Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Grab-Bag Of New Titles From This Week
Having already lost his mother and only brother, twenty-four-year-old Will Boast finds himself absolutely alone when his father dies of alcoholism. Numbly settling the matters of his father's estate, Boast is deep inside his grief when he stumbles upon documents revealing a secret his father had intended to keep: He d had another family before Will's a wife and two sons in England.

This revelation leads to a flood of new questions. Did his father abandon this first family, or was he pushed away? Still reeling from loss, Boast is forced to reconsider the fundamental truths of his childhood and to look for traces of the man his father might truly have been. Setting out in search of his half brothers, he attempts to reconcile their family history with his own, testing each childhood memory under the weight of his father's secret. Moving between the Midwest and England, from scenes of his youth to the tentative discovery of his new family, Boast writes with visceral beauty about grief, memory, and his slow and tender journey to a new kind of love.

With the piercing gaze of a novelist, Boast transforms the pain and confusion of his family history into an achingly poignant portrait of resilience, revising the stories he's inherited to refashion both his past and his present. Heartbreaking and luminous, Epilogue is the stunning account of a young man s struggle to understand all that he has lost and found, and to forge a new life for himself along the way.
"Amira, look at me," Muma insists. She collects both my hands in hers."The Janjaweed attack without warning. If ever they come-- run."
Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala-- Amira's one true dream.
But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey-- on foot-- to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind-- and all kinds of possibilities.
New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney's powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans's breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl's triumph against all odds.
Strings Attached is the inspiring, poignant, and powerful story of a remarkable man whose life seemed to conspire against him at every turn and yet who was able to transform his own heartache into triumph for his students.

Jerry Kupchynsky (aka"Mr. K.") never received favorite teacher gifts. He was the sharp-spoken, foot-pounding, never-praising Ukrainian-born despot whose music lessons and orchestra rehearsals reduced students to tears. Despite that, when he passed away, more than 100 students from 30 years of teaching returned to their hometown to play in a memorial concert in his honor.

His unforgettable story--both as a teacher of incomparable skill and persistence and as a child fleeing from the Nazis during WWII--is told in alternating chapters with great passion and love by Melanie Kupchynsky, his daughter and Joanne Lipman, his favorite student. Joanne narrates the experience studying with him: the foot-stomping, never-satisfied man who so inspired her she eventually became principal violist of New Jersey's All-State orchestra. She found something "intoxicating about a teacher who had such absolute confidence--faith, really--in my ability to do better." Melanie tells of a fiercely strict, but loving father who managed to raise two little girls while caring tenderly for her multiple-sclerosis, wheel-chair bound mother. He adored his girls and she never doubted it. She remembers the man who gave heart and soul to his family and students, who loved music and open skies and who believed hard work could result in great beauty.
William Alexander is more than a Francophile. He wants to be French. To sip absinthe at the window of a dark cafe, a long scarf wrapped around his neck, a copy of Le Monde at hand. Among the things that have stood in his way of becoming French, though, is the fact that he can't actually speak the language. So Alexander sets out to conquer the language he loves. Readers will find out if it loves him back.
Alexander eats, breathes, and sleeps French (even conjugating in his dreams). He travels to France, where mistranslations send him bicycling off in all sorts of wrong directions, and he nearly drowns in an immersion class in Provence, where, faced with the riddle of masculine breasts, feminine beards, and a turkey cutlet of uncertain gender, he starts to wonder whether he should’ve taken up golf instead of French. While playing hooky from grammar lessons and memory techniques, Alexander reports on the riotous workings of the Académie française, the four-hundred-year-old institution charged with keeping the language pure; explores the science of human communication, learning why it’s harder for fifty-year-olds to learn a second language than it is for five-year-olds; and, frustrated with his progress, explores an IBM research lab, where he trades barbs with a futuristic hand-held translator.

Does he succeed in becoming fluent? Readers will be as surprised as Alexander is to discover that, in a fascinating twist, studying French may have had a far greater impact on his life than actually learning to speak it ever would.
A darkly erotic novel about a good girl gone bad.

When Irina--Romanian by birth but brought up by American parents who have never understood her-arrives at college she quickly abandons ordinary student life for an affair with an older, mysterious Romanian man named Andrei.

Andrei awakens a powerful sensuality in Irina. And he has money - lots of it. For the first time, Irina feels free. But the longer she stays with Andrei, the more she is certain that she can't leave, and that may be complicit in Andrei's work - whatever that "work" might be. Then an unexpected friendship with a young Russian bride opens the door to escape, and also revenge.

A tantalizing, edgy exploration of women and love, power and money-interwoven with potent, unusual, and nervy Romanian fairy tales-In the Red asks what the legacy of love is, and who will be left unscathed.

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