Thieves and Scoundrels (Flash Fiction Challenge #3)

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Readers bounce through chases, courtrooms, brawls, debtors' prison, and a momentous steam-room sex scene, and it's all great fun. But most pleasurable is the prose itself, which is clever, silly, and perceptive, somehow managing to seem perfectly historically calibrated while poking fun at itself for such efforts. A virtuoso literary performance. It's action is so vivid that you seem to be consuming breaking news.

Delirious storytelling backfilled with this much intelligence is a rare and happy sight. Spufford's sprawling recreation here is pitch perfect. Spufford has created a complete world. There are single scenes here more illuminating, more lovingly wrought, than entire books. A first-class period entertainment. Tom Perrotta, the "Steinbeck of suburbia" delivers a penetrating and hilarious new novel about sex, love, and identity on the frontlines of America's culture wars.

There be dragons, yes, but decency mitigates the danger. Fletcher is the sweetest and most charming novel about pornography addiction and the harrowing issues of sexual consent that you will probably ever read. Fletcher , he's become the Jane Austen of 21st century sexual mores.

A delicious, tragicomic and finally forgiving take on the mistakes we modern people can't seem to stop making. Fletcher is a delight. Perrotta's latest might just be his best - it's a stunning and audacious book, and Perrotta never lets his characters take the easy way out. Uncompromisingly obscene but somehow still kind-hearted, Mrs. Fletcher is one for the ages. More spot-on satire with heart and soul from a uniquely gifted writer. This riveting and relevant historical novel is a spectacularly audacious and compelling examination of the dynamics of a family whose violence, vengefulness, and lust are literally legendary.

Toibin's accomplishment here is to render myth plausible while at the same time preserving its high drama. A gripping saga made tangible and graphic in Toibin's lush prose. This extraordinary book conveys both confounded strangeness and timeless truths about love's sometimes terrible and always exhilarating energies. Despite the passage of centuries, this is a disturbingly contemporary story of a powerful woman caught between the demands of her ambition and the constraints on her gender. Never before has Toibin demonstrated such range, not just in tone but in action.

He creates the arresting, hushed scenes for which he's so well known just as effectively as he whips up murders that compete, pint for spilled pint, with those immortal Greek playwrights. ELMET by Fiona Mozley The clash of ancient concepts of property ownership with those of modern capitalist landlords builds to a violent climax in Fiona Mozley's debut novel. Atmospheric and unsettling, Elmet is a lyrical commentary on contemporary society and one family's precarious place in it, as well as an exploration of how deep the bond between father and child can go.

An utterly arresting novel about family, home, rural exploitation, violence and, most of all, the loyalty and love of children under siege. Elmet is in so many ways a wonder to behold. How thrilling if David were to win against them. Mozley writes with clarity and insight, and her descriptions of the natural world and human relationships are both specific and profound.

Elmet is a quiet explosion of a book, exquisite and unforgettable. It is hard not to feel that at 29, Ms Mozley has only just begun. This is geopolitics played out on a small but no less powerful stage. This moving tale set against a violent background has more than earned its place on the Man Booker longlist.

Read it and rejoice in a new literary discovery. Correa's masterful novel sweeps from Berlin at the brink of the Second World War to Cuba on the cusp of revolution, to New York in the wake of September 11, before reaching its deeply moving conclusion in the tumult of present-day Havana. Correa's impeccably researched historical details shine through, grounding the novel and honing its point.

At times The German Girl is heartbreaking, yet readers can often feel joy and excitement emanating off the young narrators. Correa's characters and details are beautifully crafted, creating an insightful and poignantly timed exploration of the refugee experience. Now, in a new age of people in peril and adrift on the world's seas, this magnificent novel and the unexpected and intricate tragedies of its powerfully imagined characters bespeaks this eternal injustice.

Louis, delivering an engrossing and heartbreaking Holocaust story; his listing of the passengers' names at the end of the book adds to its power. Or is it? What dividends will be realized from an enormous investment in "Convergence" - a mysterious cryogenics facility that promises virtual immortality? This wise, rich, funny, and moving novel from one of the great American novelists of our time is simultaneously an ode to language, a meditation on death, and an embrace of life. A thought-provoking novel. The whole novel offers up phrases that are sure to be recycled in reverent tweets for years.

With immortality reserved for the elite, what will become of the rest of humanity on our pillaged, bloodied, extinction-plagued planet? In this magnificently edgy and profoundly inquisitive tale, DeLillo reflects on what we remember and forget, what we treasure and destroy, and what we fail to do for each other and for life itself. DeLillo reaffirms his standing as one of the world's most significant writers. As an indentured servant in exchange for land, he suffers extraordinary hardship and violence, always in awe of the forest he is charged with clearing. In the course of this epic novel, Proulx tells the stories of Rene's children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, as well as the descendants of his friends and foes, as they travel back to Europe, to China, to New England, always in quest of a livelihood or fleeing stunningly brutal conditions - war, pestilence, Indian attacks, the revenge of rivals.

Part ecological fable a la Ursula K. Le Guin, part foundational saga along the lines of Brian Moore's Black Robe and James Michener's Centennial , Proulx's story builds in depth and is always told with the most beautiful language. Another tremendous book from Proulx, sure to enthrall.

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This is a monumental achievement, one that will perhaps be remembered as her finest work. Proulx, a master storyteller, delivers the kind of immersive reading experience that only comes along every few years. Barkskins is nothing less than a sylvan Moby Dick replete with ardently exacting details about tree cutting from Canada and Maine to Michigan, California, and New Zealand, with dramatic cross-cultural relationships and with the peculiar madness catalyzed by nature's glory. Here, too, are episodes of profound suffering and loss, ambition and conviction, courage and love.

Proulx's commanding, perspective-altering epic is momentous! The paths of two unforgettable characters intersect in the waning days of World War II: an orphaned engineering prodigy recruited into the Nazi ranks, and a blind girl who joins the French Resistance. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel that illuminates the ways, against all odds, that people try to be good to one another.

Tackling questions of survival, endurance and moral obligations during wartime, the book is precise and artful and ingenious. Impressively, it is also a vastly entertaining feat of storytelling. It presents two characters so interesting and sympathetic that readers will keep turning the pages hoping for an impossibly happy ending. Highly recommended. Doerr imagines the unseen grace, the unseen light that, occasionally, surprisingly, breaks to the surface even in the worst of times. Every piece of back story reveals information that charges the emerging narrative with significance, until at last the puzzle-box of the plot slides open to reveal the treasure hidden inside.

But then what? A novel by a best-selling philosopher explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain love, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. Readers looking for insights and guidance will find plenty. Love is the subject, and in this novel he again shows off his ability to pin our hopes, methods and insecurities to the page. The answers are often funny but also quite moving, thought provoking, forgiving, and drenched in truth.

It may even save some marriages. Martin is convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison for electrocuting a state power worker. As he climbs the ladder of the ranks of the incarcerated from dairy hand to librarian to "dog boy" , he struggles to reconcile his fierce pride in his expertise with the price paid by him and his family for his crime. Virginia Reeves' debut novel provides a stunning commentary on guilt, love, and redemption - and on intriguing, little-known facets of the Jim Crow South.

Reeves' gripping, dynamically plotted, and profound novel will resonant on different frequencies for men and women and spark soul-searching and heated discussion. Such is the case with Work Like Any Other. This is a deeply gripping portrayal of Americana in the Deep South, replete with racism, violence, and heartbreak.

Reeves delivers powerful heartrending scenes of despair and hope and paints magnificent scenes with expressive and direct language. Her characters are well thought out and deeply permeated with emotion. Astonishingly well-written. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy.

Wright's joyful and insightful book is both entertaining and informative, equally accessible to general audiences and more experienced practitioners. This fascinating book is not in any sense a polemic for the superiority of the Buddhist spiritual worldview over that of other faiths. Instead, it's a well-informed and thoughtful seeker's methodical and sometimes skeptical investigation of key aspects of Buddhist thought and practice.

Regardless of their own religious or spiritual roots, open-minded readers who accompany Wright on this journey will find insight here.


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I found myself not just agreeing with, but applauding the author. WILD THINGS: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy Bruce Handy revisits the classics of every American childhood and explores the back stories of their creators, using context and biography to understand how some of the most insightful, creative, and witty authors and illustrators of their times created their often deeply personal masterpieces. Writing about everything from The Chronicles of Narnia to Where the Wild Things Are to The Tale of Peter Rabbit , the author demonstrates a deep love of children's literature and a keen understanding of the ways in which reapproaching beloved texts can highlight the connections and differences between a child's perception and adult reality.

As well-researched as it is seamlessly composed, this book entertains as it educates. The book succeeds wonderfully. Wild Things reads as a companionable romp through all the stories you sometimes tire of reading to your own children. But like The Runaway Bunny , it's really a gently obsessive tale, a man gathering up so many words and ideas as if to create a magical stay against his own children growing up. This book is delightful to read - especially for parents who may be encountering critical theories of children's literature for the first time.

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The criticism served up is rollicking and razor sharp, consistently engaging, always on point, and packed with history, theory, and humor. An absolutely delightful book! One of the very best books of its sort in, well, ever. Riveting, rousing, and real, this is a portrait of a young woman searching for her purpose and place in the world - without a road map to guide her. Janet does what only great writers of autobiography accomplish - she tells a story of the self, which turns out to be a reflection of all humanity. You will be changed by this book.

Mock is a gifted writer and demonstrates the power of tenacity in this ode to her twenties; highly recommended for all readers. Her book isn't just a service to the trans community but to every woman - hell, person - who has struggled with identity. An honest and timely appraisal of what it means to be true to yourself. A defining chronicle of strength and spirit particularly remarkable for younger readers, both in transition or questioning.

With six figures of student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. Delivers all the lo-fi spy shenanigans and caught-red-handed schadenfreude you're hoping for. Greenwood's narrative voice is humble and approachable, but as an investigator she is tenacious, going the distance - to death and back - to bring this oddly fascinating story to her readers.. Playing Dead will please those attracted to the eccentric, as well as anyone who has ever fantasized about leaving it all behind. Greene, PhD A renowned child psychologist explains how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence.

From homework to hygiene, curfews to screen time, Dr. Greene arms parents with guidelines that are clear, doable, and sure to empower both parents and their children. This book is a game changer for parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Its advice is reasonable and empathetic, and readers will feel ready to start creating a better relationship with the children in their lives. Greene teach us how to be collaborative partners in our children's development, but how to both raise and to rise up as better human beings.

Greene's book reminds parents of the importance of truly listening to their children and the value of working together to develop solutions to problems - skills that are valuable throughout life, not just in the parent-child relationship" — Booklist. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Along the way he ranges from Aristotle to Crick, Watson, and Rosa Franklin while also revealing the cloud of mental illness hanging over his own family. In graceful prose, Mukherjee combines lucid explanations of scientific concepts with the social and cultural developments at each phase in human understanding of genetics. A highly accessible and thoughtful volume on a cornerstone of modern biology. He deftly relates the basic scientific facts about the way genes are believed to function, while making clear the aspects of genetics that remain unknown.

Mukherjee grounds the abstract in the personal to add power and poignancy to his excellent narrative. Powerful words from a range of sources. Building on Baldwin's title, editor Ward has assembled poetry, essays, and flash nonfiction to address the renewed racial tensions that continue to boil in America in the twenty-first century. The result is a powerfully striking collection. An absolutely indispensable anthology. Readers in search of conversations about race in America should start here. Essayist after essayist in this powerful book there are also some poems considers the black experience in America.

Most agree with Ms. Virginia Reeves' debut novel provides a stunning commentary on guilt, love, and redemption - and on intriguing, little-known facets of the Jim Crow South. Reeves' gripping, dynamically plotted, and profound novel will resonant on different frequencies for men and women and spark soul-searching and heated discussion.

Such is the case with Work Like Any Other. This is a deeply gripping portrayal of Americana in the Deep South, replete with racism, violence, and heartbreak. Reeves delivers powerful heartrending scenes of despair and hope and paints magnificent scenes with expressive and direct language.


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Her characters are well thought out and deeply permeated with emotion. Astonishingly well-written. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. Wright's joyful and insightful book is both entertaining and informative, equally accessible to general audiences and more experienced practitioners. This fascinating book is not in any sense a polemic for the superiority of the Buddhist spiritual worldview over that of other faiths.

Instead, it's a well-informed and thoughtful seeker's methodical and sometimes skeptical investigation of key aspects of Buddhist thought and practice. Regardless of their own religious or spiritual roots, open-minded readers who accompany Wright on this journey will find insight here. I found myself not just agreeing with, but applauding the author. WILD THINGS: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy Bruce Handy revisits the classics of every American childhood and explores the back stories of their creators, using context and biography to understand how some of the most insightful, creative, and witty authors and illustrators of their times created their often deeply personal masterpieces.

Writing about everything from The Chronicles of Narnia to Where the Wild Things Are to The Tale of Peter Rabbit , the author demonstrates a deep love of children's literature and a keen understanding of the ways in which reapproaching beloved texts can highlight the connections and differences between a child's perception and adult reality. As well-researched as it is seamlessly composed, this book entertains as it educates.

The book succeeds wonderfully. Wild Things reads as a companionable romp through all the stories you sometimes tire of reading to your own children. But like The Runaway Bunny , it's really a gently obsessive tale, a man gathering up so many words and ideas as if to create a magical stay against his own children growing up. This book is delightful to read - especially for parents who may be encountering critical theories of children's literature for the first time. The criticism served up is rollicking and razor sharp, consistently engaging, always on point, and packed with history, theory, and humor.

An absolutely delightful book! One of the very best books of its sort in, well, ever. Riveting, rousing, and real, this is a portrait of a young woman searching for her purpose and place in the world - without a road map to guide her. Janet does what only great writers of autobiography accomplish - she tells a story of the self, which turns out to be a reflection of all humanity.

You will be changed by this book. Mock is a gifted writer and demonstrates the power of tenacity in this ode to her twenties; highly recommended for all readers. Her book isn't just a service to the trans community but to every woman - hell, person - who has struggled with identity. An honest and timely appraisal of what it means to be true to yourself.

A defining chronicle of strength and spirit particularly remarkable for younger readers, both in transition or questioning. With six figures of student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. Delivers all the lo-fi spy shenanigans and caught-red-handed schadenfreude you're hoping for. Greenwood's narrative voice is humble and approachable, but as an investigator she is tenacious, going the distance - to death and back - to bring this oddly fascinating story to her readers..

Playing Dead will please those attracted to the eccentric, as well as anyone who has ever fantasized about leaving it all behind. Greene, PhD A renowned child psychologist explains how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence. From homework to hygiene, curfews to screen time, Dr. Greene arms parents with guidelines that are clear, doable, and sure to empower both parents and their children. This book is a game changer for parents, teachers, and other caregivers.

Its advice is reasonable and empathetic, and readers will feel ready to start creating a better relationship with the children in their lives. Greene teach us how to be collaborative partners in our children's development, but how to both raise and to rise up as better human beings.

Greene's book reminds parents of the importance of truly listening to their children and the value of working together to develop solutions to problems - skills that are valuable throughout life, not just in the parent-child relationship" — Booklist. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Along the way he ranges from Aristotle to Crick, Watson, and Rosa Franklin while also revealing the cloud of mental illness hanging over his own family. In graceful prose, Mukherjee combines lucid explanations of scientific concepts with the social and cultural developments at each phase in human understanding of genetics. A highly accessible and thoughtful volume on a cornerstone of modern biology. He deftly relates the basic scientific facts about the way genes are believed to function, while making clear the aspects of genetics that remain unknown.

Mukherjee grounds the abstract in the personal to add power and poignancy to his excellent narrative. Powerful words from a range of sources. Building on Baldwin's title, editor Ward has assembled poetry, essays, and flash nonfiction to address the renewed racial tensions that continue to boil in America in the twenty-first century. The result is a powerfully striking collection. An absolutely indispensable anthology. Readers in search of conversations about race in America should start here.

Essayist after essayist in this powerful book there are also some poems considers the black experience in America. Most agree with Ms. Ward, who declares: 'Nothing is new. Ward: so alive with purpose, conviction and intellect that, upon finishing their contributions, you feel you must put this volume down and go walk around for a while. Though Borba's suggestions are supported by research, the presentation is anecdotal and readable rather than academic. Shelves' worth of books have been published over the years highlighting what characteristics children need to succeed, but Borba builds an excellent case for empathy, and parents concerned with the trend toward self-absorption and bullying among young people will find useful tips to counteract the negative messages children are hearing.

Her thought- provoking and practical book may very well tip over the parenting priority applecart - and rightly so. There is a sense, when reading Unselfie , that so much is possible. Borba s book makes the case that our efforts can and will be repaid in a more empathetic world moving forward. Ali Fifteen-year-old Janna Yusuf, a Flannery O'Connor-obsessed book nerd and the daughter of the only divorced mother at their mosque, tries to make sense of the events that follow when her best friend's cousin attempts to assault her at the end of sophomore year.

Thanks to her sharp, wry first-person narrative, readers will gain deep insight into her anxieties, choices, and aspirations. For readers unfamiliar with Muslim traditions, Ali offers plenty of context clues and explanations, though she always keeps the story solidly on Janna's struggle to maintain friendships, nurse a crush, deal with bullies and predatory people in her life, and discover her own strength in the process.

A wide variety of readers will find solidarity with Janna, and not just ones who wear a hijab. This timely and authentic portrayal is an indisputable purchase in the realistic fiction category. This book is long overdue, a delight for readers who will recognize the culture and essential for those unfamiliar with Muslim experiences. This quiet read builds to a satisfying conclusion; readers will be glad to make space in their hearts - and bookshelves - for Janna Yusuf. Prosper shows tremendous growth, Bracken's cast is drawn in loving detail, and her twisty plot will keep readers guessing.

Hapless, dry Prosper is at hilarious odds with his demanding, old-fashioned demon companion, and the thrilling plot twists will keep even the most savvy readers guessing. Clever, occasionally frightening, and always fun, this will hook plenty. The main characters, including the villain, are likable and flawed. The author's smooth transitions and delightful writing style will draw readers into the story with ease. This is a must-read for fans of Bracken and paranormal mysteries. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Ghost might be the most talented runner of them all - but for most of his short life he's been running for all the wrong reasons. The first in the four-book Track series, this is raw and lyrical, and as funny as it is heartbreaking. It tackles issues such as theft, bullying, and domestic violence with candor and bravery, while opening a door for empathy and discussion. An absolute must-read for anyone who has ever wondered how fast you must be to run away from yourself. Supporting adult characters are positive, nuanced, and well-developed. The diverse team members are dealing with their own struggles, which will be explored in three future installments.

The focus on track athletics - a subject sorely lacking in the middle grade space - combined with the quality of Reynolds's characters and prose, makes this an essential purchase. Conflicting emotions are presented honestly and without judgment. When it comes to providing mirrors for contemporary African American teens, Reynolds has proven himself to be an emerging leader. Without ever feeling like a book about issues it deftly tackles topics like isolation, diverse family makeup, living with illness, losing a parent, transcending socioeconomic and racial barriers, and - perhaps best of all - what it's like for a tween to love their little sister more than all the cupcakes in the world.

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The second entry in the four-book Track series, this serves as a complete, complex, and sparkling stand-alone novel. When this last is threatened, readers will ache right alongside her. Another stellar lap - readers will be eager to see who's next. The scenario that Reynolds and Kiely depict has become a recurrent feature of news reports, and a book that lets readers think it through outside of the roiling emotions of a real-life event is both welcome and necessary.

Police brutality and race relations in America are issues that demand debate and discussion, which this superb book powerfully enables. A must-have for all collections. Reynolds and Kiely explore issues of racism, power, and justice with a diverse ethnically and philosophically cast of characters and two remarkable protagonists. She is said to be one of the greatest American minds of all time. A special section at the back of the book includes extras on subjects like history and math, plus inspiring careers for math lovers.

With the You Should Meet series, learning about historical figures has never been so much fun! These would make great additions to any home school, classroom or home library. Recommended for children ages 6 - 8 in grades 1 - 3. Check them out! He's not afraid of the dark, and he's definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won't leave them with more fears than they started with. Geronimo Stiltonix Spacemice 11 by Geronimo Stilton Professor Greenfur, the onboard scientist on the spaceship MouseStar 1, has changed color from green to orange. What's going on? To find out, the spacemice travel to his home planet of Photosyntheson. There, they learn that all of Professor Greenfur's relatives are being threatened by the nibblix, tiny aliens with very sharp teeth.

Can the spacemice help in time? The format includes the customary Stilton staples: wild types and colors, playful illustrations and sidebars that elaborate on aspects of the fictional world. With a story like an old-fashioned episode of Star Trek , this is a wonderful science-fiction introduction for young readers. It's not Frankenthaler the monster.

It's her friend Kerry! Kerry, the second most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world, also makes a terrifying discovery. It's not Leonardo the monster. It's his friend Sam! The human kids are scared of each other. The monsters, having better things to do, take off, telling the kids, 'Figure it out'. That they do, cavorting across single-color, starkly framed pages, quickly becoming friends who share many wonderful fears, as well as a few unique to only one of them.

A book about the shifting alignments of friendships, but also, more subtly, about fears of the other. Visually and narratively, this story is a lovely bookend to Leonardo; Willems demonstrates that starting a new friendship - scary as it might seem - is worth it.

He was the worst of dogs Dog Man, the newest hero from the creator of Captain Underpants, hasn't always been a paws-itive addition to the police force.

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This time, Petey the cat's dragged in a tiny bit of trouble - a double in the form of a super-cute kitten. Dog Man will have to work twice as hard to bust these furballs and remain top dog! This latest installment is just as funny and irreverent as the first two volumes in the series. Sure to be popular, it's a great choice for elementary school graphic novel collections and of particular interest to reluctant readers. Step-by-step instructions for drawing major characters and monsters, plus a tail-wagging plug for reading to canine audiences, cap a sequel that ably fulfills the opener's great expectations.

Only chuzzlewits will be less than delighted. Victor is back at Jedi Academy and he truly defines the definition of sophomore, specifically a sophomore in a slump. He was excited about Drama Club and hoped to get the lead in this year's musical. But his best friend, Artemis, got the role. On top of that his sister, Christina, is getting ready to graduate from Jedi Academy. She's always taken care of him, and Victor is lost now that she's not around as much.


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