Sunday, December 12, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Synopsis: When a deep-rooted memory suddenly surfaces, Elizabeth Burns becomes obsessed with the long-ago disappearance of her childhood friend April Cassidy. Driven to investigate, Elizabeth discovers a thirty-five-year-old newspaper article revealing the details that had been hidden from her as a child—shocking revelations about April’s mother, Adele.
Elizabeth, now herself a mother, tracks down the people who knew Adele Cassidy and who thought that they knew what was going through her mind before she committed that most incomprehensible of crimes. She seeks out anyone who might help piece together the final months, days, and hours of this troubled woman’s life—from Adele’s former neighbor to her psychiatrist to her sister.
But the answers are more elusive than any normal investigation can yield, the questions raised are difficult to contemplate. In fact, the further into the story Elizabeth digs, the more she is forced to accept that she and Adele might not be so different.
Elizabeth’s exploration thus leads her ultimately back to herself: her compromised marriage, her increasing self-doubt, her desire for more out of her career and her life, and finally to a fearsome reckoning with what it means to be a wife and mother.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.
Synopsis: On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary Anning learns that she has a unique gift: "the eye" to spot fossils no one else can see. When she uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious community on edge, the townspeople to gossip, and the scientific world alight. After enduring bitter cold, thunderstorms, and landslips, her challenges only grow when she falls in love with an impossible man.
Mary soon finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, a middle-class spinster who shares her passion for scouring the beaches. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy, but ultimately turns out to be their greatest asset.
Now in paperback, HOLD ME TIGHT introduces readers to EFT and illustrates a program they can use in their own relationships. Part I introduces the view of love as an attachment bond and applies this view to relationship problems. Part II offers seven "conversations" that focus on key moments. Readers can use these to understand their responses and relationships better. Included are exercises to help couples work through the process.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Impeccably researched and beautifully told, the book delivers the ultimate portrait of man against nature, drawing on a remarkable range of archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship's cabin boy. At once a literary companion and a page turner that speaks to the same issues of class, race, and man's relationship to nature that permeate the works of Melville, In the Heart of the Sea will endure as a vital work of American history.Joy School
Synopsis: In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.
This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.
Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics–their passion for the same woman–that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him–nearly destroying him–Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.
An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Synopsis: In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half
centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant thought this time the obsessions re
volves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?
In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds's most basic yearnings and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we've benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?
Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.
Synopsis: High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book... The Book of Lost Things.
An imaginative tribute to the journey we must all make through the loss of innocence into adulthood, John Connolly's latest novel is a book for every adult who can recall the moment when childhood began to fade, and for every adult about to face that moment. The Book of Lost Things is a story of hope for all who have lost, and for all who have yet to lose. It is an exhilarating tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.
Synopsis: Flavia de Luce, a dangerously smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What about Porson’s charming but erratic assistant? All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head? (In paperback February, 2011)
by Helen Simonson
Synopsis: The major of the title is a widower who has just lost his brother. Major Pettigrew slowly develops an extremely correct yet warm friendship with Mrs. Ali, a widow who runs the local convenience store and shares his love of reading.
England is not an easily welcoming place for those seen as outsiders. Mrs. Ali is part of a Pakistani family and
the pressures of Pakistani family life are sensitively portrayed, with Mrs. Ali torn between her family, especially her controlling brother-in-law, and the freedom the broader, liberal society of Britain has to offer.
That love can overcome cultural barriers is no new theme, but it’s presented here with great sensitivity and delicacy. We want this couple to find romance — and they do. We want the major to survive the machinations of his obnoxious son — and he does. “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” is refreshing in its optimism and its faith in the transformative possibilities of courtesy and kindness. Although pitched toward those wanting a gentle read, it also slides a powerful moral message into the interstices of village politics and conventions.
The Forgotten Garden
by Kate Mornon
Synopsis: After her grandmother Nell's death, Cassandra learns that Nell wasn't who she thought she was. It turns out that Nell had been raised by a couple who found her on the dock after she had been abandoned on the boat that had carried her from England to Australia at the age of four. Nell had attempted to research her own heritage, but the sudden appearance of Cassandra in her life prevented her from putting all the pieces together. Cassandra takes it upon herself to solve the mystery for her grandmother once and for all. The story weaves back and forth between three generations -- Cassandra in 2005, Nell in 1975, and the two women in Cornwall who are the key to the puzzle in the early years of the twentieth century
Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
by Immaculee Ilibagazia
Synopsis: In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family when the death of Rwanda's Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor's tiny bathroom with seven other women for 91 cramped, terrifying days. The account of her experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires. It was during those endless hours that Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, eventually shedding her fear of death and forging a profound and lasting relationship with God. She emerged from her bathroom hideout having unwavering trust in God. She did everything she could, then trusted him to help her find a job, later to find a husband, and eventually to seek out and forgive her family‛s killers. Her story is inspiring.
Synopsis: Nine years ago the author's wife gave birth to twin boys. One was entirely normal, but the other was missing a chamber in his heart. At five months and again at 18 months, Liam had open-heart surgery. Someday he will need a heart transplant, but for now he "runs around like an insane dorky gawky goofy heron and rides his bike and shoots hoop, and skateboards and swings and punches out his brother and snarls at his sister and refuses to make his bed...." This book is about Liam, and it is also about his surgeon, his family and dozens of others with heart-related stories. It is about heart as a physical organ—how it is supposed to work, how surgeons try to fix it when it doesn't—and about heart as a metaphor for "the distilled essence of character and spirit." Most of all, it is about love, which has "many forms and levels and shapes and flavors and speeds and depths and topographies and landscapes and colors and musics." Doyle, the author of four other books of essays, sometimes spins out of control with sprawling stream-of-consciousness sentences, and he says "waaaay" waaaay too often. Still, it is hard to put down this wide-ranging meditation on the fragile mysteries of human life."No one writes quite like Brian Doyle. He is lyrical, literate, unpredictable, unafraid, kind, and damned
once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol. This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept. Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic
father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago. Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart..