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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

84, Charing Cross Road -- Theatrical Play, not Book!

84, Charing Cross Road -- Theatrical Play, not Book!

$12.95
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This wonderful show is a dramatization of business letters between a young struggling writer in New York and an antiquarian book store in London. In a sense, these are also love letters. They are about the love of good literature. The play takes place over a twenty year period, beginning in 1949 when Helene Hanff (played on Broadway by Ellen Burstyn) first writes Marks & Co. and ends in 1969 with the death of Frank Doel, the delightfully dusty supplier of so many old volumes to Helen who has shown her gratitude through the years by sending "care packages" to the staff of Marks & Co.
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

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

$15.95
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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

$15.95
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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

$16.00
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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.

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

Hades, Argentina

Hades, Argentina

$27.00
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"A debut novel as impressive as they come. Tough, wily, dreamlike." --Seattle Times

A decade after fleeing for his life, a man is pulled back to Argentina by an undying love.

In 1976, Tomás Orilla is a medical student in Buenos Aires, where he has moved in hopes of reuniting with Isabel, a childhood crush. But the reckless passion that has long drawn him is leading Isabel ever deeper into the ranks of the insurgency fighting an increasingly oppressive regime. Tomás has always been willing to follow her anywhere, to do anything to prove himself. Yet what exactly is he proving, and at what cost to them both?

It will be years before a summons back arrives for Tomás, now living as Thomas Shore in New York. It isn't a homecoming that awaits him, however, so much as an odyssey into the past, an encounter with the ghosts that lurk there, and a reckoning with the fatal gap between who he has become and who he once aspired to be. Raising profound questions about the sometimes impossible choices we make in the name of love, Hades, Argentina is a gripping, ingeniously narrated literary debut.

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

$15.99
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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
Map That Leads to You

Map That Leads to You

$25.99
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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.