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New Today

Kindle Deals: New Today
The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Author:
Readers, this novel has been languishing on my TBR list for years. My readerly friends are split: some love it, some hate it, some say it's over their heads. I intend to read it for myself. (I've been warned to not give up until Mr. Ozu shows up.) More info →
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Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi

Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi

Great recipes and beautiful photos about cooking vegetables, from a chef who isn't a vegetarian. More info →
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Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha)

Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha)

Author:
Empire Of Sand is a captivating fantasy novel with its Mughal-inspired world-building. Viewed as an outsider because of her Amrithi mother, Mehr chafes against her stepmother's restrictions and the expectation to marry. And yet, marry she must for Mehr has come to the attention of the Emperor's mystics and The Maha has declared she must marry Amun. Neither she nor Amun can decline and thus their relationship begins on rocky ground. But just because they have to obey doesn't mean they obey mindlessly. There is such rich symbolism and imagery throughout, largely due to the Amrithi's powerful rites where they dance. As Mehr learns more of the rites and the stories behind them, she recovers a piece of herself and her history and becomes a force to reckon with in the process. The way Mehr and Amun's relationship evolves is worth a closer look, as is the way they band together to face down The Maha. More info →
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We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

Author:
This stunning anthology embodies the collaborative spirit it celebrates. "We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond." This line from a Gwendolyn Brooks poem serves as the epigraph and guiding spirit of this magnificent collection, which includes essays, poems, photographs, and conversations from fabulous contributors like Michael Twitty, Joy Harjo, Elizabeth Alexander, Margaret Wilkeron Sexton, and Ross Gay. In addition to gathering beautiful poetry and reflective essays, the author of Queen Sugar travelled the country to interview Black farmers, winemakers, and culinary experts about the African American land-owning and farming experience, both past and present. Their wide-ranging and richly varied stories make for life-giving and community-changing reading. More info →
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Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

Author:
I spent part of December 2018 in Wigtown, Scotland—in Bythell's own bookshop. Bythell documents the unusual, eccentric, and often irksome behavior he witnesses every day in his shop. From the publisher: "Shaun Bythell and his mordantly unique observational eye make this perfect for anyone who loves books and bookshops. It does take all kinds and through the misanthropic eyes of a very grumpy bookseller, we see them all. There’s the Expert (with subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman). Then there’s the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), the The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter), and the Family Historian (generally Americans who come to Shaun’s shop in Wigtown, Scotland). Don’t forget the Person Who Doesn’t Know What They Want (But Thinks It Might Have a Blue Cover) and the harried Parents Secretly After Free Childcare. Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, Perfect Customer—all add up to one of the funniest books about books you’ll ever find." More info →
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Dream When You’re Feeling Blue

Dream When You’re Feeling Blue

Author:
From the publisher: "As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front, meat is rationed, children participate in metal drives, and Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller play songs that offer hope and lift spirits. And now the Heaney sisters sit at their kitchen table every evening to write letters–Louise to her fiancé, Kitty to the man she wishes fervently would propose, and Tish to an ever-changing group of men she meets at USO dances. In the letters the sisters send and receive are intimate glimpses of life both on the battlefront and at home. For Kitty, a confident, headstrong young woman, the departure of her boyfriend and the lessons she learns about love, resilience, and war will bring a surprise and a secret, and will lead her to a radical action for those she loves. The lifelong consequences of the choices the Heaney sisters make are at the heart of this superb novel about the power of love and the enduring strength of family." More info →
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Still on Sale

Kindle Deals: Still On Sale
The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic

Author:
Based on true events. From the publisher: "the poignant story of a group of Irish emigrants aboard RMS Titanic—a seamless blend of fact and fiction that explores the tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants." More info →
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The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden

Author:
I am so excited to see this on sale! If the Brothers Grimm wrote The Secret Garden, this is what it would have been like. This sprawling family saga gets a little unwieldy at times, but I can't say I minded much. History, fairy tale, family drama, and Gothic mystery rolled into one. More info →
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My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir

My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir

Author:
From the publisher: "In the tradition of My Year of Living Biblically and Eat Pray Love, Noelle Hancock’s hilarious tale of her decision to heed the advice of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and do one thing a day that scares her. After losing her high-octane job as an entertainment blogger, Noelle Hancock was lost. About to turn twenty-nine, she'd spent her career writing about celebrities' lives and had forgotten how to live her own. Until inspiration struck one day in the form of a quote on a chalkboard in a coffee shop: 'Do one thing every day that scares you.' With Eleanor as her guide, Noelle spends the months leading up to her thirtieth birthday pursuing a 'Year of Fear.' From shark diving to fighter pilot lessons, from tap dancing and stand-up comedy to confronting old boyfriends, her hilarious and harrowing adventures teach her about who she is, and what she can become—lessons she makes vital for all of us." More info →
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Shakespeare: The World as Stage

Shakespeare: The World as Stage

Author:
Libro.fm is running a sale on several titles this month. They're my go-to for audiobooks these days; read more about Libro.fm here. No membership required for most sale prices, including this one. The ebook is not on sale. This is not your average Shakespeare biography. Bill Bryson and his down-to-earth wit take what little we know about Shakespeare and turn it into an engaging, colorful picture of the larger-than-life historical figure. Follow Bryson on his Shakespearean research journey via short interludes, including a trip to the bunker-like structure that houses the First Folios. With Bill as your genial guide, learn about how Shakespeare has impacted the English language and why he remains an important figure today. More info →
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Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

I began rereading this on Christmas Day because the snug story felt exactly right for my reading mood. In this quiet novel, five individuals, each dealing with their own painful personal tragedy, are unexpectedly brought together during the Christmas season in the Scottish countryside—though they've decided not to celebrate the holiday; it's too painful this year. But redemption is found in surprising places, and in the midst of so much loss, love and redemption emerge. This book was a delightful surprise; I enjoyed it so much (and have now read it several times). More info →
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Author:
From Publishers Weekly (starred review): "In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows." More info →
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Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower

Author:
I recommended this all the way back in Episode 17: Smart, slightly eccentric, diverse books with Andi Cumbo-Floyd, and I revisited it recently after my conversation with Cliff Cullen in Episode 256: The perks and pitfalls of omnivorous reading. Cliff is an Octavia Butler completist, having read every single one of her works, and I aspire to do the same. This series—a planned trilogy that was never completed—is the most realistic of Butler's fiction. The setting is California, 2026, where a Black teenager named Lauren struggles for survival in a world gone to pieces, ravaged by climate change and drug abuse of epidemic proportions. Despite the overwhelming and terrifying obstacles she faces, Lauren isn't ready to give up yet, and bands together with a group of fellow travelers to head north in search of rumored safety, with the hopes of founding a colony for her Earthseed religion. Utterly gripping, and a great introduction to Butler's work. We read this in the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club this fall. More info →
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Homegoing

Homegoing

Author:
By exploring the stories of two sisters, who met different fates in Ghana more than 200 years ago, Gyasi traces subtle lines of cause and effect through the centuries, illuminating how deeds of ages past still haunt all of us today. Her popular debut novel traces the generations of one family over a period of 250 years, showing the devastating effects of racism from multiple perspectives, in multiple settings. For the first hundred pages I didn't quite grasp what Gyasi was up to, but when it hit me it was powerful (and the family tree in the front of the book helped me track the characters). A brilliant concept, beautifully executed. Read it. More info →
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America’s First Daughter

America’s First Daughter

Libro.fm is running a sale on several titles this month. They're my go-to for audiobooks these days; read more about Libro.fm here. No membership required for most sale prices, including this one. The ebook is not on sale. From the publisher: "In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha 'Patsy' Jefferson Randolph--a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy." More info →
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Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime

Author:
I'm buying this for myself, because I love crime fiction and I'm eager for a peek behind the scenes, courtesy of one of the best crime writers writing today. Washington Post says, "Val McDermid is one of the bright lights of the mystery field." More info →
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The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Libro.fm is running a sale on several titles this month. They're my go-to for audiobooks these days; read more about Libro.fm here. No membership required for most sale prices, including this one. The ebook is ALSO on sale. Book of the Month choose this as a selection, comparing the writing "with the embellished writing of a Jane Austen-era classic, this rags-to-riches story is as well-crafted as it is entertaining. When a mermaid falls unexpectedly into Jonah Hancock’s hands, he decides to parade it about the country in exchange for fame and fortune. From intellectual coffeehouses to high-class brothels, Hancock and his unusual possession travel throughout London, seizing the notice of a host of remarkable characters, including Angelica Neal, a savvy coquette on the lookout for a way out of her unsavory profession. The historical details are expertly rendered, the characters are full of heart, and while the supernatural creature that kicks off this novel might be dead, this is one imaginative story that is full of life." More info →
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Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

Author:
The publisher says, "Gretchen Rubin has found that getting control of our stuff makes us feel more in control of our lives.... With a sense of fun, and a clear idea of what's realistic for most people, Gretchen Rubin suggests dozens of manageable steps for creating a more serene, orderly environment—one that helps us to create the lives we want." Yes, please. More info →
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The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us

Author:
From the publisher: "Thrity Umrigar is as adept and compelling in The Space Between Us—vividly capturing the social struggles of modern India in a luminous, addictively readable novel of honor, tradition, class, gender, and family. A portrayal of two women discovering an emotional rapport as they struggle against the confines of a rigid caste system, Umrigar's captivating novel echoes the timeless intensity of Zora Neale Hursto’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible—a quintessential triumph of modern literary fiction." More info →
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Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life

Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life

Author:
Nobody wants to live a life of constant overthinking, but it doesn't feel like something we can choose to stop doing. We've all been there: stuck in a cycle of what-ifs, plagued by indecision, paralyzed by the fear of getting it wrong. It feels like something we're wired to do, something we just can't escape. But is it? My answer is no. Not only can you overcome negative thought patterns that are repetitive, unhealthy, and unhelpful, you can replace them with positive thought patterns that will bring more peace, joy, and love into your life. In Don't Overthink It, you'll find actionable strategies that can make an immediate and lasting difference in how you deal with questions both small—Should I buy these flowers?—and large—What am I doing with my life? Don't Overthink It offers you a framework for making choices you'll be comfortable with, using an appropriate amount of energy, freeing you to focus on what really matters in life. More info →
This Tender Land

This Tender Land

This is an amazing value on Chirp this month. Chirp offers digital audiobooks that can be listened to on their site or in an app. The ebook is not on sale. I'm so glad I discovered William Kent Krueger: recommended by a reader as good for someone who had run out of Louise Penny. This has been compared to Where the Crawdads Sing and Before We Were Yours, and being pitched as part Grapes of Wrath, part Huckleberry Finn. This standalone coming-of-age story focuses on three Minnesota kids during the Great Depression, whose respective situations become ever more impossible due to human cruelty and circumstance. They realize no one is going to save them, so they have to save themselves—and that's when the Huck Finn comparisons start kicking in. I alternated between text and audio on this one, and it was excellent in both formats. A great story, well told. My husband Will read this one and he also loved it. More info →
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (Virago Modern Classics)

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (Virago Modern Classics)

The Independent calls author Elizabeth Taylor (no, not that Elizabeth Taylor) "the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike." Listen to this charming description from the publisher: "On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel." More info →
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The Fountains of Silence

The Fountains of Silence

Author:
From the publisher: "Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into the country under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera. Photography--and fate--introduce him to Ana, whose family's interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War--as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel's photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Includes vintage media interstitials, oral history commentary, photos, and more." More info →
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The Yellow House: A Memoir

The Yellow House: A Memoir

Author:
In her unique memoir, Broom writes about family, race, and class by noting the intersections of her family's history and the history of New Orleans. An ambitious memoir, Broom covers decades of history with personal stories and meticulously researched details. I'm personally fascinated by the author's writing process and the way it reflects the title and topic of her memoir. Broom says, “I knew when I started collecting evidence, so to speak, that I was trying to find the architecture of the book...I needed to know where the beams were and what was the supporting wall. I literally thought of it as a house because I knew that I was trying to put a lot in it.” More info →
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How to Be an Artist

How to Be an Artist

Author:
Saltz fits a bounty of inspiration into a short 150 pages in his handbook for letting go of self-doubt and enjoying the creative life. I thoroughly enjoyed his snappy, slightly snarky tone. I've been on something of a kick with books about creativity and craft lately, and this one stands out as a book to return to again and again. I took SO many notes while reading. Whether you consume art, create art, or want to engage with art, this is an excellent pithy read, well worth your time. More info →
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Swing

Swing

Author:
This is an amazing value on Chirp this month. Chirp offers digital audiobooks that can be listened to on their site or in an app. The ebook is not on sale. From the publisher: "Best friends Noah and Walt are far from popular, but Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan that includes wooing the girls of their dreams and becoming amazing athletes. Never mind he and Noah failed to make their baseball team yet again, and Noah’s crush since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. While Walt focuses on his program of jazz, podcasts, batting cages, and a “Hug Life” mentality, Noah feels stuck in status quo … until he stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each one contains words Noah’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his art becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and finally speak out." A heads up to those who think they aren't poetry types: when read aloud, this doesn't sound "poetic." It just sounds awesome. Whispersync narration available. More info →

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