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Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

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A blackly humorous story of loneliness, deception, and life in old age by one of the most accomplished novelists of the twentieth century.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon in January, the recently widowed Mrs. Palfrey moves to the Claremont Hotel in South Kensington. "If it's not nice, I needn't stay," she promises herself, as she settles into this haven for the genteel and the decayed.

"Three elderly widows and one old man . . . who seemed to dislike female company and seldom got any other kind" serve for her fellow residents, and there is the staff, too, and they are one and all lonely.

What is Mrs. Palfrey to do with herself now that she has all the time in the world? Go for a walk. Go to a museum. Go to the end of the block. Well, she does have her grandson who works at the British Museum, and he is sure to visit any day.

Mrs. Palfrey prides herself on having always known "the right thing to do," but in this new situation she discovers that resource is much reduced. Before she knows it, in fact, she tries something else.

Elizabeth Taylor's final and most popular novel is as unsparing as it is, ultimately, heartbreaking.

One-Straw Revolution : An Introduction to Natural Farming

One-Straw Revolution : An Introduction to Natural Farming

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Call it "Zen and the Art of Farming" or a "Little Green Book," Masanobu Fukuoka's manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world. As Wendell Berry writes in his preface, the book "is valuable to us because it is at once practical and philosophical. It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is not just about agriculture."

Trained as a scientist, Fukuoka rejected both modern agribusiness and centuries of agricultural practice, deciding instead that the best forms of cultivation mirror nature's own laws. Over the next three decades he perfected his so-called "do-nothing" technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort.

Whether you're a guerrilla gardener or a kitchen gardener, dedicated to slow food or simply looking to live a healthier life, you will find something here--you may even be moved to start a revolution of your own.

Shadows of Carcosa

Shadows of Carcosa

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From the fictional land of Carcosa that inspired the HBO show True Detective to H. P. Lovecraft's accursed New England hills, this collection features some of the most legendary landscapes of the cosmic horror genre. The collection includes the following twelve stories:

Edgar Allan Poe, "MS. Found in a Bottle"
Bram Stoker, "The Squaw"
Ambrose Bierce, "Moxon's Master"
Ambrose Bierce, "The Damned Thing"
Ambrose Bierce, "An Inhabitant of Carcosa"
R. W. Chambers, "The Repairer of Reputations"
M. P. Shiel, "The House of Sounds"
Arthur Machen, "The White People"
Algernon Blackwood, "The Willows"
Henry James, "The Jolly Corner"
Walter de la Mare, "Seaton's Aunt"
H. P. Lovecraft, "The Colour Out of Space"

"The true weird tale has something more than a secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains. An atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; a hint of that most terrible conception of the human brain--a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space."--H. P. Lovecraft

Summer Book (USED)

Summer Book (USED)

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In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer--its sunlight and storms--into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia's grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. "On an island," thinks the grandmother, "everything is complete." In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.

Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world.

The Summer Book is translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal.