Friday, November 7, 2014

Kate M. Is Recommending:
A brilliant new work that returns Richard Ford to the celebrated fictional landscape that sealed his reputation as an American master: the world of Frank Bascombe

In his trio of critically acclaimed, bestselling novels--The Sportswriter, the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/ Faulkner-winning Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land--Richard Ford, in essence, illuminated the zeitgeist of an entire generation, through the divinings and wit of his now-famous literary chronicler, Frank Bascombe, who is certainly one of the most indelible, provocative, and anticipated characters in modern American literature.

Here, in Let Me Be Frank With You, Ford returns with four deftly linked stories narrated by the iconic Bascombe. Now sixty-eight, and again ensconced in the well-defended New Jersey suburb of Haddam, Bascombe has thrived--seemingly if not utterly--in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy's devastation. As in all of the Bascombe books, Ford's guiding spirit is the old comic's maxim that promises if nothing's funny, nothing's truly serious. The desolation of Sandy, which rendered houses, shorelines, and countless lives unmoored and flattened, could scarcely be more serious as the grist for fiction. Yet it is the perfect backdrop and touchstone for Ford--and Bascombe. With a flawless comedic sensibility and unblinking intelligence, these stories range over the full complement of American subjects: aging, race, loss, faith, marriage, redemption, the real-estate crash--the tumult of the world we live in.

Through Bascombe--wry, profane, touching, wise, and often inappropriate--we engage in the aspirations and sorrows, longings, achievements, and failings of American life in the morning of the new century. With his trademark candor and brimming wit, Richard Ford brings Bascombe fully back, in all his imperfect glory, to say (often hilariously) what all of us are thinking but few will voice aloud.

Whether you've been a Bascombe insider since The Sportswriter or are encountering Ford's unforgettable inventions newly here, Let Me Be Frank With You is a moving, wondrous, extremely funny odyssey, showcasing the maturity and brilliance of a great writer working at the top of his talents.
From the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of Serena and The Cove, thirty-four of his finest short stories, collected in one volume

No one captures the complexities of Appalchia--a rugged, brutal landscape of exquisite beauty--as evocatively and indelibly as author and poet Ron Rash. Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, two O. Henry prizes, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and the new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature. Though his focus is regional, the themes of Rash's work are universal, striking an emotional chord that resonates deep within each of our lives.

Something Rich and Strange showcases this acclaimed master's artistry and craftsmanship in thirty-two stories culled from previously published collections and two available for the first time in book form: "Outlaws" and "Shiloh." Each work of short fiction demonstrates Rash's dazzling ability to evoke the heart and soul of this land and its people--men and women inexorably tethered to the geography that defines and shapes them. Filled with suspense and myth, hope and heartbreak, and told in language that flows like "shimmering, liquid poetry" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Something Rich and Strange is an iconic work from an American literary virtuoso.

A tale of eighteenth-century invention and competition, commerce and conflict, this is a lively, illustrated, and accurate chronicle of the search to solve “the longitude problem,” the question of how to determine a ship’s position at sea—and one that changed the history of mankind.

Ships, Clocks, and Stars brings into focus one of our greatest scientific stories: the search to accurately measure a ship’s position at sea. The incredible, illustrated volume reveals why longitude mattered to seafaring nations, illuminates the various solutions that were proposed and tested, and explores the invention that revolutionized human history and the man behind it, John Harrison. Here, too, are the voyages of Captain Cook that put these revolutionary navigational methods to the test.

Filled with astronomers, inventors, politicians, seamen, and satirists, Ships, Clocks, and Stars explores the scientific, political, and commercial battles of the age, as well as the sailors, ships, and voyages that made it legend—from Matthew Flinders and George Vancouver to the voyages of the Bounty and the Beagle.

Featuring more than 150 photographs specially commissioned from Britain’s National Maritime Museum, this evocative, detailed, and thoroughly fascinating history brings this age of exploration and enlightenment vividly to life.
Dorothy and Otis Shepard are the groundbreaking heroes of North American visual culture. They were the first American graphic designers to work in multiple mediums and scales, but despite the brilliance of their work, their names are little known today.

With 330 stunning, colorful images, Dorothy and Otis chronicles their story for the first time. It explores the Shepards' penchant for abstraction and modernism, and shows how the advent of billboard advertising inspired their creativity--their large campaigns matched the grandeur of their lifestyle. Throughout, this book demonstrates how their work influenced all aspects of consumer culture, from the styling of Wrigley's Gum and the Chicago Cubs to the design of Catalina Island, which Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, and other celebrities frequented.

As Dorothy and Otis brings these artists to life, it elevates them to their rightful place in popular culture and makes clear how their work shaped the American dream.
The epic tale of two families wrestling with questions of loyalty, liberty, and love during the American Revolution

At the dawn of the American Revolution, young Isabella Linwood is poised to marry a well-to-do English nobleman. Meanwhile her true love, Eliot Lee, has just joined George Washington's army. In Catharine Maria Sedgwick's classic tale of two families torn apart by war, the loyalist Linwoods and revolutionary Lees must reckon with their beliefs and desires in a young republic still defining itself. Over the course of her conversion from proud Tory to ardent rebel, Isabella fosters a growing sense of independence, systematically questioning the institutions taken for granted all around her--from colonialism to slavery, patriarchy to aristocracy. Will her rebellious behavior free her from society's shackles, or only confirm the power of the status quo?
After their mother unexpectedly dies, twelve-year-old Easter Quillby and her six-year-old sister, Ruby, aren't expecting to see their errant father, Wade, ever again. But the ex-minor league baseball player who's been gone for years has suddenly appeared at their foster home to steal them away in the middle of the night.

Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for them, and quickly turns up unsettling information linking their father to a multimillion-dollar robbery. But Brady isn't the only hunter on the trail. Robert Pruitt, a mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is determined to find Wade and claim his due.

Narrated in alternating voices that are at once captivating and heartbreaking, This Dark Road to Mercy is a soulful story about the emotional pull of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.
New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey's first novel--the cult classic dystopian cyberpunk tale--now back in print after twenty years in a special signed, collectible edition.

Welcome to the near future: Los Angeles in the late 21st century--a segregated city of haves and have nots, where morality is dead and technology rules. Here, a small group of wealthy seclude themselves in gilded cages. Beyond their high security compounds, far from their pretty comforts, lies a lawless wasteland where the angry masses battle hunger, rampant disease, and their own despair to survive.

Jonny was born into this Hobbesian paradise. A street-wise hustler who deals drugs on the black market--narcotics that heal the body and cool the mind--he looks out for nobody but himself. Until a terrifying plague sweeps through L.A., wreaking death and panic. And no one, not even a clever operator like Jonny, is safe.

His own life hanging in the balance, Jonny must risk everything to find the cure--if there is one.

The book includes a Q & A with Cory Doctorow.
On the tenth anniversary of Ol' Dirty Bastard's death, his right-hand man and best friend, Buddha Monk, presents The Dirty Version--the first biography of the hip-hop superstar and founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, to be written by someone from his inner circle.

Ol' Dirty Bastard rocketed to fame with the Wu-Tang Clan, the raucous and renegade group that forever altered the hip-hop world. ODB was one of the Clan's wildest icons and most inventive performers, and when he died of an overdose in 2004, at the age of thirty-five, millions of fans mourned the loss. ODB lives on in epic proportions and his antics are legend: he once picked up his welfare check in a limousine; lifted a burning car off a four-year-old girl in Brooklyn; stole a fifty-dollar pair of sneakers on tour at the peak of his success. Many have questioned whether his stunts were carefully calculated or the result of paranoia and mental instability.

Now, Dirty's friend since childhood, Buddha Monk, a Wu-Tang collaborator onstage and in the studio, reveals the truth about the complex and talented performer. From Dirty's days with Buddha on the streets of Brooklyn to the meteoric rise of Wu-Tang's star, from his bouts in prison to his court-mandated rehab, from his favorite kind of pizza to his struggles with fame and success, Buddha tells the real story--The Dirty Version--of the legendary rapper.
An addictive collection of new full-color postcard secrets and app secrets from the author of the smash bestselling PostSecret books—with more secrets than any previous PostSecret book!

A decade ago, Frank Warren began a community art project that captured the popular imagination and became a worldwide obsession. He handed out postcards to strangers and left them in public places—asking people to share a secret they had never told anyone and mail them back to him anonymously. More than half a million secrets, 600 million hits to the award-winning PostSecret blog, and five huge bestsellers later, the PostSecret phenomenon is bigger than ever. By turns this funny, heartbreaking, thoughtful, and moving, this compendium of graphic haiku offers an intimate glimpse into both individual private lives and into our shared humanity.

Included in this compelling new book are dozens of the best archived secrets from the original PostSecret app; inside stories about the most controversial secrets Frank Warren has received; moving text from the new PostSecret play, foreign secrets, "puzzle" secrets, and much more!
Who’s been hacking Sharyl Attkisson’s computers? Computers that turn themselves on in the night, make strange noises, then shut themselves down. Whoever is doing it is using highly sophisticated spyware available only to our top intelligence agencies. Is someone sending Attkisson a message?

Washington, D.C., has always been a tough town for investigative journalists. But in the age of Obama, the government has taken the tried-and-true techniques of bureaucratic stonewalling to unprecedented heights. What’s more, it has added harassment, intimidation, and outright spying to the mix.

Through more than thirty years as an award-winning investigative reporter, Sharyl Attkisson fought tirelessly to uncover wrongdoing by those in power, whether major corporations, government officials, or presidential administrations of both parties. But when she started looking into stories involving the Obama administration’s mistakes and misjudgments in a series of high-profile cases—stories few in mainstream journalism would touch—she was confronted with the administration’s use of hardball tactics to discourage, block, and actively suppress her investigative work.

A dogged reporter with a well-earned reputation as a “pit bull,” Attkisson filed a series of groundbreaking stories on the Fast and Furious gunwalking program, Obama’s green energy boondoggle, the unanswered questions about Benghazi, and the disastrous rollout of Obamacare. Her news reports were met with a barrage of PR warfare tactics, including emails and phone calls up the network chain of command, criticism from paid-for commenters and bloggers, and a campaign of character assassination that continues to this day. Most disturbing of all, Attkisson reveals that as she broke news on Fast and Furious and Benghazi, her computers and phone lines were hacked and bugged by an unrevealed but tremendously sophisticated party.

Stonewalled is the story of the Obama administration’s efforts to monitor journalists, intimidate and harass opposition groups, and spy on private citizens. But it is also a searing indictment of the timidity of the press and the dangerous decline of investigative journalism and unbiased truth telling in America today. 

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