- Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea
In a work of extraordinary narrative power, filled with brilliant personalities and vivid scenes of dramatic action, Robert K. Massie, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Dreadnought, elevates to its proper historical importance the role of sea power in the winning of the Great War.
The predominant image of this first world war is of mud and trenches, barbed wire, machine guns, poison gas, and slaughter. A generation of European manhood was massacred, and a wound was inflicted on European civilization that required the remainder of the twentieth century to heal.
But with all its sacrifice, trench warfare did not win the war for one side or lose it for the other. Over the course of four years, the lines on the Western Front moved scarcely at all; attempts to break through led only to the lengthening of the already unbearably long casualty lists.
For the true story of military upheaval, we must look to the sea. On the eve of the war in August 1914, Great Britain and Germany possessed the two greatest navies the world had ever seen. When war came, these two fleets of dreadnoughts—gigantic floating castles of steel able to hurl massive shells at an enemy miles away—were ready to test their terrible power against each other.
Their struggles took place in the North Sea and the Pacific, at the Falkland Islands and the Dardanelles. They reached their climax when Germany, suffocated by an implacable naval blockade, decided to strike against the British ring of steel. The result was Jutland, a titanic clash of fifty-eight dreadnoughts, each the home of a thousand men.
When the German High Seas Fleet retreated, the kaiser unleashed unrestricted U-boat warfare, which, in its indiscriminate violence, brought a reluctant America into the war. In this way, the German effort to “seize the trident” by defeating the British navy led to the fall of the German empire.
Ultimately, the distinguishing feature of Castles of Steel is the author himself. The knowledge, understanding, and literary power Massie brings to this story are unparalleled. His portrayals of Winston Churchill, the British admirals Fisher, Jellicoe, and Beatty, and the Germans Scheer, Hipper, and Tirpitz are stunning in their veracity and artistry.
Castles of Steel is about war at sea, leadership and command, courage, genius, and folly. All these elements are given magnificent scope by Robert K. Massie’s special and widely hailed literary mastery.
Winner of the Lambda and Tiptree Awards • “A knockout . . . Strong, likable characters, a compelling story, and a very interesting take on gender.”—Ursula K. Le Guin
Change or die. These are the only options available on planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep—and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives. Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives. In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women’s biological secret, she finds that she too is changing—and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction. . . .
Ammonite is an unforgettable novel that questions the very meanings of gender and humanity. As readers share in Marghe’s journey through an alien world, they too embark on a parallel journey of fascinating self-exploration.
“A powerful story of connection, allegiance, and obligation. Read Nicola Griffith’s book—and keep an eye out for her name in the future.”—Vonda N. McIntyre
“A marvelous blend of high adventure and mind-boggling social speculation.”—Kim Stanley Robinson
- Great Books for Girls: More Than 600 Books to Inspire Today's Girls and Tomorrow's Women
The first reference of its kind, Great Books for Girls is an invaluable
list of more than six hundred titles--picture books, novels, mysteries,
biographies, folktales, sports books, and more--that will encourage,
challenge, and ultimately nurture in girls the strong qualities our culture
so often suppresses.
Kathleen Odean, a librarian and former member of the
prestigious Caldecott and Newbery Award committees, has gathered and
annotated a list of books starring bold, confident heroines for children
from toddlers to age fourteen. Here are old favorites such as Eloise,
Harriet the Spy, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and Ramona the Pest; new
inspirations such as Cinder Edna, Sheila Rae the Brave, Herculeah Jones,
and Princess Smartypants; and real-life admirable women such as Eleanor of
Aquitaine, Jane Goodall, Toni Morrison, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Helen
In these books, girls and women are creative, capable, articulate, and
intelligent, solving problems, facing challenges, resolving conflicts, and
going on quests. They are not sidekicks or tokens, waiting to be rescued;
they are doing the rescuing. Nor are they waiting for a male to provide a
happy ending; they are fashioning their own stories and their own endings.
Packed with expert guidance,Great Books for Girls is an essential volume
that will give girls of all ages the power of hope.
- Crucible of Gold
“An absorbing adventure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Former Aerial Corps captain Will Laurence and his faithful dragon, Temeraire, have been put out to pasture in Australia—and it seems their part in the war has ended just when they are needed most. The French have invaded Spain, forged an alliance with Africa’s powerful Tswana empire, and brought revolution to Brazil. With Britain’s last desperate hope of defeating Napoleon in peril, the government that sidelined Laurence swiftly offers to reinstate him, convinced that he’s the best man to enter the fray and negotiate peace. So the pair embark for Brazil, only to meet with a string of unmitigated disasters that forces them to make an unexpected landing in the hostile territory of the Incan empire. With the success of the mission balanced on a razor’s edge, an old enemy appears and threatens to tip the scales toward ruin. Yet even in the midst of disaster, opportunity may lurk—for one bold enough to grasp it.
“Captivating . . . compelling reading . . . [an] action-packed narrative [with] lively, uniquely drawn characters and intriguing takes on history.”—Tordotcom
Includes a preview of the next book in the Temeraire series, Blood of Tyrants
- Empire of Ivory
“A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon.”
–The New York Times
“Enthralling reading–it’s like Jane Austen playing Dungeons & Dragons with Eragon’s Christopher Paolini.”
–Time, on His Majesty’s Dragon
Tragedy has struck His Majesty’s Aerial Corps, whose magnificent fleet of fighting dragons and their human captains valiantly defend England’s shores against the encroaching armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. An epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the noble dragons’ ranks–forcing the hopelessly stricken into quarantine. Now only Temeraire and a pack of newly recruited dragons remain uninfected–and stand as the only means of an airborne defense against France’s ever bolder sorties.
Bonaparte’s dragons are already harrowing Britain’s ships at sea. Only one recourse remains: Temeraire and his captain, Will Laurence, must take wing to Africa, whose shores may hold the cure to the mysterious and deadly contagion. On this mission there is no time to waste, and no telling what lies in store beyond the horizon or for those left behind to wait, hope, and hold the line.
“A gripping adventure full of rich detail and the impossible wonder of gilded fantasy.”
–Entertainment Weekly, on His Majesty’s Dragon
“A thrilling fantasy . . . All hail Naomi Novik.”
–The Washington Post Book World, on His Majesty’s Dragon