Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best Plays, Seashore and Medical Myths

The Best American Short Plays 2008-2009 edited by Barbara Parisi
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books is proud to continue to publish the series that for decades has been the standard for excellence for one-act plays in America. The sixteen plays in this volume deal with complex social issues and confront some of Life's most difficult junctures.

The Naturalist's Guide to the Atlantic Seashore by Scott Shumway
This is the ultimate guide to the diverse ecosystems of the Atlantic Coast from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. From the tiniest diatom found in coastal tide pools to the giant baleen whales cruising the vast ocean, the species and habitats that make up the character of the seashore are described in detail for the enjoyment and enlightenment of beachgoers of all stripes.

Doctor Chopra Says Medical Facts & Myths Everyone Should Know by Dr. Sanjiv Chopra
Once upon a time, maintaining your health seemed relatively simple. But today we're barraged with a never-ending array of conflicting medical advice. It's all terribly confusing and most of us aren't sure what news we can trust and what we can ignore. Dr. Chopra has teamed up with renowned cardiologist Dr. Alan Lotvin to give you the most cutting-edge medical research available. They explain how to tell the difference between true medical news and irrevelant media hype.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cats, Memoirs, and FBI agents

Cat in an Ultramarine Scheme by Carole Nelson Douglas
Temple Barr, publicist extraordinaire, is itching to bring off her most dangerous and exciting assignment, helping to launch an endeavor that many a Vegas showman has dreamed of -- creating a Las Vegas mob museum/casino. A buried safe rumored to contain scads of mob loot is found underneath one of the hotels during the renovations and Temple has a grand scheme to do a live media event surrounding the opening of this portal to the past. They discover there isn't money to be had...but there is a two-day-old body wearing a white tie and tails!

The True Memoirs of Little K by Adrienne Sharp
Exiled in Paris, tiny, one-hundred-year-old Mathilde Kschessinska sits down to write her memoirs before all that she believes to be true is forgotten. A lifetime ago, she was the vain, ambitious, impossibly charming prima ballerina assoluta of the tsar's Russian Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. Now, as she looks back on her tumultuous life, she can still recall every slight she ever suffered, every conquest she ever made. Kschessinska 's riveting storytelling soon thrusts us into a world lost to time.

The Passage by Justin Cronin
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a world forever altered. As civilization crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary: FBI agent Brad Wolgast, a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty; and six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte, a refugee from the doomed scientific project.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Noir, New Yorker, and Scotland

The Gordian Knot by Bernhard Schlink
Georg Polger ekes out a lonely living as a freelance translator in the south of France, until he is approached by a certain Mr. Bulnakov, who has an intriguing proposition: Georg is to take over a local translation agency and finish a project left by the previous owner, who died in a mysterious accident. The money is right and then there is the matter of Bulnakov's secretary Francoise, with whom Georg has fallen hopelessly in love.

20 Under 40: Stories from the New Yorker edited by Deborah Treisman
This book presents twenty young writers, chosen by The New Yorker, whose work will help define the future of American letters. The range of voices assembled here is extraordinary: from lyrical realism to satirical comedy, from sociopolitical narratives of immigration and identity to genre-bending metaphysical fantasies.

Queen Hereafter by Susan Fraser King
Shipwrecked on the Scottish coast, a young Saxon princess and her family--including the outlawed Edgar of England--ask sanctuary of the warrior-king Malcolm Canmore, who shrewdly sees the political advantage. He promises to aid Edgar and the Saxon cause in return for the hand of Edgar's sister, Margaret in marriage. A foreign queen in a strange land, Margaret adapts to life among the barbarian Scots, bears princes, and shapes the fierce warrior Malcolm into a sophisticated ruler. Yet even as the king and queen build a passionate and tempestuous partnership, the Scots distrust her. When her husband brings Eva, a Celtic bard, to court as a hostage for the good behavior of the formidable Lady MacBeth, Margaret expects trouble. Instead, an unlikely friendship grows between the queen and her bard.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cold Dawn

Cold Dawn by Carla Neggers
The small town of Black Falls, Vermont, finally feels safe again -- until search-and-rescue expert Rose Cameron discovers a body, burnt almost beyond recognition. Almost. Rose is certain that she knows the victims identity...and that his death was no accident.

Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck
By the side of a lake in Brandenburg, a young architect builds the house of his dreams - a summerhouse with wrought-iron balconies, stained-glass windows the colour of jewels, and a bedroom with a hidden closet, all set within a beautiful garden. But the land on which he builds has a dark history of violence that began with the drowning of a young woman in the grip of madness, and that grows darker still over the course of the century. With this haunting evocation of a home and its buried secrets, layer after layer of German history reveals the beating heart and unique memories that lie beneath.

Men of Bronze by Scott Oden
It is 526 B.C. and the empire of the Pharoahs is dying, crushed by the weight of its own antiquity. Decay riddles its cities, infects its aristocracy, and weakens its armies. While across the expanse of Sinai, like jackals drawn to a carrion, the forces of the King of Persia watch and wait. Leading the fight to preserve the soul of Egypt is Hasdrabal Barca, Pharoah's deadliest killer. Caught in the midst of this violence is Jauharah, a slave in the House of Life. Though her hands tend to Barca's wounds, it is her spirit that heals and changes him. He is now a man motivated as much by love as anger. Nevertheless honor and duty have bound Barca to the fate of Egypt.