Book mentions in this thread

  • Votes: 201

    The Pillars of the Earth

    by Ken Follett

  • Votes: 160

    Authoritarian Nightmare

    by John W. Dean

    One of American political history's most famous figures, who knows what it's like to stand up to an authoritarian White House, joins with an expert on authoritarianism to take a piercing look at how someone like Donald Trump and his followers achieved power—and what they might do to keep it ... John Dean, of Watergate fame, knows what it's like to work for a strong-willed, vindictive president. But even Richard Nixon, says Dean, didn't have the raw lust for power that Donald Trump has. Nor the lack of skill. Nor the deep, willful ignorance of our democracy. So how did such a person achieve power? Suspecting the answer lay in understanding Trump's base constituency, Dean has partnered with Bob Altemeyer, a professor of psychology whose expertise is the study of authoritarianism, to see why Trump's base is so faithful to him, no matter what he does. Why do evangelical Christians support him, for example, despite his well-documented sexual predations? Why do so many working class Americans support him, despite the way he works against their interests? Why do facts and logic not change their minds? By drawing on some psychological diagnostic tools (such as the "Power Mad Scale" and the "Con Man Scale") and looking at other historic authoritarians and their movements, Dean and Altemeyer offer not only an eye-opening revelation of how Trump and his followers have gotten where they have . . . but a road map to where they may go next.
  • Votes: 156

    The Century Series

    by Ted Spitzmiller

    -Highlighting men and women across the globe who have dedicated themselves to pushing the limits of space exploration, this book surveys the programs, technological advancements, medical equipment, and automated systems that have made space travel possible.---
  • Votes: 114

    A Prayer for Owen Meany

    by John Irving

    'A work of genius' Independent 'Marvellously funny . . . What better entertainment is there than a serious book which makes you laugh?' Spectator 'If you care about something you have to protect it. If you're lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.' Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend's mother. Owen doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is both extraordinary and terrifying.
  • Votes: 112

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    by Bill Bryson

    The author of A Walk in the Woods traces the Big Bang through the rise of civilization, documenting his work with a host of the world's most advanced scientists and mathematicians to explain why things are the way they are. Reprint. 125,000 first printing.
  • Votes: 96

    The Book Thief

    by Markus Zusak

    Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
  • Votes: 78

    The Splendid and the Vile

    by Erik Larson

  • Votes: 75

    A Gentleman in Moscow

    by Amor Towles

    The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series "The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, [and] twists of fate." —The Wall Street Journal He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to. From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
  • Votes: 73

    A Promised Land

    by Barack Obama

    In this anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.
  • Votes: 53

    The Beekeeper of Aleppo

    by Christy Lefteri

    This unforgettable novel puts human faces on the Syrian war with the immigrant story of a beekeeper, his wife, and the triumph of spirit when the world becomes unrecognizable. “A beautifully crafted novel of international significance that has the capacity to have us open our eyes and see.”—Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz WINNER OF THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE • FINALIST FOR THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo—until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain. Nuri is sustained only by the knowledge that waiting for them is his cousin Mustafa, who has started an apiary in Yorkshire and is teaching fellow refugees beekeeping. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss but dangers that would overwhelm even the bravest souls. Above all, they must make the difficult journey back to each other, a path once so familiar yet rendered foreign by the heartache of displacement. Moving, intimate, and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a book for our times: a novel that at once reminds us that the most peaceful and ordinary lives can be utterly upended in unimaginable ways and brings a journey in faraway lands close to home, never to be forgotten. Praise for The Beekeeper of Aleppo “This book dips below the deafening headlines, and tells a true story with subtlety and power.”—Esther Freud, author of Mr. Mac and Me “This compelling tale had me gripped with its compassion, its sensual style, and its onward and lively urge for resolution.”—Daljit Nagra, author of British Museum “This novel speaks to so much that is happening in the world today. It’s intelligent, thoughtful, and relevant, but very importantly it is accessible. I’m recommending this book to everyone I care about.”—Benjamin Zephaniah, author of Refugee Boy
  • Votes: 52

    The House at Sugar Beach

    by Helene Cooper

    The author traces her childhood in war-torn Liberia and her reunion with a foster sister who had been left behind when her family fled the region.
  • Votes: 52

    A Confederacy of Dunces

    by John Kennedy Toole

    'My favourite book of all time... it stays with you long after you have read it - for your whole life, in fact' Billy Connolly A monument to sloth, rant and contempt, a behemoth of fat, flatulence and furious suspicion of anything modern - this is Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, noble crusader against a world of dunces. The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged. Ignatius ignores them, heaving his vast bulk through the city's fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him: Ignatius must get a job. Undaunted, he uses his new-found employment to further his mission - and now he has a pirate costume and a hot-dog cart to do it with... Never published during his lifetime, John Kennedy Toole's hilarious satire, A Confederacy of Dunces is a Don Quixote for the modern age, and this Penguin Modern Classics edition includes a foreword by Walker Percy. 'A pungent work of slapstick, satire and intellectual incongruities ... it is nothing less than a grand comic fugue' The New York Times
  • Votes: 47

    Faithful Place

    by Tana French

    'Breathtaking -- an elaborately twisted ballad of class resentments, family burdens, regret and passion' The Washington Post 'An author of exceptional talent and insight' Sunday Independent 'In all your life, only a few moments matter. I was lucky. I got to see one of mine face to face, and recognise it for what it was.' The course of Frank Mackey's life is set by one defining moment when he was nineteen. The time his girlfriend, Rosie Daly, failed to turn up for their rendezvous in Faithful Place, failed to run away with him to London as planned. Frank never heard from, or of, her again. Twenty years on, Frank is still in Dublin, working as an undercover cop. He's cut all ties with his dysfunctional family. Until his sister calls to say that Rosie's suitcase has been found ...
  • Votes: 45

    Outlander

    by Diana Gabaldon

    THE FIRST NOVEL IN THE BESTSELLING OUTLANDER SERIES. As seen on Amazon Prime TV. What if your future was the past? 1946, and Claire Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank. It’s a second honeymoon, a chance to learn how war has changed them and to re-establish their loving marriage. But one afternoon, Claire walks through a circle of standing stones and vanishes into 1743, where the first person she meets is a British army officer - her husband’s six-times great-grandfather. Unfortunately, Black Jack Randall is not the man his descendant is, and while trying to escape him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Scottish outlaws, and finds herself a Sassenach - an outlander - in danger from both Jacobites and Redcoats. Marooned amid danger, passion and violence, her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives. (Previously published as Cross Stitch)
  • Votes: 42

    Good Omens

    by Neil Gaiman

    ____________________ COMING TO AMAZON PRIME ON 31ST MAY - STARRING DAVID TENNANT, MICHAEL SHEEN AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH 'Marvellously benign, ridiculously inventive and gloriously funny' Guardian ____________________ 'Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don't let you go around again until you get it right' According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, Judgement Day is almost upon us and the world's going to end in a week . . . Now people have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it's only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea? You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it. It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse. And then there's the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .
  • Votes: 39

    The Memoirs of Cleopatra

    by Margaret George

    Bestselling novelist Margaret George brings to life the glittering kingdom of Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, in this lush, sweeping, and richly detailed saga. Told in Cleopatra's own voice, The Memoirs of Cleopatra is a mesmerizing tale of ambition, passion, and betrayal in the ancient Egyptian world, which begins when the twenty-year-old queen seeks out the most powerful man in the world, Julius Caesar, and does not end until, having survived the assassination of Caesar and the defeat of the second man she loves, Marc Antony, she plots her own death rather than be paraded in triumph through the streets of Rome. Most of all, in its richness and authenticity, it is an irresistible story that reveals why Margaret George's work has been widely acclaimed as "the best kind of historical novel, one the reader can't wait to get lost in." (San Francisco Chronicle).
  • Votes: 39

    The Chronicles of Narnia

    by C.S. Lewis

    This title contains all seven books in the series about the land of Narnia. Although written for children these books appeal to every age.
  • Votes: 36

    All the Light We Cannot See

    by Anthony Doerr

    A cloth bag containing 20 paperback copies of the title that may also include a folder with sign out sheets.
  • Votes: 36

    A Secret History of Witches

    by Louisa Morgan

    A sweeping historical saga that traces five generations of fiercely powerful mothers and daughters -- witches whose magical inheritance is both a dangerous threat and an extraordinary gift. Brittany, 1821. After Grand-Mere Ursule gives her life to save her family, their magic seems to die with her. Even so, the Orchires fight to keep the old ways alive, practicing half-remembered spells and arcane rites in hopes of a revival. And when their youngest daughter comes of age, magic flows anew. /,br>The lineage continues, though new generations struggle not only to master their power, but also to keep it hidden. But when World War II looms on the horizon, magic is needed more urgently than ever -- not for simple potions or visions, but to change the entire course of history. "I loved it. A beautiful generational tale, reminiscent of Practical Magic. . .. Grounded and real, painful and hopeful at the same time." -- Laure Eve, author of The Graces
  • Votes: 36

    From Barley to Blarney

    by Sean Muldoon

    An Irish whiskey guru, two bartender behemoths, and an adept writer combine forces to create this comprehensive guide to Irish whiskey. The book begins with an in-depth introduction to whiskey and its history in Ireland, including what makes each style of Irish whiskey unique. What follows is a detailed tour, including photographs, around the four Irish provinces, and of the 22 different distilleries and the unique Irish whiskeys each produces, as well as a discussion of the booming present and promising future for Irish whiskey producers. Each province also highlights the best of Ireland's 50 iconic bars and pubs, linking past to present and providing the ultimate whiskey tourist itinerary. The fun really begins when the masterminds behind 2015’s “World’s Best Bar,” Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, share 12 original mixed-drink recipes tailor-made for Irish spirits.