Nancy Pearl's favorite books

  • She Votes: How U.S Women Won Suffrage, and What Happened Next

    This is a wonderful wonderful book

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • An Infamous Army

    An Infamous Army

    Georgette Heyer
    A Novel of Love, War, Wellington and Waterloo
    Fiction

    This tour-de-force historical novel by bestselling author Heyer is applauded as a brilliant achievement . . . vivid, accurate, dramatic . . . the description of Waterloo is magnificent ("Daily Mail").

    Buy on Amazon

    ...I reread frequently and with great delight

    Feb 8, 2018 — Source

  • A List of Things That Didn’t Kill Me: A Memoir

    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • The Great Railway Bazaar

    The Great Railway Bazaar

    Paul Theroux
    By Train Through Asia
    Asia
    History

    In this unique and hugely entertaining railway odyssey, Theroux vividly recounts his travels--and the people, places, and landscapes he encountered--on the Orient Express, the Khyber Mail, and the Trans-Siberian Express, through such countries as Turkey, Iran, India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Soviet Union.

    Buy on Amazon

    one of my all-time favorite books

    Sep 5, 2017 — Source

  • The Legend Of Rock Paper Scissors

    This is a book that begs to be read out loud.

    Jun 29, 2017 — Source

  • The Manual of Detection

    The Manual of Detection

    Jedediah Berry
    Fiction

    Unexpectedly promoted to detective when his predecessor goes missing and a supervisor is killed, agency clerk Charles Unwin struggles with inexperience and nerves during a case in which he encounters bizarre clues and is framed for murder.

    Buy on Amazon

    Try THE MANUAL OF DETECTION. It’s great fun and a marvelous achievement.

    Aug 28, 2017 — Source

  • Spooner

    Spooner

    Pete Dexter
    Fiction

    Dexter tells the story of the lifelong tie between former naval officer Calmer Ottosson and his stepson, Warren Spooner--a troubled adolescent-turned-violent-adult, whom Calmer will never understand.

    Buy on Amazon

    I've reread this several times because of the great writing & the unforgettable characters.

    Aug 9, 2020 — Source

  • Foreign Affairs

    Foreign Affairs

    Alison Lurie
    A Novel
    Fiction

    This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel follows two American academics in London—a young man and a middle-aged woman—as they each fall into unexpected romances. In her early fifties, Vinnie Miner is the sort of woman no one ever notices, despite her career as an Ivy League professor. She doubts she could get a man’s attention if she waved a brightly colored object in front of him. And though she loves her work, her specialty—children’s folk rhymes—earns little respect from her fellow scholars. Then, alone on a flight to London for a research trip, she sits next to a man she would never have viewed as a potential romantic partner. In a Western-cut suit and a rawhide tie, he is a sanitary engineer from Tulsa, Oklahoma, on a group tour. He’s the very opposite of her type, but before Vinnie knows it, she’s spending more and more time with him. Also in London is Vinnie’s colleague, a young, handsome English professor whose marriage and self-esteem are both on the rocks. But Fred Turner is also about to find consolation—in the arms of the most beautiful actress in England. Stylish and highborn, she introduces Fred to a glamorous, yet eccentric, London scene that he never expected to encounter. The course of these two relationships makes up the story of Foreign Affairs—a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award as well as a Pulitzer Prize winner, and an entertaining, poignant tale from the author of The War Between the Tates and The Last Resort, “one of this country’s most able and witty novelists” (The New York Times). This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alison Lurie including rare images from the author’s personal collection.

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    1984's Pulitzer-winning

    Dec 5, 2020 — Source

  • Silver Branch

    They're truly wonderful novels

    Dec 15, 2020 — Source

  • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

    The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

    Gertrude Stein
    Biography & Autobiography

    "Stein's most famous work, ... now illustrated by Maira Kalman"--

    Buy on Amazon

    Certainly one of my favorite books this year

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • The Grand Sophy

    The Grand Sophy

    Georgette Heyer
    Fiction

    A reader favorite from the Queen of Regency Romance, The Grand Sophy is an utterly hilarious and completely endearing story of a charming young heroine and the outrageous lengths she goes to solve everyone else's problems, and the surprises in store for everyone! When Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy is ordered to South America on diplomatic business, he parks his only daughter, Sophy, with his sister in Berkeley Square. Forward, bold, and out-spoken, Sophy sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Upon her arrival, Sophy can see that her cousins are in a sad tangle: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles is engaged to a dour bluestocking, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. They all need her help and it's providential that Sophy arrives when she does. The Georgette Heyer Signature Collection is a fresh celebration of an author who has charmed tens of millions of readers with her delightful sense of humor and unique take on Regency romance. Includes fun and fascinating bonus content—a glossary of Regency slang, a Reading Group Guide, and an Afterword by official biographer Jennifer Kloester sharing insights into what Georgette herself thought of The Grand Sophy and what was going on in her life as she was writing. What reviewers are saying about The Grand Sophy: "The Grand Sophy was an exciting, charming read. The characters grab you and don't let go." —Anna's Book Blog "Fun, engaging and hilarious, I cannot recommend it more highly. Sophy is a devilishly fine girl." — AustenProse "The Grand Sophy is a very entertaining Regency romance with wonderfully eccentric characters and a very humorous plot."—Once Upon a Romance "Georgette Heyer is the Queen of the Regency Romance. Long may she reign!" —New York Times bestselling author LAUREN WILLIG

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    remains one of my absolute favorites.

    Feb 8, 2018 — Source

  • Manhattan, When I Was Young

    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • When Wanderers Cease to Roam

    When Wanderers Cease to Roam

    Vivian Swift
    A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put
    Travel

    A charming, illustrated celebration of puttering, doodling, daydreaming, and settling down after years on the road. Following a lifetime of trekking across the globe, Vivian Swift racked up twenty-three temporary addresses in twenty years, finally dropped her well-worn futon mattress and rucksack in a small town on the edge of the Long Island Sound. She spent the next decade quietly taking stock of her life, her immediate surroundings, and, finally, what it means to call a place a home. The result is When Wanderers Cease to Roam. Filled with watercolors of beautiful local landscapes, seasonal activities, and small, overlooked pleasures of easy living, each chapter chronicles, month by month, the beautifully mundane perks of remaining at home—from curious notices in the local paper to the variations of autumnal clouds. At once gorgeously rendered and wholly original, this delightful and masterfully observed year of staying put shows us how the details of travel and the details of our lives remain with us—how they can nurture and sustain us, and how the past and the present become, in the end, intertwined.

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    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • Design for Dying

    Design for Dying

    Renee Patrick
    A Lillian Frost & Edith Head Novel
    Fiction

    Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl . . . until she discovers she's a suspect in the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head. Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she's barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian's name and save Edith's career, the two women join forces. Unraveling the mystery pits them against a Hungarian princess on the lam, a hotshot director on the make, and a private investigator who's not on the level. All they have going for them are dogged determination, assists from the likes of Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck, and a killer sense of style. In show business, that just might be enough. The first in a series of riveting behind-the-scenes mysteries, Renee Patrick's Design for Dying is a delightful romp through Hollywood's Golden Age. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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    This is great fun

    Jun 30, 2017 — Source

  • The Towers of Trebizond

    this novel is endlessly fascinating

    Nov 9, 2011 — Source

  • The Golden Notebook

    The Golden Notebook

    Doris Lessing
    A Novel
    Fiction

    Anna is a writer, author of one very successful novel, who now keeps four notebooks. In one, with a black cover, she reviews the African experience of her earlier years. In a red one she records her political life, her disillusionment with communism. In a yellow one she writes a novel in which the heroine relives part of her own experience. And in a blue one she keeps a personal diary. Finally, in love with an American writer and threatened with insanity, Anna resolves to bring the threads of all four books together in a golden notebook. Doris Lessing's best-known and most influential novel, The Golden Notebook retains its extraordinary power and relevance decades after its initial publication.

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    At the time I read it it meant pretty much everything to me.

    Jun 13, 2017 — Source

  • Daddy Was a Number Runner

    Daddy Was a Number Runner

    Louise Meriwether
    Fiction

    New edition of "a tough, tender, bitter novel of a black girl struggling toward womanhood."

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    Highly recommended.

    Apr 2, 2021 — Source

  • Sword at Sunset

    Sword at Sunset

    Rosemary Sutcliff
    Fiction

    This brilliant Arthurian epic cuts through the mists of pagan, early Christian, and medieval splendors that have gathered about the subject and tells the authentic story of the man who may well have been the real King Arthur—Artos the Bear, the mighty warrior-king who saved the last lights of Western civilization when the barbarian darkness descended in the fifth century. Presenting early Britain as it was after the departure of the Romans—no Round Table, no many-towered Camelot—the setting is a hard, savage land, half-civilized, half-pagan, where a few men struggled to forge a nation and hold back the Saxon scourge. Richly detailed, the story chronicles the formation of a great army, the hardships of winter quarters, the primitive wedding feasts, the pagan fertility rites, the agonies of surgery after battle, the thrilling stag hunts, and the glorious processions of the era. Stripped of the chivalric embellishments that the French applied to British history centuries ago, the Arthurian age here emerges as a time when men stood at the precipice of history—a time of transition and changing values and imminent national peril.

    Buy on Amazon

    They're truly wonderful novels

    Dec 15, 2020 — Source

  • Set My Heart to Five

    Set My Heart to Five

    Simon Stephenson
    A Novel
    Fiction

    *SET TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY EDGAR WRIGHT (SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD)* For fans of Fredrik Backman and Gail Honeyman, a delightfully entertaining, deceptively poignant debut novel about a humanlike bot named Jared, whose emotional awakening leads him on an unforgettable quest for connection, belonging and possibly even true love Jared works as a dentist in small-town Michigan. His life is totally normal, except for one thing. He is a bot engineered with human DNA to look and act like a real person. One day at a screening of a classic movie, Jared feels a strange sensation around his eyes. Everyone knows that bots can’t feel emotions, but as the theater lights come on, Jared is almost certain he’s crying. Confused, he decides to watch more old movies to figure out what’s happening. The process leads to an emotional awakening that upends his existence. Jared, it turns out, can feel. Overcome with a full range of emotions, and facing an imminent reset, Jared heads west, determined to forge real connections. He yearns to find his mother, the programmer who created him. He dreams of writing a screenplay that will change the world. Along the way, he might even fall in love. But a bot with feelings is a dangerous proposition, and Jared’s new life could come to an end before it truly begins. Delectably entertaining and deceptively moving, Set My Heart to Five is a profound exploration of what makes us human and a love letter to outsiders everywhere.

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    I just can't stop laughing and reading out loud

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • Sylvester

    Sylvester

    Georgette Heyer

    Buy on Amazon

    ...I reread frequently and with great delight

    Feb 8, 2018 — Source

  • A New York Life

    A New York Life

    Brendan Gill
    Of Friends and Others
    Biography & Autobiography

    From the 1930s to the 1990s, from backstage Broadway to the Century Club, a long-time New York observer offers a tour through the heady ranks of New York's elite

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    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey on Two Rivers

    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • August Snow

    August Snow

    Stephen Mack Jones
    Fiction

    "Tough, smart, and struggling to stay afloat, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African American father and a Mexican mother, August grew up in Detroit's Mexicantown and joined the Detroit police only to be drummed out of the force by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back: he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away and quickly learns he has many scores to settle"--

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    one of my favorite books that I've read recently

    Jun 29, 2017 — Source

  • The Color of Lightning

    The Color of Lightning

    Paulette Jiles
    A Novel
    Fiction

    “Meticulously researched and beautifully crafted.... This is glorious work.” — Washington Post “A gripping, deeply relevant book.” — New York Times Book Review From Paulette Jiles, author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Enemy Women and Stormy Weather, comes a stirring work of fiction set on the untamed Texas frontier in the aftermath of the Civil War. One of only twelve books longlisted for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize—one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards—The Color of Lightning is a beautifully rendered and unforgettable re-examination of one of the darkest periods in U.S. history.

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    powerful and moving third novel

    Aug 8, 2011 — Source

  • The Cold Cold Ground

    The Cold Cold Ground

    Adrian McKinty
    Fiction

    McKinty’s previous book, Falling Glass, was an Audible.com Best Thriller of 2011 Northern Ireland, spring 1981. Hunger strikes, riots, power cuts, a homophobic serial killer with a penchant for opera, and a young woman’s suicide that may yet turn out to be murder: on the surface, the events are unconnected, but then things—and people—aren’t always what they seem. Detective Sergeant Duffy is the man tasked with trying to get to the bottom of it all. It’s no easy job—especially when it turns out that one of the victims was involved in the IRA but was last seen discussing business with someone from the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force. Add to this the fact that, as a Catholic policeman, it doesn’t matter which side he’s on, because nobody trusts him, and Sergeant Duffy really is in a no-win situation. Fast-paced, evocative, and brutal, The Cold Cold Ground is a brilliant depiction of Belfast at the height of the Troubles—and of a cop treading a thin, thin line.

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    I love this book, the best in the series, I think.

    May 23, 2017 — Source

  • The Little Friend

    The Little Friend

    Donna Tartt
    Brothers

    Twelve-year-old Harriet is doing her best to grow up, which is not easy as her mother is permanently on medication, her father has silently moved to another city, and her serene sister rarely notices anything. All of them are still suffering from the shocking and mysterious death of her brother Robin twelve years earlier, and it seems to Harriet that the family may never recover. So, inspired by Captain Scott, Houdini, and Robert Louis Stevenson, she sets out with her only friend Hely to find Robin's murderer and punish him. But what starts out as a child's game soon becomes a dark and dangerous journey into the menacing underworld of a small Mississippi town.

    Buy on Amazon

    I resented every moment that I wasn't reading it

    Jun 3, 2008 — Source

  • The Reconstructionist

    The Reconstructionist

    Josephine Hart
    Fiction

    The author of Damage and The Stillest Day returns with a chilling and powerful psychological novel about one man's attempt to confront the terrors of his past living on a small farm in Ireland. Reprint.

    Buy on Amazon

    something entirely else, which I loved. And the writing! Perfection

    Jan 6, 2021 — Source

  • Consequences

    Consequences

    Penelope Lively
    Fiction

    The Booker Prize winning author's sweeping saga of three generations of women "One of the most accomplished writers of fiction of our day" (The Washington Post ) follows the lives and loves of three women--Lorna, Molly, and Ruth--from World War II-era London to the close of the century. Told in Lively's incomparable prose, this is a powerful story of growth, death, and renewal, as well as a penetrating look at how the major and minor events of the twentieth century changed lives. By chronicling the choices and consequences that comprise one family's history, Lively offers an intimate and profound reaffirmation of the force of connection between generations.

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    loving it even more this time.

    Mar 23, 2021 — Source

  • Blue Remembered Hills: A Recollection

    They're truly wonderful novels

    Dec 15, 2020 — Source

  • Hench

    Hench

    Natalie Zina Walschots
    A Novel
    Fiction

    “This book is fast, furious, compelling, and angry as hell." -- Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author The Boys meets My Year of Rest and Relaxation in this smart, imaginative, and evocative novel of love, betrayal, revenge, and redemption, told with razor-sharp wit and affection, in which a young woman discovers the greatest superpower—for good or ill—is a properly executed spreadsheet. Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn’t glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy? As a temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called “hero” leaves her badly injured. And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one. So, of course, then she gets laid off. With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks. Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing. And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance. It’s not too long before she’s employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world. A sharp, witty, modern debut, Hench explores the individual cost of justice through a fascinating mix of Millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics.

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    Just another book I just love

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • Venetia

    Venetia

    Georgette Heyer
    Fiction

    Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen." Publishers Weekly Beautiful, capable, and intendent minded, Venetia Lanyon's life on her family's estate in the country side is somewhat restricted. But her neighbor, the infamous Lord Dameral, a charming rake shunned by polite society is about to shake things up. Lord Damerel has built his life on his dangerous reputation, and when he meets Venetia, he has nothing to offer and everything to regret. Though his scandalous past and deepest secrets give Venetia reason to mistrust him, a rogue always gets what he wants. As Venetia's well-meaning family steps in to protect her from potential ruin, Venetia must find the wherewithal to take charge of her own destiny, or lose her chance at happiness. Charming characters and flawless prose make Venetia a fan favorite from the Queen of Regency Romance. Fans of Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Hoyt and Jane Ashford will be delighted by this story about finding love, redemption, and the courage to follow your heart. What reviewers are saying about Venetia "A wonderful story whose characters, settings and, most importantly, dialogue combine to create such a well-crafted story."-Bags, Books, and Bon Jovi "Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect period detail, and rapturously romantic"-Katie Fforde "Wonderful and lovely and perfect! Venetia is one of the most charming characters EVER." Once Upon a Bookshelf "An absolutely rollicking Regency romp. I loved it from the first page." Library Queue

    Buy on Amazon

    ...I reread frequently and with great delight

    Feb 8, 2018 — Source

  • The Liar’s Club

    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • This Boy’s Life

    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • Lions

    Lions

    Bonnie Nadzam

    Buy on Amazon

    I was just blown away by the writing.

    Jun 29, 2017 — Source

  • The Coffins of Little Hope

    The Coffins of Little Hope

    Timothy Schaffert
    Fiction

    Eighty-three-year-old obituary writer Essie finds her life in small town Nebraska turned upside-down when a young country girl is reported missing and the long-awaited final book in an infamous series of young adult gothic novels is being secretly printed on her newspaper's presses. Reprint.

    Buy on Amazon

    This enchanting novel is perfect for readers looking for realism

    Jul 20, 2011 — Source

  • The Great War and Modern Memory

    The Great War and Modern Memory

    Paul Fussell
    History

    A new edition of Paul Fussell's literate, literary, and illuminating account of the Great War, now a classic text of literary and cultural criticism.

    Buy on Amazon

    High on my 10 top reads of all time

    Jan 27, 2021 — Source

  • Any Human Heart

    really the story of the 20th century

    Sep 18, 2020 — Source

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    Betty Smith
    Fiction

    The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

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    Highly recommended.

    Apr 2, 2021 — Source

  • Frederica

    Frederica

    Georgette Heyer
    Fiction

    New York Times bestselling author Georgette Heyer's beloved tale of an entertaining heroine stumbling on happiness when her marital machinations for her sister go awry. Determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, Frederica seeks out their distant cousin the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent, and refreshingly straightforward, Frederica makes such a strong impression on him that to his own amazement, the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society. Normally Lord Alverstoke keeps his distance from his family, which includes two overbearing sisters and innumerable favor-seekers. But with his enterprising — and altogether entertaining—country cousins chasing wishes and getting into one scrape after another right on his doorstep, before he knows it the Marquis finds himself dangerously embroiled. The Georgette Heyer Signature Regency Collection is a fresh celebration of an author who has charmed tens of millions of readers with her delightful sense of humor and unique take on Regency romance. Includes fun and fascinating bonus content—a glossary of Regency slang, a Reading Group Guide, and an Afterword by official biographer Jennifer Kloester sharing insights into what Georgette herself thought of Frederica and what was going on in her life as she was writing. Praise for Georgette Heyer: "I have Georgette Heyer's books in every room of my house."—#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts

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    ...I reread frequently and with great delight

    Feb 8, 2018 — Source

  • A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Moreland, Indiana

    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • The Broken Shore

    The Broken Shore

    Peter Temple
    Fiction

    Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction (Australia) Joe Cashin was different once. He moved easily then. He was surer and less thoughtful. But there are consequences when you’ve come so close to dying. For Cashin, they included a posting away from the world of Homicide to the quiet place on the coast where he grew up. Now all he has to do is play the country cop and walk the dogs. And sometimes think about how he was before. Then prominent local Charles Bourgoyne is beaten and left for dead. Everything seems to point to three boys from the nearby Aboriginal community; everyone seems to want it to. But Cashin is unconvinced. And as tragedy unfolds relentlessly into tragedy, he finds himself holding onto something that might be better let go.

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    I got a copy, read it there, and was blown away by just how good it was.

    Feb 9, 2011 — Source

  • A Long Way From Verona

    A Long Way From Verona

    Jane Gardam
    Fiction

    “Far more than just another coming-of-age story” from the award-winning author of the Old Filth trilogy (Bustle). Jane Gardam’s marvelous stories of young girls on the threshold of womanhood—God on the Rocks and Crusoe’s Daughter—have delighted fans and critics alike. These “modern classics” are now joined by a novel that is equally fresh and genuine, comic and touching (The Independent). Jessica Vye introduces herself with an enigmatic pronouncement: “I ought to tell you at the beginning that I am not quite normal, having had a violent experience at the age of nine.” A revered author has told Jessica that she is, beyond all doubt, a born writer. This proves an accurate prediction of the future, one that indelibly colors her life at school and her perception of the world. Jessica has always known that her destiny would be shaped by her refusal to conform, her compulsion to tell the absolute truth, and her dedication to observing the strange wartime world that surrounds her. What she doesn’t know, however, is that the experiences and ideas that set her apart will also lead her to a new and wholly unexpected life. Told with grace and inimitable wit, A Long Way from Verona is a wise and vivid portrait of adolescent discovery and impending adulthood. “A book to be judged by the highest standards.” —The Spectator “A brilliant, witty, and agonizingly true-to-life novel.” —The Times Literary Supplement “A fiercely funny and personal book.” —The Economist “The qualities for which Gardam is cherished (the quirkiness, the bright-eyed wonder at reality) are already apparent in this early work.” —Kirkus Reviews

    Buy on Amazon

    I reread this 1971 novel at least once a year

    Oct 21, 2020 — Source

  • The Quiet Americans

    The Quiet Americans

    Scott Anderson
    Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War--a Tragedy in Three Acts
    History

    “Enthralling. . . . Lying and stealing and invading, it should be said, make for captivating reading, especially in the hands of a storyteller as skilled as Anderson.” —The New York Times Book Review A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR At the end of World War II, the United States was considered the victor over tyranny and a champion of freedom. But it was clear—to some—that the Soviet Union was already seeking to expand and foment revolution around the world, and the American government’s strategy in response relied on the secret efforts of a newly formed CIA. Chronicling the fascinating lives of the agents who sought to uphold American ideals abroad, Scott Anderson follows the exploits of four spies: Michael Burke, who organized parachute commandos from an Italian villa; Frank Wisner, an ingenious spymaster who directed actions around the world; Peter Sichel, a German Jew who outwitted the ruthless KGB in Berlin; and Edward Lansdale, a mastermind of psychological warfare in the Far East. But despite their lofty ambitions, time and again their efforts went awry, thwarted by a combination of ham-fisted politicking and ideological rigidity at the highest levels of the government. Told with narrative brio, deep research, and a skeptical eye, The Quiet Americans is the gripping story of how the United States, at the very pinnacle of its power, managed to permanently damage its moral standing in the world.

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    A wonderful book, very very very readable.

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • A Civil Contract

    A Civil Contract

    Georgette Heyer
    Fiction
    Sports & Recreation

    "A five-star job of sheerly delightful romance writing."- Chicago Sunday Tribune Can the wrong bride become the perfect wife? Adam Deveril, the new Viscount Lynton, is madly in love with the beautiful Julia Oversley. But he has returned from the Peninsular War to find his family on the brink of ruin and his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt. He has little choice when he is introduced to Mr. Jonathan Chawleigh, a City man of apparently unlimited wealth and no social ambitions for himself-but with his eyes firmly fixed on a suitable match for his only daughter, the quiet and decidedly plain Jenny Chawleigh. What Readers Say: "Heyer always writes brilliantly and is capable of conveying the deepest emotions in the briefest of phrases and subtlest dialogue." "One of Heyer's most skillfully written novels." "Has all of Heyer's usual wit, vivid characters, and attention to detail." "One of my very favourite Heyers - and one of her most profound. Wise and heartwarming." "Thoughtful and thought-provoking ... reveals depths to Heyer's writing." "Truly a gem." Georgette Heyer wrote over fifty novels, including Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. She was known as the Queen of Regency romance, and was legendary for her research, historical accuracy, and her extraordinary plots and characterizations.

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    ...I reread frequently and with great delight

    Feb 8, 2018 — Source

  • Drinking: A Love Story

    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • The Widow Nash

    The Widow Nash

    Jamie Harrison
    Fiction

    "It is New York, 1904, and Dulcy Remfrey, despite an idiosyncratic, traveling childhood, faces the predictable life of a woman of the time. All that changes when her eccentric father returns from his expedition to Africa without any of the proceeds from the sale of a gold mine. It seems he's lost his mind along with the money, and Dulcy's obsessive ex-fiance (and her father's business partner) insists she come to Seattle to decipher her father's cryptic notebooks, which may hold clues to the missing funds. When her father dies unexpectedly, taking the truth with him, Dulcy looks at her future, finds it unbearable, and somewhere in the northern Rockies disappears from the train bringing her father's body home. Is it possible to disappear from your old life and create another? Dulcy travels the West reading stories about her own death and finds a small Montana town where she's reborn as Mrs. Nash, a wealthy young widow, free from the burden of family. But her old life won't let go so easily, and soon her ex-fiance is on her trail, threatening the new life she is so eager to create. The Widow Nash is a riveting narrative, filled with a colorful cast of characters, timeless themes, and great set pieces. Europe in summer. New York in fall. Africa in winter. And the lively, unforgettable town of Livingston, Montana. This is a book that surprises with its twists and turns, a ribald sensibility, and rich historical details. And in Dulcy, Jamie Harrison has created an indelible heroine sure to capture the hearts of readers everywhere"--

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    just absolutely wonderful

    Jun 29, 2017 — Source

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

    one of the most moving and remarkable novels I’ve ever read.

    Sep 28, 2011 — Source

  • When Found, Make a Verse of

    When Found, Make a Verse of

    Helen Bevington
    Poetry

    A gathering of prose and verse commentary on life and literature.

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    it was well-loved & frequently read by me.

    Oct 20, 2020 — Source

  • Love and Friendship

    I loved these novels

    Dec 5, 2020 — Source

  • We Learn Nothing

    We Learn Nothing

    Tim Kreider
    Essays
    Biography & Autobiography

    A New York Times political cartoonist and writer presents a collection of his most popular essays and drawings about life and government hypocrisy, exploring the darkly comic aspects of such topics as falling in love with unlikeable people, managing a friend with outspoken political views and reacting to a long acquaintance's sex-change operation. By the creator of The Pain--When Will It End?

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    I found myself nodding in agreement and wondering how he could so consistently express my feelings, and express them so much better than I ever could

    Dec 4, 2010 — Source

  • The Unquiet Dead

    This is one of the best mysteries that I found in a long time

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • Arabella

    Arabella

    Georgette Heyer
    Fiction

    Georgette Heyer had a handful of unforgettable heroines, of which Arabella is one of the most engaging. Daughter of a modest country clergyman, Arabella Tallant is on her way to London when her carriage breaks down outside the hunting lodge of the wealthy Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Her pride stung when she overhears a remark of her host's, Arabella pretends to be an heiress, a pretense that deeply amuses the jaded Beau. To counter her white lie, Beaumaris launches her into high society and thereby subjects her to all kinds of fortune hunters and other embarrassments. When compassionate Arabella rescues such unfortunate creatures as a mistreated chimney sweep and a mixed-breed mongrel, she foists them upon Beaumaris, who finds he rather enjoys the role of rescuer and is soon given the opportunity to prove his worth in the person of Arabella's impetuous young brother... PRAISE FOR GEORGETTE HEYER: "Our Georgette Heyer display of the Sourcebooks reprints has been a huge success, not only to those early fans like myself, but to many new readers who appreciate her style and wit." Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC "Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen." Publishers Weekly "Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect period detail, and rapturously romantic. Georgette Heyer achieves what the rest of us only aspire to." Katie Fforde

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    ...I reread frequently and with great delight

    Feb 8, 2018 — Source

  • The Tender Bar

    The Tender Bar

    J. R. Moehringer
    A Memoir
    Family & Relationships

    The New York Times bestseller and one of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2005. In the tradition of This Boy's Life and The Liar's Club, a raucous, poignant, luminously written memoir about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar. J.R. Moehringer grew up captivated by a voice. It was the voice of his father, a New York City disc jockey who vanished before J.R. spoke his first word. Sitting on the stoop, pressing an ear to the radio, J.R. would strain to hear in that plummy baritone the secrets of masculinity and identity. Though J.R.'s mother was his world, his rock, he craved something more, something faintly and hauntingly audible only in The Voice. At eight years old, suddenly unable to find The Voice on the radio, J.R. turned in desperation to the bar on the corner, where he found a rousing chorus of new voices. The alphas along the bar--including J.R.'s Uncle Charlie, a Humphrey Bogart look-alike; Colt, a Yogi Bear sound-alike; and Joey D, a softhearted brawler--took J.R. to the beach, to ballgames, and ultimately into their circle. They taught J.R., tended him, and provided a kind of fathering-by-committee. Torn between the stirring example of his mother and the lurid romance of the bar, J.R. tried to forge a self somewhere in the center. But when it was time for J.R. to leave home, the bar became an increasingly seductive sanctuary, a place to return and regroup during his picaresque journeys. Time and again the bar offered shelter from failure, rejection, heartbreak--and eventually from reality. In the grand tradition of landmark memoirs, The Tender Bar is suspenseful, wrenching, and achingly funny. A classic American story of self-invention and escape, of the fierce love between a single mother and an only son, it's also a moving portrait of one boy's struggle to become a man, and an unforgettable depiction of how men remain, at heart, lost boys.

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    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • Defectors

    ...a good thriller, a good spy novel.

    Jun 29, 2017 — Source

  • The Gone-Away World

    The Gone-Away World

    Nick Harkaway
    Fiction

    With a fire burning along the Jorgmund Pipe, Gonzo Lubitsch and his colleagues at the Haulage and HazMat Emergency Civil Freebooting Company are hired to put it out--and to save humankind in the process.

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    But my favorite remains The Gone-Away World.

    Sep 17, 2017 — Source

  • Last Hope Island

    Last Hope Island

    Lynne Olson
    Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War
    History

    "When the Nazi Blitzkrieg subjugated Europe in World War II, London became the safe haven for the leaders of seven occupied countries--France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, Czechoslovakia, and Poland--who fled there to avoid imprisonment and set up governments in exile to commandeer their resistance efforts. The lone hold-out against Hitler's offensive, Britain became a beacon of hope to the rest of Europe, as prominent European leaders like French general Charles De Gaulle, Queen Wilhelmina of Holland, and King Haakon of Norway competed for Winston Churchill's attention while trying to rule their embattled countries from the precarious safety of 'Last Hope Island'"--Provided by publisher.

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    I really learned a lot, which is one of the reasons I enjoy reading non-fiction.

    Jun 13, 2017 — Source

  • Lisey's Story

    Lisey's Story

    Stephen King
    A Novel
    Fiction

    Every marriage has two hearts, one light and one dark, and Lisey Landon must confront both. King's most personal and powerful book to date is about the wellsprings of creativity, the temptations of madness, and the secret language of love.

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    Lisey's Story is my favorite Stephen King novel

    Sep 30, 2016 — Source

  • Nowhere City

    one of the best LA novels you'll read

    Dec 5, 2020 — Source

  • The Lantern Bearers

    The Lantern Bearers

    Rosemary Sutcliff
    Young Adult Fiction

    Threatened by a tide of invaders, the last of the Roman Auxiliaries are to leave Britain forever. But Aquila, a young legionnaire, chooses to stay behind, in order to join the fight to save his native land. The Lantern Bearers is the winner of the 1959 Carnegie Medal in Literature.

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    They're truly wonderful novels

    Dec 15, 2020 — Source

  • The Hare with Amber Eyes

    The Hare with Amber Eyes

    Edmund de Waal
    A Hidden Inheritance
    Architecture

    Traces the parallel stories of 19th-century art patron Charles Ephrussi and his unique collection of 264 miniature netsuke Japanese ivory carvings, documenting Ephrussi's relationship with Marcel Proust and the impact of the Holocaust on his cosmopolitan family. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

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    my favorite work of non-fiction this year

    Jan 5, 2018 — Source

  • All the Way to the Tigers

    All the Way to the Tigers

    Mary Morris
    A Memoir
    Biography & Autobiography

    One of NPR's Best Books of the Year From the author of Nothing to Declare, a moving travel narrative examining healing, redemption, and what it means to be a solo woman on the road. In February 2008, a casual afternoon of ice skating derailed the trip of a lifetime. Mary Morris was on the verge of a well-earned sabbatical, but instead she endured three months in a wheelchair, two surgeries, and extensive rehabilitation. One morning, when she was supposed to be in Morocco, Morris was lying on the sofa reading Death in Venice, casting her eyes over these words again and again: "He would go on a journey. Not far. Not all the way to the tigers." Disaster shifted to possibility and Morris made a decision. When she was well enough to walk again, she would go "all the way to the tigers." So begins a three-year odyssey that takes Morris to India on a tiger safari in search of the world's most elusive apex predator. Written in over a hundred short chapters accompanied by the author's photographs, this travel memoir offers an elegiac, wry, and wise look at a woman on the road and the glorious, elusive creature she seeks.

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    One of my favorite books of last year

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • The Reluctant Widow

    The Reluctant Widow

    Georgette Heyer
    Fiction

    "Lively, amusing...done to a turn!"-Kirkus Reviews A fateful mistake... When Elinor Rochdale boards the wrong coach, she ends up not at her prospective employer's home but at the estate of Eustace Cheviot, a dissipated and ruined young man on the verge of death. A momentous decision... His cousin, Mr Ned Carlyon, persuades Elinor to marry Eustace as a simple business arrangement. By morning, Elinor is a rich widow, but finds herself embroiled with an international spy ring, housebreakers, uninvited guests, and murder. And Mr Carlyon won't let her leave ... What readers are saying about The Reluctant Widow "Delightful and purely entertaining. The plot involves comedy, intrigue, espionage, cloaks and daggers, and things going bump in the night - served with a sauce of witty repartee that is the Heyer hallmark. Unforgettable." "One of my favorites!" "A delightfully funny and mysterious romp." "Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen." - Publisher's Weekly

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    ...I reread frequently and with great delight

    Feb 8, 2018 — Source

  • Cakewalk: A Memoir

    Cakewalk: A Memoir

    Kate Moses
    Business & Economics

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    there are some memoirs that I absolutely love.

    May 21, 2018 — Source

  • The Watery Part of the World

    Once I read the first paragraph or two, I found it all but impossible to put down.

    Nov 28, 2017 — Source

  • Proving Ground

    I just kept turning those pages.

    Jun 29, 2017 — Source

  • Dark Star Safari

    Dark Star Safari

    Paul Theroux
    Overland from Cairo to Cape Town
    Travel

    The author recounts his odyssey down the length of Africa, from Cairo to South Africa, describing the bad food, many delays, discomforts, and dangers of his trip, along with the people and places of the real Africa.

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    I tried it, and was immediately hooked.

    Aug 29, 2017 — Source

  • City of Blades

    City of Blades

    Robert Jackson Bennett
    A Novel
    Fiction

    The city of Voortyashtan was once the home of the goddess of death, war and destruction, but now it's little more than a ruin. General Turyin Mulaghesh is called out of retirement and sent to this hellish place to find a Saypuri secret agent who's gone AWOL in the middle of a mission. But the ghosts of past wars have followed her there, and soon she begins to wonder what happened to the souls in the afterlife when the gods were defeated by her people, the Polis. Do the dead sleep soundly in the land of death? Or do they have plans of their own?

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    Good sequel to City of Stairs - I enjoyed both of them

    Apr 24, 2017 — Source

  • Territory

    I've been waiting for the sequel since its publication in 2007

    Oct 6, 2020 — Source

  • War Between the Tates

    I loved these novels

    Dec 5, 2020 — Source

  • Eagle of the Ninth

    They're truly wonderful novels

    Dec 15, 2020 — Source

  • The Cactus League

    The Cactus League

    Emily Nemens
    A Novel
    Fiction

    Named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR and Lit Hub. A Los Angeles Times Bestseller. A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice "In The Cactus League [Emily Nemens] provides her readers with what amounts to a miniature, self-enclosed world that is funny and poignant and lovingly observed." --Charles McGrath, The New York Times Book Review An explosive, character-driven odyssey through the world of baseball from Emily Nemens, the editor of The Paris Review Jason Goodyear is the star outfielder for the Los Angeles Lions, stationed with the rest of his team in the punishingly hot Arizona desert for their annual spring training. Handsome, famous, and talented, Goodyear is nonetheless coming apart at the seams. And the coaches, writers, wives, girlfriends, petty criminals, and diehard fans following his every move are eager to find out why—as they hide secrets of their own. Humming with the energy of a ballpark before the first pitch, Emily Nemens's The Cactus League unravels the tightly connected web of people behind a seemingly linear game. Narrated by a sportscaster, Goodyear’s story is interspersed with tales of Michael Taylor, a batting coach trying to stay relevant; Tamara Rowland, a resourceful spring-training paramour, looking for one last catch; Herb Allison, a legendary sports agent grappling with his decline; and a plethora of other richly drawn characters, all striving to be seen as the season approaches. It’s a journey that, like the Arizona desert, brims with both possibility and destruction. Anchored by an expert knowledge of baseball’s inner workings, Emily Nemens's The Cactus League is a propulsive and deeply human debut that captures a strange desert world that is both exciting and unforgiving, where the most crucial games are the ones played off the field.

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    It's a very smartly written character driven novel

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • Stephen Florida

    Stephen Florida

    Gabe Habash
    A Novel
    Fiction

    This dark, gripping tale of an obsessed college wrestler is “one of the best novels of the year” (NPR). Stephen is in his final wrestling season at his North Dakota school, and he intends to win the divisional championship in his weight class. He thinks about little else, in fact. It will make up for the failures of the past. It will prove something to the world. It will be the fulfillment of a promise to himself, and a tribute to his late grandmother, who raised him after his parents’ fatal car crash. As the competition in Kenosha, Wisconsin, grows ever closer, Stephen will grow ever more consumed—and unsure of what comes next—in this “utterly engrossing” literary debut (Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will). “[A] burningly, bitterly funny tale of college student Stephen, who throws himself into wrestling to face down his fears.” —Library Journal “Stephen Florida’s grim portrait of ambition led astray captures how competitiveness and masculinity can unravel those who blindly follow its codes.” —The Atlantic “Habash writes about the raw physicality of wrestling better than anybody this side of John Irving . . . A lively, occasionally harrowing journey into obsession.” —Kirkus Reviews

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    Nancy is reading...

     — Source

  • Mindbridge

    Mindbridge

    Joe Haldeman
    Fiction

    A remarkable alien technology could have devastating consequences for humanity in this novel by the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of The Forever War. In the far future, the accidental scientific breakthrough known as the Levant-Meyer Translation changes everything. Suddenly people can leap instantaneously across the universe, albeit temporarily, enabling teams of Tamers to explore far-flung worlds and prepare them for possible human habitation. But one expedition doesn’t make it back alive. Jacque Lefavre achieves his lifelong dream of becoming a Tamer when he joins the Agency for Extraterrestrial Development. On his first exploratory mission to a planet known as Groombridge, Lefavre and his team encounter something truly extraordinary: a small, nonsentient creature that, when joined with another of its kind, creates a telepathic “bridge.” But exploiting this psychic link could bring unanticipated perils, for it is about to bring Lefavre and his team into dangerously close contact with the L’vrai, an ancient, advanced, and hostile race of star travelers—an encounter that could prove to be the first step in humankind’s salvation . . . or its doom. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Joe Haldeman including rare images from the author’s personal collection.

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    still an excellent read for sf fans.

    Jan 28, 2015 — Source

  • The Great Believers

    The Great Believers

    Rebecca Makkai
    Fiction

    "In 1985, Yale Tishman is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery where he works. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying, and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster."--

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    Nancy is reading...

     — Source

  • Moonlight Mile

    I enjoy these detectives a lot, and always look forward to a new novel by Lehane.

    Nov 4, 2011 — Source

  • The Death of Vishnu

    The Death of Vishnu

    Manil Suri
    Fiction

    Vishnu, the odd-job man in a Bombay apartment block, lies dying on the staircase landing. Around him the lives of the apartment dwellers unfold - the warring housewives on the first floor, the lovesick teenagers on the second, and the widower, alone and quietly grieving at the top of the building. In a fevered state Vishnu looks back on his love affair with the seductive Padmini and comedy becomes tragedy as his life draws to a close.

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    Fans of character-driven fiction should check out Manil Suri's 2001 novel

    Nov 20, 2020 — Source

  • Code Girls

    Code Girls

    Liza Mundy
    The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition)
    Juvenile Nonfiction

    In the tradition of Hidden Figures and The Girls of Atomic City, Code Girls is the amazing true story of the young American women who cracked German and Japanese military codes during World War II. More than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II, recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to the nation's capital to learn the top secret art of code breaking. Through their work, the "code girls" helped save countless lives and were vital in ending the war. But due to the top secret nature of their accomplishments, these women have never been able to talk about their story--until now. Through dazzling research and countless interviews with the surviving code girls, Liza Mundy brings their story to life with zeal, grace, and passion. Abridged and adapted for a middle grade audience, Code Girls brings this important story to young readers for the first time, showcasing this vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

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    Nancy is reading...

     — Source

  • War Room

    War Room

    Michael Holley
    The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team
    Sports & Recreation

    Bill Belichick is one of the titans of today’s game of football. Now, sports commentator and bestselling author Michael Holley follows three NFL teams—the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and Atlanta Falcons—from training camp 2010 through the Super Bowl and into the April draft, opening a new window into Belichick’s influence on the game. This one-of-a-kind exploration takes football fans behind the scenes of the most popular sport in America, with unprecedented insider access to the head coaches, scouts, trainers, and players who make the game what it is—including new insights from Bill Parcells, Todd and Dick Haley, and Belichick himself. For true fans of the game, and for readers of Badasses, Patriot Reign, and Boys Will Be Boys, Holley’s War Room is not to be missed.

    Buy on Amazon

    I enjoyed it a lot but really wish it had been better written.

    May 23, 2017 — Source

  • The Likeness

    The Likeness

    Tana French
    Fiction

    A follow-up to In the Woods finds a traumatized detective Cassie Maddox struggling in her career and relationship with Sam O'Neill while investigating the unsettling murder of a young woman whose name matches an alias Cassie once had used as an undercover officer. 50,000 first printing.

    Buy on Amazon

    The new book reminded me of the best of Barbara Vine or Elizabeth George, even.

    May 26, 2008 — Source

  • Liar's Dictionary

    It's so inventive, this book

    Apr 8, 2021 — Source

  • No Ordinary Matter

    No Ordinary Matter

    Jenny McPhee
    A Novel
    Fiction

    Jenny McPhee's critically acclaimed debut, The Center of Things, was hailed by O, The Oprah Magazine as "a smart novel of love, lust, and life's miraculous randomness." The New York Times Book Review called it "an engaging novel about big ideas." In her delightful new novel, No Ordinary Matter, McPhee turns her razor-sharp pen on the offbeat worlds of soap operas, mistaken identities, private detectives, and sibling rivalries as she deftly navigates the territory between coincidence and fate. Veronica Moore writes for a daytime drama while secretly composing a musical and has fallen in love with Alex Drake, who plays a neurologist on her show. Lillian Moore is a neurologist who is pregnant from a one-night stand. Veronica and Lillian have hired Brian Byrd, P. I., to uncover the mystery surrounding their father's death. Before they know it, unexpected answers come crawling out of the woodwork. The sisters meet monthly at the Hungarian Pastry Shop, where they entangle their futures and unravel their pasts, setting the stage for a series of revelations that will change the course of everyone's lives. This fast-paced narrative is full of situations worthy of the steamiest of soaps, and yet McPhee renders this fantastical world delightfully ordinary. No Ordinary Matter is as addictive as a soap opera, as high-kicking as a Broadway show, as insightful as an MRI, and as satisfying as a buttery croissant. With its sly charm and witty sophistication, McPhee's new novel is another sparkling gem from a rising literary star.

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    books and reading that I’ve collected over the years.

    Mar 5, 2018 — Source

  • The Year Of The Runaways

    it's so worthwhile and eye-opening.

    Jun 29, 2017 — Source

  • The Mind-Body Problem

    I loved Rebecca Goldstein's 1983 novel

    Mar 26, 2021 — Source

  • Understood Betsy

    Understood Betsy

    Dorothy Canfield Fisher
    Farm life

    A small and timid girl discovers her own abilities and the world around her when she goes to live with relatives on a farm in Vermont.

    Buy on Amazon

    marvelous novels

    Aug 27, 2020 — Source

  • A Rising Man

    A Rising Man

    Abir Mukherjee
    A Novel
    Fiction

    In the days of the Raj, a newly arrived Scotland Yard detective is confronted with the murder of a British official—in his mouth a note warning the British to leave India, or else . . . Calcutta, 1919. Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. He is immediately overwhelmed by the heady vibrancy of the tropical city, but with barely a moment to acclimatize or to deal with the ghosts that still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that threatens to destabilize a city already teetering on the brink of political insurgency. The body of a senior official has been found in a filthy sewer, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India, or else. Under tremendous pressure to solve the case before it erupts into increased violence on the streets, Wyndham and his two new colleagues—arrogant Inspector Digby and Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID—embark on an investigation that will take them from the opulent mansions of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city. Masterfully evincing the sights, sounds, and smells of colonial Calcutta, A Rising Man is the start of an enticing new historical crime series.

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    Nancy is reading...

     — Source

  • The Nearest Exit

    The Nearest Exit

    Olen Steinhauer
    Fiction

    Forced to prove his loyalty to his new bosses in order to return to the CIA, reluctant spy Milo Weaver finds himself caught between the self-interests of patriots and traitors. By the Edgar finalist author of the best-selling The Tourist. Reprint. 150,000 first printing.

    Buy on Amazon

    books and reading that I’ve collected over the years.

    Mar 5, 2018 — Source

  • World War Z

    World War Z

    Max Brooks
    An Oral History of the Zombie War
    Fiction

    An account of the decade-long conflict between humankind and hordes of the predatory undead is told from the perspective of dozens of survivors who describe in their own words the epic human battle for survival, in a novel that is the basis for the June 2013 film starring Brad Pitt. Reissue. Movie Tie-In.

    Buy on Amazon

    Read this when it first came out and loved it.

    May 15, 2017 — Source

  • The Homemaker

    The Homemaker

    Dorothy Canfield Fisher

    Buy on Amazon

    marvelous novels

    Aug 27, 2020 — Source

  • The Trouble with Goats and Sheeps

    Nancy is reading...

     — Source

  • Uncommon Type

    Uncommon Type

    Tom Hanks
    Some Stories
    Fiction

    A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game - and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heart-warming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have.

    Buy on Amazon

    you’ll find me at the head of the line waiting eagerly for his new film to start.

    Dec 17, 2017 — Source

  • Our Homesick Songs

    Our Homesick Songs

    Emma Hooper
    Fiction

    From Emma Hooper, acclaimed author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James, a People magazine “Pick of the Week,” comes a “haunting fable about the transformative power of hope” (Booklist, starred review) in a charming and mystical story of a family on the edge of extinction. The Connor family is one of the few that is still left in their idyllic fishing village, Big Running; after the fish mysteriously disappeared, most families had no choice but to relocate and find work elsewhere. Aidan and Martha Connor now spend alternate months of the year working at an energy site up north to support their children, Cora and Finn. But soon the family fears they’ll have to leave Big Running for good. And as the months go on, plagued by romantic temptations new and old, the emotional distance between the once blissful Aidan and Martha only widens. Between his accordion lessons and reading up on Big Running’s local flora and fauna, eleven-year-old Finn Connor develops an obsession with solving the mystery of the missing fish. Aided by his reclusive music instructor Mrs. Callaghan, Finn thinks he may have discovered a way to find the fish, and in turn, save the only home he’s ever known. While Finn schemes, his sister Cora spends her days decorating the abandoned houses in Big Running with global flair—the baker’s home becomes Italy; the mailman’s, Britain. But it’s clear she’s desperate for a bigger life beyond the shores of her small town. As the streets of Big Running continue to empty Cora takes matters—and her family’s shared destinies—into her own hands. In Our Homesick Songs, Emma Hooper paints a gorgeous portrait of the Connor family, brilliantly weaving together four different stories and two generations of Connors, full of wonder and hope. Told in Hooper’s signature ethereal style, “this delicate elegy for a dying way of life crescendos into a love song binding family members across the waters” (Kirkus Reviews).

    Buy on Amazon

    Nancy is reading...

     — Source

  • The Art of Fielding

    The Art of Fielding

    Chad Harbach
    A Novel
    Fiction

    At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners' team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.

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    Really loved the characters

    Nov 4, 2011 — Source

  • 11/22/63

    11/22/63

    Stephen King
    A Novel
    Fiction

    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.

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    This is the kind of Stephen King novel I most like

    May 15, 2017 — Source