A Spark of Light


“Picoult at her fearless best . . . Timely, balanced and certain to inspire debate.” — The Washington Post

“This is Jodi Picoult at her best: tackling an emotional hot-button issue and putting a human face on it.” — People

“Told backward and hour by hour, Jodi Picoult’s compelling narrative deftly explores controversial social issues.”— Us Weekly

“Thoroughly realistic storytelling . . . Picoult has achieved what politicians across the spectrum have not been able to: humanized a hot-button issue. Excellent for book clubs, this should also be considered for discussions in critical thinking and political debate.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“The author presents the white-knuckled narrative in a reverse-chronological order. The effect is mesmerizing, as Picoult establishes moments in the overarching event, before revealing how they came to be.” — Houston Chronicle

“Picoult delivers another riveting yarn . . . in this carefully crafted, utterly gripping tale.” — Booklist (starred review)

The Iran Agenda Today: The Real Story Inside Iran and What's Wrong With U.S. Policy

“Reese Erlich masterfully tells the story of modern Iran through the seldom-heard voices of numerous Iranian citizens of enormous range―men and women, old and young, high government officials, university professors, shopkeepers, and semi-employed laborers. His vibrant reporting has both historical depth and contemporary immediacy, ranging from twentieth century neocolonial and revolutionary struggles, to the international controversy over Iran’s nuclear program, to the social protests of 2009 and late 2017. Neither exclusively a critique of nor an apologia for Iran, the balanced, comprehensive picture Erlich paints reveals the fascinating mix of deep patriotism, social struggle, optimism, and skepticism about the future that characterizes Iranian life at present. This book is required reading for anyone who truly wishes to understand Iranian society today.” ―William O. Beeman, Professor of Anthropology, University of Minnesota and Stanford University

“Ever since the 1979 Revolution Iran has been present in practically all debates and analyses regarding the Middle East. But, due to the hostage crisis of 1979–1981 and the scars that it left on the American conscience, the image of Iran that has been presented in the West, and in particular, the United States, has been greatly distorted, and is more like a cartoon of that nation, rather than anything that presents Iran with all of its strengths, shortcomings, and contradictions, as well as its historical and cultural heritage. In The Iran Agenda Today, Reese Erlich does a masterful job of presenting the real image of Iran: a proud and dynamic nation with a young, educated population that is connected to the rest of the world through social networks, has more blogger per capita than any other nation, and has been struggling, not only internally between the reformists, moderates, and seculars, on the one hand, and the Islamic hardliners, on the other hand, but also externally by being in perhaps the most turbulent region. Erlich tells us about the political structure of Iran; its warring; deep wounds due to its turbulent contemporary history; and all the wrongs that have been done to it by the global powers, but also a nation that has all the prerequisites for transition to a true democracy, and wants to find its rightful place regionally and globally.” Muhummad Sahimi, N.I.O.C. Chair in Petroleum Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California

The Possible World

“Hauntingly beautiful . . . a bittersweet story full of imagination and nostalgia, loss and redemption . . . will seize readers from the first scene and hold tight until its satisfying conclusion.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Schwarz blends beautifully crafted prose with three highly compelling tales into one overarching saga of loss and memory.” — Booklist

“Schwarz blends a clear-eyed acceptance of life’s pain and cruelties with a hopeful message about the enduring power of love in this rich and memorable novel . . . the prose is assured and lyrical, infusing each narrative with sensory and emotional detail.” — Publishers Weekly

“Schwarz weaves three captivating stories into one entertaining story, showing how our pasts shape our present, and how some human bonds can help us overcome our emotional and psychological pain. The Possible World is a brilliantly written moving story about human struggle with identity and loneliness.” — Washington Book Review

“Engrossing . . . Schwarz creates a realistic and compelling story of three characters’ intertwined lives that completely immerses the reader in their worlds . . . a captivating and moving story of grief and loss and the power of love.” — Shelf Awareness

“Every now and then I come across a book I wish I’d written. The Possible World is one of those. Liese O’Halloran Schwarz’s book is a gorgeously wrought exploration of who gets to tell the story of our lives, and who gets to inhabit that story with us.” — Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

The Baghdad Clock




“Shahad Al Rawi brings us into the city of Baghdad in the middle of the Gulf War, where people continue to go about their lives despite the war that is eroding their homes. The story centers on two girls in an air raid shelter and the friendship that blossoms around the stories they tell each other in this book filled with resilience and life.” — World Literature Today 

“With tremendous talent and a sharp intelligence, Rawi delivers an outstanding debut. Highly -recommended.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“A coming of age story in a way that most Americans can’t even imagine.” — Book Riot

“Al Rawi’s debut presents the so-called enemy imbued with childhood whimsy and human longing, their quotidian stories embellished with touches of magic realism. Rendered into English by Harvard professor Leafgren, who was inspired by 9/11 to learn Arabic, this international bestseller is both condemnation against politics and war and testimony to resilient humanity.” — Booklist

The Beginning of Everything: The Year I Lost My Mind And Found Myself


“Buchanan chronicles a year of physical and mental anguish in this disturbing memoir of an enigmatic illness. Buchanan is uncannily adept at describing pain and charting the snail’s pace of recovery; a former classical pianist, she takes up playing again, her practice becoming a brain-training method. Readers will be fascinated by this introspective medical journey and heartened by the simultaneous healing of a family.” — Publishers Weekly

“Andrea J. Buchanan’s The Beginning of Everything explores the abrupt derailment of her ability to function and to think, due to an under-diagnosed disorder that can happen to anyone. The story of her difficult journey through diagnosis and treatment, and her inspiring self-designed rehab, is compelling for patients, caregivers, and readers alike.” — Connie Deline, MD, Spinal CSF Leak Foundation

“Andrea J. Buchanan writes of being an unreliable narrator, but you will trust her with your life as she guides you through her perilous journey and shares her stunning meditations on mind and self and pain and time. The Beginning of Everything is truly ‘music emanating from a broken place,’ a breathtaking, life-affirming, gorgeously composed marvel.” — Gayle Brandeis, author of The Art of Misdiagnosis and The Book of Dead Birds

The Children's Game

“Max Karpov has produced a cleverly conceived thriller that tracks reality. He captures perfectly the mentality of Vladimir Putin’s Russia — its deep sense of insecurity that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the malign behavior that flows from it. And, on top of it, the book is near impossible to put down. A must read.” — Michael Morell, Former Acting Director and Deputy Director, CIA

The Children’s Game is uncanny in its timeliness and brilliant in its portrayal of disinformation as the most dangerous weapon of the new Cold War. Max Karpov has written a masterful thriller that is genuinely alarming in its plausibility. A must-read for 2018.”— Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and The Switch

Breaking Bread: A Baker's Journey Home in 75 Recipes




“I have immense respect for Martin Philip who left his life of certainty and corporate work in the city for the countryside of Vermont to apprentice at King Arthur Flour. Breaking Bread is an exceptional story of how the perfect amount of dedication and craftsmanship yields a delicious journey and a thoughtful return to one’s roots. Martin worked his way up to become the company’s lead baker, proving that everyone can start from scratch and succeed.” — Mario Batali

“I met Martin Philip years ago, when—at my son’s voice lesson—he handed me a steaming, fragrant loaf of bread to take home.  Years later, when I was doing research for a novel and needed to learn about making bread, I turned to him for a private tutorial.  But in addition to being an excellent baker, Martin is also an excellent writer.  Breaking Bread is truly a feast —a history of bread itself, cleverly hidden within the story of a man who fell in love with baking.  With verbal descriptions that burst on the tongue and recipes that your hands itch to try, this beautiful book is food for the soul.” — Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

“From bagels and biscuits, brioche and baguettes (as well as pies and pancakes) these recipes from master baker Martin Philip, accompanied by his inspiring story, makes me want to pack up everything and follow in his footsteps. For those of us who can’t do that (yet!), baking our way through Breaking Bread is the next best thing.” — David Lebovitz, author of L’Appart and My Paris Kitchen 

“Martin appears in Breaking Bread just as he does to his good friends:  consummate baker, a stickler at times as he demands too much of himself the way so many artists do, but just like his recipes, wonderfully generous and understanding to his colleagues and students.” — James MacGuire, chef and instructor, translator of Le Goût du Pain

“Martin Philip’s work in Breaking Bread is tactile and honest.  This is a thinking man’s perspective on the art and the philosophy of why we bake.  It’s in his blood and now he’s sharing it with the world.  The recipes are sound; the storytelling – evocative; the pictures – illustrative, beautiful.  You’ll be inspired to knead some dough, crank up your oven, and get some flour on your hands. Breaking Bread is a reason to bake again.” — Steven Satterfield, James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast 2017, author of Root to Leaf

Deep Water

“Deeply researched and evocative, Nichols’ narrative clearly illustrates where a single bad decision can lead. As events unfold, readers experience the emotional roller coaster inherent to dangerous, illegal activities. Readers who love true crime will find themselves engrossed in this true tale of excess.” Booklist

Song of the Stubborn One Thousand: The Watsonville Canning Strike, 1985-87

“[W]ell-written, fast-paced, and inspiring….This masterpiece of the genre is simultaneously an education in labor organizing in the multinational workplace and a stirring tale of struggle by some of U.S. capitalism’s most exploited workers….Haymarket Books, is probably the best current publisher of labor history; with this book both Haymarket and the author Peter Shapiro have outdone themselves.” ― CounterPunch

“Peter Shapiro has written an important book of how 1,000 Latina workers in Watsonville, California won an 18-month long strike in the 1980s against one of the biggest canning companies in the state. It is an inspiring tale about the unity and perseverance of immigrant women against a corporation backed by big lawyers and a big bank during high tide of Reagan-era union busting. But it is much more―for labor activists and labor historians alike know that while solidarity is critical, it is often not enough. Shapiro offers keen insights into the complex world of this strike, in which a vast array of players―the workers, Teamster union leaders and their opposition, community and church activists, and Leftists of various stripes―engaged in what Shapiro provocatively calls a “laboratory” for different styles of leadership, and what these meant for the workers’ desire to shape their own destiny.” ― Mae M. Ngai, Author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America

“Peter Shapiro combines wonderful story telling with a sharp historian’s analysis to explain an important but little-known corner of the US labor movement. Song of the Stubborn One Thousand is a story of hope and inspiration. It’s a must read for anyone interested in the power of working people and minorities.” ― Reese Erlich, who covered the strike for the Christian Science Monitor

Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World

“A call to expand our thinking to include plants and animals as part of the planet’s water cycle, and, further, to emphasize water in solutions to rebalance nature and to save us from ourselves.” ―Waterkeepers Magazine

“Schwartz says that improving practices on the land can reap huge water ― and climate ― benefits…offers a vision of water for a thirsty world through a better understanding of what makes natural systems thrive.” ― Society of Environmental Journalists

“Compelling…Schwartz takes the reader on a global tour of experts who have devoted their lives to alternative natural resource management techniques that focus on water…should be required reading.” ―

“In her heartening new book, Schwartz brings us the stories of ecologists all over the world who are employing simple, old-fashioned, low-tech methods to solve the critical problem of keeping our warming planet hydrated.” ―Women’s Voices for Change

“Reading and then rereading Schwartz’s work has again given me inspiration to make some very real positive changes in our communities and lands. I can recommend it to all. Water in Plain Sight provides us with motivation and hope, in the form of a whole global toolbox of solutions to actively heal our planet with.” ― KT Shepherd Permaculture

“Inspiring…We are accustomed to thinking of water as nourishing life, but Schwartz is focused upon the converse phenomenon: the ways in which life promotes water.” ― Pacific Standard

The Rope

“A searing novel of the Iraq War from an Iraqi point of view, with Saddam Hussein in a starring role. Our narrator has no name, but The Tyrant certainly does, and it is on every tongue. As Makiya’s novel opens, Saddam’s body is swaying in the breeze, having been transferred by The Occupier to the Iraqis as ‘proof of our independence from the American invaders.’ Into that brief phrase a whole world is packed: the Americans are unwanted conquerors, the rulers of Iraq are exiles driven to hang Saddam out of ‘revenge, or blood libel, or communal solidarity,’ and a once-coherent nation, for better or worse, is now splintered irreparably…. A close study of the psychology of oppression and dictatorship, of a piece with the author’s now classic nonfiction study Republic of Fear (1989).” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A razor-sharp dissection of the post-Saddam unraveling through the eyes of a fictional Shiite militiaman…highbrow, brilliant.” — New York Magazine

“Set in Iraq soon after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, this novel follows an unnamed Shiite soldier in one of many militias jockeying for power. As he strives to understand the complex political, spiritual, and military world around him, he confronts convoluted loyalties and gruesome betrayals within his own family….Succeeds in its passionate dramatization of a mind-set still poorly understood by the American reader.” — The New Yorker

“Astutely challenging…deeply resonant….Nuanced and essential reading for every global citizen, this novel proves that all politics are personal.” — Booklist

“Mr. Makiya loves Iraq—or the idea of what a new Iraq could be—and his rage and despair at the brutality that has seized his country comes through on every page….Mr. Makiya’s writing is sublime when his subject is the slide from decency to evil. His depiction of the descent into barbarism of Haider, one of the central character’s closest friends, is as good a portrait as we are likely to get of Iraq’s post-Saddam savagery….The book is an indispensable guide into the ‘warehouses of cruelty’ of the modern Middle East and gives us a better idea of why Iraq failed after being liberated from a tyrant, and why Sunnis and Shiites now so eagerly kill each other.” — Reuel Marc Gerecht, Wall Street Journal

“Americans know very little about Iraq, and this was as true at the beginning of our war there as it is today. Now Kanan Makiya has written a fictionalized narrative of the first years of the American occupation, seen from the Iraqi (and the Shi‘ite) side. His book is a remarkable evocation of those terrible years, simultaneously informative, scary, worrying, and deeply engaging. Start reading it and you won’t stop—and don’t skip the beautifully written, morally and politically powerful personal note at the end.” — Michael Walzer, author of Just and Unjust Wars

“Makiya’s book is a challenge to Iraqis—many of whom are fed up with their corrupt leaders—to stop blaming the West and confront the officials who are destroying their country. He believes that only some form of federalism—that rises above a strict Shiite-Sunni divide—can save the country. The novel couldn’t be more timely. Last week Sadr’s followers invaded the Shiite-led government “green zone” for the second time in a month, purportedly protesting against corruption but really seeking more power. As Sayyid Majid’s death makes clear, Iraqi Shiites must first stop killing one another before the country can emerge from chaos. That is the harsh truth The Rope wants Iraqis to face.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

“Powerful….By keeping his creation torn and anguished as he digests unpalatable facts, Makiya forces us to sympathise, to see his character as a human as well as a soldier, a lost boy gulled into believing anything and duped into doing the dirty work of others.” — Malcolm Forbes, The National (Abu Dhabi)