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Featured Books

Camino Island

By John Grisham

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts. Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable's circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets. But eventually Mercer learns far too much. "

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Posted 2017-07-14
No is Not Enough

By Naomi Klein

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Naomi Klein exposes the forces behind Trump's success and explains why he is not an aberration but the product of our time - reality TV branding, celebrity obsession and CEO-worship, Vegas and Guantanamo, fake news and vulture bankers all rolled into one. She offers a clear-eyed perspective on how to break the spell of Trump's shock tactics and counter the rising chaos and divisiveness at home and abroad, proposing a bold plan of action to defeat these strategies and help build a fairer society and more sustainable world. "

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Posted 2017-07-14
A House Among the Trees

By Julia Glass

Cover: The Charmers

 

"When the revered children's book author Mort Lear dies accidentally at his Connecticut home, he leaves his property and all its contents to his trusted assistant, Tomasina Daulair, who is moved by his generosity but dismayed by the complicated and defiant directives in his will. Tommy knew Morty for more than four decades, since meeting him in a Manhattan playground when she was twelve and he was working on sketches for the book that would make him a star. By the end of his increasingly reclusive life, she found herself living in his house as confidante and helpmeet, witness not just to his daily routines but to the emotional fallout of his strange boyhood and his volatile relationship with a lover who died of AIDS. Now Tommy must try to honor Morty's last wishes while grappling with their effects on several people, including Dani Daulair, her estranged brother; Meredith Galarza, the lonely, outraged museum curator to whom Lear once promised his artistic estate; and Nicholas Greene, the beguiling British actor cast to play Mort Lear in a movie. When the actor arrives for the visit he had previously arranged with the man he is to portray, he and Tommy are compelled to look more closely at Morty's past and the consequences of the choices they now face, both separately and together. Morty, as it turns out, made a confession to Greene that undermines much of what Tommy believed she knew about her boss -- and about herself. As she contemplates a future without him, her unlikely alliance with Greene -- and the loyalty they share toward the man whose legacy they hold in their hands -- will lead to surprising upheavals in their wider relationships, their careers, and even their search for love."

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Posted 2017-07-14
Beckoned by the sea

By Sylvia Taylor

Cover: The Charmers

 

"A rich and diverse tapestry weaving together the many voices, narratives, skills, and talents of women up and down the coastal Pacific Northwest who devote their lives and careers to the sea. Beckoned by the Sea celebrates coastal women from northern BC to northern California who work on or with the sea. The twenty-four women featured in this inspiring and fascinating book represent a variety of industries -- from conservation, commercial fishing, and marine biology to safety and rescue, tourism, and the arts. Weaving together elements of social history, culture, geography, and environmentalism, author Sylvia Taylor draws on in-depth interviews, meticulous research, and her own experience as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat. Beckoned by the Sea investigates the myriad ways in which women have contributed to the marine industries that sustain the people and shape the culture of North America’s west coast -- and reveals how the sea itself has touched the lives of these women by giving them not just a livelihood but an infinite source of inspiration and personal fulfillment. "

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Posted 2017-07-14
How We Speak To One Another

Edited by Ander Monson & Craig Reinbold

Cover: The Charmers

 

"The essay is rhizomatic: it builds off and shoots out conversations between us every time we read, reread, or write. When we speak back to others we amplify ourselves and get a foothold in an ongoing conversation. How We Speak to One Another collects those conversations, giving context to a genre, deepening the flexibility and vitality of its many forms. "

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Posted 2017-07-07
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

By Arundahati Roy

Cover: The Charmers

 

"The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a dazzling new novel by the internationally celebrate author of The God of Small Things. It takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Dehli and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war. It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of is characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love—and by hope. The tale begins with Anjum—who used to be Aftab—unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her—including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo's landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs' Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi. "

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Posted 2017-07-07
Solitude

By Michael Harris

Cover: The Charmers

 

"The capacity to be alone--properly alone--is one of life's subtlest skills. Real solitude is a contented and productive state that garners tangible rewards: it allows us to reflect and recharge, improving our relationships with ourselves and, paradoxically, with others. Today, the zeitgeist embraces sharing like never before. Fueled by our dependence on online and social media, we have created an ecosystem of obsessive distraction that dangerously undervalues solitude. Many of us now lead lives of strangely crowded loneliness--we are ever-connected, but only shallowly so. Award-winning author Michael Harris examines why our experience of solitude has become so impoverished, and how we may grow to love it again in the frenzy of our digital landscape. Solitude is an optimistic and encouraging story about discovering true quiet inside the city, inside the crowd, inside our busy and urbane lives. Harris guides readers away from a life of ceaseless pings toward a state of measured connectivity, one that balances solitude and companionship. "

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Posted 2017-07-07
Beren and Luthien

By J.R.R.Tolkien

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost. "

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Posted 2017-07-07
Not Always Happy

By Kari Wagner-Peck,

Cover: The Charmers

 

"A moving memoir about finding and adopting a son from the foster care system with Down syndrome and realizing that life is best lived by expecting the unplanned. As time passes, the author and her husband become less aware they are raising an atypical or adopted child. They are raising their child, no different than any other family. "

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Posted 2017-06-30
Party Girls Die in Pearls

By Plum Sykes

Cover: The Charmers

 

"It’s 1985, and at Oxford University, Pimm’s, punting, and ball gowns are de rigeur. Ursula Flowerbutton, a studious country girl, arrives for her first term anticipating nothing more sinister than days spent poring over history books in gilded libraries—and, if she’s lucky, an invitation to a ball. But when she discovers a glamorous classmate on a chaise longue with her throat cut, Ursula is catapulted into a murder investigation. Determined to bag her first scoop for the famous student newspaper Cherwell, Ursula enlists the help of trend-setting American exchange student Nancy Feingold to unravel the case. While navigating a whirl of black-tie parties and secret dining societies, the girls discover a surfeit of suspects. From broken-hearted boyfriends to snobby Sloane Rangers, lovelorn librarians to dishy dons, none can be presumed innocent—and Ursula’s investigations mean that she may be next on the murderer’s list. "

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Posted 2017-06-30
Dirt is Good

By Jack Gilbert, Ph.D and Rob Knight, Ph.D

Cover: The Charmers

 

"From two of the world's top scientists and one of the world's top science writers (all parents), Dirt is good is a Q&A-based guide to everything you need to know about kids & germs. "Is it OK for my child to eat dirt?" That's just one of the many questions authors Jack Gilbert and Rob Knight are bombarded with every week from parents all over the world. They've heard everything from "My two-year-old gets constant ear infections. Should I give her antibiotics? Or probiotics?" to "I heard that my son's asthma was caused by a lack of microbial exposure. Is this true, and if so what can I do about it now?" Google these questions, and you'll be overwhelmed with answers. The internet is rife with speculation and misinformation about the risks and benefits of what most parents think of as simply germs, but which scientists now call the microbiome : the combined activity of all the tiny organisms inside our bodies and the surrounding environment that have an enormous impact on our health and well-being. Who better to turn to for answers than Drs. Gilbert and Knight, two of the top scientists leading the investigation into the microbiome -- an investigation that is producing fascinating discoveries and bringing answers to parents who want to do the best for their young children. Dirt is good is a comprehensive, authoritative, accessible guide you've been searching for. "

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Posted 2017-06-30
The Scribe of Siena

By Melodie Winawer

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Equal parts transporting love story and gripping historical conspiracy -- think The Girl with a Pearl Earring meets Outlander -- debut author Melodie Winawer takes readers deep into medieval Italy, where the past and present blur and a twenty-first century woman will discover a plot to destroy Siena. Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother's affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined -- a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city. After uncovering the journal and paintings of Gabriele Accorsi, the fourteenth-century artist at the heart of the plot, Beatrice finds a startling image of her own face and is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague. Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love -- not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life. As the Plague and the ruthless hands behind its trajectory threaten not only her survival but also Siena's very existence, Beatrice must decide in which century she belongs. The Scribe of Siena is the captivating story of a brilliant woman's passionate affair with a time and a place that captures her in an impossibly romantic and dangerous trap -- testing the strength of fate and the bonds of love. "

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Posted 2017-06-30
The Book of Joan

By Lidia Yuknavitch

Cover: The Charmers

 

"In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet's now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin. Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule -- galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one -- not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself -- can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations. "

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Posted 2017-06-23
Wherever I Find Myself

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Wherever I Find Myself is a diverse collection of stories about the joys and struggles of immigrant women living in Canada. Often bringing with them the shadow of war and the guilt of leaving, the women in this new anthology expose their emotional pain but also their gratitude for being able to call Canada home. Their stories paint touching and charming portraits of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, bureaucratic hurdles, attempts to navigate unfamiliar landscapes, and a desire to be accepted despite differences in accent, skin colour, or taste in food. Together they form a mosaic of emotions and worldviews that underline the immigrant condition for women. A Filipino woman recalls her experience as a six-year-old immigrant in a ghetto in Mississauga in the 80s. A same-sex couple moves from Minnesota to Ontario to find refuge for their love, but first they must drive through a blizzard and make it through the frustrating net of Canadian bureaucracy. In search of her origins, a Jewish woman travels to her birthplace in Passau, Germany. There, among rows of European picturesque houses and foreign tombstones of a Jewish cemetery, she finds no memories, only the shadow of Hitler and the ghosts of her parents. Through these stories of courage, aloneness, and hope, new and established writers reach out to both immigrants and those whose families long ago ceased to identify with the immigrant label. Through their struggles and, at times, endearingly critical looks at Canada, they remind us that many of our perceived divisions are nothing but artificial creations of mind and that all of us are past, current, or potential immigrants. "

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Posted 2017-06-23
House of Names

By Colm Toibin

Cover: The Charmers

 

"On the day of his daughter's wedding, Agamemnon orders her sacrifice. His daughter is led to her death, and Agamemnon leads his army into battle, where he is rewarded with glorious victory. Three years later, he returns home and finds his murderous action has set the entire family - mother, brother, sister - on a path of intimate violence, as they enter a world of hushed commands and soundless journeys through the palace's dungeons and bedchambers. "

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Posted 2017-06-23
Turning

By Jessica J. Lee

Cover: The Charmers

 

"At the age of 28, Jessica Lee--Canadian, Chinese and British--finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is ostensibly there to write a thesis. And although that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history. This is the story of a beautiful obsession: of the thrill of a still, turquoise lake, of cracking the ice before submerging, of floating under blue skies, of tangled weeds and murkiness, of cool, fresh, spring swimming--of facing past fears of near-drowning, and of breaking free. When she completes her year of swimming, Jessica finds she has new strength--and she has also found friends and gained some understanding of how the landscape both haunts and holds us. This book is for everyone who loves swimming, who wishes they could push themselves beyond caution, who understands the deep pleasure of using the body's strength, who knows what it is to abandon all thought... and float home to the surface. "

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Posted 2017-06-23
The Light We Lost

By Jill Santopolo

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated -- perhaps they'll find life's meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other's hearts." --Provided by publisher. He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last? Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story-- their story-- at the very beginning. Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated-- perhaps they'll find life's meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other's hearts."

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Posted 2017-06-16
Through Dust and Darkness

By Jeremy Kroeker

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Jeremy Kroeker is a Mennonite with a motorcycle. When his seemingly unflinching faith in a Christian worldview begins to shift, Kroeker hops on his bike to seek answers from another perspective. After shipping his ride to Europe, Kroeker discovers that the machine wobbles back and forth worse than his own opinions about spirituality. Still, he caries on, oscillating through Europe—Germany, Austria, Croatia, Albania—and into the Middle East - Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and, ultimately, Iran. It is there, in the theocratic nation of Iran, that Kroeker finds himself on a forbidden visit to a holy Muslim Shrine. Once inside, invisible hands reach into his chest and rip from his heart a sincere prayer, his first in many years. And God hears that prayer. For before Kroeker can escape Iran, God steals into his hotel room one night to threaten him with death. At least, that's one way to look at it. In the end, Kroeker comes to accept uncertainty. What does he really know anyway? He may always fear a God that he can't explain. Perhaps if he keeps riding, one of these days God will speak clearly. And that frightens him, too."

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Posted 2017-06-16
Full Wolf Moon

By Lincoln Child

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Jeremy Logan travels to an isolated writers' retreat deep in the Adirondacks to finally work on his book when the remote community is rocked by the grisly discovery of a dead hiker on Desolation Mountain. The body has been severely mauled, but the unusual savagery of the bite and claw marks call into question the initial suspicions of a wild bear attack. When Logan is asked to help investigate, he discovers no shortage of suspects capable of such an attack - and no shortage of locals willing to point the finger and spread incredible rumours. Logan realizes he's up against something he has never seen before."

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Posted 2017-06-16
Madame President

By Helene Cooper

Cover: The Charmers

 

"The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women's movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history."

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Posted 2017-06-16
The Fix

By David Baldacci

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution-style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself. Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter--a family man with a successful consulting business--and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack. Enter Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it. But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security. Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government--or worse, an international terrorist group--and an attack may be imminent. Decker's never been one to follow the rules, especially with the stakes so high. Forced into an uneasy alliance with Agent Brown, Decker remains laser focused on only one goal: solving the case before it's too late."

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Posted 2017-06-09
Anxiety for Beginners

By Eleanor Morgan

Cover: The Charmers

 

"When journalist Eleanor Morgan published a first-person account of her struggles with anxiety as part of the online series The VICE Guide to Mental Health, it was read by millions and prompted thousands of reader responses. Here, Morgan digs even deeper, combining her own experiences, rendered in achingly honest, often hilarious detail, with extensive research and input from experts (neuroscientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and fellow sufferers). Morgan not only explores the roots of her own anxiety, but also investigates what might be contributing to the suffering of so many of us around the world, uncovering how we can live lives that are not just manageable but enjoyable by learning to accept anxiety as part of who we are, rather than wasting years being ashamed of it. Eleanor Morgan is currently training to be a clinical psychologist."

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Posted 2017-06-09
Crying for the Moon

By Mary Walsh

Cover: The Charmers

 

"There is no one like Maureen, the second youngest daughter of the Sarge, a mother so bitter, so angry about her fate that she bullies her children and her husband before anyone else has a chance to. Maureen's dad, once gorgeously young, is now a beaten-down man who tells his best stories when he is drunk. School is torture, with the nuns watching every move she makes. Oh, but Maureen wants a bigger life. She wants to go to sexy, exciting Montreal and be part of Expo 67, even if it means faking her way into the school choir. Once there, Maureen escapes the vigilant eye of Sister Imobilis and sneaks out into the city where, over the course of a few hours, and after a series of breathtakingly bad decisions, she changes the course of her life forever. All Maureen really wanted was to get her life going. Even now, with everyone and everything against her, Maureen has one thing that nobody can take away: she is the indomitable Maureen -- a young woman who is so much more than anyone thinks."

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Posted 2017-06-09
Word by Word

By Kory Stamper

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Brimming with intelligence and personality, a vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made - a must read for word mavens. Have you ever tried to define the word "is?" Do you have strong feelings about the word (and, yes, it is a word) "irregardless?" Did you know that OMG was first used in 1917, in a letter to Winston Churchill? These are the questions that keep lexicographers up at night. While most of us might take dictionaries for granted, the process of writing dictionaries is in fact as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography, from the agonizing decisions about what and how to define, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why the small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. Throughout Stamper brings to life the hallowed halls (and highly idiosyncratic cubicles) of Merriam-Webster, a surprisingly rich world inhabited by quirky and erudite individuals who quietly shape the way we communicate. A sure delight for all lovers of words, Harmless Drudges will also improve readers' grasp and use of the English language"

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Posted 2017-06-09
Fake Plastic Love

By Kimberley Tait

Cover: The Charmers

 

"Like The Great Gatsby and Bright Lights, Big City, Kimberley Tait's Fake Plastic Love examines one innocent's unsentimental education with great energy and panache." --Stewart O'Nan, author of West of Sunset. Four millennial bright young things charge into the real world, with all the unfounded confidence of twenty-two: M., our narrator, is one of the few young women at her prestigious, high-octane investment bank. To her mother's chagrin, she has always insisted she prefers her signet ring to any diamond. Belle is M.'s college best friend. Wide-eyed and whimsical, she marks the sidewalks of Manhattan with messages in pink chalk and snaps a ceaseless stream of photos for her viral blog. Chase is Belle's British-American, on-again-off-again boyfriend. Equal parts fraternity bro and Savile Row, he is M.'s colleague and arch nemesis. Jeremy is M.'s new friend, a modern-day Gatsby, dapper and earnest, who would rather be piloting a hot air balloon than stuck behind his Wall Street desk. As the financial crisis bears down and social media grows ever more ubiquitous, style and substance become increasingly difficult to distinguish. In this fake plastic world, what do success and friendship and love even look like? "

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Posted 2017-06-02
Almost Human

By Lee R.Berger & John Hawks

Cover: The Charmers

 

"This first-person narrative about an archaeological discovery is rewriting the story of human evolution. A story of defiance and determination by a controversial scientist, this is Lee Berger's own take on finding Homo naledi, an all-new species on the human family tree and one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century. In 2013, Berger, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave in South Africa. He put out a call around the world for petite collaborators--men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of "underground astronauts," Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known prehominids like Lucy, the famous Australopithecus, with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species, and they called it Homo naledi. The cave quickly proved to be the richest primitive hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that shake the very foundation of how we define what makes us human. Did this species come before, during, or after the emergence of Homo sapiens on our evolutionary tree? How did the cave come to contain nothing but the remains of these individuals? Did they bury their dead? If so, they must have had a level of self-knowledge, including an awareness of death. And yet those are the very characteristics used to define what makes us human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us? Berger does not hesitate to address all these questions. Berger is a charming and controversial figure, and some colleagues question his interpretation of this and other finds. But in these pages, this charismatic and visionary paleontologist counters their arguments and tells his personal story: a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human."

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Posted 2017-06-02
Salt Houses

By Hala Alyan

Cover: The Charmers

 

"From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past, between displacement and home...On the eve of her daughter Alia's wedding, Salma reads the girl's future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is up rooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia's brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can't escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia's children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities. Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand--one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can't go home again. "

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Posted 2017-06-02
Okanagan Slow Road

By Bernadete Mcdonald

Cover: The Charmers

 

"A book that invites you to slow down and explore the Okanagan Valley from a local's point of view. Whether it's spying a rare canyon wren, cycling the historic Kettle Valley Railroad across heart-stopping trestle bridges, or hiking through fields of spring flowers, travel alongside the authors as they draw you into the exquisite, unforgettable experience of savouring one of Canada's most beautiful destinations. Generously offering a compilation of the Okanagan Valley's best food, drink, and recreation spots, Okanagan Slow Road reveals treasured local culinary secrets: crusty double-baked bread from rural bakeries, lavender-infused pepper from hillside farms, and dark red cherries from bountiful orchards. And, of course, the world-renowned wines-after all, what would delicious local food be without famous vintages from the unique Okanagan terroir? First published in 2014, this completely updated edition of Okanagan Slow Road includes a list of the many wineries worth visiting as well as a list of the area's farmers' markets. "

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Posted 2017-06-02
Lola

By Melissa Scrivner Love

Cover: The Charmers

 

"The Crenshaw Six are a small but up-and-coming gang in South Central LA who have recently been drawn into an escalating war between rival drug cartels. To outsiders, the Crenshaw Six appear to be led by a man named Garcia . . . but what no one has figured out is that the gang's real leader (and secret weapon) is Garcia's girlfriend, a brilliant young woman named Lola. Lola has mastered playing the role of submissive girlfriend, and in the man's world she inhabits she is consistently underestimated. But in truth she is much, much smarter--and in many ways tougher and more ruthless--than any of the men around her, and as the gang is increasingly sucked into a world of high-stakes betrayal and brutal violence, her skills and leadership become their only hope of survival."

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Posted 2017-05-26
How We Speak To One Another

Edited by Ander Monson & Craig Reinbold

Cover: The Charmers

 

"The essay is rhizomatic: it builds off and shoots out conversations between us every time we read, reread, or write. When we speak back to others we amplify ourselves and get a foothold in an ongoing conversation. How We Speak to One Another collects those conversations, giving context to a genre, deepening the flexibility and vitality of its many forms. "

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Posted 2017-05-26