Archive for August, 2007

The Sheltering Sky

Thursday, August 30, 2007

sky.gifBy Paul Bowles

The Sheltering Sky is a landmark of twentieth-century literature. In this intensely fascinating story, Paul Bowles examines the ways in which Americans’ incomprehension of alien cultures leads to the ultimate destruction of those cultures.

A story about three American travelers adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Skyexplores the limits of humanity when it touches the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more. (description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing Bowles

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A Bend in the River

Thursday, August 30, 2007

river.gifBy VS Naipaul

In the “brilliant novel” (The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man — an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions. (Description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing Naipaul

The Day of the Locust

Thursday, August 30, 2007

locust.gifBy Nathanael West

The Day of the Locust is a novel about Hollywood and its corrupting touch, about the American dream turned into a sun-drenched California nightmare. Nathaniel West’s Hollywood is not the glamorous “home of the stars” but a seedy world of little people, some hopeful, some desparing, all twisted by their by their own desires–from the ironically romantic artist narrator to a macho movie cowboy, a middle-aged innocent from America’s heartland, and the hard-as-nails call girl would-be-star whom they all lust after. An unforgettable portrayal of a world that mocks the real and rewards the sham, turns its back on love to plunge into empty sex, and breeds a savage violence that is its own undoing, this novel stands as a classic indictment of all that is most extravagant and uncontrolled in American life. (Descriptoion from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing West

The Hunt for Red October

Thursday, August 30, 2007

red.jpgBy Tom Clancy

A deadly serious game of hide-and-seek is on. The CIA’s brilliant young analyst, Jack Ryan, thinks he knows the reason for the sudden Red Fleet operation: the Soviets’ most valuable ship, the Red October, is attempting to defect to the United States.

The new ballistic-missile submarine’s defection is high treason on an unprecedented scale and nearly the entire Soviet Atlantic Fleet has been ordered to find and destroy her at all costs. If the U.S. fleet can locate her first and get her safely to port, it will be the intelligence coup of all time.

The nerve-wracking hunt goes on for eighteen days as the Red October tries to elude her hunters across 4000 miles of ocean. The rousing climax is one of the most thrilling underwater scenes ever written. (Description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing Clancy

Shane

Thursday, August 30, 2007

shane.gifBy Jack Schaefer

“The stranger, Shane, dresses in brown, black, and leather and is so tough he carries no gun. He drinks from the trough after his horse finishes. A biblical silence follows him, and people lose their senses when he looks their way. He a man no bullet can kill. He’s part attack Doberman, part heroic champion. Shane is a work of literature first and a western second.” (Description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing Schaefer

Appointment in Samarra

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ohara.gifBy John O’Hara

A twentieth-century classic, Appointment in Samarra is the first and most widely read book by the writer Fran Leibowitz called “the real F. Scott Fitzgerald.”
In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville social circuit is electrified with parties and dances, where the music plays late into the night and the liquor flows freely. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English—the envy of friends and strangers alike. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction. Appointment in Samarra brilliantly captures the personal politics and easy bitterness of small-town life. It is John O’Hara’s crowning achievement, and a lasting testament to the keen social intelligence of a major American novelist. (Description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing O’Hara

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Thursday, August 30, 2007

bridge.jpgBy Thornton Wilder

“On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below.” With this celebrated sentence, Thornton Wilder begins The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of the towering achievements in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world.

By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper seeks to prove that it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His study leads to his own death — and to the author’s timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey is now reissued in this handsome hardcover edition featuring a new foreword by Russell Banks. Tappan Wilder has written an engaging and thought-provoking afterword, which includes unpublished notes for the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, illuminating photographs, and other remarkable documentary material. Granville Hicks’s insightful comment about Wilder suggests an inveterate truth: “As a craftsman he is second to none, and there are few who have looked deeper into the human heart.” (Description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing Wilder

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Thursday, August 30, 2007

zen.jpgBy Robert M. Pirsig

The extraordinary story of a man’s quest for truth. It will change the way you think and feel about your life The cycle you’re working on is a cycle called ‘yourself,’ Robert M. Pirsig says. The study of the art of motorcycle maintainence is really a study of the art of rationality itself. Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to become part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind. The motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon. The book details a cross-country motorcycle trip by a man and his 11-year-old son, as well as his quest for truth. (Description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing Pirsig

The Sun Also Rises

Thursday, August 30, 2007

sun.jpgBy Ernest Hemingway

Published in 1926 to explosive acclaim, The Sun Also Rises stands as perhaps the most impressive first novel ever written by an American writer. A roman à clef about a group of American and English expatriates on an excursion from Paris’s Left Bank to Pamplona for the July fiesta and its climactic bull fight, a journey from the center of a civilization spiritually bankrupted by the First World War to a vital, God-haunted world in which faith and honor have yet to lose their currency, the novel captured for the generation that would come to be called “Lost” the spirit of its age, and marked Ernest Hemingway as the preeminent writer of his time. (Description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing Hemingway

Parade’s End

Thursday, August 30, 2007

parade.gifBy Ford Maddox Ford

With his acclaimed masterpiece Parade’s End, Ford Madox Ford set himself a work of immense scale and ambition: “I wanted the Novelist in fact to appear in his really proud position as historian of his own time… The ‘subject’ was the world as it culminated in the war.” Published in four parts between 1924 and 1928, his extraordinary novel centers on Christopher Tietjens, an officer and a gentleman — “the last English Tory”–and follows him from the secure, orderly world of Edwardian England into the chaotic madness of the First World War. Against the backdrop of a world at war, Ford recounts the complex sexual warfare between Tietjens and his faithless wife, Sylvia. A work of truly amazing subtlety and profundity. (Description from barnesandnoble.com) Call number: Browsing Ford