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Oooh - we've got the itch to travel again. You too? I put together a list of inspiring fiction and non-fiction to feed our wanderlust; if you'd like our personally written book recommendations, there's a flyer. Just email us and we'll provide. 

Travel-Itch Books

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted

$28.00
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A searing, deeply moving memoir of illness and recovery that traces one young woman's journey from diagnosis to remission to re-entry into "normal" life--from the author of the Life, Interrupted column in The New York Times

"I was immersed for the whole ride and would follow Jaouad anywhere. . . . Her writing restores the moon, lights the way as we learn to endure the unknown."--Chanel Miller, The New York Times Book Review

"Beautifully crafted . . . affecting . . . a transformative read . . . Jaouad's insights about the self, connectedness, uncertainty and time speak to all of us."--The Washington Post

In the summer after graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was preparing, as they say in commencement speeches, to enter "the real world." She had fallen in love and moved to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a war correspondent. The real world she found, however, would take her into a very different kind of conflict zone.

It started with an itch--first on her feet, then up her legs, like a thousand invisible mosquito bites. Next came the exhaustion, and the six-hour naps that only deepened her fatigue. Then a trip to the doctor and, a few weeks shy of her twenty-third birthday, a diagnosis: leukemia, with a 35 percent chance of survival. Just like that, the life she had imagined for herself had gone up in flames. By the time Jaouad flew home to New York, she had lost her job, her apartment, and her independence. She would spend much of the next four years in a hospital bed, fighting for her life and chronicling the saga in a column for The New York Times.

When Jaouad finally walked out of the cancer ward--after countless rounds of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant--she was, according to the doctors, cured. But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it's where it begins. She had spent the past 1,500 days in desperate pursuit of one goal--to survive. And now that she'd done so, she realized that she had no idea how to live.

How would she reenter the world and live again? How could she reclaim what had been lost? Jaouad embarked--with her new best friend, Oscar, a scruffy terrier mutt--on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country. She set out to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital: a teenage girl in Florida also recovering from cancer; a teacher in California grieving the death of her son; a death-row inmate in Texas who'd spent his own years confined to a room. What she learned on this trip is that the divide between sick and well is porous, that the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms throughout our lives. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again.

This is another glimpse into a life I’m grateful to experience as a voyeur, rather than first-hand.  The author was diagnosed with a rare aggressive cancer at age 22 and spent about 4 years of her life fighting it off.  Those were the same years I spent working my first job, getting married, putting down roots in a starter home, which gives a little perspective.  Her descriptions of the cancer and its impact on her made me wonder how she could keep going.  Suleika’s answer:  supportive friends and family (her brother donates bone marrow); writing - she turns her illness into a NYT column: Life, Interrupted; and a wonderful collection of folks who write to her as a result.  But becoming cancer-free is not the instant life change she thinks it will be.  She sees herself in a quote by Susan Sontag: “ Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.” Finding herself evicted from one, but not fully present in the other, she embarks on a road trip around the U.S. to visit those people (or their families) who wrote to her.  In this process, she finds her own prescription for healing and the result is this stunning book. Fans of Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Educated by Tara Westover, take note! - Carrie

Birds, Beasts, and Relatives

Birds, Beasts, and Relatives

$15.00
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Volume two in The Corfu Trilogy, now the inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu on PBS Masterpiece

Part coming-of-age autobiography and part nature guide, Gerald Durrell's dazzling sequel to My Family and Other Animals is based on his boyhood on Corfu, from 1933 to 1939. Originally published in 1969 but long out of print, Birds, Beasts, and Relatives is filled with charming observations, amusing anecdotes, boyhood memories, and childlike wonder.

Bookshop on the Corner

Bookshop on the Corner

$14.99
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Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop.

Nina is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion... and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile -- a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there's plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that's beginning to feel like home... a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

Chasing Cezanne

Chasing Cezanne

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Hanky-Panky on the international art scene is the source of the hilarity and fizz in Peter Mayle's new novel. He flies us back to the south of France (a region some readers of his irresistible best-sellers believe him to have invented), on a wild chase through galleries, homes of prominent collectors, and wickedly delectable restaurants. There are stopovers in the Bahamas and England, and in New York, where that glossiest of magazines, Decorating Quarterly, reflects the cutting-edge trendiness of its editor, Camilla Jameson Porter. (Camilla has recently broken new ground in the world of power lunches by booking two tables on the same day, and shuttling between them, at the city's trendiest restaurant.). It is Camilla who has sent our hero, Andre Kelly, to Cap Ferrat to take glamorous photographs of the houses and treasures of the rich, famous, and fatuous. He happens to have his camera at the ready when he spots a Cezanne being loaded onto a plumber's truck near the home of an absent collector. Odd, thinks Andre. And in no time he's on the trail of a state-of-the-art art scam, chasing Cezanne. It's a joy to follow him and the crowds intent on speeding or foiling his quest - including a beautiful agent; a super-savvy art dealer attracted to the finer things in life, especially if they promise the payoff of a lifetime; an awesome Dutch forger; some outstandingly greedy New York sophisticates; and, invisible in the background, the parade of remarkable chefs whose mouthwatering culinary masterpieces periodically soothe the hero and tantalize the reader of Chasing Cezanne.
Corsican Caper

Corsican Caper

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When billionaire Francis Reboul finds himself on the wrong side of a Russian tycoon, he's fortunate to have vacationing friends Sam Levitt and Elena Morales on hand to help him out. Now it's up to Sam--who's saved Reboul's neck before--to negotiate with an underworld of mercenaries, hit men, and Mafioso, to prevent his friend from becoming a victim of "Russian diplomacy." As usual, Sam and Elena still find time to enjoy the good life, but as Sam's sleuthing draws him closer to the truth, he realizes Reboul might not be the only one in trouble. Rich with clever twists, sparkling scenery, and mouthwatering gustatory interludes as only Peter Mayle can write them, The Corsican Caper is an adventure par excellence.

Diamond Caper

Diamond Caper

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When a Riviera socialite's diamonds are stolen--the latest in a string of seemingly unconnected but increasingly audacious jewelry heists across France--Peter Mayle's bon vivant and master sleuth, Sam Levitt, and his partner, Elena Morales, are soon on the case. In these "perfect crimes," Sam sees the hand of a master criminal, but as he and Elena dig deeper, they begin to realize just how dangerous it may be to pursue the truth. In the midst of all the excitement, there's a house to renovate, rosé to share, and feasts of the Provençal summer bounty to enjoy--giving The Diamond Caper all the hallmarks of another delightfully sun-splashed Peter Mayle adventure.

Elsewhere Home

Elsewhere Home

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In her new collection of stories, award-winning New York Times Notable author Leila Aboulela offers us a rich tableau of life as an immigrant abroad, and the challenges of navigating assimilation and difference. Elsewhere, Home draws us ineluctably into the lives of her characters as they forge new identities and reshape old ones.

A young woman's encounter with a former classmate elicits painful reminders of her former life in Khartoum. A wealthy Sudanese student studying in Aberdeen begins an unlikely friendship with a Scottish man. A woman experiences an evolving relationship to her favorite writer, whose portrait of their shared culture both reflects and conflicts with her own sense of identity.

Shuttling between the dusty, sunbaked streets of Khartoum and the university halls and cramped apartments of Aberdeen and London, Elsewhere, Home explores, with subtlety and restraint, the profound feelings of yearning, loss, and alienation that come with leaving one's homeland in pursuit of a different life.

Golf Courses: Fairways of the World

Golf Courses: Fairways of the World

$29.95
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Photographer David Cannon began his career in sports photography twenty-five years ago and is considered the premier golf photographer in the world. Having played at more than seven hundred golf courses in over fifty countries, Cannon photographs with a true golfer's eye, offering an extraordinary window into some of the world's most celebrated courses--with more than 40 in North America, dozens in Asia and the South Pacific, and several in both Africa and the Middle East. Savor a view from the 11th hole of the incomparable and historic St. Andrews's Old Course bathed in golden afternoon light; glimpse giraffes and elephants from any green at Leopard Creek, South Africa; vicariously experience Pirate's Plank, the harrowing 15th hole at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand, which is set at the very end of the clifftop fairway surrounded by dramatic 500-foot drops to the ocean; and take in the serene sea view from the signature 18th hole of the very private Seminole Golf Course in Florida. Golf Courses stunningly captures the singular genius and beauty of golf courses. It is a comprehensive collection of the world's best courses by revered designers including Donald Ross, Pete Dye, and Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and such new talent as Steve Smyers and Tom Doak, among many others--all of whom skillfully orchestrate the exceptional union of nature and course design on five continents. This deluxe, limited-edition volume features over two hundred sumptuous color photographs of courses, some of which have never been photographed or published previously, in full spreads and gatefolds--some measuring over five feet in length--and includes a numbered print signed by the photographer. Golf Courses: Fairways of the World will be strictly limited to 5,000 copies.
Guynd: Love & Other Repairs in Rural Scotland

Guynd: Love & Other Repairs in Rural Scotland

$19.95
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A woman from New England falls for a charming Scottish landowner only to discover she's also in a complex relationship with his family's 400-year-old ancestral estate, The Guynd. Funny and heartwarming, this is the story of a house, a place, and a marriage.

 

Guynd (rhymes with "wind") is Gaelic for "a high, marshy place." It's there that Belinda Rathbone's memoir takes place after her unlikely marriage and move to pastoral Scotland. There she learns to cope with a grand but crumbling mansion still recovering from the effects of two world wars, an overgrown landscape, a derelict garden, troublesome tenants, local aristocracy, Scottish rituals, and a husband who loathes change.

 

Alternating between enchantment and near despair, Rathbone digs into family and local history in an effort to understand her new surroundings and the ties that bind us through generations. "The book lifts and excels," wrote The New York Times, "Rathbone nails down a little bit of the Scottish soul in all its stark splendor."

 

The perfect book for anyone who loves a fish-out-of-water romance and a touching story of home.

Read this for the writing.  And insights. Guynd is pronounced “gind” … like wind. It’s an ancestral home in rural Scotland and Rathbone has just married the Laird.  It’s the 1990’s. This memoir is a real contender for my book of the year so far, and not just because I’m Scottish. By turns funny, heartwarming, and occasionally sad, it is the author's account of her marriage to a Scottish landowner and of the years they spent together at The Guynd, his large ancestral (rather crumbling) estate. We follow her steep learning curve in dealing with terrific energy and optimism a grand mansion still recovering from the effects of two World Wars, as well as an overgrown landscape, a derelict garden, troublesome tenants, local aristocracy, Scottish rituals, and a husband for whom change is anathema. They have a son, and the Laird’s heir draws the author into an intimate relationship with every tier of the local society. Totally fascinating to watch this whip-smart American abroad. Alternating between enchantment and despair, Rathbone digs into family and local history in an effort to understand her surroundings and free her husband from the grip of the past. You know those authors who take on and accomplish describing things that are tremendously nuanced? Gorgeously? Read Rathbone, you’ll thank me. - Sandy

Homegoing

Homegoing

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Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.

One of Oprah's Best Books of the Year and a PEN/Hemingway award winner, Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi's extraordinary novel illuminates slavery's troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed--and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.

A New York Times Notable Book

Jane Austen Society

Jane Austen Society

$26.99
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* INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER *

This novel delivers sweet, smart escapism.

--People

Fans of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society... A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal. --Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England's finest novelists. Now it's home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen's legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen's home and her legacy. These people--a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others--could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner's The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

Less

Less

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A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of arresting lyricism and beauty (The New York Times Book Review).WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
National Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017
A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2017
A San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Book of 2017
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the Lambda Award, and the California Book AwardWho says you can't run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?ANSWER: You accept them all.What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story.A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as inspired, lyrical, elegiac, ingenious, as well as too sappy by half, Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.I could not love LESS more.--Ron Charles, The Washington PostAndrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful.--Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review
Love of Country: A Journey Through the Hebrides

Love of Country: A Journey Through the Hebrides

$27.50
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Few landscapes are as striking as that of the Hebrides, the hundreds of small islands that speckle the waters off Scotland's northwest coast. The jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling waves serve as a reminder of the islands' dramatic geological history, inspiring awe and dread in those drawn there. With Britain at their back and facing the Atlantic, the Hebrides were at the center of ancient shipping routes and have a remarkable cultural history as well, as a meeting place for countless cultures that interacted with a long, rich Gaelic tradition.

After years of hearing about Scotland as a place deeply interwoven with the story of her family, Madeleine Bunting was driven to see for herself this place so symbolic and full of history. Most people travel in search of the unfamiliar, to leave behind the comfort of what's known to explore some suitably far-flung corner of the globe. From the first pages, it's clear that Madeleine Bunting's Love of Country marks a different kind of journey--one where all paths lead to a closer understanding of home, but a home bigger than Bunting's corner of Britain, the drizzly, busy streets of London with their scream of sirens and high-rise developments crowding the sky. Over six years, Bunting returned again and again to the Hebrides, fascinated by the question of what it means to belong there, a question that on these islands has been fraught with tenacious resistance and sometimes tragedy. With great sensitivity, she takes readers through the Hebrides' history of dispossession and displacement, a history that can be understand only in the context of Britain's imperial past, and she shows how the Hebrides have been repeatedly used to define and imagine Britain. In recent years, the relationship between Britain and Scotland has been subject to its most testing scrutiny, and Bunting's travels became a way to reflect on what might be lost and what new possibilities might lie ahead.

For all who have wondered how it might feel to stand face-out at the edge of home, Love of Country is a revelatory journey through one of the world's most remote, beautiful landscapes that encourages us to think of the many identities we wear as we walk our paths, and how it is possible to belong to many places while at the same time not wholly belonging to any.

Map That Leads to You

Map That Leads to You

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"Romantic and unforgettable." --Nicholas Sparks

Two strangers take the road less traveled...

Heather Mulgrew's world is already mapped out: she is going to travel abroad with her friends after college, come back to a great career in September, and head into a life where not much is left to chance. But that was before an encounter on an overnight train introduces her to Jack, a passionate adventurer who changes the course of her journey and her life.

Throwing Heather's careful itinerary to the wind, they follow Jack's grandfather's journal through post-World War II era Europe: Vienna, Budapest, Turkey--exotic places that serve only to heighten their feelings. As September looms, Jack urges Heather to stay with him, to keep traveling, to give in to the romance of their experience; Heather convinces him to return to the United States.

Jack has a secret that could change everything. And Heather's world is about to be shaken to the core.

J.P. Monniger's The Map That Leads to You is a breathtaking novel about love, loss, and the best-laid plans that are meant to be broken.

Migrations

Migrations

$26.99
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* INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER *

Amazon Editors' Pick for Best Book of the Year in Fiction

Visceral and haunting (New York Times Book Review) - Hopeful (Washington Post) - Powerful (Los Angeles Times) - Thrilling (TIME) - Tantalizingly beautiful (Elle) - Suspenseful, atmospheric (Vogue) - Aching and poignant (Guardian)
- Gripping (The Economist)

Franny Stone has always been the kind of woman who is able to love but unable to stay. Leaving behind everything but her research gear, she arrives in Greenland with a singular purpose: to follow the last Arctic terns in the world on what might be their final migration to Antarctica. Franny talks her way onto a fishing boat, and she and the crew set sail, traveling ever further from shore and safety. But as Franny's history begins to unspool--a passionate love affair, an absent family, a devastating crime--it becomes clear that she is chasing more than just the birds. When Franny's dark secrets catch up with her, how much is she willing to risk for one more chance at redemption?

Epic and intimate, heartbreaking and galvanizing, Charlotte McConaghy's Migrations is an ode to a disappearing world and a breathtaking page-turner about the possibility of hope against all odds.

Miracle Country: A Memoir

Miracle Country: A Memoir

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"Blending family memoir and environmental history, Kendra Atleework conveys a fundamental truth: the places in which we live, live on--sometimes painfully--in us. This is a powerful, beautiful, and urgently important book."
--Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement

Kendra Atleework grew up in Swall Meadows, in the Owens Valley of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, where annual rainfall averages five inches and in drought years measures closer to zero.

Kendra's parents taught their children to thrive in this beautiful, if harsh, landscape, prone to wildfires, blizzards, and gale-force winds. Above all, they were raised on unconditional love and delight in the natural world. After Kendra's mother died of a rare autoimmune disease when Kendra was just sixteen, however, her once-beloved desert world came to feel empty and hostile, as climate change, drought, and wildfires intensified. The Atleework family fell apart, even as her father tried to keep them together. Kendra escaped to Los Angeles, and then Minneapolis, land of tall trees, full lakes, water everywhere you look.

But after years of avoiding her troubled hometown, she realized that she needed to come to terms with its past and present and had to go back. Miracle Country is a moving and unforgettable memoir of flight and return, emptiness and bounty, the realities of a harsh and changing climate, and the true meaning of home. For readers of Cheryl Strayed, Terry Tempest Williams, and Rebecca Solnit, this is a breathtaking debut by a remarkable writer.

My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son's Search for Home

My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son's Search for Home

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The perfect gift for parents this Father's Day: a beautiful, gut-wrenching memoir of Irish identity, fatherhood, and what we owe to the past.

"A heartbreaking and redemptive book, written with courage and grace."
-J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy

"...a lovely little book."
-Ross Douthat, The New York Times

The child of an Irish man and an Irish-American woman who split up before he was born, Michael Brendan Dougherty grew up with an acute sense of absence. He was raised in New Jersey by his hard-working single mother, who gave him a passion for Ireland, the land of her roots and the home of Michael's father. She put him to bed using little phrases in the Irish language, sang traditional songs, and filled their home with a romantic vision of a homeland over the horizon.

Every few years, his father returned from Dublin for a visit, but those encounters were never long enough. Devastated by his father's departures, Michael eventually consoled himself by believing that fatherhood was best understood as a check in the mail. Wearied by the Irish kitsch of the 1990s, he began to reject his mother's Irish nationalism as a romantic myth.

Years later, when Michael found out that he would soon be a father himself, he could no longer afford to be jaded; he would need to tell his daughter who she is and where she comes from. He immediately re-immersed himself in the biographies of firebrands like Patrick Pearse and studied the Irish language. And he decided to reconnect with the man who had left him behind, and the nation just over the horizon. He began writing letters to his father about what he remembered, missed, and longed for. Those letters would become this book.

Along the way, Michael realized that his longings were shared by many Americans of every ethnicity and background. So many of us these days lack a clear sense of our cultural origins or even a vocabulary for expressing this lack--so we avoid talking about our roots altogether. As a result, the traditional sense of pride has started to feel foreign and dangerous; we've become great consumers of cultural kitsch, but useless conservators of our true history.

In these deeply felt and fascinating letters, Dougherty goes beyond his family's story to share a fascinating meditation on the meaning of identity in America.

My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life

My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life

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A little more than 10 years ago, Janine Marsh and her husband Mark gave up their city jobs in London to chase the good life in the countryside of northern France. Having overcome the obstacles of starting to renovate her dream home--an ancient, dilapidated barn--and fitting in with the peculiarities of her new neighbors, Janine is now the go-to expat in the area for those seeking to get to grips with a very different way of life. In the Seven Valleys, each season brings new challenges as well as new delights. Freezing weather in February threaten the lives of some of the four-legged locals; snow in March results in a broken arm, which in turn leads to an etiquette lesson at the local hospital; and a dramatic hailstorm in July destroys cars and houses, ultimately bringing the villagers closer together. With warmth and humor, Janine showcases a uniquely French outlook as two eternally ambitious expats drag a neglected farmhouse to life and stumble across the hidden gems of this very special part of the world.

NEITHER HERE NOR THERE

NEITHER HERE NOR THERE

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Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early seventies - in search of enlightenment, beer and women. Twenty years later, the acclaimed author of NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND and THE MOTHER TONGUE decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth - carrying with him a bag of maps, old clothes
NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND

NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND

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Featuring an all-new cover, New York Times bestseller Bill Bryson's irrevent and hilarious journey through the beloved island nation he called home for two decades. From Downing Street to Loch Ness, this is a delightful look at the United Kingdom.

Before New York Times bestselling author Bill Bryson wrote The Road to Little Dribbling, he took this delightfully irreverent jaunt around the unparalleled floating nation of Great Britain, which has produced zebra crossings, Shakespeare, Twiggie Winkie's Farm, and places with names like Farleigh Wallop and Titsey.

Outlander

Outlander

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Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, anda lover in another...

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war andreunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she innocently touches aboulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles.Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war andraiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in sooninextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch.She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies thatmay threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, agallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love soabsolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...andbetween two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

"Absorbing and heartwarming...lavishly evokes the land and lore ofScotland."
"--Publishers Weekly"

"Stunning!"
"--Los Angeles Daily News"

"It is a large canvas that Gabaldon paints, filled with strong passions andderring-do. Strong willed and sensual, Claire is an engaging modern heroineplopped down in a simpler, more primitive time.... Great fun ...marvelous andfantastic adventures, romance, sex ...perfect escape reading!"
"--San Francisco Chronicle"

Paris Hours

Paris Hours

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"Like All the Light We Cannot See, The Paris Hours explores the brutality of war and its lingering effects with cinematic intensity. The ending will leave you breathless." --Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city's most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they've lost.

Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was asked to burn her employer's notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay--but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people's stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet's paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for.

Told over the course of a single day in 1927, Alex George's The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.

PARIS TO THE MOON

PARIS TO THE MOON

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "The finest book on France in recent years."--Alain de Botton, The New York Times Book Review

In 1995, Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of Paris. In the grand tradition of Stein, Hemingway, Baldwin, and Liebling, Gopnik set out to enjoy the storied existence of an American in Paris--walks down the paths of the Tuileries, philosophical discussions in cafés, and afternoon jaunts to the Musée d'Orsay.

But as readers of Gopnik's beloved and award-winning "Paris Journal" in The New Yorker know, there was also the matter of raising a child and carrying on with la vie quotidienne--the daily, slightly less fabled life. As Gopnik discovers in this tender account, the dual processes of navigating a foreign city and becoming a parent are not completely dissimilar--both promise new routines, new languages, and a new set of rules by which each day is to be lived. With singular wit and insight, Gopnik manages to weave the magical with the mundane in this wholly delightful book that Entertainment Weekly deemed "magisterial."

Recipe for Daphne

Recipe for Daphne

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An American-born traveler to one of Istanbul's oldest communities receives an unexpected welcome in this heart-warming and romantic debut

Fanis is at the center of a dwindling yet stubbornly proud community of Rum, Greek Orthodox Christians, who have lived in Istanbul for centuries.

When Daphne, the American-born niece of an old friend, arrives in the city in search of her roots, she is met with a hearty welcome. Fanis is smitten by the beautiful and aloof outsider, who, despite the age difference, reminds him of the fiancée he lost in the 1955 pogrom.

Kosmas, a master pastry chef on the lookout for a good Rum wife, also falls instantly for Daphne. She is intrigued by him, but can she love him in return? Or will a family secret, deeply rooted in the painful history of the city itself, threaten their chances?

This story of love, hopeful beginnings, and ancient traditions introduces a sparkling new literary voice sure to transport and entertain.

River-Horse: Across America by Boat

River-Horse: Across America by Boat

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The author of Blue Highways and PrairyErth takes us on a lifetime voyage full of imagery, insight and appreciation. --Cleveland Plain Dealer

In his most ambitious journey ever, William Least Heat-Moon sets off aboard a small boat named Nikawa (river horse in Osage) from the Atlantic at New York Harbor in hopes of entering the Pacific near Astoria, Oregon. He and his companion, Pilotis, struggle to cover some 5,000 watery miles, often following in the wakes of our most famous explorers, from Henry Hudson to Lewis and Clark.

En route, the voyagers confront massive floods, dangerous weather, and their own doubts about whether they can complete the trip. But the hard days yield incomparable pleasures: generous strangers, landscapes untouched since Sacajawea saw them, riverscapes flowing with a lively past, and the growing belief that efforts to protect our lands and waters are beginning to pay off.

Teeming with humanity, humor, and high adventure, River-Horse is an unsentimental and original arteriogram of our nation at the millennium.

Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain

Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain

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In 1995, Iowa native Bill Bryson took a motoring trip around Britain to explore that green and pleasant land. The uproarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, is one of the most acute portrayals of the United Kingdom ever written. Two decades later, Bryson--now a British citizen--set out again to rediscover his adopted country. In these pages, he follows a straight line through the island--from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath--and shows us every pub, stone village, and human foible along the way.

Whether he is dodging cow attacks in Torcross, getting lost in the H&M on Kensington High Street, or--more seriously--contemplating the future of the nation's natural wonders in the face of aggressive development, Bryson guides us through the old and the new with vivid detail and laugh-out-loud humor. Irreverent, endearing, and always hilarious, The Road to Little Dribbling is filled with Bill Bryson's deep knowledge and love of his chosen home.

Small Place

Small Place

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A brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua--by the author of Annie John

"If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see. If you come by aeroplane, you will land at the V. C. Bird International Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) Bird is the Prime Minister of Antigua. You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a Prime Minister would want an airport named after him--why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument. You are a tourist and you have not yet seen . . ."

So begins Jamaica Kincaid's expansive essay, which shows us what we have not yet seen of the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up.

Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies.

South and West: From a Notebook

South and West: From a Notebook

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From the best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks--writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer.

Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles--and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention.

She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. And from a different notebook: the California Notes that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento.

Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage, all of which would appear later in her acclaimed 2003 book, Where I Was From.

One of TIME's most anticipated books of 2017

One of The New York Times Book Review's "What You'll Be Reading in 2017"

Includued among the Best Books of March 2017 by both LitHub and Signature


Strange Weather in Tokyo

Strange Weather in Tokyo

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Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a story of loneliness and love that defies age.

Tsukiko, thirty-eight, works in an office and lives alone. One night, she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, Sensei, in a local bar. Tsukiko had only ever called him Sensei (Teacher). He is thirty years her senior, retired, and presumably a widower. Their relationship develops from a perfunctory acknowledgment of each other as they eat and drink alone at the bar, to a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love.

As Tsukiko and Sensei grow to know and love one another, time's passing is marked by Kawakami's gentle hints at the changing seasons: from warm sake to chilled beer, from the buds on the trees to the blooming of the cherry blossoms. Strange Weather in Tokyo is a moving, funny, and immersive tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.

The Housekeeper and the Professor

The Housekeeper and the Professor

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Yoko Ogawa's The Housekeeper and the Professor is an enchanting story about what it means to live in the present, and about the curious equations that can create a family.

He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem--ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory.

She is an astute young Housekeeper--with a ten-year-old son--who is hired to care for the Professor.
And every morning, as the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to each other anew, a strange and beautiful relationship blossoms between them. Though he cannot hold memories for long (his brain is like a tape that begins to erase itself every eighty minutes), the Professor's mind is still alive with elegant equations from the past. And the numbers, in all of their articulate order, reveal a sheltering and poetic world to both the Housekeeper and her young son. The Professor is capable of discovering connections between the simplest of quantities--like the Housekeeper's shoe size--and the universe at large, drawing their lives ever closer and more profoundly together, even as his memory slips away.

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

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An International Bestseller!

A LibraryReads and Indie Next Pick!

A trio of second-born daughters sets out on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside to break the family curse that says they'll never find love, by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.



Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather's Brooklyn deli, claim it's an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it's a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she'll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed--secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse.

Whispering Land

Whispering Land

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Fans of Gerard Durrell's beloved classic My Family and Other Animals (the inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu on Masterpiece PBS) and other accounts of his lifelong fascination with members of the animal kingdom will rejoice at The Whispering Land. The sequel to A Zoo in My Luggage, this is the story of how Durrell and his wife's zoo-building efforts at England's Jersey Zoo led them and a team of helpers on an eight-month safari in Argentina to look for South American specimens. Through windswept Patagonian shores and tropical forests in Argentina, from ocelots to penguins, fur seals to parrots, Durrell captures the landscape and its inhabitants with his signature charm and humor.
Women in Sunlight

Women in Sunlight

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The story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year, from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun.

Don't miss Frances Mayes in PBS's Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special!

She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can't help but question: will they find what they came for?

Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, is working on a biography of her close friend, a complex woman who continues to cast a shadow on Kit's own life. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of three women--Julia, Camille, and Susan--all of whom have launched a recent and spontaneous friendship that will uproot them completely and redirect their lives. Susan, the most adventurous of the three, has enticed them to subvert expectations of staid retirement by taking a lease on a big, beautiful house in Tuscany. Though novices in a foreign culture, their renewed sense of adventure imbues each of them with a bright sense of bravery, a gusto for life, and a fierce determination to thrive. But how? With Kit's friendship and guidance, the three friends launch themselves into Italian life, pursuing passions long-forgotten--and with drastic and unforeseeable results.

Zoo in My Luggage

Zoo in My Luggage

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Fans of Gerald Durrell's timeless classic My Family and Other Animals, the inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu on Masterpiece PBS, will love this hilarious tale, which finds the author as an adult still charmed by his beloved animals.

A Zoo in My Luggage begins with an account of Durrell's third trip to the British Cameroons in West Africa, during which he and his wife capture animals to start their own zoo. Returning to England with a few additions to their family--Cholmondeley the chimpanzee, Bug-eye the bush baby, and others--they have nowhere to put them as they haven't yet secured a place for their zoo. Durrell's account of how he manages his menagerie in all sorts of places throughout England while finding a permanent home for the animals provides as much adventure as capturing them. For animal lovers of all ages, A Zoo in My Luggage is the romping true story of the boy who grew up to make a Noah's Ark of his own.

Summer Book - June Skinny Books

Summer Book - June Skinny Books

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In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer--its sunlight and storms--into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia's grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. "On an island," thinks the grandmother, "everything is complete." In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.

Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world.

The Summer Book is translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal.

Book club meeting June 2nd.

Sandy: This is my book of the summer and half way in I knew it would be on my top 20-ever list -- that's me trying to make clear to you how much I love this story of a grandmother and granddaughter spending the summer together on a remote Finnish island in a time gone by. It speaks to us now as they are isolated from most people, but the richness of their inner worlds and growing trove of togetherness makes isolation seem ideal.  It's gotten so so many raves, I just had to let you read them before you READ THIS BOOK! I'm going to read Janssen's others (all translated from the Finnish) and I'll let ya know about those too: 

“This slim, magical, life-affirming novel tells the story of a young girl and her grandmother, who spend their summer together on a small, isolated island in the Gulf of Finland. Absent of sentimentality, full of love and humor and wisdom, this is a tale about how much fun two people can have in the middle of nowhere, when they are practicing social isolation in earnest.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, The New York Times

"It's deceptively simple, refreshingly unembellished, distilled, grounded in sensory experience, and absolutely direct. It's comforting for precisely the same reasons it's unsettling, like standing on the shore looking across a dark sea at a horizon you swear you could almost touch." —Rain Taxi

"Poetic understatement, dry humor and a deep love for nature are obvious throughout her oeuvre. . .  . The book is as lovely, as evocative as a film by Hayao Miyazaki." —Time Out New York

“Jansson's clear prose—capable of sentiment without being sentimental—contains multitudes. The Summer Book is bright but dense; it is slim enough to read in a day but holds a whole world between its covers.” —Powell’s Books 

“Tove Jansson was a genius. This is a marvelous, beautiful, wise novel, which is also very funny.” —Philip Pullman

“A wise, joyous book . . . it unfolds the knowledge and the beauty of the two lives it embraces–old wisdom and young discover, intertwining like vines.” —Rex Reed

The Summer Book manages to make you feel good as well as wise, without having to make too much effort . . . [it] says so much that we want to hear in such an accessible form, without ever really saying anything at all.” —The Independent

"Few books since Robinson Crusoe have evoked the joys of island living so powerfully as this Finnish novella." —The Observer, "Paperback of the Week"

"The Summer Book is a marvellously uplifting read, full of gentle humour and wisdom." —Daily Telegraph (London)

"A marvellous book . . . The prose is sublime: plain, but not oppressively so." —The Independent

"A . . . beautiful novel which blends humour and poetry with detailed observation of tiny things." —Daily Mail

"It's hard to describe the astonishing achievement of Jansson's artistry . . . a perfection of the small, quiet read." —The Guardian, "Book of the Week"

"A wonderful novel to devour in the sunshine . . . full of charm and character." —The Independent, "50 Best Books for Summer"

"Every so often, a book is published that captures something in us . . . The Summer Book is one of those." —Daily Telegraph

“Responses, conversations, and observations yield quietly reflective and funny ruminations on life and death.” —The Age

“Thomas Teal, a luminous translator of Jansson’s twin talent for surface and depth, simplicity and reverberation in language, and someone who knows exactly how to convey her gift for sensing the meaning embedded in the most mundane act or turn of phrase.” —Ali Smith

“This is a wonderful, life-affirming, spirited book. Reading it was a tonic.” —Chris Stewart

“Eccentric, funny, wise, full of joys and small adventures. This is a book for life.” —Esther Freud

"The Summer Book is beautiful and warm, with the kind of wisdom we can adapt to our everyday lives." —Liv Ullmann

"Take a book in which there is no plot but bucketloads of positive feelings presented simply, and it will become a cult. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Jonathan Livingston Seagull were both bestsellers; no one could say what either was really about, but everyone could quote a meaningful truism from them. The Summer Book is in this mould: it manages to make you feel good as well as wise." —TheIndependent

"The Summer Book is pure loveliness. The movements of tides and winds and boats and insects loom larger for our narrator than the currents of history, and the profound quiet of the setting—I’m reminded of Akhil Sharma’s description of a prose like 'white light'—allows us to hear Jansson’s unsparing and ironic tenderness, a tone that remains purely her own, even in translation."
—Garth Risk Hallberg, The Millions