Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Kitchens of the Great Midwest Author J. Ryan Stradal
ISBN-10 9780698196513
Year 2015-07-28
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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“A sweet and savory treat.” —People “An impressive feat of narrative jujitsu . . . that keeps readers turning the pages too fast to realize just how ingenious they are.”—The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Pick Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a novel about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation. It was selected as a best book of the year by Amazon, BookPage, LibraryReads, and NPR. When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter—starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience. Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

The Alice Network

The Alice Network Author Kate Quinn
ISBN-10 9780062654205
Year 2017-06-06
Pages 528
Language en
Publisher HarperCollins
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USA TODAY BESTSELLER Reese Witherspoon Book Club Summer Reading Pick! One of Amazon's Best Books of June! One of Goodreads' Best Books of June! A Summer Book Pick from Good Housekeeping, Parade, Library Journal, Goodreads, Liz and Lisa, and BookBub In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption. 1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister. 1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose. Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads. “Both funny and heartbreaking, this epic journey of two courageous women is an unforgettable tale of little-known wartime glory and sacrifice. Quinn knocks it out of the park with this spectacular book!”—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter

The Book of Polly

The Book of Polly Author Kathy Hepinstall
ISBN-10 9780399562112
Year 2017-03-14
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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For readers of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Joshilyn Jackson, and Fannie Flagg, with a touch of Terms of Endearment A laugh-out-loud funny yet poignant novel about a daughter determined not only to keep her mother among the living but to find out the secrets of her long-buried past Willow Havens is ten years old and obsessed with the fear that her mother will die. Her mother, Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to shoot varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors--and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young, modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late fifties when Willow was born, so Willow knows she's here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow's father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere: it's just her and her bigger-than-life mom, Polly. Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and Polly has her own secrets that she won't reveal. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return after a mysterious and terrible incident? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun The Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her closely guarded past and a final trip back to Bethel that will end with them, like Huck Finn, riding a river raft back home? THE BOOK OF POLLY has a kick like the best hot sauce, and a great blend of humor and sadness, pathos and hilarity. This is a bittersweet novel about the grip of love in a truly quirky family and you'll come to know one of the most unforgettable mother-daughter duos you've ever met.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Author Kathleen Rooney
ISBN-10 9781250113337
Year 2017-01-17
Pages 304
Language en
Publisher St. Martin's Press
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NOW A NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER “Transporting...witty, poignant and sparkling.” —People (People Picks Book of the Week) “Prescient and quick....A perfect fusing of subject and writer, idea and ideal.” —Chicago Tribune “Extraordinary...hilarious...Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time—and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge past and future. —Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed) "Rooney's delectably theatrical fictionalization is laced with strands of tart poetry and emulates the dark sparkle of Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Truman Capote. Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart, Rooney’s nimble novel celebrates insouciance, creativity, chance, and valor." —Booklist (starred review) “In my reckless and undiscouraged youth,” Lillian Boxfish writes, “I worked in a walnut-paneled office thirteen floors above West Thirty-Fifth Street...” She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.” Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now—her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl—but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not. A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop. Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

The Garden of Small Beginnings

The Garden of Small Beginnings Author Abbi Waxman
ISBN-10 9780399583599
Year 2017-05-02
Pages 368
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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In the spirit of A Man Called Ove and Good Grief—a poignant, funny, and utterly believable novel about life and loss. Give grief a chance . . . Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years—ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed. At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks—like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently, being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity. After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles botanical garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover—with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners—is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not… READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons Author Claire Fuller
ISBN-10 9780241252161
Year 2017-01-26
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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The second novel from the author of Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. 'Thrilling, transporting, delicately realised and held together by a sophisticated sense of suspense...more than matches the power of Fuller's debut... Powerful , pleasing and pleasurable.' Sunday Times 'Gil Coleman looked down from the window and saw his dead wife standing on the pavement below.' Gil's wife, Ingrid has been missing, presumed drowned, for twelve years. A possible sighting brings their children, Nan and Flora, home. Together they begin to confront the mystery of their mother. Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave? And do the letters hidden within Gil's books hold the answer to the truth behind his marriage, a truth hidden from everyone including his own children?

The Leavers

The Leavers Author Lisa Ko
ISBN-10 9781616207137
Year 2017-05-02
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Algonquin Books
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“There was a time I would have called Lisa Ko’s novel beautifully written, ambitious, and moving, and all of that is true, but it’s more than that now: if you want to understand a forgotten and essential part of the world we live in, The Leavers is required reading.” —Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth Lisa Ko’s powerful debut, The Leavers, is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice. One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon—and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind. Told from the perspective of both Daniel—as he grows into a directionless young man—and Polly, Ko’s novel gives us one of fiction’s most singular mothers. Loving and selfish, determined and frightened, Polly is forced to make one heartwrenching choice after another. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid examination of borders and belonging. It’s a moving story of how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past. Lisa Ko’s fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, Apogee Journal, Narrative, Copper Nickel, the Asian Pacific American Journal, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Writers OMI at Ledig House, the Jerome Foundation, and Blue Mountain Center, among others. She was born in New York City, where she now lives. Visit her at lisa-ko.com.

The Poison Tree

The Poison Tree Author Erin Kelly
ISBN-10 9781848942417
Year 2010-06-10
Pages 300
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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By the end of that summer, two people would be dead... Fans of In A Dark Dark Wood and Disclaimer will love this twisty thriller. I have given up so much and done so many terrible things already for the sake of my family that I can only keep going. I do not know what is going to happen to us. I am frightened, but I feel strong. I have the strength of a woman who has everything to lose. In the sweltering summer of 1997, strait-laced, straight-A student Karen met Biba - a bohemian and impossibly glamorous aspiring actress. She was quickly drawn into Biba's world, and for a while life was one long summer of love. But every summer must end. By the end of theirs, two people were dead - and now Karen's past has come back to haunt her . . .

On Turpentine Lane

On Turpentine Lane Author Elinor Lipman
ISBN-10 9780544808270
Year 2017-02-14
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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An endearing romantic comedy from the beloved best-selling author of The Family Man and The View from Penthouse B At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her claustro-suburban hometown, where she writes institutional thank-you notes for her alma mater. It's a peaceful life, really, and surely with her recent purchase of a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane her life is finally on track. Never mind that her fiancé is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk, too busy to return her texts (but not too busy to post photos of himself with a different woman in every state). And never mind her witless boss, or a mother who lives too close, or a philandering father who thinks he's Chagall. When she finds some mysterious artifacts in the attic of her new home, she wonders whether anything in her life is as it seems. What good fortune, then, that Faith has found a friend in affable, collegial Nick Franconi, officemate par excellence . . . Elinor Lipman may well have invented the screwball romantic comedy for our era, and here she is at her sharpest and best. On Turpentine Lane is funny, poignant, and a little bit outrageous.

Things That Happened Before the Earthquake

Things That Happened Before the Earthquake Author Chiara Barzini
ISBN-10 9780385542289
Year 2017-08-15
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Doubleday
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Welcome to LA? Nineties' Hollywood gets an Italian makeover in this poignant and ruefully funny coming-of-age novel featuring a teenage girl who's on shaky ground—in more ways than one. Mere weeks after the 1992 riots that laid waste to Los Angeles, Eugenia, a typical Italian teenager, is rudely yanked from her privileged Roman milieu by her hippie-ish filmmaker parents and transplanted to the strange suburban world of the San Fernando Valley. With only the Virgin Mary to call on for guidance as her parents struggle to make it big, Hollywood fashion, she must navigate her huge new public high school, complete with Crips and Bloods and Persian gang members, and a car-based environment of 99-cent stores and obscure fast-food franchises and all-night raves. She forges friendships with Henry, who runs his mother's movie memorabilia store, and the bewitching Deva, who introduces her to the alternate cultural universe that is Topanga Canyon. And then the 1994 earthquake rocks the foundations not only of Eugenia's home but of the future she'd been imagining for herself.

Windfall

Windfall Author Desmond Bagley
ISBN-10 9780008211363
Year 2017-08-10
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher HarperCollins UK
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Action thriller by the classic adventure writer about security consultant, Max Stafford, set in Kenya.

The Camomile Lawn

The Camomile Lawn Author Mary Wesley
ISBN-10 9781446443378
Year 2012-03-31
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Random House
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Oliver is just back from the Spanish Civil War and world-weary at only nineteen. Calypso is gorgeous, utterly selfish and determined to marry for money. Polly and Walter, brother and sister, play their cards close to their chests. Then there's little Sophie, who nobody loves. Soon the world will be swept into war again and the five cousins will enter a whirligig of sex, infidelity, love and loss, but for now they have one last, gaspingly hot summer at the house by the cliffs with the camomile lawn. A beloved bestseller from an author ahead of her time, The Camomile Lawn is a waspishly witty, devil-may-care delight.