Friday Reads: Seven!

It’s the seventh day of the seventh month in the seventh year of this decade. This set us thinking on all the sevens in our realm: there are seven seas, seven heavens, seven continents, seven colors in a rainbow, seven notes on a musical scale, seven days in a week, seven wonders of the world, seven chakras and so on. Surely “Seinfeld” fans will remember when George tells Susan he wants to name their first child “Seven.” Seems to us seven is something special! And so are these 7 books…

  Seven Skeletons by Lydia PyneSEVEN SKELETONS: THE EVOLUTION OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS HUMAN FOSSILS by Lydia Pyne An irresistible journey of discovery, science, history, and myth making, told through the lives and afterlives of seven famous human ancestors.     Seven Guitars by August WilsonSEVEN GUITARS by August Wilson It is the spring of 1948. In the still cool evenings of Pittsburgh’s Hill district, familiar sounds fill the air. A rooster crows. Screen doors slam. The laughter of friends gathered for a backyard card game rises just above the wail of a mother who has lost her son. And there’s the sound of the blues, played and sung by young men and women with little more than a guitar in their hands.   Seven Yrs Tibet P by Heinrich HarrerSEVEN YEARS IN TIBET by Heinrich Harrer In this vivid memoir that has sold millions of copies worldwide, Heinrich Harrer recounts his adventures as one of the first Europeans ever to enter Tibet and encounter the Dalai Lama.     The Seven Good Years by Etgar KeretTHE SEVEN GOOD YEARS: A MEMOIR by Etgar Keret The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret’s son and the death of his father were good years, though still full of reasons to worry. Lev is born in the midst of a terrorist attack. Etgar’s father gets cancer. The threat of constant war looms over their home and permeates daily life. This is a brilliant, life-affirming, and hilarious memoir from a “genius” (The New York Times) and master storyteller.   The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel HawthorneTHE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES by Nathaniel Hawthorne The tale of a cursed house with a “mysterious and terrible past” and the generations linked to it, Hawthorne’s chronicle of the Maule and Pyncheon families over two centuries reveals, in Mary Oliver’s words, “lives caught in the common fire of history.”   Seven Pillars Of Wisdom by T.E. LawrenceSEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM: A TRIUMPH by T.E. Lawrence With its richly detailed evocation of the land and the people Lawrence passionately believed in, its incisive portraits of key players, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is an indispensable primary historical source. It helps us to understand today’s Middle East, while giving us thrilling accounts of military exploits (including the liberation of Aqaba and Damascus), clandestine activities, and human foibles.   FOR THE YOUNGER READER Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanCOUNTING BY 7S by Holly Goldberg Sloan; Ages 10 And Up In the tradition of Out of My MindWonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.     For more on these and other “7” books visit the collection Sevens

Friday Reads: Summertime!

Summertime and the livin’ is…reading (with apologies to Ella Fitzgerald!). It’s Friday and we’ve got scintillating books for all ages to dip into this weekend – that is, when you aren’t dipping into the pool, the sea or the guacamole! You’ll be happy to find these waiting on your towel or nightstand:

  FEATURED TITLES The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle GanekTHE SUMMER WE READ GATSBY: A NOVEL by Danielle Ganek When two estranged sisters inherit a Hamptons beach house, they search for fortune but find love instead.     The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio HillTHE SUMMER OF DEAD TOYS: A THRILLER by Antonio Hill A riveting thriller set in steamy Barcelona described by John Verdon as “an amazing debut.” Inspector Hector Salgado is a transplanted Argentine living in Barcelona. He’s got a fiery temper, a runaway wife, and would rather be watching old films than interacting with people. He’s also a brilliant cop.   Sweet Summer by Bebe Moore CampbellSWEET SUMMER: GROWING UP WITH AND WITHOUT MY DAD by Bebe Moore Campbell Written with the narrative force of fiction and the lyrical motion of poetry, SWEET SUMMER is Bebe Moore Campbell’s elegy to her extraordinary father.     Summer Lies by Bernhard SchlinkSUMMER LIES: STORIES by Bernhard Schlink, Carol Janeway From Bernhard Schlink, the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, come seven provocative and masterfully calibrated stories. A keen dissection of the ways in which we play with truth and less-than-truth in our lives. Summer Lies brims with the delusions, the passions, the outbursts, and the sometimes irrational justifications people make within a mélange of beautifully rendered relationships.   Love and Summer by William TrevorLOVE AND SUMMER: A NOVEL by William Trevor In spare, exquisite prose, master storyteller William Trevor presents a haunting love story about the choices of the heart, and the passions and frustrations of three lives during one long summer.     FOR YOUNGER READERS Summer of Supernovas by Darcy WoodsSUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS by Darcy Woods; Ages 14 And Up “Whether or not you believe in fate or reading the stars, if you believe in happiness and love to laugh, read Summer of Supernovas.” —Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one zodiac-obsessed teen as she struggles to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.   The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana ReinhardtTHE SUMMER I LEARNED TO FLY by Dana Reinhardt; Ages 10 And Up Drew’s a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad’s Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom’s cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Drew’s days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane.   The Summer of the Swans by Betsy ByarsTHE SUMMER OF THE SWANS (Puffin Modern Classics) by Betsy Byars; Ages 8 to 12 Sara’s life has always flowed smoothly, like the gliding swans on the lake, until her little brother Charlie disappears. Then Sara is forced to see her life in a whole new way.     For more information on these and other summer titles, visit the collection summer

Friday Reads: Wonder Woman

fridayreadsThe “Wonder Woman” movie is a hit and promises to entertain audiences in theatres throughout summer. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman has captured the imaginations of young women and girls new to the genre, transcending the usual superhero movie crowd. Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton

Marston, was influenced by early suffragists and feminists including his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, who was an inspiration for the character. DC Comics and Penguin Random House publish an array of Wonder Woman titles which we’ve highlighted alongside nonfiction about some amazing real women.   “It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.” – Diana Prince   9781401268978_0e3ebWONDER WOMAN: HER GREATEST BATTLES by various authors; Ages 13 to 16 The perfect companion piece to the film Wonder Woman is here. With the powers of a god and the fighting spirit of an Amazon, Wonder Woman is Earth’s fiercest defender. On Themyscira, Diana was trained from birth to be a warrior. Her skills in battle are unmatched, as are her bullet-stopping bracelets and Lasso of Truth. Now, relive her greatest triumphs!   9781524718404_94155WONDER WOMAN: AN AMAZING HERO (DC Super Friends; Golden Books) by Mary Tillworth, Erik Doescher; Ages 3 to 7 This DC Super Friends Big Golden Book reveals Wonder Woman’s™ origin story! Girls and boys ages 3 to 7 will enjoy this full-color, hardcover storybook featuring the most iconic female super hero of all time!   9781401265120_737fcWONDER WOMAN: A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS by various authors; Ages 13 to 16 The most recognizable superheroine of all time, Wonder Woman has been an essential part of the DC Universe and an icon for female empowerment for more than 75 years. Armed with her lasso of truth and her bullet-stopping bracelets, the Amazon Princess journeys into Man’s World again and again, spreading her mission of peace and goodwill and fiercely battling injustice where she finds it. She’s a princess, a warrior and an ambassador. Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, swifter than Mercury…she is … Wonder Woman!   9780804173407_4922bTHE SECRET HISTORY OF WONDER WOMAN by Jill Lepore A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of Wonder Woman, one of the world’s most iconic superheroes, hides within it a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism. Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator.   9780140436785NARRATIVE OF SOJOURNER TRUTH by Sojourner Truth Narrative of Sojourner Truth is one of the most important documents of slavery ever written, as well as being a partial autobiography of the woman who became a pioneer in the struggles for racial and sexual equality. With an eloquence that resonates more than a century after its original publication in 1850, the narrative bears witness to Sojourner Truth’s thirty years of bondage in upstate New York and to the mystical revelations that turned her into a passionate and indefatigable abolitionist.   9781594749254_eb1eaWONDER WOMEN: 25 INNOVATORS, INVENTORS, AND TRAILBLAZERS WHO CHANGED HISTORY by Sam Maggs A fun and feminist look at forgotten women in science, technology, and beyond, from the bestselling author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy.     9781465457684_e3af5AMAZING WOMEN (DK Children); Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7 From world leaders to explorers to writers, artists, and performers, discover more than 40 women who changed the world in Amazing Women.     9781591020585_69e67THE PIVOT OF CIVILIZATION by Margaret Sanger Arguably her most important and influential book, this controversial work, first published in 1922 by pioneering birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger, attempted to broaden the still-radical idea of birth control beyond its socialist and feminist roots.     For more on these and related titles visit the collection Wonder Woman Friday Reads

Friday Reads: National Photograph Month

phot-friday-reads-snipMay is National Photograph Month! Recognized by Congress in 1987, it’s a celebration of the art and the photographers who bring us spectacular images from all over the world. Let these books inspire your inner shutterbug!

9781426216671_d188bAMAZING MOMS by Rachel Buchholz: For all the remarkable mothers in your life, this book shares the wisdom of the animal kingdom’s most caring mothers and showcases the power of a mother’s love through beautiful images and quotes.   9780399579950_7323cTHE ATLAS OF BEAUTY by Mihaela Noroc: Based on the author’s online photography project, this stunning collection features portraits of 500 women from more than 50 countries, accompanied by revelatory captions that capture their personal stories.     9780143128410_d86d1IT’S WHAT I DO by Lynsey Addario: War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It’s her work, but it’s much more than that: it’s her singular calling.   9781426217104_91ed9@NATGEO by National Geographic: Featuring the most liked, commented on, and favorite photos from National Geographic’s iconic Instagram account, @NatGeo is a winning combination of expertly curated and favorite National Geographic photographs from the account.   See the entire collection for National Photography month.

Friday Reads: FBI

fridayreadstnailIt doesn’t get much more topical than this. The FBI has been a source of fascination since its start in 1908. Famous and infamous, the FBI has a long history that’s been documented by meticulously researched books by David Grann, Ronald Kessler, and Bryan Burrough, among many others. Below is a short list of highlighted titles covering the FBI, its most famous cases, and the little-known stories long lost to history.


9780143107972_ea893DAYS OF RAGE by Bryan Burrough From the bestselling author of Public Enemies and The Big Rich, an explosive account of the decade-long battle between the FBI and the homegrown revolutionary movements of the 1970s.     9780385534246_0b8dcKILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.   9781623545222_3c4baUNDERCOVER GIRL by Lisa E. Davis Undercover Girl is both a new chapter in Cold War history and an intimate look at the relationship between the FBI and one of its paid informants. Ambitious and sometimes ruthless, Calomiris defied convention in her quest for celebrity.     9780307719706_3bde8THE SECRETS OF THE FBI by Ronald Kessler New York Times bestselling author reveals the FBI’s most closely guarded secrets, with an insider look at the bureau’s inner workings and intelligence investigations.     9781592409006_7030cTHE SPY WHO COULDN’T SPELL by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee The thrilling, true-life account of the FBI’s hunt for the ingenious traitor Brian Regan—known as the Spy Who Couldn’t Spell. Before Edward Snowden’s infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia. His name is Brian Regan, but he came to be known as The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell.   For more on these and related titles visit the collection FBI Books
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Friday Reads: Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

fridayreadstnailThis week saw the publication of Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s eagerly anticipated book, Option B. The book, and its authors, are getting a lot of media attention appearing on Good Morning America and NPR’s Morning Edition, to name a couple. Sandberg is COO of Facebook and the

author of the phenomenal bestseller, LEAN IN. In 2015, Sandberg suffered the unexpected death of her husband, Survey Monkey CEO Dave Goldberg, leaving her, their children and wide circle of family and friends bereft. Option B is a personal, yet prescriptive book about grief and recovery. Its topic brings to mind other profound books that have helped readers through difficult times. We recommend the following titles to help build one’s resiliency muscle:   9781524732684_e51e2OPTION B: FACING ADVERSITY, BUILDING RESILIENCE, AND FINDING JOY by Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.   9781400078431THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.   9780345806581_6cd03LEVELS OF LIFE by Julian Barnes In this elegant triptych of history, fiction, and memoir, Julian Barnes has written about ballooning and photography, love and grief; about putting two things, and two people, together, and tearing them apart; and enduring after the incomprehensible loss of a loved one.     9780735213586_5215fHALLELUJAH ANYWAY: REDISCOVERING MERCY by Anne Lamott From the bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Bird by Bird comes a passionate exploration of mercy, its limitless (if sometimes hidden) presence, and how to embrace it. “Mercy is radical kindness,” Anne Lamott writes. “It’s the permission you give others—and yourself—to forgive a debt, to absolve the un-absolvable, to let go of the judgment and pain that make life so difficult.”   9781594634727_00a70BIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR by Elizabeth Gilbert The beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, Gilbert offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear.   9780812988406_2d85eWHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi A deeply humane, inspiring memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal diagnosis that attempts to answer the questions: given that all organisms die, what makes a meaningful life? And, as a doctor, what does it mean to hold mortal—and moral—responsibility for another person’s identity?   9780307476074_fd2ecWILD: FROM LOST TO FOUND ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL by Cheryl Strayed A powerful, blazingly honest, and inspiring memoir (and basis for the feature film starring Reese Witherspoon) of a young woman, reeling from catastrophe, who hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest trail to break herself down—and build herself back up again.   For more on these and related titles visit the collection Option B Friday Reads

Friday Reads: Trees and Seas

fridayreadstnailThis Saturday we pay special tribute to our home during Earth Day. Indeed, one way to measure the health of our planet is to look to the trees and the seas. The following books appreciate that fact through beautiful, informative and inspiring writing. We invite you to enter their pages and contemplate your relationship with the environment.

  9780525427520_6c1e7THE SONGS OF TREES: STORIES FROM NATURE’S GREAT CONNECTORS by David George Haskell David Haskell’s award-winning The Forest Unseen won acclaim for eloquent writing and deep engagement with the natural world. Now, Haskell brings his powers of observation to the biological networks that surround all species, including humans.   9781612194363_d8c20THE SEA INSIDE by Philip Hoare In colorful prose and lively line drawings, Hoare sets out to rediscover the sea and its islands, birds, and beasts. Starting at his home on the shores of Britain’s Southampton Water and moving in ever-widening circles—like the migration patterns of whales—Hoare explores London, the Isle of Wight, the Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, and New Zealand on his year-long adventure.   9780812981292_6626dTHE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES: A STORY OF LOST GROVES, THE SCIENCE OF TREES, AND A PLAN TO SAVE THE PLANET by Jim Robbins New York Times Science reporter Jim Robbins has written a provocative, fascinating book with an inspiring narrative at its center about a visionary man who is revolutionizing the way people think about trees. For each of the 872 known species of trees in the United States, there is one that is taller, wider, and hardier than all the others—the champion of its kind.   9781583949603_3cffbOCEAN COUNTRY: ONE WOMAN’S VOYAGE FROM PERIL TO HOPE IN HER QUEST TO SAVE THE SEAS by Liz Cunningham Ocean Country is an adventure story, a call to action, and a poetic meditation on the state of the seas. But most importantly it is the story of finding true hope in the midst of one of the greatest crises to face humankind, the rapidly degrading state of our environment. After a near-drowning accident in which she was temporarily paralyzed, Liz Cunningham crisscrosses the globe in an effort to understand the threats to our dazzling but endangered oceans. This intimate account charts her thrilling journey.   9780143120162THE GLOBAL FOREST: FORTY WAYS TREES CAN SAVE US by Diana Beresford-Kroeger The inspiration for renowned scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger’s documentary, “Call of the Forest”, The Global Forest is a lushly written, compelling tribute to trees-grounded in a wide range of scientific knowledge.  Particularly fascinating, is the author’s exploration of the largely untapped ecological and pharmaceutical properties of trees.   9780143104964UNDER THE SEA WIND by Rachel L. Carson Rachel Carson—pioneering environmentalist and author of Silent Spring—opens our eyes to the wonders of the natural world in her groundbreaking paean to the sea. Celebrating the mystery and beauty of birds and sea creatures in their natural habitat, Under the Sea-Wind—Rachel Carson’s first book and her personal favorite—is the early masterwork of one of America’s greatest nature writers.   For more on these and related titles visit the collection Trees and Seas

Friday Reads: Fools for Fiction!

friday-reads-jester“I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can’t go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left.” ― Oscar WildeThe Importance of Being Earnest

Fools unite! Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day and whether the occasion is one you embrace, ignore or flee from, it is a fine time to proclaim what’s true for most of us… we are fools for fiction! But that doesn’t mean the fiction we’ve selected is foolish: It’s just in the title. Put aside pranks for now and revel in one of these wise, wonderful and thrilling books: FEATURED TITLES 9780679753339_82ed7NOBODY’S FOOL by Richard Russo The classic American novel – funny and moving –  about a blue-collar town in upstate New York and the life of one of its unluckiest citizens, Sully, who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty years.     9780307454829_f838bEVERYBODY’S FOOL by Richard Russo The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls now returns to the story of Sully, the hapless hero of his beloved breakout novel, Nobody’s Fool. Now Sully, who in the intervening years has come by some unexpected good fortune, is staring down a VA cardiologist’s estimate that he only has a year or two left. He’s busy as hell keeping the news from the most important people in his life.   9781594485367BEFORE YOU SUFFOCATE YOUR OWN FOOL SELF: STORIES by Danielle Evans The electric debut story collection about mixed-race and African-American teenagers, women, and men struggling to find a place in their families and communities.   9780143106517FOOLS CROW by James Welch, Thomas McGuane In the Two Medicine Territory of Montana, the Lone Eaters, a small band of Blackfeet Indians, are living their immemorial life. The men hunt and mount the occasional horse-taking raid or war party against the enemy Crow. The women tan the hides, sew the beadwork, and raise the children. But the year is 1870, and the whites are moving into their land. Fools Crow, a young warrior and medicine man, has seen the future and knows that the newcomers will punish resistance with swift retribution. First published to broad acclaim in 1986, Fools Crow is James Welch’s stunningly evocative portrait of his people’s bygone way of life.   9781101984352_138f0FOOL ME ONCE by Harlan Coben Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself. FOR YOUNGER READERS 9780698119185QUEEN’S OWN FOOL: A NOVEL OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS by Jane Yolen, Robert Harris; Ages 10 and up Once she was a traveling player…Now called La Jardinière, a resourceful and clever jester to the queen’s court, Nicola was a most unlikely person to end up “fool” and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots. But Nicola isn’t an ordinary comedian tumbling and clowning before the court; her quick wit and sharp tongue are rare amongst the fawning nobles.   For more fool titles, visit the collection: Friday Reads Fools

Friday Reads: The Moth’s Storytellers

the mothThis week, in celebration of The Moth’s 20th anniversary, Crown Archetype published THE MOTH PRESENTS ALL THESE WONDERS: TRUE STORIES ABOUT FACING THE UNKNOWN bringing together some of the best stories ever told on The Moth stage or on The Moth Radio Hour. Since its debut in

2009, The Month Radio Hour now airs on more than 400 stations nationwide. For this installment of Friday Reads we invite you to revel in the poignant, often hilarious storytelling from some of the collection’s contributors: FEATURED TITLES 9781101904404_c9867THE MOTH PRESENTS ALL THESE WONDERS: True Stories About Facing the Unknown edited by Catherine Burns, foreword by Neil Gaiman Celebrating the 20th anniversary of storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages. Carefully selected by the creative minds at The Moth, and adapted to the page to preserve the raw energy of live storytelling, All These Wonders features voices both familiar and new.   9781101903117_531eaTHE CLANCYS OF QUEENS: A MEMOIR by Tara Clancy An authentic, voice-driven memoir from a tough New York City native whose unusual upbringing included the guidance of her Irish cop father, her raucous Italian grandparents, and her vibrant mother’s millionaire boyfriend. Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first-time author Tara Clancy was raised in three wildly divergent homes: a converted boat shed in working-class Queens, a geriatric commune of feisty, Brooklyn-born Italians, and a sprawling Hamptons estate she visited every other weekend.   9780307720665_22bb7WITHOUT YOU THERE IS NO US: UNDERCOVER AMONG THE SONS OF NORTH KOREA’S ELITE by Suki Kim A haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea’s ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il’s reign.     9780307720702_076afTHE HARM IN ASKING: MY CLUMSY ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUMAN RACE by Sara Barron Welcome to the perverse and hilarious mind of Sara Barron. In The Harm in Asking, she boldly addresses the bizarre indignities of everyday life: from invisible pets to mobster roommates, from a hatred of mayonnaise to an unrequited love of k.d. lang, from the ruinous side effect of broccoli to the sheer delight of a male catalogue model. In a voice that is incisive and entirely her own, Barron proves herself the master of the awkward, and she achieves something wonderful and rare: a book that makes you laugh out loud.   9781601427564_17e19ACCIDENTAL SAINTS: FINDING GOD IN ALL THE WRONG PEOPLE by Nadia Bolz-Weber Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA.   9780375726699_b8d55DOGWALKER: STORIES by Arthur Bradford Tender and satiric, hilarious and humane, Dogwalker plunks readers down in a land of misfits and the circumstantially strange–where one young man buys drugs from a dealer who locks his customers in a closet, while another lands a cat-faced circus freak for a roommate, and yet another must choose between his pregnant wife and the ten-pound slug he’s convinced will bring him a fortune. And throughout these stories moves a divinely inspired collection of dogs: three-legged, no-legged, dogs that sing, that talk, and that give birth to humans.   For more on these and other The Moth storytellers’ books and audiobooks, visit Moth Storytellers

Friday Reads: Nigeria

fRIDAY READS NIGERIANigeria, with its beauty and strife, has proven to be fertile ground for literature. The literary icons Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka hail from Nigeria and both experienced the Biafran War of the 1960s, whereas a number of contemporary Nigerian writers published by Penguin Random House were not yet born. The vibrant novels and memoirs featured this

week have recurring themes of exile and return. We invite you to read, or revisit, these important, creative works to learn about, and be inspired by, their authors’ beloved, beleaguered homeland. FEATURED TITLES Hot off the press!… 9781101871454_20a74TADUNO’S SONG: A NOVEL by Odafe Atogun HERE IS THE STUNNING DEBUT from a fresh Nigerian literary voice: a mesmerizing, deceptively simple, Kafkaesque narrative, resonant of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and lightly informed by the life of Nigerian musical superstar Fela Kuti—powerful story of love, sacrifice and courage.   9780385474542THINGS FALL APART: A NOVEL by Chinua Achebe One of the great novels of the 20th century from one of the fathers of modern African literature, Achebe’s masterpiece follows an Ibo man before, during, and after the entrance of colonial powers and missionaries into Nigeria.   9780143124030THERE WAS A COUNTRY: A MEMOIR by Chinua Achebe For more than forty years, Chinua Achebe maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Decades in the making, There Was a Country is a towering account of one of modern Africa’s most disastrous events.   9780679725404_14f6eAKE: THE YEARS OF CHILDHOOD by Wole Soyinka The first African to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (in 1986), as well as a political activist of prodigious energies, Wole Soyinka tells the story of his boyhood before and during World War II in a Yoruba village in western Nigeria called Aké.  His vivid evocation of the colorful sights, sounds, and aromas of the world that shaped him is both lyrically beautiful and laced with humor and the sheer delight of a child's-eye view.   9780375755149YOU MUST SET FORTH AT DAWN: A MEMOIR by Wole Soyinka Following his modern classic Ake: The Years of Childhood, Soyinka has written an equally important chronicle of his turbulent life as an adult.  In the tough, humane and lyrical language that has typified his plays and novels, Soyinka captures the indomitable spirit of Nigeria itself.   9780307455925_55323AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie As teenagers at a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love at a time when Nigeria is under a military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country. At once darkly funny and tender, theirs is a story of love and race which spans three continents and numerous lives and paints a gripping portrait of today’s hyper-globalized world.   For more on these and other titles from and about Nigeria visit the collection Nigeria