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“Fans of A. S. Byatt, Penelope Fitzgerald, or Barbara Gowdy... are probably really tired of retellings of Shakespeare's life. Why read another? Because it so breathtakingly captures emotion. Because the opening sequence is one of the best expositions and descriptions of Shakespeare's Stratford you'll ever hear. Because the reimagining of Shakespeare's wife as a half-wild greenwitch sounds absurd, but in fact is compelling and captivating. Because it is not a charming puzzle box of references to multiple plays: it's the history of Shakespeare's depth of feeling, renewed in a story every strong and imaginative woman will find core-shaking and inspiring.”Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life
“In this literal master class on literature and writing, Saunders earnestly yet playfully dissects 19th-century Russian short stories to discover how they exude life to this very day, while highlighting methods any aspiring writer can employ. The huge bonus: reading the wondrous stories themselves, and experiencing Tolstoy’s authority, Chekhov’s humanity, and the joy and glory of Gogol.”Mike Hare, Northshire Bookstore
An Asian American Reckoning
A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness and the struggle to be human
“Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human.”—Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY... Read more »
From the author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, the New York Times Bestseller and Best Book of the Year at NPR, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many more
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.
“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say... Read more »
Reflections on Self-Delusion
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television.”—Esquire
Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • “A whip-smart, challenging book.”—Zadie Smith • “Jia... Read more »
The Toni Morrison Book Club
“Part introspection, part analysis, completely insightful and compelling, The Toni Morrison Book Club is a tribute to Morrison and her voice, illuminating its impact and relevance in our world. Four writers explore four of Morrison’s novels, each writing about two of them. So each novel is examined by two writers. In each essay, Morrison’s novel serves as the foundation or springboard for a discussion of events in the writers’ lives. With deep knowledge of the novels and great analytic skill, the authors move beyond literary analysis to examine life in the United States. Analysis of mothers in Morrison’s novels leads to discussion of motherhood, particularly Black motherhood, in 21st-century United States through the very personal lens of Black mothers. The theme of “other” in Morrison’s novels inspires reflections on growing up gay in a very conservative family.Nancy, Raven Book Store
The richness of Morrison’s texts is made powerfully evident as these four authors weave her themes, her techniques, her wisdom into the fabric of their lives, their stories, and their examination of the realities and culture(s) of our nation. If you love Morrison, you should listen to or read this book. If you want to understand more about race and racism in the United States, you should listen to or read this book. If you enjoy memoir and good, rich writing, you should listen to or read this book. Maybe I am simply saying you should listen to or read this book! Beware - after listening to The Toni Morrison Book Club, I now want to re-read all of Morrison’s works. And I want to hear more from these four writers.”
Notes of a Native Son
At last, a new audio edition of the book many havecalled James Baldwin’s most influential work!
Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, whenBaldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and blackthought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowlygained... Read more »
National Best Seller
From the National Book Award–winning author of Just Kids: an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as “a roadmap to my life.”
M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes... Read more »
The Art of Memoir
Bestselling author and renowned professor Mary Karr offers a master class in the essential elements of great memoir—delivered with her signature wit, insight, and candor.
Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times list. She followed with two other smash... Read more »
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel
The Last Book On Novel Writing You'll Ever Need
The first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, which reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.
Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing.... Read more »
How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today
Lacing cultural criticism, Victorian literature, and storytelling together, "TOO MUCH spills over: with intellect, with sparkling prose, and with the brainy arguments of Vorona Cote, who posits that women are all, in some way or another, still susceptible to being called too much." (Esmé Weijun Wang)
A weeping woman is a monster. So too is a fat... Read more »
Jane Austen's Greatest Novels
Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion
Delve into the romanticism and imagination of Jane Austen in this collection of Austen’s greatest novels. Covering the span of her career, these five novels are just as charming now as they were two centuries ago in their first publications.
Sense and Sensibility – Austen’s first novel tells the story of the Dashwood ladies – Elinor, Marianne,... Read more »
The Secret Life of the American Musical
How Broadway Shows Are Built
For almost a century, Americans have been losing their hearts and losing their minds in an insatiable love affair with the American musical. It often begins in actors, and reaches its passionate zenith when it comes time for love, marriage, and children, who will start the cycle all over again. Americans love musicals. Americans invented... Read more »
Collected Intros and Outros
A brilliant, idiosyncratic collection of introductions and afterwords (plus some liner notes) by New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon—“one of contemporary literature’s most gifted prose stylists” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times).
In Bookends, Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon offers a... Read more »
The Shakespeare Book
Big Ideas Simply Explained
This is the perfect study guide to the complete works of Shakespeare, covering everything from the romantic comedy of Romeo and Juliet to the tragedy Macbeth, alongside his Elizabethan history plays, sonnets, and other poems.
With detailed plot summaries and an in-depth analysis of the major characters and themes, this is a brilliant, innovative... Read more »
When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes
What story would Eve have told about picking the apple? Why is Pandora blamed for opening the box? And what about the fate of Cassandra who was blessed with knowing the future but cursed so that no one believed her? What if women had been the storytellers?
Elizabeth Lesser believes that if women’s voices had been equally heard and respected... Read more »
A Librarian's Investigation Into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin
On bookshelves around the world, surrounded by ordinary books bound in paper and leather, rest other volumes of a distinctly strange and grisly sort: those bound in human skin. Would you know one if you held it in your hand? In Dark Archives, Megan Rosenbloom seeks out the historic and scientific truths behind anthropodermic bibliopegy?the... Read more »
The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath
“Finally, the biography that Sylvia Plath deserves . . . A spectacular achievement.” —Ruth Franklin, author of Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
The highly anticipated new biography of Sylvia Plath that focuses on her remarkable literary and intellectual achievements, while restoring the woman behind the long-held myths about her life and... Read more »
Year of the Monkey
“I’m convinced that Patti Smith is the reincarnation of some spiritual mystic. Someone like Joan of Arc or Hildegard von Bingen. At this point I am committed to only listening to her audiobooks because her words are even more powerful in her own dreamy cadence. I sound like a school girl mooning over her first loved celebrity but, I can’t say it’s that different for me. I’ve lived and read enough to know that Patti Smith will forever be a literary icon for me and if you disagree, I maintain that you either haven’t read her yet OR you are wrong (insert tongue sticking out emoji). Anyway. I always struggle to review Patti’s books because her dream-like writing style is hard for me to appropriately express. In Year of the Monkey, Patti struggles with two incredible losses of lifelong friends, she struggles with the odd world we all find ourselves living in now, she struggles with dreams. Her prose (as it always seems to, but more so in this book) jumps quickly and fluidly from heady esoteric musings to a fluorescent glimpse into reality. A fever dream of images, are they real or a part of her beautiful mind. Patti is obsessed with a beach covered in candy wrappers, why isn’t this in the news? An out of place conversation with strangers about Robert Bolano. A dreamy vision of discussing Ayers Rock with Sam Shepherd, and the stark reality of his declining health. If you are unfamiliar with Patti Smith and/or her books, I encourage you wholeheartedly to pick one of them up, get lost in her incredible mind and musings. If not for the sake of understanding this bumbling mess of a review, for yourself so that you too can be drunk on her words and lost for your own. ”Chelsea, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Every Tongue Got to Confess
African-American folklore was Zora Neale Hurston's first love. Collected in the late 1920's Every Tongue Got to Confess, from the celebrated author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, is published here for the first time, beautifully performed by Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.
Hilarious, bittersweet, and often saucy, these folk-tales provide a verdant... Read more »
Intoxication and Its Aftermath
“I've loved everything Leslie Jamison's written, but best of all so far is The Recovering, a memoir/history/criticism-hybrid that takes addiction and recovery as its subject. Every time I sat down with this book, I felt like I was in the company of my smartest friend, someone who knew all the right words for life's greatest pleasures and pains. Her book moves fluidly from personal remembrances to perfectly synthesized research into how and why people (herself and artists and others) elect to warp their consciousness with substances. The Recovering is a thorough and thoughtful look at many of our worst and some of our best tendencies, and Jamison's continually compelling style makes it a delight to read.”John Francisconi, Bank Square Books
At Blackwater Pond
Mary Oliver reads Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver has published twenty-one volumes of poetry and six books of prose in the span of five decades, but she rarely performs her poetry in live readings. With At Blackwater Pond, Mary Oliver gives her audience what they've longed to hear: the poet's voice reading her own work. In this audio, she has recorded forty of her favorite poems,... Read more »
The Partly Cloudy Patriot
From public radio This American Life contributor and self-described “history nerd” Sarah Vowell comes a collection of humorous and personal essays investigating American history, pop culture and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In this insightful and funny collection of personal stories Vowell travels through the American past and in doing so ponders a... Read more »
Against Interpretation, and Other Essays
Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic. Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world. It includes the famous essays "Notes on Camp" and "Against Interpretation," as well as her impassioned discussions of Sartre,... Read more »
Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life beyond Your Wildest Dreams by Gabrielle Bernstein: Key Takeaways, Summary & Analysis Included
*PLEASE NOTE: This concise summary is unofficial and is not authorized, approved, licensed, or endorsed by the original book's publisher or author.*
Short on time? Or maybe you’ve already read the book, but need a refresh on the most important takeaways. In a quick, easy listen, you can take the main principles from Super Attractor: Methods for... Read more »
Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve
What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing
In Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve, statistician and journalist Ben Blatt brings big data to the literary canon, exploring the wealth of fun findings that remain hidden in the works of the world's greatest writers. He assembles a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, and starts asking the questions that have... Read more »
Armas, gérmenes y acero
Breve historia de la humanidad en los últimos trece mil años
Armas, gérmenes y acero, Premio Pulitzer 1997, cuestiona la prepotente visión occidental del progreso humano y nos ayuda a comprender cómo el mundo moderno y sus desigualdades han llegado a ser como son.
Hace 13.000 años la evolución de las distintas sociedades humanas comenzó a tomar rumbos diferentes. La temprana domesticación de animales ... Read more »
How to Read the Constitution--and Why
"A must-read for this era.”—Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent
An insightful, urgent, and perennially relevant handbook that lays out in common sense language how the United States Constitution works, and how its protections are eroding before our eyes—essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and parse the... Read more »
A Little Devil in America
Notes in Praise of Black Performance
“Hanif Abdurraqib's exploration of Black performance in America is a cultural keystone that is chillingly relevant. Whether discussing the fact that a knowing look or advice on a route from a cashier is a form of a living Green Book that still exists because there are places Black people are not safe, to the origin of the card game spades or the difference between showing out or showing off, at the heart A Little Devil in America circles back to the fact that Black Americans have been forced to survive in places there were not welcome. The section on Black funerals pierced my heart. This book needs to be read, taught, underlined and discussed.”Rachel , Avid Bookshop
Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Now in audiobook for the first time ever! Read by Simon Jones, the original “Arthur Dent,” and written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman, Don’t Panic is the definitive chronicle of all things Hitchhiker!
First published in 1986 and updated several times since, Don’t Panic is in an in-depth exploration of Douglas Adams’s cultural... Read more »
From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of Brother, I'm Dying, a collection of vividly imagined stories about community, family, and love. Rich with hard-won wisdom and humanity, set in locales from Miami and Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed country in the Caribbean and beyond, Everything Inside is at once wide in scope and... Read more »
The Dark Fantastic
Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games
Stories provide portals into other worlds, both real and imagined. The promise of escape draws people from all backgrounds to speculative fiction, but when people of color seek passageways into the fantastic, the doors are often barred. This problem lies not only with children's publishing, but also with the television and film executives tasked... Read more »
The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark
A page-turning, existential romp through the life and times of the world’s most polarizing punctuation mark
The semicolon. Stephen King, Hemingway, Vonnegut, and Orwell detest it. Herman Melville, Henry James, and Rebecca Solnit love it. But why? When is it effective? Have we been misusing it? Should we even care?
In Semicolon, Cecelia Watson... Read more »
What Were We Thinking
A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era
The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic uses the books of the Trump era to argue that our response to this presidency reflects the same failures of imagination that made it possible.
As a book critic for The Washington Post, Carlos Lozada has read some 150 volumes claiming to diagnose why Trump was elected and what his... Read more »
Playing In The Dark
Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
An immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race—and promises to change the way we read American literature.
Morrison shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came... Read more »
What We Talk About When We Talk About Books
The History and Future of Reading
“ What We Talk About When We Talk About Books healed some real cracks in my relationship with reading, and reinforced my love and optimism for the written word. Book historian Leah Price guides you through all the myths, melodrama, and baggage modern culture is carrying around about books. Through a humorous and curiosity-filled tour of book history, she unpacks why so many of us feel so much pressure to read the right things in the right way, and why we've come to feel like doing so would whip our brains into shape and make us into zen, hyper-focused superhumans. Price's measured take on things made me feel like it's all going to be okay. Elisabeth Rodgers' cool, clear voice was the perfect narration.”Tova, Busboys and Poets Books
This classic novel focuses on a female protagonist named Edna Pontellier who rebels against the conventional roles of an upper-class conservative woman. Set in New Orleans, the novel weaves a rich tapestry of southern life and culture through the lens of a woman who feels trapped in a cage of wealth and social norms. This book is a must read... Read more »
The Writing Life
With color, irony, and sensitivity, Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that is the writer's life. As it probes and exposes, examines and analyzes,The Writing Lifeoffers deeper insight into one of the most mysterious of professions.
A gregarious recluse, Dillard has passed many days, weeks, and... Read more »
Life Lessons From Myths and Monsters
Bestselling poet, writer, and Instagram sensation Nikita Gill returns with a collection of poetry and prose retelling the legends of the Goddesses, both great and small, in their own words.
With lyrical prose and striking verse, beloved poet Nikita Gill (Fierce Fairytales, Wild Embers) uses the history of Ancient Greece and beyond to explore and... Read more »
The Reading Life
The Joy of Seeing New Worlds Through Others' Eyes
The revered teacher and bestselling author reflects on the power, importance, and joy of a life dedicated to reading books in this delightful collection drawn from his wide body of writings.
More than fifty years after his death, revered intellectual and teacher C. S. Lewis continues to speak to readers, thanks not only to his intellectual... Read more »
Mary Oliver reads Mary Oliver
Following the success of At Blackwater Pond, this second audio reccording from bestselling poet Mary Oliver contains a selection of thirty-seven previously published poems and four new, read by the poet in her steady, magnetic voice. Oliver recites from the full range of her poetry—from her classic nature writing to her verses for her... Read more »
Praying with Jane Eyre
Reflections on Reading as a Sacred Practice
By Vanessa Zoltan
A deeply felt celebration of a classic novel--and a reflection on the ways our favorite books can shape and heal us.
Our favorite books keep us company, give us hope, and help us find meaning in a chaotic world. In this fresh and relatable work, atheist chaplain Vanessa Zoltan blends memoir and personal growth as she grapples with the notions of... Read more »
Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies
An exploration of the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson. A study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson, High Weirdness charts the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality that arose from... Read more »
Ulysses by James Joyce
By James Joyce
Narrated by: Sam Blair , Pietro Kelley, Teo Harding, Sefa Chandler, Clarissa Meyer Samuel Welch, Arina Sharp, Joshua Riley
Length: 31 hours 28 minutes
Ulysses is a novel by James Joyce, first serialized in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on February 2, 1922, in Paris. It is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature.
Ulysses chronicles the passage through Dublin by its main... Read more »
To Shape a New World
Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. may be America's most revered political figure, commemorated in statues, celebrations, and street names around the world. On the fiftieth anniversary of King's assassination, the man and his activism are as close to public consciousness as ever. But despite his stature, the significance of King's writings and political... Read more »
Consider the Lobster (A Story from Consider the Lobster)
And Other Essays
Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone? What is John Updike's deal, anyway? And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person?
David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of John McCain's 2000... Read more »
From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays
Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to... Read more »
Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom
“Elie Wiesel — witness, writer, and humanitarian — wanted to be remembered foremost as a teacher. Ariel Burger, a longtime student, teaching assistant, and friend, has given us an intimate and moving portrait of this extraordinary man and the profound lessons he had to share.”Dale Szczeblowski, Porter Square Books
A Father, a Son, and an Epic
Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Library Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and Newsday
A Kirkus Best Memoir of 2017
Shortlisted for the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize
From award-winning memoirist and critic, and bestselling author of The Lost: a deeply moving tale of a father and son's transformative journey in reading--and reliving--Homer's... Read more »
The Age of Disenchantments
The Epic Story of Spain's Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War
A gripping narrative history of Spain’s most brilliant and troubled literary family—a tale about the making of art, myth, and legacy—set against the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War and beyond.
In this absorbing and atmospheric historical narrative, journalist Aaron Shulman takes us deeply into the circumstances surrounding the Spanish Civil War... Read more »