By Ingrid Steffensen
Life in Ingrid Steffensen's New Jersey suburb was safe, comfortable, and predictable. A college professor, wife, and mother of a preadolescent daughter, her carefully cultivated world was comprised of the usual suspects: family, work, book clubs, yoga classes, and date nights. Then, one day,thinking she'd be a good sport and maybe learn something about what made her car-crazed husband tick,she put a helmet on her head, took her Mini Cooper to the racetrack, and learned how to drive it really, really fast. Soon, what began as a whim became a full-blown obsession,and a freeing journey of self-discovery.In the eventful, exhilarating year that followed her first lesson, Steffenson dove head-first into high-performance driving. In the process, she discovered the terrifying and addictive thrill of pushing her limits, learning an entirely new set of skills, and tackling danger head-on,and found that doing so liberated her in a way that she hadn't even known she needed. Fast-paced and fun, Fast Girl is the quirky, real-life chronicle of how one woman stepped outside her comfort zone, shrugged off the shackles of suburban conformity, and changed her entire perspective on life through the unlikeliest of means: racecar driving.
By Rae Padilla Francoeur
At 55, Rae Padilla Francoeur had no idea that the most deeply fulfilling sexual relationship she'd ever encounter was still to come.In her memoir, Free Fall , Francoeur discloses her discovery of a new love after nearly two decades in a relationship that won't end, despite her need and desire to move on. Francoeur succumbs entirely to the intensely physical and stimulating relationship she finds with this new man- allowing her body and mind to truly embrace pleasure and sexual desire- and shares intimate details of a love affair that changes everything, leading her to celebrate her sexuality and rediscover herself. Free fall, Francoeur says, is a choice: Let go. Be here now. Open up to the possibilities. Choosing to let go is a tall order for a woman who's lived her life as a single parent, a loving and attentive mate to a man with bipolar disorder, and a creative director in a busy museum- but when she finally succeeds in choosing herself, she views life anew, sensitized by sexual desire and dramatic change. Her new lover says, "Everything is foreplay." With him, Francoeur learns to embrace her sexuality and the profound pleasure bodies bring, even as they age.
By Clint Willis
Firefighters have long been among the most admired men and women in our culture, and recent events have shown how well-placed that admiration is,adding fuel to our innate fascination with stories about fire and the people who risk their lives to fight it. Some of our best writers are drawn to the subject of firefighting, and over the years they have created a rich body of literature. Fire Fighters offers the most exciting and compelling stories from that body of work, including accounts of devastating fires from New York to Yellowstone, as well as smaller blazes that have turned particularly ugly or dangerous. Selections include Jimmy Breslin's eulogy for the men who died in the famous Chelsea fire, Norman McLean on the Great Gulch forest fire that killed nine young smokejumpers, John McPhee on fires in the Pine Barrens, Studs Terkel's interview with a fire fighter, and riveting accounts of the FDNY's role in the September 11 tragedy and its aftermath. 16 black-and-white photos are also featured.
Foundation And Chaos
By Greg Bear
Isaac Asimov's Foundation series is known to millions of readers throughout the world. Before he died, however, he made it clear that there were areas he had not explored. Greg Bear now takes up that challenge and an epic story of galactic intrigue and incredible science takes a staggering new twist. Hari Seldon's life's work is about to come to an end. The science of psychohistory he has developed can be refined no more, and the plans for the Foundation, which will steer mankind through the dark centuries ahead, are complete. But it may all be for nothing if the political factions on Trantor succeed in destroying Hari's work. Accused of treason against the Galactic Empire, the most important trial of all time is about to begin . . .