Friday, November 11, 2011

Ibn Saud: King by Conquest

This book provides an excellent account of the individual
driving force behind the creation of Saudi Arabia. Almost
certainly, it is the very best biography of Ibn Saud that
we will ever have. John P. Jones, author and critic
Riyadh: January 16th, 1902. A 23 year-old prince leads a handful of men to reclaim his father's kingdom from the oppressive reign of the Al Rashid and their overseer, Ajlan. Hours later Ajlan is dead and Ibn Saud, flushed with victory, struts the battlements of the Mismak fortress shouting to the people in the street below, "Who is on my side? Who? Your own prince is with you again!" 
     So begins this masterful biography of Abdul Aziz ibn Saud: visionary, warrior, and founding father. A man who imposed his will on the Arabian peninsula to transform Saudi Arabia into a global power. Ibn Saud's life story reads like an adventure novel, but it is absolutely true. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mess: Stories about Women with Messy Lives

This is a collection of short stories about women with messy lives.
They are not heroic enough to occupy novels, but they are far 
too interesting and real to be without their own fictional lives. 
These stories are, by turn—or all at once—darkly comic, tragic, outrageous, and insidiously provocative. They explore the connections and conflicts between love and money, youth and aging and beauty, mothers and their children, between the demands our culture makes of women—and the prices it extracts from them. Come to these tales prepared to laugh, to cry, to recognize women you know.

Order this E-Book

Friday, November 4, 2011

In A High Place

"This generous novel takes the full measure of
some people who, at first glance, strike us as 

the most ordinary of men and women. It is her 
triumph that the result is nothing short of 
Raymond Carver, Cathedral 
     Warm, reckless, humorous, intelligent--Lily Baldwin is determined to get a grip on life. She's left her husband in San Francisco and taken her three children to live in the Sierra town of Tullease. It's hardly home--they're not natives--nor do they belong to the invasion of Disney nature-lovers come to taste the 'alpine experience.'
     One autumn afternoon Lily and the children go hiking on the mountainside. A sudden early storm blows off the summit, slamming tragedy into the family's struggle for belonging and love. 'Fast, mysterious', 'tirelessly inventive', 'as lyrical as it is funny', this novel explodes with a formidable writing talent--and an unforgettable contemporary heroine.
     In a High Place marks the debut of a consum­mately talented storyteller, Joanne Meschery, whose first novel is an inspired tale about the twin miracles of love and redemption and the tenacity of the American Dream.

Out in the Blue: Letters from Arabia 1937-1940

"Despite extensive coverage of the Gulf War, few Americans
 know how the United States came to depend on the Middle East
for oil. In Out in the Blue, Thomas Barger provides a fascinating
glimpse of that history.  ... It is an exciting narrative of desert
exploration and romance set against the emerging threat of a world war."
Brenda Daly, North Dakota Quarterly
     Out in the Blue is Tom Barger's story of his first three years exploring the deserts of early Saudi Arabia for an embryonic oil company that had yet to discover oil. In his travels he visited ancient places that have now all but disappeared and met Bedouin living a pre-Biblical nomadic life that was soon to irrevocably change in the face of modernization. 
     Told through the letters he wrote home to Kathleen, his young bride of only two weeks before he left her for the Kingdom, Out in the Blue is the story of Saudi Arabia before there was oil.