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A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius

A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius

A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius

Author: ,

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Isbn 10: 1476737541

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 416

Number of Views: 724

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"Exhilarating…Profoundly moving, occasionally angry, and often hilarious...A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly" (The New York Times Book Review). A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the unique, moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. In his distinctive style unlike any other memoir, Egger's story is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive, as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.


Blackout

Blackout

Blackout

Author: Sarah Hepola

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Isbn 10: 145555457X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 256

Number of Views: 1054

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*A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was "the gasoline of all adventure." She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman. But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy? She apologized for things she couldn't remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead. A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure--the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most--but getting yourself back in return. *Includes Reading Group Guide*


What Is the What

What Is the What

What Is the What

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Vintage Canada

Isbn 10: 0307371379

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 560

Number of Views: 468

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What Is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee in war-ravaged southern Sudan who flees from his village in the mid-1980s and becomes one of the so-called Lost Boys. Valentino’s travels bring him in contact with enemy soldiers, with liberation rebels, with hyenas and lions, with disease and starvation, and with deadly murahaleen (militias on horseback)–the same sort who currently terrorize Darfur. Eventually Deng is resettled in the United States with almost 4000 other young Sudanese men, and a very different struggle begins. Based closely on true experiences, What Is the What is heartbreaking and arresting, filled with adventure, suspense, tragedy, and, finally, triumph.


Heroes of the Frontier

Heroes of the Frontier

Heroes of the Frontier

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Isbn 10: 0735272468

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 400

Number of Views: 827

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A captivating, often hilarious novel of family, loss, wilderness, and the curse of a violent America, Dave Eggers’s Heroes of the Frontier is a powerful examination of our contemporary life and a rousing story of adventure. Josie and her children’s father have split up, she’s been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she’s grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée’s family, Josie makes a run for it, figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first their trip feels like a vacation: They see bears and bison, they eat hot dogs cooked on a bonfire, and they spend nights parked along icy cold rivers in dark forests. But as they drive, pushed north by the ubiquitous wildfires, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined, past mistakes pursuing her tiny family, even to the very edge of civilization. A tremendous new novel from the bestselling author of The Circle, Heroes of the Frontier is the darkly comic story of a mother and her two young children on a journey through an Alaskan wilderness plagued by wildfires and a uniquely American madness.


The Parade

The Parade

The Parade

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Isbn 10: 0735277532

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 192

Number of Views: 1232

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From a beloved author, a spare, powerful story of two men, Western contractors sent to work far from home, tasked with paving a road to the capital in a dangerous and largely lawless country. Four and Five are partners, working for the same company, sent without passports to a nation recovering from ten years of civil war. Together, operating under pseudonyms and anonymous to potential kidnappers, they are given a new machine, the RS-90, and tasked with building a highway that connects the country's far-flung villages with the capital. Four, nicknamed "The Clock," is one of the highway's most experienced operators, never falling short of his assigned schedule. He drives the RS-90, stopping only to sleep and eat the food provided by the company. But Five is an agent of chaos: speeding ahead on his vehicle, chatting and joking with locals, eating at nearby bars and roadside food stands, he threatens the schedule, breaks protocol, and endangers the work that they must complete in time for a planned government parade. His every action draws Four's ire, but when illness, corruption, and theft compromise their high-stakes mission, Four and Five discover danger far greater than anything they could pose to one another.


How We Are Hungry

How We Are Hungry

How We Are Hungry

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Vintage Canada

Isbn 10: 0307369064

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 224

Number of Views: 399

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How We Are Hungry is a gripping, lyrical and soulful collection of stories from the acclaimed author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Ranging from a doomed Irish setter’s tales of running and jumping (“After I Was Thrown in the River and Before I Drowned”) to a bitterly comic meditation on suicide and friendship (“Climbing to the Window, Pretending to Dance”), and from the Egyptian desert to the asphalt of Interstate 5, these stories are Eggers at his finest. By turns devastating, clear-eyed and funn – incredibly funny – this collection is a marvel.


A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Vintage Canada

Isbn 10: 034580760X

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 352

Number of Views: 763

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A National Book Award Finalist, a New York Times bestseller and one of the most highly-acclaimed books of the year, A Hologram for the King is a sprawling novel about the decline of American industry from one of the most important, socially-aware novelists of our time. In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman named Alan Clay pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy's gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment--and a moving story of how we got here.


The Elephants in My Backyard

The Elephants in My Backyard

The Elephants in My Backyard

Author: Rajiv Surendra

Publisher: Random House Canada

Isbn 10: 034581682X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 320

Number of Views: 490

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Rajiv Surendra (the rapping mathlete from Mean Girls) read Life of Pi, discovered it was being adapted into a major motion picture, and embarked on a ten-year journey to land the role of a lifetime--but this is not a journey of goals and victories, this is a story of obsessively pursuing a dream, overcoming failure, and finding meaning in life. n 2003, Rajiv Surendra was acting in Mean Girls, playing the beloved rapping mathlete Kevin Gnapoor, when a cameraman on set gave him a copy of Life of Pi, inadvertently changing the course of his life. Rajiv dove into the novel, mesmerized by all the similarities between Pi and himself--they are both five-foot-five, with coffee-colored complexions; both share a South Indian culture; Pi lives in a zoo, and Rajiv grew up in Scarborough, Ontario, right beside the Toronto Zoo. When Rajiv learns that Life of Pi will be made into a major motion picture, he is convinced Pi is the role he is destined to play. To land the role he knows he must embody the spirit of the sixteen-year-old Tamil schoolboy. In a great leap of faith, he quits university and buys a one-way ticket to India. Thus begins his enchanting and bumpy years-long journey from Toronto to the sacred stone temples of South India and the actual private school in Pondicherry that the fictional Pi attended, to rural Maine where Rajiv befriends a real-life castaway, and culminating in the most unexpected of places--the cobbled streets of Munich. Poignant, funny, colorful, and absolutely unforgettable, The Elephants in My Backyard is an inspiring tale of taking risks and following one's dreams, of process and determination, and looking back on one's endeavors--be they successes or colossal defeats--with new appreciation and meaning.


The Monk of Mokha

The Monk of Mokha

The Monk of Mokha

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Isbn 10: 0735274509

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 368

Number of Views: 781

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From the bestselling author of The Circle and What Is the What, the true story of a young Yemeni-American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana'a by civil war. Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings brought up by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age twenty-four, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman, until a statue of an Arab raising a cup of coffee awakens something in him. He sets out to learn the rich history of coffee in Yemen and the complex art of tasting and identifying varietals. He travels to Yemen and visits countless farms, collecting samples, eager to bring improved cultivation methods to the countryside. And he is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs Yemen in 2015. The US Embassy closes, Saudi bombs began to rain down on the country, and Mokhtar is trapped in Yemen. Desperate to escape, he embarks on a passage that has him negotiating with dueling political factions and twice kidnapped at gunpoint. With no other options, he hires a skiff to take him, and his coffee samples, across the Red Sea. A heart-pounding true story that weaves together the history of coffee, the ongoing Yemeni civil war, and the courageous journey of a young man--a Muslim and a US citizen--following the most American of dreams.


Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

Author: Andrew Sean Greer

Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books

Isbn 10: 0316316148

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 272

Number of Views: 1893

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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 Award Who 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 Post "Andrew 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


The Lifters

The Lifters

The Lifters

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Isbn 10: 1524764183

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Number of Pages: 336

Number of Views: 1005

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Journey to an underground world where adventure awaits and heroes are made in this middle grade novel from the bestselling, Pulitzer-nominated author of The Monk of Mokha and Her Right Foot. When Gran and his family move to Carousel, he has no idea that the town is built atop a secret. Little does he suspect, as he walks his sister to school or casually eats a banana, that mysterious forces lurk mere inches beneath his feet, tearing up the earth like mini-hurricanes and causing the town to slowly but surely sink. When Gran's friend, the difficult-to-impress Catalina Catalan, presses a silver handle into a hillside and opens a doorway to underground, he knows that she is extraordinary and brave, and that he will have no choice but to follow wherever she leads. With luck on their side, and some discarded hockey sticks for good measure, Gran and Catalina might just find a way to lift their town--and the known world--out of danger. In The Lifters, critically acclaimed author Dave Eggers establishes himself as a storyteller who can entertain and inspire readers of any age. "This book is a ripper, full of all the good stuff: adventure, mystery, and lots of great jokes." - Mac Barnett, Caldecott Honor-winning author of Extra Yarn "Full of surprises, magic, and heart." - Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me "[A] cozy contemporary novel about lifting spirits and rebuilding community through teamwork and imagination." --Publishers Weekly "A heart-gladdening work of allegorical genius." --The Guardian "A warm and rewarding read . . .Eggers skillfully handles the trope of the kids who save the town, with plenty of humorous adult cluelessness but an equal measure of compassion." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Original . . . and always intriguing. . . . Eggers's story moves along briskly thanks to mounting suspense and bite-size chapters." --Booklist A Junior Library Guild selection


Ungrateful Mammals

Ungrateful Mammals

Ungrateful Mammals

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Abrams

Isbn 10: 1683350243

Category: Art

Number of Pages: 144

Number of Views: 443

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Eggers is one of the most notable writers of his generation, recognized for such bestselling and critically acclaimed books as A Hologram for the King, What Is the What, and The Circle. Before he embarked on his writing career, Eggers was classically trained as a draftsman and painter. He then spent many years as a professional illustrator and graphic designer before turning to writing full-time. More recently, in order to raise money for ScholarMatch, his college-access nonprofit, he returned to visual art, and the results have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the country. Usually involving the pairing of an animal with humorous or biblical text, the results are wry, oddly anthropomorphic tableaus that create a very entertaining and eccentric body of work from one of today’s leading culture makers.


The Circle

The Circle

The Circle

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Isbn 10: 0345808606

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 528

Number of Views: 679

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LONGLISTED 2015 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, bestselling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award. When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.


Do You Feel it Too?

Do You Feel it Too?

Do You Feel it Too?

Author: Nicoline Timmer

Publisher: Rodopi

Isbn 10: 9042029307

Category: History

Number of Pages: 388

Number of Views: 1153

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Do You Feel It Too? explores a new sense of self that is becoming manifest in experimental fiction written by a generation of authors who can be considered the 'heirs' of the postmodern tradition. It offers a precise, in-depth analysis of a new, post-postmodern direction in fiction writing, and highlights which aspects are most acute in the post-postmodern novel. Most notable is the emphatic expression of feelings and sentiments and a drive toward inter-subjective connection and communication. The self that is presented in these post-postmodern works of fiction can best be characterized asrelational. To analyze this new sense of self, a new interpretational method is introduced that offers a sophisticated approach to fictional selves combining the insights of post-classical narratology and what is called 'narrative psychology'.Close analyses of three contemporary experimental texts – Infinite Jest (1996) by David Foster Wallace,A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000) by Dave Eggers, and House of Leaves(2000) by Mark Danielewski – provide insight into the typical problems that the self experiences in postmodern cultural contexts. Three such problems or 'symptoms' are singled out and analyzed in depth: an inability to choose because of a lack of decision-making tools; a difficulty to situate or appropriate feelings; and a structural need for a 'we' (a desire for connectivity and sociality).The critique that can be distilled from these texts, especially on the perceivedsolipsistic quality of postmodern experience worlds, runs parallel to developments in recent critical theory. These developments, in fiction and theory both, signal, in the wake of poststructural conceptions of subjectivity, a perhaps much awaited 'turn to the human' in our culture at large today.


Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Isbn 10: 0345809610

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 208

Number of Views: 601

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From Dave Eggers, bestselling author of The Circle, a tightly-controlled, emotionally searching novel. Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is the formally daring, brilliantly executed story of one man, struggling to make sense of his country, seeking answers the only way he knows how. In a barracks on an abandoned military base, miles from the nearest road, Thomas watches as the man he has brought wakes up. Kev, a NASA astronaut, doesn't recognize his captor, though Thomas remembers him. Kev cries for help. He pulls at his chain. But the ocean is close by, and nobody can hear him over the waves and wind. Thomas apologizes. He didn't want to have to resort to this. But they really needed to have a conversation, and Kev didn't answer his messages. And now, if Kev can just stop yelling, Thomas has a few questions.


The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir

The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir

The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir

Author: E. J. Koh

Publisher: Tin House Books

Isbn 10: 1947793470

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 203

Number of Views: 569

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A tale of deep bonds to family, place, language—of hard-won selfhood told by a singular, incandescent voice. The Magical Language of Others is a powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter. After living in America for over a decade, Eun Ji Koh’s parents return to South Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her brother behind in California. Overnight, Eun Ji finds herself abandoned and adrift in a world made strange by her mother’s absence. Her mother writes letters, in Korean, over the years seeking forgiveness and love—letters Eun Ji cannot fully understand until she finds them years later hidden in a box. As Eun Ji translates the letters, she looks to history—her grandmother Jun’s years as a lovesick wife in Daejeon, the horrors her grandmother Kumiko witnessed during the Jeju Island Massacre—and to poetry, as well as her own lived experience to answer questions inside all of us. Where do the stories of our mothers and grandmothers end and ours begin? How do we find words—in Korean, Japanese, English, or any language—to articulate the profound ways that distance can shape love? Eun Ji Koh fearlessly grapples with forgiveness, reconciliation, legacy, and intergenerational trauma, arriving at insights that are essential reading for anyone who has ever had to balance love, longing, heartbreak, and joy. The Magical Language of Others weaves a profound tale of hard-won selfhood and our deep bonds to family, place, and language, introducing—in Eun Ji Koh—a singular, incandescent voice.


What Unites Us

What Unites Us

What Unites Us

Author: Dan Rather,Elliot Kirschner

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Isbn 10: 1616207841

Category: Political Science

Number of Pages: 304

Number of Views: 1756

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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America, as I surely do.” —Dan Rather At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on—and writing passionately about—what it means to be an American. Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions. With a fundamental sense of hope, What Unites Us is the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us all how we are, finally, one.


Memories of a Catholic Girlhood

Memories of a Catholic Girlhood

Memories of a Catholic Girlhood

Author: Mary McCarthy

Publisher: Open Road Media

Isbn 10: 1480441252

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 245

Number of Views: 1833

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Tracing her moral struggles to the day she accidentally took a sip of water before her Communion—a mortal sin—Mary McCarthy gives us eight funny and heartrending essays about the illusive and redemptive nature of memory “During the course of writing this, I’ve often wished that I were writing fiction.” Originally published in large part as standalone essays in the New Yorker and Harper’s Bazaar, Mary McCarthy’s acclaimed memoir begins with her recollections of a happy childhood cut tragically short by the death of her parents during the influenza epidemic of 1918. Tempering memory with invention, McCarthy describes how, orphaned at six, she spent much of her childhood shuttled between two sets of grandparents and three religions—Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish. One of four children, she suffered abuse at the hands of her great-aunt and uncle until she moved to Seattle to be raised by her maternal grandparents. Early on, McCarthy lets the reader in on her secret: The chapter you just read may not be wholly reliable—facts have been distilled through the hazy lens of time and distance. In Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, McCarthy pays homage to the past and creates hope for the future. Reminiscent of Nabokov’s Speak, Memory, this is a funny, honest, and unsparing account blessed with the holy sacraments of forgiveness, love, and redemption. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Mary McCarthy including rare images from the author’s estate.


Skipping Towards Gomorrah

Skipping Towards Gomorrah

Skipping Towards Gomorrah

Author: Dan Savage

Publisher: Penguin

Isbn 10: 110111813X

Category: Political Science

Number of Pages: 320

Number of Views: 1315

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In Skipping Towards Gomorrah, Dan Savage eviscerates the right-wing conservatives as he commits each of the Seven Deadly Sins himself (or tries to) and finds those everyday Americans who take particular delight in their sinful pursuits. Among them: Greed: Gamblers reveal secrets behind outrageous fortune. Lust: "We're swingers!"-you won't believe who's doing it. Anger: Texans shoot off some rounds and then listen to Dan fire off on his own about guns, gun control, and the Second Amendment. Combine a unique history of the Seven Deadly Sins, a new interpretation of the biblical stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, and enough Bill Bennett, Robert Bork, Pat Buchanan, Dr. Laura, and Bill O'Reilly bashing to more than make up for their incessant carping, and you've got the most provocative book of the fall.


Oh the Glory of It All

Oh the Glory of It All

Oh the Glory of It All

Author: Sean Wilsey

Publisher: Penguin

Isbn 10: 1101201134

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 496

Number of Views: 1374

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"In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess." With these opening lines Sean Wilsey takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families. Sean's blond-bombshell mother (one of the thinly veiled characters in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City) is a 1980s society-page staple, regularly entertaining Black Panthers and movie stars in her marble and glass penthouse, "eight hundred feet in the air above San Francisco; an apartment at the top of a building at the top of a hill: full of light, full of voices, full of windows full of water and bridges and hills." His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade and lectures his son on proper hygiene in public restrooms, "You should wash your hands first, before you use the urinal. Not after. Your penis isn't dirty. But your hands are." When Sean, "the kind of child who sings songs to sick flowers," turns nine years old, his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend. Sean's life blows apart. His mother first invites him to commit suicide with her, then has a "vision" of salvation that requires packing her Louis Vuitton luggage and traveling the globe, a retinue of multiracial children in tow. Her goal: peace on earth (and a Nobel Prize). Sean meets Indira Gandhi, Helmut Kohl, Menachem Begin, and the pope, hoping each one might come back to San Francisco and persuade his father to rejoin the family. Instead, Sean is pushed out of San Francisco and sent spiraling through five high schools, till he finally lands at an unorthodox reform school cum "therapeutic community," in Italy. With its multiplicity of settings and kaleidoscopic mix of preoccupations-sex, Russia, jet helicopters, seismic upheaval, boarding schools, Middle Earth, skinheads, home improvement, suicide, skateboarding, Sovietology, public transportation, massage, Christian fundamentalism, dogs, Texas, global thermonuclear war, truth, evil, masturbation, hope, Bethlehem, CT, eventual salvation (abridged list)—Oh the Glory of It All is memoir as bildungsroman as explosion.