolary novel with a big, warm heart. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

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American Empire

A panoramic account of America's great transformation into the world's leading power, from the economic boom of the 1950s and the civil rights struggle that came after, to the troubled 1970s and beyond.

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Dearie

Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking revolutionized American kitchens. This loving portrait follows Child from her surprising role in WWII, through post-war Paris where she honed her craft, and on to culinary stardom. 

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The Light Between Oceans

Working as a lighthouse keeper, WWI veteran Tom Sherbourne finds a boat cradling a dead man and a crying baby. His wife, disappointed by two miscarriages and a stillbirth, convinces him to keep the child. It's a decision with a fateful impact in our newest B&N Recommends selection.

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Whiplash River

Former getaway driver Charles "Shake" Bouchon is living the good life in Belize. But when he runs afoul of local drug lord Baby Jesus, Lou Berney's comic novel takes a turn for the absurd. Now Shake is fleeing for his life, and the only person who can save him is an ex-girlfriend who bears him even more ill will than the assasins on his tail.

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My First Coup d'Etat

John Dramani Mahama chronicles his childhood during the post-independence "lost dacades" of Ghana's history when his father, a minister of state, languished in prison and political power passed through the hands of one dictator after another. How this young boy grew up to become vice president of his nation is an inspiring story that mirrors the country's journey from chaos to order.

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April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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