To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work. Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. Read more about Room: Knit 1, Read Too!
In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann's stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people. Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author's most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth. Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann's powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city's people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the "artistic crime of the century." A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a "fiercely original talent" (San Francisco Chronicle), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal. Read more about Let the Great World Spin: Knit 1, Read Too!
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Phenix City, Alabama, from its founding during the Civil War, has been the dirty, not-so-little secret of the South. It is a riverside no-man's land, a place where a blind eye has historically been turned to vice of every sort, including prostitution, gambling, and even murder. Atkins shows us Phenix City in its 1950s hey-day, where a battle is building between a handful of decent citizens and the underworld willing to do anything to maintain their control. Atkins draws from the worlds of pulp and Faulkner, using characters from the town's true history to tell a story of the best and worst of morality, and the ambiguity in between.Read more about Knit 1, Read Too!: Wicked City
In the 1950s the "wickedest city in America" was not Las Vegas but Phenix City, AL. Located just across the Chattahoochee River from Columbus, GA, and nearby Fort Benning, it was a notorious haven for gamblers, prostitutes (about a thousand in a town of 23,000 people), con men, and murderers. Worse, this cesspool of vice and human depravity was run by a corrupt political and law enforcement machine that thwarted any attempt at reform with intimidation and violence. But the 1954 assassination of Attorney General-elect Albert Patterson, who had vowed to clean up Phenix City, set events in motion that would change this town forever. Atkins's sixth novel (after White Shadow) and the first set in his home state of Alabama is a fictionalized retelling of this chilling murder and its dramatic aftermath. As reflected in Atkins's use of shifting narratives between the first-person voice of Lamar Murphy, a boxer-turned-gas station owner who becomes the town's new reform-minded sheriff, and the third-person perspectives of the criminals who stop at nothing to hold onto their power, this is the classic Western tale of good vs. evil, "played out not with horses and Winchesters but with Chevys and Fords and .38s and switchblades." The result is a gripping, superb crime story, all the more remarkable because it really did happen. Read more about K1R2: Wicked City
It's easier to talk about small things because the big things in life are far too complex and painful. But even small things can loom large, and everything can change, radically, in a day, a moment. These are the sort of big things first-time novelist Roy ponders in this highly original and exquisitely crafted tale set in the tiny river town of Ayemenem in Kerala, India. The story revolves around a pair of twins, brother and sister, whose mother has left her violent husband to live with her blind mother and kind, if ineffectual, brother, Chacko. Chacko's ex-wife, an Englishwoman, has returned to Ayemenem after a long absence, bringing along her and Chacko's lovely young daughter. Their arrival not only unsettles the already tenuous balance of the divisive household, it also coincides with political unrest. The twins and their cousin--each brimming with vernal intelligence, innocent love and longing, curiosity and fear--barely have time to get acquainted before tragedy strikes, first in the form of an accident (caused by carelessness in love), then murder (the result of ancient prejudice). Roy's intricate, enchanting, and often wry tale is positively mythical in its cosmic inevitability, evocative circularity, and paradoxical wisdom. --Donna Seaman Read more about K1R2
Set in Kerala, India, in 1969, The God Of Small Things is the story of seven-year-old twins Rahel and Estha, born of a wealthy family and literally joined at the soul. Rahel and Estha are cared for by a host of compelling characters: their beautiful mother, Ammu, who has left a violent husband; their Marxist uncle, Chacko, still pining for his English wife and daughter who left him; their prickly grandaunt, Baby Kochamma, pickling in her virginity; and the volatile Veluth, a member of the Untouchable caste. When Chacko's ex-wife, Margaret, and lovely daughter, Sophie, unexpectedly return, the household is thrown into disarray. Tragedy strikes in the form of an accident (that may not have been accidental) and a terrifying murder. Read more about Knit 1, Read Too: God of Small Things
We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds. Read more about Knit 1, Read Too!: Little Bee
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm--and into Edgar's mother's affections.
Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires--spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward. Read more about Knit 1, Read Too!: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Dracula chronicles the vampire's journey from Transylvania to the nighttime streets of London. There, he searches for the blood of strong men and beautiful women while his enemies plot to rid the world of his frightful power. In it, Stoker created a new word for terror, a new myth to feed our nightmares, and a character who will outlive us all. Read more about Knit 1, Read Too!: Dracula