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"Hampton Sides (Ghost Soldiers) bolsters our ongoing fascination with heroic tales of voyages to the polar caps. To the list that includes Peary and Shackleton, we can now add U.S. Navy Commander George W. DeLong, of the USS Jeannette. The "Polar Problem," as it was called then, loomed large and mysterious. Scientists conjectured that the Arctic Ocean was warm, the open water tepid and easy to sail. Arctic expert August Petermann believed the best route to the Arctic was the Bering Sea; DeLong, bankrolled by newspaper tycoon James Gordon Bennett Jr., agreed. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette--outfitted with a steam engine, desalination apparatus, three years of provisions and cases of Budweiser--set sail from San Francisco with a crew of 30. An 11-gun salute roared from the ramparts of the Presidio; DeLong's journal, later recovered, provided Sides with many of the details that give his book depth and credibility. In August, the ship stopped in Alaska to take on more coal, then sailed on. In early September, an American whaling fleet spotted the Jeannette near Herald Island, trailing a plume of black smoke. It was the last sighting of the ship. That month, ice 15 feet thick and massive floes battered the Jeannette, eventually trapping it. On November 13, the sun set and the crew was "plunged in nearly complete darkness." The year turned. In January 1881, the ship began to leak. The grand part was over; the terrible part had begun. Though the outcome is known, adventure-loving readers will find much to enjoy in Sides's suspenseful telling of this tragic, heroic tale." --Shelf Awareness
In our present day, an actor playing King Lear has a heart attack and dies. Fifteen years later, a caravan of actors and musicians travels the ruins of the United States, performing Shakespeare and fighting for survival. Discovering what happens between those two points in time, like slowly unwrapping a present, is the exquisite joy of this novel. Emily St. John Mandel is able to take a disaster of enormous scope—the fall and rise of humanity—and show it to us through the eyes of five seemingly small figures. And when you fit those five puzzle pieces together at the book's heartbreaking climax, you will be both terrified of the future and overjoyed to be human and alive. --Andrea
Father Tim Kavanagh ponders the pastand looks to the future in Mitford, his beloved North Carolina mountain town. A few years into his retirement,following a trip to his hometown--where he discovered an unknown half brother--and a journey to Ireland, Father Tim and his wife, Cynthia, are back in Mitford,and he has to decide what to do with his future. Cynthia, a beloved author of children's books, is always busy, but Father Tim is a bit at sea. A humble man who believes in the power of prayer, he knows God will provide. He turns down the bishop's request that he return to his old parish after the incumbentadmits to adultery and attempts suicide, but he does take on the job of running the village bookstore while the owner is on bed rest for a dangerous pregnancy. Dooley Barlowe, the young man he raised as his own, is well on his way to becoming a veterinarian after a dysfunctional childhood that left some of his scattered siblings still in need of help. Father Tim especially worries for Dooley's brother Sammy, who seems lost and bitter. As he helps out the many friends and neighbors he has known for somany years, his path becomes clearer; as Christmas approaches, his heart isfilled with joy despite the problems and doubts that beset them all. After a long hiatus, Karon has returned with a novel that offers something for those who believe and those who do not. All the beloved quirky charactersare here, the past is neatly summarized and the future, full of hope.
Ellroy launches his second L.A. Quartet with a sprawling, uncompromising epic of crime and depravity, with admirable characters few and far between. The action spans about three weeks during December 1941, opening the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with the deaths of four members of the Watanabe family, who were possibly victims of a ritual murder-suicide. A note left at the scene written in Japanese, disclaiming responsibility for a "looming apocalypse, " suggests foreknowledge of the attack. The investigation and its ramifications are explored from the perspectives of the LAPD's Japanese crime-scene specialist Hideo Ashida; William Parker, the future LAPD head; and two figures familiar from Ellroy's earlier books Dudley Smith, a murderous and bent cop, and the enigmatic Kay Lake, who's roped into going undercover in L.A.'s communist community. Cynical schemes to profit from the planned internment of the Japanese may have played a part in the killings as well. This is as good a sample of Ellroy as any for newcomers, and old hands will find new perspectives on old characters intriguing.
Retiring with her increasingly erratic professor husband to the New Hampshire town where she has summered for decades doesn't turn out as planned for Sylvia Rowley. Social tensions surface, starting with the renovation work Sylvia's son is doing on the property, and then local homes start falling to an arsonist.
Late 17th-century Amsterdam is the sumptuous backdrop for this debut novel about a young Dutch girl from the village of Assendelft, Nella Oortman, who is chosen to be the bride of Johannes Brandt, a wealthy merchant with a shocking secret. Not long after Nella's arrival in the city, her enigmatic husband presents her with a beautifully wrought cabinet, an exact replica of the house in which they live with Brandt's sister, Marin, and their loyal servants. Nella engages a miniaturist to fill it and begins to encounter mysteries no one is willing to explain, secrets in which everyone in the household is implicated. The elusive miniaturist, too, seems to know more than Nella, as reflected in the tiny dolls and furniture he creates for the cabinet. The artisan may even be able to predict the future: he sends Nella portentous objects she has not commissioned, such as a cradle and a perfect replica of Brandt's beloved dog stained with blood. As in all good historical novels, the setting is a major character; in this case the city of Amsterdam, with its waterways and warehouses, confectioners' shops, and kitchens, teems with period detail. Myriad plot twists involve Brandt's commercial activities, especially the stores of precious sugar cones from Surinam, and the tragic, fatal consequences of illicit love affairs.
A bereaved father and his son-in-law struggle to understand the tragedies that have befallen them in Smith's debut novel, which is set among the marshes of coastal North Carolina during the uncertain time of the American Revolution. John, a widowed soldier, is perplexed by the faith of others in a God who takes so much and gives so little. When his beloved daughter, Tabitha, contracts yellow fever, he stows her away with him on a schooner bound for Bermuda in a desperate attempt to curb the ravages of the disease. Tabitha's grandfather, Asa, owner of a small plantation called Long Ridge, grieves over the loss of his granddaughter. He also mourns her mother, his only daughter Helen, whom John stole away for a happy interlude of love and freedom on the high seas before her untimely death in childbirth. Helen's slave companion, Moll, like Asa, feels left behind, married off to another slave she did not know. Her only consolation is her feisty first-born son Davy, although she has other children, all girls. When John decides to strike out over land on a journey westward, Moll's heart is irrevocably shattered. Smith's soulful language of loss is almost biblical, and the descriptions of her characters' sorrows are poetic and moving.
"Until now, Penny's challenge in her best-selling Armand Gamache series was to imagine new ways to take the chief inspector of the Sûreté du Québec from his Montreal home to the vividly evoked village of Three Pines, the author's setting of choice. Now, with Gamache retired to Three Pines, there is a new challenge: coming up with reasons to get her hero out of town. No challenge is too great for Penny, as skillful a plotter as she is a marvelous creator of landscape and character. Still grieving over the carnage that wreaked havoc with those he loves and with Three Pines itself (How the Light Gets In, 2013), Gamache reluctantly agrees to come to the aid of his friend, artist Clara Morrow, who is worried about her husband, fellow artist Peter, who has failed to return to Three Pines after their agreed-upon one-year separation. Gamache and his former assistant, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, follow Peter's trail to Europe and back to Toronto, where he visited his former art teacher, and on to the remote mouth of the St. Lawrence River. In search of artistic inspiration, Peter may have found something very different and much more lethal. As always, Penny dexterously combines suspense with psychological drama, overlaying the whole with an all-powerful sense of landscape as a conduit to meaning. The wilds of the upper St. Lawrence, once called the land God gave to Cain, combine echoes of mysticism with portents of evil, permeating the air with the same violent forces that roil within the characters. Another gem from the endlessly astonishing Louise Penny, who appears to have reserved a lifetime seat atop best-seller lists everywhere, and, with the appearance of her latest, she will take her place once again." --Booklist, starred review
"A year after the brutal murder of a young man on the grounds of posh St. Kilda's school for girls, the case remains unsolved. Then Holly Mackey, a 16-year-old Kilda's student and the daughter of Dublin Murder Squad's Machiavellian Frank Mackey, approaches Detective Stephen Moran with a tantalizing clue: a card with a photo of the victim and the words, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM, which she says she plucked from a school bulletin board. Moran, who met Holly when she was a nine-year-old witness to a crime, knows instantly that this could be his ticket into the elite Murder Squadif the famously combative Antoinette Conway, the lead investigator on the case, will have him. As the detectives learn more about the connections of the victim to two rival Kilda's cliques, they begin to understand that the girls are more devious, and possibly more dangerous, than they had imagined. Complex characters and a vivid sense of place are at the heart of French's literary success (Broken Harbor, 2012), and although Conway and Moran are fine protagonists, it is the members of the two rival cliques, and St. Kilda's itself, that make The Secret Place much more than just a solid whodunit. French brilliantly and plausibly channels the rebellion, conformity, inchoate longings, rages, and shared bonds, as well as Kilda's role in fostering them." --Booklist, starred review
Written by psychotherapist and grief expert Alexandra Kennedy, "Honoring Grief "provides a collection of inspirational wisdom and compassionate self-help tips for dealing with loss. Compatible with any religious or spiritual orientation, this book is a meaningful, comforting gift for a friend, family member, or anyone recently touched by loss.
"This is a gentle, quiet book. Alexandra Kennedy has traveled these
pathways; authentic, genuine, heart-shredding grief is a fiercely
intimate, intensely private matter, experienced in vastly unpredictable
ways. We are thrust against our will into some brand new world, unique
for each and every one of us. While she offers gentle suggestions,
simple tools, and practices along the way, Kennedy wisely counsels there
is 'no map, no schedule.' There is tremendous mercy here. We are too
often rushed through what must be allowed its time, its season, to
ripen, to die, to heal."
Maggie Dupres, recently "involuntarily separated from payroll" at a Silicon Valley startup, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly's Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along. When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance-even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley's Lover, a book she hasn't encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics "Chatterley-"it's an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers. Witty and sharp-eyed in its treatment of tech world excesses, but with real warmth at its core, The Moment of Everything is a wonderful read.
Local author David Zeltser is willing to drop by our store to sign copies of his humorous new book for early readers, Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age.
“ A Stone Age comedy features a caveboy guilty of ‘uncavemanlike behavior.’ . . . . Fred Flintstone would feel right at home in this light-as-pumice comedy. ” ― Kirkus Reviews
Books may be personalized as well as signed, but messages are at the authors discretion and the service is not guaranteed. If personalized, orders for this title may sometimes take a little longer to fulfill.
The Mentats led by Gilbertus Albans, the Navigators created by Josef Venport, and the Sisterhood rebuilt by Mother Superior Raquella all strive to improve the human race, but each group knows that as Butlerian fanaticism grows stronger, the battle will be to choose the path of humanity's future -- whether to embrace civilization, or to plunge into an endless dark age.
"Eva, age 12, knows her father as a sweet man who visits on Sundays, until her mother announces that his wife has died and they'll be paying him a visit. And so Eva arrives at a home she's never seen to live with her father and older half sister, Iris, whom she didn't know existed. Talented, self-involved Iris is a doggedly hopeful performer, winning every local and regional competition in their small midwestern college town before graduating high school and escaping to Hollywood with the embarrassing but brainy and reliable Eva in tow. There is a gossip-column scandal and a cross-country road trip, an abducted orphan and an accused spy, and more than a couple of masquerades, but everything here is fresh; Bloom's cannonballs read like placid ripples. Told partially from Eva's perspective, and with epistolary interludes over the novel's 193949 span, Eva's world is one of endless opportunities for reinventionand redemptionif one only takes them. With a spare and trusting style, Bloom invites readers to fill the spaces her pretty prose allows, with true and beautiful results."
--Booklist, starred review
During the Restoration, James Benjamin Hookbridge becomes a privateer captain trapped in Neverland, where Peter Pan and his Lost Boys torment Hook and his crew over the centuries, cutting them down in battle again and again. Hook, however, can never die, while his crew is regularly replenished with former, now-grown Lost Boys, prompted to return to Neverland by their dreams. There is also a succession of Wendys, but one of Peter's rules is that no grown women are allowed back. Yet Stella Parrish, a former Wendy, materializes in Neverland after coming from 1950s England, believing she was "called." Peter is determined to use her to destroy Hook once and for all, while Hook sees Stella's unique ability to understand the language spoken by Neverland's magical inhabitants, including mermaids and fairies, as his chance to escape the island for good. Jensen's wonderful imagination and devotion to history and myth allow the reader to fly with her through this outstanding adventure no fairy dust required.
In the beginning of See's stellar ninth book, three young women, Grace, Helen, and Ruby, meet and form an unlikely but strong bond in San Francisco in 1938, as the Golden Gate International Exhibition is about to open. Grace has run from an abusive father in the Midwest; Helen is trapped by her traditional family in Chinatown after a devastating loss; Ruby is Japanese, desperate to pass as Chinese to stay employed as the U.S. moves closer to war with Japan. They become performers at the Forbidden City Nightclub and face the difficulty of being Asian in an Occidental world, as well as the additional conflict of prejudice within their own community. The novel spans 50 years, following the women's tumultuous personal lives and roller-coaster career choices. Yet somehow the three always find a way back to each other, and come through for each other in the darkest of times. The story alternates between their viewpoints, with each woman's voice strong and dynamic, developing a multilayered richness as it progresses. The depth of See's characters and her winning prose makes this book a wonderful journey through love and loss.
When Zazie, the 14-year-old daughter of the proprietor of Aimee Leduc's favorite cafe, disappears, the girl's desperate parents approach the private investigator for help and, during the course of her investigation, Aimee discovers a terrifying secret neighborhood history that will leave lives in the whole quartier upended.
Based partially on real-life events during the mid-1600s in southern Canada near the shores of Lake Huron, this new book from Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Boyden (Through Black Spruce) centers on Bird, a Huron warrior and leader. Bird captures the Jesuit missionary Father Christophe and brings him back to his village with young Snow Falls, who is from the rival Iroquois tribe. Father Christophe immediately begins evangelizing but also absorbs the Huron nation's language and customs, while Snow Falls refuses to cooperate in any way with Bird or his people, being hostile to the point of wounding Bird, and herself, accidentally, which serves the purpose of uniting them instead. In this long and detailed story, Boyden seeks to re-create the rhythms and patterns of living a life close to nature, battling the elements, and surviving in a harsh climate. Dignified and penetrating, this work offers themes of clashing cultures and religions that resonate in today's world.
Pint-sized Nino, fearless luchador, Popsicle enthusiast, and reluctantly attentive big brother, dons his red mask (he's already wearing his orange and yellow sneakers and blue-waistbanded tighty-whities), ready to take on all comers. He battles a series of formidable imagined foes from Mexican history and popular culture, each announced with poster-ready typeface, before facing the trickiest of opponents, las hermanitas! Working in a digital collage that includes watercolor, block print, and photography, Morales packs every polychromatic double-page spread with action, trying, not quite successfully, to contain Nio's energy within their frames. The saturated palette, dynamic composition, and copious spike-ballooned sound effects add ebullient visual noise. Beneath the furious fun, though, beats a tender heart. Nino's baby sisters obviously love him to bits, and he is powerless to resist them. In the end, the three join forces, and los tres hermanos are an undeniably unbeatable team. The endpapers, featuring program-style profiles of Nio and all of his competitors, and a final note about lucha libre round out this irresistable outing.
The eternal tension between good luck and remorseless odds animates this loose-limbed jaunt through the world of high-stakes poker. Novelist Whitehead (Zone One) was staked to a berth in the World Series of Poker by Grantland magazine, a mission for which he frankly declares himself unqualified, owing to his rather desultory pick-up games, haphazard training regimen featuring yoga lessons, deep and semi-baffled immersion in the arcana of poker-playing manuals, and bus trips to Atlantic City for seedy practice tournaments. His journey unfolds in a series of jazzy, jokey riffs on the cultural detritus of poker: the take-over of the game by young "Robotrons" honed by online gaming; Vegas's "Leisure-Industrial Complex," a terrain of soulful soullessness where "your true self is laid bare with all its hungers and flaws and grubby aspirations." Along the way, poker emerges as the national sport of "the Republic of Anhedonia," his habitually depressive, fatalistic State of mind that recognizes that "eventually, you will lose it all" and that playing it safe is therefore the ultimate sucker's strategy. Whitehead serves up an engrossing mix of casual yet astute reportage and hang-dog philosophizing, showing us that, for all of poker's intricate calculations and shrewd stratagems, everything still hangs on the turn of a card.
When Billie Breslin abandons college to work as assistant to the editor of Delicious! magazine, she's immediately known for her superhuman palate: she can taste any dish and list its ingredients and suggest the flavors it needs. She's known for another trait, too: Billie does not cook. When Delicious! is unceremoniously folded by its parent publisher, Billie is the sole employee kept on to honor the magazine's guarantee: Your money back if the recipe doesn't work. Between phone calls from wacky subscribers, alone in the yawning old mansion headquarters, Billie discovers a hidden room and a cache of quirkily cataloged letters from a young girl to Delicious! writer James Beard during WWII. In the search for each letter and the young letter writer herself, Billie finds a purpose and a heroine, and gathers the courage to face the past she's running from.
What do you get when you stitch Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and The Cask of Amontillado together? Well, you get this rollickin' adventure in which Pocket, the royal fool introduced in Moore's Fool (2009), is lured to Venice, where he thinks he'll be having a fun time with the beautiful Portia, but where three men (including a fella named Iago) are actually planning to murder him.
Classics scholar Jack Wiseman, in the last throes of pancreatic cancer, entrusts an enamel locket to his granddaughter, imploring her to find the rightful owner. It's the only thing he's ever asked of her. During WWII, Jack had been a soldier in charge of storing the possessions found on the gold train, which contained the accumulated wealth of Hungarian Jews who had been shipped off to concentration camps. The contents were all meticulously accounted for. But who was there to receive them? The responsibility weighed heavily on Jack, not least because of his involvement with Ilona, a survivor whose shockingly black sense of humor both upsets and entrances him. As Waldman takes us back to Hungary, first in the aftermath of the war, then to the years preceding it, she evokes what it feels like to have your identity and your community stripped from you and how impossibly foolish it can be to think your personal destiny is within your control. With its complicated politics and moral ambiguity, this provocative novel tells a fascinating story.
We have autographed copies of Bark available.
A new collection of stories by one of America’s most beloved and admired short-story writers, her first in fifteen years, since Birds of America (“Fluid,
cracked, mordant, colloquial . . . Will stand by itself as one of our
funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability.” —The New York Times Book Review
We have autographed first editions of And the Dark Sacred Night available.
The award-winning author on her best subject—family secrets—in the story of a middle-aged man who searches for his father, upending relationships beyond his own and changing forever the way he fits into the world he thought he knew so well.
A special paper over board TWENTIETH-ANNIVERSARY EDITION of the first novel of the acclaimed Mary Russell series by Edgar Award-Winning author Laurie R. King. This wonderful edition will be available in late May and Ms. King will be signing copies at our store once they arrive. Orders will ship after that point.
From the award-winning writer of Easter Island, comes a powerful story of love, loss, and redemption amidst the ruins of war-torn Italy. Reminiscent of Pat Barker’s Regeneration, The Secret of Raven Point is a war saga capturing the experiences of soldiers after the battles have ended. And as few novels have done, it depicts the ravages of war through the eyes of a young woman.
Ishmael Beah made his mark in 2007 with A Long Way Gone, his striking memoir of the time he spent as a boy soldier in war-torn Sierra Leone. In Radiance of Tomorrow, his first novel, he revisits Sierra Leone to examine not only what happens to those communities devastated by war, but also their traditions and the outlook for their future. What begins as a story of survivors returning to what used to be home and attempting to reconstruct the rhythms of normal life takes several surprising turns as Beah carefully unfolds his elegant and layered narrative.
We have autographed first edition copies of Garrison Keillor's O, What a Luxury.
O What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound is the first poetry collection written by Garrison Keillor, the celebrated radio host of A Prairie Home Companion.
Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, this
volume forges a new path for him, as a poet of light verse.
We have autographed copies of The Great Morgani available.
A wonderful pictorial journey through the many creative costumes and incarnations of The Great Morgani, this book provides an inside look at the street musician who has become such a Santa Cruz staple.