Contemporary Literature Sitemap - Page 4 2014-10-24

Oprah Picks Jonathan Franzen's Freedom for her Book Club
Today, Oprah Winfrey announced Freedom, Jonathan Franzen's 2010 literary bestseller, as her latest book club pick, thus ending the nine-year silence between

Banned Books Week: Think for Yourself
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that we are smack dab in the middle of the 29th annual Banned Books Week (September 25 - October 2, 2010), during

Google eBooks Launches with 3 Million Books and Indie Bookstore Support
On Monday, Google launched its much anticipated Google eBooks (formerly Google Editions) with more than 2 million public domain (free) eBooks and hundreds of

Tension by Billy Collins
Tension Never use the word suddenly just to create tension. -- Writing Fiction Suddenly, you were planting some yellow petunias outside in

What is Science Fiction for?
What is Science Fiction for?

Happy World Book Night!
Happy World Book Night!

Our Kind of People by Uzodinma Iweala
Our Kind of People by Uzodinma Iweala

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. If there are only pedants left who care, then so be it. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. If there are only pedants left who care, then so be it. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. Page 2.

Alice Munro
Alice Munro is a Canadian author of 14 collections of short stories and is largely known and celebrated for stories with a strong sense of place, complex characters and emotional depth. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013.

Review: Fluke, Or I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings
Moore has a knack for addressing otherworldly, bizarre, or supernatural phenomenon with unparalleled wit

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter 1) - Trivia Quiz
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter 1) - Trivia Quiz. How is your memory of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? How well do you recall Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts and his first encounter with Voldemort since he was an infant?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter 2) - Trivia Quiz
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter 2) - Trivia Quiz. How is your memory of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? How well do you recall Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter 3) - Trivia Quiz
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter 3) - Trivia Quiz. How is your memory of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Prepare to test your wits against the Dementors, the boggart, and Sirius Black.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter 4) - Trivia Quiz
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter 4) - Trivia Quiz. Do you remember Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? The Triwizard Tournament? Professors Moody and Bartemius Crouch? Viktor Krum and Fleur Delacour?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) - Trivia Quiz
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) - Trivia Quiz. Test your memory of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
When James Frey checks himself into the world's oldest drug and alcohol treatment facility (undoubtedly Hazelden, though Frey never says), he is disfigured beyond recognition, has spent the preceding weeks in an alcohol and drug induced blackout, and is wanted in 3 states on a variety of charges.

Review: A Million Little Pieces
Review of Monkey Dancing, by Daniel Glick: great barrier reef daniel glick migrant farm worker monkey dancing wondrous journey

Review: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002, Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers is known chiefly for the very bestselling memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and his first novel, You Shall Know Our Velocity. He is the chief editor on Houghton Mifflin's The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002.

Sounds of the River, A Memoir by Da Chen
Book Review, Sounds of the River, sequel to Colours of the Mountain

Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Authors
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Favorite Books
sabriel garth nix, middlemarch george eliot, oldest confederate widow, triage scott anderson, paula isabel allende, edward morgan forster, breakfast of champions kurt vonnegut, elizabeth goudge, john lecarre, emma jane austen, time and again jack finney, james ellroy, green dolphin street, whistle stop cafe, tom tyron, east of eden john steinbeck, cormac mccarthy, prayer for owen meany, milan kundera, bett reece johnson

Baudolino by Umberto Eco
Baudolino by Umberto Eco includes dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, extraordinary feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age. This is Eco the storyteller at his brilliant best.

Bunker 13 by Aniruddha Bahal
Bunker 13 by Aniruddha Bahal is a brilliant international thriller, set in contemporary Kashmir, about an investigative journalist, espionage, and the temptations of drugs, sex, and corruption in the Indian Army.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - from the author of the international best-selling novel THE THIEF LORD comes another thrilling and magical adventure about books themselves and the imagination they inspire.

Open Wide the Freedom Gates by Dr. Dorothy Height
Open Wide the Freedom Gates by Dr. Dorothy Height - a heroine of the Civil Rights Movement tells the remarkable story of her life, her work, and what it means to be both black and a woman.

The Seven Sisters by Margaret Drabble
The Seven Sisters by Margaret Drabble - A woman recently betrayed, rejected, divorced, and alienated from her three grown daughters--moves from a beautiful Georgian house in lovely Suffolk to a two-room walk-up flat in a run-down building in central London. A beautifully rendered story, this is Drabble at her novelistic best.

The Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel
The Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel - The fifth installment of Jean Auel's Earth's Children® series, which began with The Clan of the Cave Bear. In The Shelters of Stone, Ayla and Jondalar complete their epic journey across Europe, join Jondalar's people, the Zelandonii, and face new and perilous challenges.

Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Favorite Books
emma jane austen, alessandro baricco, green dolphin street, cormac mccarthy, pride and prejudice jane austen, prayer for owen meany, time and again jack finney, paddy clarke, eoin colfer, tom tyron, annotated alice, pride and prejudice, richard russo, tobias wolff, to kill a mockingbird, peace room, surviving pieces, elizabeth goudge, charles dickens, street elizabeth

Contemporary Literature Authors
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Contemporary Literature Authors
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Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air was a narrative tour de force chronicling the disastrous 1996 Everest expeditions, and should be considered a classic of modern journalism. Measured against this awesome standard, Under the Banner of Heaven, a tour of mainstream Mormonism and its fundamentalist offspring, is a failure. It is a lucid and sometimes compulsively readable failure, but it lacks the narrative drive and cohesive perspective of Into Thin Air. Page 2.

Bringing Down the House
Backed by anonymous investors and armed only with their audacity and their intellect, a team of MIT math students cleaned Vegas out of more than $3 million in a couple of years. They used published card-counting techniques and worked in teams like secret agents. They ate statistics for breakfast, and they raked in millions of dollars before getting caught. They were a dream team. So why did they get caught? Page 2.

Falling Out of Cars by Jeff Noon
Since his first novel, Jeff Noon's twin loci have been drugs and music. Vurt, his debut, was something of a page-turner set in near-future Manchester, where brightly-colored feathers placed on one's tongue served as gateways to a series of virtual worlds. His second novel, Pollen, posits the breakdown of the barrier between the 'real' and feather worlds. Falling Out of Cars continues Jeff Noon's program of literature as drug. Page 2.

Global Village Idiot by John O’Farrell
John O’Farrell is a columnist with the Guardian as well as a writer for the TV show Spitting Image and a joke writer for Tony Blair (not the one that is a fake puppet on Spitting image, but the one that is the real puppet of George W. Bush). Global Village Idiot is a reprinting of many of his Guardian columns over the period of time beginning with George W. Bush on the campaign trail and ending on the desert trails leading to Baghdad. Page 2.

Gotham Tragic by Kurt Wenzel
Kurt Wenzel's quick moving new novel Gotham Tragic is the sequel to his debut Lit Life. It is a New Yorker style fiction piece in which the main character lands himself in the sights of a group of militant Muslims, who, angered by his offensive diatribe, call a fatwa against the author, effectively placing a bounty on the head. And this is just the beginning of his troubles. Page 2.

Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky
From Noam Chomsky, the world's foremost intellectual activist,

Khrushchev: The Man and His Era by William Taubman
The definitive biography of the mercurial Soviet leader who succeeded and denounced Stalin. Nikita Khrushchev was one of the most complex and important political figures of the twentieth century. Ruler of the Soviet Union during the first decade after Stalin's death, Khrushchev left a contradictory stamp on his country and on the world. Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, William Taubman's Khrushchev: The Man and His Era is the definitive work about a definitive figure. Page 2.

Lies (and the Lying Liars who Tell Them) by Al Franken
For the first time since his own classic Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken trains his subversive wit directly on the contemporary political scene. Now, the

Over the Edge of the World
In Over the Edge of the World, an engaging account of Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe, Laurence Bergreen draws the early sixteenth century with so much seethingly lifelike detail that the reader is drawn into the story even as Magellan himself remains something of an enigma. Page 2.

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the series, and the most anticipated after the last cliffhanger ending. The fourth book marked a turning point, as Lord Voldemort (think Darth Vader meets Hitler) returned to human form to rebuild his army and start a second uprise to power, determined to let only pure blood wizards remain. Compared to the first three books, the fourth was much darker, more compelling, and only led to the greatness of book five. Page 2.

Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1) by Neal Stephenson
Volume I of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, Quicksilver, is here. A monumental literary feat that follows the author's critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Cryptonomicon, it is history, adventure, science, truth, invention, sex, absurdity, piracy, madness, death, and alchemy. It sweeps across continents and decades with the power of a roaring tornado, upending kings, armies, religious beliefs, and all expectations. Page 2.

I Sleep at Red Lights Review
“I Sleep at Red Lights” is Bruce Stockler’s account of the maelstrom that ensues when a couple become the parents of triplets plus one. It recounts the transformations a father undergoes beginning with the revelation that his family is about to triple in size and traversing through an unbearable pregnancy into the surreal and sleepless wonderland that is parenting multiple-birth infants. Page 2.

She Plays with the Darkness by Zakes Mda
In a remote mountain village, the beautiful Dikosha lives for dancing and for song. Her twin brother, Radisene, works in the lowland capital of Maseru, struggling amid political upheaval to find a life for himself away from the hills. As the years pass, Radisene's fortunes rise and fall in the city, while Dikosha remains in the village, never leaving and never aging. And through it all, the community watches, comments, and passes judgment.

Fishing the Sloe-Black River by Colum McCann
Fishing the Sloe-Black River, the short fiction of Colum McCann documents a dizzying cast of characters in exile, loss, love, and displacement. There is the worn boxing champion who steals clothes from a New Orleans laundromat, the rumored survivor of Hiroshima who emigrates to the tranquil coast of Western Ireland, the Irishwoman who journeys through America in search of silence and solitude. But what is found in these stories is the astonishing poetry and peace found in the mundane. Page 2.

The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2) by Neal Stephenson
The Confusion, the second book of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle trilogy does not disappoint as he picks up his characters where he abruptly dropped them at the end of Quicksilver. The year is 1689 and Jack Shaftoe was last seen captive aboard a slave vessel, Eliza finds herself the center of political intrigue, and Daniel Waterhouse lies with uncertain fate atop an operating table. Join Stephenson amidst a vast and intricate historical backdrop in Volume two of The Baroque Cycle. Page 2.

The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine by Tom Standage
Part historical detective story, part biography, Tom Standage's book The Turk relates the saga of the machine's remarkable and checkered career against the backdrop of the industrial revolution, as mechanical technology opened up dramatic new possibilities and the relationship between people and machines was being redefined. Today, in the midst of the computer age, it has assumed a new significance, as scientists and philosophers continue to debate the possibility of machine intelligence.

Villa Incognito byTom Robbins
On one level, Tom Robbins' Villa Incognito is a book about identity, masquerade and disguise--about “the false mustache of the world�--but neither the mists of Laos nor the smog of Bangkok, neither the overcast of Seattle nor the fog of San Francisco, neither the murk of the intelligence community nor the mummery of the circus can obscure the linguistic phosphor that illuminates the pages of Villa Incognito. Page 2.

DisneyWar by James B. Stewart
When Roy Disney, chairman of Walt Disney Animation and nephew of founder Walt Disney, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves through the entertainment industry, corporate boardrooms, theme parks, and living rooms around the world-everywhere Disney does business and its products are cherished. DisneyWar is the inside story of what drove America's best-known entertainment company to civil war. Page 2.

Naked in Baghdad by Anne Garrels
Anne Garrels has covered conflicts in Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq for NPR. In

Stupid White Men by Michael Moore
Stupid White Men is where Michael Moore learned to shoot. If Fahrenheit 911 aims its laser focus at the Bush/Iraq target, Stupid White Men is a shotgun. Moore makes a good head start on his new favorite subject with a mind-blowing intro,

The Truth (with Jokes) by Al Franken
Al Franken's landmark bestseller, Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, was praised as a

A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut
A Man Without a Country is Kurt Vonnegut’s hilariously funny and razor-sharp look at life, art, politics, and the condition of the soul of America today. Based on short essays and speeches composed over the last five years and plentifully illustrated with artwork by the author throughout, A Man Without a Country gives us Vonnegut both speaking out with indignation and writing tenderly to his fellow Americans, sometimes joking, at other times hopeless, always searching. Page 2.

Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
David Sedaris' Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim, another collection of essays (Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, The Santaland Diaries) based on the diary he has kept every day for some thirty-odd years. While most of these stories have seen print already in Esquire, GQ and the New Yorker, Sedaris' work is so contained and addictive, you can't eat just one. Page 2.

Life Interrupted, The Unfinished Monologue by Spalding Gray
Spalding Gray, America's captivating teller of angst-filled stories, ended his life in 2004, after two gruesome years of suicidal depression resulting from a car-totalling crash in Ireland which left him with a broken hip and a head injury. Life Interrupted consists of Gray's final monologue in which he describes the accident and its aftermath in Irish hospitals, plus a short story he wrote to commemorate his tenth wedding anniversary, and a short love letter he penned to the city of New York. Page 2.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter 1) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter 2) by J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling's second novel in a series of seven,

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter 4) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the pivotal fourth novel in the tale of Harry Potter's training as a wizard. Harry wants to get away from the Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's to take place at the Hogwarts. He wants to be a normal, fourteen year old wizard. Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. Page 2.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Susanna Clarke's breakthrough novel,

Wayfarer's Dawn by Nate Llerandi
A crown prince awakens one fateful day alone in a desolate field. A second, enigmatic man narrowly survives the fallout from a blazing comet's collision with the earth. These two men exist in a world fraught with upheaval, where the forces of evil are mounting and the gods are becoming less and less responsive to the prayers of their followers. Unknowingly, they hold the key to saving their world and, quite possibly, the entire Ultraverse. Page 2.

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Charlie Asher is a beta male, one of the countless guys who survive in the gene pool by doggie paddling in the shallow end. A little neurotic, a bit of a hypochondriac, and a whole lot fearful, he doesn't take risks and he seriously hates change. But Charlie's safe life is about to take a really weird detour. On the day his daughter, Sophie, is born, he catches a tall black man in mint-green golf wear at the bedside of his wife -- minutes before she dies of a freak medical condition. Page 2.

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives. In A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line. Page 2.

The Book of Dave by Will Self
When cabdriver Dave Rudman's wife deserts him for another man, taking their only child with her, Dave pens a gripping text—part memoir, part deranged philosophical treatise, and part handbook of

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
A retired insurance salesman, estranged from his family and diagnosed with lung cancer, returns to Brooklyn to die. Instead, he reacquaints himself with his long-lost nephew, a spiritual seeker working in a used bookstore. Despair is swept away in favor of discovery, in Brooklynite, Paul Auster's

I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

Colors Insulting to Nature by Cintra Wilson

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Winner of 2001's National Book Award, Jonathan Franzen's

Eve’s Apple by Jonathan Rosen
Jonathan Rosen's Eve's Apple on the surface appears to be a story about a man obsessed with his girlfriends' eating disorder. What it turns out to be is something much more intriguing; a mystery novel where the crime is both the eating disorder and the obsession to solve it. The internal unknown of a disease still incurable by both medicine and psychology is for Joseph Zimmerman both a source of deep distress and his raison-d'etre. Page 2.

The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III - Book Review of The Garden of Last Days
'The Garden of Last Days' is the best novel of the year. Instantly interesting and engaging, it grabs one's attention and holds it to the last page. It is compelling, thought-provoking reading that requires the reader to bring a

Gilligan's Wake by Tom Carson
In Gilligan's Wake by Tom Carson, seven familiar narrators recall the last century. The Skipper shares his memories of fellow skipper Jack Kennedy. The millionaire gets Alger Hiss a job. Mrs. Howell reveals her friendship with The Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan. Ginger dishes up the scoop on the Rat Pack. The professor confesses to his part in every event from Los Alamos to Watergate. And Mary-Ann finds romance in Paris. And then Gilligan, inventing this comic collage for reasons of his own. Page 2.

Jpod by Douglas Coupland
Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers are bureaucratically marooned in JPod, a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver video game design company. The six JPodders wage daily battle against the demands of a boneheaded marketing staff, who daily torture employees with idiotic changes to already idiotic games. Meanwhile, Ethan's personal life is shaped by phenomena as disparate as Hollywood, marijuana grow-ops, people-smuggling, ballroom dancing, and the rise of China. Page 2.

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Miriam Toews' darkly funny novel, A Complicated Kindness, is the world according to Nomi Nickel, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist religion. In Nomi's droll, refreshing voice, we're told the story of her eccentric family as it falls apart, each member on a collision course with the only community they have ever known. It is a work of fierce humor and tragedy by a Canadian writer poised to take the American market by storm. Page 2.

Liberating Paris by Linda Bloodworth Thomason
Liberating Paris by Linda Bloodworth Thomason deserves to be ranked among those Southern writers who have established a sense of place and character. The themes of friendship, redemption, and grace under pressure are examined in the context of Paris, Arkansas. Six childhood friends have just turned forty, their lives turned upside down. As Thomason says,

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis's new novel, Lunar Park, is a feat of literary sleight-of-hand, a bait and switch game that finds Ellis addressing his controversial work and his relationship to it in a fictionalized confession. Its first spellbinding chapter relates the lurid story of Ellis's rise to stardom, exactly the sort of tell-all that readers have craved. Ellis blames his abusive, manipulative father for the bleak worldview that would inform his writing. Page 2.

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd, author of the bestselling Secret Life of Bees, is back with her second novel, The Mermaid Chair. Jessie Sullivan returns to Egret Island,off the coast of South Carolina, to care for her mother and finds herself attracted to a young monk at a Benedictine Monastery where

Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Paul Auster is one author who likes to write novels about novelists, and continues to be consistently entertaining and provocative in doing so. Auster's latest novel, Oracle Night, is another exploration on why we write, and what kind of power that writing actually holds. Page 2.

Queen of Broken Hearts by Cassandra King, Book Review
Clare is a widow whose husband died in what may have been a hunting accident. Her step-daughter, Haley, is married with two children when her marriage goes asunder. Two men love Clare. Rye Ballenger is a sophisticated Southerner and cousin to her late husband. Lex Yarbrough has just moved down from Maine and been divorced by his harridan of a wife who then wants him back so Clare cannot have him. Clare's best friend Dory is married to Son who thinks he

Samaritan by Richard Price
Samaritan by Richard Price tells the story of Ray Mitchell, who after a lucrative television writing career comes to an abrupt end, ex–high school teacher, returns to the New Jersey city of his birth—to rethink his life, reconnect with his teenage daughter and to spread the wealth on the housing project that reared him. He begins teaching again, embarks on an affair with a married woman from the old neighborhood and becomes a mentor to a former student recently released from jail. Page 2.

Scream Queens of the Dead Sea by Gilad Elbom
When a young graduate of the Israeli army decides to moonlight as an assistant nurse at a mental institution in Jerusalem, the job seems like a nice break from everyday life in the Promised Land. What could be easier than exercising power over a small group of heavily medicated zombies? But as the human inventory inside the insane asylum begins to mirror the psychotic norms of the outside world, the inexperienced ex-soldier finds himself trapped in a hilarious yet terrifying freak show. Page 2.

The Sea of Tears by Nani Power

St. Dale by Sharyn McCrumb
From Sharyn McCrumb, comes a vibrant, wholly original novel of love, faith, and miracles, as only she can tell it. A NASCAR trip called the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Pilgrimage — that's just about the last thing Judge Bekasu Holifield would have chosen for her vacation. But this year it's her sister Justine's turn to make their plans. Before she knows it, she's boarding a silver cruise bus for a tour of Southern speedways with Justine, their cousin Cayle, and a group of strangers. Page 2.

The Accidental by Ali Smith
Ali Smith's Booker-nominated novel, The Accidental, is in fact about a girl. The seemingly harmless stranger named Amber turns up at the door of an English country house and turns out, to crib a line from a Hollywood film, to be the rock that they broke themselves against. The book, about how people break down and the terrifying possibilities of who they might become, is inevitably fractured by the astonishing, dizzying talent of its writing. Page 2.

Transmission by Hari Kunzru
Transmission, Hari Kunzru’s new novel of love and lunacy, immigration and immunity, introduces a daydreaming Indian computer geek whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer. Award-winning novelist Hari Kunzru was hailed as a

Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames
What kind of book has Jonathan Ames written this time? Well, think of Cervantes' Don Quixote, except that

Yellow Dog by Martin Amis
Martin Amis is no stranger to the nittier and grittier walks of life. Amis's novels are filled with sex, drugs, and violence, and is an expert at creating despicable characters for whom you can't help but feeling a little bit sympathetic. His latest novel, Yellow Dog, should please fans of his morbid sense of humor, layered storytelling, and uniquely descriptive language. Page 2.

Acme Novelty Library #16 by Chris Ware
This newest edition of The ACME Novelty Library features the first serial installment of

Watchmen and the Birth of Respect for the Graphic Novel
The October 24, 2005 issue of Time Magazine named

Arrogance by Joanna Scott
In Joanna Scott's breakthrough novel the Austrian artist Egon Schiele comes to prismatic life in a narrative that defies convention, history, and identity. A self-professed genius and student of August Klimt, Scott's Schiele repeatedly challenges the boundaries of early twentieth-century Europe. Told from a crosscurrent of voices, viewpoints and times, this stunning novel won Scott a nomination for the 1991 PEN/Faulkner Award.

Arrogance by Joanna Scott
In Joanna Scott's breakthrough novel the Austrian artist Egon Schiele comes to prismatic life in a narrative that defies convention, history, and identity. A self-professed genius and student of August Klimt, Scott's Schiele repeatedly challenges the boundaries of early twentieth-century Europe. Told from a crosscurrent of voices, viewpoints and times, this stunning novel won Scott a nomination for the 1991 PEN/Faulkner Award. Page 2.

Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
The story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a man of letters and the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and George Edalji, an unfortunate outsider unjustly imprisoned. In Arthur and George, Julian Barnes delivers a fictional retelling of a true story in which the lives of two most disparate individuals are surprisingly woven together. Page 2.

Don DeLillo Biography
Don DeLillo is the author of thirteen novels, including

Annie Proulx Bio - Biography of Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx is the author of the short-story collection Heart Songs and Other Stories, and the novels Postcards, The Shipping News, Accordion Crimes, and That Old Ace in the Hole. Her books have been translated into twenty languages. She lives and writes in Wyoming.

Julian Barnes - Biography
Since 1980, Julian Barnes has published a novel just about every two or three years. Flaubert's Parrot (1984), England, England (1998), and Arthur & George (2005) were all shortlisted for The Man Man Booker Prize. Julian Barnes won the Booker Prize with The Sense of an Ending in 2011.

Amsterdam by Geert Mak
From a twelfth-century settlement of wooden huts at the mouth of the River Amstel, Amsterdam had become by the late sixteenth century one of the great cultural capitals of Europe and a major financial center. In this gracefully written examination of Amsterdam's soul, part history, part travel guide, the Dutch writer Geert Mak depicts the lives of early Amsterdammers and traces the city's progress from a small town of merchants, sailors, farmers, and fishermen to a thriving metropolis. Page 2.

Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom
Everyone knows that the queen is the most powerful piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. Born in the 6th century in India, chess first employed a vizier or counsel where the queen now stands. Marilyn Yalom, in Birth of the Chess Queen, takes the reader on an interesting historical journey through the evolution of the game of chess and its queen. Page 2.

The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner - Review of Legacy of Ashes
'Legacy of Ashes ' was the winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Nonfiction and a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Pulitzer-Prize-winner Tim Weiner gets at the truth behind the CIA and uncovers here why nearly every CIA Director has left the agency in worse shape than when he found it; and how these profound failures jeopardize our national security. Page 2.

Rats by Robert Sullivan
With a notebook and night-vision gear, Robert Sullivan sits in the streamlike flow of garbage and searches for fabled rat kings, sets out to trap a rat, and eventually travels to the Midwest to learn about rats. Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses -- its herd-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting yet always compulsively readable,

The Road to Delphi: The Life and Afterlife of Oracles by Michael Wood
Cultures of all epochs have consulted oracles in times of need.

Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs by Barbara Mertz
In this updated version of the classic of popular Egyptology, Barbara Mertz reveals herself to be the perfect guide to ancient Egypt for the student, the layman, and those who plan to visit---or have visited---the Nile Valley. Page 2.

The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth - Book Review
The Long March is Communist Chinas founding myth, the heroic tale that every Chinese child learns in school. Seventy years after the historical march took place, Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the marchers steps and unexpectedly discovered the true history behind the legend. Page 2.

A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz - Book Review
A few years ago Tony Horwitz found himself at Plymouth Rock amidst a gaggle of tourists who struck him as particularly unknowledgable of our nation's founding. Searching his own memory on the subject, he found an equally sizable chasm, prompting him to set off on a

iPod Therefore I Am: Thinking Inside the White Box by Dylan Jones
In iPod, Therefore I Am, Dylan Jones tells the story of his own entree into an exponentially growing cult, taking the reader on a candid journey through his lifelong addiction to all genres of music, however unfashionable. Along the way, he gives a behind-the-scenes look at the genesis of the iPod, from its original conception by Steve Jobs, the man who famously reinvented Apple Computer, to the design of Jonathan Ive, the innovative designer who has become a legend in his own time. Page 2.

Ramones' Ramones (33 1/3 series) by Nicholas Rombes
What could be more punk rock than a band that never changed, a band that for decades punched out three-minute powerhouses in the style that made them famous? The Ramones’ repetition and attitude inspired a genre, and Ramones set its tone. Nicholas Rombes examines punk history, with the recording of Ramones at its core, in this inspiring and thoroughly researched justification of his obsession with the album. Page 2.

Death Dance by Linda Fairstein
World famous dancer, Natalya Galinova has disappeared at the Metropolitan Opera House during intermission of a performance. The theatre, the three colleagues quickly discover, is not all sound and light. Much of what seems to be is not. Politics and intrigue behind the scenes prop up this story and create the illusion that all is well. At the same time, Alex is devising a creative means of capturing a corrupt physician who assaults his female patients by drugging them. Page 2.

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter—sometimes all at once. Appallingly entertaining, Haunted is Chuck Palahniuk at his finest—which means his most extreme and his most provocative. Page 2.

Book Review of Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Readers who enjoy frightening themselves will enjoy Joe Hill's debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box. The plot suffers from some holes, the writing is invisible more than it is literary, and the story depends upon cheap sentimentalism-but taken together it's still stunningly effective, even if you know exactly what to expect. All of which raises one question: how exactly does that work? Page 2.

High Country Fall by Margaret Maron
Read without knowledge of the music and you will enjoy a perfectly fine mystery. Add knowledge of the music and you will find a literary basis seldom if ever achieved in the mystery genre. High Country Fall contains enough layers and permutations, allusions and metaphors to rank in the top level of literary efforts. For example, the country music mentioned in the novel is more than just good music; the words enhance and deepen the characterizations of various characters. Page 2.

Lisey's Story by Stephen King
Lisey Debusher Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a twenty five year marriage of the most profound and sometimes frightening intimacy. Lisey knew there was a place Scott went -- a place that both terrified and healed him, could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed in order to live. Now it's Lisey's turn to face Scott's demons. Page 2.

The Manchurian Candidate
Compelled by his book club to choke down The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon, this reviewer finds his patience in the face of sophomoric and choppy prose rewarded generously with gripping plot and intriguing characters. Originally brought to film in 1962, a new film version of

Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs
Monday Mourning is Kathy Reichs' seventh Temperance Brennan novel. It is as chillingly good as her first, Deja Dead, a NY Times bestseller which won the 1997 Edgar Award for best first novel. One of the book blurbs for Monday Mourning says she is as

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
Two years after the events of Case Histories left him a retired millionaire, former detective Jackson Brodie has followed Julia to Edinburgh for its famous summer arts festival. But when he watches a man brutally attacked in a traffic jam--the apparent victim of an extreme case of road rage--a chain of events is set in motion that will pull the wife of an unscrupulous real estate tycoon, a timid but successful crime novelist, and a hardheaded female police detective into Jackson's orbit. Page 2.

Silverfin by Charlie Higson
What does it take to become the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? In this thrilling prequel to the James Bond series, readers meet a thirteen-year-old schoolboy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will one day take him all over the world, in pursuit of the most dangerous criminals known to man. Acclaimed British writer Charlie Higson has written a tale that ingeniously uncovers the story of a boy who became one of the most iconic figures of our time. Page 2.

State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton's techno-thriller State of Fear takes the reader from the glaciers of Iceland to the volcanoes of Antarctica, from the Arizona desert to the deadly jungles of the Solomon Islands, from the streets of Paris to the beaches of Los Angeles. Like Crichton's previous works,

The Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent
What if everything you think you know about Jesus is wrong? In The Jesus Papers, Michael Baigent challenges what we think we know about Jesus's life and crucifixion. Despite -- or rather because of -- all the celebration and veneration that have surrounded the figure of Jesus for centuries, Baigent asserts that Jesus and the circumstances leading to his death have been heavily mythologized. Page 2.

Ariel: The Restored Edition by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath's last book, Ariel, was first published in 1965-66 and did not follow Plath's manuscript as she had left it before committing suicide in 1963. In her foreword to this volume, Frieda Hughes, Sylvia Plath's daughter, explains the reasons for the differences between the previously published edition of Ariel as edited by her father, Ted Hughes, and her mother's original version published here. Page 2.

Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser
For more than thirty years Ted Kooser has written poems that deftly bring dissimilar things into telling unities. Throughout a long and distinguished writing career he has worked toward clarity and accessibility, making a poetry as fresh and spontaneous as a good watercolor. A gyroscope balanced between a child's hands, a jar of buttons that recalls generations of women, and a bird briefly witnessed outside a window -- each reveals the remarkable within an otherwise ordinary world. Page 2.

In the Dark by Ruth Stone
In the follow-up to her National Book Award winning In the Next Galaxy, Ruth Stone returns to issues of memory, aging, and loss. She has been called a

The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser
Known mainly for her political protest poems of the 1930s, Muriel Rukeyser was attacked throughout her career: by the Left for not being Left enough, and by the Right for being too leftist, by New Critics for writing poems that referred to the social context, by the House Un-American Activities Committee for being a

Old Glory, American War Poems, edited by Robert Hedin
This unique, comprehensive anthology gathers together more than two hundred poems about the American experience of war—narratives, meditations, elegies, lamentations, odes, tributes, and battle hymns—many of them classics. Written by soldier-poets as well as poets on the home front, they are deeply personal, reflecting love of country, sacrifice, tragedy, glory, and sometimes disillusionment or dissent. Page 2.

The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser
Recently appointed as the new U. S. Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser has been writing and publishing poetry for more than forty years. In the pages of The Poetry Home Repair Manual, Kooser brings those decades of experience to bear. Here are tools and insights, the instructions (and warnings against instructions) that poets—aspiring or practicing—can use to hone their craft, perhaps into art. Page 2.

Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver has been writing poetry for nearly five decades, and in that time she has become America's foremost poetic voice on our experience of the physical world. This collection presents forty-two new poems, all written within the last two years. This volume includes poems on crickets, toads, trout lillies, bears; on greeting the morning, watching deer, and, finally, on lingering in happiness. Page 2.

Ignore Everybody : And 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod - Review of Ignore Everybody
'Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity' is the reincarnation of a piece Hugh MacLeod published years ago on his website entitled

You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination
You Are Here is a wide-ranging collection of superbly inventive maps. These chart places you won't find, but a voyages you take in your mind: an exploration of a country estate from a dog's perspective; a guide to buried treasure on Skeleton Island; a trip down the road to success; or the world as imagined by an inmate of a mental institution. With over 100 maps from artists, cartographers, and explorers, You are Here gives the reader a breath-taking view of real and imaginary worlds. Page 2.

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach - Book Review of Bonk
Why is nasal congestion is like an erection inside your nose? What are the nonsexual health benefits of orgasm? And why, pray tell, are the rats in Dr. Ahmed Shafik's laboratory all wearing polyester pants? The answers to these questions and many more (yet unasked) questions are offered up in Mary Roach's recent work of scientific inquiry, 'Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex,' a riveting and often hilarious romp in the world of sex.

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley
Anyone can write a novel now, and in this essential book of tips, practical advice, and wisdom, Walter Mosley promises that the writer-in-waiting can finish it in one year. Intended as both inspiration and instruction, the book provides the tools to turn out a first draft painlessly and then revise it into something finer. Page 2.

Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life by Dacher Keltner
In 'Born to Be Good,' Dacher Keltner marries Eastern notions of kindness and reverence with evolutionary science in order to get at the answer to three salient questions: How can we be happy? What are the origins of kindness? How can we be good? Read more.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009
The writing in 'The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009' demonstrates what sets the best apart from the rest. On topics ranging from psychology and biology to carbon footprints and electronic waste, these writers exude passion for their subjects. And the essays they write will wow readers into a rapt state of reverence for all of the awe and wonder in the natural world.

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
Fragile Things, Gaiman's second collection of short fiction, contains approximately twenty previously published pieces of short fiction -- stories, verse, and an American Gods novella -- plus one new piece written especially for this volume. Page 2.

How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers' 'How We Are Hungry

The O. Henry Prize Stories 2005
Series editor Laura Furman--a novelist, short story writer, and teacher--has read more than a thousand stories to identify the twenty winners, each one a potential classic. The O. Henry Prize Stories 2005 also contains brief essays from each of the three jurors on their favorite story, and comments from the prize-winning writers on the inspiration for their stories. There is nothing like the ever rich, surprising, and original O. Henry collection for celebrating the contemporary short story. Page 2.

Men and Cartoons by Jonathan Lethem
Jonathan Lethem is the author of six novels, including the bestsellers The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named novel of the year by Esquire. Sparkling with off-beat humor and subtle insights that have made Lethem one of today's most highly praised writers, the stories in MEN AND CARTOONS will delight Lethem's legion of fans and appeal to a host of new readers. Page 2.

Oblivion by David Foster Wallace Review - Book Review of David Foster Wallace's Oblivion
One of the most prodigiously talented and original writers at work today returns with his first new fiction in five years. In the stories that make up Oblivion, David Foster Wallace joins the rawest, most naked humanity with the infinite involutions of self-consciousness-a combination that is dazzlingly, uniquely his. These are worlds undreamt-of by any other mind. Page 2.

The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms
The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms is a uniquely-themed anthology in that it's theme is the reader. This compendium offers reading material to fill those moments of waiting for something to happen. Organized by the time that the reader has available at that moment, the anthology provides a poem for that elevator ride to the lawyer's office; a short story for the thirty-minute commute; a novella for the three-hour plane ride. Page 2.

Bride of the Fat White Vampire by Andrew Fox
Who is kidnapping and dismembering the fetching young vampiresses of the High Krewe of Vlad Tepes? Who is draining the blood of black preachers and dumping their bodies in the French Quarterlagoons? Andrew Fox's

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood’s new novel, Oryx and Crake, is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it. With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. Page 2.

The Wave by Walter Mosley
Errol's father has been dead for several years. Yet lately Errol has been awakened in the middle of the night by a caller claiming to be his father. When he hears the unmistakable sound of a handset being put down on a table, he decides to investigate. Errol sneaks into the graveyard where his father is buried. Caught up in a war between a secret government security agency and an alien presence infecting our world, touched by the Wave, he knows that nothing will ever be the same again. Page 2.

Europe Central by William T. Vollmann
Seven hundred fifty pages long, with an additional fifty pages of notes, William T. Vollman's Europe Central is dense with allusions to art, to music, to literature, and to history. Its characters include Kurt Gerstein, Käthe Kollwitz, and generals on both sides of the Eastern front in the Second World War; Vollmann's psychological portrayals of these individuals are both plausible and intense. Page 2.

Havoc in Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett
A penetrating and ambitious historical novel, Havoc, in Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett is an ingenious, often deeply unnerving narrative of seventeenth-century England that speaks directly to the fanaticism and fears of today. Shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize,

Havoc in Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett
A penetrating and ambitious historical novel, Havoc, in Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett is an ingenious, often deeply unnerving narrative of seventeenth-century England that speaks directly to the fanaticism and fears of today. Shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize,

Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks
Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks begins in Brittany where a young, poor boy somehow passes his medical exams and goes to Paris, where he attends the lectures of Charcot, the Parisian neurologist who set the world on its head in the 1870s. With a friend, he sets up a clinic in the mysterious mountain district of Carinthia in south-east Austria. Page 2.

Isle of Canes by Elizabeth Shown Mills
Elizabeth Shown Mills, author of is an acclaimed genealogist, and

A Star Called Henry / Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle
With his sharp-edged wit, Roddy Doyle introduces Henry Smart--adventurer, IRA assassin, and lover. At once an epic and a prophetic portrait of Irish history, both past and present, A Star Called Henry is a tour de force. In Oh, Play That Thing, Henry makes his way across America, teeming with surprises. It is both a saga unto itself—full of epic adventures, and a magnificent follow-up to A Star Called Henry. Page 2.

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
In The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeats incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election and negotiates a cordial

The System of the World by Neal Stephenson - Review of The System of the World by Neal Stephenson, author of Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, Anathem
Set in the early 18th century and featuring a diverse cast of characters that includes alchemists, mathematicians, thieves, pirates, and royalty, The System of the World follows Daniel Waterhouse to some of the most brilliant minds of the age, as he returns to England to repair the rift between Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Following Qucksilver and The Confusion, this third volume in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle wraps up an historical work of fiction of epic proportions.

The System of the World, The Baroque Cycle Volume III by Neal Stephenson
Set in the early 18th century and featuring a diverse cast of characters that includes alchemists, mathematicians, thieves, pirates, and royalty, The System of the World follows Daniel Waterhouse to some of the most brilliant minds of the age, as he returns to England to repair the rift between Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Following Qucksilver and The Confusion, this third volume in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle wraps up an historical work of fiction of epic proportions. Page 2.

The March by E.L. Doctorow
In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army pillaged the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, and demolished cities. E.L. Doctorow powerfully and compassionately renders the lives of those who marched in The March. Page 2.

Back to Wando Passo by David Payne
In Back to Wando Passo, David Payne captures the essence of two distinct eras in the South, imbuing them with so much reality that we need a fan for the heat and passion of the place and a swatter for the mosquitoes. He brings all this together in an ethereal miasma of vividly remembered stories. Page 2.

The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
In an extraordinary debut novel, based on a remarkable true story, Robert Hicks draws an unforgettable, panoramic portrait of a woman who, through love and loss, found a cause. Known throughout the country as

Ava Gardner: Love Is Nothing by Lee Server
Lee Server paints a comprehensive picture of Ava Gardner in this exhaustively researched biography. Beginning with her dirt poor childhood in tobacco country, North Carolina and tracing her rise into stardom and then mega-stardom, Server delivers a comprehensive movie star biography. Page 2.

The Carolina Way: Leadership Lessons From A Life in Coaching. Dean Smith and Gerald D. Bell with John Kilgo
The Carolina Way is an excellent, easily read examination of leadership based on the lessons Smith learned and taught in 36 years of coaching basketball at the University of Kansas (under the legendary Phog Allen), the Air Force Academy and the University of North Carolina. The format is deceptively simple. Coach Smith writes (with the able assistance of John Kilgo) about a particular aspect of leadership as it relates to his coaching philosophy. Page 2.

The Story of Chicago May by Nuala O'Faolin
Nuala O'Faolain, the author of Are You Somebody, and Almost There, has come upon a story that is not only a perfect match for her literary gifts but also takes her career in a surprising and rich new direction. This Irish woman writer who achieved international fame with a remarkably candid appraisal of her own unorthodox life has taken as her subject another daughter of Ireland-this one a notorious criminal and unrepentant, independent woman, Chicago May. Page 2.

Cross-X: A Turbulent, Triumphant Season With an Inner-city Debate Squad by Joe Miller
In Cross-X, Joe Miller tells the compelling story of an inner city high school debate squad that in spite of overwhelming educational, economic, and racial odds, excels in a game dominated historically by privileged students with prep school backgrounds. Page 2.

It's Not Easy Bein' Me by Rodney Dangerfield
Anybody can repeat a Rodney Dangerfield joke, but nobody can tell one like the man himself. That's because his humor, built on the premise that he

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
In Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller delivers her memory of an African childhood fraught with hardship, loss, and danger. She became accustomed to armed guerrillas and landmine-littered roads; hunger, drought, and malaria were never far off; and her family was both guilty of and victim to the racism that consumed colonial Africa in the late 20th century. Page 2.

First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong by James Hansen
In a narrative filled with revelations, James Hansen re-creates Neil Armstrong's career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. These milestones made it seem, as Armstrong's mother put it,

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak
In Girl Sleuth, Melanie Rehak weaves a history of Nancy Drew and her creators. Both Nancy and her

History Play: The Lives and After Life of Christopher Marlowe by Robert Bolt
Rodney Bolt's life of Christopher Marlowe plays out a surprising solution to a literary mystery, bringing the spirit of William Shakespeare alive as we've never seen it before. As we accompany Marlowe into the halls of academia, the society of the popular English players traveling Europe, and the dangerous underworld of Elizabethan espionage, a fascinating and almost plausible life story emerges, along with a startlingly fresh look at the plays and poetry we know as Shakespeare's. Page 2.

In His Own Words by Nelson Mandela
The most stirring voice to come out of South Africa, Nelson Mandela has brought his message of freedom, equality, and human dignity to the entire world. Now his most eloquent and important speeches are collected in a single volume. From the eve of his imprisonment to his release 27 years later, from his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize to his election as South Africa's first black president, these speeches span some of the most pivotal moments of Mandela's life and of his countrys history. Page 2.

Love Is A Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time by Rob Sheffield

Luckiest Man by Jonathan Eig
Jonathan Eig's

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
When James Frey checks himself into the world's oldest drug and alcohol treatment facility (undoubtedly Hazelden, though Frey never says), he is disfigured beyond recognition, has spent the preceding weeks in an alcohol and drug induced blackout, and is wanted in 3 states on a variety of charges.

Roman Candle: The Life of Bobby Darin by David Evanier
By age 8 Bobby Darin knew he was doomed to die young. So he set out to become a showbiz legend by age 25. From his Grammy-winning smash hit

Strom: The Complicated Personal and Political Life of Strom Thurmond
The announcement of an African-American child sired by the late segregationist and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond shook the American political and social establishment. A steady re-examination of race relations - especially Sen. Thurmond's attitudes - soon followed. Authors Jack Bass and Marilyn Thompson carefully articulate the historical, personal, and political elements that defined the life of Strom Thurmond. Page 2.

Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947- 1954
In Windblown World, Douglas Brinkley gathers a selection of journal entries from the most pivotal period of Jack Kerouac's life, beginning in 1947 when he was twenty-five years old and ending in 1954. Truly a self-portrait of the artist as a young man, these journals show Kerouac charting his own progress as a writer and struggling to perfect and finish his first novel,

With the Beatles by Louis Lapham
It was the ultimate 60s scene: the ashram in Rishikesh, India where the Beatles, Donovan, Mia Farrow, a stray Beach Boy and other 60s icons gathered along the shores of the Ganges-amidst paisley and incense and flowers and guitars-to meditate at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The February 1968 gathering received such frenzied, world-wide attention that it is still considered a significant, early encounter between Western pop culture and the mystical East. Page 2.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Joan Didion's journalistic skills are displayed as never before in this story of a year in her life that began with her daughter in a medically induced coma and her husband unexpectedly dead due to a heart attack. This powerful and moving work is Didion's

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

The Clumsiest People in Europe or Mrs. Mortimer’s Bad-tempered guide to the Victorian World
No matter who your ancestors were, and where they had the misfortune of living, Victorian children's book writer Mrs. Mortimer had something nasty to say about them. Their faults, according to Mrs. Mortimer, might have amounted to anything. The Irish

Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the stuff and riddles of everyday life, and his conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
The Oakland Athletics have a secret: a winning baseball team is made, not bought.Billy Beane, general manager of the Athletics, is putting into practice on the field revolutionary principles garnered from statisticians. In

Linchpin by Seth Godin - Review of Seth Godin's Linchpin
In Linchpin, Seth Godin traces the evolution of the workplace, discusses how your own brain sometimes conspires against you, and enlightens us as to the nature of art and gifts.

Best Literature of 2004
The best in this literature for 2004 includes a variety of offerings from writers of various national backgrounds. There's a work of experimental fiction, an alternate history, an historical fantasy, and a collection of short stories in this list of ten. There are several award winners and runners-up.

Best Literature of 2005
Join us in celebrating The Ten Best works of Literature for 2005. This list is culled from literary works reviewed this year by About Contemporary Literature.

Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It by Geoff Dyer
Geoff Dyer is a man who

The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann - Review of David Grann's The Devil and Sherlock Holmes
In The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z and staff writer for The New Yorker, collects twelve previously published articles of murder, mystery and obsession.

Vanishing Point by Ander Monson - Review of Vanishing Point by Ander Monson
Beyond its wildly captivating surface elements, the essays in Vanishing Point all return to themes of writerly ownership and its limitations. Vanishing Point attempts to find functionality in memoir without narration, all while searching for the appropriate place to situate that extracted

The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux - Review of The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux
The Tao of Travel is not a book that requires a straight-through read. Rather, one should skip about as one fancies, picking plums hither and yon. The subtitle is

Between Parentheses by Roberto Bolano - Book Review
In Between Parentheses - essays, articles, and speeches that Roberto Bolano wrote from 1998 to 2003, during the last five years of his life - the reader learns more about Roberto Bolano than any of the ostensible subjects about which the acclaimed Chilean novelist and poet writes.

The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
In The War of Art, Stephen Pressfield explains why the hardest part of any art is the act of sitting down to do it, and how this resistance can be overcome.

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson - Review of Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
The connection between an abundant coral reef that Charles Darwin explores on his Beagle voyage and recent technological developments such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube might not be immediately apparent. But in his latest book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson builds the compelling case that these disparate aspects of history are more closely related than we might think.

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy - Review of My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
In My Reading Life, Pat Conroy presents a straightforward spiritual and psychological autobiography, in which he gives his readers insight to the books that shaped him as both a writer and a person.

Spark: How Creativity Works by Julie Burstein - Review of Spark by Julie Burstein
In Spark, public radio journalist Julie Burstein takes readers inside the minds of America's greatest writers, filmmakers, musicians, and artists. Director Ang Lee remembers how watching movies as a child in Taipei influenced his work; artist Chuck Close reveals the nature of his inspiration. Spark also features stories from Mira Nair, Joyce Carol Oats, Yo-Yo Ma, and others.

When the Thrill is Gone by Walter Mosley - Review of When the Thrill is Gone by Walter Mosley
The reviews for the first two books in Walter Mosley's Leonid McGill series were ones of universal praise. When the Thrill is Gone, the third in the series, is sure to garner the same accolades for this superb exploration of race and self-awareness.

Sixkill by Robert B. Parker - Review of Sixkill by Robert B. Parker
It is entirely appropriate that one of the best and most prolific writers of detective novels should go out with a big bang. With Sixkill, his final Spenser novel, Robert Parker proved that he still had what it takes to captivate his fans when he died in January 2010.

Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel by Jeffery Deaver
James Bond is back and badder than ever in Carte Blanche. Entrusted by Ian Fleming Publications to the capable hands of Jeffery Deaver (The Burning Wire) the young bond comes complete with the fast pace, exotic women, intriguing gadgets, and diabolical villians we've come to love in Ian Fleming's tales.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - review of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan
In Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld has crafted an alternate history of World War I in which the Austro-Hungarian and German Clankers, creators of hulking armored war machinery, do battle with the Allied Darwinists, who harness biotechnology to genetically engineer fantastic flying airbeasts.

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson - Book Review of Bill Bryson's At Home
Bill Bryson is best loved for his travel writing. Readers love to amble along with him on various adventures: through-hiking the Appalachian Trail (A Walk in the Woods), confronting deadly animals in the Australian outback (In a Sunburned Country), or sipping tea in England (Notes from a Small Island). At Home is a departure for Bryson, as the scope of its inquiries extend no further than the author's front door.

Made by Hand by Mark Frauenfelder - Review of Mark Frauenfelder's Made by Hand
In Made by Hand, Mark Frauenfelder, the founder of Boing Boing and Editor in Chief of Make Magazine, hits some of the highlights of his do-it-yourself exploration, taking readers through his attempt at a variety of DIY prjects such as making guitars out of cigar boxes, growing his own food, and raising chickens.

The Information by James Gleick - Review of The Information by James Gleick
In The Information, pop science author James Gleick traces the history of information from African

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell - Review of Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
Sarah Vowell is credited with her own category of writer:

Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart - Review of Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart
Amy Stewart's Wicked Bugs is sure to become a classic discussion of the dark side of the insects that afflict us. Each chapter opens with a

Give Me Your Heart by Joyce Carol Oates - Review of Joyce Carol Oates Give Me Your Heart
Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than fifty novels and hundreds of short stories. Her work is often violent, and her topics often include rural poverty, sexual abuse, and female childhood and adolescence. Give Me Your Heart includes these elements and adds in a dose of survivorhood. Although terrible things happen, and some protagonists are guilty, some are plucky and lucky enough to escape certain tragedy.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
In her impressive literary debut, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, author Danielle Evans emerges as a smart, funny and strong new voice in fiction. Readers of this story collection will find themselves alternating between laughing out loud and trying to fight off tears as Evans's characters navigate through the rough waters of their existence.

Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King - Review of Stephen King's Full Dark No Stars
In the four novellas that make up Full Dark, No Stars, Stephen King has crafted some of the most accessible, engrossing gothic tales that showcase his literary bravado while maintaining a firm hand on the suspense. But these novellas are not solely focused on scares: they are built around deftly tuned concepts that will linger with readers longer than any fright could.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris
In his new book of stories, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, David Sedaris proves that he's a master at pushing the limits of whatever genre he chooses to write. This time - it's fiction, and in this wacky world that only Sedaris could dream up, animal characters take vacations, go on dates, and go to jail.

The Empty Family by Colm Toibin - Review of Colm Toibin's The Empty Family
In Colm Toibin's The Empty Family, emptiness is more of a distance, a space between. In nearly all of the short stories included in this collection, characters face a chasm, either emotional or geographical, and struggle with adjusting their lives around it. Some fight to reconnect with a distant homeland, some with distant friends and family, while others try to embrace the rift and grow stronger despite its presence.

Gryphon by Charles Baxter - Review of Charles Baxter's Gryphon
Gryphon is a collection of twenty-three stories, written by Charles Baxter between the early eighties and today, all of which are packed with a slow-paced poetry that riffs on the flatness - and oftentimes frozenness - of middle American landscapes.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games Series #1) by Suzanne Collins
In the dystopic landscape of Panem, a post-apocalyptic nation culled from the ashes of North America sometime in an unspecified future, an autocratic state government annually reinforce their dominance over the outlying districts with the Hunger Games, reality television for a post-apocalyptic age in which 24 youths, two boys and two girls from each district, battle to the death.

You Think That's Bad by Jim Shepard - Review of You Think That's Bad by Jim Shepard
Jim Shepard's story collection features an wide array of well-conceived short fiction. Readers are introduced to the filmmaker responsible for Godzilla, the lives of avalanche scientists circa 1939, a near-future Netherlands flooded beyond previously established high-water marks, and more, all crafted with meticulous research. Yet, Shepard is unable to match his successful premises with an appropriate and flexible emotional resonance.

Pulse by Julian Barnes - Review of Pulse by Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes' Pulse is a well-tempered anthology of subtle dramatics. By dividing the stories in Pulse between two distinctly different sections, Barnes reminds readers that a short story collection can have a remarkable amount of craft in its structuring.

Embassytown by China Mieville - Book Review
China Mieville's Embassytown takes place in a distant future in which humans have colonized a planet that is already home to the Ariekei, whose language only a few altered humans can speak and which the very presence of the human colonists changes.

Zero History by William Gibson - Review of William Gibson's Zero History
The final novel in William Gibson's Bigend trilogy, Zero History, begins much like its predecessors (Pattern Recognition and Spook Country), with the various machinations and desires of Blue Ant and the man at its helm. Hubertus Bigend,

Get Capone by Jonathan Eig - Review of Jonathan Eig's Biography of Al Capone
In Get Capone, Jonathan Eig brings the real Al Capone to life. While acknowledging the myths that have defined Capone for ninety years, Eig has placed Capone's life accurately in the culture that spawned both him and his myth. This is a brilliant biography of an iconic American whose exploits have characterized the Roaring Twenties.

Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg
Just a couple of years out of Harvard and looking for a way out of his dead end job writing obituaries for the Boston Globe, Avi Steinberg came across an unusual help wanted ad on Craigslist: Boston, Prison Librarian, full time union benefits. What followed was perhaps one of the most transformative experiences of Steinberg's life, wonderfully chronicled in Running the Books.

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 by Mark Twain
The wait for Mark Twain's autobiography has been longer than the interval between the appearances of Haley's Comet that conveniently book-ended the life of Samuel Clemens. This first installment of three is well-worth the long wait. There are nuggets here that show the full force of Clemens's rapier like wit and acerbity. There are nuggets of great hilarity and moments of deep introspection.

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe

The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey
For a seemingly-uninteresting, middle-clas, English accountant living quietly in a London suburb at the turn of the 20th century, W. Reginald Bray had a rather extraordinary avocational pursuit that began when, as a young man, he purchased a copy of England's Post Office Guide, a weighty reference book outlining the costs and regulations of the country's postal service.

Townie by Andre Dubus III - Review of Andres Dubus III's memoir Townie
Townie is Andre Dubus III's no-holds barred memoir of poverty, drugs and violence in the mill towns of Massachusetts. Here, the author lets the reader into the story of his dysfunctional youth and the solace he found in fighting and later, writing.

The Baseball by Zack Hample - Review of The Baseball by Zack Hample

Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx - Review of Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx is justifiably famous for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Shipping News and her short story

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran - Review of Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks
Agatha Christie's short stories, novels, and plays typically proceed in a linear fashion, from A to B to conclusion. Not so with her thought process, as John Curran reveals in Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks, his exploration of seventy-three private notebooks that Agatha Christie left behind after her death in 1976.