to read

Ironfire: A Novel of the Knights of Malta and the Last Battle of the Crusades by David Ball

It's 1565. Turks lay siege to Mala, and the Kinghts of St. John defend their turf in this gruesome, glorious historical epi. all uses four main characters to illustrate the chaos and drama of war. The Plain Dealer calls the book a "richly detailed literarty canvas." For fans of military fiction and historical sagas alike.

The Squatter and the Don by Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
California was Mexican territory until 1848, when the process of statehood began. The Squatter and the Don is a saga of two families in San Diego around the time of annexation. The Alamars are upper-crust Mexicans; the Darrells have just relocated from the East Coast. Their struggles in love and establishing themselves form the basis of a rich, important novel by one of the first celebrated Latina writers. Required reading for all Californians; a pleasure for all readers.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
What if Dracula were alive and a family of academics had the means to find him? You'd have a literary thriller that would soar to the top of The New York Times's bestseller list the moment it was released. Elizabeth Kostova's Gothic sensation is filled with ancient crumbling documents, Eastern European castles, and long-buried family secrets. It's vampire lit at its most tantalizing.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt
Is it true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger?* Haidt, a professor of psychology at the Universtiy of Virginia, takes wisdom like this that has been handed down from philosophers and grandmothers, and subjects it to scientific scrutiny. His results? Grandma was right! Here's why.

*Yes: Happiness requires challenges. And Haidt offers examples as proof.

The Periodic Table: Elements with Style by Adrian Dingle
"I may be undersized, but don't underestimate me. I'm a petite package that packs a punch, and I have a fiery character to boot. . . ." Thus launches a chatty self-introduction by Hydrogen, one of the elements who helps narrate The Periodic Table: Elements with Style! which Kingfisher will publish in April. Created by artist and designer Simon Basher, who divides his time between London and Tokyo, this small-format paperback personifies each element with a whimsical image. Accompanying each of Basher's portraits is a description of the element, written in a personal-ad style by Adrian Dingle, a British native who now teaches high-school chemistry in Atlanta.

This lively introduction to the chart that has been the bane of many a chemistry student marks the book publishing debuts of both Basher and Dingle. Asked about the genesis of the project, Basher explains, "I work as a character artist and I'm always looking for new ideas to inspire me. I like to create new worlds and environments for my characters to inhabit and as I looked at the periodic table I could see an entire family/society/landscape all linked together. The periodic table is such a beautiful and incredible design icon and I really wanted to be able to help it flourish on a modern visual level, and also add some humor."

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