Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.
"I Laughed and I Cried"
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
"The circus of your dreams"
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader.
"PG version of what defined Brutality and Evil"
In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.
"A true classic! 'Who is John Galt?'"
When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel", "Hansel and Gretel", and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style.
"Once upon a time when a stepmom was only a mom..."
Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around - and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed, and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in...for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates.
"Thoughtful and intriguing"
Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends - the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman - a woman desperately longing for true love and connection.
Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry. The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle - her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family - described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn't know. With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives.
"Missed her books!!!"
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan - the Burgess sibling who stayed behind - urgently calls them home.
"Loved, loved, loved it!"
In this brilliantly imagined novel, acclaimed author C. W. Gortner brings Catherine to life in her own voice, allowing us to enter the intimate world of a woman whose determination to protect her family’s throne and realm plunged her into a lethal struggle for power. From the fairy-tale chateaux of the Loire Valley to the battlefields of the wars of religion to the mob-filled streets of Paris, this is the extraordinary untold journey of one of the most maligned and misunderstood women ever to be queen.
"Pretty good but historical details are terrible"
In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society - just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder....
"MAYBE A 5 STAR SERIES... BUT SADLY IT'S NOT FOR ME"
In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as "Last Stand in Denver", has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin.
"Expanding The Story In Every Direction"
Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the castle's women's dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery.
"A Novel in Stories"
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.
"Not an average book"
Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2016. It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong.
"The Great Vietnamese Novel(Port)Nguyen's Complaint"
When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be - until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the listener’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.
"Basic Story Interesting, But..."
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.
"Brutal, But Beautiful"
Prudence Eleanor Vilkas was born with a pair of wings molded to her back. Considered a birth defect, her wings were surgically removed, leaving only the ghost of them behind. Growing up in Los Vientos, Florida, Prudence meets her long-estranged Lithuanian grandfather and discovers a miraculous lineage beating and pulsing with past Lithuanian bird-women.
"good story, well narrated"
It's been 10 years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne's case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched. The decade-old investigation focused on Nic; her brother, Daniel; her boyfriend, Tyler; and Corinne's boyfriend, Jackson. Since then only Nic has left Cooley Ridge.
"Stay with it"
The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
"Boy, am I in the minority on this one."
With two biological sons and a promising career, Coleman Carter seems set to fulfill his promise as a resourceful trial lawyer, devoted husband, and dutiful father until his wife, Elizabeth, champions their adoption of a Korean orphan. This seemingly altruistic mission estranges Coleman's conservative parents and demands that he now embrace the unknown as fully as he has always entrenched himself in the familiar.
Winnie and Helen have kept each other's worst secrets for more than 50 years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose all that has been concealed, when she decides to celebrate the Chinese New Year by unburdening herself of everybody's hidden truths - her own and Winnie's, as well as the dreadful news that Winnie's daughter, Pearl, has been keeping from her mother.
It is 1554. On a rare night of rain in the desert of Rajasthan, India, a daughter, Adhira, is born to a family of Hindu temple dancers just as a new Mughal emperor takes the throne. Fearing a bleak future, her father puts his faith in tradition and in his last child for each to save the other: He insists Adhira "marry" the temple deity and give herself to a wealthy patron. But after one terrible evening, she makes a bold choice that carries her family's story and their dance to a startling new beginning.
In the year 2005, Sarah finds herself drawn into the tumultuous lives of her unconventional ancestors. She calls to memory her great-grandmother Sarah, propelled by a Russian pogrom to America in 1906; her grandmother Salome, who cavorted with Henry Miller in pre-war Paris; and finally her mother, Sally, a famous folk singer and emblem of the 1960s. Through the paradoxical nature of memory, Sarah comes to understand and impart her own story.
Josie and her children's father have split up, she's been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she's grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée's family, Josie makes a run for it, figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first their trip feels like a vacation.
Ada Sibelius is raised by David, a single father and head of a computer science lab in Boston. Homeschooled, she accompanies her loving father - brilliant, eccentric, socially inept - to work every day. By 12 she is a painfully shy prodigy. At the same time that the lab begins to gain acclaim, David's mind begins to falter, and his mysterious past comes into question. When her father moves into a nursing home, Ada is taken in by one of David's colleagues. She embarks on a mission to uncover her father's secrets.
Hurt people hurt people. Say there was a novel in which Holden Caulfield was an alcoholic and Lolita was a photographer's assistant, and somehow they met in Bright Lights, Big City. He's blinded by love. She by ambition. Diary of an Oxygen Thief is an honest, hilarious, and heartrending novel but, above all, a very realistic account of what we do to each other and what we allow to have done to us.
Leon loves chocolate bars, Saturday morning cartoons, and his beautiful, golden-haired baby brother. When Jake is born, Leon pokes his head in the crib and says, "I'm your brother. Big brother. My. Name. Is. Leon. I am eight and three quarters. I am a boy." Jake will play with no one but Leon, and Leon is determined to save him from any pain and earn that sparkling baby laugh every chance he can. But Leon isn't in control of this world where adults say one thing and mean another, and try as he might he can't protect his little family from everything.
Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered 13-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home, where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, who assume he's a runaway from a nearby farm town. When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him, and tensions rise along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him.
Young Maris has been summoned to his mother's bedside as she nears the end of her life; she feels she must tell him her version of their family history, the story of his early life, and the ways in which he changed the lives of others. Maris was born with what some might call a blessing and others might deem a curse: His very large, very special ears enable him to hear the secrets of the dead as well as the memories that haunt his Latvian hometown.
June was a young widow with a crush on Craig Kirtz, a disc jockey at a local rock station. To her surprise the two struck up a friendship that seemed headed for something more. But it was June's 13-year-old daughter, Bobbie, whom Craig had wanted all along. Bobbie thought her secret life - the sex, drugs, and relationship itself - could remain buried in the past. But 30 years later, when she discovers Craig had similarly pursued a number of other young girls, Bobbie returns home with one purpose in mind: to bring Craig to trial.
What kind of woman wants a man so badly that she'd be willing to lie to get him? What if that lie includes denying the fact that she has a child? Deborah Lewis is that woman. The suave, debonair Lynox Chase is the man Deborah wants. He's the man Deborah has wanted for years, almost had, but decided to give her ex a try, leaving Lynox hanging. With her ex no longer in the picture, Deborah is willing to eat crow and go claim Lynox. She can't help but worry if he will be forgiving and take her back, but figures after two years, he's had time to get over it.
Vinegar Girl, a novel by Anne Tyler, is a loose retelling of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Set in modern-day Baltimore, it follows 20-somethings Kate and Pyotr as they plan a marriage of convenience. Pyotr needs a green card so he can continue working with Kate's father on a scientific breakthrough. Kate needs a life beyond caring for her father and sister. As the couple sort through the logistics of their sham wedding, the line between fact and fiction starts to blur. Hijinks ensue.
Ten years after the fall of Saigon, a tentative friendship blossoms between a Portland writer and the Vietnamese woman who sells her morning coffee and cigarettes, framing a powerful and original meditation on class, gender, and the power of storytelling to heal the wounds of war.
A brittle young woman juggles her overbearing mother, her pregnant sister, her adoring father, and the intrigue of a handsome stranger she keeps running into. Angie's passive role in her own life, while acting as her sister's support and her mother's adversary, is upended in both the unlikeliest and likeliest of ways.
When single mom Lizzie tells her best friend Ted she's decided to go looking for action among the recently divorced, hoping to be someone's "first lover out", the results are funny, hair-raising, and redemptive in equal measure.
The Glass Eaters sweeps us into the lives of Julia Duarte and her mother, Clarissa, a caterer-turned-ice sculptor, as Clarissa's long-term affair with a married man takes turns that are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but finally a reminder of how everything except desire is fleeting. This is a story that pricks at our own secret hopes about what it means to love someone forever.
When Cat arrives in Portugal, she discovers that her friend Tónio has installed his ex-lover, Mateus, in the apartment, where he too is dying - of AIDS. As Cat struggles to untangle a complicated web of present desires and past secrets, she makes a series of shocking discoveries.
Nathan Porter, a young war veteran haunted by an atrocity he witnessed, ends up in an animation studio in southern California, where his dismal romantic history is upended by Violet Delmar, an older voice-over artist known nationally as "The Voice." Violet's siren song wafts in and out of Nathan's entire life, twisting through his misguided affairs and marriage, until he finds himself awakened, thanks to Violet, about no less than all of love and art.
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
"Moving story of sharing and transformation."
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....
"My Top Pick for 2012"
Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.
A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....
"Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.
"Colin whispers in my ear, and I melt"
Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.
"The Best ever audio book"
A debut novel already praised as "unbearably poignant and beautifully told" (Eimear McBride), this captivating story follows - over the course of four seasons - a misfit man who adopts a misfit dog. It is springtime, and two outcasts - a man ignored, even shunned by his village, and the one-eyed dog he takes into his quiet, tightly shuttered life - find each other, by accident or fate, and forge an unlikely connection. As their friendship grows, their small seaside town suddenly takes note of them.
The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course, there's a catch to the invitation....
Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's masterstroke about a young writer's charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the "American geisha" Holly Golightly. Holly - a World War II-era society girl in her late teens - survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist.
""Better to look at the sky than live there""
Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick's harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character - lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.
"Was it all just the champagne"
It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
"Not So Luminous"
Mrs. Dalloway, perhaps Virginia Woolf’s greatest novel, vividly follows English socialite Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for a party in post-World War I London. Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right) brings Woolf’s stream-of-consciousness style of storytelling to life, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life in a brilliant performance.
To the Lighthouse is Virginia Woolf’s arresting analysis of domestic family life, centering on the Ramseys and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland in the early 1900s. Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut), who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf in the film adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours, brings the impressionistic prose of this classic to vibrant life.
"Nicole Kidman does a fantastic reading"
In this first novel, we are introduced to suave, handsome Tom Ripley: a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan in the 1950s. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley becomes enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal, but he grows enraged by Dickie's ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante.
"Stands up beautifully after almost 60 years"
Recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called Endo's supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century's finest novels". Considered controversial ever since its first publication, it tackles the thorniest religious issues of belief and faith head on. A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.
An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.
"Perseverance in Face of Cruelty"
Set in the 19th century, Isabel Miller's classic lesbian novel traces the relationship between Patience White and Sarah Dowling, whose romantic bond does not sit well with their puritanical New England community. In addition to being an inspiring love story, the audiobook for Patience and Sarah is an ideal listen for young-adult audiences. It is a story that shows how irrelevant race, religion, and gender are to love and that loving and being loved are what keep us human and sane.
"A beautiful tale blooms with great narration."