Fiction

The Angel's Game | ,

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From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zafon, author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes The Angel’s Game — a dazzling new page-turner about the perilous nature of obsession, in literature and in love. The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that when I opened those windows — my new windows — each evening its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets in my ear, that I could catch on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen… In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner. Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed — a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home. Once again, Zafon takes us into a dark, gothic universe first seen in The Shadow of the Wind and creates a breathtaking adventure of intrigue, romance, and tragedy. Through a dizzyingly constructed labyrinth of secrets, the magic of books, passion, and friendship blend into a masterful story..

Fiction

The Prisoner of Heaven | Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife, Bea, have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julián, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940s and the early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love, and will ultimately transform their lives..

Fiction

The Labyrinth of the Spirits | Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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The internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author returns to the magnificent universe he constructed in his bestselling novels The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven in this riveting series finale—a heart-pounding thriller and nail-biting work of suspense which introduces a sexy, seductive new heroine whose investigation shines a light on the dark history of Franco’s Spain. In this unforgettable final volume of Ruiz Zafón’s cycle of novels set in the universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, beautiful and enigmatic Alicia Gris, with the help of the Sempere family, uncovers one of the most shocking conspiracies in all Spanish history. Nine-year-old Alicia lost her parents during the Spanish Civil War when the Nacionales (the fascists) savagely bombed Barcelona in 1938. Twenty years later, she still carries the emotional and physical scars of that violent and terrifying time. Weary of her work as an investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the twenty-nine-year old plans to move on. At the insistence of her boss, Leandro Montalvo, she remains to solve one last case: the mysterious disappearance of Spain’s Minister of Culture, Mauricio Valls. With her partner, the intimidating policeman Juan Manuel Vargas, Alicia discovers a possible clue—a rare book by the author Victor Mataix hidden in Valls’ office in his Madrid mansion. Valls was the director of the notorious Montjuic Prison in Barcelona during World War II where several writers were imprisoned, including David Martín and Victor Mataix. Traveling to Barcelona on the trail of these writers, Alicia and Vargas meet with several booksellers, including Juan Sempere, who knew her parents. As Alicia and Vargas come closer to finding Valls, they uncover a tangled web of kidnappings and murders tied to the Franco regime, whose corruption is more widespread and horrifying than anyone imagined. Alicia’s courageous and uncompromising search for the truth puts her life in peril. Only with the help of a circle of devoted friends will she emerge from the dark labyrinths of Barcelona and its history into the light of the future. In this haunting new novel, Carlos Ruiz Zafón proves yet again that he is a masterful storyteller and pays homage to the world of books, to his ingenious creation of the Cemetery of Forgotten, and to that magical bridge between literature and our lives..

Literary Criticism

A Reader on Reading | Alberto Manguel

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In this major collection of his essays, Alberto Manguel, whom George Steiner has called “the Casanova of reading,” argues that the activity of reading, in its broadest sense, defines our species. “We come into the world intent on finding narrative in everything,” writes Manguel, “landscape, the skies, the faces of others, the images and words that our species create.” Reading our own lives and those of others, reading the societies we live in and those that lie beyond our borders, reading the worlds that lie between the covers of a book are the essence of A Reader on Reading. The thirty-nine essays in this volume explore the crafts of reading and writing, the identity granted to us by literature, the far-reaching shadow of Jorge Luis Borges, to whom Manguel read as a young man, and the links between politics and books and between books and our bodies. The powers of censorship and intellectual curiosity, the art of translation, and those “numinous memory palaces we call libraries” also figure in this remarkable collection. For Manguel and his readers, words, in spite of everything, lend coherence to the world and offer us “a few safe places, as real as paper and as bracing as ink,” to grant us room and board in our passage..

Social Science

Apartment Called Freedom | Algosaibi

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First published in 1996. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company..

Fiction

Night Train to Lisbon | Pascal Mercier

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The bestselling novel of love and sacrifice under fascist rule, and “a treat for the mind. One of the best books I have read in a long time” (Isabel Allende). Raimund Gregorius, a professor of dead languages at a Swiss secondary school, lives a life governed by routine. Then, an enigmatic Portuguese woman stirs his interest in an obscure, and mind-expanding book of philosophy that opens the possibility of changing Raimund’s existence. That same night, he takes the train to Lisbon to research the book’s phantom author, Amadeu de Prado, a renowned physician whose principles led him to confront Salazar’s dictatorship. Raimund, now obsessed with unlocking the mystery behind the man, is determined to meet all those on whom Prado left an indelible mark. Among them: his eighty-year-old sister, who maintains her brother’s house as if it were a museum; an elderly cleric and torture survivor confined to a nursing home; and Prado’s childhood friend and eventual partner in the Resistance. The closer Raimund comes to the truth of Prado’s life, and eventual fate, an extraordinary tale takes shape amid the labyrinthine memories of Prado’s intimate circle of family and friends, working in utmost secrecy to fight dictatorship, and the betrayals that threaten to expose them. “A meditative, deliberate exploration of loneliness, language and the human condition” (The San Diego Union-Tribune), Night Train to Lisbon “call[s] to mind the magical realism of Jorge Amado or Gabriel Garcia Marquez . . . allusive and thought-provoking, intellectually curious and yet heartbreakingly jaded,” and inexorably propelled by the haunting mystery at its heart (The Providence Journal). Night Train to Lisbon was adapted into Bille August’s award-winning 2013 film starring Jeremy Irons, Lena Olin, Christopher Lee, and Charlotte Rampling..

Fiction

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World | Elif Shafak

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Shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize Named a Best Book of the Year by Bookpage, NPR, Washington Post, and The Economist A moving novel on the power of friendship in our darkest times, from internationally renowned writer and speaker Elif Shafak. In the pulsating moments after she has been murdered and left in a dumpster outside Istanbul, Tequila Leila enters a state of heightened awareness. Her heart has stopped beating but her brain is still active-for 10 minutes 38 seconds. While the Turkish sun rises and her friends sleep soundly nearby, she remembers her life-and the lives of others, outcasts like her. Tequila Leila's memories bring us back to her childhood in the provinces, a highly oppressive milieu with religion and traditions, shaped by a polygamous family with two mothers and an increasingly authoritarian father. Escaping to Istanbul, Leila makes her way into the sordid industry of sex trafficking, finding a home in the city's historic Street of Brothels. This is a dark, violent world, but Leila is tough and open to beauty, light, and the essential bonds of friendship. In Tequila Leila's death, the secrets and wonders of modern Istanbul come to life, painted vividly by the captivating tales of how Leila came to know and be loved by her friends. As her epic journey to the afterlife comes to an end, it is her chosen family who brings her story to a buoyant and breathtaking conclusion..

Fiction

The President's Gardens | Muhsin Al-Ramli

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One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. "A contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting". Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi Christ. On the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop. One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to his friends as Ibrahim the Fated. How did this good and humble man earn the enmity of so many? What did he do to deserve such a death? The answer lies in his lifelong friendship with Abdullah Kafka and Tariq the Befuddled, who each have their own remarkable stories to tell. It lies on the scarred, irradiated battlefields of the Gulf War and in the ashes of a revolution strangled in its cradle. It lies in the steadfast love of his wife and the festering scorn of his daughter. And, above all, it lies behind the locked gates of The President's Gardens, buried alongside the countless victims of a pitiless reign of terror. Translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren.

Young Adult Fiction

The Prince of Mist | Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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It's wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they've recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners' son, who died by drowning. With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the strange circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called the Prince of Mist--a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden--an adventure that will change their lives forever..

Juvenile Fiction

The Incredible Tide | Alexander Key

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A castaway on a rocky island is captured by a gang of evil men He was born Conan of Orme, but Orme is no more. When nuclear war causes the oceans to swallow up the Western world, Conan escapes by chance, washing up on a craggy, desolate isle. After years of privilege, island life is a hard adjustment, but he grows strong—learning to fish, to make fire, and to befriend the birds. On moonless nights, he screams into the darkness, tortured by a loneliness he cannot overcome. One day, a ship appears on the horizon, and Conan believes himself saved. But for this young survivor, trouble is just beginning. The ship belongs to the New Order, cruel rulers who are rebuilding Earth through brute force. They send their new slave to the cutthroat city of Industria, intending to break his spirit. But Conan finds power on the island, and with it, he will remake the world..

Biography & Autobiography

The Library | Stuart Kells

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""Excellent . . . Tracks the history of that greatest of all cultural institutions." —The Washington Post Libraries are much more than mere collections of volumes. The best are magical, fabled places whose fame has become part of the cultural wealth they are designed to preserve. Some still exist today; some are lost, like those of Herculaneum and Alexandria; some have been sold or dispersed; and some never existed, such as those libraries imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien, Umberto Eco, and Jorge Luis Borges, among others. Ancient libraries, grand baroque libraries, scientific libraries, memorial libraries, personal libraries, clandestine libraries: Stuart Kells tells the stories of their creators, their prizes, their secrets, and their fate. To research this book, Kells traveled around the world with his young family like modern–day “Library Tourists.” Kells discovered that all the world’s libraries are connected in beautiful and complex ways, that in the history of libraries, fascinating patterns are created and repeated over centuries. More important, he learned that stories about libraries are stories about people, containing every possible human drama. The Library is a fascinating and engaging exploration of libraries as places of beauty and wonder. It’s a celebration of books as objects, a celebration of the anthropology and physicality of books and bookish space, and an account of the human side of these hallowed spaces by a leading and passionate bibliophile..

Fiction

Dates on My Fingers | Muhsin al-Ramli

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Saleem, fed up with all the violence, religiosity, and strict family hierarchies of his Iraqi village, flees to Spain to establish a new life for himself. But his lonely exile is turned upside down when he encounters his father, Noah, in a Madrid nightclub after not seeing him in more than a decade. Noah looks and acts like a new man, and Saleem sets out to discover the mystery of his father's presence in Spain and his altered life. In doing so, he recalls formative moments in Iraq of familial love, war, and the haunting accidental death of his cousin Aliya, Saleem's partner in the hesitant, tender exploration of sexuality. When the renewed relationship with his father erupts in a violent conflict, Saleem is forced to rediscover his sense of self and the hard-won stability of his life. Through Saleem's experiences and reflections, the fast-paced narrative carries the reader between Spain and Iraq to a surprising resolution..

Fiction

The List of my Desires | Gregoire Delacourt

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Money can buy you freedom. But what about happiness? When Jocelyne looks at herself in the mirror, she sees a middle-aged, married woman who runs a dressmaking shop in a small provincial French town and lives a very ordinary existence. But what happened to all those dreams she had when she was 17? Then she wins millions on the lottery and has the chance to change her life for ever. So why does she find herself reluctant to accept the money? To help her decide what to do, she begins to compile a list of her heart's desires, never suspecting for one moment that the decision might be taken out of her hands ....

Humor

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores | Jennifer Campbell

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Everything from "Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?" to "Did Charles Dickens ever write anything fun?" Anyone who has ever worked in retail will nod knowingly at requests like "I’ve forgotten my glasses, can you read me the first chapter?" Or the absurdity of questions like "Excuse me . . . is this book edible?" Filled with fun and quirky illustrations by the award-winning Brothers McLeod and featuring contributions from booksellers across the United States and Canada, as well as the author's native UK, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores is a celebration of bookstores, large and small, and of the brilliant booksellers who toil in those literary fields, as well as the myriad of colorful characters that walk through the doors everyday. This irresistible collection is proof positive that booksellers everywhere are heroes..

Fiction

Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea

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When Rajaa Alsanea boldly chose to open up the hidden world of Saudi women—their private lives and their conflicts with the traditions of their culture—she caused a sensation across the Arab world. Now in English, Alsanea’s tale of the personal struggles of four young upper-class women offers Westerners an unprecedented glimpse into a society often veiled from view. Living in restrictive Riyadh but traveling all over the globe, these modern Saudi women literally and figuratively shed traditional garb as they search for love, fulfillment, and their place somewhere in between Western society and their Islamic home..