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A sympathetic and clear-eyed examination of an American boyhood. This is an adventure story and a social history. Great writing!! A must read and a Pulitzer winner. -- Frayda— From Barbarian Days
**Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography**
“Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery. . . . a coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard.”—Sports Illustrated
Included in President Obama’s 2016 Summer Reading List
Barbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.
Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses—off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships forged in challenging waves.
Finnegan shares stories of life in a whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly—he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui—is served up with rueful humor. As Finnegan’s travels take him ever farther afield, he discovers the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissects the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, and navigates the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity.
Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little-understood art.
Praise for Barbarian Days:
“Without a doubt, the finest surf book I’ve ever read . . . But on a more fundamental level, Barbarian Days offers a clear-eyed vision of American boyhood. Like Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, it is a sympathetic examination of what happens when literary ideas of freedom and purity take hold of a young mind and fling his body out into the far reaches of the world.”—The New York Times Magazine
“Incandescent . . . I’d sooner press this book upon on a nonsurfer, in part because nothing I’ve read so accurately describes the feeling of being stoked or the despair of being held under. . . . [But] it’s also about a writer’s life and, even more generally, a quester’s life, more carefully observed and precisely rendered than any I’ve read in a long time.”—Los Angeles Times
About the Author
WILLIAM FINNEGAN is the author of Cold New World, A Complicated War, Dateline Soweto, and Crossing the Line. He has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards since 2009. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography. A staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987, he lives in Manhattan.
“How many ways can you describe a wave? You’ll never get tired of watching Finnegan do it. A staff writer at The New Yorker, he leads a counterlife as an obsessive surfer, traveling around the world, throwing his vulnerable, merely human body into line after line of waves in search of transient moments of grace…It’s an occupation that has never before been described with this tenderness and deftness.”—TIME Magazine, Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2015
“A hefty masterpiece.”
—Geoff Dyer, The Guardian
“Terrific…Elegantly written and structured, it’s a riveting adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, and a restless, searching meditation on love, friendship and family…A writer of rare subtlety and observational gifts, Finnegan explores every aspect of the sport — its mechanics and intoxicating thrills, its culture and arcane tribal codes — in a way that should resonate with surfers and non-surfers alike. His descriptions of some of the world’s most powerful and unforgiving waves are hauntingly beautiful…Finnegan displays an honesty that is evident throughout the book, parts of which have a searing, unvarnished intensity that reminded me of ‘Stop Time,’ the classic coming-of-age memoir by Frank Conroy.”
“The kind of book that makes you squirm in your seat on the subway, gaze out the window at work, and Google Map the quickest route to the beach. In other words, it is, like Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, a semi-dangerous book, one that persuades young men…to trade in their office jobs in order to roam the world, to feel the ocean’s power, and chase the waves.”
—The Paris Review Daily
“Fans of [Finnegan’s] writing have been waiting eagerly for his surfing memoir…Well, Barbarian Days is here. And it’s even better than one could have imagined…This is Finnegan’s gift. He’s observant and expressive but shows careful restraint in his zeal. He says only what needs to be said, enough to create a vivid picture for the reader while masterfully giving that picture a kind of movement.”
“That surfing life is [Finnegan’s], and it’s a remarkably adventurous one sure to induce wanderlust in anyone who follows along, surfer or not…Lyrical but not overbaked, exciting but always self-effacing. It captures the moments of joy and terror Finnegan’s lifelong passion has brought him, as well as his occasional ambivalence about the tenacious hold it has on him. It’s easily the best book ever written about surfing. It’s not even close.”
“An engrossing read, part treatise on wave physics, part thrill ride, part cultural study, with a soupçon of near-death events. Even for those who’ve never paddled out, Finnegan’s imagery is as vividly rendered as a film, his explanation of wave mastery a triumph of language. For surfers, the book is The Endless Summer writ smarter and larger, touching down at every iconic break.”
—Los Angeles Magazine
“Vivid and propulsive…Finnegan…has seen things from the tops of ocean peaks that would disturb most surfers’ dreams for weeks. (I happily include myself among that number.)…A lyrical and enormously rewarding read…Finnegan’s enchantment takes us to some luminous and unsettling places — on both the edge of the ocean, and the frontiers of the surfing life.”
—San Diego Union-Tribune
“Barbarian Days gleams with precise, often lyrical recollections of the most memorable waves [Finnegan has] encountered…He carefully mines his surfing exploits for broader, hard-won insights on his childhood, his most intense friendships and romances, his political education, his career. He’s always attuned to his surroundings, and his reflections are often tinged with self-effacing wit.”
“Extraordinary…[ Barbarian Days] is in many ways, and for the first time, a surfer in full. And it is cause for throwing your wet-suit hoods in the air…If the book has a flaw, it lies in the envy helplessly induced in the armchair surf-traveler by so many lusty affairs with waves that are the supermodels of the surf world. Still, Finnegan considerately shows himself paying the price of admission in a few near drownings, and these are among the most electrifying moments in the book…There are too many breathtaking, original things in Barbarian Days to do more than mention here—observations about surfing that have simply never been made before, or certainly never so well.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Without a doubt, the finest surf book I’ve ever read… All this technical mastery and precise description goes hand in hand with an unabashed, infectious earnestness. Finnegan has certainly written a surfing book for surfers, but on a more fundamental level, ‘Barbarian Days’ offers a cleareyed vision of American boyhood. Like Jon Krakauer’s ‘Into the Wild,’ it is a sympathetic examination of what happens when literary ideas of freedom and purity take hold of a young mind and fling his body out into the far reaches of the world.”
—The New York Times Magazine
“Which is precisely what makes the propulsive precision of Finnegan’s writing so surprising and revelatory… Finnegan’s treatment of surfing never feels like performance. Through the sheer intensity of his descriptive powers and the undeniable ways in which surfing has shaped his life, Barbarian Days is an utterly convincing study in the joy of treating seriously an unserious thing…As Finnegan demonstrates, surfing, like good writing, is an act of vigilant noticing. ”
—The New York Review of Books
“Finnegan is an excellent surfer; at some point he became an even better writer. That pairing makes Barbarian Days exceptional in the notoriously foamy genre of surf lit: a hefty, heavyweight tour de force, overbrimming with sublime lyrical passages that Finnegan drops as effortlessly as he executed his signature ‘drop-knee cutback’ in the breaks off Waikiki…Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery…Finnegan is a virtuoso wordsmith, but the juice propelling this memoir is wrung from the quest that shaped him…A piscine, picaresque coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard.”
Overflowing with vivid descriptions of waves caught and waves missed, of disappointments and ecstasies and gargantuan curling tubes that encircle riders like cathedrals of pure stained glass…These paragraphs, with their mix of personal remembrance and subcultural taxonomies, tend to be as elegant and pellucid as the breakers they immortalize…This memoir is one you can ride all the way to shore.”
“[A] sweeping, glorious memoir…Oh, the rides, they are incandescent…I’d sooner press this book upon on a nonsurfer, in part because nothing I’ve read so accurately describes the feeling of being stoked or the despair of being held under. But also because while it is a book about ‘A Surfing Life’…it’s also about a writer’s life and, even more generally, a quester’s life, more carefully observed and precisely rendered than any I’ve read in a long time.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Gorgeously written and intensely felt…With Mr. Finnegan’s bravura memoir, the surfing bookshelf is dramatically enriched. It’s not only a volume for followers of the sport. Non-surfers, too, will be treated to a travelogue head-scratchingly rich in obscure, sharply observed destinations…Dare I say that we all need Mr. Finnegan…as a role model for a life fully, thrillingly, lived.”
—Wall Street Journal
“An evocative, profound and deeply moving memoir…The proof is in the sentences. Were I given unlimited space to review this book, I would simply reproduce it here, with a quotation mark at the beginning and another at the end. While surfers have a reputation for being inarticulate, there is actually a fair amount of overlap between what makes a good surfer and a good writer. A smooth style, an ability to stay close to the source of the energy, humility before the task, and, once you’re done, not claiming your ride. In other words, making something exceedingly difficult look easy. The gift for writing a clean line is rare, and the gift for riding one even rarer. Finnegan possesses both.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Finnegan writes so engagingly that you paddle alongside, eager for him to take you to the next wave…It is a wet and wild run. He makes surfing seem as foreign and simultaneously as intimate a sport as possible…Surfing is the backbone of the book, but Finnegan’s relationships to people, not waves, form its flesh…[A] deep blue story of one man’s lifelong enchantment.”
“Finnegan’s epic adventure, beautifully told, is much more than the story of a boy and his wave, even if surfing serves as the thumping heartbeat of his life.”
—Dallas Morning News
“That’s always Finnegan’s M.O.: examining the ways in which surfing intertwines with anthropology, economics, politics, and, of course, writing. Finnegan is a sober, straightforward author, but the level of detail, emotion, and insight he achieves is unparalleled…A must-read for all surfers — not just because of its unblinking prose and subtle wit, but because it’s the only book that properly details what it’s like to cultivate both an award-winning career and a dedicated surfing life.”
—Eastern Surf Magazine
“Finnegan describes, with shimmering detail, his adventures riding waves on five continents. Surfing has taken him places he'd never otherwise have thought to go, but it also buoyed him through a career reporting on the politics of intense scarcity, limitless cruelty, and unimaginable suffering. It's a book about travel and growing up, and the power of a pastime when it becomes an obsession.”
“With a compelling storyline and masterful prose, Finnegan’s beautiful memoir is sure to resonate.”
—The New York Observer
“Fearless and full of grace.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“It’s always fabulous when an incredible writer happens to also have a memoir-worthy life; Barbarian Days bodes well.”
“A demonstration of gratitude and mastery. [Finnegan] uses these words to describe the wave, but they might as well apply to the book. In a sense, Barbarian Days functions as a 450-page thank you letter, masterfully crafted, to his parents, friends, wife, enemies, ex-girlfriends, townsfolk, daughter—everyone who tolerated and even encouraged his lifelong obsession. It’s a way to help them—and us—understand what drives him to keep paddling out half a century after first picking up a board.”
“[A] lyrical, intellectual memoir. The author touches on love, on responsibility, on politics, individuality and morality, as well as on the lesser-known aspects of surfing: the toll it takes on the body, the weird lingo, the whacky community. Finnegan’s world is as dazzling and deep as any ocean. It’s a pleasure to paddle into and makes for a hell of a ride.”
“As it progresses the whole book turns into a portal…It’s tempting to say that Barbarian Days will bring readers as close as they’ll get to the surf, short of actual surfing. But I had a stronger reaction: The book brought me closer than I’d ever been, or expected to get, to the real, unfathomable ocean.”
“A dream of a book by a masterful writer long immersed in surfing culture. Finnegan recaptures the waves lost and found, the euphoria, the danger…the allure.”
“Panoramic and fascinating…The core of the book is a surfing chronicle, and Finnegan possesses impeccable short-board bona fides…A revealing and magisterial account of a beautiful addiction.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Like that powerful, glassy wave, great books on surfing come few and far between. This summer, New Yorker writer Finnegan recalls his teenage years in the California and Hawaii of the 1960s—when surfing was an escape for loners and outcasts. A delightful storyteller, Finnegan takes readers on a journey from Hawaii to Australia, Fiji, and South Africa, where finding those waves is as challenging as riding them.”
—Publishers Weekly's Best Summer Books of the Summer
“A fascinating look inside the mind of a man terminally in love with a magnificent obsession. A lyrical and intense memoir.”
“An up-close and personal homage to the surfing lifestyle through the author’s journey as a lifelong surfer. Finnegan’s writing is polished and bold…[A] high-caliber memoir.”
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A fun novel set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Julie Crawford, an aspiring screenwriter, has a backstage pass to the notorious filming of Gone With the Wind. She also questions the studio’s reluctance to tackle the war raging in Europe (or their overseas box office numbers…) Filled with historical goodies and gossip!— Antonia
A fun novel set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Alcott’s heroine, an aspiring screenwriter, has a backstage pass to the notorious filming of Gone With The Wind; she also questions the studio’s initial reluctance to tackle war raging in Europe (or their overseas box office numbers…). Filled with historical goodies and gossip!
From the New York Times bestsellingauthor of The Dressmaker comes a blockbuster novel that takes you behind the scenes of the filming of Gone with the Wind, while turning the spotlight on the passionate romance between its dashing leading man, Clark Gable, and the blithe, free-spirited actress Carole Lombard.
When Julie Crawford leaves Fort Wayne, Indiana, for Hollywood, she never imagines she ll cross paths with Carole Lombard, the dazzling actress fromJulie's provincial Midwestern hometown. The young woman has dreams of becoming a screenwriter, but the only job Julie's able to find is one in the studio publicity office of the notoriously demanding producerDavid O. Selznick, who is busy burning through directors, writers, and money as he films Gone with the Wind.
Although tensions run high on the set, Julie finds she can step onto the back lot, take in the smell of smoky gunpowder and the soft rustle of hoop skirts, and feel the magical world of Gone with the Wind come to life. Julie's access to real-life magic comes whenCarole Lombard hires her as an assistant and invites her into the glamorous world Carole shares with Clark Gable, who is about to move into movie history as the dashing Rhett Butler.
Carole Lombard, happily profane and uninhibited, makes no secret of her relationship with Gable, whichposes something of a problem for the studio because Gable is technically still married and the last thing the film needs is more negative publicity. Julie is there to fend off the overly curious reporters, hoping to prevent details about the affair from slipping out. But she can barely keep up with her blond employer, let alone control what comes out of Carole's mouth, and as their friendship grows Julie soon finds she doesn t want to. Carole, both wise and funny, becomes Julie's model for breaking free of the past.
In the ever-widening scope of this story, Julie is given a front-row seat to not one but two of the greatest love affairs of all time: the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Scarlett and Rhett, and offscreen, the deepening love between Carole andClark. Yet beneath the shiny facade, things in Hollywood are never quite what they seem, and Julie mustlearn to balance her career aspirations and her own budding romance with the outsized personalities and overheated drama on set. Vivid, romantic, and filledwith Old Hollywood details, A Touch of Stardustwill entrance, surprise, and delight.
About the Author
KATE ALCOTT is the pseudonym for journalist Patricia O Brien, who has written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. As Kate Alcott, she is theNew York Timesbestselling author ofThe DressmakerandThe Daring Ladies of Lowell. She lives in Washington, D.C. The many stories shared by her late husband, Frank Mankiewicz, who grew up in a legendary film family, helped her bring Old Hollywood to life."
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Take a trip to the far northern reaches of Norway in this finely composed first novel. The Sunlit Night is a potent but potable novel of young young, loss, vikings, and art.
~Susan— From The Sunlit Night
June 2015 Indie Next List
“The endless daylight of a Norwegian summer is the perfect backdrop for this warm and quirky debut filled with unusual characters and situations, a setting that is real yet somehow out of time, visual and precise writing, emotional warmth, and faith in the healing power of love. This tale of Frances and Yasha, their families, and their companions during a transformative summer in perpetual Arctic light is a perfect read for fans of Nicole Krauss' The History of Love or Bill Forsyth's classic movie, Local Hero.”
— Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA
A stunning debut novel--which Jonathan Safran Foer calls "lyrical as a poem, psychologically rich as a thriller."
In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended--Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father's last wish: to be buried "at the top of the world." They have come to learn how to be alone.
But in Lofoten, an archipelago of six tiny islands in the Norwegian Sea, ninety-five miles north of the Arctic Circle, they form a bond that fortifies them against the turmoil of their distant homes, offering solace amidst great uncertainty. With nimble and sure-footed prose, Dinerstein reveals that no matter how far we travel to claim our own territory, it is ultimately love that gives us our place in the world.
About the Author
REBECCA DINERSTEIN is the author of Lofoten, a bilingual English-Norwegian collection of poems. She received her B.A. from Yale and her M.F.A. in Fiction from New York University, where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter @beckydinerstein.
“Quirky, exuberant . . . An original work of gentle irony counterpoised by delightful sincerity, which offers distinct turns of phrase with precision and beauty.” —Wall Street Journal
“The Norwegian Arctic of Dinerstein’s imagination is a strange and wonderful place . . . the constant sunlight of midsummer feeds the book’s dreamy, surreal quality . . . her narrative style is also dreamlike.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Luminous . . . Dinerstein brings a contagious wonder to her storytelling.” —The Season's Best Literary Fiction, O, the Oprah Magazine
“Lyrical as a poem, psychologically rich as a thriller, funny, dark, warm, and as knowing of place as any travel book or memoir, The Sunlit Night marks the appearance of a brave talent.” —Jonathan Safran Foer
“Darkly charming.” —The New Yorker
“A richly imagined and darkly comic story about loneliness and love at the top of the world.” —Jenny Offill, author of DEPT. OF SPECULATION
“Dinerstein has done readers a big favor not only by writing this luminous story about love, family, and the bewilderment of being young but also by bringing them into an otherworldly setting: a nightless Arctic summer on the spectacular Lofoten Islands. Enchanting in every way.” —Maggie Shipstead, author of ASTONISH ME
“A poignant exploration of what it means to be alone in love, by a stunningly talented young writer.” —Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS
“By turns ravishing and hilarious, The Sunlit Night is more than a shining debut--it's the work of a young master. Dinerstein writes of her two lovers with sensitivity and chutzpah: human drama, a nightless summer, the transformative power of nature. Here's an exciting new voice that sings perfectly in key.” —Darin Strauss, author of HALF A LIFE
“Exhilarating and undeniably wise. Funny, straight forward, heartbreaking and startling, this book gets our appetites up--for more life lived, for love and community, for knowing ourselves and finding our way through gorgeous and unknown places, for relief and letting go. It's a book you'll be thankful for reading.” —Jenny Slate
“Captivating . . . [Dinerstein's] prose is lyrical and silky, but it's also specific, with acute observations and precise detail . . . Provocative . . . A rich reading experience.” —starred review, Publishers Weekly
“Dinerstein's much buzzed-about debut novel is a fanciful Arctic Circle romance between a Russian immigrant raised in a Brighton Beach bakery and a Manhattanite seeking refuge from family problems in a Norwegian artists' colony.” —The Forward
“Dinerstein's deliciously melancholy debut . . . is light and lyrical and her descriptions of the far north are intoxicating . . . A poetic premise with language to match.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Readers will delight in the often surprising turns of phrase offered by debut novelist Dinerstein . . . The unusual setting and evocative language will appeal to those looking for a summer read with a bit more depth.” —Booklist
“Engaging and alive . . . The Sunlit Night heralds the beginning of an intriguing career in fiction during which Dinerstein will hopefully continue to take us off the beaten path.” —Huffington Post
“Dinerstein's crystalline prose floats off the page, her storytelling delights and surprises. She takes on the travails, absurdities and human failings with warmth and humor, embracing it all and reminding us through her characters to do the same.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Funny!” —#1 Vacay Read: "Stories to pack no matter where you’re going", Marie Claire
“A rare find . . . With precision and ease, Dinerstein gives us a love story that's about so much more than finding love: it's about finding yourself in the company of another, even when you're far from home.” —#1 of “13 of June 2015’s Best Books That Are the Perfect Summer Escape", Bustle
“Get swept away to remote Norway with Dinerstein's lyrical prose about lovers Frances and Yasha. The sites are picturesque, the love is real, and anything can happen.” —17 of the Best Books of Summer, Bustle
“10 Must-Read Books for June.” —Flavorwire
“Dinerstein has demonstrated a level of mastery that would be impressive even in a much more seasoned writer. The Sunlit Night is a funny, wise and tender story, a near perfect blend of disparate elements.” —ShelfAwareness
“Dinerstein's special blend of melancholy and hope renders a character-rich, multifaceted story.” —Elle
“This poetically written novel . . . reminds us that love is more important than geography.” —New York Post
“Refreshing . . . The author is a poet so the prose is, not surprisingly, lyrical but it's observant and witty, too.” —The Daily Mail
“Just spectacular.” —HelloGiggles
“Rebecca Dinerstein has created a tale full of lyrically crafted sentences . . . offering an introspective portrait of young adults coping with the backwash of their parents’ disintegrating unions.” —Library Journal
“Quirky and dark despite the light, with vivid descriptions of the crisp air, barren landscapes, and seductive silences.” —Fathom.com
“It's hard to read The Sunlit Night without feeling as though you're enveloped in warmth, swathed by the author's lyricism and imagery. The sensation is one unique to Dinerstein's hand--and perfectly matched for the sun-soaked Nordic tale of lives intersecting at the top of the world.” —Electric Literature
“Dinerstein excels as a writer . . . If you're looking for a book to escape the heat of August, this is the one for you.” —Do South
"Extraordinarily captivating . . . Lyrical, often darkly funny . . . Told against the extraordinary backdrop of sun-filled, endless Norwegian days, of the unique and striking colours that seep out and shine through Dinerstein's vibrant, precise, sun-splashed prose." —The Irish Times
$18.00Most titles are on our shelves or avaialble within 1-5 days.
David Mitchell’s novels are a little bit like Gothic Cathedrals: the beauty of their raw materials and their grand overall design smack you in the face immediately, but you could lose hours (or, years, if you’re getting your PhD) studying the intricacies of their design. Multiple voices, like flying buttresses, keep the narrative from collapsing under its own weight. Set from the 1980s up until 2046, this might be Mitchell’s grandest work yet. Like an ancient house of worship, it is spellbinding, and beautiful and masterfully crafted -- something of a miracle to behold, whether you’re a believer or not.
~Nick— From The Bone Clocks
September 2014 Indie Next List
“Once again, Mitchell's inventiveness and imagination prove to be nothing short of genius. He combines dark fantasy, boldly original prose, and finely drawn characters who will keep the reader riveted from Holly Sykes' initial angst-ridden teen thought to the very last, hopeful sentence. Mitchell proves once again that he is a writer of no equal when it comes to the invention of language, place, and time, taking the reader to the edge of both the real and the imagined as if he were guiding you personally by the hand. I will not have to persuade anyone into enjoying The Bone Clocks!”
— Javier Ramirez, City Lit, Chicago, IL
The New York Times bestseller by the author of Cloud Atlas • Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize • Named One of the Top Ten Fiction Books of the Year by Time, Entertainment Weekly, and O: The Oprah Magazine • A New York Times Notable Book • An American Library Association Notable Book • Winner of the World Fantasy Award
“With The Bone Clocks, [David] Mitchell rises to meet and match the legacy of Cloud Atlas.”—Los Angeles Times
Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.
For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.
A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting on the war in Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.
Rich with character and realms of possibility, The Bone Clocks is a kaleidoscopic novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together by a writer The Washington Post calls “the novelist who’s been showing us the future of fiction.”
An elegant conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and a master prose stylist, David Mitchell has become one of the leading literary voices of his generation. His hypnotic new novel, The Bone Clocks, crackles with invention and wit and sheer storytelling pleasure—it is fiction at its most spellbinding.
Named to more than 20 year-end best of lists, including
NPR • San Francisco Chronicle • The Atlantic • The Guardian • Slate • BuzzFeed
“One of the most entertaining and thrilling novels I’ve read in a long time.”—Meg Wolitzer, NPR
“[Mitchell] writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Intensely compelling . . . fantastically witty . . . offers up a rich selection of domestic realism, gothic fantasy and apocalyptic speculation.”—The Washington Post
“[A] time-traveling, culture-crossing, genre-bending marvel of a novel.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Great fun . . . a tour de force . . . [Mitchell] channels his narrators with vivid expertise.”—San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.
“One of the most entertaining and thrilling novels I’ve read in a long time.”—Meg Wolitzer, NPR
“Astonishing . . . No one, clearly, has ever told [David] Mitchell that the novel is dead. He writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience. . . . In his sixth novel, he’s brought together the time-capsule density of his eyes-wide-open adventure in traditional realism with the death-defying ambitions of Cloud Atlasuntil all borders between pubby England and the machinations of the undead begin to blur. . . . Not many novelists could take on plausible Aboriginal speech, imagine a world after climate change has ravaged it and wonder whether whales suffer from unrequited love. . . . Very few [writers] excite the reader about both the visceral world and the visionary one as Mitchell does.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
“Intensely compelling . . . fantastically witty . . . offers up a rich selection of domestic realism, gothic fantasy and apocalyptic speculation.”—The Washington Post
“Sprawling yet disciplined, drunk on life but ever cognizant of its brevity and preciousness, this time-traveling, culture-crossing, genre-bending marvel of a novel by the highly regarded author of Cloud Atlas utterly beguiles.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Great fun . . . a tour de force . . . [Mitchell] channels his narrators with vivid expertise.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Mitchell is one of the most electric writers alive. To open a Mitchell book is to set forth on an adventure. . . . In his latest novel, The Bone Clocks, Mitchell has spun his most far-flung tale yet. . . . Strange and magical.”—The Boston Globe
“Magical . . . [The Bone Clocks] perfectly illustrates the idea that we’re all the heroes of our own lives as well as single cogs in a much larger and more beautiful mechanism. [Grade:] A”—Entertainment Weekly
“Transportingly great . . . If David Mitchell isn’t the most talented novelist of his generation, is there any doubt that he is the most multi-talented? He is, at his best, a superior writer to Jonathan Franzen, a better storyteller than Michael Chabon, more wickedly clever than Jennifer Egan, and as gifted as Alice Munro. . . . The Bone Clocks affords its readers the singular gift of reading—the wish to stay put and to be nowhere else but here.”—The Atlantic
“Mitchell’s mesmerizing saga is evidence of the power of story to transport us, and even to stop time entirely.”—Vanity Fair
“[A] literary marvel . . . What we value defines us, The Bone Clocks tells us. Sometimes it’s life. Sometimes it’s love. It’s definitely this book.”—The Miami Herald
“Mitchell’s wit, imagination and gorgeous prose make this a page-turner.”—People
“Mind-bendingly ambitious . . . The force of [Mitchell’s] storytelling makes The Bone Clocks a joy.”—Time
“A tour de force of the imagination, rewarding the attentive reader with both the intricate richness of its plot and the beauty of its language.”—The Plain Dealer
“Told with the skill and nuance of a gifted ventriloquist.”—USA Today
“Mitchell rises to meet and match the legacy of Cloud Atlas.”—Los Angeles Times
“Reading a David Mitchell novel is a little like wandering through a multiplex during that September sweet spot when the best summer blockbusters are screened alongside autumn’s more serious fare. The Bone Clocks is no exception. Mitchell’s generous imagination saturates every sentence, character, and setting to create a story as thrilling in its language as in its plot. It’s my favorite novel I’ve read this year, and the only one I’ve already reread.”—Anthony Marra
“Great story, great words, all good.”—Stephen King
“A hell of a great read . . . wild, funny, terrifying . . . a slipstream masterpiece all its own . . . Mitchell is a genre-bending, time-leaping, world-traveling, puzzle-making, literary magician, and The Bone Clocks is one of his best books.”—Esquire
“Mitchell is a superb storyteller. . . . One of the reasons he is such a popular and critically lauded writer is that he combines both the giddy, freewheeling ceaselessness of the pure storyteller with the grounded realism of the humanist. There’s something for everyone, traditionalist or postmodernist, realist or fantasist.”—The New Yorker
“Relentlessly brilliant . . . [The Bone Clocks contains] depth and darkness, bravely concealed with all the wit and sleight of hand and ventriloquistic verbiage and tale-telling bravura of which Mitchell is a master.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian
“You could call Mitchell a global writer, I suppose, but that does not quite capture what he is doing. It is closer to say that he is a pangaeic writer, a supercontinental writer.”—New York
“With The Bone Clocks [Mitchell] has brought off his most sinewy, fine and full book to date, a Möbius strip–tripping great novel that will reward bleary-eyed rereading until he writes his next one.”—Financial Times
“Dazzling . . . Mitchell’s heavy arsenal of talents is showcased in these pages: his symphonic imagination; his ventriloquist’s ability to channel the voices of myriad characters from different time zones and cultures; his intuitive understanding of children and knack for capturing their solemnity and humor; and his ear for language—its rhythms, sounds and inflections.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“As you might expect from a David Mitchell novel, [The Bone Clocks is] big, ambitious, and pretty. But it’s very much the story of one woman: Holly Sykes. Her tiny human life is the thread that holds the various stories of The Bone Clocks together, and ultimately it is what gives the book a deep sense of meaning, and its lasting joys and sorrows.”—The Millions
“[The Bone Clocks] might just become the 1984 of the climate change movement. It dramatizes the consequences of our improvident modern economy in the way George Orwell’s novel awakened people to the ‘Big Brother’ mentality of Soviet communism.”—David Ignatius, The Washington Post
“[The Bone Clocks] enthralls, soars, and crackles.”—The Daily Beast
“Mitchell is back and as genre-bendy as ever. Describing the breadth of his latest epic as ‘sprawling’ wouldn’t quite do it justice.”—The Huffington Post
“Deeply meaningful . . . The Bone Clocks has everything you might expect to find in a David Mitchell novel: Great characters in settings far-flung over space and time, all tied together by ambitious ideas and gorgeous writing.”—BuzzFeed
“Mitchell may be the greatest novelist in the English language currently in his prime.”—The A.V. Club
“A fascinating and moving book about time, technology and even the ‘State of the World.’”—The Dallas Morning News
“Mitchell is a brilliant literary mesmerist. . . . He writes with scintillating verve and abundance. . . . [Mitchell’s is a] joyful, consoling world.”—The Telegraph
“A fantastic, perilous journey over continents and decades. Fans of Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas will find this equally ambitious and mind-bending.”—Marie Claire
“[A] beautiful explosion of adventurous ideas . . . As [Mitchell’s] oeuvre develops, he seems to be getting cleverer, braver and delightfully madder.”—The Times
“Fantastical, ambitious, bold and exuberant.”—The Observer
“A sweeping epic . . . that, like Cloud Atlas, spans the ages and tinkers with the hidden gears of human history.”—GQ
“A cautionary metaphysical thriller that grounds its ambition in its heroine’s human charm.”—Vogue
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An entrancing tale perfect for fans of Station Eleven and The Night Circus! I loved this watery post-apocalyptic world of supple prose and hardscrabble wonders.
For readers of The Night Circus and Station Eleven, a lyrical and absorbing debut set in a world covered by water
As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.
In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland ("landlockers") and those who float on the sea ("damplings"), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives--offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.
Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.
— Finalist, Lambda Literary Award
About the Author
KIRSTY LOGAN is an award-winning writer based in Scotland. She regularly performs her stories at events and festivals around the UK and Europe. The Gracekeepers is her debut novel.
An NPR Best Book of the Year Selection
“Logan not only captures the cloistered eeriness of circus life, she does so in a way that lovingly reinvents both the weird whimsy and archetypal resonance of fairytales…Logan crafts an exquisitely wrought diorama full of tenderly compelling characters; observations about grief, worship, social order, and human nature, and a love that transcends definition… Spellbinding.”—NPR.org
“A lyrical debut novel that explores how our truest family is often one of our choosing rather than the one we’re born into.”—Washington Post
“Filled with evocative images, including cruise ships transformed into itinerant revival meetings, and with classic fairy tale elements such as world trees and selkies, Logan's novel imbues what is essentially an environmental fable with the heft of myth.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A beautifully strange debut novel that draws upon folklore of the Scottish west and the isles…Starkly original...The storm that rocks the Excalibur is both literal and metaphorical, as it brings the lives of North and Callanish crashing together and stirs up love, adventure, and a smoldering determination to find a sense of wholeness....Haunting, spare, and evocative."—Kirkus Reviews
“Gorgeous…Culling from Scottish fairytales, Logan paints a hauntingly beautiful portrait of a world imbued with both myth and eerie realness.”--Bustle
“Electrifying…Like Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, The Gracekeepers circles the peculiar business of the culture humans make, and tries to understand why we would persist in the direst circumstances. From the flotsam of the washed-out world, ersatz elements are pulled together – a little King Arthur, some rustic paganism, evangelical kitsch – to make something that is, after all, beautiful…This is a novel of the liminal and the liquid, seeking new ways of living together and new forms of life in a world that humans have transformed almost beyond the possibility of our own survival. As with any good descent, there is danger, devilish glamour and a resurfacing into sunlit salvation.”--Guardian
“Magical in every way…[A] beguiling, absorbing debut…Everything about this book is beautiful; the language is as poetic and diaphanous as nature and the many characters who contribute to the story are utterly authentic in this magic realist world. Every one of them stays with you, leaving you craving more about their back stories and their fates. Logan has a uniquely light touch on the theme of fluidity of gender and, above all, it all seems driven by humanity. This is a delicious piece of work from a supremely talented young writer.”—The Scotsman
“Dreamlike…wonderfully imaginative…Memorable and beautiful.”—Daily Mail
“[A] modern fairytale...Outstanding.”—Herald Scotland
"Truly magical... Perfect for summer escapism.”--Heat
"A bold, fresh new talent… a wild, original imagination"--Independent on Sunday
"In luscious, vivid prose, Logan brings to mind Angela Carter, or Atwood or Winterson at their best"—Independent
"The Gracekeepers is enchanting and heart-tugging. If you love Margaret Atwood you’ll love this"--Sunday Telegraph
"Likened to Margaret Atwood, The Gracekeepers is a wondrous read"—Stylist
"Beautiful and bewitching: read it and be swept away on a magical wave of love and language"--Bookseller
“A highly original fantasy, set in a haunting sea-world both familiar and mysterious.”—Ursula K. Le Guin
"The Gracekeepers is an enchanting, magical tale, and Kirsty Logan’s writing is beautiful. Compelling and vivid, with Scottish lore woven lyrically throughout, The Gracekeepers explores such issues as loneliness and isolation, our innate tendencies to create divisions between ourselves and others, the consequences of long-ago actions, and, ultimately, the restoration of hope."—Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants and At the Water’s Edge
“A gorgeously melancholy novel, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale of mermen and mourning birds, ghost cities on the ocean floor and precious, precious soil. I envy the reader who is just now picking it up.”—Camille DeAngelis, author of Bones & All
“The Gracekeepers is a seemingly impossible combination of the lyrical and the gritty, the magical and the brutal. In haunting prose Kirsty Logan has woven a compelling, emotionally dense fairytale that kept me enthralled 'til the last page.”--Tamar Cohen, author of War of the Wives
Praise for Kirsty Logan's The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales:
Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
Winner of the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection
Winner of the Scott Prize for Short Stories
“Kirsty Logan is an exquisite writer who possesses the uncanny ability to make even the most mundane detail beautifully compelling. If you want to be captivated, if you want to be utterly taken, reach for this book and don’t let go.”—Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist
"Alarmingly good . . . Concise, vividly written and full of dark, arresting imagery." —The Herald
“[Logan] brings to mind Angela Carter, or Atwood or Winterson at their best…An exciting emerging voice, and The Rental Heart is an addictively enjoyable addition to the welcome resurgence of the short story. It displays an unexpectedly dizzying range of styles for a debut effort, putting Logan at the top of the “ones to watch” list. It’s always exciting to see such a bold, fresh new talent, and if Logan carries on in this vein, she’ll become a staple of the awards shortlists.”—Independent
Coverage from NPR
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Other Books in Series
This is book number 1 in the The Familiar series.
- #2: The Familiar, Volume 2: Into the Forest (Paperback): $25.00
- #3: The Familiar, Volume 3: Honeysuckle & Pain (Paperback): $25.95
- #4: The Familiar, Volume 4: Hades (Paperback): $26.95
- #5: The Familiar, Volume 5: Redwood (Paperback): $27.95
While this book may appear, at first glance, to be essentially unreadable, rest assured there are great pleasures to be found within. Danielewski is simply too smart and too cool to fail, even if this, his current project, seems hugely ambitious (this is, allegedly, Volume One from a total of 27). Full disclosure: I haven’t (yet!) read it, but just holding it gives me a kind of literary arousal. (I have read his other stuff; it is thoroughly amazing). Recommended for the patient and the daring.
~Nick— From The Familiar, Volume 1
NATIONAL BEST SELLER
The Familiar Volume 1 Wherein the cat is found . . .
From the author of the international best seller House of Leaves and National Book Award–nominated Only Revolutions comes a monumental new novel as dazzling as it is riveting. The Familiar (Volume 1) ranges from Mexico to Southeast Asia, from Venice, Italy, to Venice, California, with nine lives hanging in the balance, each called upon to make a terrifying choice. They include a therapist-in-training grappling with daughters as demanding as her patients; an ambitious East L.A. gang member contracted for violence; two scientists in Marfa, Texas, on the run from an organization powerful beyond imagining; plus a recovering addict in Singapore summoned at midnight by a desperate billionaire; and a programmer near Silicon Beach whose game engine might unleash consequences far exceeding the entertainment he intends. At the very heart, though, is a twelve-year-old girl named Xanther who one rainy day in May sets out with her father to get a dog, only to end up trying to save a creature as fragile as it is dangerous . . . which will change not only her life and the lives of those she has yet to encounter, but this world, too—or at least the world we think we know and the future we take for granted.
(With full-color illustrations throughout.)
THE FAMILIAR continues...
The Familiar Volume 2 Wherein the cat is hungry . . .
The Familiar Volume 3 Wherein the cat is blind . . .
The Familiar Volume 4 Wherein the cat is toothless . . .
The Familiar Volume 5 Wherein the cat is named . . .
About the Author
MARK Z. DANIELEWSKI was born in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles.
“Thrilling and magnetic. . . . . The Familiar: Volume One is a boldly original, gorgeous, and suspenseful work of literature. . . . Thoroughly encoded with the language of our design-conscious, cinema-saturated, tech-centric era. We’re fluent in it because we’re living now.” —Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe
“A new novel by Danielewski requires a new way of reading. . . . Reading [The Familiar] . . . as one approaches the pilot to a new TV series, Volume 1 becomes a revelation, a thrilling, compulsive reading experience. . . . A tour de force, less a novel than it is an experience. . . . The next volume—episode—can’t come soon enough.” —Robert J. Wiersema, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Danielewski has somehow created a format, an experience, that mimics the best of the digital future we’ve been told to expect, while exploiting the best of print, that which we’ve been told to mourn. . . . The reader is called upon to commit, to actively participate and engage in the unconventional structure and its relationship to the sprawling, eight-plot narrative, but also to enjoy: as serious as this all may seem, Volume 1 has a playfulness, a mischievousness, not unlike a cat." —Allison K. Hill, Los Angeles Daily News
“As our society gets more technology-weary, it’s nice to see books like The Familiar: Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May break the mold and tell a story in a new and innovate way exclusive to physical pages between two covers.” —Andrew Munz, Planet Jackson Hole (Wyoming)
“[Danielewski is] America’s foremost literary Magus. . . . He transmutes the pages of base books into rare new forms and formats. . . . [The Familiar: Volume 1] is a ‘remediation’ of television series like Twin Peaks and Breaking Bad . . . [and also] resembles Altman-inflected movies . . . or the time and place-skipping novels of David Mitchell. . . . I’m definitely in for Volume 2.” —Tom LeClair, The New York Times Book Review
“Excellent. . . . It reminds you of the novel’s unknowable potential. Danielewski does this better than anybody. It’s like he crinkles up a page with words and then straightens it out and pastes it into the book, so that only the most important words remain legible, while teasing you to try to figure out the blurry, scarred sentences hiding in the margins. . . . I love Xanther, love her, and I can’t stand the thought of something bad happening to her, and, yes, I’ll keep reading this series as long as her story continues.” —S. Tremaine Nelson, Green Mountains Review
“A herculean achievement. . . . The wild visuals render beautifully on an e-reader, but suggest that the medium of physical books is not entirely replaceable. This book may even have a chance to become this age's equivalent to Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Danielewski's certainly not aiming any lower.” —Zach Borenstein, Everyday eBook
“[Danielewski is] the most aggressively avant-garde popular writer working today. . . . The Familiar: Volume 1 is as much a narrative story as it is an experiment in visual and typographical forms. . . . It all adds up to something between a graphic novel and a novel-novel.” —Cady Drell, Newsweek
“I found it helpful to think of The Familiar as less of a ‘book’ in the traditional sense of the word, and more as a piece of experimental visual art. . . . If you’re a House of Leaves fan like me, then this is a book you cannot miss—because there’s simply nothing else like it.” —Jefferson Grubbs, Bustle.com
“The Familiar [is] Danielewski’s most ambitious narrative undertaking yet, which is saying a lot. . . . More than any other contemporary writer, Danielewski has blown the door wide open on novelistic experimentation. . . . [He] has shown, emphatically, just how much formal experimentation can truly enhance a narrative experience. . . . His books are freewheeling adventures into intricate depths and wide expanses, and they’ve helped usher in a new era of the novel.” —Jonathan Russell Clark, LitHub.com
“The Familiar is performance art as well as book. . . . The Familiar will be a delight to fans of House of Leaves . . . This, like all of Danielewski’s work, is a verbal structure made for puzzle solvers.” —Lydia Millet, Los Angeles Times
“Incontestably the shortest 880-page novel you’ll ever read. . . . It flies by with the breakneck surrealism of lived experience.” —Los Angeles Magazine
“The House of Leaves author is back with yet another text-art riddled story. The story begins ‘one rainy day in May,’ when a 12-year-old named Xanther is hesitantly studying up on math while riding in the car with her dad. . . . Xanther's story is the nexus for a score of others, and the author's fragmented means of storytelling proves as fresh and compelling as ever.” —The Huffington Post, “18 Brilliant Books You Won’t Want to Miss This Summer”
“Most everything about this vast, elusive, sometimes even illusory narrative shouts tour de force.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This novel goes beyond the experimental into the visionary, creating a language and style that expands the horizon of meaning . . . [and] hints at an evolved form of literature.” —Library Journal (starred review)
Coverage from NPR
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The title of this book refers to the secrets every family keeps from each other. The unsaid are often the things you will regret or remember. Beautifully written.
~Frayda— From Everythng I Never Told You
The acclaimed debut novel by the author of Little Fires Everywhere.
“A taut tale of ever deepening and quickening suspense." -O, the Oprah Magazine
"Explosive...Both a propulsive mystery and a profound examination of a mixed-race family." -Entertainment Weekly
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
About the Author
CELESTE NG grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. She attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son. She is the author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere.
“If we know this story, we haven’t seen it yet in American fiction, not until now… Ng has set two tasks in this novel’s doubled heart—to be exciting, and to tell a story bigger than whatever is behind the crime. She does both by turning the nest of familial resentments into at least four smaller, prickly mysteries full of secrets the family members won’t share… What emerges is a deep, heartfelt portrait of a family struggling with its place in history, and a young woman hoping to be the fulfillment of that struggle. This is, in the end, a novel about the burden of being the first of your kind—a burden you do not always survive.” —Alexander Chee, The New York Times Book Review
“Both a propulsive mystery and a profound examination of a mixed-race family, Ng’s explosive debut chronicles the plight of Marilyn and James Lee after their favored daughter is found dead in a lake.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Excellent…an accomplished debut… heart-wrenching…Ng deftly pulls together the strands of this complex, multigenerational novel. Everything I Never Told You is an engaging work that casts a powerful light on the secrets that have kept an American family together—and that finally end up tearing it apart.” —Los Angeles Times
"Tender and merciless all at once...Vital in all the essential ways." — Jesmyn Ward
“Wonderfully moving…Emotionally precise…A beautifully crafted study of dysfunction and grief…[This book] will resonate with anyone who has ever had a family drama.” —Boston Globe
“A powerhouse of a debut novel, a literary mystery crafted out of shimmering prose and precise, painful observation about racial barriers, the burden of familial expectations, and the basic human thirst for belonging… Ng’s novel grips readers from page one with the hope of unraveling the mystery behind Lydia’s death—and boy does it deliver, on every front.” —Huffington Post
“A subtle meditation on gender, race and the weight of one generation’s unfulfilled ambitions upon the shoulders—and in the heads—of the next… Ng deftly and convincingly illustrates the degree to which some miscommunications can never quite be rectified.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Cleverly crafted, emotionally perceptive… Ng sensitively dramatizes issues of gender and race that lie at the heart of the story… Ng’s themes of assimilation are themselves deftly interlaced into a taut tale of ever deepening and quickening suspense.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Ng moves gracefully back and forth in time, into the aftermath of the tragedy as well as the distant past, and into the consciousness of each member of the family, creating a series of mysteries and revelations that lead back to the original question: what happened to Lydia?...Ng is masterful in her use of the omniscient narrator, achieving both a historical distance and visceral intimacy with each character’s struggles and failures…On the surface, Ng’s storylines are nothing new. There is a mysterious death, a family pulled apart by misunderstanding and grief, a struggle to fit into the norms of society, yet in the weaving of these threads she creates a work of ambitious complexity. In the end, this novel movingly portrays the burden of difference at a time when difference had no cultural value…Compelling.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“The mysterious circumstances of 16-year-old Lydia Lee’s tragic death have her loved ones wondering how, exactly, she spent her free time. This ghostly debut novel calls to mind The Lovely Bones.” —Marie Claire
“The first chapter of Celeste Ng’s debut novel is difficult—the oldest daughter in a family is dead—but what follows is a brilliantly written, surprisingly uplifting exploration of striving in the face of alienation and of the secrets we keep from others. This could be my favorite novel of the year.” —Chris Schluep, Parade
“The emotional core of Celeste Ng’s debut is what sets it apart. The different ways in which the Lee family handles Lydia’s death create internal friction, and most impressive is the way Ng handles racial politics. With a deft hand, she loads and unpacks the implications of being the only Chinese American family in a small town in Ohio.” —Kevin Nguyen, Grantland
“Beautiful and poignant…. deftly drawn….It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel for Celeste Ng. She tackles the themes of family dynamics, gender and racial stereotyping, and the weight of expectations, all with insight made more powerful through understatement. She has an exact, sophisticated touch with her prose. The sentences are straightforward. She evokes emotions through devastatingly detailed observations.” — Cleveland Plain-Dealer
“Perceptive…a skillful and moving portrayal of a family in pain…It is to Ng’s credit that it is sometimes difficult for the reader to keep going; the pain and unhappiness is palpable. But it is true to the Lees, and Ng tells all.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Impressive… In its evocation of a time and place and society largely gone but hardly forgotten, Everything I Never Told You tells much that today’s reader should learn, ponder and appreciate.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
$15.95Most titles are on our shelves or avaialble within 1-5 days.
Judgment, both personal and professional, is at the heart of this short, lovely novel. Moral dilemmas in marriage and religion provide the drama, while McEwan's singular writing provides the compassion.
~Molly— From The Children Act
Now a Major Motion Picture starring Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Fionn Whitehead.
One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, Vogue, BookRiot
Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge who presides over cases in the family division. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude, and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.
At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: Adam, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, is refusing for religious reasons the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents echo his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely expressed faith? In the course of reaching a decision, Fiona visits Adam in the hospital—an encounter that stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.
About the Author
IAN McEWAN is the bestselling author of fifteen books, including the novels Sweet Tooth; Solar, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize; On Chesil Beach; Saturday; Atonement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the W. H. Smith Literary Award; The Comfort of Strangers and Black Dogs, both short-listed for the Booker Prize; Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize; and The Child in Time, winner of the Whitbread Award; as well as the story collections First Love, Last Rites, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and In Between the Sheets.
“Fantastically pleasurable. . . . Anything we want a novelist to do, he can do. . . . Unsurpassable.” —Chicago Tribune
“A svelte novel as crisp and spotless as a priest’s collar. . . . Another notable volume from one of the finest writers alive.” —The Washington Post
“Masterful. . . . Begins with the briskness of a legal brief written by a brilliant mind, and concludes with a gracefulness found in the work of few other writers.” —Meg Wolitzer, NPR
“Powerful. . . . Convincingly presents a complex woman in all her nuances. . . . A paragon becomes all too human in this aching tale.” —New York Daily News
“The first thing to do about Ian McEwan is stipulate his mastery. Anything we want a novelist to do, he can do, has done. His books are fantastically pleasurable. Their plots click forward, the characters lifted into real being by his gliding, edgeless, observant, devastating prose—his faultless prose. . . . Every novelistic mode is at his command, from the dark fabulism of The Child in Time to the vibrant sweep of Atonement to the modest but beautiful realism of his more recent work, On Chesil Beach, Saturday, Solar.” —Chicago Tribune
“Highly subtle and page-turningly dramatic. . . . Only a master could manage, in barely over 200 pages, to engage so many ideas, leaving nothing neatly answered.” —The Boston Globe
“It’s a joy to welcome The Children Act. . . . [The novel’s] sense of life-and-death urgency never wavers. . . . Profound. . . . You would have to go back to Saturday or Atonement to find scenes of equivalent intensity and emotional investment.” —The Wall Street Journal
“McEwan here crafts a taut morality tale in crystalline sentences.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“A quietly exhilarating book. . . . Reveals an uncanny genius for plucking a resonant subject from the pages of lifestyle journalism and teasing it out into full scenes and then pressing them hard for their larger, enduring meanings.” —Los Angeles Times
“Powerful. . . . Heartbreaking and profound. . . . Skillfully juxtaposes the dilemmas of ordinary life and tabloid-ready controversy.” —People
“Smart and elegant. . . . Reminds us just how messy life can be and how the justice system, despite the best of intentions and the best of minds, doesn’t always deliver justice.” —USA Today
“A finely written, engaging read. . . . Poignant, challenging, and lyrical.” —The Huffington Post
“Haunting. . . . [A] brief but substantial addition to the author’s oeuvre.” —Entertainment Weekly, A-
“One of the most extraordinary, powerful, moving reading experiences of my life. . . . An utterly remarkable novel, delicately balanced, perfectly crafted, beautifully written.” —Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading
“Captivating. . . . Achingly romantic. . . . Entertain[s] some messy dualities: the limits of the law and the expansiveness of humanity, youth and age, guilt and innocence, the confines of religion and the boundlessness of free thought.” —The Houston Chronicle
“Fascinatingly complex and finally heartbreaking. . . . A quite beautiful work of fiction.” —The Times (London)
“Masterly. . . . As one begins an Ian McEwan novel—this is his 13th—one feels an immediate pleasure in returning to prose of uncommon clarity, unshowiness and control. . . . The best novel he has written since On Chesil Beach.” —The Guardian (London)
“As ever, McEwan achieves the rich, fine-grained realistic texture that makes his novels, sentence by sentence, a pleasure to read.” —The London Review of Books
“Swift and compelling, asking to be read in a single sitting. . . . So skillfully composed and fluently performed, it’s a pleasure from start to finish, one not to be interrupted.’ —Evening Standard (London)
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Masterfully written, The Sixth Extinction combines first-rate science reporting with lyrical, clear descriptions of vanishing species. Outstanding, life-changing read!
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2015— From The Sixth Extinction
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes
Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.
"[The Sixth Extinction] is a wonderful book, and it makes very clear that big, abrupt changes can happen; they're not outside the realm of possibility. They have happened before, they can happen again." —President Barack Obama
“Riveting . . . It is not possible to overstate the importance of Kolbert's book.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Arresting . . . Ms. Kolbert shows in these pages that she can write with elegiac poetry about the vanishing creatures of this planet, but the real power of her book resides in the hard science and historical context she delivers here, documenting the mounting losses that human beings are leaving in their wake.” —The New York Times
“Surprisingly breezy, entirely engrossing, and frequently entertaining . . . Kolbert is a masterful, thought-provoking reporter.” —The Boston Globe
“Your view of the world will be fundamentally changed. . . . Kolbert is an astute observer, excellent explainer, and superb synthesizer, and even manages to find humor in her subject matter.” —The Seattle Times
“Powerful . . . An invaluable contribution to our understanding.” —Al Gore, The New York Times Book Review
“Natural scientists posit that there have been five extinction events in the Earth's history (think of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs), and Kolbert makes a compelling case that human activity is leading to the sixth.” —Bill Gates
“[Kolbert] makes a page-turner out of even the most sober and scientifically demanding aspects of extinction.” —New York Magazine
“Ms. Kolbert's lively account is thought-provoking.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[Kolbert] grounds her stories in rigorous science and memorable characters past and present, building a case that a mass extinction is underway, whether we want to admit it or not.” —Discover Magazine
“Throughout her extensive and passionately collected research, Kolbert offers a highly readable, enlightening report on the global and historical impact of humans . . . a highly significant eye-opener rich in facts and enjoyment.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“The factoids Kolbert tosses off about nature's incredible variety--a frog that carries eggs in its stomach and gives birth through its mouth, a wood stork that cools off by defecating on its own legs--makes it heartbreakingly clear, without any heavy-handed sermonizing from the author, just how much we lose when an animal goes extinct. In the same way, her intrepid reporting from far-off places--Panama, Iceland, Italy, Scotland, Peru, the Amazonian rain forest of Brazil, and the remote one tree Island, off the coast of Australia--gives us a sense of the earth's vastness and beauty.” —Bookforum
“Kolbert accomplishes an amazing feat in her latest book, which superbly blends the depressing facts associated with rampant species extinctions and impending ecosystem collapse with stellar writing to produce a text that is accessible, witty, scientifically accurate, and impossible to put down.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Rendered with rare, resolute, and resounding clarity, Kolbert's compelling and enlightening report forthrightly addresses the most significant topic of our lives.” —Booklist (starred review)
“An epic, riveting story of our species that reads like a scientific thriller--only more terrifying because it is real. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction is destined to become one of the most important and defining books of our time.” —David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
“I tore through Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction with a mix of awe and terror. Her long view of extinction excited my joy in life's diversity -- even as she made me aware how many species are currently at risk.” —Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter
“With her usual lucid and lovely prose, Elizabeth Kolbert lays out the sad and gripping facts of our moment on earth: that we've become a geological force, driving vast swaths of creation over the brink. A remarkable addition to the literature of our haunted epoch.” —Bill McKibben, author Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist
“Elizabeth Kolbert's cautionary tale, The Sixth Extinction, offers us a cogent overview of a harrowing biological challenge. The reporting is exceptional, the contextualizing exemplary. Kolbert stands at the forefront of what it means to be a socially responsible American writer today.” —Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams
“The sixth mass extinction is the biggest story on Earth, period, and Elizabeth Kolbert tells it with imagination, rigor, deep reporting, and a capacious curiosity about all the wondrous creatures and ecosystems that exist, or have existed, on our planet. The result is an important book full of love and loss.” —David Quammen, author of The Song of the Dodo and Spillover
“Elizabeth Kolbert writes with an aching beauty of the impact of our species on all the other forms of life known in this cold universe. The perspective is at once awe-inspiring, humbling and deeply necessary.” —T.C. Boyle, author of San Miguel
Coverage from NPR
Riveting! A Spy Among Friends chronicles the incredible career of Kim Philby: British gentleman, M16 officer, husband, father, friend--and Soviet spy. With his trademark impeccable research and a flair for the humorous as well as the dramatic, Ben Macintyre tells a fascinating story culminating in a betrayal both political and personal.
~Fiona— From A Spy Among Friends
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The true story of Kim Philby, the Cold War's most infamous spy, from the master espionage writer and author of The Spy and the Traitor.
Who was Kim Philby? Those closest to him—like his fellow MI6 officer and best friend since childhood, Nicholas Elliot, and the CIA’s head of counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton—knew him as a loyal confidant and an unshakeable patriot. Philby was a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain’s counterintelligence against the Soviet Union. Together with Elliott and Angleton he stood on the front lines of the Cold War, holding Communism at bay. But he was secretly betraying them both: He was working for the Russians the entire time.
Every word uttered in confidence to Philby by his colleagues in the West made its way to Moscow, leading countless missions to their doom and subverting American and British attempts to subdue the Soviet threat. So how was this cunning double-agent finally exposed? In A Spy Among Friends, Ben Macintyre expertly weaves the heart-pounding tale of how Philby almost got away with it all—and what happened when he was finally unmasked.
Based on personal papers and never-before-seen British intelligence files, this is Ben Macintyre’s epic telling of one of the greatest spy stories ever, a Cold War history that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
About the Author
Ben Macintyre is a writer-at-large for The Times of London and the bestselling author of Double Cross, Operation Mincemeat, Agent Zigzag, The Napoleon of Crime, and Forgotten Fatherland, among other books. Macintyre has also written and presented BBC documentaries of his work.
New York Times Book Review Notable Book
Washington Post Notable Book
Entertainment Weekly's Best Spy Book of 2014
“Macintyre has produced more than just a spy story. He has written a narrative about that most complex of topics, friendship...When devouring this thriller, I had to keep reminding myself it was not a novel. It reads like a story by Graham Greene, Ian Fleming, or John Le Carré, leavened with a dollop of P.G. Wodehouse...[Macintyre] takes a fresh look at the grandest espionage drama of our era.”—Walter Isaacson, New York Times Book Review
“Superb… Riveting reading.” –Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker
“Macintyre does here what he does best — tell a heck of a good story. A Spy Among Friends is hands down the most entertaining book I’ve reviewed this year.” —Boston Globe
“Macintyre is a superb writer, with an eye for the telling detail as fine as any novelist’s…A Spy Among Friends is as suspenseful as any novel, too, as the clues tighten around Philby’s guilt.”—Dallas Morning News
“By now, the story of British double agent Harold ‘Kim’ Philby may be the most familiar spy yarn ever, fodder for whole libraries of histories, personal memoirs and novels. But Ben Macintyre manages to retell it in a way that makes Philby’s destructive genius fresh and horridly fascinating.”—David Ignatius, Washington Post
“A Spy Among Friends is a rollicking book. Mr. Macintyre is full of pep and never falters in the headlong rush of his narrative.”—Wall Street Journal
“Vivid and fascinating...[Macintyre] succeeds admirably.”—Newsday
“A crisply written tale of a classic intelligence case that remains relevant more than 50 years later.”—USA Today
“Excellent...I was thoroughly engrossed in this book, beginning to end. It has all the suspense of a good spy novel, and its characters are a complex mix of charm, eccentricity, intelligence and wit. And it offers a great--and mostly troubling—insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of those we entrust with the most important of our political and military secrets.”—The Huffington Post
“Working with colorful characters and an anything-can-happen attitude, Macintyre builds up a picture of an intelligence community chock-full of intrigue and betrayal, in which Philby was the undisputed king of lies…Entertaining and lively, Macintyre’s account makes the best fictional thrillers seem tame.” —Publishers Weekly [starred]
“Gripping and as well-crafted as an episode of Smiley’s People, full of cynical inevitability, secrets, lashings of whiskey and corpses.” —Kirkus Reviews [starred]
“Ben Macintyre (Double Cross) offers a fresh look at master double agent Kim Philby…Fans of James Bond will enjoy this look into the era that inspired Ian Fleming's novels, but any suspense-loving student of human nature will be shocked and thrilled by this true narrative of deceit.”—Shelf Awareness [starred]
“Ben Macintyre has a knack for finding the most fascinating storylines in history. He has done it again, with this spellbinding tale of espionage, friendship, and betrayal. Written with an historian’s fidelity to fact and a novelist’s eye for character, A Spy Among Friends is one terrific book.” —David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of Z
“Ben Macintyre is one of the most gifted espionage writers around. In A Spy Among Friends he weaves an absorbing tale of deceit and duplicity, of treason and betrayal. With exquisite detail and masterful control, Macintyre unveils the dark and treacherous interior worlds in which spies live.” —Annie Jacobsen, author of Area 51 and Operation Paperclip
“In this spellbinding account of friendship and betrayal, Ben Macintyre masterfully describes how the Cambridge-educated Kim Philby evaded justice by exploiting the incestuous snobbery of the British old-boy network, which refused to believe that one of its own could be a major Soviet spy. As riveting as Macintyre’s earlier books were, this searing portrait of Britain's ruling class is even better.” —Lynne Olson, bestselling author of Citizens of London and Those Angry Days
“Ben Macintyre has written a truly fabulous book about the "fabulous" Kim Philby—the suave, dedicated, and most intriguing spy of the entire Cold War era. Philby and his colorful Cambridge comrades are endlessly fascinating. But Macintyre tells the devastating story in an entirely new fashion, with new sources and an astonishing intimacy.”
—Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and author of The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames
“I have seldom had a better read than A Spy Among Friends. It reads like a thriller, a thriller of a peculiarly intricate and at times frightening sort, but you just can’t stop reading it.” —Lady Antonia Fraser, author of Marie Antoinette: The Journey
“The Philby story has been told many times, but never with such sensitivity. Almost inadvertently, Ben Macintyre, a Times columnist, provides a devastating critique of the British class system and the disasters that result when people assume they know people… A Spy Among Friends is an extraordinary book about a sordid profession in which the most important attribute is the ability to lie…. Macintyre’s focus on friendship brings an intimacy to this book that is missing from the cardboard stereotypes that populate spy novels and conventional espionage histories…I’m not a lover of spy novels, yet I adored this book.” –The Times of London
“Macintyre writes with the diligence and insight of a journalist, and the panache of a born storyteller, concentrating on Philby's friendship with and betrayal of Elliott and of Angleton, his pathetically dedicated admirer at the top of the CIA. Macintyre's account of the verbal duel between Elliott and Philby in their final confrontation in Beirut in 1963 is worthy of John le Carré at his best.”–The Guardian
“A Spy Among Friends, a classic spookfest, is also a brilliant reconciliation of history and entertainment…An unputdownable postwar thriller whose every incredible detail is fact not fiction…[a] spellbinding narrative…Part of the archetypal grip this story holds for the reader is as a case study in the existential truth that, in human relations, the Other is never really knowable. For both, the mask became indistinguishable from reality…A Spy Among Friends is not just an elegy, it is an unforgettable requiem.” –The Observer
“Ben Macintyre’s bottomlessly fascinating new book is an exploration of Kim Philby’s friendships, particularly with Nicholas Elliott… Other books on Philby may have left one with a feeling of grudging respect, but A Spy Among Friends draws out his icy cold heart…This book consists of 300 pages; I would have been happy had it been three times as long.” –The Mail on Sunday
“Such a summary does no justice to Macintyre's marvellously shrewd and detailed account of Philby's nefarious career. It is both authoritative and enthralling... The book is all the more intriguing because it carries an afterward by John le Carré.” –The New Statesman
“No one writes about deceit and subterfuge so dramatically, authoritatively or perceptively [as Ben Macintyre]. To read A Spy Among Friends is a bit like climbing aboard a runaway train in terms of speed and excitement–except that Macintyre knows exactly where he is going and is in total control of his material.” –The Daily Mail
“Philby's story has been told many times before–both in biography and most notably in John le Carre's fictional masterpiece Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy–but never in such exhaustive detail and with such panache as in Ben MacIntyre's brilliant, compulsive A Spy Among Friends… Reads like fiction, which is testament to the extraordinary power of the story itself but also to the skills of the storyteller…One of the best real-life spy stories one is ever likely to read.” –The Express
“Ben Macintyre has written an engaging book on a tantalising and ultimately tragic subject. If it starts as a study of friendship, it ends as an indictment.” –The Spectator