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A Company of Swans PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

A Company of Swans

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 0230737889
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 416 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 194 Readers
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Books Synopsis

A Company of Swans is a sweeping tale of romance, freedom and the beauty of dance from award-winning author, Eva Ibbotson, with a new introduction by Joanna Nadin. Weekly ballet classes are Harriet Morton's only escape from her intolerably dull life. So when she is chosen to join a corps de ballet which is setting off on a tour of the Amazon, she leaps at the chance to run away for good. Performing in the grand opera houses is everything Harriet dreamed of, and falling in love with an aristocratic exile makes her new life complete. Swept away by it all, she is unaware that her father and intended fiancé have begun to track her down . . . 'I have binged on Eva Ibbotson . . . her elegantly written, witty and well-observed fables' Nigella Lawson, The Times Rediscover Eva Ibbotson, award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, in her sweeping historical romances, including The Morning Gift, A Song For Summer and The Secret Countess, originally published as A Countess Below Stairs, Magic Flutes, originally published as The Reluctant Heiress, Madensky Square and A Company of Swans.

The Flight of Swans PDF Book By Sarah McGuire

The Flight of Swans

  • Author: Sarah McGuire
  • ISBN Code: : 1541530888
  • Publisher : Carolrhoda Books ®
  • Page : 448 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 368 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Based on the Brothers Grimm's fairy tale Six Swans, The Flight of Swans follows Ryn's journey to save her family and their kingdom. Princess Andaryn's six older brothers have always been her protectors—until her father takes a new Queen, a frightening, mysterious woman who enchants the men in the royal family. When Ryn's attempt to break the enchantment fails, she makes a bargain: the Queen will spare her brothers' lives if Ryn remains silent for six years. Ryn thinks she freed her brothers, but she never thought the Queen would turn her brothers into swans. And she never thought she'd have to undo the Queen's spell alone, without speaking.

Island of the Swans PDF Book By Ciji Ware

Island of the Swans

  • Author: Ciji Ware
  • ISBN Code: : 1402246773
  • Publisher : Sourcebooks, Inc.
  • Page : 592 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 239 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Re-issued in its original full length, this acclaimed and bestselling romantic historical novel by award-winning author Ciji Ware tells the true story of passionate and flamboyant Jane Maxwell, the 4th Duchess of Gordon (1749-1812). In love since childhood with Thomas Fraser, when she hears that he's been killed in America, she marries the Duke of Gordon with disastrous results. But Fraser, very much alive, returns to England to claim her love. In addition to telling a heart-wrenching love story, Island of the Swans also paints a fascinating portrait of a powerful and controversial woman and the tumultuous era in which she lived. Patroness of poet Robert Burns, advisor to King George, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Jane Maxwell was a towering figure in her own time and is an unforgettable heroine.

The Morning Gift PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

The Morning Gift

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 0330477374
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 512 pages
  • Genre : Young Adult Fiction
  • Reviews : 930 Readers
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Books Synopsis

A richly imagined story of unexpected love, independence, and belonging – The Morning Gift is a classic WWII romance from Eva Ibbotson, with an introduction from Sarra Manning. Eighteen-year-old Ruth lives in the sparkling city of Vienna with her family, where she delights in its music, energy and natural beauty. She is wildly in love with the brilliant young pianist Heini Radik and can't wait until they are married. But Ruth's world is turned upside down when the Nazis invade Austria and her family are forced to flee to England, and through a devastating misunderstanding she is left behind. Her only hope to escape Vienna comes from Quin, a young English professor, who unexpectedly offers her a marriage of convenience to bring her back to London. Ruth throws herself into her new life – but a secret marriage is more difficult than she expected, especially as she and Quin find themselves drawn together. 'I have binged on Eva Ibbotson . . . her elegantly written, witty and well-observed fables' – Nigella Lawson, The Times Rediscover Eva Ibbotson, award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, in her sweeping historical romances, including The Morning Gift, A Song For Summer and The Secret Countess.

Magic Flutes PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

Magic Flutes

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 0330505327
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 368 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 195 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Sweeping across countries, class and music, Eva Ibboton's classic historical romance, Magic Flutes, is a richly imagined tale of intrigue and identity, with a new introduction from Harriet Evans. In the spring of 1922, young Austrian Princess Theresa-Maria – known to her ancient aunts as 'Putzerl' – abandons her crumbling castle and her royal duties. Disguising herself simply as Tessa, she enrolls as under wardrobe mistress of the International Opera Company and soon loses herself in the intoxicating world of the Viennese opera. But when Guy Farne, an Englishman looking to impress his new fiance, arrives in Austria and employs the Company to perform at his newly purchased Austrian estate, he finds himself fascinated by the under wardrobe mistress, and Tessa finds it increasingly difficult to keep her two lives separate . . . 'I have binged on Eva Ibbotson . . . her elegantly written, witty and well-observed fables' Nigella Lawson, The Times Rediscover Eva Ibbotson, award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, in her sweeping historical romances, including The Morning Gift, A Song For Summer, The Secret Countess (originally published as A Countess Below Stairs), Madensky Square and A Company of Swans. Magic Flutes was originally published as The Reluctant Heiress.

The Star of Kazan PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

The Star of Kazan

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 0330477404
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 400 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 865 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Eva Ibbotson's hugely entertaining The Star of Kazan is a timeless classic for readers young and old. In 1896, in a pilgrim church in the Alps, an abandoned baby girl is found by a cook and a housemaid. They take her home, and Annika grows up in the servants' quarters of a house belonging to three eccentric Viennese professors. She is happy there, but dreams of the day when her real mother will come to find her. And sure enough, one day a glamorous stranger arrives at the door. After years of guilt and searching, Annika's mother has come to claim her daughter, who is in fact a Prussian aristocrat whose true home is a great castle. But at crumbling, spooky Spittal, Annika discovers that all is not as it seems in the lives of her new-found family . . .

A Song for Summer PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

A Song for Summer

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 033047734X
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 432 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 907 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Set against the backdrop of gathering war, A Song for Summer is an unforgettable love story from master storyteller Eva Ibbotson, with an introduction from Ella Risbridger. When Ellen Carr abandons grey, dreary London to become housekeeper at an experimental school in Austria, she soon knows she's found her calling. Swept into an idyllic world of mountains, music, eccentric teachers and wayward children, Ellen brings order and joy to all around her. But it's the handsome, mysterious gardener, Marek, who intrigues her – Marek, who has a dangerous secret. As Hitler's troops march across Europe, Ellen finds she has promises to keep, even if it means sacrificing her future happiness . . . 'I have binged on Eva Ibbotson . . . her elegantly written, witty and well-observed fables' Nigella Lawson, The Times

Madensky Square PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

Madensky Square

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 1447214382
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 262 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 992 Readers
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Books Synopsis

A whip-smart observation of the passions and tragedies behind daily life, Eva Ibbotson's Madensky Square is a classic snapshot of Viennese life before WWI, with a new introduction from Laura Wood. Susanna Weber's dress shop stands in the picturesque Madensky Square, a quiet little world of its own, nestled in the heart of glittering pre-war Vienna. As the winter of 1910 unfurls into spring, Susanna starts a journal about life in the Square, about the buildings and their colourful inhabitants. There's Frau Schumacher, with six daughters and a baby on the way, Professor Starsky and his menagerie of sickly reptiles, an aging bookseller, a teenaged Anarchist, and little Sigi – an orphaned child prodigy forced to play the piano all day, every day. And then there's her dear friend Alice, the only person who has noticed the heartbreak that hides beneath Susanna's brisk kindness and brilliant talent . . . Discover more of Eva Ibbotson's sweeping historical romances in Magic Flutes, The Morning Gift, The Secret Countess, A Song for Summer and A Company of Swans, all with brand new introductions.

The Maker of Swans PDF Book By Paraic O'Donnell

The Maker of Swans

  • Author: Paraic O'Donnell
  • ISBN Code: : 1953534260
  • Publisher : Tin House Books
  • Page : 368 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 660 Readers
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Books Synopsis

One of Crime Reads' Most Anticipated Books of the Year “Truly bewitching.” —David Mitchell It is no small matter, after all, to create something—to make it so only by setting down the words. We forget the magnitude, sometimes, of that miracle. In the dead of night, shots ring out over the grounds of a sprawling English estate. The world-weary butler Eustace recognizes the gunman—his longtime employer, Mr. Crowe—and knows he must think and act quickly. Who is the man lying dead on the lawn? Who is the woman in his company? Can he clean up his master’s mess like he always has before? Or will this bring a new kind of reckoning? Mr. Crowe was once famed for his gifts—unaccountable gifts, known only to the members of a secretive order. Protected and privileged, he was courted by countesses and great men of letters. But he has long since retreated from that glittering world, living alone but for Eustace and Clara, his mysterious young ward. He has been content to live quietly, his great library gathering dust and his once magnificent gardens growing wild. He has left the past behind. Until now. Because there are rules, even for Mr. Crowe and his kind, that cannot be broken. And this single night of passion and violence will have consequences, stirring shadows from the past and threatening those he now cares for. He and the faithful Eustace will be tested as never before. So too will Clara, whose own extraordinary gifts remain hidden, even from herself. If she is to save them all, she must learn to use them quickly and unlock the secret of who she is. It is a secret beyond imagining. A secret that will change everything.

Keeper of the Swans PDF Book By Nancy Butler

Keeper of the Swans

  • Author: Nancy Butler
  • ISBN Code: : 1610849922
  • Publisher : Belgrave House
  • Page : pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 402 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Facing an arranged political marriage, Diana Exeley flees her betrothal party for a deserted boathouse. When her intended and his mistress appear, she hides in a rowboat—and is carried off by the Thames. Rescued by the mysterious recluse who inhabits an overgrown island, Diana feigns amnesia. Playing for time, she prays she can avoid a loveless marriage ... and follow her own heart. Regency Romance by Nancy Butler; originally published by Signet

Summer of the Swans, The (Puffin Modern Classics) PDF Book By Betsy Byars

Summer of the Swans, The (Puffin Modern Classics)

  • Author: Betsy Byars
  • ISBN Code: : 1101006897
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Page : 144 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 299 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Sara's life has always flowed smoothly, like the gliding swans on the lake, until her little brother Charlie disappears. Then Sara is forced to see her life in a whole new way.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue PDF Book By Melanie Benjamin

The Swans of Fifth Avenue

  • Author: Melanie Benjamin
  • ISBN Code: : 0345539753
  • Publisher : Delacorte Press
  • Page : 368 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 638 Readers
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Books Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Aviator’s Wife returns with a triumphant new novel about New York’s “Swans” of the 1950s—and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley. People’s Book of the Week • USA Today’s #1 “New and Noteworthy” Book • Entertainment Weekly’s Must List • LibraryReads Top Ten Pick Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends—the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all: money, beauty, glamour, jewels, influential friends, a prestigious husband, and gorgeous homes. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman—a woman desperately longing for true love and connection. Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entrée into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, along with unparalleled access to the scandal and gossip of Babe’s powerful circle. Sure of the loyalty of the man she calls “True Heart,” Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller—even when the stories aren’t his to tell. Truman’s fame is at its peak when such notable celebrities as Frank and Mia Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, and Rose Kennedy converge on his glittering Black and White Ball. But all too soon, he’ll ignite a literary scandal whose repercussions echo through the years. The Swans of Fifth Avenue will seduce and startle readers as it opens the door onto one of America’s most sumptuous eras. Praise for The Swans of Fifth Avenue “Exceptional storytelling . . . teeming with scandal, gossip and excitement.”—Harper’s Bazaar “This moving fictionalization brings the whole cast of characters back to vivid life. Gossipy and fun, it’s also a nuanced look at the beauty and cruelty of a rarefied, bygone world.”—People “The era and the sordid details come back to life in this jewel of a novel.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

Court of Swans PDF Book By Melanie Dickerson

Court of Swans

  • Author: Melanie Dickerson
  • ISBN Code: : 0785234020
  • Publisher : Thomas Nelson
  • Page : 336 pages
  • Genre : Young Adult Fiction
  • Reviews : 504 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Where there is wealth and power, there’s always someone willing to do anything to take it. When Delia's father dies, her stepmother accuses her seven brothers of treasonous crimes. Seeking to free them from Richard II's grasp, Delia's only ally is Sir Geoffrey, the man who arrested them. Can she trust him? England, 1381: Delia’s idyllic life as daughter of an earl is shattered when her father dies and his wife accuses Delia’s seven brothers of treason and murder. The youngest is only ten years old, but this doesn’t stop the guards from hauling them off to the Tower of London. There they await a grim fate, as child-king Richard II is executing anyone who poses a threat to his throne. Delia is their only hope for pardon and freedom. Sir Geoffrey did not expect his first assignment as captain of the guard to be the arrest of boys so young. He dutifully imprisons the brothers, but he can’t ignore the feeling, rooted in personal experience, that injustice and treachery are at work. Determined to rescue her brothers, Delia secures a position as a seamstress for the queen. Her quest is all but impossible as the executions continue. Sir Geoffrey offers to be her ally, but should she trust him in a court where everyone has an agenda? From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a tender retelling of “The Wild Swans,” where the virtues of loyalty and love face a harrowing showdown with power and fear. The first installment in a brand-new series set in England: The Dericott Tales Book 1: Court of Swans Book 2: Castle of Refuge Book 3: Veil of Winter Full-length clean fairy-tale reimagining Includes discussion questions for book clubs

Dying Swans and Madmen PDF Book By Adrienne L. McLean

Dying Swans and Madmen

  • Author: Adrienne L. McLean
  • ISBN Code: : 081354467X
  • Publisher : Rutgers University Press
  • Page : 320 pages
  • Genre : Performing Arts
  • Reviews : 234 Readers
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Books Synopsis

From mid-twentieth-century films such as Grand Hotel, Waterloo Bridge, and The Red Shoes to recent box-office hits including Billy Elliot, Save the Last Dance, and The Company, ballet has found its way, time and again, onto the silver screen and into the hearts of many otherwise unlikely audiences. In Dying Swans and Madmen, Adrienne L. McLean explores the curious pairing of classical and contemporary, art and entertainment, high culture and popular culture to reveal the ambivalent place that this art form occupies in American life. Drawing on examples that range from musicals to tragic melodramas, she shows how commercial films have produced an image of ballet and its artists that is associated both with joy, fulfillment, fame, and power and with sexual and mental perversity, melancholy, and death. Although ballet is still received by many with a lack of interest or outright suspicion, McLean argues that these attitudes as well as ballet's popularity and its acceptability as a way of life and a profession have often depended on what audiences first learned about it from the movies.

The Swan and the Jackal PDF Book By J.A. Redmerski

The Swan and the Jackal

  • Author: J.A. Redmerski
  • ISBN Code: : 1496123727
  • Publisher : Lonely Raven Studios
  • Page : 328 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 411 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Fredrik Gustavsson never considered the possibility of love, or that anyone could ever understand or accept his dark and bloody lifestyle—until he met Seraphina, a woman as vicious and blood-thirsty as Fredrik himself. They spent two short but unforgettable years together, full of lust and killing and the darkest kind of love that two people can share. And then Seraphina was gone. It’s been six years since Fredrik’s lover and sadistic partner in crime turned his world upside-down. Seraphina went into hiding and has eluded him ever since. Now, he’s getting closer to finding her, and an innocent woman named Cassia is the key to drawing Seraphina from the shadows. But Cassia—after sustaining injuries from a fire that Seraphina ignited—suffers from amnesia and can’t give Fredrik the information he desperately seeks. Having no other choice, Fredrik has been keeping Cassia locked in his basement as he not only tries to get her to recall her past—because she and Seraphina share it—but also to protect her from Seraphina, who clearly wants her dead. But Cassia is a light in the darkness that Fredrik never believed existed. After a year subjected to her kindness and compassion, he finds himself struggling with his love for Seraphina, and his growing feelings for Cassia—because he knows that to love one, the other must die. Will light win out over darkness, or will something more powerful than either further destroy an already tortured soul?

The Trumpet of the Swan PDF Book By E. B. White

The Trumpet of the Swan

  • Author: E. B. White
  • ISBN Code: : 0062406809
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Page : 272 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 265 Readers
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Books Synopsis

The delightful classic by E. B. White, author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, about overcoming obstacles and the joy of music. Now available for the first time as an ebook! Illustrations in this ebook appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices. Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love? "We, and our children, are lucky to have this book." —John Updike The Trumpet of the Swan joins E. B. White favorites Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little as classic illustrated novels that continue to speak to today's readers. Whether you curl up with your young reader to share these books or hand them off for independent reading, you are helping to create what are likely to be all-time favorite reading memories.

Swan Song PDF Book By Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Swan Song

  • Author: Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
  • ISBN Code: : 1443458333
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Page : 480 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 673 Readers
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Books Synopsis

A dazzling debut about gossip, slander and the public humiliation of New York socialites in the 1970s. Based on real events, Swan Song is the tragic story of the beautiful, wealthy, vulnerable women whom Truman Capote called his Swans, and who deserted him after he betrayed them. On exclusive yachts and private jets, they shared their deepest secrets and greatest fears with the famous writer. Then in 1975, Capote committed an act of professional and social suicide when he turned his words against the most influential women in Manhattan and silenced his muses. After two decades of cultivating intimate friendships and a high-end lifestyle, Capote detonated a literary grenade, forever rupturing the elite circle he’d worked so hard to infiltrate.

A Lamentation of Swans PDF Book By Valerie Bronwen

A Lamentation of Swans

  • Author: Valerie Bronwen
  • ISBN Code: : 1626398291
  • Publisher : Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Page : pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 924 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Two years ago, Ariel Montgomery left her wife and ran away from the beautiful estate of Sea Oats after an enormous argument. Older and wiser now, Ariel has returned to Sea Oats to try to save her marriage—only there is something sinister going on at Sea Oats. As Ariel tries to win her wife’s love back, she begins to suspect her own life is in danger, and has to find out the truth about what is going on at the beautiful mansion by the sea.

Green Swans PDF Book By John Elkington

Green Swans

  • Author: John Elkington
  • ISBN Code: : 1732439133
  • Publisher : Greenleaf Book Group
  • Page : 296 pages
  • Genre : Business & Economics
  • Reviews : 958 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Even leading capitalists admit that capitalism is broken. Green Swans is a manifesto for system change designed to serve people, planet, and prosperity. In his twentieth book, John Elkington—dubbed the “Godfather of Sustainability”—explores new forms of capitalism fit for the twenty-first century. If Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “Black Swans” are problems that can take us exponentially toward breakdown, then “Green Swans” are solutions that take us exponentially toward breakthrough. The success—and survival—of humanity now depends on how we rein in the first and accelerate the second. Green Swans draws on Elkington’s firsthand experience in some of the world’s best-known boardrooms and C-suites. Using case studies, real-world examples, and profiles on emergent technologies, Elkington shows how the weirdest “Ugly Ducklings” of today’s world may turn into tomorrow’s world-saving Green Swans. This book is a must-read for business leaders in corporations great and small who want to help their businesses survive the coming shift in global priorities over the next decade and expand their horizons from responsibility, through resilience, and onto regeneration.

Company of Liars PDF Book By Karen Maitland

Company of Liars

  • Author: Karen Maitland
  • ISBN Code: : 0440338832
  • Publisher : Delacorte Press
  • Page : 480 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 539 Readers
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Books Synopsis

In this extraordinary novel, Karen Maitland delivers a dazzling reinterpretation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—an ingenious alchemy of history, mystery, and powerful human drama. The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them. Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot, the relic-seller who will become the group’s leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all—propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw coming. Magical, heart-quickening, and raw, Company of Liars is a work of vaulting imagination from a powerful new voice in historical fiction. Praise for Company of Liars “[Maitland] brings to life a medieval England of muddy streets and half-naked children fighting each other for pieces of dog dung to sell to the tanners, as sheep-stealers swing purple-faced from the gallows. . . . She neatly catches the spirit of primitive superstition that governed every aspect of 14th century life and then rolls on with it for her own story-telling ends. . . . Company of Liars is a richly evocative page-turner which brings to life a lost and terrible period of British history, with a disturbing final twist worthy of a master of the spine-tingler, such as Henry James.”—Daily Express (UK) “Transports readers back to the days of the Black Death . . . Paying homage to The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales, this is a gripping read. . . . As a reader you are taken as close to the plague as you would ever wish to go.”—Bookseller

A Body of Work PDF Book By David Hallberg

A Body of Work

  • Author: David Hallberg
  • ISBN Code: : 1476771170
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Page : 432 pages
  • Genre : Biography & Autobiography
  • Reviews : 976 Readers
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Books Synopsis

David Hallberg, the first American to join the famed Bolshoi Ballet as a principal dancer and the dazzling artist The New Yorker described as “the most exciting male dancer in the western world,” presents a look at his artistic life—up to the moment he returns to the stage after a devastating injury that almost cost him his career. Beginning with his real-life Billy Elliot childhood—an all-American story marred by intense bullying—and culminating in his hard-won comeback, Hallberg’s “moving and intelligent” (Daniel Mendelsohn) memoir dives deep into life as an artist as he wrestles with ego, pushes the limits of his body, and searches for ecstatic perfection and fulfillment as one of the world’s most acclaimed ballet dancers. Rich in detail ballet fans will adore, Hallberg presents an “unsparing…inside look” (The New York Times) and also reflects on universal and relatable themes like inspiration, self-doubt, and perfectionism as he takes you into daily classes, rigorous rehearsals, and triumphant performances, searching for new interpretations of ballet’s greatest roles. He reveals the loneliness he felt as a teenager leaving America to join the Paris Opera Ballet School, the ambition he had to tame as a new member of American Ballet Theatre, and the reasons behind his headline-grabbing decision to be the first American to join the top rank of Bolshoi Ballet, tendered by the Artistic Director who would later be the victim of a vicious acid attack. Then, as Hallberg performed throughout the world at the peak of his abilities, he suffered a crippling ankle injury and botched surgery leading to an agonizing retreat from ballet and an honest reexamination of his entire life. Combining his powers of observation and memory with emotional honesty and artistic insight, Hallberg has written a great ballet memoir and an intimate portrait of an artist in all his vulnerability, passion, and wisdom. “Candid and engrossing” (The Washington Post), A Body of Work is a memoir “for everyone with a heart” (DC Metro Theater Arts).

Swans of the Kremlin PDF Book By Christina Ezrahi

Swans of the Kremlin

  • Author: Christina Ezrahi
  • ISBN Code: : 0822978075
  • Publisher : University of Pittsburgh Pre
  • Page : 336 pages
  • Genre : History
  • Reviews : 826 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Classical ballet was perhaps the most visible symbol of aristocratic culture and its isolation from the rest of Russian society under the tsars. In the wake of the October Revolution, ballet, like all of the arts, fell under the auspices of the Soviet authorities. In light of these events, many feared that the imperial ballet troupes would be disbanded. Instead, the Soviets attempted to mold the former imperial ballet to suit their revolutionary cultural agenda and employ it to reeducate the masses. As Christina Ezrahi’s groundbreaking study reveals, they were far from successful in this ambitious effort to gain complete control over art. Swans of the Kremlin offers a fascinating glimpse at the collision of art and politics during the volatile first fifty years of the Soviet period. Ezrahi shows how the producers and performers of Russia’s two major troupes, the Mariinsky (later Kirov) and the Bolshoi, quietly but effectively resisted Soviet cultural hegemony during this period. Despite all controls put on them, they managed to maintain the classical forms and traditions of their rich artistic past and to further develop their art form. These aesthetic and professional standards proved to be the power behind the ballet’s worldwide appeal. The troupes soon became the showpiece of Soviet cultural achievement, as they captivated Western audiences during the Cold War period. Based on her extensive research into official archives, and personal interviews with many of the artists and staff, Ezrahi presents the first-ever account of the inner workings of these famed ballet troupes during the Soviet era. She follows their struggles in the postrevolutionary period, their peak during the golden age of the 1950s and 1960s, and concludes with their monumental productions staged to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the revolution in 1968.

Black Swan Green PDF Book By David Mitchell

Black Swan Green

  • Author: David Mitchell
  • ISBN Code: : 030737548X
  • Publisher : Vintage Canada
  • Page : 304 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 968 Readers
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Books Synopsis

By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas | Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize Selected by Time as One of the Ten Best Books of the Year | A New York Times Notable Book | Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post Book World, The Christian Science Monitor, Rocky Mountain News, and Kirkus Reviews | A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist | Winner of the ALA Alex Award | Finalist for the Costa Novel Award From award-winning writer David Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new. Black Swan Green tracks a single year in what is, for thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in a dying Cold War England, 1982. But the thirteen chapters, each a short story in its own right, create an exquisitely observed world that is anything but sleepy. A world of Kissingeresque realpolitik enacted in boys’ games on a frozen lake; of “nightcreeping” through the summer backyards of strangers; of the tabloid-fueled thrills of the Falklands War and its human toll; of the cruel, luscious Dawn Madden and her power-hungry boyfriend, Ross Wilcox; of a certain Madame Eva van Outryve de Crommelynck, an elderly bohemian emigré who is both more and less than she appears; of Jason’s search to replace his dead grandfather’s irreplaceable smashed watch before the crime is discovered; of first cigarettes, first kisses, first Duran Duran LPs, and first deaths; of Margaret Thatcher’s recession; of Gypsies camping in the woods and the hysteria they inspire; and, even closer to home, of a slow-motion divorce in four seasons. Pointed, funny, profound, left-field, elegiac, and painted with the stuff of life, Black Swan Green is David Mitchell’s subtlest and most effective achievement to date. Praise for Black Swan Green “[David Mitchell has created] one of the most endearing, smart, and funny young narrators ever to rise up from the pages of a novel. . . . The always fresh and brilliant writing will carry readers back to their own childhoods. . . . This enchanting novel makes us remember exactly what it was like.”—The Boston Globe “[David Mitchell is a] prodigiously daring and imaginative young writer. . . . As in the works of Thomas Pynchon and Herman Melville, one feels the roof of the narrative lifted off and oneself in thrall.”—Time

The Four Swans PDF Book By Winston Graham

The Four Swans

  • Author: Winston Graham
  • ISBN Code: : 0330524259
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 590 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 545 Readers
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Books Synopsis

The Four Swans is the masterful sixth novel in Winston Graham's hugely popular Poldark series, which has become a television phenomenon starring Aidan Turner. Cornwall 1795-1797. Although Ross Poldark – now something of a war hero – seems secure in his hard-won prosperity, a new dilemma faces him in the sudden infatuation of a young naval officer for his wife Demelza. All four women – the four swans – whose lives touch Ross’s, face a crisis in these years. For his wife Demelza, his old love Elizabeth, his friend’s new wife Caroline and for the unhappy Morwenna Chynoweth these are times of stress and conflict. The Four Swans is followed by the seventh book in the Poldark series, The Angry Tide.

The Swan PDF Book By Stephen Moss

The Swan

  • Author: Stephen Moss
  • ISBN Code: : 1473587123
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Page : 216 pages
  • Genre : Nature
  • Reviews : 627 Readers
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Books Synopsis

From the renowned naturalist Stephen Moss comes the must-have gift for bird lovers this Christmas. 'Wherever there is a stretch of water for them to find food and make their nest, you will come across swans' With beautiful illustrations throughout, this eye-opening biography reveals the hidden secrets of one of Britain's best-known birds. The Mute Swan is not so much a bird, as a national treasure: the avian equivalent of Sir David Attenborough or the Queen. These huge and stately creatures are part of our urban and rural landscapes, a constant presence on lakes, rivers and ponds throughout Britain. Yet despite their familiarity, they are often misunderstood; and while many people love swans, others fear them. Swans also feature in myths and legends, art and literature, dance and music, not just in Britain but all around the world. Stephen Moss delves into the facts and fiction about these charismatic birds, describes their seasonal life cycle and examines their central role in our history and culture. He also includes stories about 'wild swans' - Whooper and Bewicks - that visit us in winter; and the Black Swan of Australia. 'A superb naturalist and writer' Chris Packham 'Moss has carved out an enviable niche as a chronicler of the natural world' Daily Mail

Bunheads PDF Book By Sophie Flack

Bunheads

  • Author: Sophie Flack
  • ISBN Code: : 0316193224
  • Publisher : Poppy
  • Page : 304 pages
  • Genre : Young Adult Fiction
  • Reviews : 582 Readers
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Books Synopsis

On-stage beauty. Backstage drama. As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet. But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

A Glove Shop in Vienna and Other Stories PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

A Glove Shop in Vienna and Other Stories

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 1447266528
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 242 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 700 Readers
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Books Synopsis

'Discovering Eva Ibbotson’s books is one of the nicest things that’s ever happened to me. The most beautiful, delicious, wry read' – Marian Keyes Curl up with a collection of romantic short stories taking you from nineteenth-century Vienna, over the wild moors of Northumberland to the snowy streets of pre-revolutionary St Petersberg. A collection of eighteen romantic short stories from the award-winning and much-loved Eva Ibbotson, A Glove Shop in Vienna will show you the great passions and astute observations of everyday life. Join Great-Uncle Max, torn between his grand and secret love for Susie, the enchanting glove shop assistant, and the devotion of his opera-singing wife. Meet Miss Bennett, drama mistress at the fading Markham Street Primary School, whose search for a baby Jesus for the nativity play yields unexpected and miraculous results. And agonise with Kira, a dancer in Russia's Imperial Ballet school, thrown out onto the streets of St. Petersburg, and found by Edwin, a lonely dreamer. A chocolate-box collection of deliciously romantic, atmospheric and witty stories to lose yourself in this Christmas. 'Eva Ibbotson is such a good writer that her characters break the bonds of the romantic novel' Washington Post

A Dance Like Starlight PDF Book By Kristy Dempsey

A Dance Like Starlight

  • Author: Kristy Dempsey
  • ISBN Code: : 0698152913
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Page : 32 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 838 Readers
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Books Synopsis

A story of little ballerinas with big dreams. Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true—they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by. But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star. In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.

The Secret of Platform 13 PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

The Secret of Platform 13

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 0330477692
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 208 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 536 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Under Platform 13 at King's Cross Station there is a secret door that leads to a magical island . . . It appears only once every nine years. And when it opens, four mysterious figures step into the streets of London. A wizard, an ogre, a fey and a young hag have come to find the prince of their kingdom, stolen as a baby nine years before. But the prince has become a horrible rich boy called Raymond Trottle, who doesn't understand magic and is determined not to be rescued. Shortlisted for the Smarties Prize, The Secret of Platform 13 is an exciting magical adventure from Eva Ibbotson, the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea. 'This kind of fun will never fail to delight' Philip Pullman

The Secret Countess PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

The Secret Countess

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 0230226035
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Page : 368 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 691 Readers
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Books Synopsis

'A fairy tale for grown-ups. It's unapologetically romantic but it's also extremely funny, wry, dry and witty - and hugely uplifting.' – Marian Keyes, Daily Mail As WWI draws to a close, a love affair that stretches across countries, families and class begins, in master storyteller Eva Ibbotson's classic historical romance The Secret Countess, with an introduction from Amanda Craig. Anna Grazinsky, a young Russian countess, has lived in the glittering city of St Petersburg all her life in an ice-blue palace overlooking the River Neva. But when revolution tears Russia apart, her now-penniless family is forced to flee to England. Armed with an out-of-date book on housekeeping, Anna determines to help her family in any way possible, and she is soon hired as a housemaid at the Earl of Westerholme's crumbling but magnificent mansion. Then Rupert, the young Earl, returns home from the war and is fascinated by his new housemaid, and the more time they spend together the more they feel inexplicably drawn together. But they can never be together; Rupert is already engaged and Anna is only a servant . . . 'I have binged on Eva Ibbotson . . . her elegantly written, witty and well-observed fables' – Nigella Lawson, The Times Rediscover Eva Ibbotson, award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, in her sweeping historical romances, including The Morning Gift, A Song For Summer and The Secret Countess, originally published as A Countess Below Stairs.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) PDF Book By Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel)

  • Author: Suzanne Collins
  • ISBN Code: : 1338635182
  • Publisher : Scholastic Inc.
  • Page : 528 pages
  • Genre : Young Adult Fiction
  • Reviews : 190 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price. It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined - every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Leonardo's Swans PDF Book By Karen Essex

Leonardo's Swans

  • Author: Karen Essex
  • ISBN Code: : 0385517661
  • Publisher : Anchor
  • Page : 352 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 687 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Isabelle d’Este, daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, born into privilege and the political and artistic turbulence of Renaissance Italy, is a stunning black-eyed blond and an art lover and collector. Worldly and ambitious, she has never envied her less attractive sister, the spirited but naïve Beatrice, until, by a quirk of fate, Beatrice is betrothed to the future Duke of Milan. Although he is more than twice their age, openly lives with his mistress, and is reputedly trying to eliminate the current duke by nefarious means, Ludovico Sforza is Isabella’s match in intellect and passion for all things of beauty. Only he would allow her to fulfill her destiny: to reign over one of the world’s most powerful and enlightened realms and be immortalized in oil by the genius Leonardo da Vinci. Isabella vows that she will not rest until she wins her true fate, and the two sisters compete for supremacy in the illustrious courts of Europe. A haunting novel of rivalry, love, and betrayal that transports you back to Renaissance Italy, Leonardo’s Swans will have you dashing to the works of the great master—not for clues to a mystery but to contemplate the secrets of the human heart.

Sex & Rage PDF Book By Eve Babitz

Sex & Rage

  • Author: Eve Babitz
  • ISBN Code: : 1786892758
  • Publisher : Canongate Books
  • Page : 250 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 343 Readers
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Books Synopsis

It is the 1970s in LA, and Jacaranda Leven - child of sun and surf - is swept into the dazzling cultural milieu of the beautiful people. Floating on a cloud of drink, drugs and men, she finds herself adrift, before her talent for writing, and a determined literary agent, set her on a course for New York and a new life. Sex & Rage is a recently re-discovered classic from author Eve Babitz, herself a muse to many an artist, writer and musician in the 1970s. A semi-autobiographical novel, it charts the highs and lows of a life lived at the limits, and transports the reader to a sunnier, dreamier, more reckless time and place.

Leaping Beauty PDF Book By Gregory Maguire

Leaping Beauty

  • Author: Gregory Maguire
  • ISBN Code: : 0061906301
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Page : 224 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 329 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Who better to wreak havoc with eight beloved fairytales than Gregory Maguire, the brilliantly funny author of the adult novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, as well as of the hilarious middle–grade series, The Hamlet Chronicles. Zany animals of all species run through these fractured tales with alarming speed and dexterity. Who would have thought that Sleeping Beauty, that most regal of all fairy– tales, could be twisted into the story of a frog with a most unusual and promising dance career? Get ready to meet a gorilla queen and a psycho chimp, seven giant giraffes; and one very bad walrus.

One Dog and His Boy PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

One Dog and His Boy

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 1407131605
  • Publisher : Scholastic UK
  • Page : 288 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 843 Readers
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Books Synopsis

All Hal ever wanted was a dog - but a dog would damage the expensive carpets in his parents' glamorous home, and they refuse to consider one. That's until they discover Easy Pets, a dog-rental agency. Fleck the terrier arrives on Hal's birthday, and Hal is overjoyed. But when Hal discovers to his horror that his dog is to be returned, he runs away... along with a bunch of pedigree hounds, all joyfully escaping from Easy Pets! Soon Hal and his dogs - including Otto the wise St Bernard, and the fierce and excitable Pekinese Li-Chee - are being chased across the country by ruthless pursuers. Helped by a travelling circus and some orphanage children, can they race to freedom? Written in the timeless tradition of 101 Dalmations, this is a tail-wagging grand adventure that every dog-lover will adore. Praise for Eva Ibbotson: "Readers of classic children's fiction will be familiar with the bliss that steals over one when a new Eva Ibbotson novel is published." Amanda Craig, The Times "Eva Ibbotson weaves a magic like no other. Once enchanted, always enchanted." Michael Morpurgo "This kind of fun will never fail to delight." Philip Pullman

The Company of Trees PDF Book By Thomas Pakenham

The Company of Trees

  • Author: Thomas Pakenham
  • ISBN Code: : 0297866257
  • Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • Page : 224 pages
  • Genre : Nature
  • Reviews : 531 Readers
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Books Synopsis

'The master. Puts all other modern tree-writers in the shade' John Lewis-Stempel, author of Meadowland Thomas Pakenham is an indefatigable champion of trees. In The Company of Trees he recounts his personal quest to establish a large arboretum on the family estate, Tullynally in Ireland; his forays to other tree-filled parks and plantations; his often hazardous seed-hunting expeditions; and his efforts to preserve magnificent old trees and historic woodlands. Whether writing about the terrible storms breaking the backs of hundred-year-old trees or a fire in the peat bog on Tullynally which threatens to spread to the main commercial spruce-woods, his fear of climate change and disease, or the sturdy young saplings giving him hope for the future, his book is never less than enthralling.

The Abominables PDF Book By Eva Ibbotson

The Abominables

  • Author: Eva Ibbotson
  • ISBN Code: : 140713549X
  • Publisher : Scholastic UK
  • Page : 256 pages
  • Genre : Juvenile Fiction
  • Reviews : 528 Readers
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Books Synopsis

A hundred years ago, in the Himalayan peaks of Nanvi Dar, the daughter of an English earl is kidnapped by a huge hairy monster. In a secret valley Agatha Farlingham is introduced to a family of motherless yetis and devotes her life to their upbringing. She teaches them to speak, tells them stories and insists on polite manners. But as the decades pass, tourists come to the mountains, a hotel is built and yeti-hunters arrive. Agatha knows that there is one place in the world where they would be protected - her ancestral home at Farley Towers. When a boy and his sister stumble upon her hidden valley, she knows she has found the courageous people who will carry out her plan. The excited yetis are smuggled into the bridal suite at the hotel. A freezer lorry is waiting to put them into semi-hibernation on the long trip home. But the baby yak that has fallen in love with the youngest yeti foils the refrigeration plan and they set off on a hugely entertaining road trip half way across the world. In the Sultan of Aslerfan's kingdom the yetis release all the animals from his zoo. In the Alps they rescue a lost child in a blizzard. In Spain, the yak creates chaos at a bullfight. But when they arrive in England, a terrible shock awaits them at Farley Towers... This early novel, never submitted for publication, contains all the trademark qualities that made Eva's subsequent books so successful; comedy, loveable and eccentric characters, perfectly-crafted plotting, and inspiring themes of tolerance, kindness to animals, and the defeat of cruelty.

Grape Britain PDF Book By David Harvey

Grape Britain

  • Author: David Harvey
  • ISBN Code: : 1906476888
  • Publisher : Neil Wilson Publishing
  • Page : 256 pages
  • Genre : Travel
  • Reviews : 272 Readers
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Books Synopsis

In 2006 an English sparkling wine was voted best in the world. Sound too good to be true? It isn't. The face of UK wine has changed dramatically over the past few years. In this unique guide based on a tour that David Harvey made in 2006, Grape Britain celebrates in style the emergence of a distinctive and vibrant UK wine scene. At the time of the Domesday Book in the late 11th century, vineyards were recorded in 46 places in southern England, from East Anglia across to Somerset. By the time Henry VIII ascended the throne there were 139 sizeable vineyards in England and Wales. Adverse changes in the weather and the dissolution of the monasteries led to a gradual decline that has only recently been reversed. Since the 1960s there has been a rapid increase in the number of UK vineyards with the total area under cultivation rising to more than 2,000 acres and it is now a fully mature, vibrant industry boasting unique wines and a wealth of exciting grape varieties such as Seyval Blanc, Bacchus and Madeleine Angevine. There are now around 300 vineyards spread over the length and breadth of Britain and wine production is set to double in the near future in order to cope with the huge demand for its wines. David Harvey was so surprised to find a quality vineyard in Leeds that he quit his management job at Oddbin's to spend a year travelling around England and Wales in 2006 visiting as many vineyards as possible from Chateau de la Mare in Jersey to Leventhorpe in Yorkshire, and from the big Champagne challenger Nyetimber in Sussex to small producers like historic Parva in Wales. In this enlightening guide book, you will not only discover some wonderful vineyard settings, but also a wealth of information on the producing areas, the grapes, the wines themselves and how they are made and, most important of all, you will be introduced to the people who make them. This is the one essential book you will need to learn about this fascinating and, until now, largely ignored corner of the wine world.

A Lamentation of Swans PDF Book By Valerie Bronwen

A Lamentation of Swans

  • Author: Valerie Bronwen
  • ISBN Code: : 1626398291
  • Publisher : Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Page : pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 998 Readers
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Books Synopsis

Two years ago, Ariel Montgomery left her wife and ran away from the beautiful estate of Sea Oats after an enormous argument. Older and wiser now, Ariel has returned to Sea Oats to try to save her marriage—only there is something sinister going on at Sea Oats. As Ariel tries to win her wife’s love back, she begins to suspect her own life is in danger, and has to find out the truth about what is going on at the beautiful mansion by the sea.

The Singing of Swans PDF Book By Mary Saracino

The Singing of Swans

  • Author: Mary Saracino
  • ISBN Code: : 1597190373
  • Publisher : Pearlsong Press
  • Page : 348 pages
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Reviews : 747 Readers
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Books Synopsis

2007 Lambda Literary Awards finalist The Singing of Swans tells the story of Madalene Ross, a thirty-year-old American who "lives in her head," cut off from her body, her heart, and her sense of purpose in the world. En route to and from her job as a computer programmer in Minneapolis, Madalene is hounded on the downtown streets by a homeless woman who asks "Got a match?" At night bizarre dreams haunt her sleep. Women fly through rooftops, chant in ancient temples, paint tongues of fire on vivid white canvases. Madalene's story is interwoven with the lives of three women: Rosalina, a priestess of Persephone in 70 B.C.E. Sicily; Ziza, a strega (Italian witch) in 16th century northeastern Italy, and Ibla, an herbalist and painter in 18th century southern Italy. Sicily's Lake Pergusa and the Black Madonna also act as a portal to the rich tradition of pre-Christian spirituality that lies beneath Church dogma. The Singing of Swans takes readers on a multi-century journey to uncover long-silenced traditions, crack Madalene's spiritual code and reclaim her soul. Elements of magical realism dovetail with historical storytelling as this compelling tale of redemption unfolds. "The Singing of Swans is a remarkable narrative calling -- even compelling -- us to connect with our own ancestral roots, to seek our own inner wisdom, and to reclaim, our own inner voices," says Margaret Starbird, author of The Woman with the Alabaster Jar & Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile. "The Roman poet Ovid sang of the beautiful Sicilian lake where Persephone descended to the otherworld -- a lake now dying from overdevelopment," says Patricia Monaghan, author of The Goddess Path and The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog. "No siren's song could be more commanding than this novel centered on that magical lake. Generations of women of the streghe tradition -- call them pagans, call them witches -- join their voices in this tightly wrought magical chorus."