The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman is a powerful recalling of the author’s experiences in Warsaw during World War II. When his family is sent to the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, Wladek (his nickname) earns money by playing piano in the ghetto cafes. When his family is sent to the trains to the concentration camps, Wladek is plucked from the edge of doom and spends the rest of the war hiding in the ruins of the ghetto, getting by as he can. Wladek responds to crisis by taking his emotions out of the equation, and reports his memories as they come to him. When he discusses the loss of his family, the horrors he sees, he does so dispassionately, like a reporter. He does this because to inject how he feels would compromise his narrative and would distract him from getting his thoughts down on paper and out of his brain forever. The resulting memoir is not necessarily in chronological order, but is no less powerful as a result. As we journey with Wladek, as we see what he saw, even at this distance in the twenty-first century, the overwhelming response must be “Never again can this be allowed to happen.”

The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312263768
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Picador - September 2nd, 2000

Before there was Bertie Wooster, P.G. Wodehouse created Reggie Pepper, a dopey aristocratic twit of a fellow. He was dumb enough to be loveable, but not so dumb that you wanted to smack him. Eventually Reggie evolved into Bertie, but you can see them both in their literary infancy in My Man Jeeves. All the short stories in this book are set in New York in the early 20th century, and are snapshots of a world before world wars or economic suffering. Reggie and Bertie sail through life with only the occasional dark cloud on their eternally sunny horizons: an intimidating aunt, a scheming ex-fiancée, and wardrobe spats with the gentleman's personal gentleman - this is the extent of their personal drama. Dipping into their lives is as refreshing as a crisp fall day, a glass of champagne, or a dinner cooked by someone else. Let this book be your introduction into the rest of the Wodehouse oeuvre, and you'll spend plenty of evenings in the company of his delightful characters.

My Man Jeeves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781585678754
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - May 10th, 2007

If I knew in advance that I could have a kid like Tecumseh Sparrow Spivet, I’d have a whole passel of children. T.S. (as he’s known) is bright, funny, insightful, and just a twinge on the geeky side. In The Selected Works Of T.S. Spivet (Penguin Press, $27.95), by Reif Larsen, T.S. gets his chance to shine when he’s offered a prestigious award by the Smithsonian for his work in cartography. T.S. is twelve and lives in Montana, but he’s not going to let a few minor details keep him from his destiny. He decides to travel by train to Washington, D.C., to accept his award—by train as a hobo, that is. As his journey unfolds, you’ll be treated to his detailed maps in the margins for added depth to this truly wonderful story.

The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594202179
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - May 5th, 2009

The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117353
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Books - April 27th, 2010