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"Family secrets, evasions, and my own ignorance fed an anger and a desire to know that would not abate."
―from VOLACANO: A Memoir of Hawai'i by Garrett Hongo

Part memoir, part Japanese American family chronicle, part luminous work of natural history, Volcano tells what happened when Hongo returned to his birthplace in Hawai’i, as a young man, to reclaim its dreamlike landscape and his own...
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“War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics and of troops by politicians.”
- from WHERE MEN WIN GLORY by Jon Krakauer

Pat Tillman walked away from a multimillion-dollar NFL contract to join the Army and became an icon of post-9/11 patriotism. When he was killed in Afghanistan two years later, a legend was born. But the real Pat Tillman was much more...
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"She had heard the rain every way that it fell, hard like drumming fingers, in sheets like a long sigh, in spates like pebbles tossed at the windows. When she crossed the road and went up the bank, she could see water glinting between the tree stumps. The river had already become a lake. As she watched it seemed to lie stagnant, but maybe it was biding its time until dark. Then it would move...
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“Being late was a special kind of modern suffering, with blended elements of rising tension, self-blame, self-pity, misanthropy, and a yearning for what could not be had outside theoretical physics: time reversal.”
- from SOLAR by Ian McEwan

Dr. Michael Beard’s best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned...
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“Everyone thinks writers must know more about the inside of the human head, but that's wrong. They know less, that's why they write. Trying to find out what everyone else takes for granted.”
- from DANCING GIRLS by Margaret Atwood

This splendid volume of short fiction testifies to Margaret Atwood’s startlingly original voice, full of a rare intensity and exceptional intelligence. Her men and...
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Nevil Shute Norway was born in London, England on this day in 1899.

“It's no good going on living in the ashes of a dead happiness.”
―from A TOWN LIKE ALICE by Nevil Shute

Shute’s most beloved novel, a tale of love and war, follows its enterprising heroine from the Malayan jungle during World War II to the rugged Australian outback. Jean Paget, a young Englishwoman living in Malaya, is...
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The Polish-language edition of Barbara Walters' best-selling memoir...

"Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me: 'I want to be you.' My stock reply is always: 'Then you have to take the whole package'.”
―from AUDITION: A Memoir

Instagram photo by Vintage & Anchor Books • Jan 15, 2017 at 11:15am UTC

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"'The artist is an aristocrat, Max,' my father told me. 'He has suffered for his art. And yet still he is generous, because he offers us a new language that permits us to converse outside of words.'"
-- from Pictures at an Exhibition by Sara Houghteling

A sweeping and sensuous novel of a son’s quest to recover his family’s lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during the occupation. Max...
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Martin Amis's DEAD BABIES was published by Alfred A. Knopf on this day in 1976.

“By 12.30, Giles had consumed five gin-rickies, four gin-and-tonics, three gin-and-its, two gin-and-bitters, and one gin.”
―from DEAD BABIES

If The Marquis de Sade were to crash one of P.G. Wodehouse's house parties, the chaos might resemble the nightmarishly funny goings-on in this novel by the author of London...
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In praise of Nobel Laureate Sigrid Undset's bewitching female-driven trilogy. via Slate.com

Why This Norwegian Novelist Should Be the Next Elena Ferrante

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Julian Barnes's ARTHUR & GEORGE was published by Alfred A. Knopf on this day in 2006.

“If a man cannot tell what he wants to do, then he must find out what he ought to do. If desire has become complicated, then hold fast to duty.”
―from ARTHUR & GEORGE

As boys, George, the son of a Midlands vicar, and Arthur, living in shabby genteel Edinburgh, find themselves in a vast and complex world...
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"Talk is cheap, Miranda."
"I know, that's why I listened real careful to the way he talked. Remember what he said when you told him to take good care of her? He said, 'she has all I have.' "
―from MAMA DAY by Gloria Naylor

On the island of Willow Springs, off the Georgia coast, the powers of healer Mama Day are tested by her great niece, Cocoa, a stubbornly emancipated woman endangered by the...
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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's best-selling memoir MY BELOVED WORLD was published on this day in 2013.

“Quiet pragmatism, of course, lacks the romance of vocal militancy. But I felt myself more a mediator than a crusader. My strengths were reasoning, crafting compromises, finding the good and the good faith on both sides of an argument, and using that to build a bridge. Always, my...
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“Any computer that developed real consciousness was immediately identified by the Genesis subroutine and destroyed. It had been that way since the WikiWars a century ago, when Wikipedia became self-aware and began vengefully reediting its contributors with remote-controlled heavy weaponry.”
―from THE SHERIFF OF YRNAMEER by Michael Rubens

Meet Cole: hapless space rogue and part-time smuggler....
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"Love's Secret" by William Blake

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.
I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart;
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
Ah! she did depart!
Soon as she was gone from me,
A traveler came by,
Silently, invisibly
He took her with a sigh.

Instagram photo by Vintage & Anchor Books • Jan 14, 2017 at 11:41pm UTC

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“I began to develop a firm conviction that most efforts to teach people things were wasted. All they needed was to go off some place quiet and read.”
―from THE RISK POOL by Richard Russo

A wonderfully funny, perceptive novel THE RISK POOL is set in Mohawk, New York, where Ned Hall is doing his best to grow up, even though neither of his estranged parents can properly be called adult. His...
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THE ISLAND OF THE COLORBLIND by Oliver Sacks was published 20 years ago on this day in 1997.

“Might they indeed see us as peculiar, distracted by trivial or irrelevant aspects of the visual world, and insufficiently sensitive to its real visual essence?”
―from THE ISLAND OF THE COLORBLIND

“An explorer of that most wondrous of islands, the human brain,” writes D.M. Thomas in The New York...
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“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”
― from TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

This bestselling book from the author of WILD collects the best of The...
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PARADISE by Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison was first published on this day in 1998.

“They shoot the white girl first. With the rest they can take their time.”
--from PARADISE

Toni Morrison’s PARADISE opens with a horrifying scene of mass violence and chronicles its genesis in an all-black small town in rural Oklahoma. Founded by the descendants of freed slaves and survivors in exodus from a...
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”Looking eastward from the towers of Riverside Church, perched among the university buildings on the high banks of the Hudson River, in a valley far below, waves of gray rooftops distort the perspective like the surface of a sea. Below the surface, in the murky waters of fetid tenements, a city of black people who are convulsed in desperate living, like the voracious churning of millions of...
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