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Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him


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The acclaimed historian presents a “beautifully perceptive and dynamic reassessment of Henry VIII…in this highly engrossing biography” (Booklist, starred review).

Henry VIII is best known for his tempestuous marriages and the fates of his six wives. But his reign and reputation were hugely influenced by his confidants, ministers, and even occasional rivals—many of whom have been underplayed in previous biographies. Exploring these relationships in depth, Tracy Borman offers a fresh perspective on the legendary king, revealing surprising contradictions in his beliefs and behavior.
Henry was capable of fierce but seldom abiding loyalty, of raising men up only to destroy them later. He loved to be attended by boisterous young men like his friend Charles Brandon, who shared his passion for sport. But the king could also be diverted by men of intellect, culture, and wit, as his longstanding interplay with Cardinal Wolsey and his reluctant abandonment of Thomas More attest.
Eager to escape the shadow of his father, Henry was easily led by male advisors early in his reign. In time, though, he matured into a profoundly paranoid and ruthless king. Recounting the great Tudor’s life and signal moments through the lens of his male relationships, Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him sheds fresh light on this fascinating figure.
 

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The Romanovs: 1613-1918


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The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world’s surface for three centuries. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world’s greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?

This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Simon Sebag Montefiore’s gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, with a global cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Lenin.

To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six of the last twelve tsars were murdered. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire, and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband (who was murdered soon afterward), enjoyed affairs with a series of young male favorites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul I was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who in turn faced Napoleon’s invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever composed by a ruler. The Romanovs climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas II and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution—and the harrowing massacre of the entire family.

Dazzlingly entertaining and beautifully written from start to finish, The Romanovs brings these monarchs—male and female, great and flawed, their families and courts—blazingly to life. Drawing on new archival research, Montefiore delivers an enthralling epic of triumph and tragedy, love and murder, encompassing the seminal years 1812, 1914 and 1917, that is both a universal study of power and a portrait of empire that helps define Russia today.
 

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Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America


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The remarkable untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s three daughters—two white and free, one black and enslaved—and the divergent paths they forged in a newly independent America

FINALIST FOR THE GEORGE WASHINGTON PRIZE • “Beautifully written . . . To a nuanced study of Jefferson’s two white daughters, Martha and Maria, [Kerrison] innovatively adds a discussion of his only enslaved daughter, Harriet Hemings.”—The New York Times Book Review

Thomas Jefferson had three daughters: Martha and Maria by his wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson, and Harriet by his slave Sally Hemings. Although the three women shared a father, the similarities end there. Martha and Maria received a fine convent school education while they lived with their father during his diplomatic posting in Paris. Once they returned home, however, the sisters found their options limited by the laws and customs of early America. Harriet Hemings followed a different path. She escaped slavery—apparently with the assistance of Jefferson himself. Leaving Monticello behind, she boarded a coach and set off for a decidedly uncertain future.

For this groundbreaking triple biography, history scholar Catherine Kerrison has uncovered never-before-published documents written by the Jefferson sisters, as well as letters written by members of the Jefferson and Hemings families. The richly interwoven stories of these strong women and their fight to shape their own destinies shed new light on issues of race and gender that are still relevant today—and on the legacy of one of our most controversial Founding Fathers.
 

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The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy


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“Funny [and] fascinating . . . If you’re a comedy nerd you’ll love this book.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, National Post, and Splitsider
Based on over two hundred original interviews and extensive archival research, this groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past one hundred years.

Starting with the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the last century, the book introduces the first stand-up comedian—an emcee who abandoned physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian’s primary employer. In the 1950s, the late-night talk show brought stand-up to a wide public, while Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Jonathan Winters attacked conformity and staged a comedy rebellion in coffeehouses. From comedy’s part in the civil rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of the 1980s, The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the twenty-first century.
 

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Cockleshell Heroes: The Most Courageous and Imaginative Commando Raid of World War Two (Daring Military Operations of World War Two)


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An astounding account of one of the most audacious commando raids of the Second World War.


Perfect for fans of books by Paddy Ashdown, James Holland and Ben Mcintyre.


In December 1942, five two-man canoes were launched from a submarine off the coast of German-occupied France.

The aim of these ten commandos was to paddle over ninety miles from the Bay of Biscay up the Gironde estuary to Bordeaux in order to plant limpet mines on merchant ships supplying the Nazi forces.

Although this operation, which had taken months to prepare for, was a strategic success it came at a huge cost: only two commandos survived the raid, six were executed after they were captured and two died from hypothermia.

C. E. Lucas Phillips’ book, which was written in close collaboration with one of the surviving Cockleshell heroes, Herbert ‘Blondie’ Hasler, provides fascinating insight into this daring assault, from planning right through to the thrilling escape of Hasler and his number two, Bill Sparks, with the help of the French Resistance.
 

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Mortar Gunner on the Eastern Front Volume I: From the Moscow Winter Offensive to Operation Zitadelle


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The first volume of the World War II diaries of Nazi mortar gunner constantly pushed to the brink of death while fighting against Russia.

Following his Abitur (A-levels) in 1940, Hans Heinz Rehfeldt volunteered for Germany’s Panzer Arm but was trained on the heavy mortar and heavy MG with Grossdeutschland Division.

In 1941, he was on the Front fighting for the city of Tula, south of Moscow. Battling in freezing conditions without winter clothes, they resorted to using those taken from Soviet corpses. In 1942, his battalion fought near Oriel, suffered heavy losses, and disbanded. Ill with frostbitten legs, Rehfeldt was treated in hospital, and once recovered, was dispatched back to the Front.

Following various battles (Werch, Bolchov) his battalion again suffered heavy losses and it merged. In agony from severe frostbite to his legs, Rehfeldt defied the odds and astonished his surgeon when he walked again. He was promoted from Gunner to Trained Private Soldier in 1942, and to Corporal for bravery in the field in 1943. He was also awarded numerous honors, including the Wound Badge and the Infantry Assault Badge.

On 3 May 1945, he was captured by U.S. Forces and held as a POW for one month in a camp at Waschow before internment in Holstein where he was released in July 1945, after agreeing to work on the land.

Then, in December 1945, he put his past behind him and began studying for his future career: veterinary medicine.
 

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Activation Degradation: A Novel


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The Murderbot Diaries makes first contact in this new, futuristic, standalone novel exploring sentience and artificial intelligence through the lenses of conflicted robot hero Unit Four, from Marina Lostetter, critically acclaimed author of Noumenon, Noumenon Infinity, and Noumenon Ultra.


When Unit Four—a biological soft robot built and stored high above the Jovian atmosphere—is activated for the first time, it’s in crisis mode. Aliens are attacking the Helium-3 mine it was created to oversee, and now its sole purpose is to defend Earth’s largest energy resource from the invaders in ship-to-ship combat.

But something’s wrong. Unit Four doesn’t feel quite right.

There are files in its databanks it can’t account for, unusual chemical combinations roaring through its pipes, and the primers it possesses on the aliens are suspiciously sparse. The robot is under orders to seek and destroy. That’s all it knows.

According to its handler, that’s all it needs to know.

Determined to fulfill its directives, Unit Four launches its ship and goes on the attack, but it has no idea it’s about to get caught in a downward spiral of misinformation, reprograming, and interstellar conflict.

Most robots are simple tools. Unit Four is well on its way to becoming something more....
 

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Discussion Starter · #248 ·
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Into the Darkness (Crimson Worlds Refugees Book 1)


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Book One of Jay Allan's Refugees Series

Terrence Compton is one of Earth’s greatest admirals, a warrior almost without equal. Alongside his oldest friend and brilliant colleague, Augustus Garret, he and his forces saved Earth from invasion by the robotic legions of the First Imperium’s insane computer Regent.

There is just one problem. The First Imperium was held back by the disruption of the sole warp gate connecting the two domains…and Compton and 300 of his ships are trapped on the wrong side, surrounded by the Regent’s vast fleets and cut off from Earth.

Pursued by their deadly enemy, Compton and his fleet must flee into the darkness of unexplored space, seeking safety…and ultimately a new home. Their journey will take them deep into the heart of the First Imperium, to the silent, windswept worlds where the ancient race that built the Regent once dwelled…and uncover the lost secrets of its disappearance 500,000 years ago.
 

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Nightwings


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Winner of the Hugo Award: This classic is an “evocative look at a crumbling Earth of the far future and a human race struggling to survive” (George R. R. Martin).

“Roum is a city built on seven hills. They say it was a capital of man in one of the earlier cycles. I knew nothing of that, for my guild was Watching, not Remembering.” For a thousand years, mankind has lived under the threat of invasion from an alien race. After the oceans rose and the continents were reshaped, people divided into guilds—Musicians, Scribes, Merchants, Clowns, and more. The Watchers wander the earth, scouring the skies for signs of enemies from the stars. But during one Watcher’s journey to the ancient city of Roum with his companion, a Flier named Avluela, a moment of distraction allows the invaders to advance. When the Watcher finally sounds the alarm, it’s too late; the star people are poised to conquer all. And so, with the world in turmoil, the Watcher sets out alone for the Hall of the Rememberers, keepers of the past, where humanity’s last hope for survival might be hidden . . .
 

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Aurora


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A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, Aurora tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our new home.

AURORA.
 

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Alien Artifacts (Cade Korbin Chronicles Book 2)


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BY MILLION COPY-BESTSELLER JASPER T. SCOTT
A DEADLY MISSION ON AN UNCHARTED WORLD RIDDLED WITH ANCIENT SECRETS
On his last job, Cade Korbin lost his ship, lost his credits, and barely escaped with his life, but it’s not over. His enemy is still out there, nursing a decades-old vendetta that has yet to be quenched. Making matters worse, his guild is coming after him for breaking their rules.

Cade desperately needs credits and somewhere to lie low for a while. To that end, he takes a job on an uncharted world, code-named Nexus, with his new partner. The mission is to rescue a team of missing researchers and to recover the alien artifacts they went searching for.

But Nexus proves to be even deadlier than its Class Five hazard rating would suggest, and Cade soon realizes that he’ll be lucky to escape with his life, let alone accomplish the mission.

Yet there is a danger on Nexus that goes far beyond hungry alien monsters: a terrifying menace has been waiting there for untold eons to emerge.

And Cade Korbin is just about to unleash it.
 

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Paragon (Cade Korbin Chronicles Book 3)


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BY MILLION-COPY BESTSELLER JASPER T. SCOTT
THE FATE OF THE GALAXY IS IN HIS HANDS
Cade Korbin is playing for keeps this time. If he doesn’t find a way to eliminate Nadine Zabelle once and for all, she will be the death of him and everyone he cares about.

Armed with a suit of armor from the long-dead Priors and a mysterious sample of sentient, self-replicating nano bots, he accidentally discovers what killed the Priors—

Omnipotence.

But Nadine isn’t an easy woman to reach, and she’s determined to break Cade along the way.

Meanwhile, the galaxy itself is under threat from a savage swarm of replicating machines, and a fight over the alien Gateway that was built to keep the swarm in check is fast drawing the galaxy into a violent war that could end billions of lives.

But the shocking truth of what lies beyond the Gateway could spell the end for everyone else. Ultimately, Cade will have to choose between using his newfound power to save the people who matter most to him, or saving the innocent multitudes who will die if he doesn’t intervene.
 

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The Solar War (The Long Winter Trilogy Book 2)


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* Now a Wall Street Journal bestseller! *

We thought the war was over.
We were wrong.


They decimated Earth during the Long Winter. Now the grid has returned, and they won’t stop until the human race is extinct.

On a ruined world, humanity’s last survivors fight against impossible odds. In their darkest hour, they discover a new hope for survival. But it comes at an unthinkable price, with consequences that will change everything.
 

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


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The New York Times best seller is now a major motion picture starring Lily James and Sam Riley, with Matt Smith, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey.

This edition features sixteen pages of color stills from the film, a reading group discussion guide, and other bonus materials.

Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is an audacious retelling of English literature’s most enduring novel. This expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem begins when a mysterious plague falls upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. It’s the perfect read for literature lovers, zombie fans, and anyone who loves a reanimated Austen.
 

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After


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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its prequel, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, were both New York Times best sellers, with a combined 1.3 million copies in print. Now the PPZ trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After.

The story opens with our newly married protagonists, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, defending their village from an army of flesh-eating “unmentionables.” But the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the proper course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote under development in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.
 

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North of Laramie (A Buck Trammel Western Book 1)


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Johnstone Country. A New Legend in the Making.

The bestselling Johnstones kick off their blazing new western series with a real bang—a fatal, fateful shootout that sends a man named Buck Trammel on the ride of his life . . .

WHEN WYATT EARP TELLS YOU TO RUN, YOU RUN.

Once upon a time in the Old West, Buck Trammel was a Pinkerton agent with a promising future. But after a tragic incident in a case gone wrong, he struck out for the wide-open spaces of Wichita, Kansas. Working as a bouncer at The Gilded Lily Saloon, he hopes to stay out of trouble. But soon enough, his gun skills are put to the test. The Bowman gang shows up, turning a friendly card game with a Wyoming cattleman into a killer-takes-all shooting match. Buck saves the cattleman’s life, but at the cost of Bowman’s two sons. That’s when Deputy Wyatt Earp arrives. He warns Buck that he’d better get out of town, pronto, and take the cattle baron with him. The rest is history—if he lives long enough to tell it . . .

This is the story of Buck Trammel. Hunted by outlaws. Fighting for justice. Marked for death. This is how legends are born . . .
 

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I Feel Bad About My Neck


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With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as a woman of a certain age. Utterly courageous, uproariously funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling, I Feel Bad About My Neck is a scrumptious, irresistible treat of a book, full of truths, laugh out loud moments that will appeal to readers of all ages.
 

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Raven: My year of dating dangerously


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Monica Porter, a sixty-year-old grandmother, thinks her sex life is over when she is ditched by her long-term partner.

That is until she joins a dating website and finds that her age acts as an aphrodisiac to hordes of highly-sexed young men, who fantasise about ‘hot older women’.

Monica throws caution to the wind as she embarks on one exciting assignation after another, having the wildest time of her life. Naturally, her sons would be shocked at the risks she takes, not to mention mortified by her escapades with men younger than themselves. But it’s not a problem, as she has no intention of telling them.

But Monica soon finds out that there is another hazard to consider… not to her physical being, but to her psyche. Gradually her year of dating dangerously affects her entire outlook on relationships with men, and not in a good way. How will it all end? And will it have been worth the price?
 

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Rules for Visiting: A Novel


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NATIONAL BESTSELLER!

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: O Magazine * Good Housekeeping * Real Simple * Vulture * Chicago Tribune

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE SUMMER BY: “The Today Show” * “Good Morning America” * Wall Street Journal * San Francisco Chronicle * Southern Living

An INDIE NEXT LIST Pick

Shortlisted for the 2020 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize
Long-listed for the 2020 Tournament of Books

"Fun, hilarious, and extremely touching."—NPR

A beautifully observed and deeply funny novel of May Attaway, a university gardener who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year.


At forty, May Attaway is more at home with plants than people. Over the years, she's turned inward, finding pleasure in language, her work as a gardener, and keeping her neighbors at arm's length while keenly observing them. But when she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them. A student of the classics, May considers her journey a female Odyssey. What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own?

RULES FOR VISITING is a woman's exploration of friendship in the digital age. Deeply alert to the nobility and the ridiculousness of ordinary people, May savors the pleasures along the way—afternoon ice cream with a long-lost friend, surprise postcards from an unexpected crush, and a moving encounter with ancient beauty. Though she gets a taste of viral online fame, May chooses to bypass her friends' perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them in their messy analog ones.

Ultimately, May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story—and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting.
 

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Double Fudge Brownie Murder (Hannah Swensen series Book 18 )


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New York Times Bestseller: A judge is executed with his own gavel in this mystery with “[a] big surprise ending…fans will be more than satisfied” (Publishers Weekly).

Hannah Swensen has a hard time focusing on her bakery at the moment, considering an unexpected trip to Las Vegas and a longstanding love triangle that may soon turn into a quadrangle—let alone the nerves she’s experiencing over the upcoming trial for her involvement in a tragic accident. When she gets back to Lake Eden, Minnesota, she’s eager to clear her name once and for all, but her troubles only double when she finds the judge bludgeoned to death with his own gavel—and Hannah is the number one suspect. Now on trial in the court of public opinion, she sets out in search of the culprit and discovers that the judge made more than a few enemies during his career. With time running out, Hannah will have to look at all the evidence and restore order to the court…

Includes delicious recipes!
 
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