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Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx by Sonia Manzano

August 2015

Emmy Award-winning actress and writer Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on "Sesame Street" for an astounding 44 years, plunges us into the daily lives of a Latino family that is loving --- and troubled. This is Sonia's own story rendered with an unforgettable narrative power. Spiced with culture, heartache and humor, BECOMING MARIA paints a lasting portrait of Sonia's resilience as she grows up to become an inspiration to millions.

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown

August 2015

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under 20 feet of water; property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion; and 1,833 people lost their lives. The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism and courage --- and also of incompetence, racism and criminality. Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

The Next Big Thing: A History of the Boom-or-Bust Moments That Shaped the Modern World by Richard Faulk

August 2015

We are always hearing about the Next Big Thing. Whether it is a new iPhone or the New World, the freshest and newest inventions, discoveries and fads loom large in the public mind. The impact that everyone thinks these "next big things" will have is often more important than the actual impact it generates. After all, if it fails, it will be almost immediately forgotten. THE NEXT BIG THING searches through 3,000 years of Western culture to find the colorful and key steps (and missteps) that led us to where we are today.

Author Talk: Philippa Gregory, author of The Taming of the Queen

Aug 28, 2015

For fans of historical fiction, Philippa Gregory needs no introduction; THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN is the latest in a long list of bestselling novels. It tells the fascinating story of Kateryn Parr --- King Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife --- a brilliant scholar and deeply religious woman who would outlive her husband and triumph over his domestic reign of terror. In this interview, Gregory reveals how she captures historical figures and events with such precision and immediacy, and why she thinks historians haven’t given Kateryn her due. She also discusses the queen’s love of language and publishing --- a love the author herself shares --- and why it’s important to write about women who were not inactive victims of male power.

Interview: Stephanie Clifford, author of Everybody Rise

Aug 28, 2015

EVERYBODY RISE is award-winning New York Times reporter Stephanie Clifford’s excellent debut and a surefire end-of-summer must-read. It’s the keenly observed story of the rise of society wannabe Evelyn Beegan --- and her inevitable fall. Clifford reported on the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis, so it’s no surprise that the novel is set in the years leading up to it. In this interview with Bookreporter.com’s Jamie Layton, Clifford discusses what makes those years so fascinating and how the excesses of the mega-rich led to a country’s financial collapse. She also talks about having sympathy for flawed characters, why children work so hard for their parents’ approval, and how Evelyn’s ambition is a universal experience --- just kicked up a notch or 10.

John Alfred Landford

No possession can surpass, or even equal a good library, to the lover of books. Here are treasured up for his daily use and delectation, riches which increase by being consumed, and pleasures that never cloy.

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John Alfred Landford

Author Talk: Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens

Aug 27, 2015

Elisabeth Egan is the books editor at Glamour, and her essays and book reviews have appeared in an impressive array of publications. In her debut novel, A WINDOW OPENS, Egan tells the story of Alice Pearse, a mostly satisfied wife and mother of three, who decides to make a radical career change and learns that “happily ever after” is not as easy as it seems. In this interview, Egan talks about some of the traits she shares with her protagonist (book preferences, for one) and which books and authors have inspired her through the years. As an industry insider, she also weighs in on the merits of digital readers versus traditional books, as well as the important role women’s magazines play in contemporary book culture.

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Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

August 2015

I read EVERYBODY RISE by Stephanie Clifford back in December in an early manuscript. I was on the Outer Banks, the wind was blowing and I craved a big, juicy book. And that is exactly what I got. At the time the book did not have a cover, but when I saw it, I thought it was perfect. The gilded chandelier screams Lilly Pulitzer, the patron saint of the old moneyed set. Set in 2006, before the big money crash, it has all the go-go-go juices that fueled those days.

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

August 2015

Confession: I know Elisabeth Egan, the author of A WINDOW OPENS, well enough to call her Liz. She is open, honest, fun, funny and wickedly smart. Whenever I meet with her, I crave more time and walk away smiling. She had mentioned through the years that she was writing a novel, and as soon as I saw there were advance copies, I had to read it. If you have not met Liz, you will know what she is like once you read this book. It’s open, honest, fun, funny and wickedly smart just like her!