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Presents a chronicle of nineteenth-century America's fascination with butterflies that traces the achievements of six naturalists who identified countless new species and unveiled the mysteries of their existence.
A cast of characters as multicultural as fiction and history can conjure. The clash of cultures: revulsion against female circumcision, American disdain of native culinary habits (dog-eating, bagoong) and even cultural artifacts (woven hanging, wooden saints) and the East-West divide on family values.
View our feature on Geraldine Books’s People of the Book. From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March, the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation. In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city’s rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna’s investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love. Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author. From the Hardcover edition.
This widely praised book chronicles Peter Laufer's adventures within the butterfly industry and the butterfly underground. Laufer begins by examining the allure of butterflies throughout history, but his research soon veers into the high-stake realms of organized crime, ecological devastation, museum collections, and chaos theory. His ever-expanding journey of discovery throughout the Americas and beyond offers a rare look into a theater of intrigue, peopled with quirky and nefarious characters—all in pursuit of these delicate, beautiful creatures. Read this book, and your garden—and the world—will never quite look the same.
In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, the 43-year-old editor of French Elle, suffered a massive stroke that left him permanently paralyzed, a victim of “locked in syndrome.” Once known for his gregariousness and wit, Bauby now finds himself imprisoned in an inert body, able to communicate only by blinking his left eye. The miracle is that in doing so he was able to compose this stunningly eloquent memoir.In a voice that is by turns wistful and mischievous, angry and sardonic, Bauby gives us a celebration of the liberating power of consciousness: what it is like to spend a day with his children, to imagine lying in bed beside his wife, to conjure up the flavor of delectable meals even as he is fed through at tube. Most of all, this triumphant book lets us witness an indomitable spirit and share in the pure joy of its own survival. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Former boxing legend Muhammad Ali, one of the best-known and best-loved celebrities and an international good-will ambassador, offers inspiration and hope as he describes the spiritual philosophy that sustains him. "During my boxing career, you did not see the real Muhammad Ali. You just saw a little boxing. You saw only a part of me. After I retired from boxing my true work began. I have embarked on a journey of love." So Muhammad Ali begins this spiritual memoir, his description of the values that have shaped and sustained him and that continue to guide his life. In The Soul of a Butterfly the great champion takes readers on a spiritual journey through the seasons of life, from childhood to the present, and shares the beliefs that have served him well. After fighting some of the fiercest bouts in boxing history against Joe Frazier and George Foreman, today Muhammad Ali faces his most powerful foe—outside the boxing ring. Like many people, he battles an illness that limits his physical abilities, but as he says, "I have gained more than I have lost....I have never had a more powerful voice than I have now." Ali reflects on his faith in God and the strength it gave him during his greatest challenge, when he lost the prime years of his boxing career because he would not compromise his beliefs. He describes how his study of true Islam has helped him accept the changes in his life and has brought him to a greater awareness of life's true purpose. As a United Nations "Messenger of Peace," he has traveled widely, and he describes his 2002 mission to Afghanistan to heighten public awareness of that country's desperate situation, as well as his more recent meeting with the Dalai Lama. Ali's reflections on topics ranging from moral courage to belief in God to respect for those who differ from us will inspire and enlighten all who read them. Written with the assistance of his daughter Hana, The Soul of a Butterfly is a compassionate and heartfelt book that will provide comfort for our troubled times.

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