- Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea's Elite
A haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign
Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki has gone undercover as a missionary and a teacher. Over the next six months, she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them English, all under the watchful eye of the regime.
Life at PUST is lonely and claustrophobic, especially for Suki, whose letters are read by censors and who must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but from her colleagues—evangelical Christian missionaries who don't know or choose to ignore that Suki doesn't share their faith. As the weeks pass, she is mystified by how easily her students lie, unnerved by their obedience to the regime. At the same time, they offer Suki tantalizing glimpses of their private selves—their boyish enthusiasm, their eagerness to please, the flashes of curiosity that have not yet been extinguished. She in turn begins to hint at the existence of a world beyond their own—at such exotic activities as surfing the Internet or traveling freely and, more dangerously, at electoral democracy and other ideas forbidden in a country where defectors risk torture and execution. But when Kim Jong-il dies, and the boys she has come to love appear devastated, she wonders whether the gulf between her world and theirs can ever be bridged.
Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life in the world's most unknowable country, and at the privileged young men she calls "soldiers and slaves."
- The Baker's Daughter: A Novel
In this New York Times bestseller, two women in different eras face similar life-altering decisions, the politics of exclusion, the terrible choices we face in wartime, and the redemptive power of love.
In 1945, Elsie Schmidt is a naive teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she is for her first kiss. She and her family have been protected from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking her country by a high-ranking Nazi who wishes to marry her. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door would put all she loves in danger.
Sixty years later, in El Paso, Texas, Reba Adams is trying to file a feel-good Christmas piece for the local magazine, and she sits down with the owner of Elsie's German Bakery for what she expects will be an easy interview. But Reba finds herself returning to the bakery again and again, anxious to find the heart of the story—a story that resonates with her own turbulent past. For Elsie, Reba’s questions are a stinging reminder of that last bleak year of World War II.
As the two women's lives become intertwined, both are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past and seek out the courage to forgive.
- The Boys Are Back (Movie Tie-in Edition
"So there we are, a father and two sons in a household without role models, males together in a home different from anything I'd known—an idyllic Lost Boys' world with a house full of children and as few rules as possible."
When Simon Carr's wife Susie lost her battle to cancer, Carr was left to raise his 5-year old son, Alexander, on his own. Soon after, Hugo, his 11-year old son from a previous marriage comes to live with them. Now, this motley crew of boys have to learn how to be a family. Along the way, Carr reveals some illuminating truths about parenting and the differences between mothers and fathers. His messy household bears no similarity to the immaculate home his wife kept; his response to mothers on the playground fretting about his son's safety on the handlebars is, "If he falls, at least he'll know not to do it again." Emotionally honest and sharply witty, Carr's story is at once heartbreaking and wonderfully life-affirming.
- The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen
“Tuscan food tastes like itself. Ingredients are left to shine. . . . So, if on your visit, I hand you an apron, your work will be easy. We’ll start with primo ingredients, a little flurry of activity, perhaps a glass of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and soon we’ll be carrying platters out the door. We’ll have as much fun setting the table as we have in the kitchen. Four double doors along the front of the house open to the outside—so handy for serving at a long table under the stars (or for cooling a scorched pan on the stone wall). Italian Philosophy 101: la casa aperta, the open house.”
—from the Introduction
In all of Frances Mayes’s bestselling memoirs about Tuscany, food plays a starring role. This cuisine transports, comforts, entices, and speaks to the friendly, genuine, and improvisational spirit of Tuscan life. Both cooking and eating in Tuscany are natural pleasures. In her first-ever cookbook, Frances and her husband, Ed, share recipes that they have enjoyed over the years as honorary Tuscans: dishes prepared in a simple, traditional kitchen using robust, honest ingredients.
A toast to the experiences they’ve had over two decades at Bramasole, their home in Cortona, Italy, this cookbook evokes days spent roaming the countryside for chestnuts, green almonds, blackberries, and porcini; dinner parties stretching into the wee hours, and garden baskets tumbling over with bright red tomatoes.
Lose yourself in the transporting photography of the food, the people, and the place, as Frances’s lyrical introductions and headnotes put you by her side in the kitchen and raising a glass at the table. From Antipasti (starters) to Dolci (desserts), this cookbook is organized like a traditional Italian dinner.
The more than 150 tempting recipes include:
· Fried Zucchini Flowers
· Red Peppers Melted with Balsamic Vinegar
· Potato Ravioli with Zucchini, Speck, and Pecorino
· Risotto Primavera
· Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Sausage
· Cannellini Bean Soup with Pancetta
· Little Veal Meatballs with Artichokes and Cherry Tomatoes
· Chicken Under a Brick
· Short Ribs, Tuscan-Style
· Domenica’s Rosemary Potatoes
· Folded Fruit Tart with Mascarpone
· Strawberry Semifreddo
· Steamed Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Sauce
Frances and Ed also share their tips on stocking your pantry, pairing wines with dishes, and choosing the best olive oil. Learn their time-tested methods for hand rolling pasta and techniques for coaxing the best out of seasonal ingredients with little effort.
Throw on another handful of pasta, pull up a chair, and languish in the rustic Italian way of life.
- The Expectant Knitter: 30 Designs for Baby and Your Growing Family
Stitch your way through the nine months of pregnancy—and have the best-dressed baby on the block!
Whether you already love knitting, or are eager to learn to knit so you can whip up adorable outfits for your soon-to-arrive baby, The Expectant Knitter is the perfect companion for all stages of your pregnancy. Sharing 30 projects arranged by trimester (simpler patterns for the first and third, when fatigue or discomfort may get in the way of nimble knitting, and more ambitious patterns for the feel-good second), Marie Connolly also offers practical tips and information about your pregnancy and your baby. At each step—and stitch—of the way, you'll find reminders to take your folic acid, helpful hints on which tests to get when, instructions on how to properly swaddle an infant, and suggestions for combating morning sickness.
Starting with conception, when you’re quietly dreaming of and planning your pregnancy, you’ll learn to knit beautiful pieces like a Christening Gown or a Knitted Pinwheel Quilt. Come the end of the first trimester, you can move on to Her First Party Dress, a Cashmere Romper, and Alphabet Block Toys. When you’re loving your bump in the second trimester, work on the Shawl Collar Sweater or a Big Sister, Big Brother, or Dog sweater for the other loves in your life. Then the waiting game begins, so bide your time in the third trimester knitting itty bitty baby socks, wee washcloths and bibs, and a Shawl Sweater for Mom (you, too, deserve something special).
The ultimate knitter’s guide to pregnancy, The Expectant Knitter is a treasure of delightful patterns that will make for beautiful keepsake items, enhanced by sidebars with sound information on the growth of your baby at each stage.