Wanting - Richard Flanagan

Wanting (Grove Press, $14), Australian author Richard Flanagan’s latest historical novel, is a poignant work about the varied objects, yet unified nature, of human desire. Set in 19th-century London and Tasmania, the narrative follows the explorer Sir John Franklin and his wife Jane’s crusade, abetted by a Christian priest, to “civilize” Mathinna, an aboriginal girl. The plot quite literally thickens as Flanagan adds layers of fact and fiction; years later, Charles Dickens re-tells the Franklins’ story. Flanagan extrapolates intimate tales of brutality, betrayal, and hubris from the brief historical relationship between the Franklins and Dickens. Wanting reads like one part biography, two parts fable; it’s a vibrant, dynamic portrait of our drive for fulfillment, and the things—mostly ourselves— that get in the way.

Wanting By Richard Flanagan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802144775
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Grove Press - June 8th, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

There has not been a more charming and witty book released in the past year than The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (Dial, $14), by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  In this epistolary novel, a published London author begins a correspondence with a book group shortly after the end of the Second World War.  As letters are exchanged, she discovers how much she admires the bravery, wisdom, and perseverance of the residents of the isle of Guernsey, and she learns a great deal about the difficult circumstances they overcame during the Nazi occupation of their island.  One is reminded of Jane Austen in the depiction of eccentric, endearing, affectionately-rendered characters and the society they inhabit.  Ultimately, the book is a celebration of love, community, and a passion for literature, and is supremely pleasurable.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385341004
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 5th, 2009

City of Thieves - David Benioff

Imagine Michael Chabon sitting down to write Crime and Punishment and you’ll get an idea of the tone of this darkly comic, Russian adventure.  City Of Thieves (Plume, $15) follows two young men as they struggle through besieged Leningrad trying to find a dozen eggs for a wedding cake.   Lev is a brooding teenager based on author David Benioff’s grandfather, and Kolya is a freewheeling soldier who considers himself a writer. In a world where even the glue in book bindings might provide sustenance, our heroes set out on a fool’s errand, indeed, one that turns into an incredibly perilous crusade as the pair encounters starving butchers, beautiful partisans, and brutal Germans.  You’ll want to read it all in one sitting.

City of Thieves: A Novel By David Benioff Cover Image
ISBN: 9780452295292
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - March 31st, 2009