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Thirty years after first encountering the poems of Han-shan, better known here as Cold Mountain, James Lenfestey makes a pilgrimage of sorts to the reputed hillside cave in China where Han-Shan lived as a hermit centuries ago. With Bill Porter (aka Red Pine) as his guide he visits along the way shrines of other important poets and Buddhist temples all the while documenting his journey in both prose and verse.
Lots of historo-intellectual fun for Antiquity enthusiasts. In her well-wrought essays Beard brings refreshing insight and deep scholarship to this flavorful collection covering most of the Ancient World Hit Parade from Homer to Asterix. Paging through it is like visiting old (ancient, in fact) friends.
A backyard filled with 350 endangered birds? Pandemonium Aviaries began eighteen years ago with the rescue of one bird and has since grown into a recognized breeding facility for threaten species of New Guinea. Owner Michele Raffin has since become a certified aviculturist and a consultant to zoo and other breeders. And yes, all in her backyard.
This graphic novel provides a first-hand look at the awkward initial conversations with aging parents about disability, assisted living, and death and takes the reader through the struggle to come to terms with the parent-child relationship after the parents are gone. While the specifics of Chast’s story are personal, the journey is universal, and the overall feeling from reading Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant is that of having a good friend nearby during this difficult time of life.
Porter Square Book Club
From equerries and ladies-in-waiting to grooms and scullery maids, it took thousands of people to keep Queen Victoria's palaces running. Most kept quiet about royal secrets during Victoria's reign, but their letters and diaries reveal everything from the mundane to the scandalous.
Artist Gris Grimly intertwines Mary Shelley's text with spooky, spectral illustrations to make one of the greatest horror novels ever even more horrific. A perfect chilling read for October, and a great access point for those who've never read the classic.
The glittering world of high-society Houston in the 20s is brought to life through Hetty Allen in this evocative debut novel. Caught up in a rivalry between two men that is not only for her affections, but in business as well, Hetty's world is made real through intense, clearly-researched details and a gripping plot in which its romance is interwoven with an frenetic oil drama that's nearly impossible to put down.
Zac and Mia begin a relationship through the hospital wall separating their rooms and it continues far beyond that building and then back again. Heart warming, surprising, sad but hopeful, this Australian author has captured something special. Think Fault in Our Stars, Australian style.
Mary Howard is one of the minor figures at Henry VIII's court, married off to the king's illegitimate son as a pawn in the fight over who will inherit Henry's crown. Longshore imagines the details of Mary's life, from her loves to her friendships and her own role in the Tudor drama.
Mike Klingenberg’s summer is off to a bad start. His father is on a “business trip” with his assistant. His mother is in rehab. The girl he likes has invited everyone but him to her party. So when Tschick—the class reject and possible son of a Russian mobster—pulls up in a stolen car and asks if he wants to go on a road trip, what else can he do? He hops in. A terrifically fun and moving story of love, friendship and growing up.
Based on the final book idea of Siobhan Dowd, A Monster Calls is a beautifully written and illustrated tale of grief, loss, and letting go. A powerful and incredibly moving modern fairy tale.
A creepy mash up of Phantom of the Opera and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, with a touch of steampunk, ghosts, and gothic horror mixed in. Chilling but not scary, this book is a perfect read for October.
Nine months ago Sophie finally got clean. Four months ago her best friend Mina was killed in what the police think was a drug deal gone wrong. Two days ago Sophie was released from involuntary rehab with one mission: find the person who really killed Mina before they get to her too. A complex love story wrapped up in a heart-pounding mystery, for fans of Ellen Hopkins or a darker John Green.
In Broken Monsters, Beukes is both brutal and delicate, grotesques and subtle, fantastical and realistic, stretching, twisting, and distorting expected genres into something new and thrilling. It’s no wonder she has been praised by the likes of Stephen King and James Ellroy. Broken Monsters has raised the bar for contemporary horror.
Atkinson's magnum opus is a superb accomplishment, observing myriad aspects of the European War, from command personalities and tactics to foot soldiers. Every paragraph lives with fascinating anecdotes, and the whole of it is beautifully written. A great and honorable addition to WW2 history and analysis.