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Cordelia's Staff Picks

ETHICS

ETHICS

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A profoundly beautiful and uniquely insightful description of the universe, Benedict de Spinoza's Ethics is one of the masterpieces of Enlightenment-era philosophy.

Published shortly after his death, the Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza's greatest work - an elegant, fully cohesive cosmology derived from first principles, providing a coherent picture of reality, and a guide to the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, the emotions, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding - moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order, the nature of freedom and the path to attainable happiness. A powerful work of elegant simplicity, the Ethics is a brilliantly insightful consideration of the possibility of redemption through intense thought and philosophical reflection. The Ethics is presented in the standard translation of the work by Edwin Curley. This edition also includes an introduction by Stuart Hampshire, outlining Spinoza's philosophy and placing it in context.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

FICCIONES

FICCIONES

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The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges's genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal's abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything in between.

FLORENCE IN ECSTASY

FLORENCE IN ECSTASY

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A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2017
"Chaffee's fierce debut brings Hannah's struggles, discoveries, and sweet triumphs to life." --Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl and The Woman Upstairs
"There's an absorbing story here, a love story, a coming-of-age story, a gorgeous portrait of the city itself, its beauty and its decadence, but there's also the thrilling glimpse of a brilliant young writer just setting out." --National Book Award winner Alice McDermott in The Atlantic

A young American woman arrives in Florence from Boston, knowing no one and speaking little Italian. But Hannah is isolated in a more profound way, estranged from her own identity after a bout with starvation that has left her life and body in ruins. She is determined to recover in Florence, a city saturated with beauty, vitality, and food--as well as a dangerous history of sainthood for women who starved themselves for God.
Hannah joins a local rowing club, where Francesca, a welcoming but predatory Milanese, and Luca, a seemingly steady Florentine with whom she becomes involved, draw her into Florence's vibrant present: the complex social dynamics at the club, soccer mania, eating, drinking, sex, an insatiable insistence on life. But Hannah is also rapt by the city's past--the countless representations of beauty, the entrenched conflicts of politics and faith, and the lore of the mystical saints, women whose self-imposed isolation and ecstatic searches for meaning through denial illuminate the seduction of her own struggles.
Both sides pull Hannah in: challenging her, defeating her, lifting her up. And when a figure from her past life in Boston reappears, threatening the delicate balance of her present, Hannah's feverish personal excavation becomes caught up with the long history of women's contention with body and spirit, desire and death.
A vivid, visceral debut echoing the novels of Jean Rhys, Elena Ferrante, and Catherine Lacey, Florence in Ecstasy gives us an arresting new vision of a woman's attempt to find meaning--and find herself--in an unstable world.
LES FLEURS DU MAL (REVISED)

LES FLEURS DU MAL (REVISED)

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National Book Award Winner in poetry. Charles Baudelaire's 1857 masterwork, translated into English by acclaimed poet Richard Howard, along with the original French text.

Scandalous in its day for its portrayals of sex, love, death, the corrupting and oppressive power of the modern city and lost innocence, Les Fleurs Du Mal remains powerful and relevant for our time.

In "Spleen et idéal," Baudelaire dramatizes the erotic cycle of ecstacy and anguish--of sexual and romantic love. "Tableaux Parisiens" condemns the crushing effects of urban planning on a city's soul and praises the city's anti-heroes including the deranged and derelict. "Le Vin" centers on the search for oblivion in drink and drugs. The many kinds of love that lie outside traditional morality is the focus of "Fleurs du Mal" while rebellion is at the heart of "Révolte."

The voice of Baudelaire lives in this masterful translation. "Richard Howard, generally esteemed as the finest American translator from the French of the postwar era, offers a new version of this masterpiece," wrote The Washington Post. "It is the English edition to acquire."

Lost Daughter

Lost Daughter

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Another penetrating Neapolitan story from New York Times best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Paul Mescal, and Peter Sarsgaard

Leda, a middle-aged divorcée, is alone for the first time in years after her two adult daughters leave home to live with their father in Toronto. Enjoying an unexpected sense of liberty, she heads to the Ionian coast for a vacation. But she soon finds herself intrigued by Nina, a young mother on the beach, eventually striking up a conversation with her. After Nina confides a dark secret, one seemingly trivial occurrence leads to events that could destroy Nina's family in this "arresting" novel by the author of the New York Times-bestselling Neapolitan Novels, which have sold millions of copies and been adapted into an HBO series (Publishers Weekly).

"Although much of the drama takes place in [Leda's] head, Ferrante's gift for psychological horror renders it immediate and visceral." --The New Yorker

"Ferrante's prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret." --Publishers Weekly

MILK & HONEY

MILK & HONEY

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"Rupi Kaur is the Writer of the Decade." - The New Republic

#1 New York Times bestseller milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

PET SEMATARY M/TV MEDIA TIE-IN

PET SEMATARY M/TV MEDIA TIE-IN

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Now a major motion picture! Stephen King's #1 New York Times bestseller is a "wild, powerful, disturbing" (The Washington Post Book World) classic about evil that exists far beyond the grave--among King's most iconic and frightening novels.

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow's tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed's beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing...as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there--one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better...

PHEDRE: DUAL LANGUAGE EDITION

PHEDRE: DUAL LANGUAGE EDITION

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Racine's play Phèdre--which draws on Euripides' tragedy Hippolytus--is the supreme achievement of French neoclassic theater. In her amusing foreword, Margaret Rawlings explains how this particular translation--made specifically from the actor's point-of-view--evolved from the 1957 Campbell Allen production.

Containing both the French and English texts on facing pages, as well as Racine's own preface and notes on his contemporary and classical references, this edition of Phèdre is a favorite among modern readers and is of special value to students, amateur companies, and repertory theaters alike. Translated and with a foreword by Margaret Rawlings.

TELEPHONE

TELEPHONE

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An astonishing new novel of loss and grief from "one of our culture's preeminent novelists" (Los Angeles Times)

Zach Wells is a perpetually dissatisfied geologist-slash-paleobiologist. Expert in a very narrow area--the geological history of a cave forty-four meters above the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon--he is a laconic man who plays chess with his daughter, trades puns with his wife while she does yoga, and dodges committee work at the college where he teaches.

After a field trip to the desert yields nothing more than a colleague with a tenure problem and a student with an unwelcome crush on him, Wells returns home to find his world crumbling. His daughter has lost her edge at chess, she has developed mysterious eye problems, and her memory has lost its grasp. Powerless in the face of his daughter's slow deterioration, he finds a mysterious note asking for help tucked into the pocket of a jacket he's ordered off eBay. Desperate for someone to save, he sets off to New Mexico in secret on a quixotic rescue mission.

A deeply affecting story about the lengths to which loss and grief will drive us, Telephone is a Percival Everett novel we should have seen coming all along, one that will shake you to the core as it asks questions about the power of narrative to save.

TRACTATUS LOGICO-PHILOSOPHICUS

TRACTATUS LOGICO-PHILOSOPHICUS

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Philosophy is not a theory, asserted Austro-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), but an activity. In this 1921 opus, his only philosophical work published during his lifetime, Wittgenstein defined the object of philosophy as the logical clarification of thoughts and proposed the solution to most philosophic problems by means of a critical method of linguistic analysis. In proclaiming philosophy as a matter of logic rather than of metaphysics, Wittgenstein created a sensation among intellectual circles that influenced the development of logical positivism and changed the direction of 20th-century thought.
Beginning with the principles of symbolism and the necessary relations between words and objects, the author applies his theories to various branches of traditional philosophy, illustrating how mistakes arise from inappropriate use of symbolism and misuses of language. After examining the logical structure of propositions and the nature of logical inference, he discusses the theory of knowledge as well as principles of physics and ethics and aspects of the mystical.
Supervised by the author himself, this translation from the German by C. K. Ogden is regarded as the definitive text. A magisterial introduction by the distinguished philosopher Bertrand Russell hails Wittgenstein's achievement as extraordinarily important, one which no serious philosopher can afford to neglect. Introduction by Bertrand Russell.