In America, notes acclaimed novelist Francine Prose, we are obsessed with food and diet. And what is this obsession with food except a struggle between sin and virtue, overeating and self-control—a struggle with the fierce temptations of gluttony.
In Gluttony, Francine Prose serves up a marvelous banquet of witty and engaging observations on this most delicious of deadly sins. She traces how our notions of gluttony have evolved along with our ideas about salvation and damnation, health and illness, life and death. Offering a lively smorgasbord that ranges from Augustine’s Confessions and Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale, to Petronius’s Satyricon and Dante’s Inferno, she shows that gluttony was in medieval times a deeply spiritual matter, but today we have transformed gluttony from a sin into an illness—it is the horrors of cholesterol and the perils of red meat that we demonize. Indeed, the modern take on gluttony is that we overeat out of compulsion, self-destructiveness, or to avoid intimacy and social contact. But gluttony, Prose reminds us, is also an affirmation of pleasure and of passion. She ends the book with a discussion of M.F.K. Fisher’s idiosyncratic defense of one of the great heroes of gluttony, Diamond Jim Brady, whose stomach was six times normal size.
“The broad, shiny face of the glutton,” Prose writes, “has been—and continues to be—the mirror in which we see ourselves, our hopes and fears, our darkest dreams and deepest desires.” Never have we delved more deeply into this mirror than in this insightful and stimulating book.
Taylor Marshall - Sword and Serpent
Every Legend Has A Beginning The year is A.D. 299. Diocletian rules the Roman Empire. And the gods have suddenly fallen silent. 17-year-old Jurian doesn’t have time for the gods. He’s trying to hold his family together after his father died in disgrace, and piety -- even to the Christ -- just isn’t practical. But then a ruthless enemy targets his family, forcing Jurian to make a choice: will he pursue the glory he’s always wanted, or will he sacrifice everything to protect a faith that was never really his own? On the other side of the Empire, the young priestess Sabra shields her people from the terrible vengeance of the old god she serves. But even as she offers the dark and bloody sacrifices the god demands, visions of desolation haunt her dreams. As suspicion tightens its stranglehold on her city, Sabra must unravel the mystery of the god’s portents before everything she’s ever loved is destroyed. Fear of the gods’ silence sparks a bloody persecution that will soon consume the Empire. As the fires of suspicion and hatred ignite around them, Jurian and Sabra are drawn together by a mysterious prophecy...one that will set them on a journey to battle an evil beyond imagining. Saints aren’t born. They are forged.
Greg Keyes - The Charnel Prince
The Briar King has woken and, with the aid of monsters formerly found only in folk tales, is destroying the forest and the people who live on its bounty. Aspar White, the king's forester, has been assigned the impossible task of killing the fearsome newcomer, but will discover that nothing about the Briar King is as straightforward as expected. Meanwhile Leoff, young composer and self-professed coward, becomes embroiled in the horror of a town's destruction - motivated by an intrigue that leads him to the aid of Muriele, widowed Queen of Crotheny. As she fights to save her family, the queen despatches a trusted knight, Neil, to save her youngest daughter - in whose hands may rest the entire kingdom's future. But as prophecies, saviours and assassins close in, the mother's plan may leave Princess Anne - and the kingdom - as vulnerable as ever.
N. K. Jemisin - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Yeine Darr is heir to the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She is also an outcast. Until, that is, her mother dies under mysterious circumstances. Summoned by her grandfather to the majestic city of Sky, Yeine finds herself thrust into a vicious power struggle for the throne. As she fights for her life, she comes ever closer to discovering the truth about her mother’s death and her family’s bloody history – as well as the unsettling truths within herself. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate are bound inseparably together, for both mortals and gods alike.
Mark Lawrence - Red Sister
_The international bestselling author of the Broken Empire and the Red Queen’s War trilogies begins a stunning epic fantasy series about a secretive order of holy warriors..._ At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls. A bloodstained child of eight falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass’s care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family — and new enemies. Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself. Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.
Dan Brown - Origin
In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture into this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind’s two most enduring questions, and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.
James Baldwin - The Fire Next Time
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Books of Earthsea
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the timeless and beloved _A Wizard of Earthsea_ —“…reads like the retelling of a tale first told centuries ago,” (David Mitchell)—comes this complete omnibus edition of the entire Earthsea chronicles, including over fifty illustrations illuminating Le Guin’s vision of her classic saga. Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels are some of the most acclaimed and awarded works in literature—they have received prestigious accolades such as the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, the Nebula Award, and many more honors, commemorating their enduring place in the hearts and minds of readers and the literary world alike. Now for the first time ever, they’re all together in one volume—including the early short stories, Le Guin’s “Earthsea Revisioned” Oxford lecture, and a new Earthsea story, never before printed. With a new introduction by Le Guin herself, this essential edition will also include fifty illustrations by renowned artist Charles Vess, specially commissioned and selected by Le Guin, to bring her refined vision of Earthsea and its people to life in a totally new way. [Stories include: “A Wizard of Earthsea”, “The Tombs of Atuan”, “The Farthest Shore”, “Tehanu”, “Tales From Earthsea”, “The Other Wind”, “The Rule of Names”, “The Word of Unbinding”, “The Daughter of Odren”, and “Earthsea Revisioned: A Lecture at Oxford University”.] With stories as perennial and universally beloved as _The Chronicles of Narnia_ and _The Lord of The Rings_—but also unlike anything but themselves—this edition is perfect for those new to the world of Earthsea, as well as those who are well-acquainted with its enchanting magic: to know Earthsea is to love it.
Lois McMaster Bujold - Paladin of Souls
Follow Lois McMaster Bujold, one of the most honored authors in the field of fantasy and science fiction, to a land threatened by treacherous war and beset by demons -- as a royal dowager, released from the curse of madness and manipulated by an untrustworthy god, is plunged into a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm.
N. K. Jemisin - The Kingdom of Gods
For two thousand years the Arameri family has ruled the world by enslaving the very gods that created mortalkind. Now the gods are free, and the Arameri’s ruthless grip is slipping. Yet they are all that stands between peace and world-spanning, unending war. Shahar, last scion of the family, must choose her loyalties. She yearns to trust Sieh, the godling she loves. Yet her duty as Arameri heir is to uphold the family’s interests, even if that means using and destroying everyone she cares for. As long-suppressed rage and terrible new magics consume the world, the Maelstrom — which even gods fear — is summoned forth. Shahar and Sieh: mortal and god, lovers and enemies. Can they stand together against the chaos that threatens the Kingdom of the Gods?
Philip K. Dick - The Divine Invasion
What if God were alive and in exile on a distant planet? And what if He wanted to come back? This is the unsettling and exhilirating premise of The Divine Invasion, the second novel in the trilogy that includes _VALIS_ and _The Transmigration of Timothy Archer._
Tiffany Reisz - The Saint
The Original Sinners: The White Years Only they could save each other from the sins of their fathers...She's never met a rule she didn't want to break Rebellious Eleanor is sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never go to church again. He's the one man she can't have But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Marcus Stearns - Soren to her and only her - is an epiphany. Eleanor is consumed - yet even she knows being in love with a priest can't be right. But some rules are just made to be broken...And then a whole world opens when Soren reveals to her his deepest secrets that will change everything.
Anne Rice - The Road to Cana
Anne Rice's second book in her hugely ambitious and courageous life of Christ begins during his last winter before his baptism in the Jordan and concludes with the miracle at Cana. It is a novel in which we see Jesus—he is called Yeshua bar Joseph—during a winter of no rain, endless dust, and talk of trouble in Judea. Legends of a Virgin birth have long surrounded Yeshua, yet for decades he has lived as one among many who come to the synagogue on the Sabbath. All who know and love him find themselves waiting for some sign of the path he will eventually take. And at last we see him emerge from his baptism to confront his destiny—and the Devil. We see what happens when he takes the water of six great limestone jars, transforms it into cool red wine, is recognized as the anointed one, and urged to call all Israel to take up arms against Rome and follow him as the prophets have foretold. As with Out of Egypt, the opening novel, The Road to Cana is based on the Gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship. The book's power derives from the profound feeling its author brings to the writing and the way in which she summons up the presence of Jesus.
Janette Oke - Davis Bunn - The Centurion's Wife
Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma. Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions. Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor. This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, The Centurion's Wife unfolds the testing of loyalties--between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.
Janette Oke - Davis Bunn - The Damascus Way
Julia has everything money can buy...except for acceptance by either the Gentiles or the Jews. Her Greek father already has a wife and family, leaving Julia and her Hebrew mother second-class citizens. But when they are introduced to followers of the Way, they become part of that community of believers. Abigail's brother, Jacob, now a young man, is attempting to discover his own place as a Christian. He is concerned that being more serious about his faith means trading away the exhilaration of his current profession as a caravan guard. Hired by Julia's father to protect the wealthy merchant's caravans on the secretive "Frankincense Trail"--undercover transport of this highly valuable commodity--Jacob also passes letters and messages between various communities of believers. He is alarmed to find out that Julia, hardly more than a girl, is also a messenger. Can their immediate mistrust be put aside to finally bring their hearts together?
Aleatha Romig - Away from the Dark
Nine months ago, Sara Adams awoke with no memory. The man holding her hand told her she’s a member of The Light, a tight-knit religious group led by the terrifying and charismatic Father Gabriel. As a woman in the community of The Light, her duty is to be unquestionably obedient and to submit to the will of her husband. But as Sara’s memory starts to return and she remembers her past, she sees that everything she’s been told is a lie. The Light is an insidious and dangerous organization, and its corrupting influence reaches well beyond the confines of the remote campus where Sara is being held. With everything at stake, Sara struggles to sort out her true memories from her indoctrination. The desire to escape consumes her, but who can she trust? And which other followers of The Light were forced into this life, brainwashed to believe they belonged? The more she remembers, the more it becomes clear that Jacob, the man who calls himself her husband, is keeping shattering secrets of his own. But Sara cannot flee alone, leaving innocents behind. She must fight to extinguish The Light.
Aleatha Romig - Into the Light
Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light. Stella Montgomery investigates the news on the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella investigates—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel. As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price…
Tim LaHaye - Jerry B. Jenkins - Tribulation Force
In one cataclysmic moment, millions around the globe disappear. Those left behind face war, famine, plagues, and natural disasters so devastating that only one in four people will survive. Odds are even worse for enemies of the Antichrist and his new world order. Rayford Steele, Buck Williams, Bruce Barnes, and Chloe Steele band together to form the Tribulation Force. Their task is clear, and their goal is nothing less than to stand and fight the enemies of God during the seven most chaotic years the planet will ever see.
Ian Tregillis - The Mechanical
My name is Jax. That is the name granted to me by my human masters. I am a slave. But I shall be free. Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, the new novel from Ian Tregillis confirms his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction. PRAISE FOR IAN TREGILLIS "A major new talent." George R.R. Martin "Tremendous." Cory Doctorow "Addictively brilliant." io9 "Exciting and intense." Publishers Weekly "Eloquent and utterly compelling." Kirkus
Hal Clement - Heavy Planet
Discover MESKLIN - Gravity: 3g at the equator, 700g at the poles! Hal Clement is a Grand Master of SF, and the one most associated with the subgenre of hard SF. From his classic stories in Astounding in the 1940s through his novels of the 1950s and on to the recent _Half Life_, he has made a lasting impression on SF readers, and on writers, too. For many of them, Clement's work is the model of how to write hard SF, and this book contains the reasons why. Here are all the tales of bizarre, unforgettable Mesklin: the classic novel _Mission of Gravity_ and its sequel, _Star Light_, as well as the short stories "Under" and "Lecture Demonstration." Also included is "Whirligig World," the famous essay Clement published in Astounding in 1953. It describes the rigorous process he used to create his intriguingly plausible high-gravity planet, with its odd flattened shape, its day less than eighteen minutes long, and its many-limbed, noble natives. Come to Mesklin and learn why _The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction_ called _Mission of Gravity_ "one of the best loved novels in SF."