Jul 1, 2010
The hummingbird's daughter - Urrea, Luis Alberto
Summary: When sixteen-year-old Teresita, the illegitimate and beloved daughter of a powerful late-nineteenth-century rancher, arises from death possessing the power to heal, she is declared a saint and finds her family and faith tested by the impending Mexican civil war. By the author of The Devil's Highway. - (Baker & Taylor)
Publishers Weekly Reviews
"Her powers were growing now, like her body. No one knew where the strange things came from. Some said they sprang up in her after the desert sojourn with Huila. Some said they came from somewhere else, some deep inner landscape no one could touch. That they had been there all along." Teresita, the real-life "Saint of Cabora," was born in 1873 to a 14-year-old Indian girl impregnated by a prosperous rancher near the Mexico-Arizona border. Raised in dire poverty by an abusive aunt, the little girl still learned music and horsemanship and even to read: she was a "chosen child," showing such remarkable healing powers that the ranch's medicine woman took her as an apprentice, and the rancher, Don Tom s Urrea, took her-barefoot and dirty-into his own household. At 16, Teresita was raped, lapsed into a coma and apparently died. At her wake, though, she sat up in her coffin and declared that it was not for her. Pilgrims came to her by the thousands, even as the Catholic Church denounced her as a heretic; she was also accused of fomenting an Indian uprising against Mexico and, at 19, sentenced to be shot. From this already tumultuous tale of his great-aunt Teresa, American Book Award-winner Urrea (The Devil's Highway) fashions an astonishing novel set against the guerrilla violence of post-Civil War southwestern border disputes and incipient revolution. His brilliant prose is saturated with the cadences and insights of Latin-American magical realism and tempered by his exacting reporter's eye and extensive historical investigation. The book is wildly romantic, sweeping in its effect, employing the techniques of Catholic hagiography, Western fairy tale, Indian legend and everyday family folklore against the gritty historical realities of war, poverty, prejudice, lawlessness, torture and genocide. Urrea effortlessly links Teresita's supernatural calling to the turmoil of the times, concealing substantial intellectual content behind effervescent storytelling and considerable humor. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (May 17) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The nine: inside the secret world of the Supreme Court - Toobin, Jeffrey
Summary: As the Supreme Court continues to rule on important issues, it is essential to understand how it operates. Based on exclusive interviews with the justices themselves and other insiders, this is a timely "state of the union" about America's most elite legal institution. From Anthony Kennedy's self-importance, to Antonin Scalia's combativeness, to David Souter's eccentricity, and even Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with President George W. Bush, this book offers a rare personal look at how the individual style of each justice affects the way in which they wield their considerable power. Toobin shows how--since Reagan--conservatives were long thwarted in their attempts to control the Court by some of the very justices they pressured Presidents to appoint. That struggle ended with the recent appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and Toobin relays the behind-the-scenes drama in detail, as well as the ensuing 2007 Court term.--From publisher description.
With every nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court and every decision on the hot-button issues of abortion, gay rights, and affirmative action, it is apparent that the nation's highest court has not escaped the turmoil of deep and growing political divisions. Drawing on interviews with the justices and other insiders, best-selling author Toobin weighs in with an absorbing look at the politics and personalities behind the men and women who adjudicate our most compelling issues. Conservative power brokers have moved to exert more influence on the Supreme Court and its ability to have more lasting impact than the Congress and the presidency. Toobin looks back over the tenure of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the most stable in recent years, the considerable influence of moderate Sandra Day O'Connor, and the growing clout of the more conservative members. Toobin details the behind-the-scenes machinations to determine what cases are heard and under what circumstances, as well as who writes the majority opinion and the dissent, all factors that affect the framing of debate on issues. He also relays the politics and personalities of the justices: Rehnquist, who for 30 years was a regular at a poker game among the Washington power elite; Clarence Thomas, traveling with his wife and grandnephew across country in an RV; David Souter, never accepting gifts; Antonin Scalia, bombastic and opinionated but disappointed at his inability to have a greater impact; and O'Connor's eventual disillusionment with the Bush administration and the Republican Party. A compelling look at the power and the politics behind the Supreme Court. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.
The lover - Duras, Marguerite
Summary: In prewar Indochina during the last days of colonialism, a fifteen-and-a-half-year-old French girl initiates herself into a world of passion and lust, of abandon and undying love, through her love affair with a Chinese man - (Baker & Taylor)
It is said old loves can haunt us. The Lover creates this feeling through an atmosphere of shadows, veils, floating memories that came from - was it this boat trip or the last one? from age eight or twelve or thirty? In the end it doesn't matter, for the experience is now embedded, a distinct yet inseparable part of the personality. Marguerite Duras mines her own past to tell The Lover, the story of an adolescent girl growing up in Indochina during the 1930s. The girl is wayward, rebellious; one day, returning to school on the ferry, dressed in gold lame shoes, a man's hat and a silk dress, she encounters the son of a Chinese millionaire. Soon they are involved in the first affair of her life, one she claims has no basis in love for her. He can never marry her - his father has refused - and she says she will leave without regrets. But is that possible? Years later she looks back. By presenting ideas and memories in paragraphs that are literally isolated yet constantly overlapping, The Lover creates a misty world of connections made by emotion rather than logic or chronology, a feeling that lingers after the book itself is closed. - From 500 Great books for women, review by Erica Bauermeister
North and South - Gaskell, Elizabeth
Summary: "North and South" is Elizabeth Gaskell's 1854 novel that contrasts the different ways of life in the two respective regions of England. In the North the emerging industrialized society is sharply contrasted with the aging gentry of the agrarian based South. The plot of "North and South" centers around the main character Margaret Hale, the daughter of a non-conformist minister who moves his family to an industrial town in the North after a split from the Church of England. With important underlying social themes, North and South stands out as one of the greatest novels in the history of English literature.
No review available
The sorrows of young Werther - Goethe, Johann Woflgang von
Summary: For more than two centuries the very title of this book has evoked the sensitivity of youth, the suffering of the artist, the idea of a hero too full of love to live. When it was first published in Germany, in 1774, The Sorrows of Young Werther created a sensation. Banned and condemned but embraced - especially by the young - it has continued to captivate.
No review available.
The romance of the rose - de Lorris, Guillaume
Summary: The author of at least two noteworthy romances of the early thirteenth century, Le Roman de la Rose or Guillaume de Dole and L'Escoufle (The Kite), as well as Le Lai de l'Ombre, Jean Renart is today recognized as the most accomplished practitioner of the "realistic romance" in Old French literature.
No review available.
A single man - Isherwood, Christopher
Summary: George is adjusting to life on his own after the sudden death of his partner, and determines to persist in the routines of his daily life. The course of A Single Man spans twenty-four hours in an ordinary day. An Englishman and a professor living in suburban Southern California, he is an outsider in every way, and his internal reflections and interactions with others reveal a man who loves being alive despite everyday injustices and loneliness.
No review available.
Florida roadkill: a novel - Dorsey, Tim
Summary: When five million bucks in a suitcase is dropped into the trunk of the wrong car, a whole convoy of homicidal wackos follows in hot pursuit, with a stop in Miami to take in the last game of the Series. A first novel. 50,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
Imagine the violence of Edna Buchanan married to the skewed worldview of Dave Barry; now you're ready to meet Tim Dorsey, whose dark yet wildly funny first novel recounts several months in the lives of about 15 losers who are lower on the criminal food chain than even an Elmore Leonard character. Take the insurance executive who has turned to money laundering to save his failing business after Hurricane Andrew; or the three thug wanna-bes who end up as vigilantes defending a community of senior citizens against their rapacious landlord; or take Serge and Coleman, who can only be described as Cheech and Chong with guns. What ties these characters together is the seventh game of the 1997 World Series in which the Florida Marlins defeated the Cleveland Indians in extra innings. Dorsey's delightful novel belongs in the hands of anyone who likes the mix of Florida setting and black humor in the work of Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, and Laurence Shames (see p.1485). ((Reviewed April 15, 1999)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews
Kafka on the shore - Murakami, Haruki
Summary: An unlikely alliance forms between Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old runaway, and the aging Nakata, a man who has never recovered from a wartime affliction, as they embark on a surreal odyssey through a strange, fantastical world. - (Baker & Taylor)
Acclaimed Japanese novelist Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1997, among others) navigates the surreal world in this tale of two troubled souls whose lives are entwined by fate. Fifteen-year-old Tokyo resident Kafka Tamura runs away from home to escape a murderous curse inflicted by his famous sculptor father. Elderly Satoru Nakata wanders his way through each day after a mysterious childhood accident turns his mind into a blank slate. The relationship between the strange strangers isn't revealed until the end of the novel, whose precarious scenarios include a grisly killing, a rainstorm of leeches, and a freezer lined with the severed heads of cats ("Cut-off heads of all colors and sizes, arranged on three shelves like oranges at a fruit stand"). The book's title comes from a painting, poem, and song linked to a tormented library matron, who inhabits a limbo between the present and past. Replete with riddles, exhaustingly eccentric characters (a pimp dressed as Colonel Sanders, a Hegel-quoting whore), and imagery ranging from the sublime to the grotesque, Murakami's literary high-wire acts have earned him both boos and ahs from connoisseurs of contemporary fiction. What side you come down on depends on your predilection for the perverse. ((Reviewed November 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.
The tipping point - Gladwell, Malcolm
Summary: An introduction to the Tipping Point theory explains how minor changes in ideas and products can increase their popularity and how small adjustments in an individual's immediate environment can alter group behavior. - (Baker & Taylor)
Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change. Defining such dramatic turnarounds as the abrupt drop in crime on New York's subways, or the unexpected popularity of a novel, as epidemics, Gladwell searches for catalysts that precipitate the "tipping point," or critical mass, that generates those events. What he finds, after analyzing a number of fascinating psychological studies, is that tipping points are attributable to minor alterations in the environment, such as the eradication of graffiti, and the actions of a surprisingly small number of people, who fit the profiles of personality types that he terms connectors, mavens, and salesmen. As he applies his strikingly counterintuitive hypotheses to everything from the "stickiness," or popularity, of certain children's television shows to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, Gladwell reveals that our cherished belief in the autonomy of the self is based in great part on wishful thinking. ((Reviewed February 15, 2000)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews
In the shadow of the cypress: a novel - Steinbeck, Thomas
Summary: A turn-of-the-twentieth-century discovery of ancient jade artifacts on California's Monterey Peninsula by a Stanford marine biology professor is marked by violent debates and a tragic accident. - (Baker & Taylor)
A rich, multi-layered, complex and thoroughly delightful book. Thomas Steinbeck, John's son, shares his father's ability with language and his love of the California Monterey area. Dramatic history of California and the Chinese immigrants, an exciting mystery, plus a really great duo of brainy scholars on the case, come along for a great read.
Sh*t my dad says - Halpern, Justin
Summary: Collects straightforward, amusing quotes from the author's father on such topics as cheating, relationships, religion, and family.
OK, this book is just hilarious. Some of you may know this from his Twitter feed. I myself do not, but however you come to this title do yourself a favor and enjoy the views and philosophy of Justin Halpern's dad. As my friend Cheryle would say, "What comes up, comes out". No punches pulled, he is refreshingly blunt, and always a crack-up. You find yourself wanting more.
Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, and Clea - Durrell, Lawrence
Series Title: The Alexandria Quartet
Summary: Series of four novels by Lawrence Durrell. The lush and sensuous tetralogy, which consists of Justine (1957), Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (1958), and Clea (1960), is set in Alexandria, Egypt, during the 1940s. Three of the books are written in the first person, Mountolive in the third. The first three volumes describe, from different viewpoints, a series of events in Alexandria before World War II; the fourth carries the story forward into the war years. The events of the narrative are mostly seen through the eyes of one L.G. Darley, who observes the interactions of his lovers, friends, and acquaintances in Alexandria. In Justine, Darley attempts to recover from and understand his recently ended affair with Justine Hosnani. Reviewing various papers and examining his memories, he reads the events of his recent past in romantic terms. Balthazar, named for Darley's friend, a doctor and mystic, reinterprets Darley's views from a philosophical and intellectual point of view. The third novel is a straightforward narrative of events, and Clea, volume four, reveals Darley healing, maturing, and becoming capable of loving Clea Montis, a painter and the woman for whom he was destined. -- The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature
No review available.
Regeneration - Barker, Pat
Summary: Stressed by the war, Siegfried Sassoon is sent to Craiglockhart Hospital, where his views challenge the patriotic vision of Dr. William Rivers - (Baker & Taylor)
In this fact/fiction hybrid, Barker (Union Street, 1983, etc.) turns from the struggle for survival of northern England working- class folk to the struggle back to sanity by British officers unhinged by WW I trench warfare. Craiglockhart War Hospital, a grim psychiatric facility outside Edinburgh, is the setting. The framework is the arrival of Siegfried Sassoon at Craiglockhart in the summer of 1917, and his discharge back to France in November. Sassoon is treated by the eminent neurologist (and Army captain) William Rivers, whose job is to restore his damaged warriors to fighting condition. Sassoon is a relatively easy assignment. Despite his public statement protesting the war, Sassoon is no pacifist; this complex poet feels at home in the Army and is an exceptionally courageous officer, beloved by his men, to whom he feels a blood-debt that can be paid only by his return. For all the sparring between Sassoon and Rivers, only a hair separates them, for the latter is also a man of enormous integrity, profoundly troubled by the horrors his patients must endure. And it is these horrors (not the clipped exchanges of Sassoon and Rivers) that linger in the mind: Burns's vomiting nightmares caused by a mouthful of decomposing German flesh; Prior's being rendered mute after handling a human eye. At the center is Rivers, a model therapist, whose unstinting support may give even the wretched Burns a chance at a normal life. Barker has also provided some workmanlike off-base romance for Prior, her one developed fictional character; but the heart of the work, where the big fish swim, is Rivers's consciousness, his insights into front- line behavior enriched by his anthropological straining. Don't look here for the dramatic sweep of a war novel; instead, you get a scrupulously fair reconstruction of Craiglockhart, plus a moving empathy for both doctors and patients. The extent of that empathy earns Barker's work a place on the shelf of WW I literature. Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews
One day - Nicholls, David
Summary: Over twenty years, snapshots of an unlikely relationship are revealed on the same day--July 15th--of each year. Dex Mayhew and Em Morley face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself. Soon to be a major motion picture from Focus Features/ Random House Films.
*Starred Review* Having already established his comedic chops in A Question of Attraction (2004) and The Understudy (2005), British author Nicholls now moves into Nick Hornby territory with this wonderful romantic comedy, which visits Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley on the same day each year over two decades. They first meet as college seniors in Edinburgh in 1988 and forge such a strong connection that it sees them through many rough patches, including Dexter's success as host of a wildly popular if vapid TV variety show and his subsequent all-night partying with D-list celebrities, which turns his once-affable confidence into an insufferable egotism. Meanwhile, Emma struggles to earn a living as a waitress and to maintain her relationship with her boyfriend, a shockingly unfunny stand-up comedian. As Dexter's career wanes and his marriage to an upper-class ice queen fails, Emma finds success as a children's author. When they finally do turn to each other, it's a beautiful moment, not only because they bring to the relationship self-knowledge that has been painfully earned through private heartbreaks and midlife compromises but also because they are their best and truest selves when in each other's company. Nicholls writes so effortlessly and with so much wit and wisdom that he seems poised to earn the same recognition here that he currently enjoys in the UK. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Both ways is the only way I want it - Meloy, Maile
Summary: An award-winning author presents a volume of eleven short works that explores the complexity of life in austere landscapes of the American west, from the tale of a ranch hand who falls for a reluctant newcomer to the story of a young father who is shocked by the reappearance of his late grandmother. - (Baker & Taylor)
Meloy (A Family Daughter, 2006, etc.) explores loneliness in 11 stories set mostly in her native Montana."Travis, B." depicts a young cowboy, working away from his family and desperately lonely, attempting to woo an adult-ed teacher. His growth in self-awareness does not mitigate the heartbreak of his failure. "Lovely Rita" is another lost young adult; after her lover dies in a power-plant accident, she raffles herself off to raise money to find the father who abandoned her years before. While Travis and Rita are cut off from family, most of Meloy's characters are alone within their families. The adolescent protagonist of "Red from Green" loves her father but goes away to school; recognizing his inability to protect her, she chooses loneliness as a permanent state. In "Liliana," a Los Angeles man's supposedly dead grandmother shows up on his doorstep, alive and ready to reject him all over again. "Nine" is Valentina's age when her mother begins an affair with an Italian professor. It soon becomes clear that the affair is doomed, but Valentina mourns the loss of the man's ten-year-old son in her life. "Spy vs. Spy" shows a man and his brother dealing with long-simmering sibling rivalry. Despite their relative brevity, these are complex stories, often showing several characters being pulled in different directions. In what may be the volume's masterpiece, Leo meets with "The Girlfriend" of the man who raped and murdered Leo's daughter. In an anti-O'Henry twist, the loving father unearths a truth better left buried: that his own protectiveness may have caused his daughter's death. The author seldom allows a trickle of hope to lighten her characters' anguish, but she gives them a consciousness and dignity that make their experiences deeply moving. Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Dead end gene pool: a memoir - Burden, Wendy
Summary: A descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt presents an insider's tour of America's old-money wealthy class, profiling the members of her dysfunctional family while identifying toxic factors and behaviors that have influenced their downfall.
Do you like hilarious memoirs about wildly dysfunctional families like I do? This might be the best one I've ever read. Wendy Burden treats us to a personal close-up view of her family, the amazingly rich descendants of Cornelius Vanderbilt and all of their eccentricities. I hope she writes more!
American born Chinese - Yang, Gene Luen
Summary: Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format.
With vibrant colors and visual panache, indie writer-illustrator Yang (Rosary Comic Book) focuses on three characters in tales that touch on facets of Chinese American life. Jin is a boy faced with the casual racism of fellow students and the pressure of his crush on a Caucasian girl; the Monkey King, a character from Chinese folklore, has attained great power but feels he is being held back because of what the gods perceive as his lowly status; and Danny, a popular high-school student, suffers through an annual visit from his cousin Chin-Kee, a walking, talking compendium of exaggerated Chinese stereotypes. Each of the characters is flawed but familiar, and, in a clever postmodern twist, all share a deep, unforeseen connection. Yang helps the humor shine by using his art to exaggerate or contradict the words, creating a synthesis that marks an accomplished graphic storyteller. The stories have a simple, engaging sweep to them, but their weighty subjects--shame, racism, and friendship--receive thoughtful, powerful examination. ((Reviewed September 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews
Shortcomings - Tomine, Adrian
Summary: Ben Tanaka, a confused, obsessive, twenty-something Japanese American, embarks on a cross-country search for contentment--or the perfect girl--in a graphic novel that tackles modern culture, sexual mores, and racial politics with honesty and humor. - (Baker & Taylor)
After a decade's worth of pithy, finely observed short comics stories chronicling the rudderless lives of his alienated twentysomething contemporaries, Tomine stretches out a bit in a novella about Gen-Xer Ben Tanaka, a movie-theater manager whose attraction to white girls threatens his troubled relationship with Japanese American girlfriend Miko. The dislikable (selfish, snobbish, lacking self-awareness) Tanaka's a bold choice for a protagonist. But like the other, equally flawed characters, including Miko, who leaves Berkeley and Ben for an internship in New York, and Ben's best friend, Alice, a Korean American lesbian, he's strangely sympathetic as Tomine incisively portrays him. The low-key, understated artwork points up Tomine's perceptive characterizations, which are conveyed as much through facial expressions and body language as by the true-to-life dialogue. Shortcomings' greater length, deeper portrayals, and accuracy about sexual and racial politics constitute an advance by Tomine. Pehaps there will be a similar leap forward in subject matter next time. The gifted young artist has been mining this milieu long enough. Time for him to broaden his worldview. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.
House of thieves - Hemmings, Kaui Hart
Summary: In a series of tales featuring complex upper-class Hawaiian families, a single mother discovers an adult magazine in her son's room, a man struggles to understand his wife's abandonment, and a son is disillusioned by his father. - (Baker & Taylor)
Just as the individual land masses that make up the Hawaiian Islands are worlds unto themselves, so, too, are the characters Hemmings depicts in this penetrating exploration of the nature of families and the individuals who belong to them. Disappointment and isolation, frustration and regret inform each story's conflict, whether it is a father unprepared to raise his 10-year-old daughter while her mother lies in a coma, as in "The Minor Wars," or a pack of teenage girls flirting with independence in "House of Thieves." Hemmings takes her characters' cues from the composition of the islands she knows so well, their volcanic cores smoldering just beneath the surface, either forced to lie dormant or prone to violent outbursts. Set against the tropical backdrop of sun, sand, and surf, Hemmings' stories are all the more surreal for their perceptive juxtaposition of tumultuous emotions within such a seemingly benign paradise. With a dynamic and imaginative voice, Hemmings infuses her stories with keen insight, and lavishes her characters with profound empathy. ((Reviewed April 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.
House of many gods: a novel - Davenport, Kiana
Summary: Working with the injured following a hurricane on the island of Kauai, Ana, a physician abandoned by her mother and raised by native Hawaiian relatives, has an encounter with Niki, a Russian documentary filmmaker with his own turbulent past. - (Baker & Taylor)
/*Starred Review*/ Ana Kapakahi, the abandoned child of an ambitious mother, is raised in a household of ruined vets and women without husbands. She nourishes her anger and resentment toward her mother into adulthood, while in medical school, and during a bout with breast cancer, rebuffing every effort at reconciliation. Ana and her beloved cousin Lopaka--a returned Vietnam vet--are the first of their generation to attend college, promising to brighten the economic prospects for their large, unruly family even as their native Hawaiian paradise is threatened by nuclear testing. During a hurricane on the island of Kauai, Ana meets Niki, a Russian documentary filmmaker, and her perspective on the world, as seen from her tiny island and her close-knit community, changes drastically. They are two profoundly injured people from polar-opposite backgrounds, but their appreciation for the sanctity of the earth and the importance of culture to individual identity forms a powerful attraction. Davenport, author of the critically acclaimed Song of the Exile (1999), again works magic with evocative descriptions of place--lush Hawaii and frigid Russia--and poignant portraits of humans with all their flaws. ((Reviewed December 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.
The fundamentals of play: a novel - Macy, Caitlin
Summary: Set in trendy Manhattan, this novel follows a group of boarding school friends--men and women--as they extend their adolescence in this glamorous world, and an outsider who desperately wants in. - (Baker & Taylor)
A witty and sophisticated tragicomedy of errors that echoes the melancholic delight of The Great Gatsby.Protected by the careless elegance of old-money wealth, a small group of Manhattan friends attempt to preserve the irresponsible ease and glory of their prep-school days. George, the likable, sincere, if slightly plodding narrator, recalls the not so distant past, when each of the five was trying for a profitable career or marriage. Chat, George's friend at Dartmouth, is prissy and complaining in that endearing, hard-drinking Noel Coward kind of way. Aside from shared history and jokes, it is their mutual admiration of Kate Goodenow that holds them together. Patrician and flippant, Kate is the very definition of good breeding and the universal object of desire. Into the cozy trio stumbles Harry Lombardi, who lacks what is prized most—good manners and a good name—and possesses in great abundance what is ubiquitously scorned: ambition. A computer whiz from Jersey, he quit Dartmouth after a year to pursuehigh finance. Although a legend on Wall Street, he is nonetheless ridiculed by the clique for his jittery enthusiasm and bumbling etiquette. And he won't quit harping on his new financial venture—some kind of World Wide Web that will change the world. Tothe horror of George and Chat, Harry in his naive impertinence aims for Kate, and they are soon engaged. Sweeping back and forth from their prep-school days to the forced, aimless pursuit of pleasure that occupies their present, the narrative effortlessly builds a collection of scenes that serve to perfectly reveal the ragged edges beneath the characters' glossy veneers. More an exposé than a plot-driven work, the tangled fates of Harry, Kate, George, and Chat are thrown for a loop when a couple of very real ghosts from the past threaten to ruin their fun.A winning debut: traditional in all aspects and remarkably adept. Copyright 2000 Kirkus Reviews
Watership down - Adams, Richard
Summary: In a constant struggle against oppression, a group of rabbits search for peaceful co-existence.
A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for over thirty years, Richard Adams's Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society. - (Simon and Schuster)
What the dog saw and other adventures - Gladwell, Malcolm
Summary: Brings together, for the first time, the best of Gladwell's writing from The New Yorker in the past decade, including: the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill; the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz; spotlighting Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen; and the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer." Gladwell also explores intelligence tests, ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias," and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.
Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point (2000), Blink (2005), and Outliers (2008), is a staff writer for the New Yorker, in whose pages he has published many thought-provoking and just-plain-offbeat essays. This collection brings some of those together, including a profile of Ron Popeil, the television pitchman; an analysis of the downfall of Enron, with special emphasis on the easy availability of information; an intriguing look at criminal profiling; an exploration of why there are so few brands of ketchup on the market; an account of a case of plagiarism in which Gladwell was one of the victims; a chronicle of the development of hair dye and its social ramifications; and a consideration of the phenomenon of "dog whispering" (this essay gives the book its title). As in his best-selling books, Gladwell displays an easygoing writing style and a sharp critical mind. This is the kind of essay collection you can read from cover to cover or, just as satisfactorily, dip into a bit at a time. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
The lord of the rings: The two towers - Tolkien, J.R.R.
Series Title: The Lord of the Rings
Summary: Frodo must carry the One Ring through the ghostly borders of Mordor, Land of the Enemy, and back to the Fire that can destroy its evil powers, in the second volume in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. - (Baker & Taylor)
No review available.
The uncommon reader - Bennett, Alan
Summary: Obliged to borrow a book when her corgis stray into a mobile library, the Queen discovers a passion for reading, setting the palace upon its head and causing the royal head of Great Britain to question her role in the monarchy. - (Baker & Taylor)
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Briskly original and subversively funny, this novella from popular British writer Bennett (Untold Stories ; Tony-winning play The History Boys ) sends Queen Elizabeth II into a mobile library van in pursuit of her runaway corgis and into the reflective, observant life of an avid reader. Guided by Norman, a former kitchen boy and enthusiast of gay authors, the queen gradually loses interest in her endless succession of official duties and learns the pleasure of such a "common" activity. With "the dawn of her sensibility... mistaken for the onset of senility," plots are hatched by the prime minister and the queen's staff to dispatch Norman and discourage the queen's preoccupation with books. Ultimately, it is her own growing self-awareness that leads her away from reading and toward writing, with astonishing results. Bennett has fun with the proper behavior and protocol at the palace, and the few instances of mild coarseness seem almost scandalous. There are lessons packed in here, but Bennett doesn't wallop readers with them. It's a fun little book. (Sept.)
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