May 2018 Indie Next List
“Rachel Kushner writes some seriously smart and gorgeous prose, so when she headed to prison in The Mars Room, I went. It is dark. It is painful. At times, the level of detail in the book and its fabulously invented and drawn characters make it feel like a documentary. We are struggling with so many social justice issues across the country right now it is overwhelming, and I worried that The Mars Room would push me over the edge. Instead, I couldn't stop reading. What really happened? Who is to blame? How will things turn out? How can we make things better? Ultimately, Kushner's great success is profoundly illustrating a very simple message: It's complicated.”
— Sara Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers, Marietta, GA
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Electrifying." --Vanity Fair "A page turner... The Mars Room is one of those books that enrage you even as they break your heart." --The New York Times Book Review "Brilliant and devastating... The Mars Room is a heartbreaking, true, and nearly flawless novel." --NPR From twice National Book Award-nominated Rachel Kushner, whose Flamethrowers was called "the best, most brazen, most interesting book of the year" (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine), comes a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America. It's 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women's Correctional Facility, deep in California's Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision. Stunning and unsentimental, The Mars Room demonstrates new levels of mastery and depth in Kushner's work. It is audacious and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined. As James Wood said in The New Yorker, her fiction "succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them particular, all of them brilliantly alive.
Coverage from NPR
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The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn--a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It's the adventure she's been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly--and uncontrollably--falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest's relationship and their professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man's wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, and hers. Heralded by Ann Patchett as "the new star of historical fiction," Paula McLain brings Gellhorn's story richly to life and captures her as a heroine for the ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice. Advance praise for Love and Ruin "Wonderfully evocative . . . Paula] McLain's fans will not be disappointed; this is historical fiction at its best, and today's female readers will be encouraged by Martha, who refuses to be silenced or limited in a time that was harshly repressive for women."--Library Journal (starred review) "McLain has perfected her dramatic and lyrical approach to biographical fiction, lacing Marty's ardent inner life into electrifying descriptions of place and action. . . . McLain's fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration."--Booklist (starred review) "If you loved McLain's 2011 blockbuster The Paris Wife, you're sure to adore her new novel, which is just as good, if not better."--AARP "Romance, infidelity, war--Paula McLain's powerhouse novel has it all."--Glamour
About the Author
Paula McLain is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Circling the Sun, The Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses, and two collections of poetry. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in Ohio with her family.
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book--his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications. Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own intense story, John le Carr has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carr and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.
About the Author
John le Carré was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.
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A Kirkus Review Best Book of 2017 and a Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction. Winner of the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year and overall Book of the Year, selected as the Waterstones Book of the Year, and a Costa Book Award Finalist
"A novel of almost insolent ambition--lush and fantastical, a wild Eden behind a garden gate...it's part ghost story and part natural history lesson, part romance and part feminist parable. I found it so transporting that 48 hours after completing it, I was still resentful to be back home." -New York Times
“An irresistible new novel…the most delightful heroine since Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice…By the end, The Essex Serpent identifies a mystery far greater than some creature ‘from the illuminated margins of a manuscript’: friendship.” -Washington Post
"Richly enjoyable... Ms. Perry writes beautifully and sometimes agreeably sharply... The Essex Serpent is a wonderfully satisfying novel. Ford Madox Ford thought the glory of the novel was its ability to make the reader think and feel at the same time. This one does just that." -Wall Street Journal
An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.
When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.
While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.
These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart—an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.
Hailed by Sarah Waters as "a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author," The Essex Serpent is "irresistible . . . you can feel the influences of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Hilary Mantel channeled by Perry in some sort of Victorian séance. This is the best new novel I’ve read in years" (Daily Telegraph).
“A novel of almost insolent ambition--lush and fantastical, a wild Eden behind a garden gate...it’s part ghost story and part natural history lesson, part romance and part feminist parable. I found it so transporting that 48 hours after completing it, I was still resentful to be back home.”
“An irresistible new novel…the most delightful heroine since Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice…By the end, The Essex Serpent identifies a mystery far greater than some creature ‘from the illuminated margins of a manuscript’: friendship.”
“Richly enjoyable... Ms. Perry writes beautifully and sometimes agreeably sharply... The Essex Serpent is a wonderfully satisfying novel. Ford Madox Ford thought the glory of the novel was its ability to make the reader think and feel at the same time. This one does just that.”
“A fabulous summer read...If Middlemarch heroine Dorothea Brooke had heard of dinosaurs, she might have gone tromping through the salt marshes with Cora Seaborne.”
“The sumptuous twists and turns of Perry’s prose invite close reading, as deep and strange and full of narrative magic as the Blackwater itself. Stuffed with smarts and storytelling sorcery, this is a work of astonishing breadth and brilliance.”
“The vivid, often frightening imagery… and the lush descriptions… create a magical background for the sensual love story between Sarah and Will. Book-discussion groups will have a field day with the imagery, the well-developed characters, and the concepts of innocence, evil, and guilt.”
“In Perry’s excellent second novel… a fatal illness, a knife-wielding maniac, and a fated union with the Essex Serpent will dictate the ultimate happiness of [the] characters. Like John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman... this is another period literary pastiche with a contemporary overlay.”
“Compulsive...narrative and voice coil together until it is very difficult to stop reading.”
“Astonishing...Perry’s prose is rich, textured, and intricate...a thoughtful and elegant book about the human need for knowledge and love, and about the fears and desires we bury.”
“Triumphs on every level, whether in its rich, evocative prose or its authentic Victorian detail, its credible, multifaceted characters or its high-stakes drama...Perry likened writing her novel to a ‘possession.’ Reading it, we find ourselves under a similar mesmerizing spell.”
“The Essex Serpent is Sarah Perry’s first book to come across the pond to us from Great Britain, and it is a corker...Even the most minor characters are filled with a particular life, light and love...one of the best, most memorable novels I have read in long years.”
“As engrossing as its reputation would suggest...Perry’s command of language as a tool to evoke time and place proves remarkable.”
“A work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author.”
“Dickensian in scope, depth, and exquisite use of language … At once love story and mystery, deeply penetrating layered characters with wit and grace, The Essex Serpent reveals the mundane beast that spawned wild rumors, and the stranger, less easily unmasked beasts within us.”
“Perry’s second novel is a dazzling and intellectually nimble work of Gothic fiction.”
“At once numinous, intimate and wise, The Essex Serpent is a marvellous novel about the workings of life, love and belief, about science and religion, secrets, mysteries, and the complicated and unexpected shifts of the human heart…It is so good its pages seem lit from within.”
“Everything they’re saying is true: sumptuous, beautiful, powerful, engrossing, brilliant.”
“[T]he most deeply satisfying fiction you will read this year.”
“A blissful novel of unapologetic appetites, where desire and faith mingle on the marshes, but friendship is the miracle. Sarah Perry has the rare gift of committing the uncommittable to prose -- that is to say: here is a writer who understands life.”
“A big, warm, generous novel that wears its considerable wisdom lightly, The Essex Serpent is an absolute pleasure from start to finish—I truly didn’t want it to end.”
“For originality, richness of prose and depth of characterization is unlikely to be bettered this year ... one of the most memorable historical novels of the past decade.”
“Confident, intelligent and original storytelling -- I was seduced by the many charms of The Essex Serpent.”
“Had Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker come together to write the great Victorian novel, I wonder if it would have surpassed The Essex Serpent? Sarah Perry establishes herself as one of the finest fiction writers working in Britain today.”
“A suspenseful love story… The Essex Serpent recalls variously the earthiness of Emily Brontë, the arch, high-tensile tone of Conan Doyle, the evocation of time and place achieved by Hilary Mantel and Sarah Waters and the antiquarian edgelands horror of M. R. James.”
“Perry’s achieved the near impossible…A thing of beauty inside and out… a stunning achievement.”
“Irresistible... you can feel the influences of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Hilary Mantel channeled by Perry in some sort of Victorian séance. This is the best new novel I’ve read in years.”
“An exquisitely absorbing, old-fashioned page-turner…The Essex Serpent is shot through with such a vivid, lively sense of the period that it reads like Charles Dickens at his most accessible and fans of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell will also find much to love.”
“Perry fully inhabits many of the concerns and stylistic elements of the 19th century novel -- but its interests are still contemporary ones: desire, fulfillment and questioning the world… Her language is exquisite, her characterization finely tuned… [I]t’s clear that Perry is a gifted writer of immense ability.”
“A Victorian-era gothic with a Dickensian focus on societal ills, Perry’s second novel surprises in its wonderful freshness . . . [her] singular characters are drawn with a fondness that is both palpable and contagious, all making for pure pleasure.”
“Sarah Perry’s novel of 19th century England tackles big ideas...reversals and sharp darts of psychological insight combined with a sense of the substance and feeling of late 19th-century ideas in bloom make this a fine novel, both historical and otherwise.”
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Summer 2018 Kids Indie Next List
“Rats, rats, rats...as I got closer to the end I realized this must be book #1 in a series! Byx is such a wonderful creative character (with her abilities of gliding and determining whether or not a speaker is lying) along with Tobble and his fierce loyalty to Byx. This book gives us much to think about and compare to today's world with taking care of creatures, (including humans) and the environment. I can't wait to read where their adventures will take them in the next book!”
— Nancy Gebhardt, The Twig Book Shop, San Antonio, TX
New York Times bestseller!
First Katherine Applegate thrilled readers with the action-packed Animorphs series. Then she stole our hearts with the award-winning The One and Only Ivan. Now she takes us on an unforgettable journey in this first book of an epic middle grade series!
Byx is the youngest member of her dairne pack. Believed to possess remarkable abilities, her mythical doglike species has been hunted to near extinction in the war-torn kingdom of Nedarra.
After her pack is hunted down and killed, Byx fears she may be the last of her species. The Endling. So Byx sets out to find safe haven, and to see if the legends of other hidden dairnes are true.
Along the way, she meets new allies—both animals and humans alike—who each have their own motivations for joining her quest. And although they begin as strangers, they become their own kind of family—one that will ultimately uncover a secret that may threaten every creature in their world.
Building upon the success of her critically acclaimed novels such as The One and Only Ivan, Crenshaw, and Wishtree, while also returning to her action-packed fantasy roots of Animorphs, the Endling series is Katherine Applegate at her finest. With its enthralling characters, unique setting, and gripping adventure, this series is the perfect next read for fans of Rick Riordan, Brian Jacques, and Tui T. Sutherland.
Praise for Endling: ★ “Applegate effortlessly constructs her fantasy world, briskly moving readers through its imaginative details while creating winning, unique characters. This epic series starter is a bracing, propulsive read that will be a challenge to keep on the shelf.”
★ “Fantasy lovers are in for a treat with this smartly paced, enthralling adventure. The heart and courage Byx and her companions must find as they stand up against unimaginable odds will inspire and delight. A sweeping fantasy epic that will have readers clamoring for a follow-up.”
★ “Applegate skillfully builds a fully realized world of intrigue and wonder without ever letting up on the story’s quick pace. Themes of genocide, conservation, and magic are interwoven, providing thought-provoking questions for astute readers. A savvy choice for readers of fantasy.”
★ “A suspenseful, tautly drawn quest.”
“The first book in a new series, this volume will whet readers’ appetites for more of Byx’s fascinating world and the next stage of her quest. Give this to lovers of animal fantasies and environmentally minded readers.”
Praise for The One and Only Ivan: ★ “Will capture readers’ hearts and never let go. A must have.“
★ “Exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.”
★ “Animal-loving youngsters and their adults will find plenty of food for thought in Ivan’s extraordinary story.”
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A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls "a must-read for our times," A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui's striking, evocative art paired with Phi's expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.
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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 The Tapestry Garden
"This is a love story about a couple and their relationship with an acre-and-a-half of land. . . with exceptional plant descriptions that read like character references for old friends. . . . beautiful photographs and prose await." --Library Journal
Marietta and Ernie O'Byrne's garden--situated on one and a half acres in Eugene, Oregon--is filled with an incredible array of plants from around the world. By consciously leveraging the garden's many microclimates, they have created a stunning patchwork of exuberant plants that is widely considered one of America's most outstanding private gardens. In A Tapestry Garden, the O'Byrne's share their deep knowledge of plants and essential garden advice. Readers will discover the humble roots of the garden, explore the numerous habitats and the plants that make them shine, and find inspiration in photography that captures the garden's astonishing beauty. There is something here for every type of gardener: a shade garden, perennial borders, a chaparral garden, a kitchen garden, and more. Profiles of the O'Byrne's favorite plants--including hellebores, trilliums, arisaemas, and alpine plants--include comprehensive growing information and tips on pruning and care. A Tapestry Garden captures the spirit of a very special place.
About the Author
Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne are the owners of Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene, Oregon. Formerly a retail nursery specializing in unusual plants, it is now a wholesale nursery specializing in hellebores. The O'Byrne's garden is renowned for its stunning combinations and variety of habitats, which allow Ernie and Marietta to experiment with a huge palette of plants. Marietta speaks regularly to audiences of passionate gardeners and has written for a number of gardening publications. Visit the nursery's website at northwestgardennursery.com.
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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
September 2016 Indie Next List
“Patchett leaves behind the exotic locales and intricate plots of State of Wonder and Bel Canto for an even darker and more difficult place to navigate -- the interior of a blended family over the course of several decades. While more domestic than many of her previous novels, Commonwealth offers plenty of intrigue and surprises as Patchett explores the interaction of a group of children forced into each other's lives because of their parents' impulsive choices. With keen insight, tears of both sorrow and joy, and some real -- if dark -- humor, Patchett pulls readers into this complex family's world, and we are eager for every detail.”
— John Christensen (W), Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
#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.