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"Last Week"

A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel by Ruth Ozeki

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki— and shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

"This Week"

I Always Loved You: A Novel by Robin Oliveira

A story of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas, from the New York Times bestselling author of  My Name Is Mary Sutter

The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.

In I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.

For readers of Cathy Marie Buchanan's The Painted Girls.

An exhibit on the relationship between Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas is now on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and will run until October 5, 2014.

"Next Week"

All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu

From acclaimed author Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award, The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 award, and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant, comes an unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in 1970s America and an unflinching novel about the fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories. 

All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart—one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom.
 
Elegiac, blazing with insights about the physical and emotional geographies that circumscribe our lives, All Our Names is a marvel of vision and tonal command. Writing within the grand tradition of Naipul, Greene, and Achebe, Mengestu gives us a political novel that is also a transfixing portrait of love and grace, of self-determination and the names we are given and the names we earn. 



Bookmarks by Mary Ann Gwinn

Paris and Those Who Love It Paris has always had a magnetic attraction for Americans, and Mary Cassatt was by far from the only one who made her way there. get the full list >

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Upcoming Books of the Month...
Leaving Time: A Novel
Leaving Time: A Novel
Jodi Picoult
The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
Louise Penny

Well Read Web Extra

This Week's Show:

Behind the extraordinary art of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas is a relationship you’ll find hard to forget. Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.

air date:

Friday   7:00 a.m. ET (4:00 a.m. PT)
Friday   1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT)

Sunday  11:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. PT)

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