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For fans of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes, Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist A tour-de-force about two women and the piano that inexorably ties their lives together through time and across continents, for better and for worse. In 1962, in the Soviet Union, eight-year-old Katya is bequeathed what will become the love of her life: a Blüthner piano, built at the turn of the century in Germany, on which she discovers everything that she herself can do with music and what music, in turn, does for her. Yet after marrying, she emigrates with her young family from Russia to America, at her husband's frantic insistence, and her piano is lost in the shuffle. In 2012, in Bakersfield, California, twenty-six-year-old Clara Lundy loses another boyfriend and again has to find a new apartment, which is complicated by the gift her father had given her for her twelfth birthday, shortly before he and her mother died in a fire that burned their house down: a Blüthner upright she has never learned to play. Orphaned, she was raised by her aunt and uncle, who in his car-repair shop trained her to become a first-rate mechanic, much to the surprise of her subsequent customers. But this work, her true mainstay in a scattered life, is put on hold when her hand gets broken while the piano's being moved--and in sudden frustration she chooses to sell it. And what becomes crucial is who the most interested party turns out to be. . .
With a one-way ticket, his studies behind him and the knowledge amassed, Devlin Doyle travels to Vienna to deepen his commitment to the piano. This story follows the events of his stay where practice and preparation play an integral part in a dramatic arch that ends with Devlin dying a figurative death which will leave you wondering what could possibly come next. You will finally experience how Devlin, upon his resurrection, discovers the greater significance of the piano method sketch left by Chopin and how it reveals to him the true nature of music and virtuosity.
In her study of music-making in the Edwardian novel, Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg argues that the invention and development of the player piano had a significant effect on the perception, performance and appreciation of music during the period. In contrast to existing devices for producing music mechanically such as the phonograph and gramophone, the player piano granted its operator freedom of individual expression by permitting the performer to modify the tempo. Because the traditional piano was the undisputed altar of domestic and highly gendered music-making, Björkén-Nyberg suggests, the potential for intervention by the mechanical piano's operator had a subversive effect on traditional notions about the status of the musical work itself and about the people who were variously defined by their relationship to it. She examines works by Dorothy Richardson, E.M. Forster, Henry Handel Richardson, Max Beerbohm and Compton Mackenzie, among others, contending that Edwardian fiction with music as a subject undermined the prevalent antithesis, expressed in contemporary music literature, between a nineteenth-century conception of music as a means of transcendence and the increasing mechanisation of music as represented by the player piano. Her timely survey of the player piano in the context of Edwardian commercial and technical discourse draws on a rich array of archival materials to shed new light on the historically conditioned activity of music-making in early twentieth-century fiction.
Marine explorer Dirk Pitt faces off against an elite army from an era gone-by in order to uncover the secrets of an ancient civilization in this #1 New York Times-bestselling series. A group of anthropologists uncover strange inscriptions on the wall of a Colorado mine just as an explosion traps them deep within the earth. But their work won’t stay buried long. Dirk Pitt is on hand during the blast and quick to initiate a rescue operation. He is then tapped to lead a research crew on behalf of the U.S. National Underwater and Marine Agency to further study these uncanny artifacts. And that’s when his ship is set upon and nearly sunk by an impossibility—a vessel that should have died 56 years before. Clearly, another group knows about the relics of this long-forgotten but highly-advanced seafaring culture. And they’ll stop at nothing to keep the rest of the world in the dark.
This delightfully enhanced e-book edition includes Traveling Sprinkler: An Album, with twelve songs written, sung, and produced by Nicholson Baker. Paul Chowder, the poet protagonist of Baker’s widely acclaimed novel The Anthologist, is turning fifty-five and missing his ex-girlfriend, Roz, rather desperately. As he approaches the dreaded birthday, Paul is uninspired by his usual artistic outlet (although he’s pleased that his poetry anthology, Only Rhyme, is selling “steadily”). Putting aside poetry in favor of music, and drawing on his classical bassoon training, Paul turns instead to his new acoustic guitar with one goal in mind: to learn songwriting. As he struggles to come to terms with the horror of America’s drone wars and Roz’s recent relationship with a local NPR radio host, Paul fills his days with Quaker meetings, Planet Fitness workouts, and some experiments with tobacco. Written in Baker’s beautifully unconventional prose, and scored with musical influences from Debussy to Tracy Chapman to Paul himself, Traveling Sprinkler is an enchanting, hilarious—and very necessary—novel by one of the most beloved and influential writers today.
Helen Humphreys' brother, Martin, was her closest ally and friend. Two years ago, he suddenly became ill and died in just a few months. In the year that followed, Humphreys wrote this intense and affecting memoir. Though the book is deeply personal, it is also, inescapably, about the devastating events that we all experience.As the year goes on, Humphreys begins to restructure her life. She absorbs the seasons, landscapes, she gets a new dog, plants fruit trees. And she tells this story: moving fluidly between stories of childhood and adulthood, from life to death and its aftermath, she describes her loss, and how she has come to terms with grief. Like Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, True Story is articulate, loving and exquisitely crafted. It will make you catch your breath with recognition and sorrow.

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