Robert Paul Brown Recommends

Books

The Tainted Coin by Melvin StarrThe Tainted Coin
Starr, Melvin
2012
It is the autumn of 1367. Master Hugh is enjoying the peaceful life of Bampton, when a badly beaten man is found under the porch of St. Andrew's Chapel. The dying man is a chapman -- a traveling merchant. Before he is buried in the chapel grounds an ancient, corroded coin is found in the man's mouth. Master Hugh's quest for the chapman's assailants, and his search for the origin of the coin, makes steady progress – but there are men of wealth and power who wish to halt his search, and an old nemesis, Sir Simon Trillowe, is in league with them. But Master Hugh, and his assistant, the groom Arthur, are determined to uncover the thieves and murderers, and the source of the chapman's coin. They do, but not before they become involved with a kidnapped maiden, a tyrannical abbot, and a suffering monk – who needs Master Hugh's surgical skills and in return provides clues which assist Hugh in solving the mystery of the tainted coin.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna ClarkeJonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Clarke, Susanna
2004
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England--until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.
Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo CampbellOnce Upon a River
Campbell, Bonnie Jo
2011
Meet Margo Crane - a female Huckleberry Finn, a teenage Scout Finch - as she single-handedly takes on a hostile world in this enthralling debut. After the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother. But the river, Margo's childhood paradise, is a dangerous place for a young woman travelling alone, and she must be strong to survive, using her knowledge of the natural world and her ability to look unsparingly into the hearts of those around her. Her river odyssey through rural Michigan becomes a defining journey, one that leads her beyond self-preservation and to deciding what price she is willing to pay for her choices.
The Submission by Amy WaldmanThe Submission
Waldman, Amy
2011
"When a Muslim architect wins a blind contest to design a Ground Zero Memorial, a city of eleven million people takes notice. Waldman, a former bureau chief for the New York Times, explores a diversity of viewpoints around this fictional event, bringing in politicians, businessmen, journalists, activists, and normal people whose lives--whether by happenstance, choice, or even due to their country of origin--get caught up in the controversy. Incredibly, she manages to keep all the balls in the air without ever fumbling. The story is moving and keeps the pages turning, but there are also bigger themes at work: of individuals versus groups; about the purpose of art, commerce, government, and journalism in society; of how people respond to grief and terror. The result is honest, compelling, and breathtaking."--Chris Schluep, Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Reamde by Neal StephensonReamde
Stephenson, Neal
2011
When his own high-tech start up turns into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family who has amassed an illegal fortune, finds the line between fantasy and reality becoming blurred when a virtual war for dominance is triggered.
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother LawrenceThe Practice of the Presence of God
Lawrence, Brother
1975
Here is a guide for all Christians aspiring to union with God, which, according to Brother Lawrence, is the ultimate goal of every soul. The new Image edition of The Practice of the Presence of God is a reissue of the 1977 translation that was the first to appear in decades. It features an in-depth Introduction by John J. Delaney that examines what is known about Lawrence's life, how the book came to be, and its ongoing relevance throughout the ages.In the words of this humble seventeenth-century lay Carmelite, "we must trust God once and for all and abandon ourselves to Him alone." This difficult task necessarily requires perseverance and continual conversation with God in all activities great and small: "speaking humbly and talking lovingly with Him at all times, at every moment, without rule or system..." In reading these conversations, letters, and spiritual maxims, we learn the key to endless joy.In short, this little spiritual classic -- in its fresh, contemporary English translation -- renders the simple wisdom of Brother Lawrence accessible to every Christian who yearns for the fullness of life.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. JamesFifty Shades of Grey
James, E.
2011
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind--until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
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