If you are a mountain biker, you likely enjoy camping. Bikepacking is a natural combination of these two hobbies, and it has become a bit of an obsession for me. You can spend hours planning your excursions, and that is what makes a book like Grand Bikepacking Journeys such a fun book. Gestalten has become a publisher whose simple and clean aesthetic is very refreshing. The images are striking and well composed but not overly-edited or enhanced, and the pages have more of a matte finish rather than glossy, which I prefer. The bike routes are from all around the globe and are sure to introduce new destinations to the reader. I was so happy to see familiar destinations like Spain and Italy alongside stunning routes in places like Croatia, Nepal and Vietnam. Not only are there amazing and surprising route suggestions, but there is also a great deal of practical knowledge about riding techniques and essential gear for bikepacking. This is dream material for any biker and a must have for a bikepacker.
Years ago, The Dangerous Book for Boys was published and became a bestseller. I loved it and have long thought there should be something similar for adult boys and girls. You can imagine how excited I was to see Forest School For Grown-ups! Divided into 8 sections, it begins by detailing each of the seasons and what to expect at different times of the year. The book then proceeds to detail everything from basic survival skills to craft projects that can be done in the wild. Each section is filled with helpful diagrams and illustrations. Country mice and city mice alike will love this wonderful guide.
I have often wondered what novel Kurt Vonnegut would make of the times in which we are living. Maybe he could make sense of it for me? Since he can't sort things out, Mat Johnson's Invisible Things is the next best thing.
Hundreds of people have been abducted by a mysterious force and transported to a perfect American city on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The creation of this oasis is a mystery. The origin of the supplies and means of replenishment are a mystery. The duration of their stay is a mystery. And that very well-known, invisible mystery shall not be named. Not in public, and not in private. To upset the status quo might make you the focus of... well... an invisible thing. What does humanity do in the face of such uncertainty? We form political parties and begin attacking each other relentlessly.
Mat Johnson has created a guilty treat with his perfectly-timed satire. Each character begins with good intentions but ultimately succumbs to squabbling over petty differences. Their overblown egos and trivial motivations are painfully believable and provide ample comic relief. I just wish that there was a larger series coming as I’d happily be taken away to a place slightly more absurd than our current reality again.
George Saunders's short stories are brilliant, tragic, manic little universes of thirty pages that will swallow up your heart and soul before you even realize it’s happening. The weird thing is that even if you don't like his novels, you should give his short stories a try. (Case in point: he's not my favorite novelist by a long shot. I haven't liked one of his novels yet.) Liberation Day comprises nine of his varied universes, and you will find something familiar reflected in each of them.
One story outlines a tragic future where the poor become marionettes for the amusement of the rich and ruling class. Yet another follows a suburban woman whose imagination begins to have dire real life consequences. In Love Letter, a man writes to his nephew and laments the authoritarian reality in which they live, all the while warning the young man of the danger of his idealism.
All of his characters are vibrant and feel authentic, no matter how briefly they dance across the page. Saunders is a skillful storyteller, who strips away superfluous elements from the story, leaving it sharper and more impactful while remaining impartial and non-judgemental towards the protagonists. Perhaps that is my favorite part about reading Saunders: he reminds us of our obligation to try and understand other points of view and encourages his readers to remain open-minded even in these polarizing times.
Does the term “coming-of-age story” make you wince? Yeah; me too. Would you rather read about someone losing a limb in battle than having their heart broken in a relationship? Right there with you. This book has exactly zero bank robberies, no dragons, and not a single mad scientist. Statistically speaking, I should not even like this book, but I adore it.
Sam meets Sadie in a children’s hospital, and the pair bond over their pre-teen shared love of video games. This bond carries them into adulthood with all of the ins and outs of their relationships, businesses, and careers. Sam is outwardly overly certain of himself, yet painfully insecure. He is also an exceptional computer coder. Sadie is beautiful and has a mind for creating addictive narratives in computer games that simultaneously enthrall and infuriate its players. You learn about their painful histories, thrill at their successes, and cringe and yell, “No, no, no!" as they date all the wrong people. Again, for so many reasons, this should not be my kind of book. But it is. And it should absolutely be your book too! Two thumbs extremely high up for this must-read!
Many years ago I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and fell in love with a city I have still never visited. I’ve planned trips and had to cancel them for one reason or another, and I worried the city would not live up to what I had a imagined this odd place to be. Thankfully, George Dawes Green has saved me the airfare and dispelled the potential for disappointment, for Kingdoms of Savannah is so steeped in this peculiar southern community that you can feel the kudzu enveloping you as you read.
Stony has a tentative grasp on reality at best, and when she drinks, her hold becomes more weakened. She can find herself trusting the wrong person, and even the protective presence of Luke Kitchens, her drinking companion at Bo Peep’s Bar, isn’t enough to keep her safe. When she goes missing and Luke is found dead in a burned out building, the community quickly eyes one of its least popular residents: wealthy, and morally-compromised real estate developer, Archie Guzman. Guzman clearly had a motive, in the form of insurance claims, to torch the building where Luke was found. However, in the South, things are rarely what they seem. Enter Morgana Musgrove, owner of Musgrove Investigation, and her dysfunctional family. Grand wealth and scandals have led the family to be very untrusting yet, collectively, they have the skills needed to solve the case, and Morgana is determined to exploit every angle and family member to unravel this curious tale.
Green has given us a delightful southern mystery that is so infectious, you may just find yourself hungering for some Flannery O'Conner.
Blake Crouch is a favorite of mine both as a reader and a bookseller. As a reader, I love his books because the science is solid and the concepts are exciting, thought through, and often taken to an extreme I hadn’t thought of. As a bookseller I love his books because he takes amazing SciFi stories and makes them palatable to those who would normally be averse to the genre (think Michael Crichton or Robin Cook). Crouch’s latest is a thrilling and terrifying look at what bioengineering could be capable of in the near future.
Logan Ramsey is an officer with the Gene Protection Agency (GPA), and it is his job to make sure no rogue scientists are operating laboratories outside of the organization. He is also the son of a brilliant scientist, whose bio engineering experiment caused a global famine - killing millions and driving her to death by suicide. He has spent his career trying to make up in some small way for all of the carnage caused by his mother's hubris. When he is dosed with a biological agent during a raid on a laboratory, his life and body begin to change in unfathomable ways. Logan uncovers a plot to change or upgrade all of humanity, but into what and by who he does not know. Crouch has delivered again with a fantastic and thought-provoking adventure, and once again threw a curve ball right at the end that I didn't see coming. It made for an even more satisfying ending.
Kim Stanley Williams is well known for his Science Fiction, but Ministry for the Future feels frighteningly like our current reality. The book opens with a lethal heat wave in India which kills 20 million people and traumatizes an entire nation. It is here we meet one of our main characters, a survivor of the heatwave, named Frank. His experiences send him on a long road in search of retribution that seems to be on a collision course with Mary, the head of an environmental think tank called The Ministry For The Future; an organization whose goal is to create action and governmental policies that will reduce the impact of climate change. This is the story of our world finally deciding to confront the existential crisis of climate change and what it would (will) look like when we are forced to take serious actions. One initiative is a large movement to live on 2,000 KWH per year. As you can see from the chart below, that is a difficult feat. But this is not a story about emissions standards, as much as it is about bold geoengineering with Hail Marys like pumping sea water into the center of Antarctica to slow sea rise, or intentionally polluting the skies to prevent deadly heat waves. All that might be boring or dry in another author's hands, but Williams's riveting narrative left me feeling more optimistic about our near future than I was at the start of the novel.
*Average electrical power per capita expressed in kWh per year:
Global Average 3081
United Kingdom 4496
United States 12154
*Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
A young boy named Soot has learned the world can be a cruel and unforgiving place. He has found that if he can just go unnoticed, then perhaps he can escape some of the suffering life has in store for him. He tries so hard to be invisible that he manages to become, well, invisible.
An author who has written a runaway bestseller, who proceeds to be groomed, coached, and jettisoned out on an alcohol-fueled, socially awkward book tour across the country. If he can just get the next book finished and find the right blazer, his agent swears he’ll be the next literary sensation.
Both the author and Soot are going to learn there is only so much they can truly control, and in this society, the odds are always going to be stacked against them.
The best satire will make you laugh while breaking your heart. Hell of a Book accomplishes this over and over again. Darkly comic, this book is for fans of The Sellout and The Zero. Did I mention it won the National Book Award?
Once you break through its dark and troubling beginning, How High We Go In The Dark will take you to fascinating and bizarre places. Sequoia Nagamatsu answers questions you never thought to ponder like: Ever wonder how awful it would be to be an employee of an amusement park for toddlers' euthanaization? Opening with the outbreak of a horrific pandemic, Nagamatsu's simultaneously beautiful and terrifying narrative targets children first. With no cure or treatment, society trys to find a humane option for parents facing an impossible decision; hence the amusement park. As the pandemic rages and mutates, individuals struggle to cope with the ever-changing world around them. The cast of characters changes quickly, giving only the briefest time to mourn a tragedy before being catapulted into the next storyline. You’ll find yourself racing to the end of each chapter to see what new insane twist will be next. I absolutely loved it, and I assure you it is like nothing else you’ve ever read. Buckle up, it’s a bumpy ride.
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love: Recipes to Unlock the Secrets of Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer: A Cookbook (Paperback)
Yotam Ottolenghi is a world-class restauranter and chef who has redifened Mediterranean cuisine. His recipes are elaborate, exotic and frankly, intimidating. That is why I found his latest book, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen such a refreshing change of pace. It is still filled with vibrant and exciting plates, but for once, they seem achievable by us mere mortals. From "Humus and Home Made Naan" to "Roasted Potatoes with Pine Nuts," the recipes feel more like comfort food than high-end cuisine. The authors have also taken time to include little touches that make huge differences like including a plethora of substitution ideas, a breakdown of essential ingredients on the first couple pages, and a fantastic index in the back that breaks up the recipes into groups like: "Under and Hour," "Kid-Friendly," and "One-Pot." Even the cloth page marker is a welcome extra. Did I mention it isn't a 40 pound hardcover this time either? It feels like a great deal of attention was given not just to the contents but also the form of the book. Most importantly, the majority of the meals are something my 5-year-old would be willing to give a try, and these days that is pretty much essential.
Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave): A Cookbook (Hardcover)
Why is a two Michelin-star chef trying to convince me to use the microwave?! This cookbook is disturbing, troubling, and has me questioning so much of what I thought I knew about the culinary world. It is also probably the first cookbook I’ll read cover to cover. David Chang is, of course, the celebrity chef/owner of Momofuko and he has written a fantastic new cookbook... that has practically no recipes in it. You read that right, Cooking At Home is not about planning the perfect meal but about learning to cook using what is on hand and what is in your head. Chang and his co-author, Priya Krishna, distill years of culinary adventures and exploration into a form of culinary philosophy that will have you wanting to create meals rather than follow instructions step-by-step. This is the perfect cookbook for those who have cooked for years and for those who are terrified to cook. It is truly the most unique cookbook I’ve ever used and the first I ever took to bed. It belongs in every kitchen… just like a microwave.
Man ventured out among the stars centuries ago; immense distances were conquered and grand diversity of alien life was discovered; empires formed and failed and thrived yet again; all before the Architects appeared: grand interstellar leviathans the size of moons, with the ability to tear apart whole planets. For years they’d appear without warning destroying entire civilizations. They made no demands. Indeed there was no known way to even communicate with them until humanity was able to engineer a soldier like Idris, a telepath that could reach out and connect with the giant aliens. Upon making first contact, the Architects promptly disappeared. No treaty, no surrendering, just vanished. 50 years later the gifts bestowed upon Idris have left him capable of navigating to the deepest corners of the universe but have robbed him of the ability to sleep. His journeys have shown him more than any man should see but what he and as his crew of misfits just discovered is something that has him frightened for the first time in decades. Have the Architects returned? Is there any hope of defeating them? Is there anywhere to run?
Tchaikovsky has once again created a vibrant universe whose grand scale envelopes the reader entirely. Thankfully, this is just book one, and I’ll be waiting with anticipation for my next journey into “unspace.” For fans of The Expanse, Three Body Problem or Hyperion.
I must begin by thanking Malcolm, the customer who got me to pick up this book. If you are reading this, thank you for introducing me to a new favorite!
Buddy Lee and Ike are two men that have little left in their lives, other than regrets. They are not friends; they don’t even know each other. Each of them have lived hard lives on the wrong side of the law, have tried in their own ways to right their wrongs, and have each failed their sons. Buddy Lee and Ike’s sons were married to each other, and at the opening of Razorblade Tears they have been murdered in what appears to be a hate crime. Both men are filled with remorse, and are brought together in their hope to achieve some kind of redemption or even revenge. Since the leads in the case seem to have gone cold, the grieving fathers decide they may have some skills sets from their past that could help them find their boys' murder(ers).
Cosby creates characters and dialog so real, you swear you smell stale Budweiser; he writes scenes so vivid, they make you feel the humidity of a southern July day; and he crafts an ending so perfect, you’ll be racing for his next book… which is what I’ll be doing next!
Inti and Augie are identical twins who couldn't be more different. They are one another's constant, no matter where love, life, or work takes them. Inti has a new and challenging assignment of reintroducing wolves to Northern Scotland. The locals are far from enthused with the new wildlife, and when a man is found killed, a cascade of assumptions follow. Inti knows wolves' behavior, and they would never kill in this manner, but if it wasn't the wolves, then who? The community won't wait long for answers, and the fate of Inti's wolves hangs in the balance. McConaghy has written a tense, tight novel that is simultaneously delicate and beautiful. The characters are as fascinating and intriguing as the landscapes they inhabit. Great for fans of Emily St. John Mandel and Stef Penney. Signed 1st editions while available while they last!
We have all heard of the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, but why have we never heard of the Wood Age? Wood has been our constant companion throughout all of time, and it seems a bit taken for granted. Long before we ever sculpted tools from it or used it for shelter, wood and trees played an influential role in our development. Take primates who ate from trees vs. primates who ate insects: the fruit-eating (from trees) primates developed faster cognitively than the primates whose diet consisted largely of insects. Why? - The fruit eaters had to know when the trees were fruiting and where they were in the forest. The insect-eaters didn't have to work as hard; bugs were always in season! This mental map-making lead to greater cognitive leaps in those animals! Ennos has also collected many fascinating historical oddities that have been long overlooked: France and Britain would seek out untouched forests in an effort to find the tallest masts to supply their naval fleets; and "The Pine Tree Riot" (a revolt against the British "claiming" timber prior to its felling) is a little-known precursor to the Boston Tea Party. Ennos also spends time examining our poor stewardship of many forests and how deforestation continues to be a massive threat to ecological stability. Each year we lose approximately 18,000 square miles of forest, and the crops that are often planted to replace them are not nearly able to remove carbon from the atmosphere in the same volume as trees. There is hope, however, in new and more efficient uses of the trees that we do harvest, and hope too in the development of new wood technologies and laminates that continue to make wood a cutting-edge building material. Give Age Of Wood a try and I promise you'll never look at a stack of two by fours the same way again. Perfect for fans of Sapiens and Salt.
I was asked recently what book turned me into a reader. After a great deal of thought, I realized it was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy that first grabbed my imagination and took it somewhere I had never dreamed of ...and from where I’ve never entirely returned. The Hitchhiker’s Guide taught me the universe is a dangerous and unforgiving place, but if you have your towel, you should be just fine. For those who are unfamiliar with the trials and tribulations of Arthur Dent, let me introduce one of the last humans in existence after the supercomputer known as Earth is destroyed to make way for a new galactic highway. In his existential quest to find "the meaning of Life, the universe and everything," Arthur travels to far off planets and meets loads of aliens who, despite their superior knowledge, are still just trying to figure out the point of it all. Douglas Adams penned a fantastic philosophical satire and disguised it as a science-fiction novel. Simply put, between the audio book and the physical book, there is no book I’ve consumed more times. Its humor and insights have never dulled over the years. With this 42nd year anniversary edition, there is no better time to give it a try or revisit it. Filled with amazing illustrations by Chris Riddell and a terrific introduction, a “guide to the guide”, by Douglas Adams himself!
Don’t panic; you’re going to love it ;)
It’s 2024 and monster storms in the US are ravaging the Midwest and South. The gap between rich and poor has become an unbridgeable chasm. Communities have closed themselves off behind walls and gates. Public services are rarely reliable, and police forces often have ulterior motives. This was the future America Octavia Butler envisioned in the early 90s and it’s terrifying how accurate she was.
In this first book of the Parable Duology we meet Lauren, a young girl living in a Californian suburb trying her best to have a normal childhood as civilization slowly unravels around her. She is unlike other children, as she seems to be an empath and can physically feel others' joy and more often than not, pain. Her family is not wealthy, but they are better off than those outside the walls of their community, where violent drug addicts and criminals roam the streets and live in abandoned houses, stealing from anyone to survive and then find their next fix.
Lauren has begun to keep a journal to help her survive this harsh world; writings that begin to form a new faith she calls Earthseed. She and members of her community are ultimately forced to flee their walled sanctuary, but by following Lauren’s writings they stay on the right path as they search for a new home.
Butler has written a warning for our present, and her predictions become even more astounding in the follow-up Parable of the Talents. One passage in particular still gives me goosebumps. Perhaps more than any of her other writings, Butler shows us in Parable of the Sower that she had a unique grasp of what was heading our way; I sure hope we can learn from her vision
(This cover is available April 27th. Click here for the version we currently have on hand.) Meet Lilith Lyapo, one of the last remaining humans in existence. She, along with what remained of humanity, was saved when a man-made apocalypse left the Earth uninhabitable. A race of aliens, the Oankali, have kept Lilith’s and the other humans alive and in stasis for centuries with the hope of repopulating the planet once it is safe to do so. The Oankali offer these humans longer life spans; even eternal life for some. The Oankali feel no guilt, no remorse, and are certain that, were humanity left to its own devices (again), history would inevitably repeat itself.
The Oankali may be saviors, but they also expect something(s) in return: They wish to bond with humans and ultimately want to create a human-alien hybrid; something they have done with many other alien species as they have wandered the universe. The bond they create with Lilith is both strong, and disturbing. Lilith is simultaneously disgusted by the Oanka,i yet deeply dependent and drawn to them, and what plays out is a power struggle that makes your skin crawl at times.
Dawn does what the best Science Fiction does: it takes us away to another place and then returns us with a new perspective on the world (society) we left.
Everything should be falling into place for 17-year-old Ada. Newly married, she loves her husband and is enjoying the frontier life with him; except she’s not getting pregnant. It is the late 1800s and a massive flu epidemic has swept across the land, and many of those fortunate to survive have been left incapable of having children. In a time when fertility is valued above all else, barren women become outlaws. When Ada's fertility is called into question, she quickly finds herself on the run. Her flight to safety leads her to the Hole in the Wall Gang and its charismatic leader, the Kid. Life is not easy and survival is never guaranteed, but the Kid might just have a plan to save them all. This is a fascinating twist on a classic genre; not your father's western.
I don’t know about you, but 2020 has exhausted my lengthy list of things to scream into. It has been a year that has challenged us in so many ways, and as we exit the holiday season and begin to enter 2021, I’m in desperate need of venting, but where? And towards what? That is where Orson Spooring, the world-renowned expert in the art and practice of therapeutic screaming, comes in! Through firsthand experience, Orson Spooring has narrowed the list of things that are best to scream into, saving you time and money!!
Here is a small sample:
• The Grand Canyon (Nature's most beautiful place to scream)
• The Hole in a Freshly Toasted Bagel (That is what the hole is for.)
• A Glass Jar So You Can Save Your Screams for Later (Scream storage is important.)
• Baby Monitor (Shut up baby. I am trying to sleep.)
• And more!
The critically acclaimed author of Lovecraft Country returns with a thrilling and immersive virtual reality epic—part cyberthriller, part twisted romantic comedy—that transports you to a world where identity is fluid and nothing can be taken at face value.
John Chu is a “sherpa”—a paid guide to online role-playing games like the p
My daughter and I have a recurring battle at nap and bedtime, “What are we going to read before bed?!?!” and a book from the Dochertys, a wife and husband team of now 3 incredible children's books, is usually in the running. The third in the Storybook Adventure series is Pirate Nell’s Tale to Tell and continues the theme of a love of reading and the magic of books.
Nell is a new pirate and has yet to earn her sea legs when she joins the crew of the mean (and illiterate) Captain Gnash’s ship. Thankfully, she has brought along her "Pirate’s Almanac” and “It taught her all she’d need to know from how to steer to how to row.” (Did I mention all of these amazing books are in rhyme?) Nell has a grand adventure, saves the day and the crew, and teaches all of the pirates “what she’d known for ages, there’s treasure right here in these pages!”
The entire Storybook Series is second to none for instilling a love of reading and belongs in the stack of books that should be at every child’s bedside.
The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch (Hardcover)
Delusional thoughts abound, racial tension is tearing the country apart, liars and cheats are everywhere you look. No; I am not talking about our current American landscape, I'm talking about America in the 1840s. Much like today, the mid 1800s in America was fertile ground for the "Confidence Man" or the "Con Man," and James Strang was an excellent example. He started his "career" in New York, and after burning many bridges through bad business dealings he found himself heading westward, into the embrace of Joseph Smith and his Mormon followers in Nauvoo, Illinois. When Smith is murdered and his followers run out of town, Strang chooses not to follow Brigham Young in moving the Mormon flock westward, eventually to Utah. Instead, Strang chose to lead a group north, ultimately to Beaver Island, Michigan, and that's where things got really weird. The following years found James Strang joining the Michigan Senate, becoming a pirate, and declaring himself a king.
Like every good con, Strang too was inspiring, and he had redeeming elements. He was progressive, allowing women to hold Priesthood offices, and not only welcoming African Americans into his church, but also ordaining at least two to the eldership.
The story of Strang and his followers on Beaver Island is a fascinating tale that has been wonderfully reexamined by Miles Harvey. Harvey gives us both a wider view of the world that gave rise to a man like Strang while also diving deeper and shining light onto parts of this story that had been long overlooked. Read this NOW!
From a rising voice in progressive politics, a combination of memoir and science diagnosing the biggest challenges facing America and laying out a way forward
The son of Egyptian immigrants, Abdul El-Sayed grew up feeling a pressing responsibility to help others.
You know that feeling you get when you tip your chair back on two legs a little too far, and at the last second you catch yourself? That’s the feeling I get reading a Grady Hendrix novel. You're having fun, but you just know doom and terror are a split second away. And this book's main character, Patricia Campbell, spends her time right up on those two chair legs with you.
One of the most important things in Patricia’s life is her book club and it’s members. She loves her family, even her aging mother-in-law, but it is with her book club where she can be herself. And that’s important because there is something very strange going on in town. There are some new folks around and her elderly neighbor just tried to maul her while she was taking out the trash! Mount Pleasant, South Carolina may be going to hell in a handbasket but Patti will be dammed if she’ll let it break up her book club!
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires is both funny and terrifying, all while paying tribute to some of the most popular books of the 90s and beyond. It's a great walk down literary-memory-lane. For the bibliophile who's looking for a bit of a thrill; don’t you dare miss it.
As the father of a young girl, I’m always on the look out for empowering narratives that will help my daughter realize her full potential, and Pirate Queen: A story of Zheng Yi Sao really checks all the boxes. Stolen from her family in the middle of the night and forced into marriage, Zheng Yi Sao perhaps isn't dealt the best hand by fate, but does that hold her back? No. Six years after her abduction, her husband dies and she doesn’t waste a moment. “Before my husband’s body slipped under the waves, I took command of the fleet.” Move over Magic Tree House! This is what I’m talking about!
In reality, by the age of 32, Sao had command of a fleet of 1,800 ships and over 70,000 men. Her story is far too fantastic to detail much further here without ruining her little-known story, but rest assured, you haven’t heard the half of it.
This book is not just well-told, but also wonderfully illustrated by Liz Wong, with details that add to the story. Helaine Becker gives us a terrific and thrilling story for our children, with the welcome addition of a brief but more adult biography to the end of the book.
Several years ago, an interstellar asteroid/object named Oumuamua entered our solar system, buzzed past earth, and then used our sun’s gravity to sling back out into deep space. In David Wellington's latest book, Oumuamua, or something similar to it, has returned. However, this time it's slowing down. Despite her tarnished record, Sally Jansen is chosen to head up the NASA expedition to the object. Jansen’s isn’t the the only team racing to reach it though; there is also a team funded by private money in hot pursuit. As each team vies to beat the other for first contact the mistakes begin to pile up. What the teams discover is beyond anything they could have prepared for. Three parts Andy Weir, one part Lovecraft, and boy is it fun.
Are you the trusting type? Well, it turns out we all are. In his new book, Gladwell does a deep dive into why we are such gullible creatures, and why we really shouldn't beat ourselves up about it. For our society to make progress of any sort, we’ve had to view the world from a “truth default." This means, by in large, individuals are trusting of each other. This is essential for us to progress as a society, but it can lead to great problems for us professionally and personally. Scott Carmichael was paid to ignore his truth default, for example. It was his job to be suspicious of everyone; he was a counter terrorism specialist in the Defense Intelligence Agency. In the mid 90s he was tasked with conducting a security clearance interview to a CIA operative. This operative, Ana Montes, specialized in Cuba, had a flawless record and had received an award from George Tenet (the CIA Director) personally. After hours of grueling interrogation, Carmichael cleared the operative for top level clearance. She went on to spend years with unfettered access to our government’s secrets. Ana Montes had also received a medal from another person. Fidel Castro. We learned all too late that Mrs. Montes had been relaying information to Havana and beyond for years, and she compromised untold numbers of spies and informants. Carmichael allowed his “truth default” to explain away every suspicion he had of Mrs. Montes. Gladwell walks us through this and many other illuminating, fascinating, and at times very uncomfortable case studies. Whether you agree with all of his conclusions or not, I know you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time to come, I know I will be. You’ll love this book ...trust me.
“[An] affecting and hilarious meditation on fame and prestige as seen through the lens of an airline loyalty program.” —The AV Club
Iggy Peck is not an ordinary little boy, and he has set his sights quite high. His love of architecture is sure to take him far, or at least it will if his second grade teacher doesn’t put a stop to his passion. This wonderful book by author Andrea Beaty is an ode to childhood obsessions that lead us to the adults we become. Iggy Peck, Architect is a marvelous rhyming book that will remind you of Shel Silverstein as will the fantastic illustrations. If you’ve been bored by the Berenstain Bears, or if you would rather forget about Fancy Nancy for a few nights, then look no further than the ingenious Iggy Peck!
From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Sparrow comes “historical fiction that feels uncomfortably relevant today” (Kirkus Reviews) about “America’s Joan of Arc”—the courageous woman who started a rebellion by leading a strike against the largest copper mining company in the world.
In July 1913, twenty-five-year-old Annie
Shannon Moss is a member of Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), but she is from a branch of the Navy few have ever heard of. Shannon is part of Naval Space Command, a clandestine organization that sails deep space and time. Shannon is on the hunt for a killer: NSC officer, Patrick Mursult, who seems to have been driven mad during his missions into deep space. But if a time traveling, deep space killer isn't enough tension for you, there is also a humanity-ending event that has been observed hundreds of years into the future: the arrival of the Terminus. The Terminus is an unknown entity that, put simply, ends all life on the planet in horrific fashion. Since the discovery of the Terminus, NSC has been trying to find a way to avoid its arrival and the subsequent end of humanity. The problem is that every time they travel to the future to observe the Terminus, it has arrived earlier and earlier. This means the clock is ticking doubly fast for Shannon Moss and the entirety of the human race. And her killer seems to be linked to the Terminus somehow. This is a time-traveling, sci-fi, horror, murder mystery for fans of Dark Matter and Annihilation. It's one of the best and strangest (and at times disturbing) rides I've been on in a while - and well worth he price of admission!
The #1 New York Times bestseller by Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important chapter in the American story that’s “as resonant today as ever” (The Wall Street Journal)—the settling of the Northwest Territory by courageous pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would
The Wish Tree is the exciting saga of a young boy and his toboggan, and their quest to find the elusive Wish Tree. In spite of the lack of support from either of his siblings, Charles sets out one morning with his loyal friend, Boggan sliding quietly behind him. As they journey deeper into the forest on their search they happen upon many woodland creatures in need of aid. Even though Charles and Boggan have a pressing matter, they stop to help Squirrel, Beaver, Fox, and many others along the way.With illustrations and coloring that manage to feel both fresh and vintage at the same time, The Wish Tree is a whimsical delight for reader and sleepy nugget alike.
“I love everything about this hilarious book except the font size.” —Jon Stewart
Although his career as a bestselling author and on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart was founded on fake news and invented facts, in 2016 that routine didn’t seem as funny to John Hodgman anymore. Everyone is doing it now.
Winter is an unforgiving season, and the Anishinaabe people know this better than most. Evan Whitesky has been stocking up on fish and game to prepare his family for the long winter ahead. Little does he realize just how brutal this cold season will be. For generations, his people have striven to preserve their way of life even after being displaced from their ancestral home, and they have managed to find balance on their northern reservation. When the phones and radio go out, it’s not too surprising, and when the electricity goes next the elders remind them that they lived with out electricity for most of their lives. It’s only when two young tribe members arrive on snowmobiles after fleeing the southern cities, that the enormity of the crisis is truly understood. Civilization has ended, and Evan and his people must relearn the wisdom of their elders if they have any hope of survival. Moon of the Crusted Snow is a fascinating look at the end of modern society from the vantage point of people who were never fully welcomed by modern society. Best read by a roaring fire.
“The book’s tone is Chandleresque, the conspiracy worrying Carver and Jenner expands to Pynchonian proportions, and the physical ick they encounter might have oozed out of a Cronenberg movie.”—Washington Post
“It’s Miami Vice meets The Matrix, and George Orwell is hosting the party.”—Pittsburgh Post-G
“The sort of book that cuts you off from your family and has you walking blindly through seven lanes of traffic with your face pressed obliviously to the page.” —James Marriott, The Times (London)
Sous Vide for Everybody: The Easy, Foolproof Cooking Technique That's Sweeping the World (Paperback)
This Christmas I received a new cooking toy and it has quickly become a favorite, a Sous Vide. For those who are unaware of them, a Sous Vide is simply a tool for heating a body of water to an exact temperate and then using it to cook food. It means the meat is ALWAYS medium rare and the chicken is NEVER dry. It is a new way of thinking about cooking and as usual, the folks at America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) have you covered. Sous Vide for Everybody not only gives you great recipes, but it also helps you understand the concept of using a Sous Vide. This is so helpful because once you get used to using one, you’ll want to figure out how to use it with recipes you already know and love. That said, I have found every recipe to be fantastic. So far, the chicken tacos and the crème brulee take the gold. There are always fads in cooking, but I believe Sous Vides are here to stay. And you can have no better guide than the chefs at ATK. Bon Appetit!
I have to start by saying this book should be bought for the macaroni & cheese recipe alone. I will never cook it any other way again. But wait, there’s more!
There are amusing and entertaining stories about a life spent exploring the culinary arts.
There are perhaps the best instructions and guidance I’ve ever seen in a cookbook, and it combines the most basic with the most complex of recipes.
It’s R rated. The language is as colorful as the food
It is the closest thing we’ll ever have to the definitive Anthony Bourdain cookbook. It will be a culinary classic and something to treasure and explore for a lifetime.
I first read Kitchen Confidential when it was released in 2000. I was recently out of college without a clue of what to do with my life, and it was absolutely the book I needed at that time. I read the book, then found the audio, read by Anthony Bourdain, and I must have listened to that audiobook half a dozen times. Somewhere within its tales lied a path to manhood, I just knew it. Tony was a directionless punk, a total mess, I absolutely related to him. His stories of cooking in some of the best and worst restaurants on the eastern seaboard and the characters he met are vivid and filled with chaos. Intermixed within the battle stories are lessons on what makes a good knife, that the ingredients are everything, and how fortune favors the bold. What better life lessons could a young man learn?
As many have already said, there is something different about Anthony’s suicide. It cuts awfully deep for many of us and will take a long time, if ever, to understand. In the meantime, he has left us some amazing stories and a lot of strange food he’d really want us to try. So please, dig in!
We all treasure our books but for many of us our cookbooks are particularly dear. One of my earliest cookbooks was the 12th Edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, and it is still with me today. There is no better general cookbook than "The New Cook Book" and the 18th edition only improves on what has made it a kitchen essential since it was first published in 1930. As always, the layout is clean and intuitive, it is very easy to find the information you are looking for. In this new edition Better Homes Garden has taken particular care with the visuals, and the photography is first rate. I’m very happy to see my old favorites have all made the cut for this new edition. They even kept the Succotash, my favorite! Simply put: a kitchen is not complete without this book and there is perhaps no better place to begin a cookbook collection than right here.
Have you ever lost your car keys? How about the whole car? You aren't alone! Author Joshua Foer has been there, and he's competed in the U.S. Memory Championship! In his new book, Moonwalking with Einstein, Foer explains that those who possess seemingly photographic memories are likely no different from you and me. In fact, people with great memories rarely have above average IQs. What they do possess, is knowledge of long used memorization techniques. In an age where books were incredibly rare, the only practical means of possessing them was to memorize them, which is why many ancient text are actually elaborate poems (Beowulf, The Odyssey, The Iliad). As Foer explores this underground world of memory champions and their techniques, we learn that these are techniques that can be employed by just about anyone to memorize simple things like a to-do list or even longer more complicated items like credit card numbers. Moonwalking with Einstein is not just a great piece of investigative journalism but a guide we can all use to vastly improve our memories... if we just put our mind to it.
If the world was going to end in 6 months what would you do? Would you travel the world, track down old friends, go on a bender? That's the question facing Detective Frank Palace and he's decided to go to work. The Last Policeman, is a fantastic detective mystery set at the end of the world; it's not "if" but "when,"as an asteroid powers its way toward earth. Drug use and suicides have sky rocketed, crops rot in the fields, and still Detective Palace is working the beat, laboring to prove that a presumed suicide is something more sinister. As the days pass, society is unraveling at an ever faster pace. Detective Palace faces an inevitable question: "Why spend your final days chasing a killer if the whole world is about to end?" The answer is locked deep in his past. I absolutely loved this first book of a planned trilogy. Think Cormac McCarthy meets Michel Connelly and you are on the right track.
Email or call for price
Do not dismiss this as some laser blasting, time traveling with little green men of a book (I read and like those as well by the way) Set in a hot and steamy modern Thailand, Bacigalupi has envisioned a world where drought and pest have withered all but the most artificial of crops and corporations fiercely protect their property rights of newly engineered seed. With many character at different levels in the food chain “The Windup Girl” lets you see life in this world from all angels. In a world where the only true currency is food it seems that it is our humanity is the first victim of starvation.
The known universe is on the verge of annihilation and the Hegemony of Man believe their salvation lies somewhere on Hyperion with the evil and mysterious creature(s) called the Shrike. The planet Hyperion itself is a mystery where time is a river flowing forwards and backwards. On the eve of Armageddon seven pilgrims have been sent to the planet in hopes of averting disaster. Strangers to each other, they decide to share with one another what it is that ties each of them to the planet. The story unfolds, in much in the same vein as The Canterbury Tales, when the threads that bind the characters together become clear as their destinies reach a dramatic climax. This novel won Dan Simmons the Hugo Award in 1990 and for good reason. One tip, buy the sequel before you get to the end.
The River of Doubt is the most fun I've had with a non-fiction book since Shadow Divers. After a failed attempt at a 3rd term in office (he joined a third party to run again) Teddy Roosevelt decided to explore an unknown tributary of the Amazon looking for adventure and to reinvigorate himself. What followed was a treacherous journey through some of the least hospitable terrain in the world. Millard has managed to write an account that captures both the peril and excitement of the expedition while still remaining historically accurate. This would be an exciting story if the explorer in question was not an ex-president but is made all the more interesting by this fact and leaves you with the realization that there just aren't people like this guy running for public office anymore.
Naked in Baghdad: The Iraq War and the Aftermath as Seen by NPR's Correspondent Anne Garrels (Paperback)
Anne Garrels takes you on a fascinating journey into the world of today's war correspondent. In the fall of '02 and spring of '03 she was documenting what the build up to war was doing to the Iraqi people. Go behind the scences to see what today's reporters go through to bring us the stories from the front line. You'll read about the bribing every reporter does simply to get in and out of the country, how every new conflict reunited old colleagues as well as rivalries, and the different tricks of the trade reporters use to get the stories in on time (like reporting naked to prevent government thugs from interrupting her broadcast.
Email or call for price
James Lee Burke is one of my favorite mystery writers and his latest may well be his greatest. The Tin Roof Blowdown begins in those chilling moments before Katrina tore a hole through the heart of The Big Easy. When the town's least desirable take advantage of the ensuing chaos, Detective Dave Robicheax is left to pick up the pieces. Burke never holds back when writing about the racism and ugliness that was brought to the surface by that terrible storm and in the end, that it is what makes this mystery so powerful. Highly recommended!
In my opinion, this is best post 9/11 novel you can read. As bursting with brilliance as it is dripping with satire. I love this book.
World War Z is brain munching fun brought to you by the expert in all things zombie, Max Brooks. This is a very straight faced account of a zombie pandemic and the subsequent world wide war to exterminate the zombies. Told as a series of dispatches from the survivors we learn of the origins of the pandemic and watch as a series of tales begin to form a larger picture. It is often the case that horror stories, and zombie tales in particular, are used to poke fun at society and Brooks certainly does in World War Z, it doesn’t take much to guess which U.S. administration Brooks used as a model for the one in his book. This is a terrifically fun read on so many levels that it could only be brought to us by the son of Mel himself.
Despite where your politics lay, it is increasingly difficult to defend the current military action in Iraq and Thomas Ricks does an excellent job explaining why in Fiasco. Ricks is a seasoned military reporter for The Washington Post and his assessment of the current conflict should not be dismissed as unpatriotic or even unproductive. To date, this is one of the finest critiques of the war and answers many questions like "How did we not plan for an insurgency?" "How did Abu Ghraib happen?" and "Who were the major planners of the war and how culpable are they for its failings?" The answers may not be enjoyable, but they are thorough and backed up by numerous military sources, many of which are on the record. The disaster of this war will be something that Americans will need to cope with for generations and it is not an option to ignore the damage that has been done. It is our obligation to understand what has happened so that we may prevent it from occurring agian and Fiasco is an excellent step towards that understanding.
When I was growing up faith was something that was a sacred and private matter. Your faith was something you no more discussed with strangers than your love life. Times have changed; people wear their faith on their sleeve, and on their ties, and on their car’s bumper. Every politician must explain their own personal relationship with the all-mighty. God Is Not Great is one of the latest books which discusses the relevance of faith in the modern world. With humor and wit Christopher Hitchens walks through many of the arguments against faith. Out of the most recent publications about atheism this is my favorite. If you, like me have come to question the morality of a church that spends more time protecting pedophile priests than it does the poor; a faith that turns killers into martyrs; a religion that declares divine ownership of land, then it may be time for you to give this good book a read.
For those of you familiar with Douglas Adam's series on "life, the universe, and everything," you'll understand how exciting it is to see the whole collection bound together! For those of you who have never read Adams before, you are in for a treat. This is a cult classic filled with the type of humor unique to Douglas Adams. He is able to poke fun at human behavior like no other author I've read.
Calling A Death in Vienna a satisfying read does not do it justice. Silva's novels are solidly written backed by thorough research. His newest novel completes the trilogy started with The English Assassin. Central character Gabriel Allon's pursuit of a Nazi War criminal takes him around the world while those wishing to silence him are never far behind. The pace and action are only matched by the wonderful characters Silva has created here, the hit man chasing Gabriel down (the watchmaker) being one of my favorite. I must warn you though, if you are like me and haven't read the two earlier novels in the series, you won't be at all lost with this book, but you will be heading straight back to the shelf to read both The English Assassin and The Confessor for another dose of excitement.
Over the years I've heard many different CIA spook stories; "The CIA created aids", "the CIA brought Crack to the ghetto", "the CIA used LSD on prison inmates". Well as it turns out at least one of these claims is fact (I won't say which). The CIA has a jaw dropping history, at one point they actually studied the flight patterns of bats to see if they could be used to bomb Tokyo. Mr. Weiner has gathered it all together after a great deal of research and it makes for fantastic reading.
If Cartman from “South Park” wrote a social manifesto I image that it would be very similar to Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs and I mean this in the best possible way. So many of Klosterman’s observations ring true that, between laughs, I find myself nodding yes again and again. It is a special mind that can see parallels between the Trix Rabbit and Sisyphus or how the show “Saved by the Bell” says so much about my generation. At times the most irreverent insights can also be the most can be the most profound and this is what makes the book so much fun.
Now this is not humor for everyone. A good litmus test is to try out the title "The Spirit of Christmas" or the transcript for the unused commentary for The Lord of the Rings. If these ideas don't grab you, this might not be your cup of tea. But, if you are like me, this unique collection of eccentric humor will be a treasure you'll feel lucky to have found.
Email or call for price
As a 10 year old boy, it was hard to get me to focus on anything for long... let alone a book. There were forests to explore and lakes that must be jumped into, but one series that got my undivided attention was the Tripod Trilogy from John Christopher. The first book in the series, White Mountains, begins in a small English village. The rich descriptions give you the feeling that the book is set in the late 1700's, but gradually, little clues indicate that this is not a tale from our past but from a time yet to come. We learn that all of the children in this society have a cap placed on their heads at a certain age by mysterious towering tripods during a ceremony that is considered a passage into adulthood. We also learn that sometimes these "caps" fail and it turn the child into a "vagrant." When a few young boys decide they'd rather live as they are and not be "capped" they are forced to flee their tranquil town and begin a journey that will only end when the mystery of the Tripods is fully revealed. This is a wonderful and adventurous trilogy of books that is perfect for boys 7-11.
A riveting, brilliantly written debut novel, The Death of Bees is a coming-of-age story in which two young sisters attempt to hold the world at bay after the mysterious death of their parents.
Marnie and Nelly, left on their own in Glasgow's Hazlehurst housing estate, attempt to avoid suspicion until Marnie can become a legal guardian for her younger sister.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Joyce’s beguiling debut is [a] modest-seeming story of ‘ordinary’ English lives that enthralls and moves you as it unfolds.”—People (four stars)
For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end.