What if -- whoosh, right now, with no explanation -- a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down? That's what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened--not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children. Kevin Garvey, Mapleton's new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin's own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin's teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she's definitely not the sweet "A" student she used to be.
Kevin wants to help her, but he's distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start. With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss.
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Learning to love you more
In a world obsessed with 'reality' programming, the collaborative public art project known as "Learning To Love You More" offers a refreshing take on how people think, act and love. Created by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher, the web-based project, begun in 2002, offers more than sixty 'assignments' that can be completed by anyone: 'Write the phone conversation you wish you could have'; 'Draw a constellation from someone's freckles'; 'Take a flash photo under your bed.' Completed assignments are posted on the web site; to date, more than 5,000 people have participated - artists and non-artists of all ages, from Tokyo to Tel Aviv. July and Fletcher have curated a selection of the most memorable submissions - some moving, others hilarious and oddly brilliant, to create a pop culture collage that tells a larger story about life today. The result is an engaging, heartwarming, idea sparking book sure to inspire, teach, and entertain. Her film "Me And You And Everyone We Know" (Film Four) was a cult hit in 2005 - it won 15 Awards including the Golden Camera at Cannes and the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance film festival.
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From the creators of the eponymous viral Tumblr comes a single day with your favorite authors in one Twilight-Zone-esque Starbucks...
Ever wonder which intricate, elaborately-named drinks might be consumed if your favorite authors and characters wandered into a Starbucks? How many pumpkin lattes J.K. Rowling would drink? Or if Cormac McCarthy needed caffeine, which latte would be laconic enough? Look no further; LITERARY STARBUCKS explores such pressing matters with humor and erudition. Set over the course of a single day, and replete with puns and satirized literary styles, the three authors go darker, stronger, and more global than the blog in book format, including illustrations by acclaimed New Yorker cover artist and cartoonist Harry Bliss.
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