Patches the calico cat is on a mission to find a special place of her own. A golden leaf pirouettes by the window, teasing her to follow. Filled with longing, she springs at the screen and chases the leaf into the wide, wide world. She’s never been on an adventure before, but one glance at the blue-and-gold sky tells her that thousands of special places must await her.
It’s best to get the main conceit of Jessica Chiarella’s debut novel, And Again, out of the way: four people with terminal conditions win a lottery that entitles them to participate in what’s called the SUB program. This is a program where their bodies are cloned and when they reach the biological age of the participants—which happens after a few months—their memories are transplanted wholesale into the new bodies.
From his rare centenarian perch, Pulitzer Prize winner and World War II epic novelist Herman Wouk surveys the ups and downs of his long literary life—and the deep faith that has accompanied him throughout—in his delightfully sanguine memoir, Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author.
Journalist and globe-trotter Eric Weiner, perhaps best-known for his bestselling book The Geography of Bliss, continues his pursuit of big questions in The Geography of Genius. Why, he wonders, do some conditions give rise to networks of innovators who transform the world? As such a question suggests, Weiner is thinking about genius in a fresh way.
Life has always been routine for 12-year-old twins Eryn and Nick. They reside in a quiet suburban town and take turns living with their psychologist mother and goofy but good-natured father, who have been amicably divorced since the twins were little. They’ve embraced this arrangement until their mother reveals she’s getting remarried to a professor at a local college. The family is going to move into a new home in the same town, and the twins will get two new stepsiblings, Ava and Jackson. Although Nick easily accepts their mother’s news, Eryn is ruffled by the changes, especially when their mother informs the twins that they will never meet their new siblings.
Using the wildly diverse 4,300-mile South American mountain chain as a backdrop, filmmaker and writer Kim MacQuarrie revisits the triumphs and depredations of such varied figures in the region as Charles Darwin, Che Guevara, drug cartel chief Pablo Escobar, Machu Picchu “discoverer” Hiram Bingham and the ever-mythic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
In John Irving’s 14th novel, aging Mexican-American novelist Juan Diego Guerrero travels from his home in Iowa to the Philippines. He plans to fulfill a decades-old promise he made to a Vietnam draft dodger to honor a father killed during World War II, and takes a former writing student as his tour guide. En route to Manila, he is overtaken and seduced by a ghostly mother-daughter duo: fans of Juan Diego’s novels, who will reappear in unexpected, -sexually-charged moments throughout his journey. Going on and off his blood pressure medications, he travels in an almost hallucinatory state. He dreams.
If there’s a movie called Four Minutes about the quest for the 4-minute
If there’s a movie called Four Minutes about the quest for the 4-minute mile, why not a book called Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon?
British teen Stella Park (known to all as Spark) needs to escape her widowed mother’s constant neediness. Spark’s brother, Dan, has been successful in distancing himself, finding an internship across the pond in New York City. When Spark learns that Dan’s benefactor, John Stone, is seeking a summer assistant to help organize his papers, she jumps at the opportunity.
Steve’s family has just welcomed a new baby, so all should be well. But it isn’t. The baby—who disconcertingly remains unnamed for many pages—is very ill, with an undisclosed congenital disorder, so his parents are constantly worried, stressed and distracted. It isn’t until young Steve begins to have inexplicable and surreal dreams that his life begins to change . . . not necessarily for the better.