The Fun Habit
Discover compelling scientific evidence for the value of fun - and of how having more of it will help you achieve better work-life balance, reduce stress and much more. Doesn't it seem that the more we seek happiness, the more elusive it becomes? There is an easy fix, hiding in plain sight. Fun is an action you can take here and now, practically anywhere, anytime. There is a multitude of research that proves how beneficial fun is to our physical and psychological well-being, yet all too often, its absence from our modern lives is striking. Whether you're a frustrated high-achiever trying to find a better work-life balance or someone simply seeking relief from life's overwhelming challenges, it's time to look into fun as a solution. The Fun Habit is the ultimate guide to reaping the serious benefits of fun. Drawing on cutting edge research, accessible science, and practical recommendations, Dr. Mike Rucker explains how you can build having fun into an actionable and effortless habit and why doing so will help you become healthier, joyful and more productive.
Hi'i is proud to be a Naupaka, a family renowned for its contributions to hula and her hometown of Hilo, Hawaii, but there's a lot she doesn't understand. She's never met her legendary grandmother and her mother has never revealed the identity of her father. Worse, unspoken divides within her tight-knit community have started to grow, creating fractures whose origins are somehow entangled with her own family history.
In hula, Hi'i sees a chance to live up to her name and solidify her place within her family legacy. But in order to win the next Miss Aloha Hula competition, she will have to turn her back on everything she had ever been taught, and maybe even lose the very thing she was fighting for.
How to Be Remembered
On an ordinary night in an ordinary year, Tommy Llewellyn's doting parents wake in a home without toys and diapers, without photos of their baby scattered about, and without any idea that the small child asleep in his crib is theirs.
That's because Tommy is a boy destined to never be remembered.
On the same day every year, everyone around him forgets he exists, and he grows up enduring his own universal Reset. That is until something extraordinary happens: Tommy Llewellyn falls in love.
Determined to finally carve out a life for himself and land the girl of his dreams, Tommy sets out on a mission to finally trick the Reset and be remembered. But legacies aren't so easily won, and Tommy must figure out what's more important--the things we leave behind or the people we bring along with us.
Every Rising Sun
In this riveting take on One Thousand and One Nights, Shaherazade, at the center of her own story, uses wit and political mastery to navigate opulent palaces brimming with treachery and the perils of the Third Crusade as her Persian homeland teeters on the brink of destruction.
The Wonder State
Five friends arrive back in Eternal Springs, Arkansas, the small town they all fled after high school graduation. Each is drawn home by a cryptic, scrawled two-word letter that reads, You promised.
It has been fifteen years since the summer that changed their lives, and they’re anxious to find out why Brandi called them back, especially when they vowed never to return.
But Brandi is missing. She’d been acting erratically for months, railing at whoever might listen about magic all around them. About a power they can’t see. And about strange houses that appear only when you need them . . .
Told in two enthralling timelines, The Wonder State is a gorgeous, immersive, speculative Gothic tale about searching for home.
A Nearby Country Called Love
Amid the alleyways of the Zamzam neighborhood of Tehran, a woman lights herself on fire in a desperate act of defiance, setting off a chain reaction of violence and protest. Haunted by the woman’s death, Issa is forced to confront the contradictions of his own family history, throughout which his late brother Hashem, a prominent queer artist in Tehran’s underground, had defied their father, a skilled martial artist bound to traditional notions of honor and masculinity.
Issa soon finds himself thrown into a circle of people living on the margins of society, negotiating a razor-like code of conduct that rewards loyalty and encourages aggression and intolerance in equal measure. As the city explodes around him, Issa realizes that it is the little acts of kindness that matter most, the everyday humanity of individuals finding love and doing right by one another.
Vibrant and evocative, intimate and intelligent, A Nearby Country Called Love is both a captivating window into contemporary Iran and a portrait of the parallel fates of a man and his country—a man who acknowledges the sullen and rumbling baggage of history but then chooses to step past its violent inheritance.
Light from Other Stars
Eleven-year-old Nedda Papas is obsessed with becoming an astronaut. In 1986 in Easter, a small Florida Space Coast town, her dreams seem almost within reach--if she can just grow up fast enough. Theo, the scientist father she idolizes, is consumed by his own obsessions. Laid off from his job at NASA and still reeling from the loss of Nedda's newborn brother several years before, Theo turns to the dangerous dream of extending his daughter's childhood just a little longer. The result is an invention that alters the fabric of time.
Decades later, Nedda has achieved her long-held dream and is traveling aboard the space ship Chawla, part of a small group hoping to colonize a distant planet. But as she floats in zero gravity, far from earth, she and her crewmates face a serious crisis. Nedda may hold the key to the solution, if she can come to terms with her past and the future that awaits her.
For fans of The Age of Miracles and The Immortalists, Erika Swyler’s Light from Other Stars is a masterful and ambitious novel about fathers and daughters, women and the forces that hold them back, and the true meaning of progress. - Rachel
The Blonde Identity
It's the middle of the night in the middle of Paris and a woman just woke up with no memory.
She only knows three things for certain:
1. She has a splitting headache.
2. The hottest guy she has (probably) ever seen is standing over her, telling her to run.
And oh yeah...
3. People keep trying to kill her.
She doesn't know who. Or why. But when she sees footage of herself fighting off a dozen men there's only one explanation: obviously. . . she's a spy!
Except, according to Mr. Hot Guy, she's not. She's a spy's identical twin sister.
Too bad the only person who knows she's not the woman they're looking for is this very grouchy, very sexy, very secret agent who (reluctantly) agrees to help her disappear. Which is easier said than done when a criminal organization wants you dead and every intelligence service in the world wants you caught.
Luckily, no one is looking for a pair of lovesick newlyweds on their honeymoon. And soon they're lying their way across Europe--dodging bullets and faking kisses as they race to unravel a deadly conspiracy and clear her sister's name.
But with every secret they uncover, the truth shifts, until she no longer knows who to trust: the twin she can't remember or the mysterious man she can't let herself forget...
The Fragile Threads of Power
A new door opens...
Once there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power and connected by a single city: London.
After a desperate attempt to prevent corruption and ruin in the four Londons, there are only three—Grey London, thriving but barely able to remember its magical heritage; Red London, ruled lately by the Maresh family, flourishing and powerful; and White London, left to brutality and decay.
Now the worlds are going to collide anew—brought to a dangerous precipice by the discoveries of three remarkable magicians.
There's Kosika, the child queen of White London, who has nourished her city on blood and dreams—and whose growing devotion to both is leading her down a dangerous path.
Then there's Delilah Bard, born a thief in Grey London, who crossed the worlds to become a legend far from there. She's an infamous magician, a devious heroine, and a risk-taking rogue, all rolled into one unforgettable package. Having disappeared to seek new adventure, an old favor now calls Lila back to a dangerous port, to join some old friends who need more help than they realize.
Last there is Tes, a young runaway with an unusual and powerful ability, hiding out in Red London while trying to stay out of the limelight.
Tes is the only one who can keep all the worlds from unraveling—if she manages to stay alive first.
Jackie and Maria
The President's Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world...
Jackie Kennedy was beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. Life in the public eye with an overly ambitious--and unfaithful--man who could hardly be coaxed to return from a vacation after the birth of a stillborn child was breaking her spirit. So when she's offered a holiday on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis, she says yes...to a meeting that will ultimately change her life.
Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she's introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world's richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man...
Little by little, Maria's and Jackie's lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime.
The Rules of Magic
An instant New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick from beloved author Alice Hoffman—the spellbinding prequel to Practical Magic.
Find your magic.
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Yet, the children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the memorable aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
Alice Hoffman delivers “fairy-tale promise with real-life struggle” (The New York Times Book Review) in a story how the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is “irresistible…the kind of book you race through, then pause at the last forty pages, savoring your final moments with the characters” (USA TODAY, 4/4 stars).
Now an HBO limited series starring Ben Mendelsohn!
Evil has many faces…maybe even yours in this #1 New York Times bestseller from master storyteller Stephen King.
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is discovered in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens—Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying details begin to emerge, King’s story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.
The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.
Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.
At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.
A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today. - Bill
Goodbye, Eastern Europe
"Goodbye, Eastern Europe" is a crucial, elucidative read, a sweeping epic chronicling a thousand years of strife, war, and bloodshed--from pre-Christianity to the fall of Communism--illuminating the remarkable cultural significance and richness of a place perpetually lost to the margins of history. Eastern Europe, the moniker, has gone out of fashion since the fall of the Soviet Union. Ask someone now, and they might tell you that Estonia is in the Baltics, or Scandinavia, that Slovakia is in Central Europe and Croatia is in the Eastern Adriatic or the Balkans. In fact, Eastern Europe is a place that barely exists at all, except in cultural memory. Yet it remains a powerful marker of identity for many, with a fragmented and wide history, defined by texts, myths, and memories of centuries of hardship and suffering. "Goodbye, Eastern Europe" is a masterful narrative about a place that has survived the brink of being forgotten. Beginning with long-lost accounts of early pagan life, Mikanowski offers a kaleidoscopic tour recounting the rise and fall of the great empires--Ottoman, Hapsburg, and Russian--the dawn of the modern era, the ravages of Fascism and Communism, as well as Capitalism, the birth of the modern nation-state, and more. A student of literature, history, and the ghosts of his own family's past, Mikanowski paints a magisterial portrait of a place united by diversity, and eclecticism, and a people with the shared story of being the dominated rather than the dominating. The result is a loving and ebullient celebration of the distinctive and vibrant cultures that stubbornly persisted at the margins of Western Europe, and a powerful corrective that re-centers our understanding of how the modern Western world took shape.
Empires of the Steppes
A narrative history of how Attila, Genghis Khan and the so-called barbarians of the steppes shaped world civilization. The barbarian nomads of the Eurasian steppes have played a decisive role in world history, but their achievements have gone largely unnoticed. These nomadic tribes have produced some of the world's greatest conquerors: Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, among others. Their deeds still resonate today. Indeed, these nomads built long-lasting empires, facilitated the first global trade of the Silk Road and disseminated religions, technology, knowledge and goods of every description that enriched and changed the lives of so many across Europe, China and the Middle East. From a single region emerged a great many peoples--the Huns, the Mongols, the Magyars, the Turks, the Xiongnu, the Scythians, the Goths--all of whom went on to profoundly and irrevocably shape the modern world. In this new, comprehensive history, Professor Kenneth W. Harl vividly re-creates the lives and world of these often-forgotten peoples from their beginnings to the early modern age. Their brutal struggle to survive on the steppes bred a resilient, pragmatic people ever ready to learn from their more advanced neighbors. In warfare, they dominated the battlefield for over fifteen hundred years. Under charismatic rulers, they could topple empires and win their own.
Road to Surrender
This suspenseful and propulsive account of the days leading up to the end of World War II, is told through the stories of three men: Henry Stimson, the Secretary of War, who had overall responsibility for decisions about the atomic bomb; Gen. Carl "Tooey" Spaatz, head of strategic bombing in Europe and the Pacific, who was in charge of actually dropping the bombs; and Shigenori Tōgō, the Japanese Foreign Minister, who was the only one in Emperor Hirohito's Court and Supreme War Council who knew and believed that Japan must surrender. 1945 was Stimson's last year of his career as a statesman in the administrations of five presidents. When Truman, a peripheral figure in the momentous decision, accepted Stimson's recommendation to drop the bomb, you are there as Army Air Force commander General Spaatz accepts the order, gets into one of the planes, and the planes take off. Like Stimson, Spaatz agonized over the command even as he recognized it would end the war, and that a prolonged war would cause even greater destruction. But Spaatz and Stimson were on only one side of the story. On the other side of the world was a commander whom they would never meet. From the start of the Pacific war, Foreign Minister Tōgō worked to mediate negotiations between the Japanese Prime Minister, the Emperor, and his Court, all of whom believed surrender was impossible. Finally, Tōgō convinced the Emperor that surrender was the best option for Hirohito, and for Japan
A Brutal Reckoning
The Creek War is one of the most tragic episodes in American history, leading to the greatest loss of Native American life on what is now U.S. soil. What began as a vicious internal conflict among the Creek Indians metastasized like a cancer. The ensuing Creek War of 1813-1814 shattered Native American control of the Deep South and led to the infamous Trail of Tears, in which the government forcibly removed the southeastern Indians from their homeland. The war also gave Andrew Jackson his first combat leadership role, and his newfound popularity after defeating the Creeks would set him on the path to the White House. In A Brutal Reckoning, Peter Cozzens vividly captures the young Jackson, describing a brilliant but harsh military commander with unbridled ambition, a taste for cruelty, and a fraught sense of honor and duty. Jackson would not have won the war without the help of Native American allies, yet he denied their role and even insisted on their displacement, together with all the Indians of the American South in the Trail of Tears. A conflict involving not only white Americans and Native Americans, but also the British and the Spanish, the Creek War opened the Deep South to the Cotton Kingdom, setting the stage for the American Civil War yet to come. No other single Indian conflict had such significant impact on the fate of America—and A Brutal Reckoning is the definitive book on this forgotten chapter in our history.
Battle of Ink and Ice
A sixty-year saga of frostbite and fake news that follows the no-holds-barred battle between two legendary explorers to reach the North Pole, and the newspapers which stopped at nothing to get-and sell-the story. In the fall of 1909, a pair of bitter contests captured the world's attention. The American explorers Robert Peary and Frederick Cook both claimed to have discovered the North Pole, sparking a vicious feud that was unprecedented in international, scientific, and geographic circles. At the same time, the rivalry between two powerful New York City newspapers-the storied Herald and the ascendant Times-fanned the flames of the so-called polar controversy, as each paper financially and reputationally committed itself to an opposing explorer and fought desperately to defend him. The Herald was owned and edited by James Gordon Bennett, Jr., an eccentric playboy whose nose for news was matched only by his appetite for debauchery and champagne. "Battle of Ink and Ice" presents a frank portrayal of Arctic explorers, brave men who both inspired and divided the public. It also recounts a sixty-year saga of frostbite and fake news, one that culminates with an unjustly overlooked chapter in the origin story of the modern New York Times.
The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.
How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water
Cara Romero thought she would work at the factory of little lamps for the rest of her life. But when, in her mid-50s, she loses her job in the Great Recession, she is forced back into the job market for the first time in decades. Set up with a job counselor, Cara instead begins to narrate the story of her life. Over the course of twelve sessions, Cara recounts her tempestuous love affairs, her alternately biting and loving relationships with her neighbor Lulu and her sister Angela, her struggles with debt, gentrification and loss, and, eventually, what really happened between her and her estranged son, Fernando. As Cara confronts her darkest secrets and regrets, we see a woman buffeted by life but still full of fight.