The Things are potent symbols that refuse to yield to a single interpretation. When in movie history has the girl ever revealed her true self and become more attractive to the hero by putting on spectacles and pulling back her hair? Over and over the movie drives home one conclusion: Larry was born to wear the uniform of a museum night guard. The real Larry, much like an artifact in an Indiana Jones movie, belongs in a museum. As wonky as the proceedings get, director Pete Docter Monsters, Inc. Watching Battle for Terra , the latest computer-animated offering presented in 3D, is little like stepping into a breathtaking cathedral in a strange city and finding a church play going on in the middle of it.
You keep looking past the action, stealing glances to one side or the other, absorbed in the splendor of the setting. Welcome to Earth. As a tale of female empowerment and male comeuppance, Monsters vs. Aliens might have been provocative, like, 50 years ago. Better structured and faster-moving than its predecessor, the sequel has more energy and wit in one sequence — the gold theft at the museum, in which a rolling stagecoach and floating manniquins evoke scenes from a Western — than all the special effects in the first movie combined. Rather than a coming of age story, then, Race to Witch Mountain is a dark family action-adventure movie, with moderate doses of X-Files paranoia and Galaxy Quest sci-fi fandom satire, and a sometimes obnoxious rock soundtrack.
With its dark tale of changeling parents and imprisoned souls, Coraline comes closer to the spirit of the traditional European fairy tale than perhaps any other film, animated or otherwise, in recent memory. Here is a mouse-hero who is truly serious about honor, devotion and courage, in a movie that feels like a storybook rather than an action movie — a movie that, in addition to honor and devotion and courage, is also about longing, imagination, resentment, contrition, forgiveness and redemption.
Longtime Bean aficionados may find some of the gags familiar from the TV show and the earlier film. Which, for the record, is not a good thing. Even Pixar has never attempted anything on a canvas of this scale. From Monsters, Inc. The Spiderwick Chronicles is a smart, scary fantasy family thriller that offers depth and meaning in a genre littered with mere competent entertainment. Where films like Zathura and Night at the Museum offer roller-coaster excitement but little more, The Spiderwick Chronicles is actually about something.
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl is worth seeing in the company of any American girl young enough to watch a G-rated movie in which the protagonist wants to be a reporter rather than get a makeover, become a pop princess or get the cute boy. If you can get away without shelling out for the matching dress, so much the better. The action, though no more realistic than the most cartoony chop-socky movies, is really intense — too intense for sensitive youngsters.
Written by Suzanne E. Greydanus Where is the real man here? Do our female hearts swoon when he checks his teeth in his sword, or boorishly flails it about at everything that moves? Imaginatively ambitious and often visually engaging, The Dark Crystal resolutely remains a distant, uninvolving experience. Despite some imaginative visuals, such as the Escher-inspired omnidirectional castle at the finale, Labyrinth suffers from a distinct lack of charm, with poorly thought-out characters, limp plotting and a limp climax. Ratatouille is a revelation — a delightfully surprising discovery in a genre that seldom surprises even savvy youngsters, a warm and winsome confection that will be treasured by viewers young and old long after the mediocrities of summer have been justly forgotten.
Harmless, diverting, very mildly uplifting, Evan Almighty offers passable family entertainment meant to appeal equally to Bible-believing conservatives and left-leaning environmentalists. What does that say about him? At the same time, the film also dumbs down White with excursions into gimmicky broad humor and bestiary slapstick — something the makers of Babe found unnecessary to do.
Lassie is a rare family film that knows that kids live in a grown-up world, that they are not isolated from such realities as unemployment or war, and can relate to the problems of adult characters as well as those of children and animals. In a way, Monster House is a bracingly icy breath of fresh air, a tween-oriented family film that is unabashedly out to frighten. Who really likes plastic flamingos, anyway?
Alas, lightning has not struck twice. The similarities between Holes and Hoot only serve to underscore how far short the latter falls from the high standard set by the former. Old-fashioned, reverent, basically faithful to the facts, The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima never quite emerges from the shadow of the earlier, superior The Song of Bernadette , but it ups the ante with sterner opposition militant Marxists rather than freethinking civil authorities and a more dramatic climax.
If Snow Dogs is a fairly typical example of the conventional Hollywood idea of a live-action family film, Eight Below is a typical example of a new trend in family films that includes National Treasure , Hidalgo , Two Brothers , Fantastic Four and The Legend of Zorro. This is a good thing, but not yet good enough. The fourth of seven projected films based on J.
Too bad. Our kids deserve better. For that matter, so do we. The Greatest Game Ever Played is perhaps the most visually and emotionally dynamic film ever made about a game of golf — perhaps the most visually and emotionally dynamic possible film about a game of golf. As imagined by Tim Burton in stunning, wildly stylized stop-motion animation overtly reminiscent of The Nightmare Before Christmas yet technically far beyond it, this macabre fairy tale becomes, variously, a poignant meditation on the daunting weightiness of the vows of marriage, a raucous danse macabre in jumping jazz rhythms and florid colors, a visually rich celebration of Edward Gorey Gothic-Victorian and Charles Addams grotesque, and, perhaps most surprisingly, a touching portrait of tragedy, doomed love, empathy, and sacrifice.
T , Willy Wonka illustrates the distinct possibility of telling a fairy-tale like story about a child transported to a fantasy wonderland, with brightly costumed little people singing and dancing and strange dangers to be negotiated, yet winding up with a film that is more a fond tribute to "pure imagination" than a triumph of it. The Incredibles is exhilarating entertainment with unexpected depths. Millions is a rare and special family film: a moral parable rather than a morality tale; a film that combines high ideals and hard realities; a story of hope and faith in something more than Santa Claus.
Which is not to say that Santa Claus, or rather St. Robots combines the visionary alternate world-building of Monsters, Inc. The process of growing and learning is often glossed over in plot-driven coming-of-age films like The Lion King. By contrast, Bambi is about nothing else. We see Bambi makes friends, cower at a thunderstorm, discover girls, and, in a defining, indelible scene recalled by subsequent films from The Lion King to Finding Nemo, face crushing tragedy.
We watch him go from perplexed distaste at the mysteries of the opposite sex to falling head over heels, and we see him confronted with the implacable necessity of fighting for love. None of these camel myths seems as curious, improbable, and magical as The Story of the Weeping Camel itself.
How this family of herders deals with this small crisis is an unguessable miracle that will delight children and adults alike. If you prefer movie reviews about pleasant and uplifting films in which goodness is suitably rewarded, evil is suitably punished, and children are not placed in excessive peril or disagreeable circumstances, you may wish to read some other review. Why has young David Ben Tibber spent most of his short life in a Bulgarian labor camp? What on earth was anyone thinking? That his wife Nora, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, absolutely refuses to go along with his plans until Luther caves on the charitable donations is some consolation, but not nearly enough.
Nobody cried when Old Yeller got shot? I cried my eyes out! One of the functions of fairy tales is to reflect in an imaginative way truths that, were they presented literally, children might not be ready for, but which they can on some level apprehend and assimilate in this form, and be in some way more prepared emotionally for life.
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Fairy tales help children grasp what life expects of them, what dangers, adversities, and opportunities they will face. From them children can begin to learn the prudence to avoid the dangers, the fortitude to face the adversities, and the enterprise to seize the opportunities. Continuing a stage convention that would extend to subsequent film versions, Pan is played by a petite woman, teenaged Betty Bronson hand-picked by Barrie himself , who brings tomboyish energy and dash to the role. The stage flying effects work just as well onscreen, and George Ali reprises his delightful costumed animal performances from the stage as Nana and the crocodile.
In this version, the romantic lead who falls in love with the princess is not the titular thief, but a beggar named Ahmad John Justin who is actually the rightful king of Bagdad, but has been deposed by his treacherous Grand Vizier Jaffar Conrad Veidt.
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The thief, on the other hand, is a mischievous, resourceful lad named Abu Sabu. Rivaled only by the awesome Babylonian segments of D. This makes Monsters, Inc. Toy Story , the first-ever fully computer-animated feature and the film that put Pixar Studios on the map, is more than a technical tour de force. Benji Off the Leash is undoubtedly the first dog movie ever made that thinks that a happy ending for a boy and his dog is not for the boy to get to keep the dog, but for the dog to go off to Hollywood to make a motion picture.
Where its predecessors felt a bit padded and overlong, The Prisoner of Azkaban feels incomplete and overly edited. Harry Potter is back, and in this second outing the stakes are higher, the themes darker, the Malfoys nastier, the action grander, the monsters scarier, the gross-outs ickier, the climax stronger, and the movie longer. Fans of the books will be gratified by a warm rush of recognition at every turn. The Gilbreths were certainly disciplined and well-behaved, but there was also something a bit "off" about the whole family, and one could be excused for getting the definite impression that only a professional efficiency expert like Mr.
Gilbreth could even think about having so many offspring. Thus, while Little Women is far from hostile to its male characters, it has a positive feminine character and defines its protagonists not by relationships with men but by moral choices, experiences, and relationships with one another, their mother, and their community. The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ is a remarkable relic from the very dawn of cinema. Miracle manages the neat trick of establishing this game as much more than a game without making it all about politics or turning the Soviet players into ideological bad guys.
Like Seabiscuit , with its Depression-era tale of a scrappy underdog racehorse taking on the much-favored champion thoroughbreds, Miracle establishes its setting in a time when American spirit is at a low ebb and people are ready to rally behind an underdog hero who can help them believe in comebacks and David-and-Goliath upsets. Formality and courtesy attend adult interactions, but beneath the surface lurk petty misunderstandings, resentments, suspicions. Not just a documentary of a contest, Spellbound is a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of contestants of various regional and socioeconomic backgrounds whose only common bond is a facility with putting words together.
Like many Christmas-themed movies, it offers no insight into the true meaning of Christmas, but it brims with insight into the human condition — particularly the condition of boys at Christmastime. In this case, the dog wants to be a boy. And in this movie, he gets his wish. Director Jacques Perrin and his crew of pilots and cinematographers spent four years traversing the globe, capturing unprecedented images of migratory birds in flight and on land.
Other times, one is staggered by the sheer number of birds captured in a single shot, sweeping across the sky like a curtain being drawn or covering an island to the horizon and the edges of the screen. Beautiful, rugged UK landscapes, splendid old castles and other shooting locations, and some fairly impressive sets help create a sense of authenticity.
Yes, the Cat now has mojo — yeah, baby, groovy! Will the Sneetches get wild and crazy? The Grinch is a hit! No, no, not that true spirit of Christmas. This is a Disney movie, after all. The most we can hope for is another serving of Dickensian "Christmas Carol spirit" — brotherhood, family, generosity, that sort of thing. Written by Jimmy Akin The film is a mixed success.
Written by Jimmy Akin Kids will definitely want to see it, as will die-hard adult fans of the Looney Tunes characters. For their purposes, the movie is a resounding success. It gives us a big screen adaptation of the Looney Tunes characters which is faithful to the characters we grew up with. Their comic sensibilities are the same, the timing is the same, even many of the jokes are the same. Co-written with Suzanne E. Significantly, this line is immediately followed in the film by the following verse from Longfellow, also quoted in the book:.
Take Two: The genial, blandly amusing tale celebrates the bond between man and dog, and occasional mildly crude humor is limited to flatulence jokes and the like. Beyond that, the film gestures at moral lessons it never quite fleshes out or illustrates, and what ought to have been a key plot point is relegated to a tacked-on coda, depriving it of the crucial significance it should have had.
Holes manages that rare trick of faithfully evoking what was special about the book without becoming slavish or by-the-numbers. Highlights include daredevil cartwheeling baboons, the remarkable partnership of the badger and the honey-guide bird, and the astonishingly intricate lengths to which the Kalahari bushmen go to find water.
It is the biggest thing that has happened to the series in its nearly ten year run: a new Rugrat is being born. Like the Peter Rabbit episodes, The Wind in the Willows begins and ends with charming live-action sequences, this time featuring a narrator Vanessa Redgrave telling the story to some children. Then again, if Spy Kids 3-D were consistent — about anything at all — it might actually start making some kind of sense. In the original Spy Kids, dashing spy parents Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez Antonio Banderas and Carla Guigino exchanged the glamorous world of espionage for the even greater adventure of raising a family.
The press kit calls it "James Bond for kids," but this over-the-top fantasy romp might be more accurately described as a family-friendly True Lies: The Next Generation , or even a married-with-children Austin Powers — all with Willy Wonka -style wonkiness and inspired set design straight out of Dr.
Review by Mark Shea I know. But — you gotta trust me on this — these guys are really funny, a sort of strange brew mixing Monty Python, MTV, your third grade Sunday School teacher and a tiny bit of Robin Williams — all with a G rating. Written by Jimmy Akin "Hey Arnold! It manages to keep its low-key, kid-friendly tone while still turning in episodes that are entertaining and even witty.
Despite these similarities, What a Girl Wants differs from The Princess Diaries in three important respects, all of which are, as far as they go, good ideas. The story, originally set in but moved to for the movie, concerns a sheltered young girl from a well-to-do family who is called "Winifred" by her overprotective parents and grandmother, and might be called "Winnie" by her friends if she had any. Remarkably, Stuart Little 2 manages to be both more satisfying for adults and more kid-friendly than the original. Attempts to repeat its success, to make it into a formula, would be a dismal failure, unless perhaps the formula were to be "Give the creative people room to try something new and let them work without a safety net.
Witness the astonishing animation of scale at work in capturing the towering monuments of Egypt, or the host of departing Hebrews: few if any traditional animated films have ever captured the sheer sense of size in this film. The world of Monsters, Inc. The dreamlike quality of these sequences is undeniable and memorable.
I think that a similar dynamic may be at work in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, a prequel to the film that purports to tell us how young Fred and Barney first met and married Wilma and Betty respectively. Not so much nasty, like coffee ice cream to a child; but rather bland, inert, and joyless, like some insipid sugar-free fat-free Frozen Dessert Product.
If Fantasia failed to spark a hoped-for entertainment revolution, its achievement is all the more starkly singular. A joyous experiment in pure animation, an ambitious work of imaginative power, a showcase of cutting-edge technique, and a celebration of great music, it is without precedent and without rival. Real chickens, I have it on expert testimony, are homebodies who do not actually pine for freedom, as do the heroines of Chicken Run.
A hunting rifle with a single cartridge left in the chamber wound up in exactly the wrong hands at exactly the wrong time, and led to a nightmarish accident that put to the test the values that unite the family and the convictions that just might pull it apart. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman.
It is a perfect evening — until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
Hilary and Mark Bradley are trapped in a web of suspicion. Last year, accusations of a torrid affair with a student cost Mark his teaching job and made the young couple into outcasts in their remote island town off the Lake Michigan coast. Now another teenage girl is found dead on a deserted beach. But when she and her husband call it quits, leaving her more broke than ever, Link makes a seemingly impossible resolution: to hang on to her northern Michigan farm and continue to raise her boys on well water and wood chopping and dirt.
Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. From the author of The Doors of Perception, Island , and countless other works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and poetry, comes this powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic , and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment.
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti — to the women who first reared her. Lauren Gabriel has spent many years of her life in foster homes. Now twenty-years-old, she still longs for a place that she can truly call home. Could this town and its people be the home she has always longed for? A classic Civil War memoir, Co.
Aytch is the work of a natural storyteller who balances the horror of war with an irrepressible sense of humor and a sharp eye for the lighter side of battle. Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym.
Da Chen, the youngest child, seemed destined for a life of poverty, shame, and hunger. He befriends a gang of young hoodlums as well as the elegant, elderly Chinese Baptist woman who teaches him English and opens the door to a new life. Set against the wild terrain of northern Ontario, orphan Kate Morrison and her siblings are bound together by loss.
Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely a. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater-vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden. Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7, He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.
After interviewing a young farmer, writer Kristen Kimball gave up her urban life style to begin a farm with her interviewee near Lake Champlain in northern New York. A baby. Under the bright Midwestern sky, Julia can feel a new world and new hope beginning. The Eighty-Dollar Champion tells the dramatic odyssey of a horse called Snowman, saved from the slaughterhouse by a young Dutch farmer named Harry.
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Set in the mid- to lates, this book captures the can-do spirit of a Cold War immigrant who believed—and triumphed. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Is Ender the general Earth needs?
Eleven-year-old Primrose living in a small fishing village in British Columbia recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea. Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York.
An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. At her side is confirmed bachelor and pillar of the community Dirk Burnaby, who is unexpectedly drawn to her. What follows is a passionate love affair, marriage, and family — a seemingly perfect existence.
But tragedy soon takes over their lives, poisoning their halcyon years with distrust, greed, and murder. Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities.
Matchless and towering. When Haven Kimmel was born in , Mooreland, Indiana, was a sleepy little hamlet of three hundred people. In this witty and lovingly told memoir, Kimmel takes readers back to a time when small-town America was caught in the amber of the innocent postwar period-people helped their neighbors, went to church on Sunday, and kept barnyard animals in their backyards.
A poor seventeenth-century servant girl knows her place in the household of the painter Johannes Vermeer, but when he begins to paint her, nasty whispers and rumors circulate throughout the town. The glass castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered. As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they really know the one they love. Now they have a voice. Why do they smoke cigarettes and have ugly lawns?
Grab a cozy blanket, light a few flickering candles, and enjoy the unnerving tales of Haunted Wisconsin. Are ghosts real? For decades they have remained close, sharing treasured recipes, honored customs, and the challenges of women shaped by ancient ways yet living modern lives.
They are the Hindi-Bindi Club, a nickname given by their American daughters to the mothers who left India to start anew—daughters now grown and facing struggles of their own. Now, bearing the disappointments and successes of their chosen paths, these daughters are drawn inexorably home. Kiran, divorced, will seek a new beginning—this time requesting the aid of an ancient tradition she once dismissed. Preity will confront an old heartbreak—and a hidden shame.
And Rani will face her demons as an artist and a wife.
All will question whether they have the courage of the Hindi-Bindi Club, to hold on to their dreams—or to create new ones. In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit , lives comfortably in his hobbit -hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something.
But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption. Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of Seattle during World War II and Japanese American internment camps of the era, this debut novel tells the heartwarming story of widower Henry Lee, his father, and his first love Keiko Okabe. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumi, a small village in the French Alps.
The boisterous Haji family takes Lumi by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais—that of the famous chef Madame Mallory—and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts.
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The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games , a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out.
Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, , when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles. And when Natalie finagles an invitation to join a friend on vacation there, she sets herself upon a path that will inextricably link her adult life into this peculiar family and their once-restricted hotel.
In a compelling book that evokes the writings of Thoreau, Muir, and Jack London, Krakauer recounts the haunting and tragic mystery of year-old Chris McCandless who disappeared in April into the Alaskan wilderness in search of a raw, transcendent experience. His emaciated corpse was discovered four months later. Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of the bestseller Into the Wild. On assignment for Outside Magazine to report on the growing commercialization of the mountain, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas as a client of Rob Hall, the most respected high-altitude guide in the world.
A rangy, thirty-five-year-old New Zealander, Hall had summited Everest four times between and and had led thirty-nine climbers to the top. But neither Hall nor Fischer survived the rogue storm that struck in May When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena.
It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he? Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Drawing from decades of work, travel, and research in Russia, Robert Alexander re-creates the tragic, perennially fascinating story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov as seen through the eyes of their young kitchen boy, Leonka.
Historically vivid and compelling, The Kitchen Boy is also a touching portrait of a loving family that was in many ways similar, yet so different, from any other. In , Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant with the kitchen house- slaves. Though she becomes deeply bonded to her new family, Lavinia is also slowly accepted into the world of the big house , where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. As time passes she finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds and when loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare and lives are at risk.
It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons; their love, their sacrifices, their lies. Through her words, the dreams, wisdom, and traditions passed down from her grandmother and shared by an entire community have finally found a voice. Together with her sister, Kao Kalia Yang is the founder of a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. Lauralee Summer and her eccentric, idealistic mother move repeatedly in search of work and a better life, but most often find happiness and security only in their relationship with each other.
When she reaches junior high Lauralee and her mother set out for Boston in search of a better education. There Lauralee thrives under the care and guidance of Mr. Mac, becomes the only girl on the school wrestling team, and goes on to Harvard. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately.
When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother. Leaving her hardscrabble Kentucky childhood behind, Teddi opens her own store in Charleston. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi returns to Kentucky, embarking on a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and find herself.
Fact and fiction blend in a historical novel that chronicles the relationship between seminal architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, from their meeting, when they were each married to another, to the clandestine affair that shocked Chicago society. A grumpy, yet loveable man, finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. In her wry memoir, she looks back on those formative years, a time not just of growing up but, ultimately, of becoming a source of strength and support as the world her father knew began to change into a tougher, less welcoming place.
Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in , when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house.
Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. But Budo feels his age, and thinks about the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy. When Mrs. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.
Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
June 14, 2010
Shortly after the death of her husband, a wealthy Southern widow is visited by an impoverished young woman with a small boy. A mistress? A son? But she will rise to the occasion when the boy is kidnaped. Now, years later, a new tragedy forces Kirsten and her siblings to return home, where they must confront the devastating event that shifted the trajectory of their lives. Antonia Shimerda returns to Black Hawk, Nebraska, to make a fresh start after eloping with a railway conductor following the tragic death of her father.
Accustomed to living in a sod house and toiling alongside the men in the fields, she is unprepared for the lecherous reaction her lush sensuality provokes when she moves to the city. Despite betrayal and crushing opposition, Antonia steadfastly pursues her quest for happiness—a moving struggle that mirrors the quiet drama of the American landscape.
Mary Sutter is a brilliant young midwife who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Eager to run away from recent heartbreak, Mary travels to Washington, D. Rich with historical detail-including cameo appearances by Abraham Lincoln and Dorothea Dix, among others- My Name Is Mary Sutter is certain to be recognized as one of the great novels about the Civil War. Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family.
Her tenure with the X family becomes an impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four year old, her own integrity and, most important, her sense of humour. Over nine tense months Mrs X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power. During an eventful season at Bath, young, naive Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time.
There, her imagination influenced by novels of sensation and intrigue, Catherine imagines terrible crimes committed by General Tilney. Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life-sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty.
Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition-its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires. One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.
In , Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen—one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue—ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life.
Two brothers, Arthur and Jake Dunn, are the sons of a farmer in the mids, when life is tough and another world war is looming. When a beautiful young woman comes into the community, the fragile balance of sibling rivalry tips over the edge. By now it is the fifties, and the world has changed — a little, but not enough. These two generations in the small town of Struan, Ontario, are tragically interlocked, linked by fate and community but separated by a war which devours its young men — its unimaginable horror reaching right into the heart of this remote corner of an empire.
In Holt, Colorado, widower Louis Waters is initially thrown when the widowed Addie Moore suggests that they spend time together, in bed, to stave off loneliness.
And lying warm in bed, companionably. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. Rose, married for three years, decides she has made a mistake and leaves her husband, traveling from California to Kentucky to take up residence in a home for unwed mothers where she plans to have her baby and give it up for adoption, but she soon discovers life still holds some surprises.
One sister is Patty Jane , whose husband skipped town just before she gave birth, the other is Harriet, whose rich boyfriend was killed in a plane crash before they could marry. In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girl is pregnant and alone, with nowhere to go.
From these unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them together. Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn to read and write. When her brother is killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak and identity, goes to the monastery of Fulda, and is initiated into the brotherhood in his place. Triumphing over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest throne in Christendom, the throne of St.
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Standing up to the church, her alcoholic husband, and antiquated ideas about women, Evelyn turned every financial challenge into an opportunity for innovation, all the while raising her six sons and four daughters with the belief that miracles are an everyday occurrence.
A little girl asked her for a quarter, and Brown assumed that she wanted to buy candy, but surprisingly she bought bread and bologna—staples for her family. Why was she out begging for money to buy food for her family?
The Way Home
After several weeks of not being able to sleep, Brown went to look for the girl at the local elementary school and soon found herself in a first-grade classroom. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. After a whirlwind romance and a honeymoon in Italy, the innocent young heroine and the dashing Maxim de Winter return to his country estate, Manderley.
But the unsettling memory of Rebecca , the first Mrs. Danvers, to confront the emotional horrors of the past. Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity. A marriage collapses under the strain of a daughter?
Jack lives with his Ma in Room , which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real. Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance.
So Don designs the Wife Project , a sixteen-page scientifically valid survey to help himself find the perfect partner. Young Cambridge scholar Adam Banting is in Tuscany, assigned to write a scholarly monograph about the famous Docci garden—a mysterious world of statues, grottoes, meandering rills, and classical inscriptions. But the ancient house holds its own secrets as well. Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble.
There, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity—one that appears to be run entirely by strong, wacky women. A timeless coming of age novel set in the s, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship, and charts the journey of an unforgettable girl who loses one mother, but finds many others in the storybook city of Savannah. Lucy…got out and never looked back. Together they will learn how Rex Connor could have allowed seventeen second s to destroy him, but instead he chose to live every day believing the smallest of acts could change the world for good.
In Shanghai—the Paris of Asia—twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree—until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. To repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides.
As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America. Though inseparable best friends, the sisters also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are—Shanghai girls.
Quoyle, a third-rate newspaper hack is wrenched violently out of his workaday life when his two-timing wife meets her just desserts. An aunt convinces Quoyle and his two emotionally disturbed daughters to return with her to the starkly beautiful coastal landscape of their ancestral home in Newfoundland.
As the long winter closes its jaws of ice, each of the Quoyles confronts private demons, reels from catastrophe to minor triumph—in the company of the obsequious Mavis Bangs; Diddy Shovel the strongman; drowned Herald Prowse; cane-twirling Beety; Nutbeem, who steals foreign news from the radio; a demented cousin the aunt refuses to recognize; the much-zippered Alvin Yark; silent Wavey; and old Billy Pretty, with his bag of secrets. Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents.
The two women exchange messages written on silk fans and handkerchieves using nu shu, a unique language that women created in order to communicate in secret, sharing their experiences, but when a misunderstanding arises, their friendship threatens to tear apart. It sits on a farmhouse porch in , but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.
He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined. At the paper, Lillian Palmer is haunted by her role in all that happened. She is far too familiar with the heartbreak of children deemed unwanted.
As the bonds of motherhood are tested, she and Ellis must decide how much they are willing to risk to mend a fractured family. Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home. In , a group of men and women sent by the Jesuits to try to understand the inhabitants of the Rakhat, discover that a desire to do good is no proof against doing incalculable harm.