Livia is a nice little suburb in the upper Midwest--but behind the manicured lawns and pristine hedges seethes a ruthless desire to be the greatest green thumb of all George and Nan Fremont have created a paradise in their backyard, complete with semi-hallucinogenic exotics and a comfy spot for drinking their favorite merlot. Marta Poppendauber's garden is as pleasantly haphazard as she is. And Dr. Phyllis Sproot, Livia's self-styled and cantankerous gardening expert, has determined the exact formula for the only correct garden possible. But once Burdick's Plant World announces the garden contest to end them all, none of the gardeners of Livia can afford to live and let live. The Fremonts have almost gardened themselves into bankruptcy. Marta is the victim of black tea blackmail. And Dr. Sproot is turning into a horticultural megalomaniac of the worst kind. The gardeners of Livia are digging up trouble with every turn of the spade, but if they can make it through the summer, who knows what might bloom?
On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant "Cancerversary" with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it's an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect-but not because she's afraid for herself. She's terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she's no longer there to take care of him. It's this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife. With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack's perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy's forced to decide what's more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband's happiness-or her own?
Otto finds the note left by his wife in the kitchen of their farmhouse in windswept Saskatchewan. Eighty-three-year-old Etta will be walking 3,200 kilometers to see the ocean, but somehow, Otto understands. He took his own journey once before, to fight in a faraway land. With Etta gone, Otto struggles with his demons of war, while their friend Russell initially pursues the woman he has loved from afar. And James-well, James you have to meet on the page. Moving from the hot and dry present of a quiet Canadian farm to a dusty, burnt past of hunger, war, and passion, from trying to remember to trying to forget, Etta and Otto and Russell and James is an astounding literary debut about friendship and love, hope and honor, and the romance of last-great-adventures.
When retired actor Buffy decides to leave London and move to rural Wales, he has no idea what he is letting himself in for.
In possession of a run-down bed and breakfast that leans more toward the shabby than the chic and is, quite literally, miles from nowhere, Buffy realizes that he needs to fill the beds—and fast. Otherwise, his vision of the pastoral countryside will go up in smoke. Enter a motley collection of guests: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman; Amy, who’s been unexpectedly dumped by her (not-so) nebbishy boyfriend and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend is much too much for him to handle. But under Buffy’s watchful eye, this disparate group of strangers finds that they have more in common than perhaps they first thought.
From a bar hosting its nightly Sad Hour to the moonlit sandbox of a retired army general, Jim Heynen’s new collection of micro fiction presents character sketches of strange yet fascinating men and women. Modeled after Theophrastus' Characters--brief, verbal snapshots of people created by the Greek philosopher--Heynen captures not just the quirks and eccentricities of his characters, but also their humanity. Guilty of only ordinary and forgivable sins, these sketches reveal universal human idiosyncrasies as much as they do the individual characters. Paired with the wonderfully evocative illustrations of renowned illustrator Tom Pohrt, Ordinary Sins will appeal to story lovers and collectors of beautifully made books alike.
A previously unpublished novel by a literary master, Skylight tells the intertwined stories of the residents of a faded apartment building in 1940s Lisbon. Silvestre and Mariana, a happily married elderly couple, take in a young nomad, Abel, and soon discover their many differences. Adriana loves Beethoven more than any man, but her budding sexuality brings new feelings to the surface. Carmen left Galicia to marry humble Emilio, but hates Lisbon and longs for her first love, Manolo. Lidia used to work the streets, but now she's kept by Paulo, a wealthy man with a wandering eye.
Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine-a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love. Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her "How did you get to be the woman you are today." She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.
In the small town of Grandon, five very different people discover the true meaning of Christmas. Jennifer and Ryan are both single parents, struggling with their own losses and heartache. Sixteen-year-old Kaylee is faced with a life-changing situation that has affected her whole family. Stephen and Lily are happily married and ready to start a family. All of them are facing their own struggles, and all are finding their way through the dark. When they are brought together for a rather unconventional church Nativity, they will learn that with strength, courage, and love, there is always hope.
Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they're about to face a new challenge because- surprise!-Rosie is pregnant. Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he's left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie. As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia to reconcile, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business, and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most.
A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, best-selling Haruki Murakami's wild imagination.