The Sugar Queen
Sarah Addison Allen
Josey Cirrini is sure of two things: she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night—until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who’s one part nemesis and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons.
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Happier at Home
One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick—why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. “Of all the elements of a happy life,” she thought, “my home is the most important.” In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home. And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her, and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already. So, Rubin dedicated a school year—September through May—to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.
Skink No Surrender
Classic Malley—to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard—he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink—he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators. With Skink at the wheel, the search for a missing girl is both nail-bitingly tense and laugh-out-loud funny.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back, but none of her efforts succeeds. Finally, a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.
The Haunted Looking Glass
If your recipe for unwinding is to spook yourself, look no further than The Haunted Looking Glass, the late Edward Gorey’s selection of his favorite tales of ghosts, ghouls, and grisly goings-on. It includes stories by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, M. R. James, W. W. Jacobs, and L. P. Hartley, among other masters of the fine art of making the flesh creep, all accompanied by Gorey’s inimitable illustrations.
Writing with great warmth and clarity, therapist Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence of Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Curl up with the five classic novels from Douglas Adams’s beloved Hitchhiker series. It all kicks off with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect seconds before Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space. Arthur’s journey continues all the way to Book 5, Mostly Harmless: just when he makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save Earth from total obliteration? Can he save Ford Prefect from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?
The Best of Wodehouse
P. G. Wodehouse
P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) was perhaps the most widely acclaimed British humorist of the 20th century. Throughout his career, he brilliantly examined the complex and idiosyncratic nature of English upper-crust society with hilarious insight and wit. The works in this volume provide a wonderful introduction to Wodehouse’s work and his unique talent for joining fantastic plots with authentic emotion. Fourteen stories feature some of Wodehouse’s most memorable characters, and three autobiographical pieces provide a revealing look into Wodehouse’s life. With his gift for hilarity and his ever-human tone, Wodehouse and his work have never felt more lively.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s; of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women–of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth–who back in the ’30s ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present–for Evelyn and for us–will never be quite the same again.
After a tough day, there’s nothing better than curling up in a quiet room with a good book, a cozy blanket, a cup of tea, a dog (or cat!) at your feet, a warm breeze coming in the window. You can feel all your stress melt away. But we each pick a different kind of book to read when we’re stressed. It could be a book that makes you laugh, takes you to another time and place, or helps you understand yourself in a new way. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites below.
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