friday reads

Friday Reads: Artificial Intelligence in Fiction

Do you feel intrigued, perplexed even overwhelmed by artificial intelligence and the role it plays in our lives and will in our future? If so, perhaps a foray into fiction about AI will alleviate, illuminate? AI’s possibilities have activated the imaginations of some of our most exciting writers. We recommend you program your weekend with these classic and contemporary, perhaps prescient, novels: 

  The Resisters by Gish JenTHE RESISTERS by Gish Jen “The Resisters is palpably loving, smart, funny, and desperately unsettling. The novel should be required reading for the country both as a cautionary tale and because it is a stone-cold masterpiece. This is Gish Jen’s moment. She has pitched a perfect game.”—Ann Patchett     Machines Like Me by Ian McEwanMACHINES LIKE ME by Ian McEwan Machines Like Me takes place in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first synthetic humans and—with Miranda’s help—he designs Adam’s personality. The near-perfect human that emerges is beautiful, strong, and clever. It isn’t long before a love triangle soon forms, and these three beings confront a profound moral dilemma.   Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickDO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTIRIC SHEEP? By Philip K. Dick A masterpiece ahead of its time, a prescient rendering of a dark future, and the inspiration for the blockbuster film "Blade Runner."       Agency by William GibsonAGENCY by William Gibson “One of the most visionary, original, and quietly influential writers currently working” (The Boston Globe) returns with a sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Peripheral.     The Municipalists by Seth FriedTHE MUNICIPALISTS by Seth Fried In Metropolis, the gleaming city of tomorrow, the dream of the great American city has been achieved. But all that is about to change, unless a neurotic, rule-following bureaucrat and an irreverent, freewheeling artificial intelligence can save the city from a mysterious terrorist plot that threatens its very existence.     Daemon by Daniel SuarezDAEMON by Daniel Suarez When the obituary of legendary computer game architect Matthew Sobol appears online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events that begins to unravel our interconnected world. This daemon reads news headlines, recruits human followers, and orders assassinations. With Sobol’s secrets buried with him, and as new layers of his daemon are unleashed, it’s up to Detective Peter Sebeck to stop a self-replicating virtual killer before it achieves its ultimate purpose—one that goes far beyond anything Sebeck could have imagined...   I, Robot by Isaac AsimovI, ROBOT by Isaac Asimov , Robot, the first and most widely read book in Asimov’s Robot series, forever changed the world’s perception of artificial intelligence. Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-reading robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world—all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asimov’s trademark.   Robopocalypse by Daniel H. WilsonROBOPOCALYPSE by Daniel H. Wilson Narrated as an oral history told by a global cast of survivors of this bloody confrontation between man and machine, Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us. You’ll never look at a computer the same way again.   For more on these and related titles visit: AI in fiction
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Friday Reads: Presidents' Day

On Monday, February 17, we honor Presidents’ Day. Established in 1885, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government.  As we reflect on American Presidents, past and present, the 2020 Presidential primary season is in full gear. We are of the opinion that your holiday weekend reading would be well-served by the following distinctive and notable collection of presidential literature.

  You Never Forget Your First by Alexis CoeYOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST: A BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON by Alexis Coe With irresistible style and warm humor, You Never Forget Your First combines rigorous research and lively storytelling that will have readers—including those who thought presidential biographies were just for dads—inhaling every page.   Grant by Ron ChernowGRANT by Ron Chernow Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.   Conversations with JFK by Michael O'BrienCONVERSATIONS WITH JFK: A FICTIONAL DIALOGUE BASED ON BIOGRAPHICAL FACTS by Michael O'Brien, Foreword by Gore Vidal Imagined by one of the world’s foremost JFK scholars, this fictionalized conversation presents the essential biography of America’s most glamorous and mythologized president. The book is divided into two parts: a biographical essay that provides a concise overview of JFK’s life, achievements, scandals and controversies; and a Q&A dialogue based on rigorous research and incorporating JFK’s actual spoken or written words whenever possible, along with rigorously researched biographical interpretations of his various views and positions.   Destiny of the Republic by Candice MillardDESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC: A TALE OF MADNESS, MEDICINE AND THE MURDER OF A PRESIDENT by Candice Millard Though he was a reluctant president, the legacy of James Garfield extended far beyond his lifetime, and Destiny of the Republic revisits his meteoric rise within the military and government with meticulous research and intimate focus. Garfield was a passionate advocate of freed slaves, a reformer at odds with Republican power brokers and machine politics, a devoted father, and a spellbinding speech-giver. Four months after taking office he was shot twice by an unhinged office-seeker, Charles Guiteau, and a nation already recently fractured by war shattered, leaving the wounded president at the center of a bitter, behind-the-scenes struggle for power.   In the President's Secret Service by Ronald KesslerIN THE PRESIDENT'S SECRET SERVICE: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH AGENTS IN THE LINE OF FIRE AND THE PRESIDENTS THEY PROTECT by Ronald Kessler Secret Service agents, acting as human surveillance cameras, observe everything that goes on behind the scenes during the presidency. Kessler reveals what they have seen, providing startling, previously untold stories about presidents from Barack Obama and George W. Bush back to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, as well as about their families, Cabinet officers, and White House aides. Only Secret Service agents know the real story, and Ronald Kessler is the only journalist who has won their trust.   From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-SteinFROM THE CORNER OF THE OVAL: A MEMOIR by Beck Dorey-Stein The New York Times bestselling, compulsively readable, behind-the-scenes memoir that takes readers inside the Obama White House, through the eyes of a young staffer learning the ropes, falling in love, and finding her place in the world.     Mr. President by Ray RaphaelMR. PRESIDENT: HOW AND WHY THE FOUNDERS CREATED A CHIEF EXECUTIVE by Ray Raphael The dramatic and penetrating story of the political maneuverings and personalities behind the creation of the office of the president, with ramifications that continue to this day.     Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon MeachamTHOMAS JEFFERSON: THE ART OF POWER by Jon Meacham Jon Meacham brings to life the complete man, from birth to his last days—through the Revolutionary War and his years as President. We see the Founding Father who steered the states to nationhood, wrote the Declaration of Independence, and, as a master politician President, doubled the size of America through the Louisiana Purchase. With a powerful narrrative, Meacham guides us through the life and extraordinary times of a man often admired but, before now, never truly understood in all his complexity.   The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund MorrisTHE RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT by Edmund Morris WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time. This classic biography is the story of seven men—a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a ranchman, a soldier, and a politician—who merged at age forty-two to become the youngest President in history.   The Path to Power by Robert A. CaroTHE PATH TO POWER: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON by Robert A. Caro The Path to Power, Book One, reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and urge to power that set LBJ apart. Chronicling the startling early emergence of Johnson’s political genius, it follows him from his Texas boyhood through the years of the Depression in the Texas hill Country to the triumph of his congressional debut in New Deal Washington, to his heartbreaking defeat in his first race for the Senate, and his attainment, nonetheless, of the national power for which he hungered.   FOR YOUNGER READERS   DK Readers L2: What is the President's Job? by Allison SingerWHAT IS THE PRESIDENT'S JOB? Find out what the president does as you learn about the executive branch of government and see what a day in the life of the commander in chief is really like.     Thomas Jefferson by Maira KalmanTHOMAS JEFFERSON: LIFE< LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF EVERYTHING by Maira Kalman Renowned artist Maira Kalman sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president.     I Am Kind by Brad Meltzer and Christopher EliopoulosI AM KIND: A LITTLE BOOK ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great—the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. The short text focuses on drawing inspiration from these iconic heroes, and includes an interactive element and factual tidbits that young kids will be able to connect with. This volume tells the story of Abraham Lincoln, America’s sixteenth president.   For more on these and related titles visit: PRESIDENTS DAY  
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Friday Reads: Water

Welcome summer! As many of us seek bodies of water to refresh ourselves in the heat… refreshing reads with “water” in the title have become conspicuous to us. Water doesn’t only sustain, it entertains! So dip into this glimmering selection of fiction – including mysteries, thrillers, historical tales, and children’s classics – which take readers to exotic and domestic locales… Care for a ticket to Nevada or Bora Bora?

  Something in the Water by Catherine SteadmanSOMETHING IN THE WATER: A NOVEL by Catherine Steadman Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick for June! Erin and Mark seem to have it all: he’s a successful banker, she’s a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; they’re young and in love, about to embark on their dream honeymoon to Bora Bora. But when, after a blissful day of scuba diving, they discover a mysterious bag filled with incalculable riches, their subsequent choices trigger a sequence of events that will change their lives—and their marriage—forever.   Into the Water by Paula HawkinsINTO THE WATER: A NOVEL by Paula Hawkins When a single mother and a teenage girl each turn up dead at the bottom of the river, just weeks apart, the ensuing investigation dredges up a complicated history. Like she did in The Girl on the Train, Hawkins’s Into the Water hinges on a powerful understanding of human instincts and the damage they can inflict.     The Waters & The Wild by DeSales HarrisonTHE WATERS & THE WILD: A NOVEL by DeSales Harrison A debut novel about a New York City psychoanalyst, and single dad of a teenage daughter, haunted by a past crime and a past lover—a story that examines what it means to love, to betray, and to forgive.       The Water Knife by Paolo BacigalupiTHE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi In the near future, the Colorado River has dwindled to a trickle. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel Velasquez “cuts” water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, ensuring that its lush archology developments can bloom in Las Vegas. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent south, hunting for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive.   The Shape of Water by Andrea CamilleriTHE SHAPE OF WATER by Andrea Camilleri, Stephen Sartarelli (translator) The Shape of Water is the first book in the sly, witty, and engaging Inspector Montalbano mystery series with its sardonic take on Sicilian life.     Song of the Water Saints by Nelly RosarioSONG OF THE WATER SAINTS: A NOVEL by Nelly Rosario This vibrant, provocative début novel explores the dreams and struggles of three generations of Dominican women.  

Friday Reads: Summer Weddings

Have your Facebook and Instagram feeds begun to fill with glorious wedding photos from romantic locales? Perhaps you are the one getting married this summer or are in the wedding party or a guest. Whatever the case, Summer is high season for matrimony. This weekend, catch our book bouquet – great for gifts or reading on the way to the wedding.

  A French WeddingA FRENCH WEDDING by Hannah Tunnicliffe The Big Chill meets The Little French Bistro in this sumptuous novel about six college friends reuniting on the coast of Brittany to celebrate one of their own’s fortieth birthday. With delicious food and plenty of wine, the table is set for tricky romantic entanglements and the spilling of longheld secrets.     A Nantucket WeddingA NANTUCKET WEDDING: A NOVEL by Nancy Thayer It’s summer on Nantucket and Alison is finally engaged to the love of her life. Things would be perfect—if only she could make peace between her daughters. Felicity, wild at heart yet a loving mother to her own children, and Jane, the extremely organized and high-earning businesswoman, arrive on the island hoping to get through these next few weeks without ruining their mother’s big day. But when Felicity’s husband reveals a long-term affair and Jane falls for her soon-to-be step-brother, everyone gets way more drama than they bargained for.   The Wedding Date by Jasmine GuilloryTHE WEDDING DATE by Jasmine Guillory “What a charming, warm, sexy gem of a novel….One of the best books I’ve read in a while.”—Roxane Gay A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in this fun and flirty multicultural romance debut.   Wedding Stories by WEDDING STORIES by Diana Secker Tesdell A bouquet of great wedding stories—by turns funny, passionate, bittersweet, and romantic—by famous writers from across the past two centuries. From F. Scott Fitzgerald to Lorrie Moore, and from Stephen Crane to Edwidge Danticat. EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POCKET CLASSICS. The stories collected here—including such gems as Stephen Crane’s “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky,” O. Henry’s “The Marry Month of May,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Bridal Party,” Joy Williams’s “The Wedding,” and Lorrie Moore’s “Thank You For Having Me”—encompass comic wedding mishaps, engagements broken and mended, honeymoon adventures, and scenes both heartwarming and heartbreaking.   Save the Date by Jen DollSAVE THE DATE: THE OCCASIONAL MORTIFICATIONS OF A SERIAL WEDDING GUEST by Jen Doll An “engaging and disarmingly honest” (People) examination of the search for love and the meaning of marriage in a time of anxiety, independence, and indecision. Wedding experiences come in as varied an assortment as the gowns at any bridal shop, and Doll turns a keen eye to each, delivering a heartfelt exploration of contemporary relationships. Funny, honest, and affecting, Save the Date is a fresh and spirited look at the many ways in which we connect to one another.   Wedding Night by Sophie KinsellaWEDDING NIGHT: A NOVEL by Sophie Kinsella Lottie is thirty-three and sick of long-term boyfriends who don’t want to commit to marriage. When her old boyfriend Ben reappears after fifteen years and reminds her of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. There will be no dates and no engagement—just a straight wedding march to the altar! Next comes the honeymoon on the Greek island where they first met. But not everyone is thrilled with Lottie and Ben’s rushed marriage, and family and friends are determined to intervene. Will Lottie and Ben have a wedding night to remember or one to forget?     The Wedding by Dorothy West THE WEDDING: A NOVEL by Dorothy West In her final novel, Dorothy West offers an intimate glimpse into African American middle class. Set on bucolic Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s, The Wedding tells the story of life in the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast's black bourgeoisie. With elegant, luminous prose, Dorothy West crowns her literary career by illustrating one family's struggle to break the shackles of race and class.   For more on these and other great books for dad, visit the collection: Wedding Lit
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Friday Reads: North Korea

North Korea has been prominent in headlines this week. The New York Times read, “Releasing 3 Americans, North Koreans Signal Openness to Washington.Curiosity and concern is continuous about what a meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un would mean for the world. To respond to that curiosity, we’ve gathered strong fiction and nonfiction titles related to North Korea: from personal memoirs of escape to journalistic accounts of the repressive regime to award-winning fiction:

  Nothing to Envy by Barbara DemickNOTHING TO ENVY: ORDINARY LIVES IN NORTH KOREA by Barbara Demick From a first-rate journalist, the first book to penetrate the mind-set of ordinary North Korean citizens and to present a never-before-seen view of daily life in the world’s most repressive regime. Demick follows six subjects—a party loyalist and her rebellious daughter, a disillusioned young doctor, a hungry young orphan, and a pair of lovers from different classes—as they raise families, nurture ambitions, struggle for survival, and ultimately realize that their government has betrayed them.   In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park and Maryanne VollersIN ORDER TO LIVE: A NORTH KOREAN GIRL'S JOURNEY TO FREEDOM by Yeonmi Park, Maryanne Vollers “I am most grateful for two things: that I was born in North Korea, and that I escaped from North Korea.” In In Order to Live, Yeonmi Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom.   Without You, There Is No Us by Suki KimWITHOUT YOU, THERE IS NO US: UNDERCOVER AMONG THE SONS OF NORTH KOREA'S ELITE by Suki Kim It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a prisonlike complex where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki Kim has accepted a job teaching English. Over the next six months, she will live under the watchful eye of the regime. Then Kim Jong-il dies, leaving the students devastated, and leading Suki to question whether the gulf between her world and theirs can ever be bridged.   Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine HardenESCAPE FROM CAMP 14: ONE MAN'S REMARKABLE ODYSSEY FROM NORTH KOREA TO FREEDOM IN THE WEST by Blaine Harden The heart-wrenching New York Times bestseller about the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped. Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state.   How I Became a North Korean by Krys LeeHOW I BECAME A NORTH KOREAN: A NOVEL by Krys Lee In this dazzling, intense, debut novel by the award-winning author of the short story collection Drifting House, three characters struggle to make new lives for themselves in the dangerous region where China borders North Korea. Transporting the reader to one of the most complex and threatening environments in the world, and exploring how humanity persists, even in the direst circumstances, How I Became a North Korean is a brilliant and essential first novel by one of our most promising writers.   The Orphan Master's Son by Adam JohnsonTHE ORPHAN MASTER'S SON: A NOVEL by Adam Johnson Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Orphan Master’s Son is the story of a North Korean orphan who rises up through the ranks of the DPRK army as a tunnel soldier, a professional kidnapper, and a military intelligence officer, ultimately to become—for a very short time—a rival to the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il. Yet it is also a love story—as one character in the novel claims, “the greatest North Korean love story ever told.” After reading it, you’ll never look at a map of the Korean peninsula the same way.     For more on these and related titles visit North Korea
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Friday Reads: Of Mermen and Mermaids

This week, poet Melissa Broder published her first novel, THE PISCES – a blend of realism and fantasy involving Venice Beach, Sappho and a doctoral candidate’s love affair with a merman. As Broder told Bustle, “I had never thought very much about how the mermaid figure embodies that darkness… You know, how many men in literature have, like, dove off the back of boats in search of another taste of that nectar, and they were sort of rendered unable to live on land peacefully after that, and so I ended up thinking, It’s always these men diving in after mermaids. Why can’t it be a merman and a woman, and why couldn’t it happen now?”

It is happening now (consider the popularity of “The Shape of Water”), but we won’t leave out the mermaids! Presenting Friday Reads: Of Mermen and Mermaids:

  The Pisces by Melissa BroderTHE PISCES: A NOVEL by Melissa Broder An original, imaginative, and hilarious debut novel about love, anxiety, and sea creatures, from the author of So Sad Today Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for thirteen years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety—Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship—and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like—take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.   The Mermaid's Child by Jo BakerTHE MERMAID'S CHILD by Jo Baker A fairy tale for grown-ups—the magical story of a young girl in search of her mermaid mother, from the acclaimed author of Longbourn: Apprenticed to a series of strange and wonderful characters, Malin embarks on a picaresque journey that crosses oceans and continents—from the high seas to desert plains, from slavery to the circus—and leads to a discovery that is the last thing Malin ever could have expected. Beautifully written and hauntingly strange, The Mermaid’s Child is a remarkable piece of storytelling, and an utterly unique work of fantasy.   Underwater Love by MaryJanice DavidsonUNDERWATER LOVE by MaryJanice Davidson In one volume! Sleeping with the Fishes; Swimming without a Net and Fish Out of Water Fred is a mermaid. But she's not blonde, or buxom, or even perky. In fact, she can be downright cranky-especially when weird levels of toxins are found in the local seawater. There is one perk: Thomas, the gorgeous marine biologist helping in the investigation. If you thought it would be easy for a mermaid to get to the bottom of things, think again.   Mermaid by Carolyn TurgeonMERMAID: A TWIST ON THE CLASSIC TALE by Carolyn Turgeon A compulsively readable retelling of The Little Mermaid in the same lush and beautiful prose as Carolyn Turgeon’s first book with Three Rivers Press, Godmother. “Turgeon writes beautifully. She tells this deliberately ambiguous story with delicacy and wit.”—Boston Globe     The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk KiddTHE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd The New York Times–bestselling second novel by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion. Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie’s life? What happens will unlock the roots of her mother’s tormented past, but most of all, it will allow Jessie to comes discover selfhood and a place of belonging as she explores the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic.   Young Adult:   Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood BrownLIES BENEATH by Anne Greenwood Brown Fans of Amanda Hocking's novel, Wake, will dive into this paranormal romance featuring mermaids--the killer kind--and won't come up for air! Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.   Coming in June: The Mermaid by Christina HenryTHE MERMAID by Christina Henry From the author of Lost Boy comes a beautiful historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea, only to become the star attraction of history’s greatest showman. Amelia agrees to play the mermaid for P.T. Barnum and walk among men in their world, believing she can leave anytime she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.   For more on these and other merpeople titles, including children's literature, visit: Mermen and Mermaids
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Friday Reads: Maira Kalman

“Everyone I know is looking for solace, hope and a tasty snack.”

― Maira Kalman

Welcome to the multi-faceted, colorful world of Maira Kalman! Her imagination, artistry and smarts are on full display in the books we publish, the most recent of which is CAKE with Barbara Scott-Goodman in which they give us dessert! Kalman has created books for all ages about Lincoln, Jefferson, philosophy, dogs…and has illustrated classic works by Michael Pollan and Strunk and White. Find out more about her here and treat yourself and others to her work:

  Cake by Maira Kalman and Barbara Scott-GoodmanCAKE by Maira Kalman, Barbara Scott-Goodman In Cake, renowned artist and author Maira Kalman and food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman bring us a beautifully illustrated book dedicated to their mutual love of cakes. Kalman’s enchanting illustrations, in her inimitable style, and Scott-Goodman’s mouthwatering recipes complement each other perfectly, making Cake a joyful whimsical celebration of a timeless dessert.   Max in Hollywood, Baby by Maira KalmanMAX IN HOLLYWOOD, BABY Beloved dog-poet Max is back and he’s taking on Hollywood in this funny, jazzy tale, brought to life by Kalman’s bright illustrations. Enter Max. Dreamer. Poet. Dog. In this rollicking madcap tale, Max and his dazzling Dalmation bride take off to direct a movie in Hollywood.   Beloved DogBELOVED DOG In Beloved Dog, Maira Kalman brings us the dogs in her life, as only she can, and the lessons they have for us all. From the dogs lovingly illustrated in her acclaimed children’s books to the real-life pets who inspire her still, Kalman’s Beloved Dog is a joyful and beautifully illustrated read and, as always, deeply philosophical. Filled with hundreds of gorgeous illustrations rendered uniquely in Kalman’s illimitable style, Beloved Dog is a tribute to the canines that fill our days.   Looking at LincolnLOOKING AT LINCOLN Who was Lincoln really? This little girl wants to find out. She discovers, among other things, that our sixteenth president was a man who believed in freedom for all; had a dog named Fido; loved Mozart, apples, and his wife’s vanilla cake; and kept his notes in his hat. From his boyhood in a log cabin to his famous presidency and untimely death, Maira Kalman shares Lincoln’s remarkable life with young readers in a fresh and exciting way.   Food Rules by Michael PollanFOOD RULES: AN EATER'S MANUAL Michael Pollan’s Food Rules prompted a national discussion helping to change the way Americans approach eating. This new edition illustrated by celebrated artist Maira Kalman—and expanded with a new introduction and nineteen additional food rules—marks an advance in the national dialogue that Food Rules inspired. Many of the new rules, suggested by readers, underscore the central teachings of the original Food Rules, which are that eating doesn’t have to be so complicated and that food is as much about pleasure and community as it is about nutrition and health. A beautiful book to cherish and share, Food Rules guides us with humor, joy, and common sense toward a happier, healthier relationship to food.   And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira KalmanAND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS Whether returning to America’s historical roots at the Lincoln archive and Jefferson’s Monticello, or taking the pulse of the present day at a town hall meeting in Vermont, an Army base in Kentucky, and the inner chambers of the Supreme Court, Kalman finds evidence of democracy at work all around us. Her route is always one of fascinating indirection, but one that captures and shares in hundreds of beautiful, colorful reasons why we are proud to be Americans.   The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira KalmanTHE PRINCIPLES OF UNCERTAINTY An irresistible invitation to experience life through a beloved artist’s psyche, The Principles of Uncertainty is a compilation of Maira Kalman’s New York Times columns. Part personal narrative, part documentary, part travelogue, part chapbook, and all Kalman, these brilliant, whimsical paintings, ideas, and images - which initially appear random - ultimately form an intricately interconnected worldview, an idiosyncratic inner monologue.   The Elements of Style Illustrated by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. WhiteELEMENTS OF STYLE, ILLUSTRATED The only style manual to ever appear on bestseller lists has explained to millions of readers the basic principles of plain English, and Maira Kalman’s fifty-seven exquisite illustrations give the revered work a jolt of new energy, making the learning experience more colorful and clear.   For more on featured Eudora Welty titles visit: Maira Kalman  

Friday Reads: Haiku

In a world swirling with words… the haiku offers refreshment: three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables which capture the essence of a moment in time. Haiku is an ancient Japanese form mastered by Basho and Issa, brought to the West in the 20th century and celebrated by imagist poets such as HD and Ezra Pound. National Poetry Month seems a fine time to showcase some of our best Haiku collections. Reading some of these might even inspire a haiku or two in you.

  Love Haiku by LOVE HAIKU: JAPANESE POEMS OF YEARNING, PASSION, AND REMEMBRANCE edited and translated by Patricia Donegan, Yoshie Ishibashi Haiku is celebrated as a concise form of poetry able to convey a singular moment with great clarity. While haiku most often depicts the natural world, when focused on the elements of love and sensuality, haiku can be a powerful vehicle for evoking the universal experience of love. In this elegant anthology, love is explored through beautiful images that evoke a range of feelings--from the longing of a lover to the passion of a romantic relationship. Written by contemporary Japanese poets as well as by haiku masters such as Basho, Buson, and Issa, these poems share not only the haiku poets' vision for love, but their vision of the poignant moments that express it.   The Pocket HaikuTHE POCKET HAIKU edited by Sam Hamill In this quintessential collection of haiku, translator Sam Hamill has compiled the best from the tradition, spanning the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, with particular focus on the three great masters: Basho, Buson, and Issa. Based on images from nature, the poems address the themes of joy, temporality, beauty, wonder, loneliness, and loss.   Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times by Matsuo BashoMOON WOKE ME UP NINE TIMES SELECTED HAIKU OF BASHO by Matsuo Basho, translated by David Young Basho, the famously bohemian traveler through seventeenth-century Japan, is a poet attuned to the natural world as well as humble human doings; "Piles of quilts/ snow on distant mountains/ I watch both," he writes. David Young, acclaimed translator and Knopf poet, writes in his introduction to this selection, "This poet's consciousness affiliates itself with crickets, islands, monkeys, snowfalls, moonscapes, flowers, trees, and ceremonies...Waking and sleeping, alone and in company, he moves through the world, delighting in its details." Young's translations are bright, alert, musically perfect, and rich in tenderness toward their maker.   The Art of Haiku by Stephen AddissTHE ART OF HAIKU: ITS HISTORY THROUGH POEMS AND PAINTINGS by Japanese Masters by Stephen Addiss In the past hundred years, haiku has gone far beyond its Japanese origins to become a worldwide phenomenon—with the classic poetic form growing and evolving as it has adapted to the needs of the whole range of languages and cultures that have embraced it. Here one of the leading haiku scholars of the West takes us on a tour of haiku poetry’s evolution, providing along the way a wealth of examples of the poetry and the art inspired by it.   Morning Haiku by Sonia SanchezMORNING HAIKU by Sonia Sanchez From a leading writer of the Black Arts Movement, poems of commemoration and loss for readers of all ages. This is a collection of haiku that celebrates the gifts of life and mourns the deaths of revered African American figures in the worlds of music, literature, art, and activism.     A White Tea Bowl by Mitsu SuzukiA WHITE TEA BOWL: 100 HAIKU FROM 100 YEARS OF LIFE by Mitsu Suzuki, Kazuaki Tanahashi, Kate McCandless Mitsu Suzuki is the widow of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the Zen monk who founded the San Francisco Zen Center and helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States. A White Tea Bowl is a selection of her poems, written after her return to Japan in 1993. These 100 haiku were chosen by editor Kazuaki Tanahashi and translated by Zen teacher Kate McCandless to celebrate Mitsu's 100th birthday on April 27, 2014.   Haiku by HAIKU edited Peter Washington (Everyman’s Library edition) The pioneering translator R. H. Blyth believed that the spirit of haiku is present in all great poetry; inspired by him, the editor of this volume has included lines from such poets as Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, Thoreau, and Hopkins, presented here in haiku form. Following them are haiku and haiku-influenced poems of the twentieth century–from Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” to William Carlos Williams’s “Prelude to Winter,” and from the irreverence of Jack Kerouac to the lyricism of Langston Hughes. The result is a collection as compact, dynamic, and scintillating as the form itself.   Book of Haikus by Jack KerouacBOOK OF HAIKUS by Jack Kerouac, edited by Regina Weinreich Highlighting a lesser-known aspect of one of America's most influential authors, this collection displays Jack Kerouac's interest in and mastery of haiku. In this collection, Kerouac scholar Regina Weinreich supplements an incomplete draft of a haiku manuscript found in Kerouac's archives with a generous selection of Kerouac's other haiku, from both published and unpublished sources. With more than 500 poems, this is a must-have volume for Kerouac enthusiasts everywhere.   On Love and Barley by Matsuo BashoON LOVE AND BARLEY: HAIKU OF BASHO by Matsuo Basho, Lucien Stryk Basho, one of the greatest of Japanese poets and the master of haiku, was also a Buddhist monk and a life-long traveler. His poems combine 'karumi', or lightness of touch, with the Zen ideal of oneness with creation. Each poem evokes the natural world - the cherry blossom, the leaping frog, the summer moon or the winter snow - suggesting the smallness of human life in comparison to the vastness and drama of nature. Basho himself enjoyed solitude and a life free from possessions, and his haiku are the work of an observant eye and a meditative mind, uncluttered by materialism and alive to the beauty of the world around him.   FOR YOUNGER READERS   Haiku Baby by Betsy E. SnyderHAIKU BABY by Betsy E. Snyder Betsy Snyder’s beloved tabbed board book celebrates the seasons in haiku! in tickly-toe grass a buttercup offers up yellow nose kisses The simple delights in baby’s natural world—a bird, a fish, a leaf, a snowflake, a raindrop—are celebrated in the traditional Japanese poetic form, the haiku. In just 17 syllables, a moment, a season, the elements are joyfully captured. Betsy Snyder’s peaceful little board book has tabs to encourage little hands to turn the pages and adorable artwork to delight everyone!   I Haiku You by Betsy E. SnyderI HAIKU YOU by Betsy E. Snyder This gift-worthy little picture book of haiku by award-winner Betsy Snyder is something adults will love as much as they'll enjoy sharing it with the youngest listeners.     For more on these and related titles visit the edelweiss collection Haiku
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Friday Reads: Eudora Welty

“People are mostly layers of violence and tenderness wrapped like bulbs, and it is difficult to say what makes them onions or hyacinths.” ― Eudora Welty



For this week’s Friday Reads we are casting our gaze on Pulitzer-prize winning Southern writer Eudora Welty who was born this day, April 13th, 1901 and passed away in 2001. Welty was an American short story writer and novelist who wrote about the American South and has inspired many writers. Her novel THE OPTIMIST’S DAUGHTER won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. She was the first living author to have her works published by the Library of America. Welty’s house in Jackson, Mississippi has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as a house museum.

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora WeltyTHE OPTIMIST'S DAUGHTER by Eudora Welty This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel tells the story of Laurel McKelva Hand, a young woman who has left the South and returns, years later, to New Orleans, where her father is dying. After his death, she and her silly young stepmother go back still farther, to the small Mississippi town where she grew up. Along in the old house, Laurel finally comes to an understanding of the past, herself, and her parents.   On Writing by Eudora WeltyON WRITING by Eudora Welty Eudora Welty was one of the twentieth century’s greatest literary figures. For as long as students have been studying her fiction as literature, writers have been looking to her to answer the profound questions of what makes a story good, a novel successful, a writer an artist. On Writing presents the answers in seven concise chapters discussing the subjects most important to the narrative craft, and which every fiction writer should know, such as place, voice, memory, and language. But even more important is what Welty calls “the mystery” of fiction writing—how the writer assembles language and ideas to create a work of art.   LOSING BATTLES by Eudora WeltyLOSING BATTLES by Eudora Welty Three generations of Granny Vaughn's descendants gather at her Mississippi home to celebrate her 90th birthday. Possessed of the true storyteller's gift, the members of this clan cannot resist the temptation to swap tales.     The Eye of the Story by Eudora WeltyTHE EYE OF THE STORY: SELECTED ESSAYS AND REVIEWS by Eudora Welty Much like her highly acclaimed One Writer's Beginnings, The Eye of the Story offers Eudora Welty's invaluable meditations on the art of writing. In addition to seven essays on craft, this collection brings together her penetrating and instructive commentaries on a wide variety of individual writers, including Jane Austen, E. M. Forster, Willa Cather, Anton Chekhov, William Faulkner, and Virginia Woolf.   Eudora Welty: Complete Novels (LOA #101) by Eudora WeltyEUDORA WELTY: COMPLETE NOVELS (Library of America) by Eudora Welty, edited by Richard Ford and Michael Kreyling Includes: The Robber Bridegroom / Delta Wedding / The Ponder Heart / Losing Battles / The Optimist's Daughter One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, Eudora Welty’s novels and stories blend the storytelling tradition of the South with a modernist sensibility attuned to the mysteries and ambiguities of experience. In this Library of America volume and its companion, Welty explores the complex abundance of southern, and particularly Southern women’s, lives with an artistry that Salman Rushdie has called “impossible to overpraise.” In a career spanning five decades, she chronicled her own Mississippi with a depth and intensity matched only by William Faulkner.   Eudora Welty: Stories, Essays, & Memoirs (LOA #102) by Eudora WeltyEUDORA WELTY: STORIES, ESSAYS, & MEMOIRS (Library of America) by Eudora Welty; edited by Richard Ford and Michael Kreyling Stories, Essays and Memoir presents Welty’s collected short stories, an astonishing body of work that has made her one of the most respected writers of short fiction. Also included are two stories from the 1960s, notably “Where Is the Voice Coming From?”, based on the shooting of Medgar Evers.   Eudora Welty by Ann WaldronEUDORA WELTY: A WRITER'S LIFE by Ann Waldron Elegant and authoritative, this first biography to chart the life of a national treasure is a must-have for Welty fans and scholars everywhere. Eudora Welty is a beloved institution of Southern fiction and American literature, whose closely guarded privacy has prevented a full-scale study of her life and work--until now. A significant contribution to the world of letters, Ann Waldron's biography chronicles the history and achievements of one of our greatest living authors, from a Mississippi childhood to the sale of her first short story, from her literary friendships with Katherine Anne Porter and Elizabeth Bowen to her rivalry with Carson McCullers.   Watch Penguin Random House author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie give the 2017 Eudora Welty/Pen-Faulkner Lecture here   For more on featured Eudora Welty titles visit: Welty Friday Reads
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Friday Reads: Virtual Reality

Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” is a hit, pulling in $181 million worldwide in box office receipts during its inaugural weekend. The attention has reinvigorated the screen adaptation of Ernest Cline’s second novel, Armada. Thus, for this week’s Friday Reads installment we invite you to discover fantastic books with virtual reality themes, including nonfiction!

  Ready Player One by Ernest ClineREADY PLAYER ONE (MOVIE TIE-IN): A NOVEL by Ernest Cline The bestselling cult classic—basis of the major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.   Armada by Ernest ClineARMADA by Ernest Cline A cinematic, inventive, heartwarming, and completely nerdtastic adventure from the bestselling author of Ready Player One It’s just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He’s daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom—if he can make it that long without getting suspended again.Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer…   Virtual Reality by Jack ChallonerVIRTUAL REALITY by Jack Challoner A children’s book that explores the realities of virtual reality, explaining what VR is and how it works, and even includes an app download for five exclusive VR experiences and a cardboard viewer with stickers to make it your own.   Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten MillerOTHERWORLD by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller imagine a world in which you can leave your body behind and give into your greatest desires in the first book in a fast-paced trilogy perfect for fans of the hit HBO show Westworld and anyone interested in the terrifying possibilities of the future of technology.   Death by Video Game by Simon ParkinDEATH BY VIDEO GAME: DANGER, PLEASURE, AND OBSESSION ON THE VIRTUAL FRONTLINE by Simon Parkin “The finest book on video games yet. Simon Parkin thinks like a critic, conjures like a novelist, and writes like an artist at the height of his powers—which, in fact, he is.” —Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter     Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Tom SweterlitschTOMORROW AND TOMORROW by Tom Sweterlitsch In this “wild mash-up of Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, and William S. Burroughs”*, a man who uses virtual reality to escape the horror of his dystopian world becomes obsessed with a mystery that could drive him mad.     For even more on these and related titles visit the collection: Virtual Reality
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