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The Magicians

SUMMARY: Intellectually precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater escapes the boredom of his daily life by reading and re-reading a series of beloved fantasy novels set in an enchanted land called Fillory. Like everybody else he assumes that magic isn’t real – until he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. But his childhood dream is a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart. (Bestseller)

The Lost Recipe for Happiness

SUMMARY: In this sumptuous new novel, Barbara O’Neal offers readers a celebration of food, family, and love as a woman searches for the elusive ingredient we’re all hoping to find….It’s the opportunity Elena Alvarez has been waiting for–the challenge of running her own kitchen in a world-class restaurant. Haunted by an accident of which she was the lone survivor, Elena knows better than anyone how to survive the odds. With her faithful dog, Alvin, and her grandmother’s recipes, Elena arrives in Colorado to find a restaurant in as desperate need of a fresh start as she is–and a man whose passionate approach to food and life rivals her own. Owner Julian Liswood is a name many people know but a man few do. He’s come to Aspen with a troubled teenage daughter and a dream of the kind of stability and love only a family can provide. But for Elena, old ghosts don’t die quietly, yet a chance to find happiness at last is worth the risk.

The Lost Books of the Odyssey

SUMMARY: A BRILLIANT AND BEGUILING REIMAGINING OF ONE OF OUR GREATEST MYTHS BY A GIFTED YOUNG WRITERZachary Mason’s brilliant and beguiling debut novel, The Lost Books of the Odyssey, reimagines Homer’s classic story of the hero Odysseus and his long journey home after the fall of Troy. With brilliant prose, terrific imagination, and dazzling literary skill, Mason creates alternative episodes, fragments, and revisions of Homer’s original that taken together open up this classic Greek myth to endless reverberating interpretations. The Lost Books of the Odyssey is punctuated with great wit, beauty, and playfulness; it is a daring literary page-turner that marks the emergence of an extraordinary new talent.

The Long Song

SUMMARY: THE AUTHOR OF “SMALL ISLAND “TELLS THE STORY OF THE LAST TURBULENT YEARS OF SLAVERY AND THE EARLY YEARS OF FREEDOM IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY JAMAICA “Small Island “introduced Andrea Levy to America and was acclaimed as “a triumph” (“San Francisco Chronicle”). It won both the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and has sold over a million copies worldwide. With “The Long Song,” Levy once again reinvents the historical novel. Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, “The Long Song “is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.” Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her “freedom.” It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change life in the great house for both July and her mistress. Prompted and provoked by her son’s persistent questioning, July’s resilience and heartbreak are gradually revealed in this extraordinarily powerful story of slavery, revolution, freedom, and love. Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents. Her fourth novel, “Small Island,” won both the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best. She lives in London. Longlisted for the Orange Prize for FictionLonglisted for the Man Booker Prize Andrea Levy reinvents the historical novel with her novel “The Long Song,” a tale of slavery and freedom in colonial Jamaica.” “Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, “The Long Song “is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.” Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her “freedom.” It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change life in the great house for both July and her mistress. Prompted and provoked by her son’s persistent questioning, July’s resilience and heartbreak are gradually revealed in this extraordinarily powerful story of slavery, revolution, freedom, and love. “When you add Levy’s almost Dickensian gifts for dialogue and storytelling to her humorous detachment, her ability to see race hatred as yet another twist of the English class system, it’s easy to understand why she has become something of a celebrity in Britain. In “The Long Song,” Levy turns her attention to the final days of slavery in -early-19th-century Jamaica. Packaged with a preface and an afterword purporting to have been written by Mr. Thomas Kinsman, a well-to-do black printer living in Jamaica in 1898, and occasionally punctuated by editorial suggestions from that long-suffering man, the novel is presented as the memoirs of his octogenarian mother, Miss July, who was born into slavery on a sugar plantation known as Amity . . . In “The Long Song,” she has painted a vivid and persuasive portrait of Jamaican slave society, a society that succeeded with bravery, style and strategic patience both to outsmart its oppressors and to plant the seeds of what is today a culture celebrated worldwide.”–Fernanda Eberstadt, “The New York Times Book Review” “As well as providing a history of post-abolition Jamaica, “The Long Song” is beautifully written, intricately plotted, humorous and earthy. In patois-inflected prose, Levy conjures the greed and licentiousness of the island’s sugar impresarios and heiresses as they indulge vast meals and sexual gropings–before casting Jamaica aside like a sucked orange. Those who enjoyed “Small”” Island” will love “The Long Song,” not just for the insights on the ‘wretched island, ‘ but as a marvel of luminous storytelling.” –Ian Thomson, ” Financial Times” “Often, the difference between a good read and a great one boils down to a single element: voice. Plot, characters, subject matter and style all factor in, but without a distinctive voice, literature is flat. No worries on that score – or any other–for Andrea Levy’s vibrant fifth novel, “The Long Song,” which follows her rich Whitbread and Orange Prize-winning “Small Island.” Where “Small Island” concerned race, class and empire among West Indian immigrants in postwar England, “The Long Song” is about the bloody death throes of slavery in Jamaica in the 1830s. It’s a history that may be unfamiliar to American readers, but Levy’s novel, narrated in 1898 by a former slave named Miss July, makes it come alive with urgency and relevance. “The Long Song” sings the story of July’s difficult life, which she writes at the prodding of her son, Thomas, a successful printer and editor with whom she lives in Kingston. As with American slave narratives, July’s saga makes clear that slavery is a tragedy for all involved, destroying everyone’s humanity . . . With this fresh, pugnacious voice, Levy has us in her thrall . . . Levy, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who grew up in working-class North London, addresses racism at its ugliest and most virulent in this intricately imagined novel, creating a world in which little can flourish. The wonder is the spirit of indomitable dignity with which she manages to infuse her tragic tale.”–Heller McAlpin, “San Francisco Chronicle” “Andrea Levy’s insightful and inspired fifth novel, “The Long Song,” reminds us that she is one of the best historical novelists of her generation. By employing a charming metafictional conceit–a printer is publishing the memoir of his mother, July–we witness the extraordinary life of a woman who lived as a slave in Jamaica during the 19th century . . . Levy’s previous novel, Small Island, is rightly regarded as a masterpiece, and with “The Long Song” she has returned to the level of storytelling that earned her the Orange Prize in 2004 . . . One of the most complex and revealing moments in The Long Song is the dinner party in which the servants are told to prepare an English-style Christmas feast, though few of the menu items are available . . . “The Long Song” is a novel for those who believe that the story of a single woman is a story of the ages, for those who understand that a slave woman’s history is History, indeed.”–Tayari Jones, “The Washington Post””” “This is a terrific book: beautifully written and imagined, and full of surprises . . . A brilliant historical novel.” –A. N. Wilson, “Reader’s Digest” “There is great skill in the way [Levy] presents characters and dialogue; she has powers of observation and an ear for language that make her books a pleasure to read.”–“The Times Literary Supplement””” “”The Long Song” is above all the female version of emancipation, told in vivid, vigorous language in which comedy, contempt and a fierce poetry are at work . . . For all that this is supposed to be the autobiography of a woman with ‘little ink, ‘ edited by her anxious, seemly son, “The Long Song” is told with irresistible cunning; it is captivating, mischievous and optimistic, generating new stories and plot lines throughout the tale. July is one of Levy’s stubborn women who inspire both irritation and admiration. She is a splendid creation, whose wit, pride and resilience sweeten a tale that would otherwise make her white readers hang their heads in shame.” –Amanda Craig, ” The Daily Telegraph””” “As a story of suffering, indomitability and perseverance, it is thoroughly captivating.” –Alex Clark, “The” “Guardian” (UK)”” “Levy gives us a new, urgent take on our past.”–“Vogue””” “An elegant allegory of storytelling . . . A subtly observed, beautifully written, structurally complex novel–an impressive follow-up to” “”Small”” Island”.””” –“Kirkus Reviews” (starred review) “In the inexplicable absence of a definitive and revelatory history of Jamaica’s nearly 300 years of slavery, Levy gamely steps into the void with this lively and engaging novel . . . Charming, alarming, Levy’s vibrant historical novel shimmers with all of the artifice and chicanery slave owners felt compelled to exert.”–“Booklist”

The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Amazon.com Review

EmNephiHelamanNaomiJosephinePaulineNovellaParleyGale… When times get tense–and they often do–for Golden Richards, the title patriarch of Brady Udall’s The Lonely Polygamist, he turns to a soothing chant of the names, in order, of his 28 children. (It’s also practical, when he needs to sort out just which toddler is showing him a scab, and which teen is asking if he can come to her 4-H demo.) While The Corrections to John Irving. –Tom Nissley

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A family drama with stinging turns of dark comedy, the latest from Udall (_The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint_) is a superb performance and as comic as it is sublimely catastrophic. Golden Richards is a polygamist Mormon with four wives, 28 children, a struggling construction business, and a few secrets. He tells his wives that the brothel he’s building in Nevada is actually a senior center, and, more importantly, keeps hidden his burning infatuation with a woman he sees near the job site. Golden, perpetually on edge, has become increasingly isolated from his massive family—given the size of his brood, his solitude is heartbreaking—since the death of one of his children. Meanwhile, his newest and youngest wife, Trish, is wondering if there is more to life than the polygamist lifestyle, and one of his sons, Rusty, after getting the shaft on his birthday, hatches a revenge plot that will have dire consequences. With their world falling apart, will the family find a way to stay together? Udall’s polished storytelling and sterling cast of perfectly realized and flawed characters make this a serious contender for Great American Novel status. (May)
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The log from the Sea of Cortez

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Today, nearly forty years after his death, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck remains one of America’s greatest writers and cultural figures. Over the next year, his many works published as black-spine Penguin Classics for the first time and will feature eye-catching, newly commissioned art. Penguin Classics is proud to present these seminal works to a new generation of readers—and to the many who revisit them again and again.

The Living Dead 2

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Two years ago, readers eagerly devoured The Living Dead. Publishers Weekly named it one of the Best Books of the Year, and Barnes & Noble.com called it “The best zombie fiction collection ever.” Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams is back for another bite at the apple — the Adam’s apple, that is — with 43 more of the best, most chilling, most thrilling zombie stories anywhere, including virtuoso performances by zombie fiction legends Max Brooks (World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), and David Wellington (Monster Island).From Left 4 Dead to Zombieland to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, ghoulishness has never been more exciting and relevant. Within these pages samurai warriors face off against the legions of hell, necrotic dinosaurs haunt a mysterious lost world, and eerily clever zombies organize their mindless brethren into a terrifying army. You’ll even witness nightmare scenarios in which humanity is utterly wiped away beneath a relentless tide of fetid flesh.The Living Dead 2 has more of what zombie fans hunger for — more scares, more action, more… brains. Experience the indispensable series that defines the very best in zombie literature.

The Living Dead

SUMMARY: “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!” From White Zombie to Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil to World War Z, zombies have invaded popular culture, becoming the monsters that best express the fears and anxieties of the modern west. Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today’s most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, George R. R. Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Joe R. Lansdale, The Living Dead covers the broad spectrum of zombie fiction.

The Limit

SUMMARY: An eighth grade girl was taken today . . .With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn’t let up for a moment. In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next, but quickly dismisses the thought. After all, his parents are financially responsible, unlike the parents of those other kids. As long as his parents remain within their limit, the government will be satisfied and leave them alone. But all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push Matt’s family over their limit–and to change his reality forever.

The Life You’ve Imagined

From

Two childhood friends reunite when stressful circumstances bring them back to their hometown. Anna, distraught over the loss of a beloved mentor, takes a leave of absence from her law firm and returns to her mother, Maeve, and their family convenience store. Cami deals with a gambling addiction and breakup by hiding out at her father’s home. Sadly, coming home doesn’t bring them the solace they seek. Maeve’s store is being threatened by an upscale development. Anna is nursing lingering feelings for the high-school sweetheart she left, who now has a wife and family. Cami still mourns her mother’s long-ago death and resents her alcoholic father’s emotional withdrawal. Riggle, author of Real Life and Liars (2009), explores what happens when real life diverges sharply from childhood dreams. Her strong and complicated female characters are interesting and likable, and she ably weaves together multiple story lines. –Aleksandra Walker

Review

“Backed by Riggle’s trademark unflinching honesty and imbued with heart and hope, The Life You’ve Imagined is a terrific novel about love and loss, letting go and holding on. A book to share with family and friends—I loved it.” (Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy )

“Kristina Riggle writes women’s fiction with soul. Her characters are both familiar and quirky, and reading their stories is like spending a weekend catching up with your oldest friends. You come away laughing and also touched that someone knows you so well.” (Tiffany Baker, New York Times’ bestselling author, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County )

“The Life You’ve Imagined is a richly woven story laced with unforgettable characters. Cami, Maeve, Anna, and Amy will snag your heart as they explore the sometimes-wide chasm between hope and reality. A beautiful book.” (Therese Walsh, author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy )

“An entertaining, challenging story with the potential to change us if we let it.” (Grand Rapids Press )

Riggle, author of Real Life and Liars (2009), explores what happens when real life diverges sharply from childhood dreams. Her strong and complicated female characters are interesting and likable, and she ably weaves together multiple story lines. (Booklist )

The life of Charlotte Brontë

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography of her close friend Charlotte Bronte was published in 1857 to immediate popular acclaim, and remains the most significant study of the enigmatic author who gave Jane Eyre the subtitle An Autobiography. It recounts Charlotte Bronte’s life from her isolated childhood, through her years as a writer who had ‘foreseen the single life’ for herself, to her marriage at thirty-eight and death less than a year later. The resulting work – the first full-length biography of a woman novelist by a woman novelist – explored the nature of Charlotte’s genius and almost single-handedly created the Bronte myth.

The Library of Shadows

EDITORIAL REVIEW: ** **An engrossing Danish literary thriller of intrigue, conspiracy, and the extraordinary power of reading****** Imagine that some people have the power to affect your thoughts and feelings through reading—to seduce you with amazing stories, conjure up vividly imagined worlds, and manipulate you into thinking exactly what they want you to. When Luca Campelli dies a sudden and violent death, his son Jon inherits his second-hand bookshop, Libri di Luca, in Copenhagen. Jon had not seen his father for 20 years—since the mysterious death of his mother. After Luca’s death is followed by an arson attempt on the shop, Jon is forced to explore his family’s past. Unbeknownst to him, the bookshop has for years been hiding a remarkable secret. It is the meeting place of a society of booklovers and readers who have maintained a tradition of immense power passed down from the days of the great library of ancient Alexandria. Now someone is trying to destroy them, and Jon finds he must fight to save himself and his new friends.

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún is a previously unpublished work by J.R.R. Tolkien, written while Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford during the 1920s and ‘30s, before he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It makes available for the first time Tolkien’s extensive retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales of Sigurd the Völsung and The Fall of the Niflungs. It includes an introduction by J.R.R. Tolkien, drawn from one of his own lectures on Norse literature, with commentary and notes on the poems by Christopher Tolkien.

The Last Testament

SUMMARY: April 2003: As his nation descends into chaos, an Iraqi boy loots an ancient clay tablet from a long-forgotten vault in the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities–unaware that his actions could ignite the war to end all wars. Years later, on the eve of a historic Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, bodyguards for Israel’s prime minister gun down a possible assassin–and discover a blood-stained note clutched in the dead man’s hand. With Middle Eastern tensions rapidly reaching the boiling point–in the wake of a frightening wave of seemingly random revenge killings–Maggie Costello is sent by Washington to try to keep the peace. A government negotiator with old sins to atone for, she immediately comes face-to-face with ancient secrets, extremist violence, and sudden, inexplicable death. For Maggie seems to hold the key to the last unsolved riddle of the Bible–a shocking revelation that could end the world’s most bitter conflict . . . or leave the earth in ruins.

The Last Pope

The election of Don Albino Luciani to the papal throne in 1978 threatens the Vatican status quo in this routine thriller from Portuguese author Rocha, his first novel. John Paul I’s views on papal infallibility and such controversial subjects as birth control, not to mention his resolve to clean house of those men of God who sullied the Roman Catholic church by financial chicanery with mob links, lead to his murder soon after he becomes pope. In the present-day, London journalist Sarah Monteiro receives a letter implicating the pope’s killers. The same shadowy band turns out to be behind the attempt on the life of John Paul II as well as the assassination of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme. Sarah struggles to stay alive and keep the evidence out of the wrong hands amid predictable action sequences and hairbreadth escapes. An author interview at book’s end claiming that John Paul I was actually murdered is sure to please conspiracy buffs.

The Last Page

EDITORIAL REVIEW: The city of Isca is set like a dark jewel in the crown of the Duchy of Stonehold. In this sprawling landscape, the monsters one sees are nothing compared to what’s living in the city’s sewers. Twenty-three-year-old Caliph Howl is Stonehold’s reluctant High King. Thrust onto the throne, Caliph has inherited Stonehold’s dirtiest court secrets. He also faces a brewing civil war that he is unprepared to fight. After months alone amid a swirl of gossip and political machinations, the sudden reappearance of his old lover, Sena, is a welcome bit of relief. But Sena has her own legacy to claim: she has been trained from birth by the Shradnae witchocracy—adept in espionage and the art of magical equations writ in blood—and she has been sent to spy on the High King. Yet there are magics that demand a higher price than blood. Sena secretly plots to unlock the *Cisrym Ta*, an arcane text whose pages contain the power to destroy worlds. The key to opening the book lies in Caliph’s veins, forcing Sena to decide if her obsession for power is greater than her love for Caliph. Meanwhile, a fleet of airships creeps ever closer to Isca. As the final battle in a devastating civil war looms and the last page of the *Cisrym Ta* waits to be read, Caliph and Sena must face the deadly consequences of their decisions. And the blood of these conflicts will stain this and other worlds forever.