Growing up in a small rural Kansas town, Scott spent an inordinate amount of time at the library reading and dreaming of faraway places with mountains and trees. When it came time to leave home he hit the school books and logging roads, earning a forestry degree, and for years hauled one book or another in his backpack through some of the most remote and beautiful wilderness areas of the country. Scott has been a bookseller for 22 years now (a career in “wood products” the forester in him insists). Away from Auntie’s he can be found teaching Chinese art T’ai chi ch’uan or studying the Encyclopedia Britannica in preparation for his upcoming appearance on Jeopardy. Scott recommends Ishmael, Siddhartha, Brothers K, Desert Solitaire, Booked to Die, and Einstein’s Dreams.
Benjamin Benjamin has lost virtually everything — his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. With few options, Ben enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving, where he is instructed in the art of inserting catheters and avoiding liability, about professionalism, and on how to keep physical and emotional distance between client and provider.
But when Ben is assigned to tyrannical nineteen-year-old Trevor, who is in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he soon discovers that the endless mnemonics and service plan checklists have done little to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, sexually frustrated adolescent with an ax to grind with the world at large.
Though begun with mutual misgivings, the relationship between Trev and Ben evolves into a close camaraderie, and the traditional boundaries between patient and caregiver begin to blur as they embark on a road trip to visit Trev's ailing father. A series of must-see roadside attractions divert them into an impulsive adventure interrupted by one birth, two arrests, a freakish dust storm, and a six-hundred-mile cat-and-mouse pursuit by a mysterious brown Buick Skylark.
Bursting with energy, this big-hearted and inspired novel ponders life's terrible surprises and the heart's uncanny capacity to mend.
For the first time, legendary singer, songwriter, and guitarist Neil Young offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical creativity. He tells of his childhood in Ontario, where his father instilled in him a love for the written word; his first brush with mortality when he contracted polio at the age of five; struggling to pay rent during his early days with the Squires; traveling the Canadian prairies in Mort, his 1948 Buick hearse; performing in a remote town as a polar bear prowled beneath the floorboards; leaving Canada on a whim in 1966 to pursue his musical dreams in the pot-filled boulevards and communal canyons of Los Angeles; the brief but influential life of Buffalo Springfield, which formed almost immediately after his arrival in California. He recounts their rapid rise to fame and ultimate break-up; going solo and overcoming his fear of singing alone; forming Crazy Horse and writing Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl in the Sand, and Down by the River in one day while sick with the flu; joining Crosby, Stills and Nash, recording the landmark CSNY album, Deja Vu, and writing the song Ohio; and life at his secluded ranch in the redwoods of Northern California and the pot-filled jam sessions there; falling in love with his wife, Pegi, and the birth of his three children; and finally, finding the contemplative paradise of Hawaii. Astoundingly candid, witty, and as uncompromising and true as his music, Waging Heavy Peace is Neil Young’s journey as only he can tell it.
"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.
In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.
With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.
A page-turning epic about the making of a borderland crime family, Country of the Bad Wolfes will appeal both to aficionados of family sagas and to fans of hard-knuckled crime novels by the likes of Donald Pollack, Elmore Leonard, James Lee Burke and James Ellroy.
Basing the novel partly on his own ancestors, Blake presents the story of the Wolfe family — spanning three generations, centering on two sets of identical twins and the women they love, and ranging from New England to the heart of Mexico before arriving at its powerful climax at the Rio Grande.
Begat by an Irish-English pirate in New Hampshire in 1828, the Wolfe family follows its manifest destiny into war-torn Mexico. There, through the connection of a mysterious American named Edward Little, their fortunes intertwine with those of Porfirio Diaz, who will rule the country for more than thirty years before his overthrow by the Revolution of 1910. In the course of those tumultuous chapters in American and Mexican history, as Diaz grows in power, the Wolfes grow rich and forge a violent history of their own, spawning a fearsome legacy that will pursue them to a climactic reckoning at the Rio Grande.
The Mississippi gulf coast town of Bois Sauvage is about to be hit full force by Hurricane Katrina and the Batiste family is going to ride it out in their farmhouse. As if the approaching category 5 storm is not bad enough, each member of the motherless clan is in crisis. 17-year-old Randall has just lost his big chance to impress basketball scouts of his prowess on the court and the scholarship it would bring. In the opening scene, 16-year-old Skeetah’s beloved pit bull has given birth to puppies (not without complications). 15-year-old Esch, who narrates the story, is hiding the fact she is newly pregnant. Curious 6-year-old Junior needs constant supervision with parenting in short supply. Hard-drinking father Claude is convalescing after losing three fingers in an accident preparing to board up the windows. The drama builds along with the hurricane winds and rising waters as this family’s love and loyalty struggle to pull them through a maelstrom. Some of the book’s finest moments occur when Esch compares the similarities of situations she finds herself in with the tale of Medea and Jason from Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, her summer reading assignment. Ward shows she is a gifted writer and this reader eagerly awaits her next work.
Marine Second Lieutenant Waino Mellas is beginning his 13 month tour of duty in Vietnam and leading Bravo Company as they hump through the mountainous jungle just south of the DMZ. He and his men are constantly on edge, engaging the enemy and following impossible orders from politically motivated superiors as morale collapses amidst brutal death and suffering. Monsoon rains, mud, leeches, stifling heat, tigers, snakes, disease and malnutrition complicate the Sisyphean ordeal of surviving each long day and night. Like Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line, Marlantes thrusts the reader into the horror of ambushes, firefights, and hand-to-hand combat. Not for the faint of heart – Matterhorn is destined to join those classics of combat literature.