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Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Title Astonish Me
Author Maggie Shipstead
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2014
Category Fiction
Total Pages 253
ISBN 9780307962904
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Helping a world-famous dancer to defect from the Soviet Union to the United States, ballerina Joan watches her friend's career soar while her own declines in the wake of her pregnancy and marriage, a situation that eventually exposes difficult secrets. 75,000 first printing.

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Title Astonish Me
Author Maggie Shipstead
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2014-04-08
Category Fiction
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780307962911
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many. After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan plots to make a new life for herself. She quits ballet, marries a good man, and settles in California with him and their son, Harry. But as the years pass, Joan comes to understand that ballet isn’t finished with her yet, for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy. Through Harry, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she’d left behind—back into dangerous secrets, and back, inevitably, to Arslan. Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Maggie Shipstead gives us a novel of stunning intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic, and brilliantly conjured, Astonish Me confirms Shipstead’s range and ability and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment, and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Title Astonish Me
Author Maggie Shipstead
Publisher HarperCollins UK
Release Date 2014-04-08
Category Fiction
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780007555239
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the prize-winning author of Seating Arrangements comes an exquisitely written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations.

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Title Astonish Me
Author Maggie Shipstead
Publisher HarperCollins UK
Release Date 2014-05-08
Category Fiction
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780007525386
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The New York Times bestselling author of Great Circle ‘Brilliantly written; the first ballet novel for grown-ups’ THE TIMES ‘A bravura display of high-performance art’ GUARDIAN

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Title Great Circle
Author Maggie Shipstead
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2021-05-04
Category Fiction
Total Pages 608
ISBN 9780525656982
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“Relentlessly exciting ... My top recommendation for this summer.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE • A TODAY SHOW #ReadWithJenna BOOK CLUB PICK • The unforgettable story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life, at any cost—Great Circle “soars and dips with dizzying flair ... an expansive story that covers more than a century and seems to encapsulate the whole wide world” (Boston Globe). “A masterpiece ... One of the best books I’ve ever read.” —J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Friends and Strangers After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There--after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes--Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles. A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian's disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian's own story, as the two women's fates--and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times--collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, Great Circle is a monumental work of art, and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Maggie Shipstead.

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

Title Seating Arrangements
Author Maggie Shipstead
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2012-06-12
Category Fiction
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780307958570
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to the impeccably appropriate Greyson Duff. The weekend is full of champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust stir beneath the surface. Winn Van Meter, father of the bride, is not having a good time. Barred from the exclusive social club he’s been eyeing since birth, he’s also tormented by an inappropriate crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid, Agatha, and the fear that his daughter, Livia—recently heartbroken by the son of his greatest rival—is a too-ready target for the wiles of Greyson’s best man. When old resentments, a beached whale and an escaped lobster are added to the mix, the wedding that should have gone off with military precision threatens to become a spectacle of misbehavior.

Philippe Halsman by Sam Stourdzé

Title Philippe Halsman
Author Sam Stourdzé
Publisher Prestel Pub
Release Date 2014-01
Category Photography
Total Pages 316
ISBN 3791349074
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This massive retrospective volume profiles the work of Philippe Halsman, one of the world's most revered photographers. Salvador Dali's flamboyant moustache, Richard Nixon jumping in the West Wing, Grace Kelly's amazing profile--these are just a few of the images that achieved iconic status and helped make photographer Philippe Halsman an icon in his own right. Comprising hundreds of photographs and insightful accompanying texts, this volume explores Halsman's oeuvre in a variety of aspects. It examines his early career exhibiting works at the avant-garde La Pleiade Gallery in Paris; his experiments with portraiture, particularly the series of stunning images of Marilyn Monroe and his more than 100 covers for Life magazine; his pictures of the contemporary art scene that include famous dancers, movie stars, stage actors, and musicians and the birth of his "jumpology" concept; and his unique, 30-year collaboration with Salvador Dali, including a book devoted entirely to the artist's moustache. Anyone interested in portraiture, celebrity, or performance will marvel at the breadth and magnificence of Halsman's work, which is definitively presented in this beautiful volume.

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

Title The Mermaid Chair
Author Sue Monk Kidd
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2006-03-07
Category Fiction
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781101201039
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A transcendent tale of a woman's self-discovery—the New York Times–bestselling second work of fiction by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Book of Longings Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion. When Jessie Sullivan is summoned home to the island to cope with her eccentric mother’s seemingly inexplicable behavior, she is living a conventional life with her husband, Hugh, a life “molded to the smallest space possible.” Jessie loves Hugh, but once on the island, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk about to take his final vows. Amid a rich community of unforgettable island women and the exotic beauty of marshlands, tidal creeks, and majestic egrets, Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, with a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right, and with the immutable force of home and marriage. Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie’s life? What happens will unlock the roots of her mother’s tormented past, but most of all, it will allow Jessie to discover selfhood and a place of belonging as she explores the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic.

The Archivist by Martha Cooley

Title The Archivist
Author Martha Cooley
Publisher Back Bay Books
Release Date 2008-11-15
Category Fiction
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780316049498
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A young woman's impassioned pursuit of a sealed cache of T. S. Eliot's letters lies at the heart of this emotionally charged novel -- a story of marriage and madness, of faith and desire, of jazz-age New York and Europe in the shadow of the Holocaust. The Archivist was a word-of-mouth bestseller and one of the most jubilantly acclaimed first novels of recent years.

Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson

Title Girl Through Glass
Author Sari Wilson
Publisher HarperCollins
Release Date 2016-01-26
Category Fiction
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780062326294
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An enthralling literary debut that tells the story of a young girl’s coming of age in the cutthroat world of New York City ballet—a story of obsession and the quest for perfection, trust and betrayal, beauty and lost innocence. In the roiling summer of 1977, eleven-year-old Mira is an aspiring ballerina in the romantic, highly competitive world of New York City ballet. Enduring the mess of her parent’s divorce, she finds escape in dance—the rigorous hours of practice, the exquisite beauty, the precision of movement, the obsessive perfectionism. Ballet offers her control, power, and the promise of glory. It also introduces her to forty-seven-year-old Maurice DuPont, a reclusive, charismatic balletomane who becomes her mentor. Over the course of three years, Mira is accepted into the prestigious School of American Ballet run by the legendary George Balanchine, and eventually becomes one of “Mr. B’s girls”—a dancer of rare talent chosen for greatness. As she ascends higher in the ballet world, her relationship with Maurice intensifies, touching dark places within herself and sparking unexpected desires that will upend both their lives. In the present day, Kate, a professor of dance at a Midwestern college, embarks on a risky affair with a student that threatens to obliterate her career and capsizes the new life she has painstakingly created for her reinvented self. When she receives a letter from a man she’s long thought dead, Kate is hurled back into the dramas of a past she thought she had left behind. Told in interweaving narratives that move between past and present, Girl Through Glass illuminates the costs of ambition, secrets, and the desire for beauty, and reveals how the sacrifices we make for an ideal can destroy—or save—us.

The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey

Title The Cranes Dance
Author Meg Howrey
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2012-05-15
Category Fiction
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780307949837
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

I threw my neck out in the middle of Swan Lake last night. So begins the tale of Kate Crane, a soloist in a celebrated New York City ballet company who is struggling to keep her place in a very demanding world. At every turn she is haunted by her close relationship with her younger sister, Gwen, a fellow company dancer whose career quickly surpassed Kate’s, but who has recently suffered a breakdown and returned home. Alone for the first time in her life, Kate is anxious and full of guilt about the role she may have played in her sister’s collapse. As we follow her on an insider tour of rehearsals, performances, and partners onstage and off, she confronts the tangle of love, jealousy, pride, and obsession that are beginning to fracture her own sanity. Funny, dark, intimate, and unflinchingly honest, The Cranes Dance is a book that pulls back the curtains to reveal the private lives of dancers and explores the complicated bond between sisters.

Astonished by Mike Erre

Title Astonished
Author Mike Erre
Publisher David C Cook
Release Date 2014-04-01
Category Religion
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9781434707529
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In Astonished, Pastor Mike Erre calls Christians away from simplistic formulas to honest and rugged faith in the mysterious and unpredictable God. God is more about deepening the mystery of faith, not removing it. Jesus should get bigger the longer we walk with him. Life and faith should grow to be more profound and wondrous, not less. In Astonished, you will see how we are far more comfortable with tips, steps and techniques for living, than we are with ruthlessly trusting the mysterious God of the Bible. God asks us to follow him into tension, frustration, and difficulty because he wants our trust, not just our intellectual agreement. He calls us to seek Him even as we live in awe of all that is yet to be known about Him. Astonished is an invitation to question in a culture that wants answers, to wonder in a world with little mystery left, and to believe in what is unseen and find it beautiful.

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

Title A Grief Observed
Author C.S. Lewis
Publisher Faber & Faber
Release Date 2012-10-04
Category Religion
Total Pages 64
ISBN 9780571265794
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Grief Observed comprises the reflections of the great scholar and Christian on the death of his wife after only a few short years of marriage. Painfully honest in its dissection of his thoughts and feelings, this is a book that details his paralysing grief, bewilderment and sense of loss in simple and moving prose. Invaluable as an insight into the grieving process just as much as it is as an exploration of religious doubt, A Grief Observed will continue to offer its consoling insights to a huge range of readers, as it has for over fifty years. 'A classic of the genre, a literary answer to the pain of loss.' Robert McCrum

Title The Astonishing Color of After
Author Emily X.R. Pan
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date 2018-03-20
Category Young Adult Fiction
Total Pages 480
ISBN 9780316464000
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng. Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love. "Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book."--John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down

Human Acts by Han Kang

Title Human Acts
Author Han Kang
Publisher Portobello Books
Release Date 2016-01-07
Category Fiction
Total Pages 86
ISBN 9781783781621
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Gwangju, South Korea, 1980. In the wake of a viciously suppressed student uprising, a boy searches for his friend's corpse, a consciousness searches for its abandoned body, and a brutalised country searches for a voice. In a sequence of interconnected chapters the victims and the bereaved encounter censorship, denial, forgiveness and the echoing agony of the original trauma. Human Acts is a universal book, utterly modern and profoundly timeless. Already a controversial bestseller and award-winning book in Korea, it confirms Han Kang as a writer of immense importance.

Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout

Title Olive Again
Author Elizabeth Strout
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2019
Category FICTION
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780812996548
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times-bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, who struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine.

Until Next Weekend by Rachel Marks

Title Until Next Weekend
Author Rachel Marks
Publisher Penguin UK
Release Date 2021-04-29
Category Fiction
Total Pages 416
ISBN 9781405940108
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

PRE-ORDER THE UNFORGETTABLE NEW NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF SATURDAYS AT NOON 'Poignant, compelling' WOMAN & HOME 'BOOK OF THE MONTH' 'Wise and wonderful. I adored it!' MIRANDA DICKINSON 'The characters feel so real' SOPHIE COUSENS 'Funny, relatable and simply brilliant!' 5***** READER REVIEW _______ NOAH AND KATE WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER. Married with two gorgeous sons, it looked like they'd got their happy ever after. But marriage isn't easy. And one day, Kate left, taking their two boys with her. These days, Noah is a weekend dad - and it breaks his heart. He misses the chaotic mealtimes, the bedtime stories, the early mornings and the late homework. Suddenly, he decides enough is enough - he has to win his family back. Starting with Kate. The only problem? IN SIX WEEKS' TIME, KATE IS GETTING MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE . . . _______ 'Marks' lightness of touch - and authentic dialogue - propel you forward, as will the characters . . . Rachel Marks is a name to watch' Woman & Home, 'BEST BOOKS 2021' 'Within a few pages I was totally invested. Rachel Marks packs a novel with all the emotions' CLARE POOLEY 'Unpredictable and satisfying' HEIDI SWAIN 'Heartbreaking, heartwarming, perfect!' ROSIE GOODWIN Readers are falling in love with Until Next Weekend 'All of the heart of the old Tony Parsons novels and up amongst Mike Gayle's best' 5***** READER REVIEW 'A book of hope. Unforgettable' 5***** READER REVIEW 'I was in tears. I wholeheartedly recommend this to all' 5***** READER REVIEW

Me by Elton John

Title Me
Author Elton John
Publisher Pan
Release Date 2020-10-13
Category Autobiographies
Total Pages 352
ISBN 1509853340
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again. His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade. In Me Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you, by a living legend.

Title The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author Junot Daz
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2008
Category Fiction
Total Pages 339
ISBN 9781594483295
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Living with an old-world mother and rebellious sister, an urban New Jersey misfit dreams of becoming the next J. R. R. Tolkien and believes that a long-standing family curse is thwarting his efforts to find love and happiness. A first novel by the author of the collection, Drown. Reprint.

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Title Bunheads
Author Sophie Flack
Publisher Poppy
Release Date 2011-10-10
Category Young Adult Fiction
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780316193221
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

On-stage beauty. Backstage drama. As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet. But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?