The Best Cultural eBooks




Paris in Love
by Eloisa James
Paris in Love

In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: she sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris. Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow or cars to park, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life — discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools — not to mention puberty — in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law Marina’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as Marina overfeeds Milo, the family dog).
Paris in Love invites the reader into the life of a most enchanting family, framed by la ville de l’amour.


 



The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
by Alexander McCall Smith
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
Sorry, no description about this book. :(

 



The Duke's Perfect Wife
by Jennifer Ashley
The Duke's Perfect Wife

Lady Eleanor Ramsay is the only one who knows the truth about Hart Mackenzie. Once his fiancee, she is the sole woman to whom he could ever pour out his heart.

Hart has it all-a dukedom, wealth, power, influence, whatever he desires. Every woman wants him-his seductive skills are legendary. But Hart has sacrificed much to keep his brothers safe, first from their brutal father, and then from the world. He's also suffered loss-his wife, his infant son, and the woman he loved with all his heart though he realized it too late.

Now, Eleanor has reappeared on Hart's doorstep, with scandalous nude photographs of Hart taken long ago. Intrigued by the challenge in her blue eyes-and aroused by her charming, no-nonsense determination-Hart wonders if his young love has come to ruin him… or save him.


 



French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
by Karen Le Billon
French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters

Moving her young family to her husband's hometown in northern France, Karen Le Billon is prepared for some cultural adjustment but is surprised by the food education she and her family (at first unwillingly) receive. In contrast to her daughters, French children feed themselves neatly and happily — eating everything from beets to broccoli, salad to spinach, mussels to muesli. The family's food habits soon come under scrutiny, as Karen is lectured for slipping her fussing toddler a snack — "a recipe for obesity!" — and forbidden from packing her older daughter a lunch in lieu of the elaborate school meal.

The family soon begins to see the wisdom in the "food rules" that help the French foster healthy eating habits and good manners — from the rigid "no snacking" rule to commonsense food routines that we used to share but have somehow forgotten. Soon, the family cures picky eating and learns to love trying new foods. But the real challenge comes when they move back to North America — where their commitment to "eating French" is put to the test. The result is a family food revolution with surprising but happy results — which suggest we need to dramatically rethink the way we feed children, at home and at school.


 



Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
by Paul French
Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China

Winner of the both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Non-Fiction DaggerPeking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner's body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? Or perhaps the dreaded fox spirits? With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives — one British and one Chinese — race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever. Can they find the killer in time, before the Japanese invade?

Historian and China expert Paul French at last uncovers the truth behind this notorious murder, and offers a rare glimpse of the last days of colonial Peking.


 



The Book of Madness and Cures
by Regina O'Melveny
The Book of Madness and Cures

Dr. Gabriella Mondini, a strong-willed, young Venetian woman, has followed her father in the path of medicine. She possesses a singleminded passion for the art of physick, even though, in 1590, the male-dominated establishment is reluctant to accept a woman doctor. So when her father disappears on a mysterious journey, Gabriella's own status in the Venetian medical society is threatened. Her father has left clues-beautiful, thoughtful, sometimes torrid, and often enigmatic letters from his travels as he researches his vast encyclopedia, The Book of Diseases.

After ten years of missing his kindness, insight, and guidance, Gabriella decides to set off on a quest to find him-a daunting journey that will take her through great university cities, centers of medicine, and remote villages across Europe. Despite setbacks, wary strangers, and the menaces of the road, the young doctor bravely follows the clues to her lost father, all while taking notes on maladies and treating the ill to supplement her own work.

Gorgeous and brilliantly written, and filled with details about science, medicine, food, and madness, THE BOOK OF MADNESS AND CURES is an unforgettable debut.


 



The Headmaster's Wager
by Vincent Lam
The Headmaster's Wager

From Giller Prize winner, internationally acclaimed, and bestselling author Vincent Lam comes a superbly crafted, highly suspenseful, and deeply affecting novel set against the turmoil of the Vietnam War.
Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English school in Saigon. He is also a bon vivant, a compulsive gambler and an incorrigible womanizer. He is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of the Chen Academy. He is fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, and quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, choosing instead to read the faces of his opponents at high-stakes mahjong tables. But when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage, and Laing Jai, a son born to them on the eve of the Tet offensive. Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further and further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.
Blessed with intriguingly flawed characters moving through a richly drawn historical and physical landscape, The Headmaster's Wager is a riveting story of love, betrayal and sacrifice.


 



Between Shades of Gray
by Ruta Sepetys
Between Shades of Gray

It's 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin's extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It's a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?


 



Empress of the Seven Hills
by Kate Quinn
Empress of the Seven Hills

From the national bestselling author of Daughters of Rome and Mistress of Rome comes a tale of love, power, and intrigue spanning the wilds of the Empire to the seven hills of Rome. Powerful, prosperous, and expanding ever farther into the untamed world, the Roman Empire has reached its zenith under the rule of the beloved Emperor Trajan. But neither Trajan nor his reign can last forever…

Brash and headstrong, Vix is a celebrated ex-gladiator returned to Rome to make his fortune. The sinuous, elusive Sabina is a senator's daughter who craves adventure. Sometimes lovers, sometimes enemies, Vix and Sabina are united by their devotion to Trajan. But others are already maneuvering in the shadows. Trajan's ambitious Empress has her own plans for Sabina. And the aristocratic Hadrian-the Empress's ruthless protégé and Vix's mortal enemy-has ambitions he confesses to no one, ambitions rooted in a secret prophecy.

When Trajan falls, the hardened soldier, the enigmatic empress, the adventurous girl, and the scheming politician will all be caught in a deadly whirlwind of desire and death that may seal their fates, and that of the entire Roman Empire…


 



Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down
by Rosecrans Baldwin
Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down

A self-described Francophile from when he was little, Rosecrans Baldwin always dreamed of living in Paris — drinking le café, eating les croissants, walking in les jardins — so when an opportunity presented itself to work for an advertising agency in Paris, he couldn’t turn it down. Despite the fact that he had no experience in advertising. And despite the fact that he barely spoke French. After an unimaginable amount of red tape and bureaucracy, Rosecrans and his wife packed up their Brooklyn apartment and left the Big Apple for the City of Light. But when they arrived, things were not eactly what Rosecrans remembered from a family vacation when he was nine years old.

Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down is a nimble comic account of observing the French capital from the inside out. It is an exploration of the Paris of Sarkozy, text-message romances, smoking bans, and a McDonald’s beneath the Louvre — the story of an American who arrives loving Paris all out of proportion, but finds life there to be completely unlike what he expected. Over eighteen months, Rosecrans must rely on his dogged American optimism to get him through some very unromantic situations — at work (writing booklets on how to breast-feed, raise, and nurture children), at home (trying to finish writing his first novel in an apartment surrounded on all sides by construction workers), and at every confusing French dinner party in between. An offbeat update to the expat canon, Paris, I Love You is a book about a young man finding his preconceptions replaced by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy city — which is just what he needs to fall in love with Paris for the second time.


 



The Last Romanov
by Dora Levy Mossanen
The Last Romanov

She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majesty. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for those murderous events that changed everything?

If only she can find the heir, maybe she can put together the broken pieces of her own past — maybe she can hold on to the love she found.

Bursting to life with the rich and glorious marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale of second chances and royal blood.


 



Preloved
by Shirley Marr
Preloved

If you had a second chance at love, would you do it all over again?

Amy has enough to deal with for one lifetime. A superstitious Chinese mother. A best friend whose mood changes as dramatically as her hair colour. A reputation for being strange. The last thing she needs is to be haunted by someone only she can see.

Logan is a ghost from the Eighties. He could be dangerous. He's certainly annoying.

He might also be Amy's dream boy.


 



Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
by Blaine Harden
Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived.

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150, 000 and 200, 000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.


 



The King's Agent
by Donna Russo Morin
The King's Agent

"Russo Morin skillfully blends historical fiction and fantasy in surprising ways. She draws effortlessly upon influences ranging from Dante to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the authority of her presentation makes the world she’s created come alive. A wonderfully action-packed ride through the lush landscape of Renaissance Italy." Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

The King’s Agent is based loosely on the life of Battista della Palla-a patriotic plunderer, a religious rogue-of the 16th century, a lifelong friend to the great Michelangelo.

As the cloistered ward of the Marquess of Mantua, Lady Aurelia is a woman with a profound duty, and a longing for adventure. In search of a relic intended for the King of France, Battista and Aurelia cross the breathtaking landscape of Renaissance Italy. Clues hide in great works of art, political forces collide, secret societies and enemies abound, and danger lurks in every challenge, those that mirror the passages of Dante's Divine Comedy. It is an adventurous quest with undercurrents of the supernatural, powers that could change the balance of supremacy throughout Europe.


 



The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
by Deborah Moggach
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

When Ravi Kapoor, an over-worked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his obnoxious father-in-law, he asks his wife: 'Can't we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away. ' His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful — and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a brilliant comedy of manners, mixing acute observation with a deeper message about how different cultures cope in the modern world.


 



I'm Starved for You
by Margaret Atwood
I'm Starved for You

The gated community of Consilience isn’t your average American town, but in a near future imagined by bestselling author Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Year of the Flood) it may be as close as anyone can hope to get.

Husband and wife Stan and Charmaine are among thousands who have signed up for a new social order because the old one is all but broken. Outside the walls of Consilience, half the country is out of work, gangs of the drug-addicted and disaffected menace the streets, warlords disrupt the food supply, and overcrowded correctional facilities churn out offenders to make room for more.

The Consilience prison, Positron, is something else altogether. The very heart of the community and its economic engine, it’s a bold experiment in voluntary incarceration. In exchange for a house, food, and what the online brochure hails as “A Meaningful Life,” residents agree to spend one month as inmates, the next as civilians, working as guards or whatever’s required.

Stan and Charmaine have no complaints — until the day Stan discovers an erotic note under the fridge of the house he and Charmaine must share with another couple while they’re back inside Positron. It’s a missive of erotic longing, pressed with a vivid lipstick kiss: “I’m starved for you!” it breathes. If Stan rarely thought about the house’s other residents before — they’ve never met them and don’t know their names; it’s not allowed — now he can’t stop thinking about them, especially the note’s sex-addled author, a woman apparently named Jasmine, so unlike his girlish wife, Charmaine. He HAS to meet her, but in this highly ordered and increasingly surveilled world, disorderly thoughts are a risk, and breaking the rules has dire consequences.

Margaret Atwood, one of the most prophetic authors of our time, delivers a tale of sexual obsession that is equal parts Tom Jones and Brave New World. A hilarious yet harrowing story that lays bare the very real dangers of trading liberty for safety, “I’m Starved for You” evokes the irrepressibility of human appetite and asks just how far a man and a woman are willing to go to get what they’re truly hungry for.

Margaret Atwood is the author of the internationally bestselling novel The Handmaid’s Tale as well as forty other books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, which was made into a documentary film that recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Atwood was awarded the Booker Prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin.


 



In Another Life
by Julie Christine Johnson
In Another Life

"Delicate and haunting, romantic and mystical, In Another Life is a novel with an extraordinary sense of place. Fans swept away by Diana Gabaldon's 18-century Scotland will want to explore Julie Christine Johnson's 13-century Languedoc." — Greer Macallister, author of THE MAGICIAN'S LIE

"In this lovely novel, Johnson shows us the redemptive power of love and second chances through the ages. Evocative of Outlander, In Another Life is a thrilling combination of romance, adventure, and history." — Margaret Dilloway, author of Sisters of Heart and Snow and How to Be an American Housewife

"Johnson's heartbroken researcher wends through the lush landscape and historical religious intrigue of southern France seeking the distraction of arcane fact-but instead, like the reader, is transformed by the moving echo of emotional truth. An imaginative, unforgettable tale." — Kathryn Craft, author of The Art of Falling and The Far End of Happy

"The dark days of 13th century Cathar persecution in France reach out long fingers to intrigue and bewitch in Julie Christine Johnson's immersive depiction of past and present in this atmospheric novel of love, loss and reincarnation." — Tessa Arlen, author of the Lady Montfort mystery series

Historian Lia Carrer has finally returned to southern France, determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in the region's quiet hills and medieval ruins, she falls in love with Raoul, a man whose very existence challenges everything she knows about life-and about her husband's death. As Raoul reveals the story of his past to Lia, she becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder, resulting in a haunting and suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think.

Steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of rural France, In Another Life is a story of love that conquers time and the lost loves that haunt us all.


 



The Book of Lost Fragrances
by M.J. Rose
The Book of Lost Fragrances

A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra — and lost for 2, 000 years.

Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances — and of her mother’s suicide — she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing — leaving a dead body in his wake — Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L’Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.


 



The Imposter Bride
by Nancy Richler
The Imposter Bride

When a young, enigmatic woman arrives in post-war Montreal, it is immediately clear that she is not who she claims to be. Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters as she disappears, leaving a new husband and baby daughter, and a host of unanswered questions. Who is she really and what happened to the young woman whose identity she has stolen? Why has she left and where did she go? It is left to the daughter she abandoned to find the answers to these questions as she searches for the mother she may never find or really know.


 






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