• Best of 2012
  • – Best of 2012 –
    • Sutton
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      No. 1

      Sutton

      by J R Moehringer

      Born in the squalid Irish slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the twentieth century, Willie Sutton came of age at a time when banks were out of control. If they weren''t taking brazen risks, causing millions to lose their jobs and homes, they were shamelessly seeking bailouts. Trapped in a cycle of bank panics, depressions and soaring unemployment, Sutton saw only one way out, only one way to win the girl of his dreams. So began the career of America''s most successful bank robber. Over three decades Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, and such a master at breaking out of prisons, police called him one of the most dangerous men in New York, and the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted List. But the public rooted for Sutton. He never fired a shot, after all, and his victims were merely those bloodsucking banks. When he was finally caught for good in 1952, crowds surrounded the jail and chanted his name. Blending vast research with vivid imagination, Pulitzer Prize-winner J.R. Moehringer brings Willie Sutton blazing back to life. In Moehringer''s retelling, it was more than need or rage at society that drove Sutton. It was one unforgettable woman. In all Sutton''s crimes and confinements, his first love (and first accomplice) was never far from his thoughts. And when Sutton finally walked free--a surprise pardon on Christmas Eve, 1969--he immediately set out to find her. Poignant, comic, fast-paced and fact-studded, Sutton tells a story of economic pain that feels eerily modern, while unfolding a story of doomed love, which is forever timeless.

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    • The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
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      No. 2

      The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry

      by Rachel Joyce

      Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn''t heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie--who is 600 miles away--because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die. So without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, one of the most endearing characters in current fiction begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, strangers stir up memories--flashbacks, often painful, from when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, of his inadequacy as a father, and of his shortcomings as a husband. Ironically, his wife Maureen, shocked by her husband''s sudden absence, begins to long for his presence. Is it possible for Harold and Maureen to bridge the distance between them? And will Queenie be alive to see Harold arrive at her door?

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    • Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (a Mostly True Memoir)
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      No. 3

      Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (a Mostly True Memoir)

      by Jenny Lawson

      For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.   Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 N ew York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened , Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

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    • The End Of Your Life Book Club
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      No. 4

      The End Of Your Life Book Club

      by Will Schwalbe

      Mary Anne Schwalbe was a renowned educator who filled such august positions as Director of Admissions at Harvard and Director of College Counseling at New York''s prestigious Dalton School. She also felt it incumbent upon herself to educate the less fortunate and spent the last 10 years of her life building libraries in Afghanistan. But her story here begins with a mocha, dispensed from a machine in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Over coffee, Will casually asks his mom what she''s been reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they mutually agree to read the same books and share them together as Mary Anne waits for her chemotherapy treatments. The books they read, chosen by both, range from the classic to the popular: from The Painted Veil to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ; from My Father''s Tears to the Christian spiritual classic Daily Strength for Daily Needs . Their discussions reveal how books become increasingly important to the connection between a remarkable woman whose life is coming to a close, and a young man becoming closer to his mom than ever before.

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    • In the Orchard, the Swallows
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      No. 5

      In the Orchard, the Swallows

      by Peter Hobbs

      A Guardian Book of the Year and Chapters/Indigo Best Book In the foothills of a mountain range in northern Pakistan is a beautiful orchard. Swallows wheel and dive silently over the branches, and the scent of jasmine threads through the air. Pomegranates hang heavy, their skins darkening to a deep crimson. Neglected now, the trees are beginning to grow wild, their fruit left to spoil on the branches. Many miles away, a frail young man is flung out of prison gates. Looking up, scanning the horizon for swallows in flight, he stumbles and collapses in the roadside dust. His ravaged body tells the story of fifteen years of brutality. Just one image has held and sustained him through the dark times -- the thought of the young girl who had left him dumbstruck with wonder all those years ago, whose eyes were lit up with life. A tale of tenderness in the face of great and corrupt power, In The Orchard, The Swallows is a heartbreaking novel written in prose of exquisite stillness and beauty.

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    • The Casual Vacancy
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      No. 6

      The Casual Vacancy

      by J. K. Rowling

      A big novel about a small town... When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations? A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling''s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

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    • The Chaperone
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      No. 7

      The Chaperone

      by Laura Moriarty

      The New York Times bestseller and the USA Today #1 Hot Fiction Pick for the summer, The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922 and the summer that would change them both.   Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.   For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora’s relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.   Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s,’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers,  and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.

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    • Escape From Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea To Freedom In The West
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      No. 8

      Escape From Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea To Freedom In The West

      by Blaine Harden

      A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived. North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin''s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did. In Escape from Camp 14 , acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin''s life unlocks the secrets of the world''s most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden''s harrowing narrative of Shin''s life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world''s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

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    • Bobcat And Other Stories
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      No. 9

      Bobcat And Other Stories

      by Rebecca Lee

      At turns heartbreaking and wise, tender and wry, Bobcat and Other Stories establishes Rebecca Lee as one of the most powerful and original voices in Canadian literature. A university student on her summer abroad is offered the unusual task of arranging a friend''s marriage. Secret infidelities and one guest''s dubious bobcat-related injury propel a Manhattan dinner party to its unexpected conclusion. Students at an elite architecture retreat seek the wisdom of their revered mentor but end up learning more about themselves and one another than about their shared craft. In these acutely observed and scaldingly honest stories Lee gives us characters who are complex and flawed, cracking open their fragile beliefs and exposing the paradoxes that lie within their romantic and intellectual pursuits. Whether they''re in the countryside of the American Midwest, on a dusty prairie road in Saskatchewan, or among the skyscrapers and voluptuous hills of Hong Kong, the terrain is never as difficult to navigate as their own histories and desires.

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    • The Headmaster's Wager
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      No. 10

      The Headmaster's Wager

      by Vincent Lam

      From Giller Prize winner, internationally acclaimed, and bestselling author Vincent Lam comes a superbly crafted, highly suspenseful, and deeply affecting novel set against the turmoil of the Vietnam War.   Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English school in Saigon. He is also a bon vivant , a compulsive gambler and an incorrigible womanizer. He is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of the Chen Academy. He is fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, and quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, choosing instead to read the faces of his opponents at high-stakes mahjong tables. But when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage, and Laing Jai, a son born to them on the eve of the Tet offensive. Percival''s new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further and further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.   Blessed with intriguingly flawed characters moving through a richly drawn historical and physical landscape, The Headmaster''s Wager is a riveting story of love, betrayal and sacrifice.

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    • The Raven Boys: Book 1 of The Raven Cycle
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      No. 11

      The Raven Boys: Book 1 of The Raven Cycle

      by Maggie Stiefvater

      An all-new series from the masterful #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater! Legend holds that Glendower, a vanished Welsh king, sleeps beneath the hills until he''s needed. The first person to find him will be granted a wish—either by seeing him open his eyes, or by cutting out his heart. Gansey has it all—family money, a car, time for extracurriculars and friends—but he''s always loved the tales of sleeping kings. He thinks he''s found one, too, or at least the area where one might be: in the town of Henrietta, Virginia. And the best way to be there is to attend the prestigious Aglionby Academy for Boys. Blue is the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, but is too practical to believe in things like spirits or true love. Her policy is to stay away from Aglionby boys...but it may be that one in particular can change her mind about magic, and maybe even love.

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    • Gone Girl: A Novel
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      No. 12

      Gone Girl: A Novel

      by Gillian Flynn

      Marriage can be a real killer.    One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.    On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy''s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?    As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?   With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

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    • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared
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      No. 13

      The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared

      by Jonas Jonasson

      The international publishing sensation-over two million copies sold. A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it''s not too late to start over . After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he''s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn''t interested (and he''d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant). It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himselfinvolved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.

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    • Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity
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      No. 14

      Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity

      by Katherine Boo

      In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.   Winner of the National Book Award | The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award | The Los Angeles Times Book Prize | The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award | The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award   NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • USA Today • New York • The Miami Herald • San Francisco Chronicle • Newsday   NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • People • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • The Boston Globe • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsweek /The Daily Beast • Foreign Policy • The Seattle Times • The Nation • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Denver Post • Minneapolis Star Tribune • Salon • The Plain Dealer • The Week • Kansas City Star •  Slate  • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly   NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   “A book of extraordinary intelligence [and] humanity . . . beyond groundbreaking.” —Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review   “Reported like Watergate, written like Great Expectations, and handily the best international nonfiction in years.” — New York “This book is both a tour de force of social justice reportage and a literary masterpiece.” —Judges’ Citation for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award   “[A] landmark book.” — The Wall Street Journal   “A triumph of a book.” —Amartya Sen   “There are books that change the way you feel and see; this is one of them.” —Adrian Nicole LeBlanc   “[A] stunning piece of narrative nonfiction . . . [Katherine] Boo’s prose is electric.” —O: The Oprah Magazine   “Inspiring, and irresistible . . . Boo’s extraordinary achievement is twofold. She shows us how people in the most desperate circumstances can find the resilience to hang on to their humanity. Just as important, she makes us care.” —People

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    • The Power Of Why
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      No. 15

      The Power Of Why

      by Amanda Lang

      Why are some people able to get so much more done in so much less time than others? Why do some companies flourish in tough times while others fail? Why are some countries more productive than others? Through an entertaining mix of examples from the business world, insights from innovation gurus, little-known research, the experiences of business leaders and her own candid stories of life off-camera, Amanda Lang explains how asking the right questions has changed the world and how it can change you, too. From the invention of the curved shower curtain rod to the introduction of an elevator that creates electricity as it moves from floor to floor, The Power of Why persuasively spells out the connection between innovation and productivity that is so crucial in the knowledge economy. Instead of obsessing over working "smarter," we ought to focus on the instinctive urge to question that''s so natural for young children. As Lang shows, it''s possible to reignite that instinct at any age and to become more innovative and productive-as well as more fulfilled in our jobs and happier in our relationships. That''s the power of why.

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    • A Hologram for the King
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      No. 16

      A Hologram for the King

      by Dave Eggers

      A new novel from bestselling author Dave Eggers. In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter''s college tuition, and finally do something great. In ''A Hologram for the King'', Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy''s gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment - and a moving story of how we got here.

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    • Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World: A Novel
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      No. 17

      Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World: A Novel

      by Sabina Berman

      A transporting and brilliant novel narrated by an unforgettable woman: Karen Nieto, an autistic savant whose idiosyncrasies prove her greatest gifts As intimate as it is profound, and as clear-eyed as it is warmhearted, Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World marks an extraordinary debut by the award-winning Mexican playwright, journalist, and poet Sabina Berman. Karen Nieto passed her earliest years as a feral child, left alone to wander the vast beach property near her family''s failing tuna cannery. But when her aunt Isabelle comes to Mexico to take over the family business, she discovers a real girl amidst the squalor. So begins a miraculous journey for autistic savant Karen, who finds freedom not only in the love and patient instruction of her aunt but eventually at the bottom of the ocean swimming among the creatures of the sea. Despite how far she''s come, Karen remains defined by the things she can''t do—until her gifts with animals are finally put to good use at the family''s fishery. Her plan is brilliant: Consolation Tuna will be the first humane tuna fishery on the planet. Greenpeace approves, fame and fortune follow, and Karen is swept on a global journey that explores how we live, what we eat, and how our lives can defy even our own wildest expectations.

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    • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel
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      No. 18

      Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel

      by Ben Fountain

      A finalist for the National Book Award! A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal"-three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew-has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America''s most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America''s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside the superstar pop group Destiny''s Child. Among the Bravos is the Silver Star-winning hero of Al-Ansakar Canal, Specialist William Lynn, a nineteen-year-old Texas native. Amid clamoring patriots sporting flag pins on their lapels and Support Our Troops bumper stickers on their cars, the Bravos are thrust into the company of the Cowboys'' hard-nosed businessman/owner and his coterie of wealthy colleagues; a luscious born-again Cowboys cheerleader; a veteran Hollywood producer; and supersized pro players eager for a vicarious taste of war. Among these faces Billy sees those of his family-his worried sisters and broken father-and Shroom, the philosophical sergeant who opened Billy''s mind and died in his arms at Al-Ansakar. Over the course of this day, Billy will begin to understand difficult truths about himself, his country, his struggling family, and his brothers-in-arms-soldiers both dead and alive. In the final few hours before returning to Iraq, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for home and mourn those missing, face a heart-wrenching decision, and discover pure love and a bitter wisdom far beyond his years. Poignant, riotously funny, and exquisitely heartbreaking, Billy Lynn''s Long Halftime Walk is a devastating portrait of our time, a searing and powerful novel that cements Ben Fountain''s reputation as one of the finest writers of his generation.

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    • Midnight In Peking: How The Murder Of A Young Englishwoman Haunted The Last Days Of Old China
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      No. 19

      Midnight In Peking: How The Murder Of A Young Englishwoman Haunted The Last Days Of Old China

      by Paul French

      Winner of the both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Non-Fiction Dagger Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner''s body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? Or perhaps the dreaded fox spirits? With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives—one British and one Chinese—race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever. Can they find the killer in time, before the Japanese invade? Historian and China expert Paul French at last uncovers the truth behind this notorious murder, and offers a rare glimpse of the last days of colonial Peking.

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    • The Red Chamber
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      No. 20

      The Red Chamber

      by Pauline A Chen

      In this lyrical reimagining of the Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber, set against the breathtaking backdrop of eighteenth-century Beijing, the lives of three unforgettable women collide in the inner chambers of the Jia mansion. When orphaned Daiyu leaves her home in the provinces to take shelter with her cousins in the Capital, she is drawn into a world of opulent splendor, presided over by the ruthless, scheming Xifeng and the prim, repressed Baochai. As she learns the secrets behind their glittering façades, she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue and hidden passions, reaching from the petty gossip of the servants’ quarters all the way to the Imperial Palace. When a political coup overthrows the emperor and plunges the once-mighty family into grinding poverty, each woman must choose between love and duty, friendship and survival. In this dazzling debut, Pauline A. Chen draws the reader deep into the secret, exquisite world of the women’s quarters of an aristocratic household, where the burnish of wealth and refinement mask a harsher truth: marriageable girls are traded like chattel for the family’s advancement, and to choose to love is to risk everything. 

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    • The Fat Years: A Novel
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      No. 21

      The Fat Years: A Novel

      by Koonchung Chan

      Banned in China, this controversial and politically charged novel tells the story of the search for an entire month erased from official Chinese history.   Beijing, sometime in the near future: a month has gone missing from official records. No one has any memory of it, and no one could care less—except for a small circle of friends, who will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of the sinister cheerfulness and amnesia that have possessed the Chinese nation. When they kidnap a high-ranking official and force him to reveal all, what they learn—not only about their leaders, but also about their own people—stuns them to the core. It is a message that will astound the world. A kind of Brave New World reflecting the China of our times, The Fat Years is a complex novel of ideas that reveals all too chillingly the machinations of the postmodern totalitarian state, and sets in sharp relief the importance of remembering the past to protect the future.

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    • The Fault In Our Stars
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      No. 22

      The Fault In Our Stars

      by John Green

      Now a Major Motion Picture TODAY Book Club pick TIME Magazine’s #1 Fiction Book of 2012 "The greatest romance story of this decade."  — Entertainment Weekly -Millions of copies sold-   #1  New York Times  Bestseller #1  Wall Street Journal  Bestseller #1  USA Today  Bestseller #1 International Bestseller #1 Indie Bestseller Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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    • Batman Vol. 1: The Court Of Owls (the New 52)
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      No. 23

      Batman Vol. 1: The Court Of Owls (the New 52)

      by Scott Snyder

      #1 New York Times Bestseller The reader will experience the story from Batman’s viewpoint on pages 108-117. Following his ground-breaking, critically acclaimed run on Detective Comics , writer Scott Snyder ( American Vampire ) alongside artist Greg Capullo ( Spawn ) begins a new era of The Dark Knight as with the relaunch of  Batman , as a part of DC Comics—The New 52!    After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he''s sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of his war on crime? Collects issues #1-7 of  Batman.  

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    • The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade The League And Changed The Game Forever
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      No. 24

      The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade The League And Changed The Game Forever

      by Jonathon Gatehouse

      Gary Bettman’s two-decade reign has brought fans lockouts, soaring ticket prices, on-ice tinkering, and the heartbreaking departures of Canadian teams for American markets, and seen the centre of NHL power shift to Manhattan. Many hardcore hockey followers are convinced the commissioner is out to ruin the game this country loves.   Still, when Bettman took over in 1992, the gross revenue of the National Hockey League was US$400 million. This season, the figure will be closer to $3.3 billion—an eightfold increase. If that were the only criterion by which to judge Bettman’s tenure, he’d be a business success story. But on his watch, professional hockey has expanded beyond its traditional strongholds and shown it can prosper in unlikely places—even on American networks. And the best players in the world now all ply their trade in the league that Gary built.   By taming the NHL’s famously fractious owners, all but busting its players’ union, and by enforcing lawyerly discipline on everything from trash talk to Jim Balsillie’s efforts to crash the party, Bettman has become a figure of almost unrivalled power in the business of sport. His influence shapes leagues in other countries, dictates the schedule of the Olympic Winter Games, and spills onto the ice itself with innovations such as the shootout and a second referee, and with crackdowns on obstruction and headshots.   In The Instigator , Jonathon Gatehouse details the unlikely ascension of a lonely New York City kid from a single-parent family who never played hockey and can barely skate to the sport’s biggest job. It examines his motivations, peels back his often aloof demeanour, and explains how a true outsider manages to lead, confound, and keep order in the game Canadians love.

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