Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Anne Lamott

Biographies & Memoirs / Nonfiction / Religion & Spirituality

"A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." —*Los Angeles Times* Advice on writing and on life from an acclaimed bestselling author: Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our  family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'
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Soul Music

Soul Music

Terry Pratchett

Fantasy; Science Fiction / Humor and Comedy / Children's

Soul Music is the 16th book in the bestselling Discworld series, with close ties to the fourth book, Mort. Susan Sto Helit is rather bored at her boarding school in the city of Ankh-Morpork, which is just as well, since it seems that her family business--she is the granddaughter of Death--suddenly needs a new caretaker. --Blaise Selby
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Dance to the Piper

Nora Roberts

Fiction / Suspense / Fantasy

\'If you stop dreaming, you stop living\'. Though her name is up in lights, Maddy O\'Hurley cares nothing for the trappings of stardom. All that matters to her are dancing and how alive she feels when she steps into the broadway stage. Reed Valentine\'s only passions are wealth and power...The attraction sparking between them like fireworks over central park surprise Reed, Maddy\'s a dreamer and he stopped dreaming a long time ago. But the O\'Hurley in Maddy isn\'t going to give up this mesmerising man without a fight."New York Times" bestselling author Nora Roberts brings you the remarkable O\'Hurley Family.
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Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons

Sharon Creech

Children's Books

"How about a story? Spin us a yarn." Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind. "I could tell you an extensively strange story," I warned. "Oh, good!" Gram said. "Delicious!" And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic. As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe's outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold — the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother. In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.
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The Alienist

The Alienist

Caleb Carr

Science Fiction & Fantasy / Nonfiction / Mystery & Thrillers

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night *New York Times * reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels. The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over. Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, *The Alienist * conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences. From the Paperback edition.
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The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone

Richard Preston

Nonfiction / Science / History

The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus. A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.
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Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd

Thomas Hardy

Fiction / Poetry

Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to apply the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England, and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. When the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene inherits her own farm, she attracts three very different suitors; the seemingly commonplace man-of-the-soil Gabriel Oak, the dashing young soldier Francis Troy, and the respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. Her choice, and the tragedy it provokes, lie at the centre of Hardy's ambivalent story.
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Corelli's Mandolin

Corelli's Mandolin

Louis de Bernières

Louis de Bernières

Extravagant, inventive, emotionally sweeping, Corelli's Mandolin is the story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history.  The place is the Greek island of Cephallonia, where gods once dabbled in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically rises from his sarcophagus to cure the mad.  Then the tide of World War II rolls onto the island's shores in the form of the conquering Italian army. Caught in the occupation are Pelagia, a willful, beautiful young woman, and the two suitors vying for her love:  Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, a reluctant officer of the Italian garrison on the island.  Rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly with the fantastic, Corelli's Mandolin is a passionate novel as rich in ideas as it is genuinely moving. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Lord of Chaos

Lord of Chaos

Robert Jordan

Fantasy

In this sequel to the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Fires of Heaven, we plunge again into Robert Jordan's extraordinarily rich, totally unforgettable world: On the slopes of Shayol Ghul, the Myrddraal swords are forged, and the sky is not the sky of this world ... In Salidar the White Tower in exile prepares an embassy to Caemlyn, where Rand Al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, holds the throne -- and where an unexpected visitor may change the world ... In Emond's Field, Perrin Goldeneyes, Lord of the Two Rivers, feels the pull of ta'veren to ta'veren and prepares to march ... Morgase of Caemlyn finds a most unexpected, and quite unwelcome, ally ... And south lies Illian, where Sammael holds sway ...
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The Beekeeper's Apprentice

The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Laurie R. King

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Gay & Lesbian

Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes' pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test.
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Mistress

Mistress

Amanda Quick

Romance

After a year of grand adventures touring the classical ruins of Italy and Greece, Iphiginia Bright returned to England to discover that the real excitement was at home. It seems that her Aunt Zoe has fallen victim to a sinister blackmailer and only Iphiginia can hope to stop the culprit before he can do more harm. Her plan is inspired: Imitating history's most legendary beauties--Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Aphrodite--the former schoolmistress will remake herself, and descend upon London Society as the dazzling mistress of Marcus Valerius Cloud, the infamous Earl of Masters. Rumors hint that the Earl has disappeared at the blackmailer's hands, and by posing as his unknown mistress, Iphiginia is convinced she can ferret out the villain. Overnight, Iphiginia is transformed into a vision with a host of eager admirers, including one she does not expect -- the Earl of Masters himself, who strides into a shimmering ballroom one evening to cooly reclaim his "mistress". He is everything they say he is... arrogant, attractive, devastatingly seductive, and Iphiginia can't help but be enthralled. But when Marcus agrees to play along with her charade, she doesn't know that the determined earl has plans of his own: to tease and tempt her, until the beautiful deceiver becomes more than his mistress in name only. From the Paperback edition.
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The Last Suppers

The Last Suppers

Diane Mott Davidson

Diane Mott Davidson

It should be the happiest day of Goldy the caterer's life. After years of putting the disaster of her first marriage behind her, she has finally found the courage to love again. Soon she'll be walking down the aisle of St. Luke's Episcopal Church to wed the man of her dreams, Tom Schulz, a homicide detective who shares Goldy's passions for preparing food and solving crimes.But moments after Goldy's put the finishing touches on the scrumptious wedding feast, and just before the ceremony begins, she receives an urgent phone call from the groom. The wedding is off, and the reason is a killer.In The Last Suppers, Diane Mott Davidson mixes irresistible suspense with delectable humor to create a five-star treat for readers and cooks alike. Included are Goldy's original recipes for such delicious dishes as her heavenly Dark Chocolate Wedding Cake with White Peppermint Frosting, savory Shrimp on Wheels and zesty Fusilli in Parmesan Cream Sauce....
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Insomnia

Insomnia

Stephen King

Horror / Mystery / Literature & Fiction

Since his wife died, Ralph Roberts has been having trouble sleeping. Each night he wakes up a bit earlier, until he’s barely sleeping at all. During his late night walks, he observes some strange things going on in Derry, Maine. He sees colored ribbons streaming from people’s heads, two strange little men wandering around town after dark, and more. He begins to suspect that these visions are something more than hallucinations brought on by lack of sleep. There’s a definite mean streak running through this small New England city; underneath its ordinary surface awesome and terrifying forces are at work. The dying has been going on in Derry for a long, long time. Now Ralph is part of it…and lack of sleep is the least of his worries. Returning to the same Maine town where *It* took place, a town that has haunted Stephen King for decades, *Insomnia* blends King’s trademark bone-chilling realism with supernatural terror to create yet another masterpiece of suspense.
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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Haruki Murakami

Fiction / Surrealism / Magical Realism

Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II. In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria. Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon. Three books in one volume: The Thieving Magpie, Bird as Prophet, The Birdcatcher. This translation by Jay Rubin is in collaboration with the author.
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In the Time of the Butterflies

In the Time of the Butterflies

Julia Alvarez

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Young Adult

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story of the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands. From the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents comes this tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship. A skillful blend of fact and fiction, In the Time of the Butterflies is inspired by the true story of the three Mirabal sisters who, in 1960, were murdered for their part in an underground plot to overthrow the government. Alvarez breathes life into these historical figures--known as "las mariposas," or "the butterflies," in the underground--as she imagines their teenage years, their gradual involvement with the revolution, and their terror as their dissentience is uncovered. Alvarez's controlled writing perfectly captures the mounting tension as "the butterflies" near their horrific end. The novel begins with the recollections of Dede, the fourth and surviving sister, who fears abandoning her routines and her husband to join the movement. Alvarez also offers the perspectives of the other sisters: brave and outspoken Minerva, the family's political ringleader; pious Patria, who forsakes her faith to join her sisters after witnessing the atrocities of the tyranny; and the baby sister, sensitive Maria Teresa, who, in a series of diaries, chronicles her allegiance to Minerva and the physical and spiritual anguish of prison life. In the Time of the Butterflies is an American Library Association Notable Book and a 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.
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