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, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year–September through May–to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.
In “The Happiness Project, ” she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood. How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her family’s treasured possessions? And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.
Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions–and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well.
With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy, and experimentation, Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.
of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? It’s the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes—the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. Jeffrey Eugenides creates a new kind of contemporary love story in “his most powerful novel yet” (“Newsweek”).
Llama Llama has new neighbors! Nelly Gnu and her mama stop by for a play date, but Llama’s not so sure it’s time to share “all” his toys. Maybe just his blocks? It could be fun to make a castle with Nelly . . . But wait–Nelly has Llama’s little Fuzzy Llama! The fun turns to tears when Fuzzy Llama is ripped in two, “all because of Nelly Gnu!” Mama comes to the rescue and fixes Fuzzy, but she makes it clear: “I’ll put Fuzzy on the stairs, until you’re “sure” that you can share.”
Fun to read aloud and helpful to children and parents alike, “Llama Llama Time to Share” is for any child who needs a little encouragement in sharing.
After more than 120 years, the regalia worn by Arapaho Chief Black Heart in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show were supposed to be returned to his people. But the cartons containing the relics were empty when they arrived at the Arapaho museum. Rancher and Indian artifact collector Trevor Pratt had them shipped from Germany and believes thieves must have stolen them en route. Vicki and Father John suspect Trevor knows more about the theft than he’s telling–a suspicion that’s confirmed when they witness a car speeding from his home and he’s found murdered inside. To find the killer, they must first uncover the truth about a blood feud between two Arapaho families–and the original theft of Black Heart’s possessions dating back more than a century…
Skandians, as any fan of Ranger’s Apprentice can tell you, are known for their physical strength. Though Hal, Stig, and the other outcasts may be lacking in that area, they more than make up for it with their intellect and courage–which they’ll need every ounce of if they’re to compete in the ultimate competition. From tests of strategy to races on treacherous seas, these Skandians will be pitted against some of their country’s most promising young warriors. And for some it’s more than just a game. It’s war.
In Mitch Albom’s newest work of fiction, the inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time. He returns to our world–now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began–and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so. Told in Albom’s signature spare, evocative prose, this remarkably original tale will inspire readers everywhere to reconsider their own notions of time, how they spend it and how precious it truly is.
David Mathews, the wildly popular candidate expected to win the Colorado governor’s seat, has been murdered. His death has made headlines across the nation and Denver’s police are scrambling to solve the high-profile case. Mathews’s estranged wife Sydney had motive–her husband’s infidelities–and when the gun used to kill him is discovered in the couple’s mountain home, Sydney is arrested and charged with first-degree homicide. Catherine McLeod is covering the story for “The Denver Journal” and receives a call from an anonymous woman claiming she saw the real killer leave the scene of the crime but is afraid to confide in the police. To uncover the truth, Catherine must risk her career–and her life–to find the witness who can identify Mathews’s murderer: Detective Ryan Beckman.
Arthur Opp is heartbreaking. A 58-year old former professor of literature, he weighs 550 lbs., hasn t left his Brooklyn apartment in years and is acutely attuned to both the painful and analgesic dimensions of his self-imposed solitude. Kel Keller, a handsome and popular high school athlete whose mother drinks too much to take care of him or even herself, faces his own wrenching struggles. The pair, apparently connected only by a slender thread, at first seem unlikely as co-narrators and protagonists of this novel, but they both become genuine heroes as their separate journeys through loneliness finally intersect. Though Moore s narrative is often deeply sad, it is never maudlin. She writes with compassion and emotional insight but resists sentimentality, briskly moving her plot forward, building suspense and empathy. Most impressive is her ability to thoroughly inhabit the minds of Arthur and Kel; these are robust, complex characters to champion, not pity. The single word of the title is obviously a reference to Arthur s morbid obesity, but it also alludes to the weight of true feelings and the courage needed to confront them. Heft leads to hope.
Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes.
Mina is Hayat’s mother’s oldest friend from Pakistan. She is independent, beautiful and intelligent, and arrives on the Shah’s doorstep when her disastrous marriage in Pakistan disintegrates. Even Hayat’s skeptical father can’t deny the liveliness and happiness that accompanies Mina into their home. Her deep spirituality brings the family’s Muslim faith to life in a way that resonates with Hayat as nothing has before. Studying the Quran by Mina’s side and basking in the glow of her attention, he feels an entirely new purpose mingled with a growing infatuation for his teacher.
When Mina meets and begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions, both spiritual and romantic, force him to question all that he has come to believe is true. Just as Mina finds happiness, Hayat is compelled to act — with devastating consequences for all those he loves most.
A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits; an American law student rejected by love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House; a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy; and two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution. From the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty, “Fall of Giants” takes readers into the inextricably entangled fates of five families-and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again.