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Woman of God

by James Patterson

St. Peter’s Square, Rome. White smoke signals that a new Pope has been chosen. Is it possible that the new Pope…is a woman? Faith has never come easy for Brigid Fitzgerald. From her difficult childhood with drug-addled parents to her career as a doctor healing the wounded in Sudan to a series of trials that test her beliefs at every turn, Brigid’s convictions and callings have made her the target of all those who fear that the Church has lost its way – dangerous adversaries who abhor challenges to tradition. Locked in a deadly, high-stakes battle with forces determined to undermine everything she believes in, Brigid must convert her enemies to her cause before she loses her faith…and her life. Spanning the globe, from the drug dens, high-powered law firms, and churches of Boston to the horrific brutality of a civil war in the Sudanese desert to the beauty, violence, and spiritual enlightenment of the Holy Land, Woman of God is an epic, thrilling tale of perseverance, love, trust and nothing less than what it means to live in a fallen world.

The Rule of Four

by Ian Caldwell

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Princeton. Good Friday, 1999. On the eve of graduation, two friends are a hairsbreadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a Renaissance text that has baffled scholars for centuries. Famous for its hypnotic power over those who study it, the 500-year-old Hypnerotomachia may finally reveal its secrets—to Tom Sullivan, whose father was obsessed with the book, and Paul Harris, whose future depends on it.

Ovid (Marcus Corvinus Book 1)

by David Wishart

When young aristocratic layabout Marcus Corvinus is approached by the stepdaughter of the exiled and now dead Roman poet Ovid and asked to clear the return of the ashes for burial, he cheerfully agrees; there should, he thinks, be no problem. Except when he makes the application to the imperial authorities it’s turned down flat. So what, Corvinus asks himself, did Ovid do that was so bad that they won’t even allow his bones back into Italy? This is the first book in the Marcus Corvinus series.

 

Any Human Face

by Charles Lambert

When Andrew — a second-hand-book dealer — comes across a pile of photographs from police archives, he decides to exhibit them. But then the gallery is raided the day before the opening, and the photos seized with surprising violence. It soon becomes clear that someone, somewhere, wants to keep the images hidden. Who? Why? And who — in a world where kidnap, subterfuge and even murder are the norm, and where no one is safe or above suspicion — can Andrew turn to for help?

Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer

by Robert Byrd

Famous in his time as a painter, prankster, and philosopher, Leonardo da Vinci was also a musician, sculptor, and engineer for dukes, popes, and kings. What remains of his work –from futuristic designs and scientific inquiry to artwork of ethereal beauty — reveals the ambitious, unpredictable brilliance of a visionary, and a timeless dreamer. Robert Byrd celebrates this passionate, playful genius in a glowing picture book replete with the richness and imagination of Leonardo’s own notebooks. Twenty lavish spreads, including side drawings, supplemental texts, and quotes from Leonardo’s writings, highlight distinct periods and make the master’s art, jokes, explorations, and inventions wonderfully vivid and accessible. A striking tribute to an irrepressible mind and to the potential within all who are curious.

Fall of the Roman Republic (Penguin Classics)

by Plutarch, Rex Warner (Translator)

Dramatic artist, natural scientist and philosopher, Plutarch is widely regarded as the most significant historian of his era, writing sharp and succinct accounts of the greatest politicians and statesmen of the classical period. Deeply influential on Shakespeare and many other later writers, they continue to fascinate today with their exploration of corruption, decadence and the struggle for ultimate power. Taken from The Lives, a series of biographies spanning the Graeco-Roman age, this collection illuminates the twilight of the old Roman Republic from 157-43 BC. Whether describing the would-be dictators Marius and Sulla, the battle between Crassus and Spartacus, the death of political idealist Crato, Julius Caesar’s harrowing triumph in Gaul or the eloquent oratory of Cicero, Plutarch offers a fascinating insight into an empire wracked by political divisions.

Rome: A Cultural, Visual and Personal History

by Robert Hughes

For almost 1000 years, Rome held sway as the spiritual and artistic center of the world. Hughes vividly recreates the ancient Rome of Julius Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, Nero, Caligula, Cicero, Martial and Virgil. With the artistic blossoming of the Renaissance, he casts his unwavering critical eye over the great works of Raphael, Michelangelo and Brunelleschi, shedding new light on the Old Masters. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, when Rome’s cultural predominance was assured, artists and tourists from all over Europe converged on the city. Hughes brilliantly analyses the defining works of Caravaggio, Velasquez, Rubens and Bernini.

Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio

by Amara Lakhous, Ann Goldstein (Translator)

Animated by a style that is as colorful as the neighborhood it describes, this bittersweet comedy is characterized by seemingly effortless equipoise that borrows from the cinematic tradition of the Commedia all’italiana as exemplified by directors such as Federico Fellini. A small culturally mixed community living in an apartment building in the center of Rome is thrown into disarray when one of the neighbors is murdered. An investigation ensues and as each of the victim’s neighbors is questioned, the reader is offered an all-access pass into the most colorful neighborhood in contemporary Rome. Each character takes his or her turn center-stage, giving evidence, recounting his or her story, the dramas of racial identity, the anxieties and misunderstandings born of a life spent on society’s margins, the daily humiliations provoked by mainstream culture’s fears and indifference, preconceptions and insensitivity. What emerges is a moving story that is common to us all, whether we live in Italy or Los Angeles.

The Palio: a Novel

by Ariya Scolamiero

Wildly enjoying the success of his first production, playwright David Musante sees his reckless life in the fast lane come crashing to the ground following a bizarre bust-up on New Years Eve in New York City. Hoping somehow to put his life and career back together, David flees the bright lights of Manhattan on an impulsive trip to Europe. Unfortunately, his irresponsible ways continue and after leaving a trail of misbehavior from London to Lazio, he ends up virtually penniless in Rome. Desperate for money, an extreme lapse in judgment suddenly finds David as the prime suspect for the murder of one of Italy’s most prominent social figures. Set against a marvelous European backdrop, this astonishing debut shows us how a person’s life can be flipped upside down almost instantaneously. The Palio is a riveting journey into the world of mystery, circumstance and suspense, all topped off with a truly shocking conclusion bound to leave the reader stunned.

Madonna of the Seven Hills

by Jean Plaidy

From international best-selling author Jean Plaidy comes this tale of Lucrezia Borgia, born into history’s most notorious family. Her father, who is to become Pope Alexander VI, receives his first daughter warmly, and her brothers, Cesare and Giovanni, are devoted to her. But on the corrupt and violent streets of the capital the Borgia family are feared, and Lucrezia’s father causes scandal, living up to his reputation of ‘most carnal man of his age’. As Lucrezia matures into a beautiful young woman, her brothers are ever more protective and become fierce rivals for her attention. Amid glorious celebrations their father becomes Pope, and shortly after Lucrezia is married – but as Borgias the lives of the Pope’s children are destined to be marred by scandal and tragedy, and it’s a fate that Lucrezia cannot hope to escape.