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Fiction

A Belgian Assortment

A Belgian Assortment

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A Belgian Assortment transports readers to contemporary Belgium, a vibrant and multifaceted nation in the heart of Europe. The country plays host to legions of expatriates. Award-winning author T.D. Arkenberg draws on his own experience as an expat in Brussels to craft this collection of twelve vivid and enticing short stories. The characters who populate the stories are as unique and as diverse as the inhabitants of Belgium. Among these is Sabine, an idealistic Flemish woman. Relocating to Brussels to teach young immigrants, she soon finds her broad-minded ideals compromised. An unexpected lover revives her wounded spirit, but can the couple escape the bias and terror that grip the city? Brothers Hasan and Kadar, transplants from Lebanon, struggle to assimilate. A dark secret threatens to isolate them even further, this time from each other. American Jack Ramsey, free of the fetters of his Catholic upbringing, lives openly as a gay man in Brussels. But a visit from his mother could push him back into the closet. Marion is a shop clerk who finds refuge from her lonely, drab life in the carnival atmosphere of Chatelain, one of Brussels' afternoon markets. A chance encounter offers her a lifeline, but will she grab it? Then there's Marguerite, a charming octogenarian whose quest to recreate the lavish dinner where she first met her late husband inspires an unexpected detour. These are just a few of the colorful and complex characters who await readers in the pages of A Belgian Assortment.
A Belgian Assortment

A Belgian Assortment

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A Belgian Assortment transports readers to contemporary Belgium, a vibrant and multifaceted nation in the heart of Europe. The country plays host to legions of expatriates. Award-winning author T.D. Arkenberg draws on his own experience as an expat in Brussels to craft this collection of twelve vivid and enticing short stories. The characters who populate the stories are as unique and as diverse as the inhabitants of Belgium. Among these is Sabine, an idealistic Flemish woman. Relocating to Brussels to teach young immigrants, she soon finds her broad-minded ideals compromised. An unexpected lover revives her wounded spirit, but can the couple escape the bias and terror that grip the city? Brothers Hasan and Kadar, transplants from Lebanon, struggle to assimilate. A dark secret threatens to isolate them even further, this time from each other. American Jack Ramsey, free of the fetters of his Catholic upbringing, lives openly as a gay man in Brussels. But a visit from his mother could push him back into the closet. Marion is a shop clerk who finds refuge from her lonely, drab life in the carnival atmosphere of Chatelain, one of Brussels' afternoon markets. A chance encounter offers her a lifeline, but will she grab it? Then there's Marguerite, a charming octogenarian whose quest to recreate the lavish dinner where she first met her late husband inspires an unexpected detour. These are just a few of the colorful and complex characters who await readers in the pages of A Belgian Assortment.
A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself

A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself

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Goodfellas meets Thelma and Louise when an unlikely trio of women in New York find themselves banding together to escape the clutches of violent figures from their pasts.

After Brooklyn mob widow Rena Ruggiero hits her eighty-year-old neighbor Enzio in the head with an ashtray when he makes an unwanted move on her, she embarks on a bizarre adventure. Taking off in Enzio's '62 Impala, she retreats to the Bronx home of her estranged daughter, Adrienne, and her granddaughter, Lucia, only to be turned away by Adrienne at the door. Their neighbor, Lacey "Wolfie" Wolfstein, a one-time Golden Age porn star and retired Florida Suncoast grifter, takes Rena in and befriends her.

When Lucia discovers that Adrienne is planning to hit the road with her ex-boyfriend Richie, she figures Rena's her only way out of a life on the run with a mother she can't stand. But Richie has massacred a few members of the Brancaccio crime family for a big payday, and he drags even more trouble into the mix in the form of an unhinged enforcer named Crea. The stage is set for an explosion that will propel Rena, Wolfie, and Lucia down a strange path, each woman running from something and unsure what comes next.

A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself is a screwball noir about finding friendship and family where you least expect it, in which William Boyle again draws readers into the familiar--and sometimes frightening--world in the shadows at the edges of New York's neighborhoods.

A Merry Christmas : And Other Christmas Stories ( Penguin Christmas Classics )

A Merry Christmas : And Other Christmas Stories ( Penguin Christmas Classics )

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One of six beloved Christmas classics in collectible hardcover editions

A Merry Christmas collects the treasured holiday tales of Louisa May Alcott, from the dearly familiar Yuletide benevolence of Marmee and her "little women" to the timeless "What Love Can Do," wherein the residents of a boarding house come together to make a lovely Christmas for two poor girls. Wildly popular at the time of their publication--readers deluged Alcott with letters demanding sequels--and drawing on Alcott's family and experiences in the abolitionist and women's suffrage movements, these stories have the authentic texture and detail of Christmas in nineteenth-century America, while their emphasis on generosity and charity make them timeless embodiments of the Christmas spirit.

Penguin Christmas Classics

Give the gift of literature this Christmas.

Penguin Christmas Classics honor the power of literature to keep on giving through the ages. The six volumes in the series are not only our most beloved Christmas tales, they also have given us much of what we love about the holiday itself. A Christmas Carol revived in Victorian England such Christmas hallmarks as the Christmas tree, holiday cards, and caroling. The Yuletide yarns of Anthony Trollope popularized throughout the British Empire and around the world the trappings of Christmas in London. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus created the origin story for the presiding spirit of Christmas as we know it. The holiday tales of Louisa May Alcott shaped the ideal of an American Christmas. The Night Before Christmas brought forth some of our earliest Christmas traditions as passed down through folk tales. And The Nutcracker inspired the most famous ballet in history, one seen by millions in the twilight of every year.

Beautifully designed hardcovers--with foil-stamped jackets, decorative endpapers, and nameplates for personalization--in a small trim size that makes them perfect stocking stuffers, Penguin Christmas Classics embody the spirit of giving that is at the heart of our most time-honored stories about the holiday.

Collect all six Penguin Christmas Classics:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Christmas at Thompson Hall: And Other Christmas Stories by Anthony Trollope
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott
The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol
The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

A Reason to Be Here

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A to Z of You and Me

A to Z of You and Me

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"Beautifully constructed and hugely moving. Deserves to be a smash hit."--Lissa Evans, author of Crooked Heart

The A to Z game. For Ivo, it's a way to pass the time, a way to avoid the pain, and a way to think about what really got him here.

His hospice nurse suggested it. Think of a body part for each letter, and think of memories connected to each one. And so begins the revealing of his misspent life: the terrible teenage choices, friendships made and cracked, love he'll never get back. He remembers the girl who tried to help him, the friend who wouldn't let her, and the sickness that chases him even now. Refreshing and thought-provoking, The A to Z of You and Me shows the raw unraveling of a life lived loud and hard.

All our choices have consequences. But what happens after?

"Compassionate."--The Independent
"Wonderfully quirky and contemporary."--The Guardian
"Devastating."--Sunday Times

Abandon

Abandon

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Pico Iyer's intoxicating new novel is at once a stylish intellectual mystery and a pulse-quickening love story--the love in question being at once sacred and profane.

John Macmillan, a classically reticent Englishman who has moved to California to study the poems of the Sufi mystic Rumi, unexpectedly becomes involved in two equally absorbing quests. The first is for a mysterious Rumi manuscript that may have been smuggled out of Iran; the second for the elusive Camilla Jensen, who continually offers herself to him only to repeatedly slip from his grasp. Are these quests somehow related? And can Macmillan give himself over to them without losing his career and identity?

Moving deftly from California academia to the mosques of Iran, filled with insights into the minds of Islam and the modern West, Abandon is a magic carpet-ride of a book.

Abbess of Castro

Abbess of Castro

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Brigands, convents under siege, a prince who'd do Machiavelli proud . . . This adventurous novella from a writer famous for far longer works is a singular take on love and war in Renaissance Italy.

Claiming to be translating from sixteenth-century manuscripts, Stendhal tells the story of two doomed young lovers--one the daughter of the wealthiest man in the district, the other a brigand. It's a genuinely moving tale of impossible love--with plenty of swordfights thrown in--that's unique in Stendhal's oeuvre, not least in its portrait of an intelligent woman who, ill-starred in love, turns to worldly power. There's also some sparkling analysis of the conditions that produced the great art of the Renaissance.

But The Abbess of Castro--first published in the same year as Stendhal's novel The Charterhouse of Parma--is also characterized by themes that pervade his longer novels: political and familial machinations, a profoundly unsentimental view of war, ambitious individuals undone by passion.

Never before available as a standalone edition, the novella is a powerful dose of the writer at the peak of his skills.

Abbeville

Abbeville

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Until the dot.com bubble burst, George Bailey never gave much thought to why his grandfather seemed so happy.

But then George's wealth vanished, rocking his self-confidence, threatening his family's security and making his adolescent son's difficult life even more painful. Returning to the little Central Illinois farm town of Abbeville, where his grandfather had prospered and then fallen into ruin, flattened during the Depression, George seeks out the details of this remarkable man's rise, fall, and spiritual rebirth, hoping he might find a way to recover himself.

Abbeville sweeps through the history of late-19th through early-21st century America--among loggers stripping the North Woods bare, at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, with French soldiers at the Battle of Verdun, into the abyss of the Depression, and finally toward the new millennium's own nightmares. At the same time it examines life at its most intimate. How can one hold onto meaning amidst the brutally indifferent cycles of war and peace, flood and drought, boom and bust, life and death?

In clean, evocative prose that reveals the complexity of people's moral and spiritual lives, Fuller tells the simple story of a man riding the crests and chasms of the 20th century, struggling through personal grief, war, and material failure to find a place where the spirit may repose. An American story about rediscovering where we've been and how we've come to be who we are today, Abbeville tells the tale of the world in small, of one man's pilgrimage to come to terms with himself while learning to embrace the world around him.

Abbeville

Abbeville

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Abbeville sweeps through the history of late-19th through early-21st century America--among loggers stripping the North Woods bare, at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, with French soldiers at the Battle of Verdun, into the abyss of the Depression, and finally toward the new millennium's own nightmares. At the same time it examines life at its most intimate. How can one hold onto meaning amidst the brutally indifferent cycles of war and peace, flood and drought, boom and bust, life and death?

In clean, evocative prose that reveals the complexity of people's moral and spiritual lives, Fuller tells the simple story of a man riding the crests and chasms of the 20th century, struggling through personal grief, war, and material failure to find a place where the spirit may repose. An American story about rediscovering where we've been and how we've come to be who we are today, Abbeville tells the tale of the world in small, of one man's pilgrimage to come to terms with himself while learning to embrace the world around him.

Abbott Awaits

Abbott Awaits

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A quiet tour de force, Chris Bachelder's Abbott Awaits transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, startlingly depicting the intense and poignant challenges of a vulnerable, imaginative father as he lives his everyday American existence.
In Abbott we see a modern-day Sisyphus: he is the exhausted father of a lively two-year old, the ruminative husband of a pregnant insomniac, and the confused owner of a terrified dog. Confronted by a flooded basement, a broken refrigerator, a urine-soaked carpet, and a literal snake in the woodpile, Abbott endures the beauty and hopelessness of each moment, often while contemplating evolutionary history, altruism, or the passage of time.
An expectant father and university teacher on summer break, Abbott tackles the agonizing chores of each day, laboring for peace in his household and struggling to keep his daughter clean and happy, all while staving off a fear of failure as a parent, and even as a human being. As he cleans car seats, forgets to apply sun block, clips his dog's nails, dresses his daughter out of season, and makes unsuccessful furniture-buying trips with his wife, his mind plays out an unrelenting series of paradoxical reflections. Abbott's pensive self-doubt comes to a head one day in late June as he cleans vomited raspberries out of his daughter's car seat and realizes: The following propositions are both true: (A) Abbott would not, given the opportunity, change one significant element of his life, but (B) Abbott cannot stand his life.
Composed of small moments of domestic wonder and terror, Abbott Awaits is a charming story of misadventure, anxiety, and the everyday battles and triumphs of parenthood.

ABC

ABC

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From the critically acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels comes a luminous and haunting story about grief and obsession, and about the need for meaning at the center of all of our lives.
In "ABC"'s unforgettable opening scene, Gerard, Peggy, and their 6-year-old son Harry are canoeing in a New Hampshire cove and come upon an abandoned wreck of a house they have observed for years but never entered. When Harry presses his parents to let him go and explore, Gerard follows him in and watches in horror as a freak accident he is powerless to stop unfolds before him, and a summer family idyll becomes, in an incalculable instant, the beginning of unbearable anguish.
Moments before Harry died, Gerard had picked up a crumpled piece of paper with letters of an unknown alphabet, which he later learns is Sanskrit. In the weeks following the accident he becomes obsessed with the origins of Indo-European alphabets, his fascination growing as boundless as his grief--and soon taking its place. Now, in pursuit of the story of the alphabet, he leaves his home, Peggy, his teaching job, and bands together with other grief-stricken "abecedarians" who believe that the alphabet as we know it had in its origins a meaning they are intent on uncovering. Their quest takes them to England, Greece, and finally, to an ancient site in the Syrian desert where the alphabet was incised on clay tablets some 4000 years ago. Yet what Gerard seeks is something beyond historical knowledge, and his journey itself has a meaning only revealed to him at its end.
A signally original and radiant novel, "ABC" illuminates the mysteries human life is full of, both in its horror and its joy.
ABC Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

ABC Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

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In this official authorized edition from the Queen of Mystery, Hercule Poirot sets out on the trail of a serial killer.

There's a serial killer on the loose, working his way through the alphabet and the whole country is in a state of panic.

A is for Mrs. Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, C is for Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. With each murder, the killer is getting more confident--but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just prove to be the first, and fatal, mistake.

Abduction of Smith and Smith

Abduction of Smith and Smith

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In this harrowing and thrilling work of historical fiction, two enemies become the unlikeliest of allies as they fight to save their own lives aboard a hell ship headed into the dangerous unknown.

The Civil War is over, though for Jupiter Smith, a former slave and Union soldier, many battles still lie ahead. He returns to the plantation he worked on before the war in search of his woman, but rather finds his old master gone mad, haunting the ruins like a ghost. Out of pity for the now mentally ill Colonel, Jupiter strangles him and heads west to seek a new life in San Francisco.

When the Colonel's son, Confederate soldier Archer Smith, arrives at home and finds his father murdered, he vows revenge upon Jupiter for all he has lost--following his former slave to the far reaches of the continent.

But things take a new turn as Archer's desire for retribution is overwhelmed by his dependency on opium, and he ends up the target of a gang of "crimpers"...the very gang that Jupiter works for in San Francisco. When Jupiter fails in an attempt to save Archer, they both end up shanghaied aboard a ship headed on a dangerous mission and ruled by a merciless captain. Will the two Smiths work together to stay alive and return home, or will they become victims of the sea, the crew, and their mad captain?

Aberration of Starlight

Aberration of Starlight

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Set at a boardinghouse in rural New Jersey in the summer of 1939, this novel revolves around four people who experience the comedies, torments and rare pleasures of family, romance and sex while on vacation from Brooklyn and the Depression. Billy Recco, an eager ten-year-old in search of a father... Marie Recco, nee McGrath, an attractive divorcee caught between her son and father, without a life of her own... John McGrath, dignified in manner yet brutally soured by life, insanely fearful of his daughter's restlessness... Tom Thebus, a rakish salesman who precipitates the conflict between Marie's hopes and her father's wrath. What emerges is a sure understanding of four people who are occasionally ridiculous, but whose integrity and good intentions are consistently, and tragically, frustrated. Combining humor and feeling, balancing the details and the rhythms of experience, Aberration of Starlight re-creates a time and a place as it captures the sadness and value of four lives. First published by Random House in 1980, it is widely considered one of Sorrentino's finest novels.

Abide With Me

Abide With Me

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Olive Kitteridge comes a "superb" (O: The Oprah Magazine) novel that "confirms Strout as the possessor of an irresistibly companionable, peculiarly American voice." (The Atlantic Monthly)

In the late 1950s, in a small New England town, Reverend Tyler Caskey has suffered a terrible loss and finds it hard to be the person he once was. He struggles to find the right words in his sermons and in his conversations with those facing crises of their own, and to bring his five-year-old daughter, Katherine, out of the silence she has observed in the wake of the family's tragedy. Tyler's usually patient and kind congregation now questions his leadership and propriety, and accusations are born out of anger and gossip. Then, in Tyler's darkest hour, a startling discovery will test his parish's humanity--and his own will to endure the trials that sooner or later test us all.

Praise for Abide With Me

"Strout's greatly anticipated second novel . . . is an answered prayer."--Vanity Fair

"Deeply moving . . . In one beautiful page after another, Strout captures the mysterious combinations of hope and sorrow. She sees all these wounded people with heartbreaking clarity, but she has managed to write a story that cradles them in understanding and that, somehow, seems like a foretaste of salvation."--The Washington Post

"Graceful and moving . . . The pacing of Strout's deeply felt fiction about the distance between parents and children gives her work an addictive quality."--People (four stars)

Abide With Me

Abide With Me

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In her luminous and long-awaited new novel, bestselling author Elizabeth Strout welcomes readers back to the archetypal, lovely landscape of northern New England, where the events of her first novel, Amy and Isabelle, unfolded. In the late 1950s, in the small town of West Annett, Maine, a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family, and his happiness in the wake of profound loss. At the same time, the community he has served so charismatically must come to terms with its own strengths and failings-faith and hypocrisy, loyalty and abandonment-when a dark secret is revealed.
Tyler Caskey has come to love West Annett, "just up the road" from where he was born. The short, brilliant summers and the sharp, piercing winters fill him with awe-as does his congregation, full of good people who seek his guidance and listen earnestly as he preaches. But after suffering a terrible loss, Tyler finds it hard to return to himself as he once was. He hasn't had The Feeling-that God is all around him, in the beauty of the world-for quite some time. He struggles to find the right words in his sermons and in his conversations with those facing crises of their own, and to bring his five-year-old daughter, Katherine, out of the silence she has observed in the wake of the family's tragedy.
A congregation that had once been patient and kind during Tyler's grief now questions his leadership and propriety. In the kitchens, classrooms, offices, and stores of the village, anger and gossip have started to swirl. And in Tyler's darkest hour, a startling discovery will test his congregation's humanity-and his own will to endure the kinds of trials that sooner or later test us all.
In proseincandescent and artful, Elizabeth Strout draws readers into the details of ordinary life in a way that makes it extraordinary. All is considered-life, love, God, and community-within these pages, and all is made new by this writer's boundless compassion and graceful prose.
Abigail

Abigail

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From the author of The Door, a beloved coming-of-age tale set in WWII-era Hungary.


Abigail, the story of a headstrong teenager growing up during World War II, is the most beloved of Magda Szabó's books in her native Hungary. Gina is the only child of a general, a widower who has long been happy to spoil his bright and willful daughter. Gina is devastated when the general tells her that he must go away on a mission and that he will be sending her to boarding school in the country. She is even more aghast at the grim religious institution to which she soon finds herself consigned. She fights with her fellow students, she rebels against her teachers, finds herself completely ostracized, and runs away. Caught and brought back, there is nothing for Gina to do except entrust her fate to the legendary Abigail, as the classical statue of a woman with an urn that stands on the school's grounds has come to be called. If you're in trouble, it's said, leave a message with Abigail and help will be on the way. And for Gina, who is in much deeper trouble than she could possibly suspect, a life-changing adventure is only beginning.

There is something of Jane Austen in this story of the deceptiveness of appearances; fans of J.K. Rowling are sure to enjoy Szabó's picture of irreverent students, eccentric teachers, and boarding-school life. Above all, however, Abigail is a thrilling tale of suspense.