Every month, Early Bird Books selects a mix of bestselling novels and lesser-known gems to download for a discount. This Jun, we're bringing you fiction and nonfiction titles from acclaimed authors such as May Sarton, Dale Herd and George Singleton. These books will be discounted all month, but you can get more cheap and free books every day by subscribing to our newsletter!
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A brilliant collection of “nineteen new and sixty-four previously published stories from one of America’s masters of the form” (Largehearted Boy).
In this volume, readers will be drawn into Herd’s fertile literary cornucopia as his vivid prose captures the imagination. Written with brevity and stark economy of language, these short vignettes are a sampling of the American landscape as seen through the eyes of characters from the proud and stoic to the broken and tragic.
From high school love notes to a drug runner’s day; from a boy’s first fistfight to the unexpected aftermath of a woman’s first experience of marijuana, Herd’s stories travel the backroads, sending postcards of life as it is lived and providing “a fine overview to the work of a writer whose work eludes easy description, but remains ahead of its time” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
“I know of no one writing more bravely and acutely about the intricate bonds of family, and the ways that we wound and heal the ones closest to us.” —Emily Gould, author of Friendship
Minna Zallman Proctor’s Landslide is a captivating collection of interconnected personal essays. These “true stories” explore the author’s complicated relationship with her mother—who was diagnosed with cancer at age fifty-seven and died fifteen years later—and the ways in which their connection was long the prime mover of Proctor’s life, the subtle force coursing beneath her adulthood. As such, these vibrant essays also narrate the trials and triumphs of Proctor’s own life—shifting between America and Italy (and loving “being a foreigner, the constant sense of unfamiliarity that supplanted all of my expectations and disappointments”), her bumpy first marriage, the profound pleasure she takes in motherhood, and the confounding experience of trying to arrange a Jewish burial for her “Jewish, not quite Jewish” mother.
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“Illuminating . . . 24 academic essays covering Wiesel’s interpretations of the Bible, retellings of Talmudic stories . . . his post-Holocaust theology, and more.” —Publishers Weekly
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, best known for his writings on the Holocaust, is also the accomplished author of novels, essays, tales, and plays as well as portraits of seminal figures in Jewish life and experience. In this volume, leading scholars in the fields of Biblical, Rabbinic, Hasidic, Holocaust, and literary studies offer fascinating and innovative analyses of Wiesel’s texts as well as enlightening commentaries on his considerable influence as a teacher and as a moral voice for human rights. By exploring the varied aspects of Wiesel’s multifaceted career—his texts on the Bible, the Talmud, and Hasidism as well as his literary works, his teaching, and his testimony—this thought-provoking volume adds depth to our understanding of the impact of this important man of letters and towering international figure.
“This book reveals Elie Wiesel’s towering intellectual capacity, his deeply held spiritual belief system, and the depth of his emotional makeup.” —New York Journal of Book
The Rilke Alphabet
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The renowned Rilke scholar brings the poet’s work to life for modern readers through 26 essays, each devoted to a single word found in his writings.
Ulrich Baer’s The Rilke Alphabet explores the enduring power of one of the world’s greatest poets, a visionary who saw that even the smallest overlooked word could unlock life’s mysteries. With deep insight and love for Rilke’s language, Baer examines twenty-six words that are not merely unexpected in his work, but problematic—even scandalous. Through twenty-six evocative essays, Baer sheds new light on Rilke’s creative process and his deepest thoughts about life, art, politics, sexuality, love, and death.
The Rilke Alphabet shows how the poet’s work can be a guide to life even in our contemporary world. Whether it is a love letter to frogs, a troubling—though brief—infatuation with Mussolini, a sustained reflection on the Buddha, or the impassioned assertion that freedom must be lived in order to be known, Rilke’s thoroughly original writings pull us deeply into life.
A World of Light
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This captivating book by May Sarton rejoices in friendship and family
In A World of Light, renowned poet and novelist May Sarton renders unforgettable portraits of the friends she considers family—and the family she looks upon as friends. From her father, famed science historian George Sarton, she learns that work is “of the first importance.” Her mother, Mabel, an artist in her own right, is her “dearest friend.” Sarton also introduces us to fellow creative minds Elizabeth Bowen and Louise Brogan, Swiss vigneron Marc Turian, a New Hampshire painter named Quig, and many others.
Sarton crosses oceans and continents as she chronicles the enduring connections she has made and how each has enriched her life. Tender and passionate, candid and evocative, A World of Light is about what it means to be an artist—and a human.
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The definitive collection from a groundbreaking Native American poet whose work traces the fault lines between past and present, real and surreal, comedy and tragedy to unveil a transcendent new vision of the world
Hailed by the Bloomsbury Review as “the nation’s foremost contemporary Native American poet” and by Sherman Alexie as “the best poet in Indian Country,” Ray Young Bear draws on ancient Meskwaki tradition and modern popular culture to create poems that provoke, astound, and heal.
This indispensable volume, which contains three previously published collections—Winter of the Salamander (1979), The Invisible Musician (1990), and The Rock Island Hiking Club (2001)—as well as Manifestation Wolverine, a brilliant series of new pieces inspired by animistic beliefs, a Lazy-Boy recliner, and the word songs Young Bear sang to his children, is a testament to the singularity of the poet’s talent and the astonishing range of his voice.
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“Justin Tussing rocks the rock novel. Vexation Lullaby is pure raw pleasure from start to finish.” —Lily King, New York Times–bestelling author of Euphoria
Peter Silver is a young doctor treading water in the wake of a breakup—his ex-girlfriend called him a “mama’s boy” and his best friend considers him a “homebody,” a squanderer of adventure. But when he receives an unexpected request for a house call, he obliges, only to discover that his new patient is aging, chameleonic rock star Jimmy Cross. Soon Peter is compelled to join the mysteriously ailing celebrity, his band, and his entourage, on the road, thrust into a way of life that embraces disorder and risk rather than order and discipline.
Trailing the band at every tour stop is Arthur Pennyman, Cross’s number-one fan. Pennyman has not missed a performance in twenty years, sacrificing his family and job to chronicle every show on his website. And when he hears a mythic, as-yet-unperformed song he starts to piece together the puzzle of Peter’s role in Cross’s past.
Essays on Economics and Economists
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Reflections on two centuries of economic history from a Nobel Prize winner in the field: “An accessible collection by a renowned economist.”—Library Journal
How do economists decide what questions to address and how to choose their theories? How do they tackle the problems of the economic system and give advice on public policy? With these broad questions, Nobel laureate R. H. Coase, widely recognized for his seminal work on transaction costs, reflects on some of the most fundamental concerns of economists over the past two centuries.
In fifteen essays, Coase evaluates the contributions of a number of outstanding figures, including Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, Arnold Plant, Duncan Black, and George Stigler, as well as economists at the London School of Economics in the 1930s.
“Are you looking for a book by an economist who can really write and has insight after insight on free markets vs. government regulation? Would you like it even better if you could get some good laughs from his clever way of putting things? Then Ronald H. Coase’s Essays on Economics and Economists is the book for you.”—Reason
Work Shirts for Madmen
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A quirky tale of a hard-drinking artist by an author who “writes about the rural South without sentimentality . . . but with plenty of sharp-witted humor” (NPR Morning Edition).
Renegade artist Harp Spillman is lower than a bow-legged fire ant. Because of an unhealthy relationship with the bottle, he’s ruined his reputation as one of the South’s preeminent commissioned metal sculptors. And his desperate turn to ice sculpting might’ve led to a posse of angry politicians on his trail.
With the help of his sane and practical wife, Raylou, Harp understands that it’s time to get his act together and prove that he can complete a series of twelve-foot-high metal angels—welded completely out of hex nuts—for the city of Birmingham. Is it pure chance that the Elbow Boys, with arms voluntarily fused together so they can’t drink, show up in order to help Harp? And why did his neighbor smuggle anteaters into the desolate little South Carolina town of Ember Glow? Harp is drying out, but somehow being sober isn’t making the world seem any less confusing . . .
Fish in Exile
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A couple loses their child in this poetic and devastating novel in which grief reaches “enthralling and mysterious pleasures” (Carol Maso).
A couple named Catholic and Ethos struggle with the loss of their child. How? With fishtanks and jellyfish burials, Persephone’s pomegranate seeds, and affairs with the neighbors. Fish in Exile spins unimaginable loss through classical and magical tumblers, distorting our view so that we can see the contours of a parent’s grief all the more clearly. “The result is a novel that forges a new vocabulary for the routine of grief, as well as the process of healing” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Had She But Known
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Before Agatha Christie, there was America’s Mistress of Mystery. This is the story of her life and creative legacy, from the butler who did it to Batman.
In the decades since her death in 1958, master storyteller Mary Roberts Rinehart has often been compared to Agatha Christie. But while Rinehart was once a household name, today she is largely forgotten. The woman who first proclaimed “the butler did it” was writing for publication years before Christie’s work saw the light of day. She also practiced nursing, became a war correspondent, and wrote a novel—The Bat—that inspired Bob Kane’s creation of Batman.
Born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, before it was absorbed into Pittsburgh, and raised in a close-knit Presbyterian family, Mary Roberts was at once a girl of her time—dutiful, God-fearing, loyal—and a quietly rebellious spirit. For every hour she spent cooking, cleaning, or sewing at her mother’s behest while her “frail” younger sister had fun, Mary eked out her own moments of planning, dreaming, and writing. But becoming an author wasn’t on her radar . . . yet.
Featured photo: Christin Hume / Unsplash