What happens when a book meets its perfect reader at precisely the right moment? For the narrator of The Library of Unrequited Love, a librarian who has witnessed many such encounters during her lifetime, her heart flutters.
Stick and Stone have one thing in common—they each stand alone. Stone feels like a zero, and Stick like the loneliest number—one. The teeter-totter won’t cooperate when you’re on your own, and playing solo is no fun.
In Beth Kephart’s One Thing Stolen, the beauty and history of one of the world’s great cities and the confusion and fear caused by a rare brain disorder combine to produce a fresh, unexpected story.
The appeal of A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life ultimately has as much to with who Brian Grazer isn’t as with who he is.
The Jane Austen we know is delicious enough on her own, but Austen filtered through the mind of Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) could be the best of both possible worlds.
Open Candice Bergen’s A Fine Romance and be prepared to settle in for an evening filled with a few drinks, casual grazing, laughter, tears and rollicking tales from one of America’s finest actresses.
I promised myself I would write this whole review of Susan Juby’s latest novel without using the word “quirky.” There’s so much more to the author of Alice, I Think than just her knack for writing about eccentric characters and borderline outlandish situations. There is plenty of both in Juby’s latest, but that’s hardly the whole story.
It’s reassuring to discover that heroes, both ancient and modern, are not somehow supernaturally endowed after all. Indeed, they may come by their skills quite naturally. In the thoroughly absorbing Natural Born Heroes, which tracks heroism from the times of Zeus and Odysseus to the World War II bravery of a motley crew of fighters, Christopher McDougall makes it clear that incredible acts of strength and endurance are doable. His extensive knowledge of fitness training, nutrition and physiology winds artfully around a tale of superhuman resistance during the Nazi occupation of the Greek island of Crete, Hitler’s designated launching pad for the invasion of Russia.
Tolstoy is famous for writing, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” What he doesn’t mention is that each member of the family can be happy and unhappy in their own individual ways. That’s where Angela Flournoy picks up in The Turner House, the story of a big African-American family struggling with the decision of what to do with their family home.
Venetia Stanley was a great beauty of her day, sought after by poets and painters eager to pay homage to her good looks. Her early death in 1633 has remained a mystery over the centuries, some accusing her husband, Sir Kenelm Digby, of murder and others ascribing her demise to the toxic beauty treatments she was rumored to have used. Hermione Eyre’s brilliant debut, Viper Wine, explores the perils of achieving beauty at all costs, set against a backdrop of the political and social upheaval of 17th-century London.