May 7, 2021

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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Author : Helen Simonson
Publisher : A&C Black
Release Date : 2010-03-01
Category : Fiction
Total pages :400
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Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali. Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or love? Funny, comforting and heart-warming, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand proves that sometimes, against all odds, life does give you a second chance.

A Drink Before the War

A Drink Before the War
Author : Dennis Lehane
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date : 2003
Category : Fiction
Total pages :282
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Private detective partners Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find Jenna Angeline, a missing black cleaning woman who allegedly stole confidential state documents, but as their investigation becomes complicated by rival gang leaders, extortion, child prostitution, and assassination reaching to the highest levels of government, they discover that their target has been framed. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

The Summer Before the War

The Summer Before the War
Author : Helen Simonson
Publisher : Bond Street Books
Release Date : 2016-03-22
Category : Fiction
Total pages :256
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New York Times - bestselling author Helen Simonson returns with a splendid historical novel full of the same wit, romance and insight into the manners and morals of small-town British life as her beloved Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. It's the summer of 1914 and life in the sleepy village of Rye, England is about to take an interesting turn. Agatha Kent, a canny force for progress, is expecting an unusual candidate to be the school's Latin teacher: Beatrice Nash, a young woman of good breeding in search of a position after the death of her father. (Never has there been a woman Latin teacher.) Agatha's nephews, meanwhile, have come to spend the summer months, as always, both with dreams of their own: Daniel, the poet, to publish a literary journal in Paris, and Hugh, to graduate from medical studies and marry his surgeon's daughter thus inheriting a lucrative practice. But then Hugh is sent to pick up Beatrice from the train station and life, of course, changes. As with Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, the quintessential English village becomes the stage on which entrenched tradition, class, ignorance, family ties and love play out. Here, these characters and others we come to love and root for become characters we hope and pray for when the shadow of the Great War looms ever closer to home.

The Summer Before Boys

The Summer Before Boys
Author : Nora Raleigh Baskin
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release Date : 2012-04-03
Category : Juvenile Fiction
Total pages :208
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Twelve-year-old best friends and relatives, Julia and Eliza are happy to spend the summer together while Julia's mother is serving in the National Guard in Iraq but when they meet a neighborhood boy, their close relationship begins to change.

The Summer Before the Storm

The Summer Before the Storm
Author : Gabriele Wills
Publisher : Unknown
Release Date : 2011-01
Category : Fiction
Total pages :556
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It's the Age of Elegance in the summer playground of the affluent and powerful. Amid the pristine, island-dotted lakes and pine-scented forests of the Canadian wilderness, the young and carefree amuse themselves with glittering balls and friendly competitions. The summer of 1914 promises to be different when the ambitious and destitute son of a disowned heir joins his wealthy family at their cottage on Wyndwood Island. Through Jack's introduction into the privileged life of the aristocratic Wyndhams and their social circle, he seeks opportunities and alliances to better himself, including in his schemes, his beautiful and audacious cousin, Victoria. But their charmed lives begin to unravel with the onset of the Great War, in which many are destined to become part of the "lost generation." This richly textured tale takes the reader on an unforgettable journey from romantic moonlight cruises to the horrific sinking of the Lusitania, from regattas on the water to combat in the skies over France, from extravagant mansions to deadly trenches - from innocence to nationhood. The Summer Before The Storm, the first of the epic "Muskoka Novels," evokes a gracious, bygone era that still resonates in this legendary land of lakes.

The War Before the War

The War Before the War
Author : Andrew Delbanco
Publisher : Penguin
Release Date : 2018-11-06
Category : History
Total pages :480
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"Excellent...stunning."—Ta-Nehisi Coates The devastating story of how fugitive slaves drove the nation to Civil War A New York Times Notable Book Selection * Winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize* Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award * A New York Times Critics' Best Book For decades after its founding, America was really two nations--one slave, one free. There were many reasons why this composite nation ultimately broke apart, but the fact that enslaved black people repeatedly risked their lives to flee their masters in the South in search of freedom in the North proved that the "united" states was actually a lie. Fugitive slaves exposed the contradiction between the myth that slavery was a benign institution and the reality that a nation based on the principle of human equality was in fact a prison-house in which millions of Americans had no rights at all. By awakening northerners to the true nature of slavery, and by enraging southerners who demanded the return of their human "property," fugitive slaves forced the nation to confront the truth about itself. By 1850, with America on the verge of collapse, Congress reached what it hoped was a solution-- the notorious Compromise of 1850, which required that fugitive slaves be returned to their masters. Like so many political compromises before and since, it was a deal by which white Americans tried to advance their interests at the expense of black Americans. Yet the Fugitive Slave Act, intended to preserve the Union, in fact set the nation on the path to civil war. It divided not only the American nation, but also the hearts and minds of Americans who struggled with the timeless problem of when to submit to an unjust law and when to resist. The fugitive slave story illuminates what brought us to war with ourselves and the terrible legacies of slavery that are with us still.

Ostend

Ostend
Author : Volker Weidermann
Publisher : Pantheon
Release Date : 2016-01-26
Category : Biography & Autobiography
Total pages :176
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It’s the summer of 1936, and the writer Stefan Zweig is in crisis. His German publisher no longer wants him, his marriage is collapsing, and his house in Austria—searched by the police two years earlier—no longer feels like home. He’s been dreaming of Ostend, the Belgian beach town that is a paradise of promenades, parasols, and old friends. So he journeys there with his lover, Lotte Altmann, and reunites with fellow writer and semi-estranged close friend Joseph Roth, who is himself about to fall in love. For a moment, they create a fragile haven. But as Europe begins to crumble around them, the writers find themselves trapped on vacation, in exile, watching the world burn. In Ostend, Volker Weidermann lyrically recounts “the summer before the dark,” when a coterie of artists, intellectuals, drunks, revolutionaries, and madmen found themselves in limbo while Europe teetered on the edge of fascism and total war. Ostend is the true story of two of the twentieth century’s great writers, written with a novelist’s eye for pacing, chronology, and language—a dazzling work of historical nonfiction. (Translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway)

Live; live; live

Live; live; live
Author : Jonathan Buckley
Publisher : New York Review of Books
Release Date : 2021-02-02
Category : Fiction
Total pages :272
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A story of remembrance, desire, and the occult by one of Britain's finest contemporary novelists. The lapping of the waves was a lesson in mortality. Sometimes the corrective would work, and his turmoil would recede. The sound secured him, as the contemplation of a skull might make a penitent secure. And sometimes it was more than a corrective: it brought elation . . . "Live," it urged, with each whisper of the water. "Live; live; live." Leaning forward, Lucas repeated the words with too much fervor, to make sure that the lesson was not lost on me. This was his mission: not to help people to keep hold of the past, but to help them to live. Jonathan Buckley’s latest novel, Live; live; live, is a subtly suspenseful and slow-burning story about the occult as a source of psychological and existential truth. Lucas Judd is a man with a gift: He hears the dead speaking. Joshua lives next door, just a boy when he first meets his mysterious, kind neighbor. But as he grows up, his instructive friendship with Lucas is gradually altered by desire: Joshua’s attraction to, then obsession with Erin, the much younger woman with whom Lucas lives. The nature of her relationship to Lucas is unclear and unclassifiable: Is it erotic, platonic, pedagogical? And is Lucas a sham or a kind of shaman? Is Joshua really a reliable witness? At the heart of this powerful and resonant novel are timely questions about narrative truth and timeless questions about life, death, and belief. There are no certainties in Live; live; live, only mutability, permeability, and the beautifully observed cadence of change.

The Truth According to Us

The Truth According to Us
Author : Annie Barrows
Publisher : Dial Press
Release Date : 2015-06-09
Category : Fiction
Total pages :528
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society comes a wise, witty, and exuberant novel, perfect for fans of Lee Smith, that illuminates the power of loyalty and forgiveness, memory and truth, and the courage it takes to do what’s right. Annie Barrows once again evokes the charm and eccentricity of a small town filled with extraordinary characters. Her new novel, The Truth According to Us, brings to life an inquisitive young girl, her beloved aunt, and the alluring visitor who changes the course of their destiny forever. In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty. At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a new tale about the Romeyns. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed—and their personal histories completely rewritten. Praise for The Truth According to Us “As delightfully eccentric as Guernsey yet refreshingly different . . . an epic but intimate family novel with richly imagined characters . . . Willa’s indomitable spirit, keen sense of adventure and innate intelligence reminded me of two other motherless girls in literature: Scout Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Flavia de Luce in Alan Bradley’s big-hearted British mystery series.”—The Washington Post “The Truth According to Us has all the characteristics of a great summer read: A plot that makes you want to keep turning the pages; a setting that makes you feel like you’re inhabiting another time and place; and characters who become people you’re sad to leave behind—and thus who always stay with you.”—Miami Herald “It takes a brave author to make the heroine of a new novel an observant and feisty girl . . . like Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. . . . But Barrows . . . has created a believable and touching character in Willa.”—USA Today “[A] heartwarming coming-of-age novel [that] sparkles with folksy depictions of a tight-knit family and life in a small town . . . full of richly drawn, memorable characters.”—The Seattle Times “A big, juicy family saga with warm humor and tragic twists . . . The story gets more and more absorbing as it moves briskly along.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Annie Barrows leaves no doubt that she is a storyteller of rare caliber, with wisdom and insight to spare. Every page rings like a bell.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

The War that Saved My Life

The War that Saved My Life
Author : Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Publisher : Penguin
Release Date : 2015-01-08
Category : Juvenile Fiction
Total pages :320
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* Newbery Honor Book * #1 New York Times Bestseller * Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award * Wall Street Journal Best Children's Books of the Year * New York Public Library's 100 Books for Reading and Sharing An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War II, from the acclaimed author of Fighting Words, and for fans of Fish in a Tree and Number the Stars. Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother? This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making. "Achingly lovely...Nuanced and emotionally acute."—The Wall Street Journal "Unforgettable...unflinching."—Common Sense Media ★ “Brisk and honest...Cause for celebration.” —Kirkus, starred review ★ "Poignant."—Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ "Powerful."—The Horn Book, starred review "Affecting."—Booklist "Emotionally satisfying...[A] page-turner."—BCCB “Exquisitely written...Heart-lifting.” —SLJ "Astounding...This book is remarkable."—Karen Cushman, author The Midwife's Apprentice "Beautifully told."—Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah, Plain and Tall "I read this novel in two big gulps."—Gary D. Schmidt, author of Okay for Now "I love Ada's bold heart...Her story's riveting."—Sheila Turnage, author of Three Times Lucky

The Perfect Summer

The Perfect Summer
Author : Juliet Nicolson
Publisher : Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Release Date : 2008-05-12
Category : History
Total pages :304
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A “sparkling social history” that brings the twilight of the Edwardian era to life (Entertainment Weekly). The Perfect Summer chronicles a glorious English summer just over a century ago, when the world was on the cusp of irrevocable change. That summer of 1911, a new king was crowned and the aristocracy was at play, bounding from one house party to the next. But perfection was not for all. Cracks in the social fabric were showing. The country was brought to a standstill by industrial strikes. Temperatures rose steadily to more than 100 degrees; by August, deaths from heatstroke were too many for newspapers to report. Drawing on material from intimate and rarely seen sources and narrated from the viewpoints of a series of exceptional individuals—among them a debutante, a choirboy, a politician, a trade unionist, a butler, and the queen—The Perfect Summer is a vividly rendered glimpse of a bygone time and place. “Brimming with delectable information and little-known facts . . . manages to describe every stratum of English society . . . Where Nicolson is especially good, however, is with the royals and the aristocracy, whose country estates, salons, entertainments, and affairs—discreet and indiscreet—she describes with accuracy and humor.” —The Providence Journal “A hugely interesting portrait of a society teetering on a precipice both nationally and internationally . . . As page turning as a novel.” —Joanna Trollope

Seasons Before the War

Seasons Before the War
Author : Bernice Morgan
Publisher : Unknown
Release Date : 2018-11
Category : Juvenile Nonfiction
Total pages :48
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Originally written for a Christmas concert given by internationally-renowned children's choir Shallaway, Bernice Morgan's Seasons Before the War is a delightful, unsentimental remembrance of growing up in St. John's, Newfoundland just before the city, and the world, changed irrevocably with the advent of WWII. This slightly fictionalized telling explores the delights of every day and of each season: how Bernice and her siblings played and passed their time--watching the fire trucks put out fires at the dump, going for messages at the local shops, listening to stories by the kitchen stove--and the bigger moments of starting school, and anticipating Christmas. Charged with the bright wonder of a child's view, the book nevertheless contains the shadow of change; although mentioned only in the book's title, war and its implications for childhood hang quietly over all. Painted illustrations, by acclaimed UK-based illustrator Brita Granström, beautifully capture the sweet nostalgia of Morgan's words and the joys of childhood. Soft and playful, yet detailed and accurate, the illustrations add immeasurably to the book, making it as much an art book as a storybook. With beautiful paper, thoughtful design, and exceptional production values, this is a book to be shared between generations, and to be treasured.

Before the War

Before the War
Author : Fay Weldon
Publisher : St. Martin's Press
Release Date : 2017-03-14
Category : Fiction
Total pages :304
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London, 1922. It’s a cold November morning, the station is windswept and rural, the sky is threatening snow, and the train is late. Vivien Ripple, 20 years old and an ungainly five foot eleven, waits on the platform at Dilberne Halt. She is wealthy and well-bred—only daughter to the founder of Ripple & Co, the nation’s top publisher—but plain, painfully awkward, and, perhaps worst of all, intelligent. Nicknamed “the giantess,” Vivvie is, in the estimation of most, already a spinster. But she has a plan. That very morning, Vivvie will ride to the city with the express purpose of changing her life forever. Enter Sherwyn Sexton: charismatic, handsome—if, to his dismay, rather short. He’s an aspiring novelist and editor at Ripple & Co whose greatest love is the (similarly handsome, but taller) protagonist of his thriller series. He also has a penchant for pretty young women—single and otherwise. Sherwyn is shocked when his boss’s hulking daughter, dressed in a tweed jacket and moth-eaten scarf, strides into his office and asks for his hand in marriage. But his finances are running thin to support his regular dinners on the town, and Vivien’s promise to house him in comfort while he writes is simply too good to refuse. What neither of them know is that she is pregnant by another man, and will die in childbirth in just a few months... With one eye on the present and one on the past, Fay Weldon offers Vivien’s fate, along with that of London between World Wars I and II: a city fizzing with change, full of flat-chested flappers, shell-shocked soldiers, and aristocrats clinging to history. Inventive, warm, playful, and full of Weldon’s trademark ironic edge, Before the War is a spellbinding novel from one of the greatest writers of our time.

Summer of the War

Summer of the War
Author : Gloria Whelan
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release Date : 2009-10-06
Category : Juvenile Fiction
Total pages :176
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It's the summer of 1942. At her grandparents' island cottage in Michigan, 14–year–old Belle excitedly awaits the arrival of her exotic older cousin, Carolyn. Belle's expecting worldly sophistication and French style. But Carolyn brings much more than that: she carries the troubling reality of the World War that is ravaging her home. Turtle Island will never be the same again. Set against the backdrop of breezy island cottages, this heartrending tale from National Book Award medalist Gloria Whelan is the story of a beautiful place and a special friendship–and how events thousands of miles away shaped them both.

Europe's Last Summer

Europe's Last Summer
Author : David Fromkin
Publisher : Vintage
Release Date : 2007-12-18
Category : History
Total pages :384
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When war broke out in Europe in 1914, it surprised a European population enjoying the most beautiful summer in memory. For nearly a century since, historians have debated the causes of the war. Some have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; others have concluded it was unavoidable. In Europe’s Last Summer, David Fromkin provides a different answer: hostilities were commenced deliberately. In a riveting re-creation of the run-up to war, Fromkin shows how German generals, seeing war as inevitable, manipulated events to precipitate a conflict waged on their own terms. Moving deftly between diplomats, generals, and rulers across Europe, he makes the complex diplomatic negotiations accessible and immediate. Examining the actions of individuals amid larger historical forces, this is a gripping historical narrative and a dramatic reassessment of a key moment in the twentieth-century.