In 1958, an unheralded 23-year-old piano prodigy from Texas named Van Cliburn traveled to Moscow to compete in the First International Tchaikovsky Competition. The Soviets had no intention of bestowing their coveted prize on an unknown American; a Russian pianist had already been chosen to win. Yet when the gangly Texan with the shy grin took the stage and began to play, he instantly captivated an entire nation. Adored by millions in the USSR, Cliburn returned to a thunderous hero’s welcome in the US and became, for a time, an ambassador of hope for two dangerously hostile superpowers.
Forsyth County, Georgia, at the turn of the 20th century was home to a large African American community. Many black residents were poor sharecroppers, but others owned their own farms. But then in September 1912, three young black laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. One man was dragged from a jail cell and lynched on the town square, two teenagers were hung after a one-day trial, and soon bands of white “night riders” launched a coordinated campaign of arson and terror. National Book Award finalist Patrick Phillips tells Forsyth’s tragic story in vivid detail and traces its long history of racial violence all the way back to antebellum Georgia.
The America we live in today was born, not on July 4, 1776, but on December 7, 1941, when an armada of 354 Japanese warplanes supported by aircraft carriers, destroyers and midget submarines suddenly and savagely attacked the United States, killing 2,403 men --- and forced America’s entry into World War II. PEARL HARBOR follows, moment by moment, the sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats, admirals, generals, emperor and president as they engineer, fight and react to this stunningly dramatic moment in world history.
Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion…and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile --- a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. Nina soon discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home --- a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
Once a celebrated writer, M had his greatest success with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. It told the story of a history teacher who went missing one winter after having a brief affair with a beautiful student of his. The teacher was never found. Upon publication, M's novel was a runaway bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough. That was years ago, and now M's career is fading. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him and his wife. Why?
Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko is a life-long resident of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. For the most part, every day is exactly the same for Ivan, which is why he turns everything into a game, manipulating people and events around him for his own amusement. Until Polina arrives. She steals his books. She challenges his routine. The nurses like her. Soon, he cannot help being drawn to her, and the two forge a romance that is tenuous and beautiful and everything they never dared dream of. Before, he survived by being utterly detached from things and people. Now, Ivan wants something more: he wants Polina to live.
Lying at the bottom of his apartment stairs, a postman is found dead. At first glance, his death appears to be a simple fall, a straightforward accident and the perfect case for Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen to return to after a severe heart attack. But when he is called to investigate, new forensic evidence comes to light and something doesn't add up. When life-size images of a girl are discovered plastering the walls of the dead man's attic, the case takes a new and sinister turn. Who is she? Could she be alive? Soon members of the homicide team find themselves delving into the past, but as they approach the truth, Simonsen discovers long-hidden skeletons in his own closet.
A 19th-century minister builds an elaborate motor that will bring about the Second Coming. A man with rough hands locks a boy in a room with an albino ape. An apocalyptic army falls under a veil of forgetfulness. The story of Red Riding Hood is run through a potentially endless series of iterations. A father invents an elaborate, consuming game for his hospitalized son. Indexes, maps and a checkered shirt buried beneath a blanket of snow are scattered through these pages as clues to mysteries that may never be solved. A TREE OR A PERSON OR A WALL brings together Matt Bell’s previously published shorter fiction, along with seven dark and disturbing new stories.
It’s 1803, and an adolescent Nadya is determined not to follow in her overbearing Ukrainian mother’s footsteps. She’s a horsewoman, not a housewife. When Tsar Paul is assassinated in St. Petersburg and a reluctant and naive Alexander is crowned emperor, Nadya runs away from home and joins the Russian cavalry in the war against Napoleon. Disguised as a boy and riding her stallion, Nadya rises in the ranks, even as her father begs the tsar to find his daughter and send her home. Both Nadya and Alexander defy expectations --- she as a heroic fighter and he as a spiritual seeker --- while the battles of Austerlitz, Friedland, Borodino and Smolensk rage on.
Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best --- the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.