A fierce, provocative, and deeply affecting novel exploring the often violent borders between war and sex, love and art, The Small Backs of Children is a major step forward from one of our most avidly watched writers.
Tom Killion is a California treasure. No other artist knows the state's wild landscapes more intimately, or captures them more faithfully. His exquisite woodcuts combine a walker's inch-by-inch knowledge of the terrain with a compositional sense as dramatic and unerring as that of the great Japanese masters Hokusai and Hiroshige. But Killion isn't only a wonderful artist, he's also a first-rate writer, and both those qualities are showcased in his marvelous new book, California's Wild Edge. Killion says that the book is "about finding the song of the California coast," and the combination of his graceful and learned historical essays, a rich sampling of poetry, and of course his spectacular art, adds up to a veritable symphony of this special place where land meets sea.
Maggie Nelson's "The Argonauts "is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, offers a firsthand account of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making.
Celebrate the golden age of San Francisco Giants baseball with "Giant Splash," a firsthand account by Giants beat reporter and best-selling author Andrew Baggarly. Since the team moved to the shores of McCovey Cove in 2000, Giants fans have been thrilled by iconic players, historic moments, and heroic performances--not to mention three World Series championships. Giant Splash takes readers onto the field and inside the clubhouse for every unforgettable moment: Barry Bonds' record-setting home runs, Tim Lincecum's no-hitter, Matt Cain's perfect game, Travis Ishikawa's walk-off pennant winner, and many more.
A runaway "San Francisco Chronicle" bestseller, "Cool Gray City of Love" is a one-of-a-kind book for a one-of-a-kind city. It's a love song in 49 chapters to an extraordinary place, taking 49 different sites around the city as points of entry and inspiration-from a seedy intersection in the Tenderloin to the soaring sea cliffs at Lands End. Encompassing the city's Spanish missionary past, a gold rush, a couple of earthquakes, the Beats, the hippies, and the dot-com boom, this book is at once a rambling walking tour, a natural and human history, and a celebration of place itself-a guide to loving any place more faithfully and fully.
John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads "I'm Not Psycho," he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash?
Before he leaves for this bizarre adventure, Waters fantasizes about the best and worst possible scenarios: a friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? His real-life rides include a gentle eighty-one-year-old farmer who is convinced Waters is a hobo, an indie band on tour, and the perverse filmmaker's unexpected hero: a young, sandy-haired Republican in a Corvette.
Bill Reed manages a wildlife sanctuary in rural Idaho, caring for injured animals raptors, a wolf, and his beloved bear, Majer, among them that are unable to survive in the wild. Seemingly rid of his troubled past, Bill hopes to marry the local veterinarian and live a quiet life together, the promise of which is threatened when a childhood friend is released from prison. Suddenly forced to confront the secrets of his criminal youth, Bill battles fiercely to preserve the shelter that protects these wounded animals and to keep hidden his turbulent, even dangerous, history. Alternating between past and present, Christian Kiefer contrasts the wreckage of Bill's crime-ridden years in Reno, Nevada, with the elusive promise of a peaceful future. In finely sculpted prose imaginatively at odds with the harsh, volatile world Kiefer evokes, The Animals builds powerfully toward the revelation of Bill's defining betrayal and the drastic lengths Bill goes to in order to escape the consequences.
"In a return to the bighearted storytelling that made him a star NPR correspondent, Simon] pays full tribute to the ex-showgirl who...taught her only son to be honest, kind, and entertaining. Be assured, tears will fall."--"People Magazine"
"In his poignant, funny, intimate memoir of his last days with his mother], Simon reflects on... the preciousness that death gives to life and the endless resonance of love."--Laura Hillenbrand, author of UNBROKEN
Donna Leon's "Death at La Fenice," the first novel in her beloved Commissario Guido Brunetti series, introduced readers to the glamorous and cutthroat world of opera and one of Italy's finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli--then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to Venice and La Fenice to sing the lead in "Tosca."
Brunetti and his wife, Paola, attend an early performance, and Flavia receives a standing ovation. Back in her dressing room, she finds bouquets of yellow roses--too many roses. Every surface of the room is covered with them. An anonymous fan has been showering Flavia with these beautiful gifts in London, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and now, Venice, but she no longer feels flattered. A few nights later, invited by Brunetti to dine at his in-laws' palazzo, Flavia confesses her alarm at these excessive displays of adoration. And when a talented young Venetian singer who has caught Flavia's attention is savagely attacked, Brunetti begins to think that Flavia's fears are justified in ways neither of them imagined. He must enter in the psyche of an obsessive fan before Flavia, or anyone else, comes to harm.
The incomparable Jonathan Lethem returns with nine stories that demonstrate his mastery of the short form.
Jonathan Lethem's third collection of stories uncovers a father's nervous breakdown at SeaWorld in "Pending Vegan"; a foundling child rescued from the woods during a blizzard in "Traveler Home"; a political prisoner in a hole in a Brooklyn street in "Procedure in Plain Air"; and a crumbling, haunted "blog" on a seaside cliff in "The Dreaming Jaw, The Salivating Ear." Each of these locates itself in Lethem-land, which can be discovered only by visiting. As in his celebrated novels, Lethem finds the uncanny lurking in the mundane, the irrational self-defeat seeping through our upstanding pursuits, and the tragic undertow of the absurd world(s) in which we live.
Devoted fans of Lethem will recognize familiar themes: the anxiety of influence taken to reductio ad absurdum in "The King of Sentences"; a hapless, horny outsider summoning bravado in "The Porn Critic"; characters from forgotten comics stranded on a desert island in "Their Back Pages." As always in Lethem, humor and poignancy work in harmony, humans strive desperately for connection, words find themselves misaligned to deeds, and the sentences are glorious.
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers now also includes the bestselling short story The Julian Chapter.
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder