Author: Alessandro Baricco
The author of the international bestseller Silk now delivers a ravishing and wildly inventive novel about friendship, genius and its discontents, and the redemptive power of narrative. Somewhere in America lives a brilliant boy named Gould, an intellectual guided missile aimed at the Nobel Prize. His only companions are an imaginary giant and an imaginary mute. Improbably—and yet with impeccable logic--he falls into the care of Shatzy Shell, a young woman whose life up till that point has been equally devoid of human connection . Theirs is a relationship of stories and of stories within stories: of Gould’s evolving saga of an underdog boxer and the violent Western that Shatzy has been dictating into a tape recorder since the age of six. Out of these stories, Alessandro Baricco creates a masterpiece of metaphysical pulp fiction that recalls both Scheherazade and Italo Calvino. By turns exhilarating and deeply moving, City is irresistible.
Author: Simone Troisi, Christian Paccini
Publisher: Sophia Institute Press
Chiara Petrillo was seated in a wheel chair looking lovingly toward Jesus in the tabernacle. Her husband, Enrico, found the courage to ask her a question that he had been holding back. Thinking of Jesus’s phrase, “my yoke is sweet and my burden is light,” he asked: “Is this yoke, this cross, really sweet, as Jesus said?” A smile came across Chiara’s face. She turned to her husband and said in a weak voice: “Yes, Enrico, it is very sweet.” At 28 years old, Chiara passed away, her body ravaged by cancer. The emotional, physical, and spiritual trials of this young Italian mother are not uncommon. It was her joyful and loving response to each that led one cardinal to call her “a saint for our times.” Chiara entrusted her first baby to the blessed Virgin, but felt as though this child was not hers to keep. Soon, it was revealed her daughter had life-threatening abnormalities. Despite universal pressure to abort, Chiara gave birth to a beautiful girl who died within the hour. A year later, the death of her second child came even more quickly. Yet God was preparing their hearts for more—more sorrow and more grace. While pregnant a third time, Chiara developed a malignant tumor. She refused to jeopardize the life of her unborn son by undergoing treatments during the pregnancy. Chiara waited until after Francesco was safely born, and then began the most intense treatments of radiation and chemotherapy, but it was soon clear that the cancer was terminal. Almost immediately after giving birth to Francesco, Chiara’s tumor became terminal and caused her to lose the use of her right eye. Her body was tested, and so was her soul as she suffered through terrible dark nights. She said “yes” to everything God sent her way, becoming a true child of God. And as her days on earth came to an end, Enrico looked down on his wife and said, “If she is going to be with Someone who loves her more than I, why should I be upset?” Each saint has a special charisma, a particular facet of God that is reflected through her. Chiara’s was to be a witness to joy in the face of great adversity, the kind which makes love overflow despite the sorrow from loss and death.
Author: Pope Francis
Publisher: Random House
Pope Francis examines the role of millennials in the future of the Catholic Church in this urgent call to believers of all generations to work together to build a better world. Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has reinvigorated the Catholic Church and become one of the most popular global leaders. Now, in this extraordinary interview with journalist Thomas Leoncini, His Holiness reminds Catholics of all ages that “God is young; He is always new.” God has energy, spontaneity, and the desire for change—youthful qualities that can be rallied to fight the many problems facing the Catholic Church and the world at large. In this inspiring volume, published in English for the first time, Pope Francis’s solution to these challenges is simple: a “revolution of tenderness” that unites believers of all ages in a mission to remake the world. “God is young! God is the Eternal One who has no time, but is able to renew and rejuvenate Himself and all things continually. The most distinctive attributes of the young are also His. He is young because He makes all things new and loves innovation; because He astonishes and loves astonishment; because He dreams and wants us to dream.”—Pope Francis
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh, David Steindl-Rast, Elaine Pagels
A Vietnamese monk and Buddhist teacher explores the common ground of Christianity and Buddhism on such subjects as compassion and holiness, and offers inspiration to believers in both religions.
Author: Isaac Bashevis Singer
Caught between his eagerness to win fame and fortune as a performer and his reluctance to give up his easy life of pleasure, a late-nineteenth-century Polish magician and holy man finds himself on the brink of disaster.
Author: Georges Simenon, Geoffrey Sainsbury
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Dirty, drunk, unloved, and unloving, Hector Loursat has lived as a near recluse since his wife abandoned him and their infant daughter eighteen years before. Though a member of a prominent local family and at one time a successful lawyer, Loursat now shuns and is shunned by polite society–which suits him fine. He prefers to spend his evenings leafing through the books in his library and drinking Bordeaux. Loursat does his best to ignore the presence of his teenage daughter, paying little attention to the questionable activities that seem to be going on in his vast, old, ever-more dilapidated house. But then, one night, the sound of a gunshot penetrates the padded walls of Loursat’s study. He leaves the security of his wing of the house to investigate. What he stumbles on is a case of murder. Loursat begins to discover something of the secret life of his daughter and her circle of friends, young people from all levels of local society. He finds himself strangely drawn to this group, and when one of them is accused of the murder, he astonishes all by taking up the young man’s defense. Reluctantly Loursat finds himself drawn back into the thick of life. InThe Strangers in the House, Georges Simenon, master chronicler of the dark side of the human heart, gives us a detective story that is also a tale of an improbable redemption.
Author: Glenn Cooper
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Elisabetta Celestino, a brilliant young archaeologist at work in Rome’s ancient catacombs, has discovered a unique pattern of astrological symbols on an underground wall. She feels sure that evidence of a previously unknown pre-Christian sect lies in an adjacent chamber, and is devastated when the Vatican refuses to support her excavation effort. Ten years later, a cave-in damages the vault, revealing a chamber full of human skeletons that share a disturbing anatomical feature. Elisabetta has joined an Augustinian order following the tragic end of her academic career, but unexpectedly finds herself in a race to solve the secret of the catacomb and prevent an apocalyptic event that threatens the future of humankind. Moving between present-day Europe, 1st-century Rome and Elizabethan England, The Devil Will Come is an exhilarating tale of a battle between the forces of good and evil that has been fought in the shadows through the centuries and across continents—and that both sides are willing to kill to keep secret.
Author: Giorgio Scerbanenco
Publisher: Melville House
From the godfather of Italian noir “A noir writer richly deserving rediscovery.” —Publishers Weekly One balmy spring evening on the outskirts of Milan, a Fiat with two passengers plunges into a canal. At first, their deaths are registered as an accident. But Duca Lamberti, the doctor-turned-detective of Giorgio Scerbanenco’s legendary series, suspects there’s more to it than that. Because that same canal has been the scene of other deaths, and all the incidents have one man in common: a lawyer with a murky past stretching all the way back to World War II—a man who, in fact, once shared a prison cell with Lamberti. Winner of the most prestigious European crime prize on its original publication in 1966, Traitors to All is classic noir by one of the greatest writers of the genre—a book that lays bare the connections between Milan’s troubled history during the war and its swinging sixties affluence, as well as an utterly absorbing tale of betrayal and revenge.
Author: Ferdinando Scianna
Publisher: Phaidon Press
In travelling the world to photograph his favorite type of image, Magnum photographer Ferdinando Scianna seems to have had little chance to do much sleeping of his own. Over the course of three decades, he has snapped thousands of images of sleepers--a Balinese farmer in her fields, a napper on a rocky crag in Bolivia, a dog in the shade of a laundry line in Egypt, a barefoot man along an Italian pier, an infant on a woman's lap in India.Looking at the faces of all these sleeping people--rich and poor, young and old, comfortably ensconced in beds and arranged awkwardly on the ground--one can't help but wonder where their dreams transport them. Scianno's rich black and white images are reproduced in warm sepia tones alongside aphorisms and phrases about sleep penned by such writers as Ernest Hemingway, Dante, Edgar Allen Poe, and Christina Rosetti. One phrase in Sir Philip Sydney seems to capture the spirit of the collection:Come, Sleep! Oh Sleep, the certain knot of peace, The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe, The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release, The indifferent judge between the high and low.