The Best Cultural eBooks




A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
by Caroline Moorehead
A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France

They were teachers, students, chemists, writers, and housewives; a singer at the Paris Opera, a midwife, a dental surgeon. They distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, printed subversive newspapers, hid resisters, secreted Jews to safety, transported weapons, and conveyed clandestine messages. The youngest was a schoolgirl of fifteen who scrawled "V" for victory on the walls of her lycée; the eldest, a farmer's wife in her sixties who harbored escaped Allied airmen. Strangers to each other, hailing from villages and cities from across France, these brave women were united in hatred and defiance of their Nazi occupiers.

Eventually, the Gestapo hunted down 230 of these women and imprisoned them in a fort outside Paris. Separated from home and loved ones, these disparate individuals turned to one another, their common experience conquering divisions of age, education, profession, and class, as they found solace and strength in their deep affection and camaraderie.

In January 1943, they were sent to their final destination: Auschwitz. Only forty-nine would return to France.

A Train in Winter draws on interviews with these women and their families; German, French, and Polish archives; and documents held by World War II resistance organizations to uncover a dark chapter of history that offers an inspiring portrait of ordinary people, of bravery and survival — and of the remarkable, enduring power of female friendship.


 



The Inspector General
by Nikolai Gogol, George Rapall Noyes, John Laurence Seymour
The Inspector General

Considered the high point of Gogol's writing for the stage and a masterpiece of dramatic satire, The Inspector General skewers the stupidity, greed, and venality of Russian provincial officials. When it is announced that the Inspector General is coming to visit incognito, Anton, the chief of police, hastens to clean up the town before his arrival. Local officials scurry to hide evidence of bribe-taking and other misdeeds, setting the stage for the arrival from St. Petersburg of Ivan, a penurious gambler and rake who is promptly taken by the townspeople to be the dreaded Inspector General. Ivan, and his servant, Osip, soon take advantage of the situation with hilarious results. First performed in 1836, the play transcends regional and national boundaries to offer a biting, highly entertaining glimpse of universal human foibles and failings.


 



Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945
by Max Hastings
Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945

From one of our finest military historians, a monumental work that shows us at once the truly global reach of World War II and its deeply personal consequences.

World War II involved tens of millions of soldiers and cost sixty million lives — an average of twenty-seven thousand a day. For thirty-five years, Max Hastings has researched and written about different aspects of the war. Now, for the first time, he gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire war.

Through his strikingly detailed stories of everyday people — of soldiers, sailors and airmen; British housewives and Indian peasants; SS killers and the citizens of Leningrad, some of whom resorted to cannibalism during the two-year siege; Japanese suicide pilots and American carrier crews — Hastings provides a singularly intimate portrait of the world at war. He simultaneously traces the major developments — Hitler’s refusal to retreat from the Soviet Union until it was too late; Stalin’s ruthlessness in using his greater population to wear down the German army; Churchill’s leadership in the dark days of 1940 and 1941; Roosevelt’s steady hand before and after the United States entered the war — and puts them in real human context.

Hastings also illuminates some of the darker and less explored regions under the war’s penumbra, including the conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland, during which the Finns fiercely and surprisingly resisted Stalin’s invading Red Army; and the Bengal famine in 1943 and 1944, when at least one million people died in what turned out to be, in Nehru’s words, “the final epitaph of British rule” in India.

Remarkably informed and wide-ranging, Inferno is both elegantly written and cogently argued. Above all, it is a new and essential understanding of one of the greatest and bloodiest events of the twentieth century.


 



The Impossible Dead
by Ian Rankin
The Impossible Dead

The Complaints: that's the name given to the Internal Affairs department who seek out dirty and compromised cops, the ones who've made deals with the devil. And sometimes The Complaints must travel.

A major inquiry into a neighboring police force sees Malcolm Fox and his colleagues cast adrift, unsure of territory, protocol, or who they can trust. An entire station-house looks to have been compromised, but as Fox digs deeper he finds the trail leads him back in time to the suicide of a prominent politician and activist. There are secrets buried in the past, and reputations on the line.

In his newest pulse-pounding thriller, Ian Rankin holds up a mirror to an age of fear and paranoia, and shows us something of our own lives reflected there.


 



Dengeki Daisy, Vol. 07
by Kyousuke Motomi
Dengeki Daisy, Vol. 07
Sorry, no description about this book. :(

 



The Third Reich
by Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer
The Third Reich
Sorry, no description about this book. :(

 



The Black Hawk
by Joanna Bourne
The Black Hawk

He is her enemy.
He is her lover.
He is her only hope. Someone is stalking French agent Justine DeCabrillac through London's gray streets.  Under cover of the rain, the assassin strikes-and Justine staggers to the door of the one man who can save her. The man she once loved. The man she hated. Adrian Hawkhurst.
Adrian wanted the treacherous beauty known as "Owl" back in his bed, but not wounded and clinging to life.  Now, as he helps her heal, the two must learn to trust each other to confront the hidden menace that's trying to kill them-and survive long enough to explore the passion simmering between them once again.


 



A Love by Any Measure
by Killian McRae
A Love by Any Measure

An Irish lass. An English lord.
A love that overcomes all boundaries, but at what cost?

Lord August Grayson, English landlord, has secretly, and much to the dismay of his father, held in reverence the object of his first fancy: poor Irish tenant Maeve O'Connor. Returning to Ireland for the first time since his youth, August discovers that Maeve has grown into a woman of beauty and tenacity. He understands, however, that he could offer Maeve nothing but shame if her pursued her. But when circumstances allow him an opportunity to indulge his fancy, even if only in a limited scope, August finds himself unable to resist the temptation.

Maeve, for her part, knows the danger falling for August holds, but finds her heart and her good senses becoming confused the longer she spends in his company. As two hearts become hopelessly entangled, both Maeve and August are forced to question the costs of their love. As consequences of their romance manifest, both struggle with the pain and difficulties their love causes, both for themselves and those who care for them.

Killian McRae's delve into historical romance will challenge reader's presumptions of the genre. A title garnering controversy due to McRae's preference towards historical truth versus genre-standard "love despite the realities of the day" perspectives, it asks at what cost winning love is justified."A Love by Any Measure" is an exploration of a romance that strives to overcome divisions of cultural, socio-economic, and religious differences in an era where options for lovers in such situations were limited.


 



White Truffles in Winter
by N.M. Kelby
White Truffles in Winter

White Truffles in Winter imagines the world of the remarkable French chef Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), who changed how we eat through his legendary restaurants at the Savoy and the Ritz. A man of contradictions — kind yet imperious, food-obsessed yet rarely hungry — Escoffier was also torn between two women: the famous, beautiful, and reckless actress Sarah Bernhardt and his wife, the independent and sublime poet Delphine Daffis, who refused ever to leave Monte Carlo. In the last year of Escoffier's life, in the middle of writing his memoirs, he has returned to Delphine, who requests a dish in her name as he has honored Bernhardt, Queen Victoria, and many others. How does one define the complexity of love on a single plate? N. M. Kelby brings us the sensuality of food and love amid a world on the verge of war in this work that shimmers with beauty and longing.


 



The Printmaker's Daughter
by Katherine Govier
The Printmaker's Daughter

Recounting the story of her life, Oei plunges us into the colorful world of nineteenth-century Edo, in which courtesans rub shoulders with poets, warriors consort with actors, and the arts flourish in an unprecedented moment of creative upheaval. Oei and Hokusai live among writers, novelists, tattoo artists, and prostitutes, evading the spies of the repressive shogunate as they work on Hokusai’s countless paintings and prints. Wielding her brush, rejecting domesticity in favor of dedication to the arts, Oei defies all expectations of womanhood — all but one. A dutiful daughter to the last, she will obey the will of her eccentric father, the man who created her and who, ultimately, will rob her of her place in history.

Vivid, daring, and unforgettable, The Printmaker’s Daughter shines fresh light on art, loyalty, and the tender and indelible bond between a father and daughter.


 



The Scottish Prisoner
by Diana Gabaldon
The Scottish Prisoner

Includes a preview of the new novel in the Outlander series.

London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising.
Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it — he’s sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves — again.
Lord John Grey — aristocrat, soldier, and occasional spy — finds himself in possession of a packet of explosive documents that exposes a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Time is of the essence as the investigation leads to Ireland, with a baffling message left in “Erse,” the tongue favored by Scottish Highlanders. Lord John, who oversaw Jacobite prisoners when he was governor of Ardsmiur prison, thinks Jamie may be able to translate — but will he agree to do it?
Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead. A captivating return to the world Diana Gabaldon created in her Outlander and Lord John series, The Scottish Prisoner is another masterpiece of epic history, wicked deceit, and scores that can only be settled in blood.


 



I Didn't Ask to Be Born (But I'm Glad I Was)
by Bill Cosby, George Booth
I Didn't Ask to Be Born (But I'm Glad I Was)

In this hilarious collection of observations, Cosby brings us more of his wonderful and wacky insights into the human condition that are sure to become classics. In the tradition of Fat Albert, I DIDN'T ASK TO BE BORN offers a host of new characters, including Peanut Armhouse and Old Mother Harold. Not since Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Bucky and the Cosby Kids has there been such a memorable cast.

Over the past century few entertainers have achieved the legendary status of William H. Cosby Jr. His success spans five decades and virtually all media-remarkable accomplishments for a kid who emerged from humble beginnings in a Philly housing project.

In the tradition of his bestselling books, Fatherhood and Cosbyology, the doctor of comedy holds forth on everything from first love to the Bible. Bill Cosby may not have asked to be born, but we're sure glad he was.


 



The Spirit of Nora
by Lyle Scott Lee
The Spirit of Nora

Stretched across a backdrop of bustling New York, romantic Paris, and rural Russia in the early twentieth century, The Spirit of Nora vividly portrays the emergence of a young Minnesota woman into a fiercely independent spirit. Leaving her home on the farm with her childhood friend Ella for nursing training in New York, Nora enters a changing world. After befriending two doctors on the train east, Nora and Ella spend many evenings with Tristan and Soren. But a terrible tragedy pulls Ella from Nora, who eventually travels farther east, searching for redemption for failing her friend.

Nora becomes wrapped up in the permissive lifestyle of French artists, embracing relationships with the lively Cassandra and talented Auguste. While in France, she is confronted with physical temptations and spiritual uncertainty until she learns of the communal setting established on the estate of the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. The Spirit of Nora needs further nourishment for her wavering faith, and she continues yet farther east to Yasnaya Polyana to work with Tolstoy's translator. Through the following years Nora learns of hardship, love, war, and the difficulties in finding balance between right and wrong. Ultimately, she must come face to face with the legacy of her lost friend.


 



1Q84
by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel
1Q84

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 — “Q is for ‘question mark. ’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.


 



The Dovekeepers
by Alice Hoffman
The Dovekeepers

Blends mythology, magic, archaeology and women. Traces four women, their path to the Masada massacre. In 70 CE, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on a mountain in the Judean desert, Masada. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived.

Four bold, resourceful, and sensuous women come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her twin grandsons, rendered mute by their own witness. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman, who finds passion with another soldier. Shirah is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The four lives intersect in the desperate days of the siege, as the Romans draw near. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets — about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.


 



Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World
by Michael Lewis
Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge.

Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a piñata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he turns a merciless eye on California and Washington, DC, we see that the narrative is a trap baited with humor, and we understand the reckoning that awaits the greatest and greediest of debtor nations.


 



Never Love a Highlander
by Maya Banks
Never Love a Highlander

In a tale of strong ties and true love, Maya Banks' trilogy comes to its conclusion, as the youngest McCabe brother uses sword and seduction to save his clan — and seal his heart.

Caelen McCabe’s young, reckless heart nearly destroyed his clan. Now, putting family loyalty above all else, he steps up to marry his older brother’s jilted bride and salvage the uneasy alliance between two clans. While beautiful Rionna McDonald is a fit wife for any man, Caelen trusts no woman, especially not this sweet temptress who torments him with white-hot longing.

As the sacrificial lamb in her father’s power game, Rionna will do her duty but vows to protect her heart and her pride from humiliation. Despite everything, though, the heat in Caelen’s touch melts her defenses, and she craves the sensual delights of a husband who guards his emotions as fiercely as his clan. But when the ultimate battle for the McCabe legacy is upon them, Rionna’s true warrior spirit emerges. She will risk the wrath of her father, the fury of her enemies, and her life to prove to Caelen that his wife’s love is too precious to lose.


 



The Hypnotist's Love Story
by Liane Moriarty
The Hypnotist's Love Story

Ellen O'Farrell is an expert when it comes to human frailties. She's a hypnotherapist who helps her clients deal with everything from addictions to life-long phobias. So when she falls in love with a man who is being stalked by his ex-girlfriend she's more intrigued than frightened. What makes a supposedly smart, professional woman behave this way? She'd love to meet her!

What she doesn't know is that she already has. Saskia has been masquerading as a client, and their lives are set to collide in ways Ellen could never have predicted.

This wonderfully perceptive new novel from Liane Moriarty is about the lines we'll cross for love. It's about the murky areas between right and wrong, and the complexities of modern relationships.


 



The Virgin Cure
by Ami McKay
The Virgin Cure

Following in the footsteps of The Birth House, her powerful debut novel, The Virgin Cure secures Ami McKay's place as one of our most beguiling storytellers. (Not that it has to… that is pretty much taken care of!)

"I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broke her heart." So begins The Virgin Cure, a novel set in the tenements of lower Manhattan in the year 1871. As a young child, Moth's father smiled, tipped his hat and walked away from his wife and daughter forever, and Moth has never stopped imagining that one day they may be reunited — despite knowing in her heart what he chose over them. Her hard mother is barely making a living with her fortune-telling, sometimes for well-heeled clients, yet Moth is all too aware of how she really pays the rent.

Life would be so much better, Moth knows, if fortune had gone the other way — if only she'd had the luxury of a good family and some station in life. The young Moth spends her days wandering the streets of her own and better neighbourhoods, imagining what days are like for the wealthy women whose grand yet forbidding gardens she slips through when no one's looking. Yet every night Moth must return to the disease- and grief-ridden tenements she calls home.

The summer Moth turns twelve, her mother puts a halt to her explorations by selling her boots to a local vendor, convinced that Moth was planning to run away. Wanting to make the most of her every asset, she also sells Moth to a wealthy woman as a servant, with no intention of ever seeing her again.

These betrayals lead Moth to the wild, murky world of the Bowery, filled with house-thieves, pickpockets, beggars, sideshow freaks and prostitutes, but also a locale frequented by New York's social elite. Their patronage supports the shadowy undersphere, where businesses can flourish if they truly understand the importance of wealth and social standing — and of keeping secrets. In that world Moth meets Miss Everett, the owner of a brothel simply known as an "infant school." There Moth finds the orderly solace she has always wanted, and begins to imagine herself embarking upon a new path.

Yet salvation does not come without its price: Miss Everett caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for companions who are "willing and clean, " and the most desirable of them all are young virgins like Moth. That's not the worst of the situation, though. In a time and place where mysterious illnesses ravage those who haven't been cautious, no matter their social station, diseased men yearn for a "virgin cure" — thinking that deflowering a "fresh maid" can heal the incurable and tainted.

Through the friendship of Dr. Sadie, a female physician who works to help young women like her, Moth learns to question and observe the world around her. Moth's new friends are falling prey to fates both expected and forced upon them, yet she knows the law will not protect her, and that polite society ignores her. Still she dreams of answering to no one but herself. There's a high price for such independence, though, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street.


 






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