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A Novel
By Matt Haig

$26.00 Viking

From best-selling author Matt Haig comes HOW TO STOP TIME the story of one man’s battle with longevity, love and loss and his valiant quest to find his place in the world.

To the naked eye, Tom Hazzard looks like a 41 year old man. But due to a rare condition, Tom doesn’t age like most people and in actuality, is more like 439. Born in the 1500’s Tom has seen the best and worst that humanity has to offer and as he moves uncomfortably through the centuries, rubbing elbows with the likes of William Shakespeare and F. Scott Fitzgerald, he bemoans his situation and dreams of living an ordinary life. Because he has to relocate every eight years in order to keep his condition a secret Tom has never been able to settle down and he finds himself feeling like he’s drowning in a sea of loneliness with no hope of rescue or salvation, a symptom of his plight for which there is certainly no cure. Returning to London, the place where he lost Rose, the love of his life, several centuries earlier, he attempts to put the past in perspective by taking a post as a History teacher. But as Rose’s memory springs to life around every corner and down every lane, he finds he’s lonelier than ever and he questions whether or not returning to London was such a good idea after all.

Enter Camille, a fellow teacher to whom Tom feels an immediate attraction. But because relationships of any kind can only lead to heartache or worse, Tom does his best to push her away despite his inclination to do just the opposite. But as the memories of days gone by ping-pong through his mind Tom’s need to break the chains that have held him for centuries overtakes his need to keep his secret safe, a decision which could prove deadly for him and those he cares about most.

Haig’s characters veritably dance on the page and wedge themselves under your skin as you careen through time with them. His compelling prose reminds us how vital love and kinship are to our very survival and how devastating life can be without them, while engendering hope that the human condition will actually triumph in the end. This fascinating and wholly original take on mortality will sweep you away and take you on the ride of your life, leaving you craving more long after you’ve read the final sentence.

 HOW TO BE HAPPY AND SINGLEHOW TO BE SINGLE AND HAPPY Science Based Strategies for Keeping Your Sanity While Looking for a Soul Mate
By Jennifer L. Taitz, Psy.D., A.B.P.P

$16.00 Tarcher Penguin

Has looking for Mr. Right become a full time occupation that has yielded less-than-stellar results? Have you tried everything from on-line dating to asking your friends to fix you up to accosting strangers in the produce aisle of Whole Foods? And do you feel like you should just give up hope of ever meeting “The One” and face the fact that you’re meant to be alone? If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions it’s probably time to take a new approach to finding love and luckily  Jennifer Taitz’ new book HOW TO BE SINGLE AND HAPPY can tell you just how to do that.

Starting at square one with the introductory chapter, Lonely, Loony and Me, Taitz explains how many of us have gotten off track by looking for love in all the wrong places and what we can do to get ourselves headed in the right direction. Part 1: The Misery Formula: Why Looking for “Mr. (or Ms.) Right” Is Making You Feel So Wrong helps us understand the negative patterns that are blocking our path to love and the ways in which we can alter them. Then Part 2: The Sane Solution: Living Freely in the Times of Tinder, Ghosting and Exes on Instagram we learn that it’s OK to be choosy about who we date and how we can actually be happy in spite of our singledom.

Peppered throughout with great little exercises that help you be mindful of past patterns while setting future goals, this great, easy-to-follow little tome can be just the tool you need to alter the way you see your love life. Written in an accessible and conversational style this is a guide unlike many other books you’re read in that Taitz teaches us to date skillfully while cultivating an appreciation of ourselves. And that alone is worth the price of admission.

By Chloe Benjamin

$26.00 Putnam

What would you do if you knew the date of your death? Acclaimed author Chloe Benjamin takes this question and spins it into a larger-than-life tale of intrigue, destiny and the secrets that bind a family together in her new novel THE IMMORTALISTS

It’s 1969 when we first meet Daniel, Varya, Klara and Simon Gold, four siblings who claim the Lower East Side of Manhattan as their stomping grounds. Teetering on the brink of adolescence the Gold children are inseparable, for good or for naught. So when they hear about the arrival of a traveling psychic who could prophesize the date of their deaths, they decide to pool their allowances, seek her out and have their fortunes told. Although the siblings are wary when ordered to enter her sketchy apartment one at a time they do so anyway and despite the fact that they’re visibly shaken by their encounters, they uncharacteristically keep their dates secret from one another and never speak of the incident again.

The next five decades see the Gold’s going their separate ways as they endeavor to find their places in the world and out-pace their own personal death dates. While the youngest, Simon heads to 1980’s San Francisco looking for love and a means to explore his sexuality, the dreamer of the clan, Klara, seeks fame and fortune as a magician in Las Vegas where she pushes against the frail walls that separate reality from illusion. And as the eldest brother Daniel stays closer to home and becomes an Army doctor, hoping to find a sense of peace and control, the studious and ever-responsible Varya becomes a scientist who specializes in longevity research, testing the boundaries of immortality. But despite the fact that the siblings keep their physical distance for most of their adult lives, the four of them still share a deep and abiding love forged by a secret they dare not share with another living soul which dictates the way they choose to live and  ultimately, the way that they die.

As Benjamin ushers her readers through five decades of culture as seen through the eyes of four larger-than-life characters, this magical, mysterious and powerfully written novel winds in and around your heart like a wild and rushing river and holds on for dear life. I clung to this elegant novel night and day until I had devoured the entire thing and then I sat back and devoured it some more in retrospect. Original, daring and unflinchingly bold, this is a novel you definitely don’t want to miss. / Issue 199 - August 2018
Turnpage Blk

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