In one of the poorest parts of rural New Hampshire, teenage girls have been disappearing, snatched from back country roads, never to be seen alive again. For seventeen-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with her own home, every day. Marjorie has been raised by parents so intentionally isolated from normal society that they have developed their own dialect, a kind of mountain hybrid of English that displays both their ignorance of and disdain for the wider world. Marjorie is tormented by her classmates, who call her “The Talk-funny girl,” but as the nearby factory town sinks deeper into economic ruin and as her parents fall more completely under the influence of a sadistic cult leader, her options for escape dwindle. But then, thanks to a loving aunt, Marjorie is hired by a man, himself a victim of abuse, who is building what he calls “a cathedral,” right in the center of town. Day by day, Marjorie’s skills as a stoneworker increase, and so too does her intolerance for the bitter rules of her family life. Gradually, through exposure to the world beyond her parents’ wood cabin thanks to the kindness of her aunt and her boss, and an almost superhuman determination, she discovers what is loveable within herself. This newfound confidence and self-esteem ultimately allows her to break free from the bleak life she has known, to find love, to start a family, and to try to heal her old, deep wounds without passing that pain on to her husband and children. By turns darkly menacing and bright with love and resilience, The Talk-Funny Girl is the story of one young woman’s remarkable courage, a kind of road map for the healing of early abuse, and a testament to the power of kindness and love.
"Set in 1960's London, ... a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingenue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters"--Provided by publisher.
In this richly evocative novel--the moving story of one boy's coming of age--acclaimed author Roland Merullo will make you nostalgic for a small Massachusetts city called Revere even if you've never been there. Providing a window into an unspoiled America of forty years ago, In Revere welcomes you to the fiercely loyal and devoted Italian-American family of the Benedettos. Although he was orphaned as a child, young Anthony Benedetto was always surrounded by family, and the vibrant warmth of the Revere community. His Uncle Peter, a former Golden Gloves boxer whose days of glory were behind him, believed Tonio was bound for great things. So did his daughter Rosie, Tonio's favorite cousin, who would take many wrong turns--away from Tonio--through adolescence. His gentle grandparents, who took him in, encouraged him to claim a future outside of Revere, but the warm, unconditional love of his family, and the smells and sounds of Revere stay with him forever. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Raised by parents so intentionally isolated that they speak their own hybrid dialect, abused youth Marjorie witnesses her parents' submission to a sadistic cult leader before she is rescued by another abuse survivor who teaches her stoneworking skills.
Public speaking can be terrifying. For David Nihill, the idea of standing in front of an audience was scarier than cliff jumping into a thorny pit of spiders and mothers-in-law. Without a parachute or advanced weaponry. Something had to change. In what doesn’t sound like the best plan ever, David decided to overcome his fears by pretending to be an accomplished comedian called "Irish Dave" for one full year, crashing as many comedy clubs, festivals, and shows as possible. One part of the plan was at least logical: he was already Irish and already called Dave. In one year, David went from being deathly afraid of public speaking to hosting a business conference, regularly performing stand-up comedy and winning storytelling competitions in front of packed houses. And he did it by learning from some of the best public speakers in the world: stand-up comedians. Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker shows how the key principles of stand-up comedy can be applied to your speaking engagements and presentations to make you funnier, more interesting, and better looking. (Or at least two of the three.) Whether you are preparing for a business presentation, giving a wedding toast, defending your thesis, raising money from investors, or simply want to take on something you're afraid of, this book will take you from sweaty to stage-ready. You’ll learn how to: - Craft a story and content that your audience will want to listen to - Find the funniest parts of your material and how to get to them faster - Deal with stage fright - Master the two most important parts of your performance: timing and delivery Ten percent of the author's proceeds from this book will go to Arash Bayatmakou via Help Hope Live until he is fully back on his feet and thereafter to one of the many facing the same challenges after suffering a severe spinal cord injury.
Jake Entwhistle is smart and handsome, but living with a shadow over his romantic history. Janet Rossi is a bright, witty aide to the governor of Massachusetts, but Janet suffers from an illness that makes her, as she puts it, “not exactly a good long-term investment.” After meeting by accident late one night, they begin a love affair filled with humor, startling intimacy, and a deep, abiding connection. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The trusted, New York Times best-selling author of It's Perfectly Normal presents the first in a charming and reassuring new picture book series for preschoolers that answers questions that many children ask about themselves and their friends in an entertaining and straightforward way.
When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger—and amuse himself—he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way. From a chocolate factory in Hershey to a bowling alley in South Bend, from a Cubs game at Wrigley field to his family farm near Bismarck, Otto is given the remarkable opportunity to see his world—and more important, his life—through someone else's eyes. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing. In Roland Merullo's masterful hands, Otto tells his story with all the wonder, bemusement, and wry humor of a man who unwittingly finds what he's missing in the most unexpected place.
Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life—which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job—Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That's when things start to get crazy. At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn't brilliant compared to the other kids; he's just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away.
The new novel from the award-winning author of Breakfast with Buddha and Revere Beach Boulevard tells the story of a young Catholic woman jolted from a quietly devout life in pursuit of a mysterious calling. Cynthia Piantedosi lives a quiet, unassuming life outside of Boston, guided by her Catholic faith. When she loses her beloved grandmother, she begins experiencing “spells” of such intense spiritual intimacy that she wonders about her sanity. Devoted to her elderly father and not particularly interested in dating and socializing, she develops a deep friendship with her parish priest. His congregation sees him as provocative and radical, but he encourages Cynthia to explore her faith—however it presents itself. When he is killed in a mysterious accident, a message begins to emerge from Cynthia’s prayers: God is calling her to be the first female Catholic priest. Her revelation is met with ridicule by certain of the more reactionary officials she reaches out to within the Church. Unable to tune out the divine messages, she lets the power of unswerving faith drive her all the way to the Vatican in pursuit of a destiny she doesn’t fully understand—and a turn of events that will inevitably bring long overdue change to the Catholic Church. From the Hardcover edition.
#1 New York Times Bestseller "Amy Schumer's book will make you love her even more. For a comedian of unbridled (and generally hilarious) causticity, Schumer has written a probing, confessional, unguarded, and, yes, majorly humanizing non-memoir, a book that trades less on sarcasm, and more on emotional resonance." —Vogue "The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo is an alternatingly meditative, sexually explicit, side-splittingly hilarious, heart-wrenching, disturbing, passionately political, and always staggeringly authentic ride through the highs and lows of the comedic powerhouse's life to date." —Harper's Bazaar "This is your happy hour with Amy Schumer...It's Bossypants meets Trainwreck meets your long weekend." —TheSkimm “Amy’s got your back. She’s in your corner. She’s an honesty bomb. And she’s coming for you.” —Actress Tilda Swinton and Trainwreck co-star The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays. In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is—a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh. Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend—an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably—but only because it’s over.
What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need a secret vacation? Roland Merullo’s playful, eloquent, and life-affirming novel finds the world’s two holiest men teaming up for an unsanctioned road trip through the Italian countryside--where they rediscover the everyday joys and challenges of ordinary life. During the Dalai Lama’s highly publicized official visit to the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist: they will shed their robes for several days and live as ordinary men. Before dawn, the two beloved religious leaders make a daring escape from Vatican City, slip into a waiting car, and are soon traveling the Italian roads in disguise. Along for the ride is the Pope’s neurotic cousin and personal assistant, Paolo, who--to his terror-- has been put in charge of arranging the details of their disappearance. Rounding out the group is Paolo’s estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric entrepreneur with a lust for life, who orchestrates the sublime disguises of each man. Rosa is a woman who cannot resist the call to adventure--or the fun. Against a landscape of good humor, intrigue, and spiritual fulfillment, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the uniquely charming sensibilities of author Roland Merullo. Part whimsical expedition, part love story, part spiritual search, this uplifting novel brings warmth and laughter to the universal concerns of family life, religious inspiration, and personal identity—all of which combine to transcend cultural and political barriers in the name of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
This witty tale is an “engaging story of golf, the after-life and ‘the spiritual education of one soul’” (Publishers Weekly). Herman “Hank” Fins-Winston was a professional golfer destined for greatness. Now he lives in a condominium on the thirteenth fairway of one of heaven’s glorious courses—a fact he finds surprising, since for one reason or another, a fair percentage of golfers never make it to paradise . . . and Hank wasn’t exactly an angel on earth. Hank is having the time of his afterlife, until he’s summoned one idyllic morning to play a round with the Almighty. It seems that God is having some trouble with putting. As they play the heavenly courses, both in paradise and back on earth, Hank comes to realize that what began as a golf lesson has become a true spiritual journey . . . “Merullo, author of the critically acclaimed Revere Beach trilogy, writes with wit and subtlety rather than trying to pound inspiration into our heads with a titanium driver. And, best of all, he gets the golf right: precise, well-constructed descriptions of courses and shot making, revealing a respect for the game itself, not just its potential as metaphor.” —Booklist
A bright, bold debut about a girl who happens to have been born a boy, but refuses to let that stand in the way of her dream.
From breakout stand-up comedian Iliza Shlesinger comes a subversively funny collection of essays and observations on a confident woman's approach to friendship, singlehood, and relationships. "Girl Logic" is Iliza's term for the way women obsess over details and situations that men don't necessarily even notice. She describes is as a characteristically female way of thinking that appears to be contradictory and circuitous but is actually a complicated and highly evolved way of looking at the world. When confronted with critical decisions about dating, sex, work, even getting dressed in the morning, Iliza argues that women will by nature consider every repercussion of every option before making a move toward what they really want. And that kind of holistic thinking can actually give women an advantage in what is still a male world. In Iliza's own words: "Understanding Girl Logic is a way of embracing both our aspirations and our contradictions. GL is the desire to be strong and vulnerable. It's wanting to be curvy, but rail thin at the same time. It's striving to kick ass in a man's world while still being loved by the women around you. "This book is also for me, because apparently expounding on a stage for two hours a night wasn't enough. (Trust me, if I could start a cult I would, but I hate the idea of deliberately dying in a group.)"
basis, n. There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn't pass, that's it—you're done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it's even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover's face. How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan's The Lover's Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.
The author of the acclaimed novel Revere Beach Boulevard writes his own story of place, class, family, and love “Sentimentality is cheap. Real emotion is difficult to render. Memoirists walk a tightrope between sentimentality and simple feeling. What gives Revere Beach Elegy its vitality and ‘worth’ is the author’s taut prose and his fearlessness to run across that tightrope.” —Greg Lalas, Boston Magazine In Revere Beach Elegy, Roland Merullo returns to his childhood heaven of Revere, Massachusetts, to begin an intricate, impressionistic portrait of his rich and complex life. The tough codes of Revere’s working-class streets mix with the warmth and affirmation of family— forty cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles—to form a background against which Merullo’s later wanderings are always set. “I’ve never met Roland Merullo, or even read anything he’s written before now. Yet today I feel as if I’ve known him my whole life. . . . At the close of Elegy, the reader is comfortably walking alongside a man who has grown into himself, accepted and embraced his past.” —Ray Suarez, The Washington Post Praise for Roland Merullo’s Revere Beach Boulevard: “A great novel—ambitious, heartfelt, generous, and oh-so-skilled.” —Richard Russo Roland Merullo is the author of Revere Beach Boulevard, A Russian Requiem, and Leaving Losapas. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and daughters.
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah's father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in 1900 San Francisco.