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National Book Awards

On March 15, 1950, a consortium of book publishing groups sponsored the first annual National Book Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Their goal was to enhance the public's awareness of exceptional books written by fellow Americans, and to increase the popularity of reading in general.

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In the Deserts of This Earth

Fine cloth copy in a good if somewhat edge-nicked and dust-dulled dw, now mylar-sleeved. Remains particularly and surprisingly well-preserved overall; tight, bright, clean and strong.; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 309 pages; Description: 309 p., [16] leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm. Notes: Translation of In den Wusten dieser Erde." A Helen and Kurt Wolff book." Subjects: Desert biology. Deserts.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Model: 908056
PartNumber: 908056
From the author ofMayflower and Valiant Ambition, the riveting bestseller tells the story of the true events that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick.

Winner of the National Book Award, Nathaniel Philbrick's book is a fantastic saga of survival and adventure, steeped in the lore of whaling, with deep resonance in American literature and history.

In 1820, the whaleship Essex was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale, leaving the desperate crew to drift for more than ninety days in three tiny boats. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents and vivid details about the Nantucket whaling tradition to reveal the chilling facts of this infamous maritime disaster. In the Heart of the Sea, recently adapted into a major feature film starring Chris Hemsworth, is a book for the ages.
The appeal of Dava Sobel's Longitude was, in part, that it illuminated a little-known piece of history through a series of captivating incidents and engaging personalities. Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea is certainly cast from the same mold, examining the 19th-century Pacific whaling industry through the arc of the sinking of the whaleship Essex by a boisterous sperm whale. The story that inspired Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dick has a lot going for it--derring-do, cannibalism, rescue--and Philbrick proves an amiable and well-informed narrator, providing both context and detail. We learn about the importance and mechanics of blubber production--a vital source of oil--and we get the nuts and bolts of harpooning and life aboard whalers. We are spared neither the nitty-gritty of open boats nor the sucking of human bones dry.

By sticking to the tried and tested Longitude formula, Philbrick has missed a slight trick or two. The epicenter of the whaling industry was Nantucket, a small island off Cape Cod; most of the whales were in the Pacific, necessitating a huge journey around the southernmost tip of South America. We never learn why no one ever tried to create an alternative whaling capital somewhere nearer. Similarly, Philbrick tells us that the story of the Essex was well known to Americans for decades, but he never explores how such legends fade from our consciousness. Philbrick would no doubt reply that such questions were beyond his remit, and you can't exactly accuse him of skimping on his research. By any standard, 50 pages of footnotes impress, though he wears his learning lightly. He doesn't get bogged down in turgid detail, and his narrative rattles along at a nice pace. When the storyline is as good as this, you can't really ask for more. --John Crace, Amazon.co.uk

In the Next Galaxy

Her poems startle us over and over with their shapeliness, their humor, their youthfulness, their wild aptness, their strangeness, their sudden familiarity, the authority of their insights, the moral gulps they prompt, their fierce exactness of language and memory.Galway Kinnell on presenting the Wallace Stevens Award

In the Next Galaxy gives us the unflinching vision of a woman well into her 80s, fully inhabiting body and mind.National Book Award Judges statement

Compassionate, comic, feminist and horrified by injustice, Stones poems are composed with an accessible deftness.The Oregonian

Ruth Stone has earned nearly every major literary award for her poetry. She taught at many universities, finally settling at SUNY Binghamton. Today she lives in Vermont.


Incarnadine: Poems

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry

* An NPR, Slate, Oregonian, Kansas City Star, Willamette Week, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * Amazon's Best Book of the Year in Poetry 2013 *

In Incarnadine, Mary Szybist restlessly seeks out places where meaning might take on new color. One poem is presented as a diagrammed sentence. Another is an abecedarium made of lines of dialogue spoken by girls overheard while assembling a puzzle. Several poems arrive as a series of Annunciations, while others purport to give an update on Mary, who must finish the dishes before she will open herself to God. One poem appears on the page as spokes radiating from a wheel, or as a sunburst, or as the cycle around which all times and all tenses are alive in this moment. Szybist's formal innovations are matched by her musical lines, by her poetry's insistence on singing as a lure toward the unknowable. Inside these poems is a deep yearningfor love, motherhood, the will to see things as they are and to speak. Beautiful and inventive, Incarnadine is the new collection by one of America's most ambitious poets.


Invisible Man

PartNumber: 9780679732761
Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952. A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.
We rely, in this world, on the visual aspects of humanity as a means of learning who we are. This, Ralph Ellison argues convincingly, is a dangerous habit. A classic from the moment it first appeared in 1952, Invisible Man chronicles the travels of its narrator, a young, nameless black man, as he moves through the hellish levels of American intolerance and cultural blindness. Searching for a context in which to know himself, he exists in a very peculiar state. "I am an invisible man," he says in his prologue. "When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination--indeed, everything and anything except me." But this is hard-won self-knowledge, earned over the course of many years.

As the book gets started, the narrator is expelled from his Southern Negro college for inadvertently showing a white trustee the reality of black life in the south, including an incestuous farmer and a rural whorehouse. The college director chastises him: "Why, the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch knows that the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie! What kind of an education are you getting around here?" Mystified, the narrator moves north to New York City, where the truth, at least as he perceives it, is dealt another blow when he learns that his former headmaster's recommendation letters are, in fact, letters of condemnation.

What ensues is a search for what truth actually is, which proves to be supremely elusive. The narrator becomes a spokesman for a mixed-race band of social activists called "The Brotherhood" and believes he is fighting for equality. Once again, he realizes he's been duped into believing what he thought was the truth, when in fact it is only another variation. Of the Brothers, he eventually discerns: "They were blind, bat blind, moving only by the echoed sounds of their voices. And because they were blind they would destroy themselves.... Here I thought they accepted me because they felt that color made no difference, when in reality it made no difference because they didn't see either color or men."

Invisible Man is certainly a book about race in America, and sadly enough, few of the problems it chronicles have disappeared even now. But Ellison's first novel transcends such a narrow definition. It's also a book about the human race stumbling down the path to identity, challenged and successful to varying degrees. None of us can ever be sure of the truth beyond ourselves, and possibly not even there. The world is a tricky place, and no one knows this better than the invisible man, who leaves us with these chilling, provocative words: "And it is this which frightens me: Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?" --Melanie Rehak

Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller

PartNumber: 9780312135256

Winner of the National Book Award

A brilliant literary portrait, Isak Dinesen remains the only comprehensive biography of one of the greatest storytellers of our time. Her magnificent memoir, Out of Africa, established Isak Dinesen as a major twentieth-century author, who was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize.

With exceptional grace, Judith Thurman's classic work explores Dinesen's life. Until the appearance of this book, the life and art of Isak Dinesen have been--as Dinesen herself wrote of two lovers in a tale-- "a pair of locked caskets, each containing the key to the other." Judith Thurman has provided the master key to them both.


John Keats: The Making of a Poet

Format: Trade PaperISBN-10: 0374520291ISBN-13: 9780374520298Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux488 pagesLanguage: English

Just Kids

The godmother of punk recalls her time with Robert Mapplethorpe and their yearnings for a life in art in New York City.

Lauren Bacall by Myself

"In a word, LAUREN BACALL BY MYSELF is terrific...one of the real-life heroines of our time...and she wrote this book as she lived it."
BOSTON GLOBE
"She's a real Joe. You'll fall in love with her like everybody else."
-Humphrey Bogart

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA

PartNumber: 9780307389008
With shocking revelations that made headlines in papers across the country, Pulitzer-Prize-winner Tim Weiner gets at the truth behind the CIA and uncovers here why nearly every CIA Director has left the agency in worse shape than when he found it; and how these profound failures jeopardize our national security.

Life Supports: New and Collected Poems

PartNumber: 9781883689599
Poetry. William Bronk was born in 1918 and lives now in Hudson Falls, New York. Acclaimed by The Nation as "our most significant poet," he is the author of nearly two dozen celebrated books of poetry. Winner of the American Book Award for his collected poems, LIFE SUPPORTS, he is also the author of a collection of prose works, VECTORS AND SMOOTHABLE CURVES, which is widely considered a landmark in contemporary literature.

Lighthead

In his fourth collection, Terrance Hayes investigates how we construct experience. With one foot firmly grounded in the everyday and the other hovering in the air, his poems braid dream and reality into a poetry that is both dark and buoyant. Cultural icons as diverse as Fela Kuti, Harriet Tubman, and Wallace Stevens appear with meditations on desire and history. We see Hayes testing the line between story and song in a series of stunning poems inspired by the Pecha Kucha, a Japanese presenta­tion format. This innovative collection presents the light- headedness of a mind trying to pull against gravity and time. Fueled by an imagination that enlightens, delights, and ignites, Lighthead leaves us illuminated and scorched.

Lila

In 2004 Marilynne Robinson published her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gilead, which was set in a fictional Iowa town. In her latest book, she follows the story of a minor character in Gilead, Lila, the wife of the reverend-protagonist, and unwinds her backstory. "Abandoned as a child," NPR's Lynn Neary writes, "she was rescued by a homeless woman named Doll and grew up in a makeshift family of itinerant workers." But she makes her way eventually to Gilead and falls in love with the town's reverend, John Ames. It is this unlikely relationship between the intellectual Ames and the mostly uneducated Lila that forms the basis for most of the book.

Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher

PartNumber: 9780140047431
Elegant, suggestive, and clarifying, Lewis Thomas's profoundly humane vision explores the world around us and examines the complex interdependence of all things. Extending beyond the usual limitations of biological science and into a vast and wondrous world of hidden relationships, this provocative book explores in personal, poetic essays to topics such as computers, germs, language, music, death, insects, and medicine. Lewis Thomas writes, "Once you have become permanently startled, as I am, by the realization that we are a social species, you tend to keep an eye out for the pieces of evidence that this is, by and large, good for us."

Lord of Misrule

At the rock-bottom end of the sport of kings sits the ruthless and often violent world of cheap horse racing, where trainers and jockeys, grooms and hotwalkers, loan sharks and touts all struggle to take an edge, or prove their luck, or just survive. Lord of Misrule follows five characters—scarred and lonely dreamers in the American grain—through a year and four races at Indian Mound Downs, downriver from Wheeling, West Virginia.

Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind

PartNumber: illustrations (some colour)
A glorious successThe science manages to be as exciting and spellbinding as the juiciest gossip (San Franscisco Chronicle) in the story of the discovery of Lucythe oldest, best-preserved skeleton of any erect-walking human ancestor ever found.

When Donald Johanson found a partical skeleton, approximately 3.5 million years old, in a remote region of Ethiopia in 1974, a headline-making controversy was launched that continues on today. Bursting with all the suspense and intrigue of a fast paced adventure novel, here is Johansons lively account of the extraordinary discovery of Lucy. By expounding the controversial change Lucy makes in our view of human origins, Johanson provides a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of the history of pealeoanthropology and the colorful, eccentric characters who were and are a part of it. Never before have the mystery and intricacy of our origins been so clearly and compellingly explained as in this astonighing and dramatic book.

Malcolm Lowry: A Biography

This brilliant and sympathetic account of Malcolm Lowry's chaotic and tragic life tells of the alcoholism that overshadowed his entire adult life, his wanderings through Europe and America, his two tempestuous marriages, and his constant struggle to write. As well as presenting extensive new criticism of Lowry's work, Douglas Day paints a rare and revealing portrait of this brilliant, clumsy, shy, prodigal, and outrageous genius.

Mandelstam: The complete critical prose and letters

PartNumber: A-176-802
Book by Osip Mandelshtam
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