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1984 by George Orwell

The year 1984 has come and gone, yet George Orwell’s prophetic nightmare vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “Negative Utopia”, a startlingly original and powerful novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. In the gray totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and his vast network of agents suffocating freedom, news is manufactured according to the will of the authorities and tepid people live tepid lives by rote. Dissidents are tracked down and subjected to such discipline as turns them into willing tools of their masters. And as for Winston Smith, the hero with no heroic qualities, he only longs for truth and decency. But living in a social system where privacy does not exist and where holders of unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or summarily put to death, he knows there is no hope for him. His brief love affair ends in arrest by the Thought Police, and when, after nine months of torture, he is released, Winston makes his final submission of his own accord.

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By |February 27th, 2012|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

52 Pickup by Elmore Leonard

Detroit businessman Harry Mitchell had had only one affair in his twenty-two years of happy matrimony. Unfortunately someone caught his indiscretion on film and now wants Harry to fork over one hundred grand to keep his infidelity a secret. And if Harry doesn’t pay up, the blackmailer and his associates plan to press a lot harder — up to and including homicide, if necessary. But the psychos picked the wrong pigeon for their murderous scam. Because Harry Mitchell doesn’t get mad…he gets even.

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By |September 16th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

About A Boy by Nick Hornby

 

About A Boy by Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby’s second bestselling novel is about sex, manliness and fatherhood. Will is thirty-six, comfortable and child-free. And he’s discovered a brilliant new way of meeting women – through single-parent groups. Marcus is twelve and a little bitnerdish: he’s got the kind of mother who made him listen to Joni Mitchell rather than Nirvana. Perhaps they can help each other out a little bit, and both can start to act their age.

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By |February 27th, 2012|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy–loving best friend riding shotgun—but no Katherines.

Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

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By |July 3rd, 2014|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

 

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.” Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

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By |January 30th, 2014|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

This landmark book is a loosely fictionalized account of Governor Huey Long of Louisiana, one of the nation’s most astounding politicians. All the King’s Men tells the story of Willie Stark, a southern-fried politician who builds support by appealing to the common man and playing dirty politics with the best of the back-room deal-makers. Though Stark quickly sheds his idealism, his right-hand man, Jack Burden — who narrates the story — retains it and proves to be a thorn in the new governor’s side. Stark becomes a successful leader, but at a very high price, one that eventually costs him his life. The award-winning book is a play of politics, society and personal affairs, all wrapped in the cloak of history.

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By |February 27th, 2012|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

All the Living by C.E. Morgan

All the Living by C.E. Morgan

Aloma is an orphan, raised by her aunt and uncle, educated at a mission school in the Kentucky mountains. At the start of the novel, she moves to an isolated tobacco farm to be with her lover, a young man named Orren, whose family has died in a car accident, leaving him in charge. The place is rough and quiet; Orren is overworked and withdrawn. Left mostly to her own, Aloma struggles to settle herself in this lonely setting and to find beauty and stimulation where she can. As she decides whether to stay with Orren, she will choose either to fight her way to independence or accept the rigors of commitment.

 

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By |February 27th, 2012|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

The Amateur Cracksman (Digital book kit) by E. W. Hornung

Gentleman thief Raffles is daring, debonair, devilishly handsome-and a first-rate cricketer. In these eight stories, the master burglar indulges his passion for cricket and crime: stealing jewels from a country house, outwitting the law, pilfering from the nouveau riche, and, of course, bowling like a demon-all with the assistance of his plucky sidekick, Bunny. Encouraged by his brother-in-law, Arthur Conan Doyle, to write a series about a public school villain, and influenced by his own experiences at Uppingham, E. W. Hornung created a unique form of crime story, where, in stealing as in sport, it is playing the game that counts, and there is always honor among thieves.

This is an electronic book kit that can be downloaded from our catalog. Just click on the book cover above!

 

 

By |October 18th, 2013|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

 

Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.

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By |September 16th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

 

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By |October 12th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Anthem by Ayn Rand

A stunning and brilliantly realized future world in which individuality has been crushed is the theme of Ayn Rand’s bestselling masterpiece, “Anthem”. Rand presents her tale of a man who dares to make individual choices, to seek knowledge in a dark age, to love the woman of his choice. In a society in which people have no name, no independence, and no values, he is hunted for the unpardonable crime: having the courage to stand above the crowd.

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By |January 30th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

As America’s Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons.

Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; JFK made it clear that platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was his favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived with a secret that needed to stay hidden from NASA. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, providing one another with support and friendship, coffee and cocktails.

As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragedy began to touch their lives-the wives continued to rally together, forming bonds that would withstand the test of time, and they have stayed friends for over half a century. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.

 

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By |September 16th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall

 

This collection of short stories about the fictional quiltmaker Aunt Jane Parish was originally published in 1907 by Caroline Obenchain (who published under the name of Eliza Calvert Hall). Known for her gentle folk wisdom, Aunt Jane vividly describes a picturesque way of life in the rural South of the nineteenth century.

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By |August 14th, 2014|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |1 Comment

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

ONE OF TIME’S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
 
With its first great victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the civil rights movement gained the powerful momentum it needed to sweep forward into its crucial decade, the 1960s. As voices of protest and change rose above the din of history and false promises, one voice sounded more urgently, more passionately, than the rest. Malcolm X—once called the most dangerous man in America—challenged the world to listen and learn the truth as he experienced it. And his enduring message is as relevant today as when he first delivered it.

In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley . In a unique collaboration, Haley worked with Malcolm X for nearly two years, interviewing, listening to, and understanding the most controversial leader of his time.

Raised in Lansing, Michigan, Malcolm Little journeyed on a road to fame as astonishing as it was unpredictable. Drifting from childhood poverty to petty crime, Malcolm found himself in jail. It was there that he came into contact with the teachings of a little-known Black Muslim leader renamed Elijah Muhammad. The newly renamed Malcolm X devoted himself body and soul to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the world of Islam, becoming the Nation’s foremost spokesman. When his conscience forced him to break with Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity to reach African Americans across the country with an inspiring message of pride, power, and self-determination.

 

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By |September 15th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg

With the same emotional generosity and effortlessly compelling storytelling that made All Over But the Shoutin’ a national bestseller, Rick Bragg continues his personal history of the Deep South. This time he’s writing about his grandfather Charlie Bundrum, a man who died before Bragg was born but left an indelible imprint on the people who loved him. Drawing on their memories, Bragg reconstructs the life of an unlettered roofer who kept food on his family’s table through the worst of the Great Depression; a moonshiner who drank exactly one pint for every gallon he sold; an unregenerate brawler, who could sit for hours with a baby in the crook of his arm.

In telling Charlie’s story, Bragg conjures up the backwoods hamlets of Georgia and Alabama in the years when the roads were still dirt and real men never cussed in front of ladies. A masterly family chronicle and a human portrait so vivid you can smell the cornbread and whiskey, Ava’s Man is unforgettable

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By |January 30th, 2014|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Behind the Scenes (Digital book kit) by Elizabeth Keckley

An autobiographical narrative, BEHIND THE SCENES traces Elizabeth Keckley’s life from her enslavement in Virginia and North Carolina to her time as seamstress to Mary Todd Lincoln in the White House during Abraham Lincoln’s administration. It was quite controversial at the time of its release–an uncompromising work that transgressed Victorian boundaries between public and private life, and lines of race, gender, and society.

This is an electronic book kit that can be downloaded from our catalog. Just click on the book cover above!

 

 

By |October 18th, 2013|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley

Part slave narrative, part memoir, and part sentimental fiction Behind the Scenes depicts Elizabeth Keckley’s years as a salve and subsequent four years in Abraham Lincoln’s White House during the Civil War. Through the eyes of this black woman, we see a wide range of historical figures and events of the antebellum South, the Washington of the Civil War years, and the final stages of the war.

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By |September 16th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening — until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.

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By |February 27th, 2012|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach

When Ravi Kapoor, an overworked London doctor, reaches the breaking point with his difficult father-in-law, he asks his wife: “Can’t we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.” His prayer is seemingly answered when Ravi’s entrepreneurial cousin sets up a retirement home in India, hoping to re-create in Bangalore an elegant lost corner of England. Several retirees are enticed by the promise of indulgent living at a bargain price, but upon arriving, they are dismayed to find that restoration of the once sophisiticated hotel has stalled, and that such amenities as water and electricity are . . . infrequent. But what their new life lacks in luxury, they come to find, it’s plentiful in adventure, stunning beauty, and unexpected love.

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By |January 30th, 2014|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

 

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

It’s 1978, and Ave Maria Mulligan is the thirty-five-year-old self-proclaimed spinster of Big Stone Gap, a sleepy hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She’s also the local pharmacist, the co-captain of the Rescue Squad, and the director of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, the town’s long-running Outdoor Drama. Ave Maria is content with her life of doing errands and negotiating small details–until she discovers a skeleton in her family’s formerly tidy closet that completely unravels her quiet, conventional life. Suddenly, she finds herself juggling two marriage proposals, conducting a no-holds-barred family feud, planning a life-changing journey to the Old Country, and helping her best friend, the high-school band director, design a halftime show to dazzle Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed Hollywood movie star who’s coming through town on a campaign stump with her husband, senatorial candidate John Warner. Comic and compassionate, “Big Stone Gap” is is the story of a woman who thinks life has passed her by, only to learn that the best is yet to come.

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By |February 27th, 2012|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Blue Nights by Joan Didion

From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter.

Richly textured with memories from her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion is an intensely personal and moving account of her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness and growing old.

As she reflects on her daughter’s life and on her role as a parent, Didion grapples with the candid questions that all parents face, and contemplates her age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept. Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profound

 

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By |August 1st, 2013|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

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By |January 30th, 2014|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

 

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By |September 16th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

An unforgettable story of the joy of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the hope of one extraordinary woman

At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies all over London-from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives to the woman with twenty-four children who can’t speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side-illuminate a fascinating time in history. Beautifully written and utterly moving, The Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.

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By |September 15th, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments

Camille by Alexandre Dumas

Marguerite Gautier is the most beautiful, brazen—and expensive—courtesan in all of Paris. Despite being ill with consumption, she lives a glittering, moneyed life of nonstop parties and aristocratic balls and savors every day as if it were her last.

Into her life comes Armand Duval. Young, handsome, and recklessly headstrong, he is hopelessly in love with Marguerite, but not nearly rich enough. Yet Armand is Marguerite’s first true love, and against her better judgment, she throws away her upper-class lifestyle for him. But as intense as their love for each other is, it challenges a reality that cannot be denied.…

 

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By |September 21st, 2015|Categories: Book Kits|Tags: |0 Comments