Vincent Crapanzano’s memoir recaptures meaningful moments from his life: as his childhood on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital, his psychiatrist father’s early death, his years at school in Switzerland and then at Harvard in the 1960s, his love affairs, his own teaching, and his far-flung travels. Taken together, these stories have the power of a nothing-taken-for-granted vision, fighting those conventions and ideologies that deaden the creative and inquiring mind.
A 10-member wedding party is kidnapped in front of the groom’s family mansion in Mexico City. The perpetrator is a small-time gangster who wants nothing more than to make his crew part of a major cartel and hopes that this crime will be his big break. Jessica Juliet Wolfe is a bridesmaid and close friend of the bride who hails from a family of notorious outlaws that has branches on both sides of the border. When the Wolfes learn of Jessie’s abduction, they fear that the kidnappers will kill the captives after receiving the ransom --- unless they rescue Jessie first.
When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself --- an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook --- in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town --- crumbling but still colorful --- to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair.
In 2004, as Pope John Paul II’s reign enters its twilight, a mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. A week before it is scheduled to open, its curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome. That same night, a violent break-in rocks the home of the curator’s research partner, Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican with his five-year-old son. When the papal police fail to identify a suspect in either crime, Father Alex undertakes his own investigation.
Joe Pickett had good reason to dislike Dallas Cates, even if he was a rodeo champion, and now he has even more --- Joe’s 18-year-old ward, April, has run off with him. And then comes even worse news: The body of a girl has been found in a ditch along the highway --- it is April, and the doctors aren’t sure if she’ll recover. Cates denies having anything to do with it, but Joe knows in his gut who’s responsible. What he doesn’t know is the kind of danger he’s about to encounter.
Almost four years after the end of World War II, the city of Berlin is still in ruins, a physical wasteland and a political symbol about to rupture. Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war. But the politics of his youth have now put him in the crosshairs of the McCarthy witch-hunts. Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the fledgling CIA: he will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. However, almost from the start, things go fatally wrong.
THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY followed its unassuming hero on an incredible journey as he traveled the length of England on foot --- a journey spurred by a simple letter from his old friend, Queenie Hennessy, writing from a hospice to say goodbye. Setting pen to paper, Queenie makes a journey of her own, a journey that is even bigger than Harold’s. One word after another, she promises to confess long-buried truths, including the devastating secret she has kept from Harold for all these years.
On October 26, 1881, Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers faced off against the Clantons and the McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona. It should have been a simple misdemeanor arrest. Thirty seconds and 30 bullets later, three officers were wounded and three citizens lay dead in the dirt. Wyatt Earp was the last man standing, the only one unscathed. The lies began before the smoke cleared, but the gunfight at the O.K. Corral would soon become central to American beliefs about the Old West.
For two months every year, from 1946 to his death 18 years later, Ian Fleming lived at Goldeneye, the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica’s stunning north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here. Matthew Parker’s book explores the huge influence of Jamaica on the creation of Fleming’s iconic post-war hero. The island was for Fleming part retreat from the world, part tangible representation of his own values, and part exotic fantasy.
When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-19th century, it expects a quick and easy conquest. India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English. But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge. Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people.