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July 2018 Indie Next List
“Anne Tyler’s extraordinary ability to tell a story in the simplest language has helped her become one of our most beloved authors. In Clock Dance, she brings us Willa Drake, who has been seeking something all her life, it seems. It’s not until she’s reached middle age that she finally opens a new door in her heart and welcomes in the most unusual group of people: an entire neighborhood, ready to bring her a new perspective and an understanding of life that will change her forever. Tyler’s newest is one for book groups, one for book lovers, and one for you, too.”
— Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA
A charming new novel of self-discovery and second chances from the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Spool of Blue Thread. Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn't sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she's never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory--surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places. A bewitching novel of hope and transformation, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers.
About the Author
ANNE TYLER is the author of more than twenty novels. Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Coverage from NPR
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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic comes an impassioned critique of America's retreat from reason We live in a time when the very idea of objective truth is mocked and discounted by the occupants of the White House. Discredited conspiracy theories and ideologies have resurfaced, proven science is once more up for debate, and Russian propaganda floods our screens. The wisdom of the crowd has usurped research and expertise, and we are each left clinging to the beliefs that best confirm our biases. How did truth become an endangered species in contemporary America? This decline began decades ago, and in The Death of Truth, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani takes a penetrating look at the cultural forces that contributed to this gathering storm. In social media and literature, television, academia, and politics, Kakutani identifies the trends--originating on both the right and the left--that have combined to elevate subjectivity over factuality, science, and common values. And she returns us to the words of the great critics of authoritarianism, writers like George Orwell and Hannah Arendt, whose work is newly and eerily relevant. With remarkable erudition and insight, Kakutani offers a provocative diagnosis of our current condition and points toward a new path for our truth-challenged times.
About the Author
Michiko Kakutani is a Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic and the former chief book critic of The New York Times.
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick "Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too " --Reese Witherspoon
No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . The only way to survive is to open your heart.
About the Author
Gail Honeyman is a graduate of the universities of Glasgow and Oxford. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine won the Costa First Novel Award and the British Book Awards Book of the Year, was short-listed for the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize, the Desmond Elliot Award, and the Author's Club Best First Novel, and was long-listed for the Women's Prize for Fiction. This is Honeyman's debut novel and she lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
"A charmer. . . satisfyingly quirky." --Janet Maslin, The New York Times "Books to Breeze Through This Summer"
"This wacky, charming novel. . . draws you in with humor, then turns out to contain both a suspenseful subplot and a sweet romance. . . Hilarious and moving." --People
"Eleanor Oliphant is a quirky loner and a model of efficiency with her routine of frozen pizza, vodka and weekly phone calls with Mummy. [She's] a woman beginning to heal from unimaginable tragedy, with a voice that is deadpan, heartbreaking and humorous all at once." -NPR.org, Best Books of 2017
"Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking. . . Eleanor Oliphant may be completely fine, but this book is completely wonderful." --PureWow
"Warm and funny. . . You'll want to read it." --TheSkimm
Eleanor Oliphant [is] the kind of book you'll want to devour in a single sitting." --Vox, Best Books of 2017
"Warm and funny...plus Reese bought the rights to this one...You'll want to read it."-- TheSkimm
"Sweet and satisfying, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine will speak to introverts who have ever felt a little weird about their place in the world." --Bustle, "9 Books for Introverts to Read When They Just Don't Feel Like Socializing"
"Equal parts charming and hilarious, this Reese Witherspoon-approved book is a must read for anyone struggling with their own self-discovery." --Bustle, "13 Self-Love Stories About Women Finding Themselves Instead Of 'The One'"
"Eleanor Oliphant is a truly original literary creation: funny, touching, and unpredictable. Her journey out of dark shadows is expertly woven and absolutely gripping." --Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You
"I have read a few great novels recently, but the one that stuck with me the most over the last few months if Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and the entire time I beamed with joy at the beauty of this story. I fell in love with Eleanor and never wanted the book to end. I wanted so badly to keep following her story." -Krysten Ritter, actress, producer, and author of Bonfire
"This wacky, charming novel...draws you in with humor, then turns out to contain both a suspenseful subplot and a sweet romance....Hilarious and moving." -- People
"A charmer. . . satisfyingly quirky." -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times "Books to Breeze Through This Summer"
"This book gave me immense joy during a year that I think we can all agree was a challenge to every American's joy center. Eleanor Oliphant is a remarkably memorable character, a socially awkward curmudgeon who often made me laugh out loud at the ways she is impervious to social conventions. It was pure pleasure watching her change and grow over the course of the book, her heart opening slowly like a late-blooming flower." --Attica Locke, author of Bluebird, Bluebird, for Texas Monthly, "Best Books of 2017, According to Texas authors"
"Move over, Ove (in Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove)--there's a new curmudgeon to love. . . Walking in Eleanor's practical black Velcro shoes is delightfully amusing, her prudish observations leavened with a privately puckish humor. But readers will also be drawn in by her tragic backstory, which slowly reveals how she came to be so entirely Eleanor. Witty, charming, and heartwarming, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is a remarkable debut about a singular woman. Readers will cheer Eleanor as she confronts her dark past and turns to a brighter future. Feel good without feeling smarmy." --Booklist (starred review)
" Eleanor Oliphant is endearing, [a] whip-smart read. . . Perfectly paced, odd, shocking and hilarious, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a fascinating story about loneliness, hope, tragedy and humanity. Honeyman's delivery is wickedly good, and Eleanor won't leave you anytime soon." --Associated Press
"Honeyman's endearing debut is part comic novel, part emotional thriller, and part love story. . . hilarious, deadpan, and irresistible." --Kirkus Reviews
"[A] captivating debut. . . a feel-good story that will make readers laugh and cheer for Eleanor as she learns that the past doesn't dictate the future, and that happiness can be hers. This is a must-read for those who love characters with quirks." --BookPage
"If you thought Fredrik Backman's Ove was a charming curmudgeon, you'll instantly fall for Eleanor." --Hello Giggles
"The book is wonderfully, quirkily funny. You both ache for Eleanor. . . and laugh with her." --Seattle Times
"That Eleanor's social awkwardness is extreme, sometimes painfully and often comically so, is far more apparent to the reader than it is to Eleanor herself -- and that we get this through Eleanor's own narration is a credit to the author's cleverness and craft. . . A touching, funny novel." --Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Debut author Honeyman expertly captures a woman whose inner pain is excruciating and whose face and heart are scarred, but who still holds the capacity to love and be loved. Eleanor's story will move readers." -- Publishers Weekly
"[Eleanor Oliphant] happens to be among the most compelling and complex characters drawn in recent memory, one who is always peculiar, often infuriating, but funny and utterly endearing." -- The National (Scotland)
"Gail Honeyman's wonderful debut novel hits the summer read sweet spot: an intelligent, complex, funny, heartbreaking book that you'll want to read in a single sitting." --The Irish Times
"The human need for connection, initially scorned by Eleanor, is this heart-rending novel's central theme. Eleanor Oliphant is most definitely not completely fine, but she is one of the most unusual and thought-provoking heroines of recent contemporary fiction." -- The Irish Times
"Heart-wrenching yet humorous; dark yet full of life--the debut novel from this Glasgow-based author is nothing short of extraordinary. This is a story... that everyone will be talking about this summer." -- Hello Canada, June 2017
" Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is filled with laughter and hope, and has such faith in the power of love and friendship to rescue even the most damaged individuals." --Georgia Costal Illustrated
"We are truly living in a golden age for new female writing. Among my favourite books of the year has been Gail Honeyman's debut, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Eleanor--30 going on 70, basically--is not a character you'll forget in a hurry. And Honeyman has managed a brilliant weaving of light and shade; black humour and crushing tragedy. Reese Witherspoon has already snapped up the film rights." --The Independent (Ireland)
"Another fantastic book about someone outside the norm.... It's misery memoir meets Adrian Mole with a bit of The Office thrown in. What's not to like?" --The Mail on Sunday
"Like a contemporary Jane Eyre, Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant is a woman scarred by profound loneliness, and the shadow of a harrowing childhood she can't even bear to remember. Bit by bit, and with extraordinary courage, however, Eleanor begins peeling the layers of protective numbness, letting others near for the first time, and reaching for the life she hasn't believed she deserves. Deft, compassionate and deeply moving--Honeyman's debut will have you rooting for Eleanor with every turning page. I loved this story." --Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
"So powerful--I completely loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine." --Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow
"Moving, hilarious, and intriguing, just like its unique, anti-social, anti-heroine. You will fall in love with Eleanor Oliphant." --J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
"Honeyman's debut is a stunner, as buoyant and charming as it is heartwrenching and emotionally sophisticated. Poor Eleanor Oliphant--often clueless, at times maddening, but always fascinating--walks right off the page and into the reader's heart. Not only is Eleanor Oliphant completely fine, she's a revelation." --Jonathan Evison, author of This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance
"Eleanor Oliphant endears herself to the reader with her cantankerous charm and her disarmingly inscrutable voice. A compulsive, irresistible narrative that arcs toward compassion and light." --Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
"Heart-wrenching and wonderful!" --Nina Stibbe, bestselling author of Paradise Lodge
A Vogue Australia Book Club Pick, June 2017
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST
NBCC JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FINALIST
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017
ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017
ONE OF NPR'S 'GREAT READS' OF 2017
A USA TODAY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
AN AMAZON.COM BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A BUSINESS INSIDER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
"Impossible to put down." --NPR "A novel that readers will gulp down, gasping." --The Washington Post
"The word 'masterpiece' has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one." --Stephen King
A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul. Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well. Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.
About the Author
Gabriel Tallent was born in New Mexico and raised on the Mendocino coast by two mothers. He received his B.A. from Willamette University in 2010, and after graduation spent two seasons leading youth trail crews in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. Tallent lives in Salt Lake City.
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"Beautifully drawn, brutally funny, brilliantly honest. Vera is such a good cartoonist I almost can't stand it." --Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile
In Be Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit in--but that's not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera's single mother can't afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range--Russian summer camp.
Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares
About the Author
Vera Brosgol was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1984 and moved to the United States when she was five. Her first graphic novel Anya's Ghost was published in 2011 by First Second and won Eisner, Cybils, and Harvey awards. Her picture book Leave Me Alone! was a 2017 Caldecott Honor book. She was a storyboard artist at Laika for ten years, working on animated films including Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and actually really likes camping now.
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An instant New York Times bestseller
The sequel to the bestselling The Wild Robot, by award-winning author Peter Brown
Shipwrecked on a remote, wild island, Robot Roz learned from the unwelcoming animal inhabitants and adapted to her surroundings--but can she survive the challenges of the civilized world and find her way home to Brightbill and the island?
From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed sequel to his New York Times bestselling The Wild Robot, about what happens when nature and technology collide.
About the Author
Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of many bestselling children's books, including Children Make Terrible Pets and The Curious Garden. He is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots!, two E.B. White Read Aloud Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award, and a Children's Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year.
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Celebrating the unfamiliar yet extraordinary produce from California's most iconic market, Berkeley Bowl, this cookbook offers recipes for a panoply of fruits and vegetables that have been largely overlooked or forgotten in popular cuisine. Registered dietitian Laura McLively, an avid home cook and creator of the popular blog MyBerkeleyBowl, created a recipe for every unfamiliar or "exotic" fruit and vegetable she found at Berkeley Bowl. Here is a collection of her favorite discoveries, and a tribute to the remarkable, 40-year-old family-run market that inspired them. Shining a spotlight on the versatile and unique qualities of the astonishingly beautiful, plant-based bounty that's available to vegetarians and meat eaters alike, these recipes and photographs will help you embrace hundreds of exciting fruits and vegetables you may never have tasted or thought of cooking, including crunchy sea bean spindles, tubers bigger than a toddler, wiry haired rambutans, and wrinkly skinned Indian bitter melon. Eating more types and colors of plants exposes us to a wider variety of nutrients, antioxidants, and beneficial bacteria. Berkeley Bowl is a mecca for great chefs, and with the recipes in this cookbook, you'll see why. Even if you don't live near Berkeley Bowl, getting your hands on these ingredients can be a fun and rewarding experience in its own right, and cooking with them will make your meals explode with flavors, textures, and new culinary adventures for all your senses. Partial list of recipes:
Green Garlic Soup with Lemon Cardamom Yogurt
Sweet & Sour Tofu with Gooseberry
Charred Nopal and Black-eyed Pea Chili
Corn and Chive Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Pepino Melon Poke
Stuffed Indian Eggplant
Morel Pot Pie
Starfruit Almond Torte.
About the Author
Laura McLively is an Oakland, California based registered dietitian and food writer. An avid home cook, Laura is the creator of MyBerkeleyBowl, a popular blog about cooking with unusual fruits and vegetables from Berkeley Bowl, from which the seeds for this book took root. Her mother, who was raised in Spain, exposed her at a young age to the joys of cooking Mediterranean and international cuisine. Laura McLively is a frequent contributor to the food and recipe section of the Oakland Tribune and San Jose Mercury News. She has worked at the Native American Health Center in Oakland since 2009, where she is currently the Director of Nutrition and Fitness. Berkeley based photographer Erin Scott's images have been featured in Saveur, Huffington Post, Jamie Oliver, The San Francisco Chronicle, Sunset Magazine, Cottages + Bungalows, Refinery 29 and many many other publications. Her pictures are found in cookbooks published by Ten Speed Press and Roost Books as well as Parallax Press and others, and she is the author, photographer, and stylist of The Yummy Supper Cookbook.
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— From Life in the Garden
From the Booker Prize winner and national bestselling author, reflections on gardening, art, literature, and life Penelope Lively takes up her key themes of time and memory, and her lifelong passions for art, literature, and gardening in this philosophical and poetic memoir. From the courtyards of her childhood home in Cairo to a family cottage in Somerset, to her own gardens in Oxford and London, Lively conducts an expert tour, taking us from Eden to Sissinghurst and into her own backyard, traversing the lives of writers like Virginia Woolf and Philip Larkin while imparting her own sly and spare wisdom. "Her body of work proves that certain themes never go out of fashion," writes the New York Times Book Review, as true of this beautiful volume as of the rest of the Lively canon. Now in her eighty-fourth year, Lively muses, "To garden is to elide past, present, and future; it is a defiance of time.
About the Author
Penelope Lively is an award-winning novelist and author of children's literature. She received the Booker Prize for her novel Moon Tiger and wide acclaim for The Photograph and How It All Began. Lively is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of PEN and the Society of Authors. In recognition of her contributions to British literature, she has been appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
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Brilliant, funny, and heartbreaking - a story of familes and what connects us. four parents, six children, five decades and the anguish and joy among them.
- Frayda— From Commonwealth
#1 New York Times Bestseller
The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives.
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.
Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.
When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.
Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.
Praise for Commonwealth:
“Patchett brings humanity, humor, and a disarming affection to lovable, struggling characters... Irresistible.”
“Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down.”
“(A) rich and engrossing new novel …”
“Indeed, this is Patchett’s most autobiographical novel, a sharply funny, chilling, entrancing, and profoundly affecting look into one family’s “commonwealth,” its shared affinities, conflicts, loss, and love.”
“…a funny, sad, and ultimately heart-wrenching family portrait…Patchett elegantly manages a varied cast of characters…[Patchett is] at her peak in humor, humanity, and understanding people in challenging situations.”
“The prose is lean and inviting…A satisfying meat-and-potatoes domestic novel from one of our finest writers.”
“Commonwealth is a smart, thoughtful novel about the ties that bind us.”
“Commonwealth is an all-American family saga, but her touching and even-handed approach to themes such as family politics, love, the role of literature and the acidic nature of lies is buoyed by a generous sprinkling of matter-of-fact humor”
“Commonwealth bursts with keen insights into faithfulness, memory and mortality… [An] ambitious American epic…”
“Patchett’s storytelling has never seemed more effortlessly graceful. This is minimalism that magically speaks volumes…”
“Commonwealth represents yet another victory for Patchett. Readers will fly through it... the tale is so rich and the plot is so wildly addicting, readers won’t be able to put it down until they’ve turned the final page.”
“The genius of the way Patchett approached Commonwealth is that it’s constructed like a puzzle… Maybe it’s another case of the tried-and-true adage: “Write what you know.” Because this book? It’s pure gangbusters.”
“moving, beautifully crafted novel…”
“Commonwealth is a sly book about storytelling, a story about a single incident - really two pivotal incidents - spun out over the length of a narrative constructed like a conversation but encompassing decades.”
“splendid new novel… Just try to stop reading. And you won’t want to. Patchett is in stellar form.”
“… the emotional intelligence of Patchett’s storytelling here feels warmer and richer and more resonant than anything she’s done before.” Rating: A
“close obervation, deadpan humor… Chekhov regularly invoked”
“Patchett gives us funny, flawed characters, and the rich reward of Commonwealth is seeing their lives unfold…”
“a wry, compassionate tale”
“…to create a story with 10 protagonists that spans 50 years - and at least five settings spread across the globe - is a balancing act that requires immense narrative skill, and Patchett never falters.”
“Reading Commonwealth is a transporting experience… It feels like Patchett’s most intimate novel and is without doubt one of her best.”
“Wonderful… Patchett is a master storyteller”
“Spinning ordinary lives into literary gold”
“[A] memorable, modern novel”
“Ann Patchett’s gifts are more clear than ever in Commonwealth”
“Ann Patchett’s moving, beautifully crafted novel”
“Patchett’s storytelling here feels warmer and richer and more resonant than anything she’s done before.”
“Patchett’s slyly knowing voice - full of wit and warmth - elevates every page of this novel - one that, through the alchemy of her writing, somehow feels more than the sum of its parts.”
“Surprising, nuanced, complex and, above all, genuine.”
“I couldn’t put down Ann Patchett’s terrific new novel…”
“Patchett’s insight into the practical and emotional impacts of uprooting families is impressive... candid, poignant, humorous...”
“a captivating family drama”
“Patchett cuts to the heart of existence in the age of divorce”
“[An] achingly real tale”
“a family drama with a hint of metafiction at its heart.”
“Patchett brings every character in Commonwealth to luminous life.”
Praise for State of Wonder:
“An engaging, consummately told tale.”
“Emotionally lucid. . . . Patchett is at her lyrical best when she catalogues the jungle.”
“This is surely the smartest, most exciting novel of the summer.”
“The book is serious, but also so pleasurable that you hope it won’t end.”
“Extraordinary. . . . Is there nothing the prodigiously talented Ann Patchett can’t do?”
“Wryly humorous, intensely moving... this domestic novel is a book to savor from one of our finest writers”
Coverage from NPR
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A fabulous piece of reportage from the longtime rock music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle that tells the story of rock and roll's most infamous concert. Fueled by exhaustive research, this is narrative non-fiction at its best -- just riveting!
Hut— From Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day
In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s.
In the annals of rock history, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, has long been seen as the distorted twin of Woodstock—the day that shattered the Sixties’ promise of peace and love when a concertgoer was killed by a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious biker club acting as security. While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth—until now.
Altamont explores rock’s darkest day, a fiasco that began well before the climactic death of Meredith Hunter and continued beyond that infamous December night. Joel Selvin probes every aspect of the show—from the Stones’ hastily planned tour preceding the concert to the bad acid that swept through the audience to other deaths that also occurred that evening—to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in-depth look at the Grateful Dead’s role in the events leading to Altamont, examining the band’s behind-the-scenes presence in both arranging the show and hiring the Hells Angels as security.
The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, and featuring sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade.
Joel Selvin’s book...is a deeply researched, minutely detailed, account of the event as it unfolds, occurs and concludes; and as a result comes to conclusions much greater than historical myth or a ‘documentary’ film can portray...This book is definitely worth a read, and it is extremely well researched.
“Meticulous research, evocative detail, and a brave conclusion—exactly what a history book should be.”
“Boy did I live in a bubble—or something. I had no idea the extent of bruising under the melting rainbow. Selvin is revealing our tricky gestation in the weird womb of sixties rock. Frightening.”
“An incisive account of the most infamous concert debacle in rock history...This book provides context and perspective, showing the sea change in rock that was taking place as the Rolling Stones attempted to reassert themselves amid the increasing dominance of San Francisco psychedelia and the spirit of Woodstock...Compelling.”
“[A] methodical history. . . Selvin’s presentation of Altamont busts the myth of innocence lost; in fact, Altamont just made the reality harder to ignore.”
“It was worse than you think. A lot worse…[A]n account that moves at movie pace, Selvin cuts through woolly cop-out rhetoric, offering clarity and detail…Altamont was a tragedy in the classical sense-a disaster born of hubris and folly-and Selvin nails every last shred of both.”
A fascinating account of the festival and its repercussions, this is also a cultural historical portrait of the West Coast rock scene, a history of the bands involved, and of the counterculture itself. Will be of interest to rock and pop culture fans.