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Hiya, it's Sandy.  Appreciate you "stopping by" PPB 24, our online store. Here are books we're nuts for now. See ya soon!

Me and PPB Recommend

A little history of the world Illus. ed.

A Little History of the World (Illust. Ed.)

$25.00
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A special edition of the international bestseller that is "sumptuously illustrated. . . . Perfect for reading to alert and curious children, but it's even better as a secret pleasure, read alone, with no children in sight." (Philip Kennicott, Washington Post)

E. H. Gombrich's A Little History of the World, an engaging and lively book written for readers both young and old, vividly brings the full span of human experience on Earth to life, from the stone age to the atomic age. Gombrich's text paints a colorful picture of wars and conquests; of grand works of art; of the advances and limitations of science; of remarkable people and remarkable events.

But Gombrich was, first and foremost, the best-known art historian of his time; his beloved Little History suggests illustrations on every page. Featuring more than two hundred illustrations--most in color--this beautiful edition incorporates a wide range of images, showing us the earliest cave paintings, the classic sculptures of the ancient Greeks, beautiful Islamic calligraphy, oil portraits of the mighty through the ages, and much more. With a high-grade design, fine paper, and classic binding, this enhanced edition will have an important place on family bookshelves for many years to come.

Billy Summers

Billy Summers

$30.00
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#1 New York Times Bestseller

From legendary storyteller Stephen King, whose "restless imagination is a power that cannot be contained" (The New York Times Book Review), comes a thrilling new novel about a good guy in a bad job.

Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He's a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he'll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?

How about everything.

This spectacular can't-put-it-down novel is part war story, part love letter to small town America and the people who live there, and it features one of the most compelling and surprising duos in King fiction, who set out to avenge the crimes of an extraordinarily evil man. It's about love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption.

You won't put this story down, and you won't forget Billy.

This is a blockbuster in the best sense of the word: a truly great author nails a genre. Here, the “hard-nosed assassin with a heart and a back-story,” tale. A fast-paced yet literary read --  and the book every man I know that reads, is raving over. My 21 year-old Tom and 50-something hubby couldn’t put it down. - Sandy

Brood

Brood

$24.00
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Longlisted for the Center for Fiction's 2021 First Novel Prize - An exquisite new literary voice--wryly funny, nakedly honest, beautifully observational, in the vein of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout--depicts one woman's attempt to keep her four chickens alive while reflecting on a recent loss.

"Full of nuance and humor and strangeness...[Polzin] writes beautifully about everything." --The New York Times


Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the forty-below nights of a brutal Minnesota winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.

Intimate and startlingly original, this slender novel is filled with wisdom, sorrow and joy. As the year unfolds, we come to know the small band of loved ones who comprise the narrator's circumscribed life at this moment. Her mother, a flinty former home-ec teacher who may have to take over the chickens; her best friend, a real estate agent with a burgeoning family of her own; and her husband whose own coping mechanisms for dealing with the miscarriage that haunts his wife are more than a little unfathomable to her.

A stunning and brilliantly insightful meditation on life and longing that will stand beside such modern classics as H is for Hawk and Gilead, Brood rewards its readers with the richness of reflection and unrelenting hope.

Count the Ways

Count the Ways

$28.99
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In her most ambitious novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard returns to the themes that are the hallmarks of her most acclaimed work in a mesmerizing story of a family--from the hopeful early days of young marriage to parenthood, divorce, and the costly aftermath that ripples through all their lives

Eleanor and Cam meet at a crafts fair in Vermont in the early 1970s. She's an artist and writer, he makes wooden bowls. Within four years they are parents to three children, two daughters and a red-headed son who fills his pockets with rocks, plays the violin and talks to God. To Eleanor, their New Hampshire farm provides everything she always wanted--summer nights watching Cam's softball games, snow days by the fire and the annual tradition of making paper boats and cork people to launch in the brook every spring. If Eleanor and Cam don't make love as often as they used to, they have something that matters more. Their family.

Then comes a terrible accident, caused by Cam's negligence. Unable to forgive him, Eleanor is consumed by bitterness, losing herself in her life as a mother, while Cam finds solace with a new young partner.

Over the decades that follow, the five members of this fractured family make surprising discoveries and decisions that occasionally bring them together, and often tear them apart. Tracing the course of their lives--through the gender transition of one child and another's choice to completely break with her mother--Joyce Maynard captures a family forced to confront essential, painful truths of its past, and find redemption in its darkest hours.

A story of holding on and learning to let go, Count the Ways is an achingly beautiful, poignant, and deeply compassionate novel of home, parenthood, love, and forgiveness.

My literary fiction book of the year - great for book clubs. Don’t be intimidated: “literary” fiction just means universal themes, like crime and punishment (Dostoyevsky) or family life (Anne Tyler) or guilt (Kite Runner). Here, we explore marriage. Meet Eleanor.  When she is just 16, Eleanor's self-involved parents are killed in a car crash. At boarding school, she comforts herself by creating picture books about an orphan who travels the world; these sell to a publisher, and by the time she's a sophomore in college, she has enough money to drop out, drive into the countryside, and buy a farm. WHAT?? This woman is extraordinary, right? Who does that? "It looked like a house where people who loved each other had lived," she thinks as soon as she sees her farm. If you build it, they will come—right? Our girl meets Cam, the handsome, redheaded woodworker who will give her three children they both adore. Eleanor revels in motherhood with every cell of her being, her glue gun, and her pie pan, yet she fears that fate cannot be trusted. Could loving her children too much be her downfall, she worries? Read this one, discuss it too. And feel the classic, universal complexities of lifelong love. - Sandy

Growing Season: How I Built a New Life--And Saved an American Farm

Growing Season: How I Built a New Life--And Saved an American Farm

$27.00
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"A gutsy success story" (The New York Times Book Review) about one tenacious woman's journey to escape rural poverty and create a billion-dollar farming business--without ever leaving the land she loves

The youngest of her parents' combined twenty-one children, Sarah Frey grew up on a struggling farm in southern Illinois, often having to grow, catch, or hunt her own dinner alongside her brothers. She spent much of her early childhood dreaming of running away to the big city--or really anywhere with central heating. At fifteen, she moved out of her family home and started her own fresh produce delivery business with nothing more than an old pickup truck.

Two years later, when the family farm faced inevitable foreclosure, Frey gave up on her dreams of escape, took over the farm, and created her own produce company. Refusing to play by traditional rules, at seventeen she began talking her way into suit-filled boardrooms, making deals with the nation's largest retailers. Her early negotiations became so legendary that Harvard Business School published some of her deals as case studies, which have turned out to be favorites among its students.

Today, her family-operated company, Frey Farms, has become one of America's largest fresh produce growers and shippers, with farmland spread across seven states. Thanks to the millions of melons and pumpkins she sells annually, Frey has been dubbed "America's Pumpkin Queen" by the national press.

The Growing Season tells the inspiring story of how a scrappy rural childhood gave Frey the grit and resiliency to take risks that paid off in unexpected ways. Rather than leaving her community, she found adventure and opportunity in one of the most forgotten parts of our country. With fearlessness and creativity, she literally dug her destiny out of the dirt.

Sandy: Wow - what a life Sarah Frey has led.  At only 44, she has lived on her own (leaving an erratic homelife behind) since she was 15. Her re-invention of her family farm into the biggest supplier of pumpkins in the world is an inspiring story that strains credulity. Her father’s strange ways nonetheless armed her with the love and self-belief she needed to, say, ask for a $10,000 bank loan at 16 to purchase a bigger better truck because she intended to build her mother’s hobby business of hauling produce from farms to stores.  She got it and paid it back in cash in 3 months.  It’s not really like Educated though it’s easy to compare the two, because her beloved 4 older brothers are the center of her stability and a big reason for her confidence and work ethic.  Her writing style is conversational and plain-spoken - it’s the stories that you will never forget.  After the Harvard Business School used her Farm as a case study, she learned and shares with us how and why her upbringing made her the success she is.  Great for those who love memoir but also - the entrepreneur or business person in your life. 

 

Frey details her life growing up poor on a southeastern Illinois farm, where they had no indoor plumbing and burned wood for heat in winter and where they grew or shot their food. The author and her brothers learned to be tough at a young age, but she doesn’t relate her circumstances in anything less than a matter-of-fact, frequently enthusiastic voice, making the narrative move along in a highly engrossing manner. Though life was demanding, the family was tight. Frey’s father might have taught her independence, but he had no head for business and got by on his wits. Her mother would do what she could to help—e.g., running a melon route where she would pick up local watermelons and cantaloupes and sell them to regional markets. It was backbreaking work, but it put cash in their hands to pay the mortgage. “I loved meeting people, making deals, and I also knew that this was something that could be scaled up exponentially,” writes Frey, who, at 14, learned the fundamental elements of commerce. At 15, she had her own melon route; at 17, she bought the family farm when the bank came to foreclose. “Without this land, I thought, where will we be? More importantly, who will we be?....If I walked away,” she writes, “my brothers and I would never have anything to come home to.” Throughout, Frey makes clear her belief that family sticks together. “Blood is blood,” she writes. “Alone in the world we would be broken. Together we could withstand anything. Right?” And they did, with endless determination and a lot of learning on the fly. With earnest, effective storytelling, Frey demonstrates her character: “impatient, driven, restless, and at time obsessive”—and highly successful. A heart-gladdening memoir of a rare triumph over poverty.

Hell of a Book

Hell of a Book

$27.00
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2021 National Book Award Longlist

A READ WITH JENNA TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB PICK!


One of Entertainment Weekly's 15 Books you Need to Read This June On Entertainment Weekly's Must List One of The NY Post's Best Summer Reading books One of GMA's 27 Books for June One of USA Today's 5 Books Not to Miss One of Fortune's 21 Most Anticipated Books Coming out in the Second Half of 2021 One of The Root's PageTurners: It's Getting Hot in Here One of Real Simple's Best New Books to Read in 2021

An astounding work of fiction from a New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans, and America as a whole

In Jason Mott's Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and urgent: since Mott's novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

As these characters' stories build and build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it's also about the nation's reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.

Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists it truly becomes its title.

Instructions for a Heatwave

Instructions for a Heatwave

$16.00
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An unforgettable narrative of a family falling apart and coming together with hard-won, life-changing truths about who they really are. From the New York Times bestselling author of Hamnet.

"Strange weather brings out strange behavior." London, 1976. In the thick of a record-breaking heatwave, Gretta Riordan's newly retired husband has cleaned out his bank account and vanished. Now, for the first time in years, Gretta calls her children home: Michael Francis, a history teacher whose marriage is failing; Monica, whose blighted past has driven a wedge between her and her younger sister; and Aoife, the youngest, whose new life in Manhattan is elaborately arranged to conceal a devastating secret.

In a story that stretches from the Upper West Side to a village on the coast of Ireland, Maggie O'Farrell explores the mysteries that inhere within families, and reveals the fault lines over which we build our lives.

It Ends with Us

It Ends with Us

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In this "brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn't let go, long after you've finished it" (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author) from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All Your Perfects, a workaholic with a too-good-to-be-true romance can't stop thinking about her first love.

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town where she grew up--she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn't hurt. Lily can't get him out of her head. But Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his "no dating" rule, she can't help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan--her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

An honest, evocative, and tender novel, It Ends with Us is "a glorious and touching read, a forever keeper. The kind of book that gets handed down" (USA TODAY).

Johanna Basford 2022 Coloring Wall Calendar: A Special Collection of Whimsical Illustrations from Her Best-Selling Books

Johanna Basford 2022 Coloring Wall Calendar: A Special Collection of Whimsical Illustrations from Her Best-Selling Books

$14.99
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Fans will delight in the inspiring and creative works that are featured in this new coloring calendar from Johanna Basford.

This spiral-bound monthly wall calendar is a special collection of detailed and whimsical illustrations from her best-selling books that will keep any coloring enthusiast entertained throughout the year. Other features include:

  • Gold-foil accented cover
  • Spiral-bound
  • Planning spread for September-December 2021
  • High-quality paper stock to provide best coloring results
  • Generous grids provide space to add appointments and reminders
  • Opens to 12 inches x 24 inches
  • Includes widely celebrated and nationally recognized holidays and observances
  • Printed on FSC-certified paper with soy-based ink
  • Johanna Basford 2022 Coloring Weekly Planner Calendar

    Johanna Basford 2022 Coloring Weekly Planner Calendar

    $16.99
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    The imaginative and detailed works that are featured in Johanna Basford's 2022 Weekly Coloring Planner will delight fans throughout the year.

    Features include:

  • Gold foil-accented cover
  • Spiral binding
  • Spacious weekly spreads from January-December
  • Detailed illustrations throughout from one of Johanna's eight best-selling books--How to Draw Inky Wonderlands, World of Flowers, Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, Magical Jungle, Johanna's Christmas, Lost Ocean, Enchanted Forest, and Secret Garden.
  • High-quality paper stock specially selected by the artist
  • Measures 7 1/2" x 8 1/2" closed; 15" x 8 1/2" open
  • Printed on FSC-certified paper with soy-based ink
  • Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change

    Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change

    $24.00
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    NATIONAL BESTSELLER

    "A meditation on kindness and hope, and how to move forward through grief." --NPR

    "A shining reminder to learn all we can from this moment, rebuilding ourselves in the darkness so that we may come out wiser, kinder, and stronger on the other side." --The Boston Globe

    "Powerful essays on loss, endurance, and renewal." --People

    Cosmopolitan's "Best Nonfiction Books of 2020"
    Marie Claire's "2020 Books You Should Pre-Order Now"
    Parade's "25 Self-Help Books To Get Your 2020 Off On The Right Foot"
    The Washington Post's "What to Read in 2020 Based on the Books You Loved in 2019"

    For fans of Cheryl Strayed and Anne Lamott, a collection of quotes and essays on facing life's challenges with creativity, courage, and resilience.

    When Maggie Smith, the award-winning author of the viral poem "Good Bones," started writing inspirational daily Twitter posts in the wake of her divorce, they unexpectedly caught fire. In this deeply moving book of quotes and essays, Maggie writes about new beginnings as opportunities for transformation. Like kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with gold, Keep Moving celebrates the beauty and strength on the other side of loss. This is a book for anyone who has gone through a difficult time and is wondering: What comes next?

    L.A. Weather

    L.A. Weather

    $27.99
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    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

    "There's a 100% chance you'll be paging through this book to uncover the secrets and deception that could potentially burn everything down!" -- Reese Witherspoon

    "This is by far one of the most endearing L.A. novels in recent memory."-- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

    A capacious book, chock-full of human drama...Escandón's narrative voice is often witty and warm, and her meditations on Los Angeles are lush and lyrical...A lively and ambitious family novel. -- New York Times Book Review

    Storm clouds are on the horizon in L.A. Weather, a fun, fast-paced novel of a Mexican-American family from the author of the #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller Esperanza's Box of Saints

    L.A. is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, the weather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He's harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters--Claudia, a television chef with a hard-hearted attitude; Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt; and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers--are blindsided and left questioning everything they know. Each will have to take a critical look at her own relationships and make some tough decisions along the way.

    With quick wit and humor, Maria Amparo Escandón follows the Alvarado family as they wrestle with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal, and their toughest decision yet: whether to stick together or burn it all down.