An earlier winner of the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry (the same award won by A crown for Gumecindo)
Barbara has won acclaim for fluid and graceful poems that touch on the small occurrences and mysteries of daily life in the hopes of finding the secret meaning beneath them. Both intimate and wide ranging, her work is unafraid of big subjects and big feelings, and sometimes comedic.
Her third collection, The Last Skin, extends and develops these qualities, offering landscapes and characters both domestic and exotic, in poignant personal lyrics of precise description that investigate beauty, grief, death, fragility, time, and loss. Here is a poet engaged with the spirit as well as the political, blending the give and take of the world into her own ecstatic rhythms.
O’Malley approaches a different conflict—that between Israel and Palestine—in a similarly insightful and compelling way as Wright.
Disputes over settlements, the right of return, the rise of Hamas, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and other intractable issues have repeatedly derailed peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Now, in a book that is sure to spark controversy, renowned peacemaker Padraig O'Malley argues that the moment for a two-state solution has passed.
After examining each issue and speaking with Palestinians and Israelis as well as negotiators directly involved in past summits, O'Malley concludes that even if such an agreement could be reached, it would be nearly impossible to implement given the staggering costs, Palestine's political disunity and the viability of its economy, rapidly changing demographics, Israel's continuing political shift to the right, global warming's effect on the water supply, and more.
While focused solely on the rise of the Islamic State—rather than including Al-Qaeda—both books provide informative and in-depth looks at terrorism and politics in the Middle East.
A timely, piercing study of the Islamic State, as its rise to prominence and domination of Middle Eastern politics, is explained in revealing detail by economist and bestselling author Loretta Napoleoni. Napoleoni illuminates the singularity of IS and how it differs from other jihadist organisations, particularly in terms of its economic structure and focus on consensus instead of pure violence. Napoleoni traces the beginnings of IS, its dynamic with al-Qaeda, and its current status as the first official Caliphate in over a century.
For fans of Karl Jacoby's The Strange Career of William Ellis
Passing Strange is a uniquely American biography of Clarence King, who hid a secret from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent family: for 13 years he lived a double life--as the celebrated white explorer, geologist, and writer King and as a black Pullman porter and steelworker named James Todd.
Like Patchett's Commonwealth McDermott's story is a literate family saga that follows an American Catholic family through the decades though the cause of drama in After This stems from a changing world rather than the internal forces featured in Commonwealth.
While Michael and Annie Keane taste the alternately intoxicating and bitter first fruits of the sexual revolution, their older, more tentative brother, Jacob, lags behind, until he finds himself on the way to Vietnam. Meanwhile, Clare, the youngest child of their aging parents, seeks to maintain an almost saintly innocence. After This, alive with the passions and tragedies of a determining era in our history, portrays the clash of traditional, faith-bound life and modern freedom.
Both Euphoria and Patchett's State of Wonder are vividly described, character-centered literary novels that portray Westerners immersed in jungle cultures.
English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink.
Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone' control.
Bel Canto also offers a sophisticated, lyrical novel in which powerful people are humbled and held as political captives in luxurious surroundings. Filled with characters who are witty, warm, and charming, both engaging stories reveal people's true, often triumphant, selves through small domestic details.
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. 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.
While the plots are quite different, both novels share similarities in style--witty, lyrical novels exploring how love and truth interact with a degrading reality.
At fifty-six, Anatoly Sukhanov has everything a man could want. Nearly twenty-five years ago, he traded his precarious existence as a brilliant underground artist for the perks and comforts of a high-ranking Soviet apparatchik. Once he created art; now he censors it. His past is a shadow, repressed to the point of nonexistence. But a series of increasingly bizarre events transforms his perfect world into a nightmare.
Buried dreams return to haunt him, his life begins to unravel, new political alignments in the Kremlin threaten to undo him, and little by little, he finds himself losing everything he sold his soul to gain.
For fans of Jessica Luther's Unsportsmanlike conduct
These sobering books tackle the confluence of rape and football culture in America though Missoula focuses on a single school. The style in both books are similar--impassioned and journalistic.
Missoula, Montana, is a typical college town, with a highly regarded state university, bucolic surroundings, a lively social scene, and an excellent football team -- the Grizzlies -- with a rabid fan base. The Department of Justice investigated 350 sexual assaults reported to the Missoula police between January 2008 and May 2012. Few of these assaults were properly handled by either the university or local authorities. In this, Missoula is also typical. Krakauer's devastating narrative of what happened in Missoula makes clear why rape is so prevalent on American campuses, and why rape victims are so reluctant to report assault.
In Missoula, Krakauer chronicles the searing experiences of several women in Missoula -- the nights when they were raped; their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the way they were treated by the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys; the public vilification and private anguish; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them. Krakauer's dispassionate, carefully documented account of what these women endured cuts through the abstract ideological debate about campus rape.
Much like Unsportsmanlike conduct Barry's writing style is also thoughtful, compelling and journalistic.
Nominated for the 2017 Hillman Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Dan Barry tells the harrowing yet uplifting story of the exploitation and abuse of a resilient group of men with intellectual disability, and the heroic efforts of those who helped them to find justice and reclaim their lives.
Although contemporary both series offer mysteries set against a rural Wyoming backdrop with an Old West feel. The series also shares similarities in style with complex puzzles and sympathetic characters; the prose is spare but polished with a serious tone, leavened with humor.
Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden--especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way--is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in.
Also set in a vividly depicted rural setting—albeit Minnesota rather than Wyoming—Krueger also offers intriguing mysteries featuring sympathetic, well-drawn characters. Krueger incorporates more Native American politics and culture than Johnson.
Begin with Iron Lake. Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota. Embittered by his "former" status, and the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago's South Side, there's not much that can shock him. But when the town's judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on a mind-jolting case of conspiracy, corruption, and scandal. As a lakeside blizzard buries Aurora, Cork must dig out the truth among town officials who seem dead-set on stopping his investigation in its tracks. But even Cork freezes up when faced with the harshest enemy of all: a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.
Harstad’s series shares similarities in plot (tightly-plotted, fast-paced), setting (strong sense of a rural place) and character (tough, likeable lawman and well-developed secondary characters) to Johnson’s series.
Iowa highway patrolman and deputy sheriff Carl Houseman is comfortable with his night-shift routine of speeding tickets and slow crawls through Nation County's two-stoplight towns. But Houseman is in for the time of his life when a quiet weekend evening turns into eleven sleepless days after a 911 call from a terrified woman hits his dispatcher's office. Upon arrival at the crime scene—a deserted farmhouse that even Hitchcock wouldn't be able to duplicate—Houseman finds the woman gone and the owner slaughtered and mutilated. Down the lane, another farmhouse contains the bodies of four more victims, tortured before their deaths and all bearing the markings of a Satanic sacrifice. As the investigation gathers momentum, the dirty little secrets underneath the placid surface of the quaint Iowa community are revealed, and Houseman ends up fighting for his life against a force of unimaginable horror.
Both mystery series offer complex characters and compelling and atmospheric writing set in Texas. Begin with Stillwater.
Big secrets run deep. Former FBI agent Jack McBride took the job as Chief of Police for Stillwater, Texas, to start a new life with his teenage son, Ethan, away from the suspicions that surrounded his wife’s disappearance a year earlier. With a low crime rate and a five-man police force, he expected it to be a nice, easy gig; hot checks, traffic violations, some drugs, occasional domestic disturbances, and petty theft. Instead, within a week he is investigating a staged murder-suicide, uncovering a decades’ old skeleton buried in the woods, and managing the first crime wave in thirty years.
For help navigating his unfamiliar, small-town surroundings, Jack turns to Ellie Martin, one of the most respected women in town—her scandal-filled past notwithstanding. Despite Jack's murky marriage status and the disapproval of Ethan and the town, they are immediately drawn to each other. As Jack and Ellie struggle with their budding relationship, they unearth shattering secrets long buried and discover the two cases Jack is working, though fifty years apart, share a surprising connection that will rattle the town to its core.
Fans of John Philip Santos will appreciate the poems of Chicano activist Gregg Barrios. Like John Philip Santos ,Gregg Barrios has remained true to his San Antonio roots while exploring the larger world.