Here are our long lists -- books that we are thinking about pitching.
Please send me the titles you're thinking about pitching, and I'll add them. No need to wait until you have a complete list! Send a description if you want to; otherwise, I'll piece something together from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, reviews, Wikipedia, and accolade lists.
Check back occasionally, as this post grows!
Use these long lists to give feedback to the person considering pitching the book, like "I would like to read that!" or "I have read that before, so won't vote to read it again." Also, use the lists to do your own research -- if that's your thing -- to know what you want to vote for.
Members are listed in alphabetical order.
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates - See the entry under Julie's list
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
The tyranny is epitomised by Big Brother, the Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality but who may not even exist. The Party "seeks power entirely for its own sake. It is not interested in the good of others; it is interested solely in power." The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party, who works for the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue in Newspeak), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles, so that the historical record always supports the party line. The instructions that the workers receive specify the corrections as fixing misquotations and never as what they really are: forgeries and falsifications. A large part of the ministry also actively destroys all documents that have been edited and do not contain the revisions; in this way, no proof exists that the government is lying. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker but secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. Orwell based the character of the heroine of the novel, Julia, on his second wife, Sonia Orwell.
As literary political fiction and dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered into common use since its publication in 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005, the novel was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor's list, and 6 on the readers' list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.
The Round House, Louise Erdrich
- National Book Award winner for fiction.
One of the most revered novelists of our time—a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life—Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.
Amazon.com Review: Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird, Louise Erdrich’s moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting new novel tells of a boy’s coming of age in the wake of a brutal, racist attack on his mother. Drawn from real-life statistics about racially inspired attacks on our country’s reservations, this tale is forceful but never preachy, thanks in large part to Erdrich’s understated but glorious prose and her apparent belief in the redemptive power of storytelling.
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Book Thief, Markus Musak
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Review: “Brilliant and hugely ambitious…Some will argue that a book so difficult and sad may not be appropriate for teenage readers…Adults will probably like it (this one did), but it’s a great young-adult novel…It’s the kind of book that can be life-changing, because without ever denying the essential amorality and randomness of the natural order, The Book Thief offers us a believable hard-won hope…The hope we see in Liesel is unassailable, the kind you can hang on to in the midst of poverty and war and violence. Young readers need such alternatives to ideological rigidity, and such explorations of how stories matter. And so, come to think of it, do adults.” - New York Times, May 14, 2006
Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—“Scout”—returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one’s own conscience.
Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer under- standing and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.
Washington Post: “A significant aspect of this novel is that it asks us to see Atticus now not merely as a hero, a god, but as a flesh-and-blood man with shortcomings and moral failing, enabling us to see ourselves for all our complexities and contradictions.”
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
- #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
- NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER
- NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER
- PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST
- NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
- NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)
“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it."
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
“I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates’s journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory.”—Toni Morrison
The Feast of Love, Charles Baxter
The Feast of Love is a sumptuous work of fiction about the thing that most distracts and delights us. In a re-imagined Midsummer Night's Dream, men and women speak of and desire their ideal mates; parents seek out their lost children; adult children try to come to terms with their own parents and, in some cases, find new ones.
In vignettes both comic and sexy, the owner of a coffee shop recalls the day his first wife seemed to achieve a moment of simple perfection, while she remembers the women's softball game during which she was stricken by the beauty of the shortstop. A young couple spends hours at the coffee shop fueling the idea of their fierce love. A professor of philosophy, stopping by for a cup of coffee, makes a valiant attempt to explain what he knows to be the inexplicable workings of the human heart. Their voices resonate with each other--disparate people joined by the meanderings of love--and come together in a tapestry that depicts the most irresistible arena of life.
“Superb—a near-perfect book, as deep as it is broad in its humaneness, comedy and wisdom.”–The Washington Post Book World
My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout
- Man Booker Prize - longlisted
- #1 NYTimes Bestseller
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois
One of the most influential books ever published in America, W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk is an eloquent collection of fourteen essays that describe the life, the ambitions, the struggles, and the passions of African Americans at the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. The first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University, Du Bois was a sociologist, historian, novelist, and activist whose astounding career spanned the nation’s history from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement. In The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1903, Du Bois argued against the conciliatory position taken by Booker T. Washington, at the time the most influential black leader in America, and called for a more radical form of aggressive protest—a strategy that would anticipate and inspire much of the activism of the 1960s. Du Bois’s essays were the first to articulate many of Black America’s thoughts and feelings, including the dilemma posed by the black psyche’s “double consciousness,” which Du Bois described as “this twoness—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings . . . in one dark body.” Every essay in The Souls of Black Folk is a jewel of intellectual prowess, eloquent language, and groundbreaking insight. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the struggle for Civil Rights in America. - Barnes & Noble
Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Citizen, Claudia Rankine
- Winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award
- Winner of the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry
- Winner of the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection
- Winner of the 2015 PEN Open Book Award Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
- Winner of Poets and Writers' Jackson Poetry Prize
- One of the Guardian's Best Politics Books of 2015
- One of the Guardian's Readers' Books of the Year for 2015
- One of Entropy's Best Nonfiction books of 2015
- One of MPR's, The Atlantic's, the Guardian's, Pioneer Press, Bitch Media's, Subtext Bookstore's Best Books of 2015
- Featured in the Millions "Year in Reading 2015" by Angela Flournoy and Katrina Dodson
- Finalist for 2014 National Book Award in Poetry
- Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism
- One of the Millions' Most Anticipated Books
- Featured in Literature Works' Christmas Wish List of 2015 by Kathryn Simmonds
- Featured in the Conium Review's Best of 2015by James R. Gapinski
The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
- Named one of the best books of the year by Washington Post, NPR, Chicago Tribune, others
Building Stories, Chris Ware
- The New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
- Time Magazine, Top Ten Fiction Book of the Year
- Publishers Weekly, Best Book of the Year
- 2013 Lynd Ward Prize, Best Graphic Novel of the Year
- 4-time 2013 Eisner Award Winner, including Best Publication, Best Writer/Artist and Best Graphic Album
- Newsday, Top 10 Books of 2012
- Entertainment Weekly, Gift Guide, A+
- Washington Post, Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2012
- Minneapolis Star Tribune, Best Books of the Year
“I have now spent a week in sloppy communion with Building Stories and am ready to declare it one of the most important pieces of art I have ever experienced. I also sort of want to kill myself...What makes Building Stories monumental isn’t its unorthodox format. It’s Ware’s ruthless and tender pursuit of undisguised emotion. His work is brutal in the way all great art is. I can’t wait to experience it again.” –Steve Almond, The New Republic
The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson
- Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, 2013
- National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
- Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winner
- American Library Association's Andrew Carnegie Medal - longlisted
- NYTimes Bestseller
- Named one of the best books of the year by: The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Stephen King,The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and others
“An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.”—Pulitzer Prize citation
“All of these elements—stylistic panache, technical daring, moral weight and an uncanny sense of the current moment—combine in Adam Johnson's The Orphan Master's Son, the single best work of fiction published in 2012. . . . The book's cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word.” —The Wall Street Journal
Doc, Mary Doria Russell
Born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Soon, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally with his partner, Mária Katarina Harony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian whore. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins— before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology—when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.
"If I had a six-shooter…I'd be firing it off in celebration of Doc, Mary Doria Russell's fantastic new novel about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. Since winning top honors for her science fiction 15 years ago, Russell has blasted her way into one genre after another, and now she's picked up the old conventions of the Wild West and brought these dusty myths back to life in a deeply sympathetic, aggressively researched and wonderfully entertaining story." —The Washington Post
The Dust That Falls From Dreams, Louis de Bernieres
he Edwardian era has just begun, and in the idyllic countryside outside of London, young Rosie McCosh and her three sisters are growing up inseparable from their neighbors, the two Pitt brothers and the three Pendennis boys. But twelve years later, the outbreak of World War I brings their days of youthful camaraderie to an abrupt end. In the years that follow, these childhood pals will be scattered across Europe—from the trenches of France to the British hospitals where the McCosh sisters serve. Some will lose their lives, some their loved ones, some their faith—and all of them will lose their innocence. At the center of their stories, always, is Rosie—in love with one of her childhood friends and beloved by another—facing the collapse of the world she has always known, and the birth of another from its ashes. A sumptuous, sweeping, powerfully moving work of fiction, The Dust That Falls from Dreams is a story of profound loss and indelible hope.
11/22/63, Stephen King
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.
It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
I Refuse, Per Petterson
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, Franz Werfel
A passionate warning against the dangers of racism and scapegoating, and prefiguring the ethnic horrors of World War II, this important novel from the early 1930s remains the only significant treatment, in fiction or nonfiction, of the first genocide in the twentieth century's long series of inhumanities. It also continues to be today what the New York Times deemed it in 1933—"a true and thrilling novel ... a story which must rouse the emotions of all human beings." "Musa Dagh gives us a lasting sense of participation in a stirring episode of history.... Magnificent."—The New York Times Book Review" -- Description is from Goodreads.com where it has a super-high 4.38 reader rating.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo San Roman returned his bride in disgrace to her parents. Her distraught family forced her to name her first lover; and her twin brothers announced their intention to murder Santiago Nasar for dishonoring their sister. Yet if everyone knew the murder was going to happen, why did no one intervene to stop it? The more that is learned, the less is understood, and as the story races to its inexplicable conclusion, an entire society—not just a pair of murderers—is put on trial.
Chronicle is not nearly so fantastic as Garcia Marquez's earlier novels. It contains a powerfully plausible plot - a dream-like detective story, really, that pursues the questions of why and how two young men have undertaken a brutal murder that they actually had not wanted to commit....I found Chronicle of a Death Foretold by far the author's most absorbing work to date. I read it through in a flash, and it made the back of my neck prickle. -- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene
- #40 on the Modern Library's List of 100 Best Novels
- On Time Magazine's list of ALL-TIME 100 Best Novels (from 1923-2010)
"Graham Greene saw The Heart of the Matter as dealing with the issue of pity. He illustrates this theme by describing Scobie, the main character of the book, as "a weak man with good intentions doomed by his big sense of pity". He further says in the preface, "I had meant the story of Scobie to enlarge a theme which I had touched on in The Ministry of Fear, the disastrous effect on human beings of pity as distinct from compassion. I had written in The Ministry of Fear: 'Pity is cruel. Pity destroys. Love isn't safe when pity's prowling around.' The character of Scobie was intended to show that pity can be the expression of an almost monstrous pride." Bergonzi, Bernard (2006). A Study in Greene, p. 124. Oxford University Press.
Light in August, Faulkner
- Ranked #54 on the Modern Library's list of the 100 Best English-language novels of the 20th Century.
"In a loose, unstructured modernist narrative style that draws from Christian allegory and oral storytelling, Faulkner explores themes of race, sex, class and religion in the American South. By focusing on characters that are misfits, outcasts, or are otherwise marginalized in their community, he portrays the clash of alienated individuals against a Puritanical, prejudiced rural society. Early reception of the novel was mixed, with some reviewers critical of Faulkner's style and subject matter. However, over time, the novel has come to be considered one of the most important literary works by Faulkner and one of the best English-language novels of the 20th century." - Wikipedia
Update 10/21/16 - I've decided against pitching several of these:
- Light in August - the group didn't enjoy As I Lay Dying (but I loved As I Lay Dying and am so grateful to Kerry for pitching it)
- Dust That Dares to Fall From Dreams - started it and was so disappointed. Not the same level of craft as Birds Without Wings or Corelli's Mandolin
- 11/22/63 - too long - about 850 pp
- Forty Days of Musa Dagh - too long - almost 900 pp
- Buried Giant - I read it and enjoyed it a lot. The beginning and ending are stellar, portraying a lifelong marriage in an intensely poignant interesting complicated way. But the middle is a journey and hunt for a dragon, and the group doesn't typically love the fantastic. So I won't pitch it, but do recommend it.
A Dud Avocado, Elaine Dundy
“I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed The Dud Avocado. It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm).” –Groucho Marx
"[The Dud Avocado] is one of the best novels about growing up fast..." -The Guardian
“Basically, if you were to set Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady near the Sorbonne, untangle the sentences and add more slapstick, sex and champagne cocktails, you’re getting close.” - Rosecrans Baldwin, NPR's "All Things Considered"
"Already singled out in O the Oprah Magazine and named an Amazon.com 'mover and shaker,' this edition will...introduce a new readership to the unforgettable Sally Jay Gorce, described by one reviewer as a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and Holden Caulfield." —Los Angeles Times
"Before Bridget Jones, deeply sweet and recklessly intimate Sally Jay Gorce trolled for love (Parisian style) in novelist (and sometime wife of theater critic Kenneth Tynan) Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado, a madcap read from 1958 that's finally back in print in the United States." —O Magazine
H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald (memoir)
- One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year
- ON MORE THAN 25 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LISTS: including TIME (#1 Nonfiction Book), NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine (10 Favorite Books), Vogue (Top 10), Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle (Top 10), Miami Herald, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top 10), Library Journal (Top 10), Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Slate, Shelf Awareness, Book Riot, Amazon (Top 20)
My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem (memoir)
- NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
- ONE OF O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE’S TEN FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
- NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Harper’s Bazaar • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Publishers Weekly
Excerpt: "When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel. Taking to the road—by which I mean letting the road take you—changed who I thought I was. The road is messy in the way that real life is messy. It leads us out of denial and into reality, out of theory and into practice, out of caution and into action, out of statistics and into stories—in short, out of our heads and into our hearts."
“Like Steinem herself, [My Life on the Road] is thoughtful and astonishingly humble. It is also filled with a sense of the momentous while offering deeply personal insights into what shaped her.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“A lyrical meditation on restlessness and the quest for equity . . . Part of the appeal of My Life is how Steinem, with evocative, melodic prose, conveys the air of discovery and wonder she felt during so many of her journeys. . . . The lessons imparted in Life on the Road offer more than a reminiscence. They are a beacon of hope for the future.”—USA Today
“A warmly companionable look back at nearly five decades as itinerant feminist organizer and standard-bearer. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to sit down with Ms. Steinem for a casual dinner, this disarmingly intimate book gives a pretty good idea, mixing hard-won pragmatic lessons with more inspirational insights.”—The New York Times
Nora Webster, Colm Toibin (f.)
Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s magnificent seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable, and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be sucked back into it. Wounded, selfish, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning insight and empathy, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself.
Nora Webster “may actually be a perfect work of fiction” (Los Angeles Times), by a “beautiful and daring” writer (The New York Times Book Review) at the zenith of his career, able to “sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations” (USA TODAY). “Miraculous...Tóibín portrays Nora with tremendous sympathy and understanding” (Ron Charles, The Washington Post).
The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton
In books like The Consolations of Philosophy, How Proust Can Change Your Life, and On Love, Alain de Botton has explored the nature of things we thought we knew. In The Architecture of Happiness, he examines the seemingly self-evident qualities of living space, beginning with a beginner's question: What is a beautiful building? As in his other books, de Botton reassesses the familiar in unexpected ways.
“De Botton has a marvelous knack for coming at weighty subjects from entertainingly eccentric angles.” —The Seattle Times
"An elegant book. . . . Unusual . . . full of big ideas. . . . Seldom has there been a more sensitive marriage of words and images." —The New York Sun
"With originality, verve, and wit, de Botton explains how we find reflections of our own values in the edifices we make. . . . Altogether satisfying." —San Francisco Chronicle
"De Botton is high falutin' but user friendly. . . . He keeps architecture on a human level." —Los Angeles Times
The Sunken Cathedral, Kate Walbert
From the highly acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award nominee, a “funny…beautiful…audacious…masterful” (J. Courtney Sullivan, The Boston Globe) novel about the way memory haunts and shapes the present.
Marie and Simone, friends for decades, were once immigrants to the city, survivors of World War II in Europe. Now widows living alone in Chelsea, they remain robust, engaged, and adventurous, even as the vistas from their past interrupt their present. Helen is an art historian who takes a painting class with Marie and Simone. Sid Morris, their instructor, presides over a dusty studio in a tenement slated for condo conversion; he awakes the interest of both Simone and Marie. Elizabeth is Marie’s upstairs tenant, a woman convinced that others have a secret way of being, a confidence and certainty she lacks. She is increasingly unmoored—baffled by her teenage son, her husband, and the roles she is meant to play.
In a chorus of voices, Kate Walbert, a “wickedly smart, gorgeous writer” (The New York Times Book Review), explores the growing disconnect between the world of action her characters inhabit and the longings, desires, and doubts they experience. Interweaving long narrative footnotes, Walbert paints portraits of marriage, of friendship, and of love in its many facets, always limning the inner life, the place of deepest yearning and anxiety. The Sunken Cathedral is a stunningly beautiful, profoundly wise novel about the way we live now—“fascinating, moving, and significant” (Ron Charles, The Washington Post).