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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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Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

PartNumber: 9780394720951
The most riveting political biography of our time, Robert A. Caros life of Lyndon B. Johnson, continues. Master of the Senate takes Johnsons story through one of its most remarkable periods: his twelve years, from 1949 through 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnsons brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history and how he used his incomparable legislative genius--seducing both Northern liberals and Southern conservatives--to pass the first Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction. Brilliantly weaving rich detail into a gripping narrative, Caro gives us both a galvanizing portrait of Johnson himself and a definitive and revelatory study of the workings of legislative power.
Robert Caro's Master of the Senate examines in meticulous detail Lyndon Johnson's career in that body, from his arrival in 1950 (after 12 years in the House of Representatives) until his election as JFK's vice president in 1960. This, the third in a projected four-volume series, studies not only the pragmatic, ruthless, ambitious Johnson, who wielded influence with both consummate skill and "raw, elemental brutality," but also the Senate itself, which Caro describes (pre-1957) as a "cruel joke" and an "impregnable stronghold" against social change. The milestone of Johnson's Senate years was the 1957 Civil Rights Act, whose passage he single-handedly engineered. As important as the bill was--both in and of itself and as a precursor to wider-reaching civil rights legislation--it was only close to Johnson's Southern "anti-civil rights" heart as a means to his dream: the presidency. Caro writes that not only does power corrupt, it "reveals," and that's exactly what this massive, scrupulously researched book does. A model of social, psychological, and political insight, it is not just masterful; it is a masterpiece. --H. O'Billovich

Metaphysical Dog: Poems

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
Winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry
A National Book Award Finalist


A vital, searching new collection from one of finest American poets at work today

In "Those Nights," Frank Bidart writes: "We who could get / somewhere through / words through / sex could not." Words and sex, art and flesh: In Metaphysical Dog, Bidart explores their nexus. The result stands among this deeply adventurous poet's most powerful and achieved work, an emotionally naked, fearlessly candid journey through many of the central axes, the central conflicts, of his life, and ours.
Near the end of the book, Bidart writes:

In adolescence, you thought your work
ancient work: to decipher at last

human beings' relation to God. Decipher

love. To make what was once whole
whole again: or to see

why it never should have been thought whole.

This "ancient work" reflects what the poet sees as fundamental in human feeling, what psychologists and mystics have called the "hunger for the Absolute"a hunger as fundamental as any physical hunger. This hunger must confront the elusiveness of the Absolute, our self-deluding, failed glimpses of it. The third section of the book is titled "History is a series of failed revelations."
The result is one of the most fascinating and ambitious books of poetry in many years.
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Poetry Books of 2013
A New York Times Notable Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013


Migration: New & Selected Poems

PartNumber: 9781556592614

Named one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times.

Winner of the National Book Award for Poetry

Named by O as one of the "20 Books of Poetry Everyone Should Own"

The poems in Migration speak a life-long belief in the power of words to awaken our drowsy souls and see the world with compassionate interconnection.National Book Award judges statement

The publication of W. S. Merwins selected and new poems is one of those landmark events in the literary world.Los Angeles Times

W. S. Merwin is the most influential American poet of the last half-centuryan artist who has transfigured and reinvigorated the vision of poetry for our time. Migration: New and Selected Poems is that case. This 540-page distillationselected by Merwin from fifteen diverse volumesis a gathering of the best poems from a profound body of work, accented by a selection of distinctive new poems.

As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Merwin was advised by John Berryman to get down on your knees and pray to the muse every day. Migration represents the bounty of those prayers. Over the last fifty years, Merwins muse has led him beyond the formal verse of his early years to revolutionary open forms that engage a vast array of influences and possibilities. As Adrienne Rich wrote of Merwins work: I would be shamelessly jealous of this poetry, if I didnt take so much from it into my own life.

W. S. Merwin is the author of over fifty books of poetry, prose, and translation. He lives in Hawaii, where he raises endangered palm trees.



Miss Rumphius

PartNumber: 9780140505399
A beloved classicwritten by a beloved Caldecott winneris lovelier than ever!

Barbara Cooney's story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication.

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of two-time Caldecott winner Barbara Cooney's best-loved book, the illustrations have been reoriginated, going back to the original art to ensure state-of-the-art reproduction of Cooney's exquisite artwork. The art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Mockingbird

In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon’s dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white—the world is full of colors—messy and beautiful.

Monsieur Teste

PartNumber: 9780691018799

Although not autobiographical in any usual sense, Valery's novel is profoundly personal. Monsieur Teste reflects Valery's preoccupation with the phenomenon of a mind detached from sensibility, yet he is also an ordinary fictional character. This volume includes "Snapshots of Monsieur Teste," excerpts from Valery's Cahiers.


Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography

Mark Twain, the American comic genius who portrayed, named, and in part exemplified Americas Gilded Age, comes alive in Justin Kaplans extraordinary biography.

With brilliant immediacy, Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain brings to life a towering literary figure whose dual persona symbolized the emerging American conflict between down-to-earth morality and freewheeling ambition. As Mark Twain, he was the Mississippi riverboat pilot, the satirist with a fiery hatred of pretension, and the author of such classics as Tom Sawyer andHuckleberry Finn. As Mr. Clemens, he was the star who married an heiress, built a palatial estate, threw away fortunes on harebrained financial schemes, and lived the extravagant life that Mark Twain despised. Kaplan effectively portrays the triumphant-tragic man whose achievements and failures, laughter and anger, reflect a crucial generation in our past as well as his own dark, divided, and remarkably contemporary spirit.

Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain brilliantly conveys this towering literary figure who was himself a symbol of the peculiarly American conflict between moral scrutiny and the drive to succeed. Mr. Clemens lived the Gilded Life that Mark Twain despised. The merging and fragmenting of these and other identities, as the biography unfolds, results in a magnificent projection of the whole man; the great comic spirit; and the exuberant, tragic human being, who, his friend William Dean Howells said, was sole, incomparable, the Lincoln of our literature.

No Good Men Among the Living

Anand Gopal moved to Afghanistan in 2008. As Kim Barkerwrites in The New York Times, "Gopal learned the language, grew a beard and traveled to remote corners other correspondents rarely ventured." The result is a book that traces the effect of the war on three Afghan lives: a housewife turned senator, a Taliban commander and a U.S.-backed warlord. But his subject is the war itself. As Barker puts it, "Gopal's book is essential reading for anyone concerned about how America got Afghanistan so wrong."

Noggin

"Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn't. Now he's alive again. Simple as that," writes John Corey Whaley. But it turns out to be seriously not simple for Coates: His head was preserved after he died from leukemia at 16, but just five years later science has advanced to the point where Coates is revived, his head attached to a new body — and he has to figure out how to live his new life after death. In The New York Times, reviewer A.J. Jacobs compares Noggin to the work of funny-sad YA master John Green, and says "the good news is, Whaley can just about keep up with Green."

Norman Thomas: The Last Idealist

The dust jacket has minor wear to the extremities.

Parrot in the Oven: Mi vida

PartNumber: 9780064471862

Dad believed people were like money. You could be a thousand-dollar person or a hundred-dollar person -- even a ten-, five-, or one-dollar person. Below that, everybody was just nickels and dimes. To my dad, we were pennies.

Fourteen-year-old Manny Hernandez wants to be more than just a penny. He wants to be a vato firme, the kind of guy people respect. But thats not easy when your father is abusive, your brother cant hold a job, and your mother scrubs the house as if she can wash her troubles away.

In Mannys neighborhood, the way to get respect is to be in a gang. But Mannys not sure that joining a gang is the solution. Because, after all, its his life -- and he wants to be the one to decide what happens to it.


It's no wonder that Parrot in the Oven won the 1996 National Book Award for Young People's Fiction. Victor Martinez's lush, evocative prose leaps from the page, grabbing the reader by the throat right from the start. Not only do we witness Manuel Hernandez's coming of age, we feel every juicy moment of it: his ache for something just out of reach, the confusion of seeing his family with new eyes, the tickle and flood of awakening passion. It's difficult to portray transformation from the inside, but Martinez does so with grace and power.

Passage To Ararat (Fsg Classics)

In Passage to Ararat, which received the National Book Award in 1976, Michael J. Arlen goes beyond the portrait of his father, the famous Anglo-Armenian novelist of the 1920s, that he created in Exiles to try to discover what his father had tried to forget: Armenia and what it meant to be an Armenian, a descendant of a proud people whom conquerors had for centuries tried to exterminate. But perhaps most affectingly, Arlen tells a story as large as a whole people yet as personal as the uneasy bond between a father and a son, offering a masterful account of the affirmation and pain of kinship.


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