Sunday, September 14, 2014

Progress Sheet...Week 36 of 2014

Book Tours to look forward to:

Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert(September 8th, 2014 Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours)

Debut historical fiction series vividly recreating the rise of the Christian kings of Northumbria, England

In 604 AD, Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin's usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious figure--the missionary Paulinus-- who prophesies that he will become High King of Britain. It is a turning point.

Through battles and astute political alliances Edwin rises to power, in the process marrying the Kentish princess Aethelburh. As part of the marriage contract the princess is allowed to retain her Christian faith. But, in these times, to be a king is not a recipe for a long life.

This turbulent and tormented period in British history sees the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon settlers who have forced their way on to British shores over previous centuries, arriving first to pillage, then to farm and trade--and to come to terms with the faith of the Celtic tribes they have driven out.

The dramatic story of Northumbria's Christian kings helped give birth to England as a nation, English as a language, and the adoption of Christianity as the faith of the English.

The Angel of Losses: A Novel by Stephanie Feldman (September 10th, 2014 TLC)


The Tiger's Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters

When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.

When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli's notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather--and her family--comes undone. To find the truth about Eli's origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli's past.

Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can-and cannot-escape.


Books to be Reviewed:

My Thinning Years: Starving the Gay Within-Jon Derek Croteau ( October 2nd, 2014 TLC)

As a child, Jon tried desperately to be his father’s version of the all-American boy, denying his gayness in a futile attempt to earn the love and respect of an abusive man. With this he built a deep, internalized homophobia that made him want to disappear rather than live with the truth about himself. That denial played out in the forms of anorexia, bulimia, and obsessive running, which consumed him as an adolescent and young adult.

It wasn’t until a grueling yet transformative Outward Bound experience that Jon began to face his sexual identity. This exploration continued as he entered college and started the serious work of sorting through years of repressed anger to separate from his father’s control and condemnation.

My Thinning Years is an inspiring story of courage, creativity, and the will to live—and of recreating the definition of family to include friends, relatives, and teachers who support you in realizing your true self.

Books I'm Reading:

Trust: Pandora's Box by Cristiane Serruya (e-book)


TRUST: PANDORA'S BOX, the last installment of the TRUST TRILOGY, follows Ethan, Alistair and Sophia as each one of them strives to live happily ever after. But a greedy man, who has uncovered the many secrets and wrong deeds committed by Ethan, Alistair and Sophia, realizes they could be worth millions. Many are invited to join his team. Each one has an agenda. Each one has a target. Things get out of control when Pandora's Box is opened and the demons are let loose. With so many enemies out for revenge, what will the future bring to Ethan, Alistair and Sophia? Eventually, wishes and nightmares come true... Will hope survive?
This book is the last installment of the TRUST TRILOGY and contains graphic sex scenes and mild violence. Indicated for mature audiences.

Chapters: 4 out of 38 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 48 out of 479

Sons- Pearl S. Buck

Second in the trilogy that began with The Good Earth, Buck's classic and starkly real tale of sons rising against their honored fathers tells of the bitter struggle to the death between the old and the new in China. Revolutions sweep the vast nation, leaving destruction and death in their wake, yet also promising emancipation to China's oppressed millions who are groping for a way to survive in a modern age.

Chapters: 17 out of 29

Pages: 161 out of 313





The Same Sky: A Traveler's Quest for Redemption and Peace by Debbie Yee Lan Wong


After a painful breakup, a young Chinese Canadian packed her bag, a journal and a camera and went on a solo journey through Southeast Asia. Brokenhearted and needing to escape, she embarked on a three-month trip that took her from the ancient Buddhist temples of Tibet, to the heights of the Mt. Everest base camp, through the bustling markets of Laos, and to the peaceful hallways of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Along the way, as she navigated the difficulties of traveling alone, she encountered locals who have lived through war, poverty and political repression. Their moving stories of loss and resilience inspired her to reclaim her independence and rediscover peace and strength after a traumatic event.
A deeply personal story with universal resonance, The Same Sky will appeal to anyone with an interest in Southeast Asia, and particularly to women who have experienced the exhilaration and vulnerability of solo travel. It is the inspiring story of how a young woman at the lowest point of her life began to heal by facing the challenges of traveling alone and opening her heart to people across cultures.

Chapters: 12 out of 24 plus prologue

Pages: 191 out of 402

My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin

Jana McBurney-Lin's debut novel My Half of the Sky introduces Li Hui, a modern young Chinese woman of marriageable age who has recently graduated from Xiamen University. Her goal is to realize Mao's words: Women hold up half of the sky. Li Hui struggles with finding love and acting with honor. Guidance and advice come from all corners of her world as well as different and conflicing generational, historical and cultural values. Everyone wants something different for and from her, particularly her parents who mourn their lack of a son while attempting to marry Li to their greatest advantage. In fact most everyone has a selfish investment in what Li Hui will do and whom she might marry. Does this sound like Jane Austen writing about the dilemmas facing young women in China today? You bet. This original and insightful work is in the best traditions of classic novels that explore people caught in the crucible of change in complex cultures. The rewards are rich for the reader, including intriguing insights into folk tales and conventional wisdom of a culture of which few of us have an intimate and timely knowledge.

Chapters: 12 out of 70

Pages: 84 out of 482

The Three Kingdoms: The Sacred Oath Vol I by Luo Guanzhong


This exciting new translation will appeal to modern readers who find the twists and turns of Game of Thrones so compelling.

The Three Kingdoms is an epic Chinese novel written over six centuries ago. It recounts in vivid historical detail the turbulent years at the close of the Han Dynasty, when China broke into three competing kingdoms and over half the population were either killed or driven from their homes. Part myth, part fact, readers will experience the loyalty and treachery, the brotherhood and rivalry of China's legendary heroes and villains during the most tumultuous period in Chinese history.

Considered the greatest work in classic Chinese literature, The Three Kingdoms is read by millions throughout Asia today. Seen not just as a great work of art, many Chinese view it as a guide to success in life and business as well as a work that offers great moral clarity—while many foreigners read it to gain insights into Chinese society and culture. From the saga of The Three Kingdoms, readers will learn how great warriors motivate their troops and enhance their influence, while disguising their weaknesses and turning the strengths of others against them.

This first volume in a trilogy introduces Liu Bei and his sworn brothers-in-arms Zhang Fei and Guan Yu, whose allegiance is sorely tested in a society that is in flux where each group is fighting for its survival against the other.

Chapters: 9 out of 35

Pages: 99 out of 414

The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

Perhaps Willa Cather's most autobiographical work, The Song of the Lark charts the story of a young woman's awakening as an artist against the backdrop of the western landscape. Thea Kronborg, an aspiring singer, struggles to escape from the confines her small Colorado town to the world of possibility in the Metropolitan Opera House. In classic Cather style, The Song of the Lark is the beautiful, unforgettable story of American determination and its inextricable connection to the land.

Chapters: 6 out of 61 plus Preface and epilogue

Pages: 33 out of 417




Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann


When a samurai is brutally murdered in a Kyoto teahouse, master ninja Hiro Hattori has just three days to find the killer before the dead man’s vengeful son kills both the beautiful geisha accused of the crime and Father Mateo, the Jesuit priest that Hiro has pledged his own life to protect. The investigation plunges Hiro and Father Mateo into the dangerous waters of Kyoto’s floating world, where they quickly learn that everyone from an elusive teahouse owner to the dead man’s dishonored brother has a motive to keep the samurai’s death a mystery.

Chapters: 6 out of 45

Pages: 38 out of 270



Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery by Maggie Anton

Hisdadukh, blessed to be beautiful and learned, is the youngest child of Talmudic sage Rav Hisda. The world around her is full of conflict. Rome, fast becoming Christian, battles Zoroastrian Persia for dominance while Rav Hisda and his colleagues struggle to establish new Jewish traditions after the destruction of Jerusalem's Holy Temple. Against this backdrop Hisdadukh embarks on the tortuous path to become an enchantress in the very land where the word 'magic' originated.

But the conflict affecting Hisdadukh most intimately arises when her father brings his two best students before her, a mere child, and asks her which one she will marry. Astonishingly, the girl replies, “Both of them.” Soon she marries the older student, although it becomes clear that the younger one has not lost interest in her. When her new-found happiness is derailed by a series of tragedies, a grieving Hisdadukh must decide if she does, indeed, wish to become a sorceress. Based on actual Talmud texts and populated with its rabbis and their families, Rav Hisda's Daughter: Book I – Apprentice brings the world of the Talmud to life - from a woman's perspective.

Chapters: 6 out of 34 plus preface, prologue and afterword

Pages: 64 out of 446

Round the Bend: From Luton to Peru to Ningaloo, a Search for Life After Redundancy by Alistair McGuinness(September 19th, 2014 Pump up your book)


From the Amazon to the Andes and Kilimanjaro to Cape Town. This adventure story captures the reality and exhilaration of leaving home to undertake Gap Year travel in South America, Africa, Fiji and Australia.

Three things happened simultaneously. The lioness charged, Alistair fled across the parched savannah and his wife screamed for him to run faster. Stuffed deep inside his tattered rucksack was a guidebook containing advice on what to do in wildlife emergencies, which he planned to read if he survived the next thirty seconds. Future plans to climb Kilimanjaro, teach English in the Amazon and live in Australia were temporarily forgotten as he turned to face the pouncing lioness, thinking back to the words of advice from his mother-in-law. "Don't do anything silly, and look after Francine." From deep underground in a remote Bolivian mine to the scorched Australian outback, Round the Bend is an adventure travel story. It explores the turbulence of redundancy, the excitement of travel, the anguish of leaving home and the challenges of starting a new life in Australia.

Chapters: 9 out of 22

Pages: 83 out of 246

Behind You by Carly M. Duncan (September 24th, 2014 Pump up your book)

When a mysterious attack lands Heather in the hospital on the brink of death, her family rushes to her side. Through an inconvenient maze of shadowed memory and family secrets, Heather can trust only herself to discover if her husband, parents, sister or aunt tried to kill her. During the course of their own narratives, each character confesses to their various crimes of passion, envy and ignorance, weaving Heather's mystery into an untraditional tale about seizing the opportunity to start over.

Chapters: 5 out of 22

Pages: 43 out of 193


Spy Island by Sophie Schiller (September 26th, 2014 Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour)


A forbidden friendship that blossoms into love between an island girl and a German U-boat deserter is at the heart of this colorful historical novel.

In 1916, Abigail Maduro arrives in the Danish West Indies to live with her Aunt Esther, a bad tempered spinster, and her houseful of eccentric servants. Despite the island's veneer of tranquility, St. Thomas is a hotbed of German spies who use their Hamburg-America steamers to aid the Kaiser's war effort.

When a mysterious stranger suddenly appears in town, Abigail is drawn into the conflict. In the scholarly Erich Seibold, she finds the friendship and love she has been craving, even after she learns that Erich is really a deserter from a German U-boat. But their idyllic interlude comes to a crashing halt when the island's German consul also discovers Erich's identity, and blackmails him into committing sabotage. After a melee involving the Danish governor, Erich is thrown into prison, forcing Abigail to risk everything to save him. Action and adventure abound in this colorful historical novel that brings to life a fading West Indian sugar colony in the last days of Danish rule.

Chapters: 4 out of 37 plus author's note

Pages: 46 out of 348

Stevenson's Treasure by Mark Wiederanders (October 1st, 2014 Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour)

In 1879 Robert Louis Stevenson embarked on one of the most romantic, ill-advised but wildly successful quests a literary figure has ever made. Young, unknown, and in failing health, he journeys six-thousand arduous miles to make Fanny Osbourne his wife, despite the fact that she is already married (unhappily), has children, and is ten years older than he. And yet, from their first meeting, he knew instantly she was the only woman for him.

Chapters: 4 out of 27 plus afterword,

Pages: 35 out of 329



The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg (October 15th, 2014 TLC)


Agnes Hussein, descendant of the last sultan of Singapore and the last surviving member of her immediate family, has grown up among her eccentric relatives in the crumbling Kampong Glam palace, a once-opulent relic given to her family in exchange for handing over Singapore to the British.

Now Agnes is seventeen and her family has fallen into genteel poverty, surviving on her grandfather’s pension and the meager income they receive from a varied cast of boarders. As outside forces conspire to steal the palace out from under them, Agnes struggles to save her family and finds bravery, love, and loyalty in the most unexpected places. The Moonlight Palace is a coming-of-age tale rich with historical detail and unforgettable characters set against the backdrop of dazzling 1920s Singapore.

Chapters: 2 out of 16

Pages: 8 out of 183

In Doubt by Drusilla Campbell

EVERYONE WANTS THE BOY TO PAY FOR HIS CRIME.

ONLY ONE WOMAN WANTS TO SAVE HIM.

IN DOUBT

Defense Attorney Sophie Giraudo is about to open a new legal practice in her hometown of San Sebastian, California, when the beloved governer is shot and seriously wounded during a celebration in the town park. The only thing more shocking than the crime itself is the identity of the would-be assassin: a seemingly gentle teenager named Donny. Driven by her desire to understand what could make a person with no history of violence suddenly commit such a terrible act, Sophie reluctantly agrees to take him on as a client, knowing that, at least, it will bring her some income. But soon she realizes that she also has personal motivations for taking the case: a desire to prove to her overbearing mother that she is not the reckless and self-destructive tennager she used to be, to prove to her ex-husband, who happens to be the prosecuting attorney, that she can win her case, and to prove to herself that the traumatic events of her adolescence no longer define her.

As she digs deeper into Donny's past, Sophie begins to suspect that he might not be the cold-blooded killer everyone thinks he is. Does Donny's narcissistic mother really have her son's best interest in mind? Is Donny's mentor who runs Boys Into Men, a program for disadvantaged youths, the altruistic man he claims to be? Is Donny a deranged murderer, or a victim of his circumstances acting out of desperation? As Sophie races to uncover the truth, she is forced to come to terms with her past and to fight for what she knows is right...even if it means risking her reputation and possibly her life.

Chapters: 4 out of 50

Pages: 16 out of 356

A Better World by Marcus Sakey


The brilliants changed everything.

Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we’d only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person’s most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.

Now a terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive.

Nick Cooper has always fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he’s against everything the terrorists represent. But as America slides toward a devastating civil war, Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose—because his opponents have their own vision of a better world.

And to reach it, they’re willing to burn this one down.

From Marcus Sakey, “the master of the mindful page turner” (Gillian Flynn) and “one of our best storytellers” (Michael Connelly), Book Two of the Brilliance Saga is a relentless thrill ride that will change the way you look at your world—and the people around you.

Chapters: 4 out of 45 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 41 out of 376

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Chapters: 4 out of 37

Pages: 23 out of 333

Future Readings:

My Whispers of Horror: Letters Telling Women's True Tales from Ex-USSR Nations by Brine Books Publishing, Olga Brine, Chris Brine (e-book)


"If he hits me, then he must love me."

"I am a cow and I am a bull. I am a woman and I am a man."

"If you don't find an ideal man by your age... it doesn't mean that you like girls. Don't worry, you can find a man! You will not be an old maid."

"That was also when these police officers, who were meant to protect the public, became my pimps."

What can be more deep and personal than reading what a woman wrote of her experiences? Cases such as domestic violence, forced prostitution, rape, and more. You won't be able to tear your eyes away as you read their quiet whispers of horror, while trying to understand why this still happens in other cultures today. Having these real women explain to the world what happened to them will help to raise awareness on why we still need to fight and stand up for them.

Much of the world is still stuck within sadistic patriarchal standards that oppresses women. And for a woman to survive in such a culture she must have enormous strength to defend her own or her children's lives from violence and oppression. Read what these brave women wish to confess.

Chapters: 22 plus Foreword

Pages: 139


A Brief Moment of Weightlessness by Victoria Fish (October 6th, 2014 TLC)


A Brief Moment of Weightlessness is a collection of short stories that illuminate the beauty and extraordinariness of "ordinary" lives. Each explores the human desire for connectedness and grace. The stories range from large upheavals such as how a marriage shifts when a spouse loses a limb or how a girl reconfigures her world when her father goes to jail, to smaller moments such as when a woman experiences wonder again on a visit to a nursing home with her child and their dog, or when a man finds redemption in the midst of tragedy after being bitten by his dying dog. These illuminating, heartbreaking, poignant, astute stories take on serious issues of death/dying, injury, infidelity, aftermath of war, estrangement and more, but without a sense of gloom that could overwhelm them. They often, though not always, find that glimmer of hope or opportunity, and they are told in a voice that can cut to the quick of a character or conflict, with endings that don’t always resolve neatly. These stories explore, dissect and celebrate those small moments within the larger events that make all of our lives extraordinary.

Chapters: N/A

Pages: 126


Painting Juliana by Martha Louise Hunter(October 7th, 2014 TLC)


Juliana Birdsong is your typical eight-year-old with an obsessive-compulsive mother who's too paranoid to leave the house. Making double-lined, black-out drapes to protect their home from the outside world, her mother only looks up from her sewing machine when Perry Mason comes on TV - the type of successful man Juliana should marry if she wants to get anywhere in life. But Juliana has other things to worry about. Night after night, she's awakened by a terrifying dream where she's chased down a long, tapering highway on the back of her father's motorcycle heading for an enormous, twisting funnel cloud that waits on the horizon. Even after locking it away inside her bedside drawer, Juliana wonders if there are parts of the dream she hasn't seen yet. Years later, she finds dynamic trial lawyer, Oliver Morrissey and she marries him for love. Life is going reasonably well for the priviledged socialite - that is, until she's faced with losing everything, including her children. Stepping out of her Lexus, Juliana peels off her Chanel sunglasses and glares up at her childhood home that's now smothered in ivy. Inside, there's only her estranged father left, who she's sure caused her mother's death. Moving in, she discovers a nude portrait of her with an odd set of tiny red footprints on the ankle, and another surprise she's not expecting: Her father has Alzheimer's and he needs her. Plus, a shipment of mysterious oil paintings arrives, all with his signature. When Juliana puts a brush in his hand, it sets off a surreal time warp and the canvases eerily transform, painting a different picture of the parents she thought she knew. As tragic secrets emerge that mirror her own, Juliana's old demons come back to haunt her. Consumed with his care and desperate for her old life back, the dream is still chasing her and it's catching up fast. Just when she can't run any faster, the funnel cloud is waiting on the horizon, twisting even faster than before.

Chapters: 80 plus Provenance

Pages: 352

The Summer of Long Knives by Jim Snowden (October 16th, 2014 TLC)

In the summer of 1936, the racial and political climate in Munich are growing tense, and Kommisar Rolf Wundt and his wife Klara are increasingly desperate to leave Nazi Germany while they still can. But when a member of the League of German Girls is found brutally murdered and posed in the yard of a dilapidated farmhouse, Rolf's supervisor declares that they can't leave until he's solved the case. Rolf's investigation leads him from the depths of the underground Communist movement to the heights of Germany's elite Nazi society, exposing the cracks in Germany's so-called unified society as well as the unspoken tensions in Rolf's complicated marriage. Ultimately, long-buried secrets and overwhelming evidence are laid bare, but how can Rolf bring the killer to justice in a country devoid of justice? And how can he protect himself, his wife, and his former lover from the barbarism of a corrupt and power-hungry government?

Chapters: 26

Pages: 319


Misdirection-Austin Williams (October 17th, 2014 Book Junkie)


A street magician needs more than sleight-of- hand to survive getting embroiled in a murder case in this blistering novel of suspense, perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and George Pelecanos.

After years of chasing fame and hedonistic excess in the bright lights of Las Vegas, Rusty "The Raven" Diamond has returned home to Ocean City to piece his life back together. When he finds himself an innocent suspect in his landlord's brutal murder, Rusty abandons all hope of maintaining a tranquil existence. Acting on impulse, he digs into the investigation just enough to anger both the police and a local drug cartel.

As the unsolved case grows more complex, claiming new victims and inciting widespread panic, Rusty feels galvanized by the adrenaline he's been missing for too long. But his newfound excitement threatens to become an addiction, leading him headfirst into an underworld he's been desperately trying to escape.

Austin Williams creates an unforgettable protagonist in Rusty, a flawed but relatable master of illusion in very real danger. As the suspense builds to an explosively orchestrated climax, Williams paints a riveting portrait of both a city—and a man—on the edge.

Chapters: 39

Pages: 265

Ghost Horse-Thomas H McNeely (October 20th, 2014 TLC)

Set amidst the social tensions of 1970’s Houston, Ghost Horse tells the story of eleven-year-old Buddy Turner’s shifting alliances within his fragmented family and with two other boys—one Anglo, one Latino—in their quest to make a Super-8 animated movie. As his father’s many secrets begin to unravel, Buddy discovers the real movie: the intersection between life as he sees it and the truth of his own past. In a vivid story of love, friendship, and betrayal, Ghost Horse explores a boy’s swiftly changing awareness of himself and the world through the lens of imagination.

Chapters: 29

Pages: 260?


The Lost Tribe of Coney Island-Claire Prentice (October 21st, 2014 TLC)


Readers of Erik Larson will love this tale of sex, greed, and the American dream: A huckster imports a tribe of Filipinos to Coney Island’s Luna Park, and two cultures collide.

The Lost Tribe of Coney Island unearths the forgotten story of the Igorrotes, a group of “headhunting, dog-eating savages” from the Philippines, who were transported to New York in 1905 to appear as “human exhibits” alongside the freaks and curiosities at Coney Island’s Luna Park. Millions of fair-goers delighted in their tribal dances and rituals, near-nudity, tattoos, and stories of headhunting.

Journalist Claire Prentice, who has spent years researching the topic, brings the story to life with her fluid prose and vivid descriptions. The book boasts a colorful cast of characters, including the disgraced lieutenant turned huckster Truman K. Hunt; his Filipino interpreter, Julio Balinag; the theme park impresarios behind Luna Park, Fred Thompson and Elmer “Skip” Dundy; and Dogmena, a beautiful girl who became a favorite with New York’s social elite. The Lost Tribe of Coney Island  is a fascinating social history and a tale of adventure, culture-clash, and the American dream.

Chapters: 32 plus cast of characters, introduction and afterword

Pages: 339

Certainty-Victor Bevine (October 28th, 2014 TLC)

As World War I draws to a close, the population of Newport, Rhode Island, seems to double overnight when twenty-five thousand rowdy seamen descend on the Naval Training Station. Drinking, prostitution, and other depravities follow the sailors, transforming the upscale town into what many residents�including young lawyer William Bartlett, whose genteel family has lived in Newport for generations�consider to be a moral cesspool.

When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, despite facing dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth�he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

Based on real-life events, Certainty recalls a war-torn era when the line between right and wrong became dangerously blurred.

Chapters: 29 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 333

Palmetto Moon-Kim Boykin (October 29th, 2014 Pump up your book)


June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…

Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.

Chapters: 39

Pages: 303

Bad Taste in Men-Lana Cooper (October 31st, 2014 Pump Up Your Book)

Have you ever felt like even Mother Theresa has got more game than you?
If you have, you'd be in the same boat as geeky, awkward metalhead Nova Porter.

Bad Taste In Men follows Nova from her prepubescent years through young adulthood and her attempts at getting dudes to dig her.

Juggling self-esteem issues, small town outsider status, and questionable taste in guys, Nova is looking for love in all the wrong places - like the food court at the mall. Nova's circle of friends and her strange(ly) endearing family more than make up for what her love life lacks.

Along the way, Nova alternately plays the roles of hero and villain, mastermind and stooge; picking up far more valuable life lessons than numbers for her little black book.

One part chick lit for tomboys and one part Freaks and Geeks for kids who came of age in the mid-'90s, Bad Taste In Men is loaded (like a freight train) with pop cultural references and crude humor.

From getting laughed at by your crush to being stood up (twice!) by a guy with one eye, Bad Taste In Men showcases the humor and humiliation that accompanies the search for love (or at least "like") as a small-town teenage outcast, managing to wring heart-warming sweetness from angsty adolescent memories - and jokes about barf and poop.

Chapters: 18 plus epilogue

Pages: 339

The Oblate’s Confession by William Peak (December 9th, 2014 Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour)


England, the 7th century. Petty Anglo-Saxon kingdoms make war upon one another and their Celtic neighbors. Christianity is a new force in the land, one whose hold remains tenuous at best. Power shifts back and forth uneasily between two forms of the new faith: a mystical Celtic Catholicism and a newer, more disciplined form of Catholicism emanating from Rome. Pagan rites as yet survive in the surrounding hills and mountains. Plague sweeps across the countryside unpredictably, its path marked by death and destruction.

In keeping with a practice common at the time, an Anglo-Saxon warrior donates his youngest child to the monastery of Redestone, in effect sentencing the boy to spend the rest of his life as a monk. This gift-child, called an oblate, will grow up in the abbey knowing little of his family or the expectations his natural father will someday place upon him, his existence haunted by vague memories of a former life and the questions those memories provoke.

Who is his father, the distant chieftain who sired him or the bishop he prays for daily? And to which father, natural or spiritual, will he owe allegiance when, at length, he is called upon to ally himself with one and destroy the other? These are the dilemmas the child faces. The answers will emerge from the years he spends in spiritual apprenticeship to a hermit who lives on the nearby mountain of Modra nect – and his choices will echo across a lifetime.

Chapters: 40

Pages: 398

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez 

A dazzling, heartbreaking page-turner destined for breakout status: a novel that gives voice to millions of Americans as it tells the story of the love between a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl: teenagers living in an apartment block of immigrant families like their own.

After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras leave México and come to America. But upon settling at Redwood Apartments, a two-story cinderblock complex just off a highway in Delaware, they discover that Maribel's recovery-the piece of the American Dream on which they've pinned all their hopes-will not be easy. Every task seems to confront them with language, racial, and cultural obstacles. At Redwood also lives Mayor Toro, a high school sophomore whose family arrived from Panamà fifteen years ago. Mayor sees in Maribel something others do not: that beyond her lovely face, and beneath the damage she's sustained, is a gentle, funny, and wise spirit. But as the two grow closer, violence casts a shadow over all their futures in America. Peopled with deeply sympathetic characters, this poignant yet unsentimental tale of young love tells a riveting story of unflinching honesty and humanity that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be an American. An instant classic is born.

Chapters: N/A

Pages: 286

Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele


The star of the hit show Glee shares her experiences and insider tips on beauty, fashion, inner strength, and more in an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide.

Lea Michele is one of the hardest working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multi-tasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered. In Brunette Ambition, she reveals the lessons and advice that have worked for her--from beauty and fashion secrets to fitness tips, and career insights. Supplemented with never-before-seen photos and revealing anecdotes, it’s the book Lea wishes she’d had in her teens and early twenties: A practical and inspirational guide to harnessing tenacity and passion and living the fullest life, no matter what obstacles life puts in your way.

Chapters: 10 plus letters to fan and until next time

Pages: 203

The Captive Queen-Danny Saunders

Political schemes, religious partisanship and unbridled love shake the Royal Court of Scotland at the end of the Stuart dynasty.

Witness to sordid murders, spy for Her Majesty among the Protestants of the infamous preacher John Knox, forced to give up her one true love, thrown out onto the streets then ruthlessly attacked by a drunkard, Charlotte Gray will do everything in her power to remain the sovereign’s lady-in-waiting.

As for the Queen of Scots, she faces turmoil of a completely different kind: prisoner in a castle under the command of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart learns that she is the victim of a vast conspiracy and that her English counterpart has ordered her imminent execution.

Despite their hardships, Mary and Charlotte will keep their dignity throughout the storm. The two women will finally find serenity, one in the arms of a man and the other in the arms of God.

Interwoven with historical facts of the era, the thrilling The Captive Queen saga is worthy of the greatest royal intrigues that still fascinate us several centuries later.

Chapters: 15 plus foreword

Pages: 311


The Duel for Consuelo by Claudia H. Long 


History, love, and faith combine in a gripping novel set in early 1700’s Mexico. In this second passionate and thrilling story of the Castillo family, the daughter of a secret Jew is caught between love and the burdens of a despised and threatened religion. The Enlightenment is making slow in-roads, but Consuelo’s world is still under the dark cloud of the Inquisition. Forced to choose between protecting her ailing mother and the love of dashing Juan Carlos Castillo, Consuelo’s personal dilemma reflects the conflicts of history as they unfold in 1711 Mexico. A rich, romantic story illuminating the timeless complexities of family, faith, and love.

Chapters 10 plus prologue and historical post script,

Pages: 234



The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson

The epic story of the queen who founded the Tudor dynasty, told through the eyes of her loyal nursemaid. Perfect for fans of Philipa Gregory.

When her own first child is tragically still-born, the young Mette is pressed into service as a wet-nurse at the court of the mad king, Charles VI of France. Her young charge is the princess, Catherine de Valois, caught up in the turbulence and chaos of life at court.

Mette and the child forge a bond, one that transcends Mette’s lowly position.
But as Catherine approaches womanhood, her unique position seals her fate as a pawn between two powerful dynasties. Her brother, The Dauphin and the dark and sinister, Duke of Burgundy will both use Catherine to further the cause of France.

Catherine is powerless to stop them, but with the French defeat at the Battle of Agincourt, the tables turn and suddenly her currency has never been higher. But can Mette protect Catherine from forces at court who seek to harm her or will her loyalty to Catherine place her in even greater danger?

Chapters:38

Pages: 559


Madame Picasso by Anne Girard 


The mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time

When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.

A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can't help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso's life.

With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.

Chapters: 35 plus author's note

Pages: 414

Tower of Tears by Rhoda D'Ettore

"If God be good, Mr. Landon shall burn in the eternal flames of hell. If God be bad, he shall suffer much worse."

Despair. Love. Abuse. Murder. Mystery. Tragedy.

In 1820, Jane McClusky sets out for Philadelphia from Ireland with her toddler son, hoping for a better life. Her husband remains in Ireland, trying to save money for his voyage, while she resides with cousins she has never met. Jane must meet the challenges of crossing the Atlantic, residing with virtual strangers, and working a factory job in a new land.

She soon faces tragedy, betrayal, and heart ache. The New World was not what she expected it to be.

Each book of this series will follow different generations of the McClusky family as they become Americanized, while facing such events as the Potato Famine, the US Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution.

Chapters: 69 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages:298


Ballroom by Alice Simpson


Told in interconnecting stories, Ballroom is a beautifully crafted debut novel—reminiscent of the works of Elizabeth Strout and Jennifer Haigh—about a group of strangers united by a desire to escape their complicated lives, if only for a few hours each week, in a faded New York City dance hall

Time has eroded the glamour of the Ballroom, but at the end of the 1990s, a small crowd of loyal patrons still makes its way past the floor-to-ceiling columns which frame the once grand hall each Sunday evening. Sweeping across the worn parquet floor under a peeling indigo ceiling, these men and women succumb to the magic of the music, looking for love and connection, eager to erase the drab reality of their complicated lives.

Nearly forty and still single, Sarah Dreyfus is desperate for love and sure she’ll find it with debonair Gabriel Katz, a dazzling peacock who dances to distract himself from his crumbling marriage. Tired of the bachelor life, Joseph believes that his yearning for a wife and family will be fulfilled—if only he can get Sarah to notice him. Besotted with beautiful young Maria Rodriguez, elderly dance instructor Harry Korn knows they can find happiness together. Maria, one of the Ballroom’s stars, has a dream of her own, a passion her broken-hearted father refuses to accept or understand.

As the rhythms of the Ballroom ebb and flow through these characters’ hearts, their fates come together in touching, unexpected ways.

Chapters: 47

Pages: 281

A Matter of Mercy by Lynne Hugo

Caroline Marcum thought she'd escaped the great mistake of her life by leaving Wellfleet harbor, but is forced to face it when she returns, reluctantly, to care for her dying mother. Ridley Neal put his past-and his prison term-behind him to return home to take over his father's oyster and clam beds. Casual acquaintances long ago, when a nor'easter hits the coast, Rid and Caroline's lives intersect once again. When Rid and two other sea farmers are sued by the wealthy owners of vacation homes who want to shut them down, and Caroline accidentally meets the person she most wronged, they each must learn to trust-and love. Inspired by an actual lawsuit, A Matter of Mercy is a riveting novel about treasuring the traditional way of life in the shallows of beautiful Cape Cod bay by discovering where forgiveness ends. And where it begins.

Chapters: 30 plus author's note

Pages: 263



The Story Hour: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar 


From the critically beloved, bestselling author of The World We Found and The Space Between Us, whom the New York Times Book Review calls a "perceptive and . . . piercing writer," comes a profound, heartbreakingly honest novel about friendship, family, secrets, forgiveness, and second chances

An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she meets a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, Lakshmi is desperately lonely and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store.

Moved by her plight, Maggie treats Lakshmi in her home office for free, quickly realizing that the despondent woman doesn't need a shrink; she needs a friend. Determined to empower Lakshmi as a woman who feels valued in her own right, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient have become close friends.

But while their relationship is deeply affectionate, it is also warped by conflicting expectations. When Maggie and Lakshmi open up and share long-buried secrets, the revelations will jeopardize their close bond, shake their faith in each other, and force them to confront painful choices.

Chapters: 42

Pages: 317


Accidents of Marriage-Randy Susan Meyers

Accidents of Marriage explores a topic rarely shown in fiction: the destruction left in the wake of spouse’s verbal fury. Ben never meant to hurt Maddy. He never imagined his recklessness would lead to tragedy.

Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he’s lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids – which works to keep a fragile peace – until the rainy day when they’re together in the car and Ben’s volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.

Randy Susan Meyers takes us inside the hearts and minds of her characters, alternating among the perspectives of Maddy, Ben, and their fourteen-year-old daughter. Accidents of Marriage is a provocative and stunning novel that will resonate deeply with women from all walks of life, ultimately revealing the challenges of family, faith, and forgiveness.


ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE explores a topic rarely shown in fiction: the damaging effects of a spouse’s emotional abuse.

Chapters: 39

Pages: 352



Beyond Hollywood Strip by Shamron Moore 


Callie Lambert is the hottest starlet in Hollywood. With a hit TV show under her belt, the tabloid-targeted actress--christened one of “The 20 Most Tantalizing Angelenos”--leads a charmed life, hobnobbing with fashionistas in Paris and industry bigwigs in Los Angeles . She's sexy, sassy, and unsinkable....and currently unemployed.

Beyond Hollywood Strip offers an inside look into the realities of being famous and beautiful, following Callie as she navigates the seedy underbelly of the entertainment industry. Juggling hunky ex-boyfriends, battling lawsuits from rival actresses, staying one step ahead of the press, organizing a charity event to honor her murdered friend…Callie’s got it all under control. But when she receives a mysterious letter from a young woman claiming to be her long-lost sister, Callie’s world begins to crack around the edges and all bets are off.

An ode to the literary popcorn of Jacqueline Susann, Beyond Hollywood Strip is a steamy, action-packed ride down Sunset Boulevard. Better buckle your seat belt…it’s going to be bumpy...

Chapters: 69

Pages: 394

Becoming Josephine-Heather

Rose Tascher sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris to trade her Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. She arrives exultant to follow her dreams of attending Court with Alexandre, her elegant aristocrat and soldier husband. But Alexandre dashes her hopes and abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution.

Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll.

After narrowly escaping death in the blood-drenched cells of Les Carmes prison, she reinvents herself as Josephine, a socialite of status and power. Yet her youth is fading, and Josephine must choose between a precarious independence and the love of an awkward suitor. Little does she know, he would become the most powerful man of his century- Napoleon Bonaparte.

BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a novel of one woman’s journey to find eternal love and stability, and ultimately to find herself.

Chapters: N/A plus author's note

Pages: 306


I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe


An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War, inspired by a real female soldier's letters home.

Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.

Rosetta drills with the men, prepares herself for battle, and faces the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Fearing discovery of her secret, Rosetta’s strong will clashes with Jeremiah’s as their marriage is tested by war. Inspired by over two hundred and fifty documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.

Chapters: 37 plus prologue and author's note

Pages: 301


Living Reed: A Novel of Korea-Pearl S. Buck

The Living Reed follows four generations of one family, the Kims, beginning with Il-han and his father, both advisors to the royal family in Korea. When Japan invades and the queen is killed, Il-han takes his family into hiding. In the ensuing years, he and his family take part in the secret war against the Japanese occupation.
Pearl S. Buck's epic tells the history of Korea through the lives of one family. She paints an amazing portrait of the country, and makes us empathize with their struggle for sovereignty through her beautifully drawn characters.

Chapters: 3 plus epilogue and historical note

Pages: 478




A House Divided-Pearl S. Buck


"A House Divided," the third volume of the trilogy that began with "The Good Earth" and "Sons," is a powerful portrayal of China in the midst of revolution. Wang Yuan is caught between the opposing ideas of different generations. After 6 years abroad, Yuan returns to China in the middle of a peasant uprising. His cousin is a captain in the revolutionary army, his sister has scandalized the family by her premarital pregnancy, and his warlord father continues to cling to his traditional ideals. It is through Yuan's efforts that a kind of peace is restored to the family

Chapters: 4

Pages: 343




Chasing Hepburn: A Memoir of Shanghai, Hollywood, and a Chinese Family's Fight for Freedom by Gus Lee

“Lee . . . has created a gripping and beautiful portrait of his family. . . . Chasing Hepburn is nonfiction, but it reads just as richly as any novel.”—Boston Globe

“Gus Lee brings to his first work of nonfiction the consummate storytelling skills that have always delighted us in his critically acclaimed novels. I promise you that you will be captivated by this epic story of two families who epitomize all that is rich and varied in Chinese culture.”
—Ron Bass, screenwriter of The Joy Luck Club and Rain Man

Gus Lee takes us straight into the heart of twentieth-century Chinese society, offering a clear-eyed yet compassionate view of the forces that repeatedly tore apart and reconfigured the lives of his parents and their contemporaries. He moves deftly from recounting intimate household conversations to discussing major historical events, and the resulting story is by turns comic, harrowing, tragic, and heroic.

Chasing Hepburn is a saga that spans four generations, two continents, and half of Chinese history. In the masterful hands of acclaimed author Gus Lee, his ancestors’ stories spring vividly to life in a memoir with all the richness of great fiction.

Chapters: 72 plus preface

Pages: 532


Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay


Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting French families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard-their secret hiding place-and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.

Sixty Years Later: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future.

Chapters: N/A

Pages: 293



My Ántonia by Willa Cather

The story of Antonia Shimerda is told by one of her friends from childhood, Jim Burden, an orphaned boy from Virginia. Though he leaves the prairie, Jim never forgets the Bohemian girl who so profoundly influenced his life. An immigrant child of immigrant parents, Antonia's girlhood is spent working to help her parents wrest a living from the untamed land. Though in later years she suffers betrayal and desertion, through all the hardships of her life she preserves a valor of spirit that no hardship can daunt or break. When Jim Burden sees her again after many years, he finds her "a rich mine of life", a figure who has turned adversity into a particular kind of triumph in the true spirit of the pioneer.

Chapters: 45 plus Introduction

Pages: 289


The Three Kingdoms: The Sleeping Dragon Vol II by Luo Guanzhong


This exciting new translation will appeal to modern readers who find the twists and turns of Game of Thrones so compelling.

The Three Kingdoms is an epic Chinese novel written over six centuries ago. It recounts in vivid historical detail the turbulent years at the close of the Han Dynasty, when China broke into three competing kingdoms and over half the population were either killed or driven from their homes. Part myth, part fact, readers will experience the loyalty and treachery, the brotherhood and rivalry of China's legendary heroes and villains during the most tumultuous period in Chinese history.

Considered the greatest work in classic Chinese literature, The Three Kingdoms is read by millions throughout Asia today. Seen not just as a great work of art, many Chinese view it as a guide to success in life and business as well as a work that offers great moral clarity—while many foreigners read it to gain insights into Chinese society and culture. From the saga of The Three Kingdoms, readers will learn how great warriors motivate their troops and enhance their influence, while disguising their weaknesses and turning the strengths of others against them.

This second volume introduces Liu Bei's greatest ally, his advisor Zhuge Lian—a master strategist whose clever strategies allows Liu Bei to claim many victories in the never-ending battle for dominance during the Warring States period in Chinese history.

Chapters: 74

Pages: 447

The Three Kingdoms: Welcome The Tiger Vol III by Luo Guanzhong

This exciting new translation will appeal to modern readers who find the twists and turns of Game of Thrones so compelling.

The Three Kingdoms is an epic Chinese novel written over six centuries ago. It recounts in vivid historical detail the turbulent years at the close of the Han Dynasty, when China broke into three competing kingdoms and over half the population were either killed or driven from their homes. Part myth, part fact, readers will experience the loyalty and treachery, the brotherhood and rivalry of China's legendary heroes and villains during the most tumultuous period in Chinese history.

Considered the greatest work in classic Chinese literature, The Three Kingdoms is read by millions throughout Asia today. Seen not just as a great work of art, many Chinese view it as a guide to success in life and business as well as a work that offers great moral clarity—while many foreigners read it to gain insights into Chinese society and culture. From the saga of The Three Kingdoms, readers will learn how great warriors motivate their troops and enhance their influence, while disguising their weaknesses and turning the strengths of others against them.

This third volume concludes the tale of Liu Bei and his sworn brothers-in-arms, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu, whose loyalty and fidelity are sorely tested in a society at war for its very survival.

Chapters: 120

Pages: 510


The Heike Story-Eiji Yoshikawa


Kyoto in the twelfth century was a magnificent city, but crime, disorder, and lust were rampant. The people were abused by the nobility, while the armed Buddhist monks terrorized court and commoner alike. In despair, the Emperor called upon the Heike and Genji clans to quell civil disturbances. Although the clans succeeded, they quarreled over the spoils of war and plunged the country into a century of warfare.This novel describes the rise to power of Kiyomori of the Heike clan during this turbulent time. From a youth sunk in poverty, Kiyomori eventually rose to become the Emperor's Chief Councillor. Although he was a gentle, enlightened man, he left a trail of bloodshed and ruin in his wake. The strange twists of Kiyomori's fate are the core of this epic novel.The Heike Story is a modern translation of a Japanese classic. Its exotic atmosphere, narrative power, pageantry, and poetry will enthrall English readers and provide an entertaining introduction to an important source of Japanese culture.

Chapters: 50 plus On the Historical Background  and foreword

Pages: 547


The Golden Lotus Volume 1: Jin Ping Mei-Lanling Xiaoxiaosheng

A saga of ruthless ambition, murder, and lust, this classic novel—admired in its own time for its literary qualities and biting indictment of the immorality and cruelty of its age—lays bare the rivalries within a wealthy family while chronicling its rise and fall.

This edition features a new introduction by Robert Hegel of Washington University, and contains the complete text as translated by Clement Egerton with the assistance of Shu Qingchun, who as Lao She became one of the most prominent Chinese writers of the twentieth century.

Chapters: 53 plus Introductions, notes and The Golden Lotus

Pages: 640




The Golden Lotus Volume 2: Jin Ping Mei-Lanling Xiaoxiaosheng


A saga of ruthless ambition, murder, and lust, this classic novel—admired in its own time for its literary qualities and biting indictment of the immorality and cruelty of its age—lays bare the rivalries within a wealthy family while chronicling its rise and fall.

This edition features a new introduction by Robert Hegel of Washington University, and contains the complete text as translated by Clement Egerton with the assistance of Shu Qingchun, who as Lao She became one of the most prominent Chinese writers of the twentieth century.

Chapters: 100

Pages: 640




Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter by Maggie Anton

Fantastic tales of demons and the Evil Eye, magical incantations, and powerful attractions abound in Enchantress, a novel that weaves together Talmudic lore, ancient Jewish magic, and a timeless love story set in fourth-century Babylonia.

One of the most powerful practitioners of these mysterious arts is Rav Hisda’s daughter, whose innate awareness allows her to possess the skills men lack. With her husband, Rava--whose arcane knowledge of the secret Torah enables him to create a "man” out of earth and to resurrect another rabbi from death--the two brave an evil sorceress, Ashmedai the Demon King, and even the Angel of Death in their quest to safeguard their people, even while putting their romance at risk.

The author of the acclaimed Rashi’s Daughters series and the award-winning Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Apprentice has conjured literary magic in the land where "abracadabra” originated.  Based on five years of research and populated with characters from the Talmud, Enchantress brings a pivotal era of Jewish and Christian history to life from the perspective of a courageous and passionate woman.

Chapters: 35 plus epilogue and afterword

Pages: 370


The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan by Michitsuna no Haha, Edward G. Seidensticker


Kagero Nikki, translated here as The Gossamer Years, belongs to the same period as the celebrated Tale of Genji. This frank autobiographical diary reveals two tempestuous decades of the author's unhappy marriage and her growing indignation at rival wives and mistresses. Too impetuous to be satisfied as a subsidiary wife, this beautiful noblewoman of the Heian dynasty protests the marriage system of her time in one of Japanese literature's earliest attempts to portray difficult elements of the predominatn social hierarchy. A classic work of early Japanese prose, The Gossamer Years offers a timeless and intimate glimpse into the culture of ancient Japan.

Chapters: 3 plus introduction

Pages: 167


Vicissitudes of Life by Wang Xiaoying

Vicissitudes of Life tells the story of Xiaoyi, a post-graduate studying in America during the early years of China's opening up. Xiaoyi has opportunities in AMerica, but pining for his wife and determined to contribute to the building of the "new China" he decides to return home. Before he leaves a former lover reads his fortune using a traditional book of divination. She warns him that a dire fate awaits him in China. Xiaoyi ignores the warning and returns home.

Back in Shanghai, he is reunited with his wife Fanfan, a singer in a local chorus, and is offered a job at his former university. However, it quickly becomes apparent that not everyone is happy about Xiaoyi's appointment, particularly the zealous Party Secretarty You Dexiang. Xiaoyi soon finds himself in a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare. As his career and marriage gradually break down, Xiaoyi's faith in the new age of opportunity he came back for is severely tested.

Chapters: 12

Pages: 366


The Kojiki: Records of Ancient Matters by Ō. no Yasumaro, Basil Hall Chamberlain 


Written by imperial command in the eighth century, The Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) is Japan's classic of classics,the oldest connected literary work and the fundamental scripture of Shinto. Accepted as fact until quite recently, it is a key to the historical roots of the Japanese people-their early life and the development of their character and institutions- as well as a lively mixture of legend and history, genealogy, and poetry. It stands as one of hte greatest monuments of Japanese literature because it preserves more faithfully than any other book the mythology, manners, language, and traditions of Japan. It provides, furthermore, a vivd account of a nation in the making. The work opens "when chaos had begun to condense, but force and form were not yet manifest, and there was nought named, nought done..."It recounts the mythological creation of Japan by the divine brother and sister Izanami and Izanagi, tales of the Sun Goddess and other deities, the divine origin of Jimmu the first emperor, and the histories of subsequent reigns. Epic material is complemented by a fresh bucolic vein expressed in songs and poetry.

This famous translation by the British scholar Basil Hall Chamberlain, who "taught Japanese and Japan to the Japanese," is enhanced by notes on the text and an extensive introduction discussing early Japanese society, as well as the Kojili and its background. Important for its wealth of information, the Kojiki is indispensable to anyone interested in things Japanese. This compendium of early Japanese life provides a panorama of Japan during its formation.

Chapters: 180?

Pages: 413

The Taiheiki: A Chronicle of Medieval Japan by Helen Craig McCullough

This celebrated literary classic has delighted generations of Japanese. In its pages, the Western reader will find a vivid contemporary description of the fourteenth-century intrigues and battles that led to the destruction of the Hojo family, the military overlords of the nation, and made it possible for the Emperor Go-Daigo (1288-1339), one of Japan's most remarkable sovereigns, to reassert the power of the throne. Go-Daigo's first hesistant attempts to overthrow the Hojo, the early defeats suffered by his supporters, his dethronement and exile, the legendary exploits of his generals, the growing strength of his arms, and his ultimate return to the throne are all recounted in engrossing detail.

THe book's anonymous authors diversify their narrative through skillful use of the rich treasure house of the Chinese dynastic histories, the verse of the Six Dynasties and T'ang, and the Confucian teachings underlying the strict warrior code of loyalty and filial piety. They write with a deep sense of hte inevitability of karma-determined fater and the impermanence of man and his works, but the virile spirti of the age is reflected in their praise of valor and military prowess, their taste for descriptions of hte trappings of war, and their frequent ireverent asides.

Chapters: 12 plus preface

Pages: 387