This Might Be Too Personal: And Other Intimate Stories by Alyssa Shelasky

This Might Be Too Personal: And Other Intimate Stories by Alyssa Shelasky

A frisky, feminine, funny, and profoundly genuine essay collection on relationships, sex, motherhood, and finding yourself, by the editor of New York Magazine’s Sex Diaries.

Alyssa Shelasky has a lot to tell you.

In this down-to-earth and dazzling essay collection, Alyssa navigates life as a wild-hearted woman and a career as a sex, relationship, and celebrity writer in New York City. From debating whether or not to mention her same-day abortion appointment during her interview with Sarah Jessica Parker, to deciding to have a baby via a sperm donor and her subsequent post-partum exorcism (she was possessed), to finding her life partner but vowing to never get married, Shelasky’s essays paint a profoundly genuine, romantic, and hilarious portrait of a woman who refuses to settle, who loves deeply (sometimes to her detriment), and who isn’t afraid to give you every single intimate detail—seriously.

This Might Be Too Personal is like dishing with your best friend who has packed in ten lives’ worth of experiences into one. Told in a refreshing candor with jolts of humor, undeniable relatability, and irresistible energy, Shelasky’s book is the ultimate meditation on vulnerability, big feelings, motherhood, feminism, and independence.

Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces by Elamin Abdelmahmoud

Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces by Elamin Abdelmahmoud

“It took two stopovers and nineteen hours of total flying time for me to become Black. I left Khartoum as a popular and charming (and modest) preteen, and I landed in Canada with two new identities: immigrant, and Black.”

At twelve years old, Elamin Abdelmahmoud emigrates with his family from his native Sudan to Kingston, Ontario, arguably one of the most homogenous cities in North America. At the airport, he’s handed his Blackness like a passport, and realizes that he needs to learn what this identity means in a new country.

Like all teens, Abdelmahmoud spent his adolescence trying to figure out who he was, but he had to do it while learning to balance a new racial identity and all the false assumptions that came with it. Abdelmahmoud learned to fit in, and eventually became “every liberal white dad’s favorite person in the room.” But after many years spent trying on different identities, he now must face the parts of himself he’s kept suppressed all this time. He asks, “What happens when those identities stage a jailbreak?”

In his debut collection of essays, Abdelmahmoud gives full voice to each and every one of these conflicting identities. Whether reflecting on how The O.C. taught him about falling in love, why watching wrestling allowed him to reinvent himself, or what it was like being a Muslim teen in the aftermath of 9/11, Abdelmahmoud explores how our experiences and our environments help us in the continuing task of defining who we truly are.

With the perfect balance of relatable humor and intellectual ferocity, Son of Elsewhere confronts what we know about ourselves and, most important, what we’re still learning.

Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman

Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman

A young woman arrives in Los Angeles determined to start over and discovers she doesn’t need to leave everything behind after all, from Abbi Waxman, USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn’t expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren’t sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work.

The Red Arrow: A novel by William Brewer

The Red Arrow: A novel by William Brewer

When a once-promising young writer agrees to ghostwrite a famous physicist’s memoir, his livelihood is already in jeopardy: Plagued by debt, he’s grown distant from his wife—a successful AI designer—and is haunted by an overwhelming sense of dread he describes as “The Mist.” Then, things get worse: The physicist vanishes, leaving everything in limbo, including our narrator’s sanity.

Desperate for relief, the young writer undergoes an experimental, psychedelic treatment and finds his world completely transformed: Joy suffuses every moment. For the first time, he understands himself in a larger, universal context, and feels his life shift, refract, and crack open to reveal his past and future alike.

Moving swiftly from a chemical spill in West Virginia to Silicon Valley, from a Brooklyn art studio to a high-speed train racing across the Italian countryside, The Red Arrow wades into the shadowy depths of the human psyche only to emerge, as if speeding through a mile-long tunnel, into a world that is so bright and wondrous, it almost feels completely new.

The Emma Project: A Novel by Sonali Dev

The Emma Project: A Novel by Sonali Dev

Emma gets a fresh Indian-American twist from award-winning author Sonali Dev in her heartwarmingly irresistible Jane Austen inspired rom com series.

No one can call Vansh Raje’s life anything but charmed. Handsome—Vogue has declared him California’s hottest single—and rich enough to spend all his time on missions to make the world a better place. Add to that a doting family and a contagiously sunny disposition and Vansh has made it halfway through his twenties without ever facing anything to throw him off his admittedly spectacular game.

A couple years from turning forty, Knightlina (Naina) Kohli has just gotten out of a ten-year-long fake relationship with Vansh’s brother and wants only one thing from her life…fine, two things. One, to have nothing to do with the unfairly blessed Raje family ever again. Two, to bring economic independence to millions of women in South Asia through her microfinance foundation and prove her father wrong about, well, everything.

Just when Naina’s dream is about to come to fruition, Vansh Raje shows up with his misguided Emma Project… And suddenly she’s fighting him for funding and wondering if a friends-with-benefits arrangement that’s as toe-curlingly hot as it is fun is worth risking her life’s work for.

River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard

River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard

The harrowing story of one of the great feats of exploration of all time and its complicated legacy—from the New York Times bestselling author of The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic

For millennia the location of the Nile River’s headwaters was shrouded in mystery. In the 19th century, there was a frenzy of interest in ancient Egypt. At the same time, European powers sent off waves of explorations intended to map the unknown corners of the globe – and extend their colonial empires.

Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were sent by the Royal Geographical Society to claim the prize for England. Burton spoke twenty-nine languages, and was a decorated soldier. He was also mercurial, subtle, and an iconoclastic atheist. Speke was a young aristocrat and Army officer determined to make his mark, passionate about hunting, Burton’s opposite in temperament and beliefs.

From the start the two men clashed. They would endure tremendous hardships, illness, and constant setbacks. Two years in, deep in the African interior, Burton became too sick to press on, but Speke did, and claimed he found the source in a great lake that he christened Lake Victoria. When they returned to England, Speke rushed to take credit, disparaging Burton. Burton disputed his claim, and Speke launched another expedition to Africa to prove it. The two became venomous enemies, with the public siding with the more charismatic Burton, to Speke’s great envy. The day before they were to publicly debate,Speke shot himself.

Yet there was a third man on both expeditions, his name obscured by imperial annals, whose exploits were even more extraordinary. This was Sidi Mubarak Bombay, who was enslaved and shipped from his home village in East Africa to India. When the man who purchased him died, he made his way into the local Sultan’s army, and eventually traveled back to Africa, where he used his resourcefulness, linguistic prowess and raw courage to forge a living as a guide. Without Bombay and men like him, who led, carried, and protected the expedition, neither Englishman would have come close to the headwaters of the Nile, or perhaps even survived.

In River of the Gods Candice Millard has written another peerless story of courage and adventure, set against the backdrop of the race to exploit Africa by the colonial powers.

A History of the World in 100 Animals by Simon Barnes

A History of the World in 100 Animals by Simon Barnes

Fully illustrated in color, a fascinating exploration of the one hundred animals that have had the most profound influence on humanity throughout the ages.

We are not alone. We are not alone on the planet. We are not alone in the countryside. We are not alone in cities. We are not alone in our homes. We are humans and we love the idea of our uniqueness. But the fact is that we humans are as much members of the animal kingdom as the cats and dogs we surround ourselves with, the cows and the fish we eat, and the bees who pollinate so many of our food-plants.

In The History of the World in 100 Animals, award-winning author Simon Barnes selects the one hundred animals who have had the greatest impact on humanity and on whom humanity has had the greatest effect. He shows how we have domesticated animals for food and for transport, and how animals powered agriculture, making civilisation possible. A species of flea came close to destroying human civilisation in Europe, while the slaughter of a species of bovines was used to create one civilisation and destroy another. He explains how pigeons made possible the biggest single breakthrough in the history of human thought. In short, he charts the close relationship between humans and animals, finding examples from around the planet that bring the story of life on earth vividly to life, with great insight and understanding.

The heresy of human uniqueness has led us across the millennia along the path of destruction. This book, beautifully illustrated throughout, helps us to understand our place in the world better, so that we might do a better job of looking after it. That might save the polar bears, the modern emblem of impending loss and destruction. It might even save ourselves.

Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair (Signed First Edition)

Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair (Signed First Edition)

Selma Blair has played many roles: Ingenue in Cruel Intentions. Preppy ice queen in Legally Blonde. Muse to Karl Lagerfeld. Advocate for the multiple sclerosis community. But before all of that, Selma was known best as … a mean baby. In a memoir that is as wildly funny as it is emotionally shattering, Blair tells the captivating story of growing up and finding her truth.

“Blair is a rebel, an artist, and it turns out: a writer.” —Glennon Doyle, Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Untamed and Founder of Together Rising

The first story Selma Blair Beitner ever heard about herself is that she was a mean, mean baby. With her mouth pulled in a perpetual snarl and a head so furry it had to be rubbed to make way for her forehead, Selma spent years living up to her terrible reputation: biting her sisters, lying spontaneously, getting drunk from Passover wine at the age of seven, and behaving dramatically so that she would be the center of attention.

Although Selma went on to become a celebrated Hollywood actress and model, she could never quite shake the periods of darkness that overtook her, the certainty that there was a great mystery at the heart of her life. She often felt like her arms might be on fire, a sensation not unlike electric shocks, and she secretly drank to escape.

Over the course of this beautiful and, at times, devasting memoir, Selma lays bare her addiction to alcohol, her devotion to her brilliant and complicated mother, and the moments she flirted with death. There is brutal violence, passionate love, true friendship, the gift of motherhood, and, finally, the surprising salvation of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

In a voice that is powerfully original, fiercely intelligent, and full of hard-won wisdom, Selma Blair’s Mean Baby is a deeply human memoir and a true literary achievement.

Violeta (Spanish Edition) by Isabel Allende

Violeta (Spanish Edition) by Isabel Allende

La épica y emocionante historia de una mujer cuya vida abarca los momentos históricos más relevantes del siglo XX.

Desde 1920 -con la llamada «gripe española»- hasta la pandemia de 2020, la vida de Violeta será mucho más que la historia de un siglo.

Violeta viene al mundo un tormentoso día de 1920, siendo la primera niña de una familia de cinco bulliciosos hermanos. Desde el principio su vida estará marcada por acontecimientos extraordinarios, pues todavía se sienten las ondas expansivas de la Gran Guerra cuando la gripe española llega a las orillas de su país sudamericano natal, casi en el momento exacto de su nacimiento.

Gracias a la clarividencia del padre, la familia saldrá indemne de esta crisis para darse de bruces con una nueva, cuando la Gran Depresión altera la elegante vida urbana que Violeta ha conocido hasta ahora. Su familia lo perderá todo y se verá obligada a retirarse a una región salvaje y remota del país. Allí Violeta alcanzará la mayoría de edad y tendrá su primer pretendiente…

En una carta dirigida a una persona a la que ama por encima de todas las demás, Violeta rememora devastadores desengaños amorosos y romances apasionados, momentos de pobreza y también de prosperidad, pérdidas terribles e inmensas alegrías. Moldearán su vida algunos de los grandes sucesos de la historia: la lucha por los derechos de la mujer, el auge y caída de tiranos y, en última instancia, no una, sino dos pandemias.

Vista con los ojos de una mujer poseedora de una pasión, una determinación y un sentido del humor inolvidables que la sostienen a lo largo de una vida turbulenta, Isabel Allende nos regala, una vez más, una historia épica furiosamente inspiradora y profundamente emotiva.

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