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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine * Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit . Telling an unforgettable story of a man's journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. Praise for Unbroken nbsp; "Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic." -- The Wall Street Journal nbsp; "[A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring." --New York nbsp; "Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand's writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don't dare take your eyes off the page." -- People nbsp; "A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life." --The Washington Post nbsp; "Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book." --The New York Times Book Review nbsp; "Marvelous . . . Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it's told. . . . It manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety." -- Newsweek nbsp; "Moving and, yes, inspirational . . . [Laura] Hillenbrand's unforgettable book . . . deserve[s] pride of place alongside the best works of literature that chart the complications and the hard-won triumphs of so-called ordinary Americans and their extraordinary time." --Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air nbsp; "Hillenbrand . . . tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter's pace." -- Time " Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it." --Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run
||Under the Wide and Starry Sky
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB PICK Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more. From Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny. At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium--with her three children and nanny in tow--to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists' colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated "belle Americaine." Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing--and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde . In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson's charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair--marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness--that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson's own unforgettable tales. Praise for Under the Wide and Starry Sky "A richly imagined [novel] of love, laughter, pain and sacrifice . . . Under the Wide and Starry Sky is a dual portrait, with Louis and Fanny sharing the limelight in the best spirit of teamwork--a romantic partnership." -- USA Today "Powerful . . . flawless . . . a perfect example of what a man and a woman will do for love, and what they can accomplish when it's meant to be." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram "Spectacular . . . an exhilarating epic about a free-spirited couple who traveled the world yet found home only in one another." -- Booklist (starred review) "Horan's prose is gorgeous enough to keep a reader transfixed, even if the story itself weren't so compelling. I kept re-reading passages just to savor the exquisite wordplay. . . . Few writers are as masterful as she is at blending carefully researched history with the novelist's art." -- The Dallas Morning News "A classic artistic bildungsroman and a retort to the genre, a novel that shows how love and marriage can simultaneously offer inspiration and encumbrance." --The New York Times Book Review "Nancy Horan has done it again, capturing the entwined lives of Fanny Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson so uncannily, it reads like truth." --Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress "Horan has a distinct knack for evoking the rich, complicated lives of long-gone artists and the women who inspired them." -- Entertainment Weekly From the Trade Paperback edition.
||Universe versus Alex Woods, The
"Alex Woods was struck by a meteorite when he was ten years old, leaving scars that marked him for an extraordinary life. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, he hasn't had the most conventional childhood. When he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing ..."--From publisher description.
||Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The
A novel of unsentimental charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, this book introduces Joyce as a wise--and utterly irresistible--storyteller.
Through an examination of the lives of several Americans and leading public figures over the past three decades, Packer portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer working, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation.