The addictive humor, snarky cast, and calculated wit of Pearls Before Swine returns in its most recent collection, Breaking Stephan, cracking wise on the hit crime drama Breaking Bad.
The familiar gang of characters cook up hilarity with their banter on current events, bicyclists, and the strip’s creator, Stephen Pastis. Some of the action this time around features Rat in his very own movie, driven by the brilliant plot of “Rat kicks Pig,” and Croc’s pursuit of a job with the one weapon in his skillset: drinking.
Pastis’s Breaking Stephan is sure to entertain with its perfect chemistry of commentary, satirical logic, and dark wit.
Jan Eliot - It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time is the tenth collection of Stone Soup cartoons. Stone Soup is a syndicated comic strip that features a big, rowdy, multigenerational extended family, headed by sisters Val and Joan who live next door to each other. With precious little privacy and plenty of chaos, the Stone clan navigates life with toddlers, tomboys, and teens. Balancing work, kids, dating, step-parenting, money issues, and aging, the Stones struggle with the same issues we all face in life. Stone Soup is written with love and empathy for parents and kids of all ages.
Darrin Bell - Theron Heir - Peace, Love & Lattes
When people read the strip over breakfast, we want them to laugh. If they're eating cereal, we want them to giggle so hard that milk will run out of their nose. If they're not eating cereal, the milk-nose thing may be tough to achieve, but we will remain optimistic." Rudy Park and the other regulars and misfits who hang out at the House of Java coffeehouse form a modern nuclear family, drawn together by something much more powerful than blood-caffeine. Just as cavemen once hung out around a campfire, our regulars gather around the espresso machine discussing issues of the day, coping with modern life, and engaging in the occasional violent dispute over the bathroom key. The cafe also serves as a crossroads for current events and a watering hole for celebrities and politicians, such as J-Lo and Ben Affleck (contemplating a joint run for governor), Dick Cheney (doling out dating advice), and the gang from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (making sure everyone is dressed suitably for the comics page). So sit down with a warm cup of joe and enjoy Peace, Love, and Lattes, the second collection of Rudy Park, which Newsweek has named as one of the top three contenders for new strip of the decade. Rudy Park offers social and cultural commentary that is both insightful and hilarious. With Rudy at the forefront, this technocentric strip lampoons the fast pace of our technology-driven world, our obsession with material possessions, and the folly of our cultural and political icons. Since bursting onto the comics page in 2001, the strip has grown in syndication to nearly 100 newspapers and Web sites, including the Seattle Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, and Denver's Rocky Mountain News.
William Gibson - The Peripheral
Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.
Mary Stewart - This Rough Magic
When Lucy Waring came to Corfu to visit her sister Phyllida Forli, she was elated to discover that the castello above their villa had been rented to Sir Julian Gale. A very minor cog in the London theatre, Lucy not unnaturally felt something close to reverence for Sir Julian, one of the brilliant lights of England's theatrical world. But any hope of meeting him was quickly dashed by Phyl, who indicated, with uncharacteristic vagueness, that not all was well with the great man and that his composer son, Max, discouraged visitors, particularly strangers . . . Lucy encounted Max Gale the first morning of her arrival—and a tempestuous meeting it was. For Lucy had made friends with an enchanting dolphin by whom she had first been thoroughly frightened then completely captivated. It was when she was sunning on the rocks above the cove that the shots came, and the only person in view was Max Gale . . . Thus begins a series of mystifying and thoroughly frightening events which tinge the otherwise sparkling setting of Corfu with the dark hues of violence. In every way This Rough Magic measures up to its predecessors—in spirited characterization, vivid description, glowing romance and unrelenting excitement. This is storytelling at its best. —jacket William Morrow edition, 1964
Jodi Picoult - Salem Falls
When Jack St. Bride arrives in the small town of Salem Falls, all he wants is to escape his past. He's spent the last eight months in jail, after being falsely accused of having an affair with an underage student at the school where he taught. In Salem Falls, he gets a job as a dishwasher at a local diner and tentatively begins a romance with the diner's owner, Addie, who is still mourning the death of her young daughter, born after Addie was raped in high school by three drunk boys. As she and Jack fall in love, they both see hope for the future. But their newfound love is threatened when the residents of Salem Falls learn of Jack's conviction and begin harassing him. When, predictably, a teenage girl accuses Jack of raping her, he finds himself back in jail, fighting a serious charge and the town's prejudice. Addie wrestles with her doubts and memories of her own rape, but she believes in Jack and goes on a quest of her own to find out the truth about Jack's initial conviction, even as the Salem Falls trial opens.
Ali McNamara - From Notting Hill with Love… Actually
Scarlett O’Brien is in love . . . with the movies. Utterly hooked on Hugh Grant, crazy about Richard Curtis, dying with lust for Johnny Depp, Scarlett spends her days with her head in the clouds and her nights with her hand in a huge tub of popcorn. Which is not exactly what her sensible, DIY-obsessed fiancé David has in mind for their future. So when Scarlett has the chance to house-sit an impossibly grand mansion in Notting Hill – the setting of one of her all-time favourite movies – she jumps at the chance to live out her film fantasies one last time. It’s just a shame that her new neighbour Sean is so irritating – and so irritatingly handsome, too. As a chaotic comedy of her very own erupts around Scarlett, she begins to realise there’s more to life than seating plans and putting up shelves. What sort of happy ending does she really want? Will it be a case of Runaway Bride or Happily Ever After? The big white wedding looms, and Scarlett is running out of time to decide . . .
Patrick Süskind - Perfume
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion-his sense of smell-leads to murder. In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"-the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
David Niose - Fighting Back the Right
The political scene is changing rapidly in America. The religious right is on the defensive, acceptance of gay rights is at an all-time high, social conservatives are struggling for relevance, and more Americans than ever identify as nonreligious. What does this mean for the country and the future? With these demographic shifts, can truly progressive, reason-based public policy finally gain traction? Or will America continue to carry a reputation as anti-intellectual and plutocratic, eager to cater to large corporate interests but reluctant to provide universal health care to all its citizens? Fighting Back the Right reveals a new alliance in the making, a progressive coalition committed to fighting for rational public policy in America and reversing the damage inflicted by decades of conservative dominance. David Niose, Legal Director of the American Humanist Association (AHA), examines this exciting new dynamic, covering not only the rapidly evolving culture wars but also the twists and turns of American history and politics that led to this point, and why this new alliance could potentially move the country in a direction of sanity, fairness, and human-centered public policy.
Sam Thomas - The Harlot's Tale
It is August, 1645, one year since York fell into Puritan hands. As the city suffers through a brutal summer heat, Bridget Hodgson and Martha Hawkins are drawn into a murder investigation more frightening than their last. In order to appease God’s wrath—and end the heat-wave—the city’s overlords have launched a brutal campaign to whip the city’s sinners into godliness. But for someone in York, this is not enough. First a prostitute and her client are found stabbed to death, then a pair of adulterers are beaten and strangled. York’s sinners have been targeted for execution. Bridget and Martha—assisted once again by Will, Bridget’s good-hearted nephew—race to find the killer even as he adds more bodies to his tally. The list of suspects is long: Hezekiah Ward, a fire and brimstone preacher new to York; Ward’s son, Praise-God, whose intensity mirrors his father’s; John Stubb, one of Ward’s fanatic followers, whose taste for blood may not have been sated by his time in Parliament’s armies. Or could the killer be closer to home? Will’s brother Joseph is no stranger to death, and he shares the Wards’ dreams of driving sin from the city. To find the killer, Bridget, Martha, and Will must uncover the city’s most secret sins, and hope against hope that the killer does not turn his attention in their direction, in The Harlot's Tale by Sam Thomas.
Mark Sullivan - Thief
Robin Monarch is a man with a complicated past and dangerous present. He’s been a soldier, a CIA agent, a freelance operative but first and foremost, Robin Monarch is a thief of the highest order. Orphaned at twelve, Monarch originally stole for survival, then he stole for his friends and cohorts, now he steals to order, and to give back to the to the woman who saved his life many years ago. With the help of his team, Monarch breaks into the legendary Christmas party of Beau Arsenault, a shady investor and behind-the-scenes player at the very highest levels of power politics. Arsenault is not above bending or breaking the rules if there’s illicit profit to be made. Monarch has decided that those illicit profits will be better used to take care of orphans and street kids. Using the party as cover to break into Arsenault’s secret vaults, Monarch comes away with two unexpected things. One is a bullet—he gets shot when he’s caught trying to escape with tens of millions of negotiable instruments. The second is a lead on what might be his most audacious exploit ever. A previously undiscovered tribe in South America may well have the secret to the most sought after knowledge in history—that of eternal life. And Robin Monarch must use all his skills—as an operative, as a thief—to keep this secret from falling into the worst possible hands.
Gail Oust - Kill 'Em with Cayenne
A brand new finger-lickin’ good mystery featuring small-town Georgia spice shop owner Piper Prescott, a smart and spunky amateur sleuth Spices are flying off the shelves of Spice It Up!, and Piper Prescott couldn’t be happier. It’s that time of year again—time for the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Soon contestants and BBQ aficionados from all over the Southeast will converge on the town. Many of Brandywine Creek’s citizens plan to participate in the week-long festivities and are busily concocting savory rubs and sassy sauces. Among the locals vying for the grand prize are Becca Dapkins and Maybelle Humphries. The women have been arch enemies ever since Buzz Oliver dumped Maybelle after a thirteen-year courtship and started seeing Becca. When Becca’s body is found near one of the festival booths, bludgeoned by a brisket, Maybelle becomes one of Chief Wyatt McBride’s top suspects. Determined to help clear her friend’s name, Piper begins her own investigation, much to McBride’s consternation. As the festival draws closer, will Piper and Reba Mae be able to find the real killer and clear Maybelle’s name? Will Piper make it to the annual shag contest with Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she’s been seeing? And, who will win the BBQ cook-off?
Karen Rose - Nothing to Fear
After kidnapping 12-year-old Alec Vaughn, Sue Conway poses as an abused mother at a shelter for battered women. However, the more shelter director Dana Dupinsky gets to know Sue, the more alarmed she becomes. The only hope may be security expert Ethan Buchanan, who has joined the search for the missing Alec--his godson.
Carol Miller - A Nip of Murder
As Daisy McGovern knows all too well, it isn’t easy being a young, small town waitress at the local diner. And it becomes even harder just as she’s trying to stitch her life back together and salvage her job by converting the diner into a bakery when a mysterious robbery occurs and one of the thieves ends up dead on the bakery floor with a chef’s knife in his chest. Forced into a twisted game of cat-and-mouse that takes her from secretive nip joints overflowing with moonshine to weathered Appalachian mountaintops overflowing with history and guns, Daisy must figure out who the dead man is—and why he was in her bakery—before she becomes the next victim. This is the second entry in a charming series filled with eccentric characters, red herrings, and, of course, moonshine!
Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
The most anticipated publication of the decade, The Lost Symbol is the stunning new thriller featuring Robert Langdon. Six years in the writing, it is Dan Brown's extraordinary sequel to his internationally bestselling Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Nothing is ever what it first appears in a Dan Brown novel. Set over a breathtaking 12 hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action.
Robert Ludlum - The Parsifal Mosaic
Michael Havelock's world died on a moonlit beach on the Costa Brava. He watched as his partner and lover, Jenna Karats, double agent, was efficiently gunned down by his own agency. There was nothing left for him but to quit the game, get out. Until, in one frantic moment on a crowded railroad platform in Rome, Havelock saw his Jenna alive. From then on, he was marked for death by both U.S. and Russian assassins, racing around the globe after his beautiful betrayer, trapped in a massive mosaic of treachery created by a top-level mole with the world in his fist—Parsifal.
Ngaio Marsh - Off With His Head
WHEN THE versatile Mrs. Bunz arrived at Mardian she said: "I am a student of the folk-dance. ... My little monographs on the Abram Circle Bush and the symbolic tea-pawt have been praised ". She was determined to investigate the rare survival of folk-dancing that was believed to continue to this day at Mardian. No one in the village, from Dame Alice Mardian (" a character out of Surtees") to the five sons of the smith, William Andersen, considered their strange annual ritual—the Dance of The Five Sons—to be any business of the rest of the world, or of Mrs. Biinz. They did not foresee the macabre tragedy that was to take place on " Sword Wednesday" of the winter solstice, amidst the disguises, the dancing, and the torches that lit the ruins of Mardian Castle for the ancient ceremony. Superintendent Roderick AUeyn found himself faced with a case of great complexity—and also with a flat impossibility. He made many surprising discoveries in his investigations, which required that he should understand the movements of the dancers in their prehistoric rites. At a gruesome reconstruction of the night of Sword Wednesday the impossibility is explained and the murderer revealed in an astonishing climax. This successor to Scales of Justice and Ngaio Marsh's other fine detective stories will again delight her many readers.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón - The Shadow of the Wind
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.
Nick Payne - Constellations
One relationship. Infinite possibilities. In the beginning Marianne and Roland meet at a party. They go for a drink, or perhaps they don’t. They fall madly in love and start dating, but eventually they break up. After a chance encounter in a supermarket they get back together, or maybe they run into each other and Marianne reveals that she’s now engaged to someone else and that’s that. Or perhaps Roland is engaged. Maybe they get married, or maybe their time together will be tragically short. Nick Payne’s Constellations is a play about free will and friendship; it’s also about quantum multiverse theory, love, and honey.
Ursula Archer - Five
A woman’s corpse is discovered in a meadow. A strange combination of letters and numbers has been tattooed on the soles of her feet. Detective inspector Beatrice Kaspary from the local murder squad quickly identifies the digits as map coordinates. These lead to a series of gruesome discoveries as she and her colleague Florin Wenninger embark on a bloody trail – a modern-day scavenger hunt using GPS navigation devices to locate hidden caches. The "owner" of these unofficial, unpublished geocaches is a highly calculating and elusive fiend who leaves his victims’ body-parts sealed in plastic bags, complete with riddles that culminate in a five-stage plot. Kaspary herself becomes an unwilling pawn in the perpetrator’s game of cat and mouse as she risks all to uncover the motives behind the murderer’s actions. Five is definitely not a book for the faint-hearted, but it delivers great suspense, unexpected plot twists, and multi-dimensional characters.