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"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
Peter Holman is a freelance sweeper. The year 2030 sees a new era in social media. Sweepcasting, a multisensory interface that can convey every thought, touch, smell, sight, and sound, can immerse the audience in another person's experience. By fate, chance, or some darker design, Peter is perfectly positioned to be the one human to document the arrival of the aliens, the S'hudonni.The S'hudonni offer advanced science in exchange for various trade goods from Earth, but nothing is as simple as it seems. Peter finds himself falling for Heather Newsome, a scientist chosen by the S'hudonni to act as their liaison. Engaged to his brilliant marine biologist brother, Tom, Heather is not what she appears to be, but Peter has bigger problems. While he and his brother fight over longstanding family troubles, another issue looms: a secret war among the aliens, who are neither as benevolent nor as unified as they first seemed. Peter slowly learns secrets he was never meant to know, about both the S'hudonni and his own family. Realizing that he has been used, he can only try to turn his situation around, to save what he can of his life and of the future of Earth.
Russell Jeung's spiritual memoir shares the joyful and occasionally harrowing stories of his life in East Oakland's Murder Dubs neighborhood--including battling drug dealers who threatened him, exorcising a spirit possessing a teen, and winning a landmark housing settlement against slumlords with 200 of his closest Cambodian and Latino friends. More poignantly, At Home in Exile weaves in narratives of longing and belonging as Jeung retraces the steps of his Chinese-Hakka family and his refugee neighbors. In the face of forced relocation and institutional discrimination, his family and friends resisted time and time again over six generations. With humor and keen insight, At Home in Exile will help you see how living in exile will transform your faith.
Carmen Miranda got knocked down and kept going. Filming an appearance on The Jimmy Durante Show on August 4, 1955, the ambassadress of samba suddenly took a knee during a dance number, clearly in distress. Durante covered without missing a beat, and Miranda was back on her feet in a matter of moments to continue with what she did best: performing. By the next morning, she was dead from heart failure at age 46. This final performance in many ways exemplified the power of Carmen Miranda. The actress, singer, and dancer pursued a relentless mission to demonstrate the provocative theatrical force of her cultural roots in Brazil. Armed with bare-midriff dresses, platform shoes, and her iconic fruit-basket headdresses, Miranda stole the show in films like That Night in Rio and The Gang's All Here . For American film audiences, her life was an example of the exoticism of a mysterious, sensual South America. For Brazilian and Latin American audiences, she was an icon. For the gay community, she became a work of art personified and a symbol of courage and charisma. In Creating Carmen Miranda , Kathryn Bishop-Sanchez takes the reader through the myriad methods Miranda consciously used to shape her performance of race, gender, and camp culture, all to further her journey down the road to becoming a legend.
Can you drink a glass of balderdash? What do you call the part of a dog's back it can't scratch? And if, serendipitously, you find yourself in Serendip, then where exactly are you? The answers to all of these questions--and a great many more--can be found in the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary , the definitive record of the English language. And there is no better guide to the dictionary's many wonderments than the former chief editor of the OED , John Simpson. Simpson spent almost four decades of his life immersed in the intricacies of our language, and guides us through its history with charmingly laconic wit. In The Word Detective , an intensely personal memoir and a joyful celebration of English, he weaves a story of how words come into being (and sometimes disappear), how culture shapes the language we use, and how technology has transformed not only the way we speak and write but also how words are made. Throughout, he enlivens his narrative with lively excavations and investigations of individual words--from deadline to online and back to 101 (yes, it's a word)--all the while reminding us that the seemingly mundane words (can you name the four different meanings of ma ?) are often the most interesting ones. But Simpson also reminds us of the limitations of language: spending his days in the OED 's house of words, his family at home is forced to confront the challenges of wordlessness. A brilliant and deeply humane expedition through the world of words, The Word Detective will delight and inspire any lover of language.
While successful plays tend to share certain storytelling elements, there is no single blueprint for how a play should be constructed. Instead, seasoned playwrights know how to select the right elements for their needs and organize them in a structure that best supports their particular story. Through his workshops and book The Dramatic Writer's Companion , Will Dunne has helped thousands of writers develop successful scripts. Now, in The Architecture of Story , he helps writers master the building blocks of dramatic storytelling by analyzing a trio of award-winning contemporary American plays : Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, and The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. Dismantling the stories and examining key components from a technical perspective enables writers to approach their own work with an informed understanding of dramatic architecture. Each self-contained chapter focuses on one storytelling component, ranging from Title and Main Event to Emotional Environment and Crisis Decision. Dunne explores each component in detail, demonstrating how it has been successfully handled in each play and comparing and contrasting techniques. The chapters conclude with questions to help writers evaluate and improve their own scripts. The result is a nonlinear reference guide that lets writers work at their own pace and choose the topics that interest them as they develop new scripts. This flexible, interactive structure is designed to meet the needs of writers at all stages of writing and at all levels of experience.
Amy Webb is a noted futurist who combines curiosity, skepticism, colorful storytelling, and deeply reported, real-world analysis in this essential book for understanding the future. The Signals Are Talking reveals a systemic way of evaluating new ideas bubbling up on the horizon--distinguishing what is a real trend from the merely trendy. This book helps us hear which signals are talking sense, and which are simply nonsense, so that we might know today what developments--especially those seemingly random ideas at the fringe as they converge and begin to move toward the mainstream--that have long-term consequence for tomorrow. With the methodology developed in The Signals Are Talking , we learn how to think like a futurist and answer vitally important questions: How will a technology--like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, biohacking, bots, and the Internet of Things--affect us personally? How will it impact our businesses and workplaces? How will it eventually change the way we live, work, play, and think--and how should we prepare for it now? Most importantly, Webb persuasively shows that the future isn't something that happens to us passively. Instead, she allows us to see ahead so that we may forecast what's to come--challenging us to create our own preferred futures.
[ Inhabited ] spotlights the complex forces behind the spaces we call home. -- MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE The lives of Quimby''s finely drawn characters interweave to produce a panorama as wide and full of light as the near-desert setting. Even his minor figures add significantly to the whole, and his skillful and delightful turns of phrase make reading this evocative novel a pleasure. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY , starred review Quimby''s descriptions of Colorado''s high country show a painterly flare...an intriguing examination of people and a place in transition. -- KIRKUS REVIEWS Quimby''s experiences as a Colorado native and an advocate for the homeless provide the novel's backbone, but its real strength is in its cast of vivid, relatable individuals. Recommend to readers attuned to Kent Haruf, Annie Proulx, Laura Pritchett, and Bonnie Nadzam. -- BOOKLIST Inhabited is an outstanding novel with memorable, believable characters who deal simultaneously with the challenges of reclaiming and redeeming themselves as well as the landscapes that define their communities. -- THE UTAH REVIEW Charlie Quimby is a writer with a big talent, big heart, and big social conscience. In his second novel, Inhabited , characters finely drawn and memorable live amidst the crisscrossing lines of moral conscience, political juggling and economic expediency, a tough neighborhood. I was staggered by the authenticity of these people and their dilemmas. -- FAITH SULLIVAN , author of Goodnight, Mr. Wodehouse and The Cape Ann Charlie Quimby is the sharpest shooter in the West. Inhabited is a dramatic, honest, humane portrait of a Colorado city in the throes of great change and great choice. The characters and the setting are indelibly rendered...We''re all in the mix here--rich and poor, homeless and over-housed, rancher and eco-activist, native politician and outside scoundrel. Inhabited is a vivid, compelling story delivered with 21st-century true grit. -- ALYSON HAGY , author of Boleto A thoroughly enjoyable novel that masterfully takes the reader on an emotionally rewarding exploration of ''home'' and the power the concept has on the human psyche. -- JONATHAN ODELL , author of Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League Inhabited transforms a typical community ''homeless problem'' into a layered drama about our responsibilities to each other and the blunders and scars we must endure. I salute Charlie Quimby for following the path of Steinbeck and Orwell in writing empathetic portraits of the ignored and the shunned. -- JIM LYNCH , author of Before the Wind Meg Mogrin sells pricey houses, belongs to the mayor''s inner circle, and knows more than she''s letting on about her sister''s death. Isaac Samson lives in a tent and believes Thomas Edison invented the Reagan presidency. When their town attracts a game-changing development, Isaac is displaced by the town''s crackdown on vagrancy. As Isaac struggles to regain stability, Meg contends with conflicting roles of assisting the developer while serving on the homeless coalition. Isaac''s quest to return a lost artifact soon intrudes into Meg''s tidy world, digging up a part of her past she''d rather remained buried. Inhabited , a sister novel to Charlie Quimby''s acclaimed Monument Road , returns to the Grand Valley of western Colorado to explore the dimensions of loss, the boundaries of compassion, and the endurance of love. Charlie Quimby is the author of Monument Road , an Indie Next List pick and Booklist Editors'' Choice in 2013. He began his writing career as playwright and arts journalist, veered into corporate communications and then founded a marketing agency that now purrs along without him. Along the way, he collected awards and developed the notion he had a few good novels in him. A native Coloradan and adopted Minnesotan, he is at home in both places.
In a single year, my father left us twice. The first time, to end his marriage, and the second, when he took his own life. I was ten years old.Master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations--those who lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story. Her quest will unveil how Kai, her enigmatic father, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming's father, the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow, along with the violin prodigy Zhuli were forced to reimagine their artistic and private selves during China's political campaigns and how their fates reverberate through the years with lasting consequences.With maturity and sophistication, humor and beauty, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of life inside China yet transcendent in its universality.
Spoken about only in whispers, the Nowhere Man can only be reached by the truly desperate, he can --He will do anything to save them. Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets--i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man. But his new life is interrupted when a surprise attack comes from an unlikely angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, he finds himself heavily guarded and cut off from everything he knows. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don't know who they're dealing with--or that they've trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on earth. Continuing his electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak, Gregg Hurwitz delivers a blistering, compelling new novel in the series launched with the instant international bestseller, Orphan X.
The announcer of this century's most-watched, historic, Chicago Cubs-winning World Series reveals why he is one lucky bastard. Sports fans see Joe Buck everywhere: broadcasting one of the biggest games in the NFL every week, calling the World Series every year, announcing the Super Bowl every three years. They know his father, Jack Buck, is a broadcasting legend and that he was beloved in his adopted hometown of St. Louis. Yet they have no idea who Joe really is. Or how he got here. They don't know how he almost blew his career. They haven't read his funniest and most embarrassing stories or heard about his interactions with the biggest sports stars of this era. They don't know how hard he can laugh at himself--or that he thinks some of his critics have a point. And they don't know what it was really like to grow up in his father's shadow. Joe and Jack were best friends, but it wasn't that simple. Jack, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals for almost fifty years, helped Joe get his broadcasting start at eighteen. But Joe had to prove himself, first as a minor league radio announcer and then on local TV, national TV with ESPN, and then finally on FOX. He now has a successful, Emmy-winning career, but only after a lot of dues-paying, learning, and pretty damn entertaining mistakes that are recounted in this book. In Lucky Bastard , Joe takes the reader into the broadcast booth and into his childhood home. Hilarious and occasionally heartbreaking, this is a book that any sports fan will love.
The adrenaline-fueled , Star Wars- style sequel to Behind the Throne , a new space adventure series from author K.B. Wagers. Former gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to fill her rightful position in the palace. With her sisters and parents murdered, the Indranan empire is on the brink of war. Hail must quickly make alliances with nearby worlds if she has any hope of surviving her rule. When peace talks turn violent and Hail realizes she's been betrayed, she must rely on her old gunrunning ways to get out of trouble. With help from an old boss and some surprising new allies, she must risk everything to save her world. The Indranan War Behind the Throne After the Crow
A paradigm-smashing chronicle of joyous entanglement that will make you acknowledge your own entanglement in the ancient and ever-new web of being.--Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland. After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again. Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist, by Dr.Suzanne Simard
American Prophets sheds critical new light on the lives and thought of seven major prophetic figures in twentieth-century America whose social activism was motivated by a deeply felt compassion for those suffering injustice. In this compelling and provocative book, acclaimed religious scholar Albert Raboteau tells the remarkable stories of Abraham Joshua Heschel, A. J. Muste, Dorothy Day, Howard Thurman, Thomas Merton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Fannie Lou Hamer--inspired individuals who succeeded in conveying their vision to the broader public through writing, speaking, demonstrating, and organizing. Raboteau traces how their paths crossed and their lives intertwined, creating a network of committed activists who significantly changed the attitudes of several generations of Americans about contentious political issues such as war, racism, and poverty. Raboteau examines the influences that shaped their ideas and the surprising connections that linked them together. He discusses their theological and ethical positions, and describes the rhetorical and strategic methods these exemplars of modern prophecy used to persuade their fellow citizens to share their commitment to social change. A momentous scholarly achievement as well as a moving testimony to the human spirit, American Prophets represents a major contribution to the history of religion in American politics. This book is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about social justice, or who wants to know what prophetic thought and action can mean in today's world.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire--the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee's disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee's husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs' Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee's disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body? Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.
The New York Times Bestseller Comedy legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of her iconic weekly variety series, The Carol Burnett Show . In In Such Good Company , Carol Burnett pulls back the curtain on the twenty-five-time Emmy-Award winning show that made television history, and she reminisces about the outrageously funny and tender moments that made working on the series as much fun as watching it. Carol delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and improvisations that made The Carol Burnett Show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. While writing this book, Carol rewatched all 276 episodes and screen-grabbed her favorite video stills from the archives to illustrate the chemistry of the actors and the improvisational magic that made the show so successful. Putting the spotlight on everyone from her costars to the impressive list of guest stars, Carol crafts a lively portrait of the talent and creativity that went into every episode. With characteristic wit and incomparable comic timing, she details hiring Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway; shares anecdotes about guest stars and close friends, including Lucille Ball, Roddy Mcdowell, Jim Nabors, Bernadette Peters, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Betty White; and gives her take on her favorite sketches and the unpredictable moments that took both the cast and viewers by surprise. This book is Carol's love letter to a golden era in television history through the lens of her brilliant show. Get the best seat in the house for eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in the sandbox.