YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT:
FAVORITE BOOKS & STAFF PICKS
BOOKS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT:
Here's a list of some outstanding current and forthcoming titles on our shelves. These are books that offer something
special - superb writing by talented authors, a riveting reading experience, unforgettable characters, intriguing concepts,
fascinating subject matter, impeccable scholarship, or just sheer literary entertainment.
These are books that truly deserve your attention...
Drop by Walden Pond Books at 3316 Grand Avenue and browse. Or - if you see a book listed here that you know you've
just got to read immediately - call us at 510-832-4438 and we'll hold that title for you at the front counter or ship directly to your home.
- Fiction: Recently Released in Hardcover (Front Display)
|NAAMAH by Sarah Blake|
We know the story of Noah and his Ark: with the coming of the Great Flood only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the waters to subside. Now, in a work of astounding invention, Sarah Blake reclaims the story of his wife, Naamah, the woman who kept them alive.
"Sarah Blake's debut novel puts Noah's wife at the center of a really very wild and superbly intelligent reimagining. Set in an elemental agricultural past, on a flooded desert populated by angels, dead children and birds with the voice of God. . . The writing is most sublimely clever. . . left me with an abiding admiration for the writer's charged powers of imagination." - The New York Times.
"Blake's writing is deeply feminist. Whether she's focused on giving birth or having sex, Blake sketches the female body and experience in all its gore and glory. Naamah enters other people's dreams, spirits visit her on Earth, and she spends hours exploring beneath the floodwaters. Comprised of mesmerizing prose poem-esque sections, the novel explores themes of sexuality, purpose, loss, love, and faith. A poetic debut of biblical proportions." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Revelatory, ethereal and transfixing. . . Blake's language and storytelling style are as playful as they are sensual, as fluid and surreal as they are crisp and hyper-realistic. Naamah plucks a female character from myth and imbues her with sexuality, personality and intimacy, making her an altogether more modern hero — the kind of woman capable of giving a stern talking-to to a vengeful god." - Bookpage *** starred review ***.
"Blake has taken one of the best-known biblical tales and opened it up in ways both inventive and provocative. She brings this world alive, from detailed descriptions of the construction of the Ark and preparations for the journey, to the day-to-day practicalities of living with a literal boatload of creatures. With Naamah, Blake provides insights both unique and moving, and makes an ancient tale feel vibrant and relevant to today." - Jewish Book Council *** featured review ***.
|THE BORDER by Don Winslow|
From deserts south of the border to Wall Street, from the slums of Guatemala to the marbled corridors of Washington, D.C., Don Winslow follows a new generation of narcos, the cops that fight them, the street traffickers, the addicts, the politicians, money-launderers, real-estate moguls, and mere children fleeing the violence for the chance of a life in a new country. A shattering tale of vengeance, violence, corruption and justice. Highly effective as a stand-alone novel, The Border is the third book in Winslow's Cartel trilogy which began with The Power of the Dog and Cartel.
"The publication of the concluding volume in Winslow's epic Cartel trilogy represents a landmark moment in crime fiction, and it couldn't come at a more propitious time.
Connecting the dots from fictional characters and events to real-life ones will fuel much commentary in the coming weeks, but in the end, it is Winslow's remarkable ability to translate the utter fiasco of our 50-year War on Drugs into the most wrenching of human stories, tragedy seemingly without end, that gives this novel its unparalleled power.
Winslow has spent decades immersed in the drug wars, and his prodigious research and ability to combine massive amounts of detail into a structured whole show on every page. But coming through with equal force is his eloquence." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Of all the blows delivered by Don Winslow's Cartel trilogy, none may be as devastating as the timing of The Border, its stunner of a conclusion.
His sweeping new novel concerns subjects that put it right on the culture's front burner. Blade-sharp, violent, pulse-quickening and reportorially shocking. . .
It is all rendered unputdownable by Winslow's unrivaled skill at his game. This is a book for dark, rudderless times, an immersion into fear and chaos."
- The New York Times.
"A furious, impassioned novel that directs its anger at a wide assortment of targets. Some of the angriest (and probably most controversial) moments come through Winslow's scathing account of the 2016 presidential election. The resulting portrait of greed and influence peddling at the highest levels of government lends an extra layer of outrage to an already white-hot narrative. The Border guides us through a savage, wholly believable world. The result is a powerful - and painful - journey through a contemporary version of hell. Rarely has hell been so compelling." - The Washington Post.
"The Border is a very good book. . . Because it is a huge, meticulously researched book that comes at the end of a series 20 years in the making. Because it is a book that eschews flowery language for precision and quick action. Because the internal monologues of quiet men are often the ways we are given to understand their internal histories. Because - and I am not saying this lightly - this is all basically Shakespeare. Taken all together, in its entirety - taken as a full, sweeping, fictionalized tale rooted and grounded in very real tragedy - The Border becomes a book for our times." - NPR.
A 2019 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION NOMINEE
LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE by Valeria Luiselli
What begins as the account of a family's road trip is overwhelmed by the reality of children at America's southern border trapped in detention centers.
Luiselli's new novel is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity taking us
deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.
"Daring, wholly original, brilliant. . .fascinating. What Luiselli has pulled off here is a twist on the great American road trip novel, a book about alienation that
chronicles fractures, divides, and estrangement - of both a family and a country. It's a remarkable feat of empathy and intellectuality that showcases Luiselli's ability to braid the political, historical, and personal while explicitly addressing the challenges of figuring out how to tell the very story she's telling. Luiselli is an extraordinary writer." - NPR.
"A mold-breaking new classic. The novel truly becomes novel again in Luiselli's hands - electric, elastic, alluring, new. Luiselli drives home just how much pain and sacrifice
we are prepared to accept in the lives of others. She dramatizes what it takes for people to stare hard at their own families, to examine their complicity in other people's suffering." - The New York Times.
"As the novel rises to a ferocious climax, Luiselli thunderously, persuasively insists that reckoning with the border will make deep demands of both our intellectual and emotional reserves. A powerful border story, at once intellectual and heartfelt."
- Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Engrossing, constantly surprising - a beguiling mixture of the real and the doubly invented; a passionately engaged book with intellectual amplitude and moral seriousness,
and a beautiful, loving portrait of children and of the task of looking after them. It is a pleasure to be a part of the narrator's family; just as pleasurable is the access we gain to the narrator's mind - a comprehensive literary intelligence." - The New Yorker.
A 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST | A 2019 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION NOMINEE
NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney
A strange and indelible connection grows between two very different teenagers - one they are determined to conceal. Connell is the popular star of the football team.
Marianne is lonely, proud, and private. But when they both attend the same college, their roles are reversed - Connell retreats into an inward quest for self-discovery, while
Marianne revels in a new social world. And then, Marianne begins to spiral downwards towards self-destruction. . . This is a brilliant and psychologically acute examination
of how far people may go to save each other - and themselves.
"A future classic. . . Astonishingly fresh. . . The energy and excitement of the story come from the couple themselves, their inner lives,
from what Jane Austen called their 'sensibilities'. Rooney evokes them superbly. Rooney is such a gifted, brave, adventurous writer, so
exceptionally good at observing the lies people tell themselves on the deepest level,
in noting how much we forgive, and above all, in portraying love." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"It is time to take a sharp inhale, people. Sally Rooney's Normal People is superb. A tremendous read, full of insight and sweetness. . .
I felt I understood something, at the end of it, that I had previously pushed away. This novel is about human
connection and I found it difficult to disconnect. It is a long time since I cared so much about two characters on a page." - Anne Enright, The Irish Times (U.K.).
"Sally Rooney has rightly been fêted as one of the most important writers of her generation. The question of generation matters because she's writing about young people.
What's remarkable is how she's at once fully immersed in the world she writes about and able forensically to observe both the characters and their world, as though from a great distance.
It's this combination that makes her so convincingly the real thing: a unique, fully formed talent." - The Spectator (U.K.).
"There's an effortlessness about Sally Rooney's writing, as if the stories simply pour through her like liquid gold. Normal People
is a daring book, unafraid to enter the darker corners of the psyche. This hits you deep in the marrow, and the result is quite astonishing.
Rooney excels in writing characters who stand askance from life. She writes anguish like nobody can. There's nothing normal about Rooney. She's exceptional." - The Independent (U.K.).
A 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
THE WATER CURE by Sophie Mackintosh
To protect his three daughters from the toxicity and dangers of a degrading world, King has raised his family on an island where
men are forbidden any access. But then their father, the only man the sisters have ever seen, disappears, and one day two strange men and a boy wash ashore.
Over the span of one blistering hot week, a psychological cat-and-mouse game plays out.
A haunting, riveting tale about the capacity for violence and the potency of female desire, Sophie Mackintosh's debut novel both devastates and astonishes.
"Mackintosh has created a fiction that is distinct and very much her own. The Water Cure is a moving, unsettling study of family trauma,
but it also has the feel of a parable, a modern myth about the close relationship between women's bodies and pain.
There is nothing ‘safe' about Mackintosh's writing: hers is a debut that probes into the dark meeting places between fantasy and violence, and the disturbing transition
from child's to adult's play." - The London Magazine (U.K.).
"This riveting debut adds another dimension to a post-Handmaid's Tale world. But Mackintosh's novel is quite different from The Handmaid's Tale. . .
The Water Cure deploys its twists more subtly. For this is a sisterhood that is theoretically feminist but plays with the slippery boundaries of gender equality in
a way that lingers long after the final page." - The Telegraph (U.K.).
"An extraordinary debut novel. Mackintosh is writing the way that Sofia Coppola would shoot the end of the world: everything is luminous, precise, slow to the point of dread." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"Plays out as a sharp allegory of the extremities of male predation, and a potent revenge fantasy. . . This is a tense and haunting debut, as eerily prescient as it is otherworldly.
Mackintosh's sparse lyrical prose carves close to brutality, her blows cut simultaneously blunt and nuanced to disturbing effect." - The Arts Desk *** starred review ***.
"Utopia portrayed in spectral, organic prose. . . Mackintosh is a wonderful stylist; the full scope of her imagination, as well as the cohesion of her vision, is evident on every page.
It is the collusion between the ordinary and the extraordinary that gives the book its elemental power: its immediacy as a simple story and its completeness on the heightened metaphorical level.
It's a seriously impressive feat." - The Irish Times (U.K.).
|WOMEN TALKING by Miriam Toews|
Miriam Toews tells a chilling tale of systematic religious subjugation in a Mennonite colony and the lengths to which women will - or won't - go to survive.
"Toews's celebrated novels are haunted by her upbringing, but she has never written with such heartbreak, or taken such sure aim at fundamentalism and its hypocrisies, as she does in
her new book. . . Did I mention the book is funny? Wickedly so, with Toews's brand of seditious wit." - The New York Times.
"Toews' eviscerating fictionalization of this incendiary reality focuses not on the violence but, rather, on the keen, subversive intelligence of the Mennonite women. Incisive, eloquent, passionate, and caustically funny. . .
Toews' knowing wit and grasp of dire subjects aligns her with Margaret Atwood, while her novel's slicing concision and nearly Socratic dialogue has the impact of a courtroom drama or a Greek tragedy."
- Booklist *** starred review ***.
"It must have taken guts to write this novel, which could have been exploitative but, instead, proves thoughtful and light on its feet. Rather than dwell on the crimes,
Toews wrings unexpected drama from her protagonists as they spar over how best to remain faithful to a system that has been used
to betray them so brutally. The improbable, almost magical result creates something redemptive from a subject that seems anything but." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"Packed with drama. . . infused with a deeply sympathetic understanding of the way women talk. Toews conveys not only what these women suffered but how stoically and graciously they endure.
She draws us into the lives of obscure people and makes their survival feel as crucial and precarious as our own." - The Washington Post.
A 2019 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION NOMINEE
GHOST WALL by Sarah Moss
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
A Huffington Post Most Anticipated Book of 2019 | A London Times Literary Supplement Best Book of the Year
In the north of England, far from the intrusions of cities, Silvie, her family, and a group of anthropology students are living as if they are ancient Britons, surviving by the tools and knowledge of the Iron Age. But what is meant to be a two-week field trip takes on a darker significance when the students begin to build a replica of a "ghost wall" - a wall topped with skulls that a local tribe erected to ward off the invading Romans of the past.
"A powerful and unsettling novel about an Iron Age reenactment that steadily morphs into something sinister. The story grows increasingly ominous before arriving at a terrifying, unforgettable ending. The novel's highlight is Silvie, a perfectly calibrated consciousness that is energetic and lonely and prone to sharp and memorable observations. This is a haunting, astonishing novel."
- Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A tiny, sharp knife of a novel. Acutely lovely. . . Moss, whose work has long plumbed the psychological roots of timely issues, offers a beautiful corrective to the rugged, wild-man archetype. The whole book feels like a web of shimmering connections, unshowy but endlessly complex." - The Atlantic.
"Compresses large and urgent themes - the dangers of nostalgic nationalism, the abuse of women and children, what is lost and gained when humans stop living in thrall to the natural world- into a short, sharp tale of suspense. Utterly contemporary. . . I read Ghost Wall in one gulp in the middle of the night. It was a worthy match for 3:00 a.m. disquiet, a book that evoked existential
dread, but contained it, beautifully, like a shipwreck in a bottle." - The New Yorker.
"Ghost Wall is such a weird and distinctive story: It could be labeled a supernatural tale, a coming-of-age chronicle, even a timely meditation on the various meanings of walls themselves.
All this, packed into a beautifully written story of 130 pages. No wonder I read it twice within one week." - NPR.
"A short, sharp shock of a book that closes around you like a vice as you read it. Taut and tense:
plot driven, time limited and entirely out of the ordinary. The real virtue of this novel resides in Moss's ability to carry us with her: to lead us step by hot and grubby step to a shattering conclusion. Ghost Wall is a burnished gem of a book, brief and brilliant, and with it, Moss's
star is firmly in the ascendant." - The Guardian (U.K.).
- Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Dallas Morning News, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe|
Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize
Winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
THERE THERE by Tommy Orange
The lives of twelve unforgettable characters - Native Americans living in Oakland, California - converge on one fateful day. A shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen, Tommy Orange's stunning novel grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. There There is fierce, funny, impossible
to put down - and destined to be a classic.
“Sweeping and subtle. . . pure soaring beauty. Tommy Orange seeks to reconfigure Oakland as a locus of desire and dreams, to remake the city in the likeness of his large and fascinating set of characters. There There has so much jangling energy and brings so much news from a distinct corner of American life that it's a revelation. Its appearance marks the passing of a generational baton.
A new kind of American epic.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
“Orange's commanding debut chronicles contemporary Native Americans in Oakland, as their lives collide in the days leading up to the city's inaugural Big Oakland Powwow. The propulsion of the narrative and its players are breathtaking as Orange unpacks how decisions of the past mold the present, resulting in a haunting and gripping story.” — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
“The title of Tommy Orange’s bold debut is a reference to Gertrude Stein’s line about the city of her childhood, Oakland, California: 'there is no there there'. His challenging novel explores the breadth of modern Native American life. Affecting and surprising. . . Devastatingly matter-of-fact. . . Moving and powerful. . .
An impressive achievement.” — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Devastating. . . With the glide of a masterful stand-up comic and the depth of a seasoned historian, Orange rifles through our national storehouse of atrocities. . . The plot accelerates until the novel explodes. . . A dazzling, cinematic climax.
But its greater impact is emotional.” — The Washington Post.
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR|
A 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST
WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan
Ranging from the blistering cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, from the earliest aquariums of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, this is a tale
of self-invention and self-destruction, of comradeship and betrayal, which asks the question, What is true freedom?
A dazzling adventure story about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world.
"Perfectly executed. . . Soaring. . . More than a tale of human bondage, it's also an enthralling meditation on the weight of freedom, wrapped in a rousing
adventure story stretching to the ends of the earth." — The Boston Globe.
"At the core of this novel, with its searing, supple prose and superb characters, is a visceral depiction of the abomination of slavery. Yet, as importantly, it explores
an unlikely friendship, the limits to understanding another's suffering, the violence lurking in humans, and the glories of adventure in a world full of
wonders." — The Daily Mail (U.K.).
"Terrifically exciting. . . An engrossing hybrid of 19th-century adventure and contemporary subtlety, a rip-roaring tale of peril imbued with our most persistent strife.
Discover what the rest of the world already knows: Edugyan is a magical writer." — The Washington Post.
"A daring work of empathy and imagination, featuring a Barbados slave boy in the 1830s who flees barbaric cruelty in a hot-air balloon and embarks on a life of adventure
that is wondrous, melancholy, and strange. Astonishing. . . Washington Black's presence in these pages is fierce and unsettling. His urge to live all he can is
matched by his eloquence." — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
"A rare creation. It is a work of unmistakable literary sensibility, written in prose that is fresh and beautiful, yet it retains a storyteller's skill to shock and
surprise." — The Daily Telegraph (U.K.).
|THAT KIND OF MOTHER by Rumaan Alam|
Struggling to juggle the demands of motherhood with her own aspirations and feeling utterly alone in the process, first-time mother Rebecca Stone reaches out to Priscilla Johnson - a nurse with children of her own - and brings her into her home as her son's nanny. Rebecca is white, and Priscilla is black, and through their relationship, Rebecca finds herself confronting, for the first time, the blind spots of her own privilege. But then Priscilla dies unexpectedly, and Rebecca adopts her son.
"A quietly brilliant novel about motherhood, families, and race. Alam's portrait is quite possibly the best peek at motherhood and its disorienting seesaw effects on a middle-class suburban woman that we have seen in a long while. Alam's unerring yet unobtrusive eye asks uncomfortable questions: Can motherhood ever look beyond race? Can we learn to recognize the terrible blindness of our respective cultural perspectives? A stunning accomplishment." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Burrows deep into issues of race, class, and the nature of family.
Alam proves he is a writer brave and empathetic enough not only to look at life from the perspective of another gender and era, but also to boldly dive in and explore controversial topics. Insightful, intrepid, and truly impressive." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Alam treads complicated territory with a deft hand. In doing so, he renders an intricate, sometimes uncomfortable family portrait. Alam's mothers are not one-dimensional martyrs. They question themselves; they wonder if they've made the right choices. They're refreshingly human, vibrating with imperfection. That Kind of Mother's greatest triumph is its insistence on complicating the rescue narrative of transracial adoption without resorting to dogmatic indictments of its characters."
- The Atlantic.
"Alam has created an outstanding depiction of motherhood and cross-racial adoption. The tensions of privilege and identity are brilliantly set against the backdrop of wealthy American cities, and Alam's pacing is phenomenal. That Kind of Mother is an astonishing book, one unafraid to look at the minefield of parenting and race. It reveals how we blind ourselves to the truth - and how we might finally open our eyes." - The Washington Post.
WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION|
A 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST
THE OVERSTORY by Richard Powers
Nine remarkable strangers are summoned in different ways for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest.
Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning homage to the natural world - a world alongside
ours, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
"This ambitious novel soars up through the canopy of American literature and remakes the landscape of environmental fiction." — The Washington Post.
"An extraordinary novel. . . an astonishing performance. I found, while reading, that some of what was happening to his characters passed into my conscience, like alcohol into the bloodstream, and left a feeling behind of grief or guilt, even after I put the book down." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"A masterpiece of operatic proportions, involving nine central characters and more than half a century of American life.
A magnificent achievement: a novel that is, by turns, both optimistic and fatalistic, idealistic without being naive." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A magnificent saga! Powers' sylvan tour de force is alive with gorgeous descriptions; continually surprising, often heartbreaking characters; complex suspense; unflinching scrutiny of pain; celebration of creativity and connection; and informed and expressive awe over the planet's life force and its countless and miraculous manifestations." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A monumental novel that accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of story, Powers pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size. . . The descriptions of this deeply animate place stand with any prose I've ever read. I hesitate to tell more, and spoil the immense effort Powers invests in getting us into that primal forest to bear witness." — The New York Times.
A 2019 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION NOMINEE
FRESHWATER by Akwaeke Emezi
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice | A New York Times Notable Book.
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, BuzzFeed, NPR, Chicago Public Library, Bustle, BookPage, Shelf Awareness.
Named a Best Debut Novel of 2018 by Entertainment Weekly | Nominated for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction.
Nigerian author Emezi transforms her own personal diagnosis of "multiple personality disorder" into a lyrical and stunningly intense tale of identity, mental illness and spirituality. Steeped in African mythology, Freshwater tells the story of Ada, a young girl who is "ogbanje": she houses a spirit in her body, and she was born only to torture her mother by dying. But Ada does not die. She grows up and goes away to college in the United States.
"In her mind-blowing debut, Emezi employs traditional Igbo myth that turns the well-worn narrative of mental illness on its head, and in doing so she has ensured a place on the literary-fiction landscape. Emezi's brilliance lies not just in her expert handling of the conflicting voices in Ada's head but in delivering an entirely different perspective on just what it means to go slowly mad. Complex and dark, this novel will simultaneously challenge and reward. A must-read."
- Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A startling debut novel explores the freedom of being multiple. Igbo spirituality, Emezi radically suggests, has as much to offer as any Western schemas when it comes to decrypting human folly or transcendence . . .
The book would have made grim sense through a mental-health lens; instead, it is an indigenous fairy tale. One achievement of Emezi's book is to make that paradox feel generously fertile." - The New Yorker.
"Madness is often described in terms of different selves, but Emezi does something absorbingly original with that idea in her spiritually lush and tough yet lyrical debut.
A gorgeous, unsettling look into the human psyche, richly conceived yet accessible to all." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"An electric debut novel from a major new talent. Freshwater, ultimately, is not a book about giving in to one's demons, but about living with them.
Emezi's ability to literalize the experience of a fragmented identity is astonishing: It's affecting without venturing into pathos, and hopeful without becoming saccharine.
And she's just getting started. One of the most exciting things about this book is imagining what Emezi will bring us next.
" - Vox.
"Remarkable and daring. . . Poetic and disturbing. . . Forces us to further question our paradigm for what causes mental illness and how it manifests. It causes us to question science and reason." - The New York Times.
A 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST
WARLIGHT by Michael Ondaatje
Nathaniel Williams delves into his memory to look back at the year 1945, when he was 14 and "our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals." But nothing is at it seems in this transfixing coming-of-age tale of intrigue and crossed destinies.
"Michael Ondaatje is at the peak of his powers. A work of fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory.
Warlight sucked me in deeper than any novel I can remember; when I looked up from it, I was surprised to find the 21st century still going on
about me." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"A new masterpiece. . . An elegiac thriller with the immediate allure of a dark fairy tale. In Warlight, all is illuminated, at first dimly then starkly, but always brilliantly. Warlight is a mosaic so cunningly assembled that the finished pattern seems as inevitable as it is harmonious. What must happen does happen in this elegiac thriller; we just can't see it coming." - The Washington Post.
"Ondaatje casts a magical spell, as he takes you into his half-lit world of war and love, death and loss, and the dark waterways of the
past." - The New York Review of Books.
"A haunting, brilliant novel from Ondaatje. . . Mesmerizing from the first sentence, rife with poignant insights and satisfying subplots, this novel about secrets and loss may be Ondaatje's best work yet." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A tender coming of age story so warmly delivered you almost forget how much of its plot involves smuggling, spycraft, and assassins. The novel becomes at once a mystery tale and an exploration into how much of our lives are out of our control, especially in wartime." - The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
"An intricate and absorbing novel. . . This is a book rich with detail. The reader is bound to be conscious of a hidden ballast of research, the seven-eighths of the iceberg without which the thing would founder, but so deft is the writing that you forget this, simply appreciating the meticulous background that brings alive a time and a place." - The New York Times.
A 2019 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION NOMINEE
THE PISCES by Melissa Broder
Escaping to her sister's home in Venice Beach to recover from a dramatically failed love affair, Lucy finds little solace working on her doctoral thesis on Sappho or in her love addiction therapy group.
Then everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth
about his identity, her understanding of what love should look like takes a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy,
pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism.
"On the surface, this audacious novel is a frank exploration of desire, fantasy, and sex. But it dives deeper, too, seeking out uncomfortable topics and bringing them into the light: codependency,
depression, and an existential fascination with the void. Broder has created a voice at once intimate and sharp, familiar and ugly.
This isn't just a novel about navigating the dangers of codependency, but an attempt to learn how we all might love better in a culture that pushes even its strongest women to the brink of self-destruction. A fascinating tale of obsession and erotic redemption told with black humor and biting insight." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"In this bracing satire of love in the age of consumer capitalism a woman finds emotional and sexual satisfaction with a mythical sea creature. . . the 'Pisces' here is a merman.
Though there is more. Much more. It's a knife-tip dissection of 21st-century anomie, and its clear-sighted depiction of muddy-headed
people makes for bracing reading – like a dip in the freezing, salty sea." - The Guardian (U.K.)
"In a banner year for woman-falls-for-sea-creature stories, Lucy, a wry and lovable lost soul, tells a tale that's all her own. Broder wraps timeless questions of existence - those that gods and stars have been beseeched to answer for millennia - in the weirdest, sexiest, and most appealing of modern packaging. Brilliant and delightful." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
"The dirtiest, most bizarre, most original work of fiction I've read in recent memory. A very funny farce of a book about the kind of love that really can't last, about the way that even a person deeply in touch with her own sexuality and deeply aware of her own issues, can still allow herself to be sucker-punched in her psychological blind spots. Broder has a talent for distilling graphic sexual thoughts, humor, female neuroses, and the rawest kind of emotion into a sort of delightfully nihilistic, anxiety-driven amuse-bouche." - Vogue.
(Atria/Simon & Schuster)
|HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires|
A brilliant collection of utterly captivating stories - some darkly humorous, some devastatingly poignant - examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. Fearlessly shining a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship, Nafissa Thompson-Spires proves herself a stunning new talent in literary fiction.
"A bold new voice, at once insolently sardonic and incisively compassionate, asserts itself. Thompson-Spires flashes fearsome gifts for quirky characterization, irony-laden repartee, and edgy humor. It seems difficult for even the most experienced storyteller to achieve an appealing balance of astringency and poignancy, and yet Thompson-Spires hits that balance repeatedly." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Every once in a while a book comes around that fills a need - that communicates ideas so effectively and humanely its social value leaps off the page.
Heads of the Colored People is such a book." - Entertainment Weekly.
"A powerful debut of 11 original, multilayered stories that focus on the African American community, exploring race and the politics of identity but also class issues and the privileges of the black middle class. Presenting unique characters, gifted storyteller Thompson-Spires navigates the black experience with humor and poignancy while also acknowledging the inherent tensions and exposure to violence black citizens encounter. Highly recommended." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A perfect showcasing of Thompson-Spires's brilliant use of the absurd both to emphasize and alleviate the pressure of difficult issues.
The stories float along the tensions between devastation and humor, vulnerability and defiance, frustration and hope. It's a rare talent that can take such complicated
and harrowing subjects and turn them into such a refreshing and compulsive read." - Shelf Awareness *** starred review ***.
"From the opening sentences of the opening story in Nafissa Thompson-Spires's debut collection, we're in a world of humor, provocation and deep reflection." - The New York Times.
A 2019 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION NOMINEE
AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they
are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime he didn't commit.
A profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of people both bound and separated by forces beyond their control.
"Wise and compassionate. . . It is beautifully written, with many allusions to black music and culture - including the everyday poetry of the African-American community that begs to be heard. It also warns us to awaken our compassion and empathy. This can be you, the story whispers. Forget that at your peril." - The New York Times
"Compelling. . . intimate and introspective: a story about the unpredictable ways love ferments in the airless conditions of forced separation.
Each character speaks directly to us." - The Washington Post
"Jones's exploration is a breathtaking look at who and what can be complicit in the breakdown of a marriage. Quietly powerful. . . It becomes head-spinning how Jones
upends all expectations, flipping the reader's perceptions and offering unexpected moments of clarity." - The Atlantic.
"Peopled by vividly realized, individual characters and driven by interpersonal drama, but also very much about being black in contemporary America. This is,
at its heart, a love story, but a love story warped by racial injustice. And, in it, Jones suggests that racial injustice haunts the African-American story. Subtle,
well-crafted, and powerful." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***
|TANGERINE by Christine Mangan|
Lucy Mason turns up in exotic and dangerous 1950's Tangier, ostensibly to pay a supportive visit to her old college roommate, Alice Shipley, who has recently escaped
a potential scandal by marrying a dissolute English aristocrat. Told in alternating viewpoints by both Lucy and Alice, Christine Mangan's debut novel relentlessly develops
into a chilling psychological drama of passion, obsession, and devotion gone wrong. (BACKSTORY: Scarlett Johansson will star in a George Clooney-produced film that
began generating buzz, months before the book was even published.)
"The thriller that everyone will be talking about. One of those sinuous, Hitchcockian tales that disorients in the best way." — Esquire Magazine
"Unbelievably tense, incredibly smart. Mangan full-speeds up to her shocking finale, twisting the plot with reveals you never see coming. Her writing is so accomplished, so full of surprises and beauty, that you'd swear she was a seasoned pro." — The San Francisco Chronicle
"A juicy melodrama cast against the sultry, stylish imagery of North Africa in the fifties. Tangerine is endearing and even impressive in the force of its determination to conjure a life more exciting than most. Just the ticket!" — The New Yorker
"The lying, the cunning, and the duplicity is so very mannered that it's chilling. Rich in dread, the foreboding positively drips from every page." — The Washington Post
"Hypnotic! A deadly, Hitchcockian pas de deux plays out under an unrelenting, Camus-like African sun. . . Sucks the reader in almost instantly." — Booklist *** starred review ***
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Hardcover (Front Display)
|LAST BOAT OUT OF SHANGHAI: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao's Revolution by Helen Zia|
When Mao's proletarian revolution emerged victorious from the long civil war, the port of Shanghai was the departure point of a mass exodus of intellectuals, entrepeneurs,
and a middle class terrified of the implications of a Communist victory. Helen Zia tells the stories of five young refugees and their families whose lives were forever changed by one of the most momentous events of the twentieth century. Beautifully crafted and carefully researched, this is a book that gives voice to a history almost lost.
"An enthralling, heartfelt narrative. . . At the heart of the story is Shanghai, China's most modern, cosmopolitan and populous city with its enclaves of foreigners, bustling markets, thriving port, and opium dens, coexisting during the war with aerial bombings, martial law, and panicked residents seeking refuge wherever they could. Vivid and well-researched, Zia's engrossing work brings this tumultuous period to life." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A deftly woven, deeply moving chronicle of the extraordinary ordeals of ordinary Chinese in a world torn by war and fractured by ideology. . . a fascinating read, as well as a missing chapter of modern history finally coming to light. What makes the Shanghai story unique is that we didn't really know the story. The real human cost of the massive exodus has remained a mystery. Official records, if any, are suppressed, and research in this area has been sketchy. Helen Zia's new book fills a gap in our collective memory."
- The San Francisco Chronicle.
"A compelling history. . . The stories of these refugees offer a window into Chinese culture, family life, and the history of this tumultuous period, resulting in
a beautiful and emotional work that should be essential reading." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
|THE SOURCE OF SELF-REGARD: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison|
Brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark,
her new nonfiction collection is a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art.
"Examines world history, skirt religion, scour philosophy, racism, anti-Semitism, femininity, war and folk tales. . .
But the real magic is witnessing her mind and imagination at work… This book demonstrates once again that Morrison is more than the standard bearer of American literature.
She is our greatest singer. And this book is perhaps her most important song." - The New York Times.
"Brilliantly incisive essays, speeches, and meditations considering race, power, identity, and art. Powerful, highly compelling pieces from one of our greatest writers."
- Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Speaks to today's social and political moment as directly as this morning's headlines… Morrison tackles headfirst the weighty issues that have long troubled America's conscience… profoundly insightful." - NPR.
"Reinforces her status as a piercing and visionary analyst of history, society, literature, language, and, always, race. The book explodes into pure brilliance. It is Morrison's definitive statement." - The Boston Globe.
"Dazzlingly heady and deeply personal - a rumination on her literary career and artistic mission, which is to reveal and honor the aching beauty and unfolding drama of African American life. Have there been many minds more intriguing, or writers more sublimely challenging? The Source of Self-Regard excavates Morrison's vast well of knowledge.
Open its pages and receive." - Oprah Magazine.
A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE
UNINHABITABLE EARTH: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
In a profound and compelling travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await: food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.
"Potent and evocative. . . Wallace-Wells has resolved to offer something other than the standard narrative of climate change and collective action.
He avoids the 'eerily banal language of climatology' in favor of lush, rolling prose." - The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
" A closely argued look at what may be a turning point in human existence. If you weren't alarmed already, Wallace-Wells sounds the tocsin of toxicity. An urgent, necessary book."
- Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Crucial. . . Extremely effective in shaking the reader out of complacency. Some things I did not want to learn, but I learned anyway. To read The Uninhabitable Earth - or to consider in any serious way the scale of the crisis we face - is to understand the collapse of the distinction between alarmism and plain realism. To fail to be alarmed is to fail to think about the problem, and to fail to think about the problem is to relinquish all hope of its solution."
- The Guardian (U.K.).
"Powerfully argued. . . A masterly analysis of why - with a world of solutions - we choose doom." - Nature Magazine.
"Relentless, angry journalism of the highest order. Read it and, for the lack of any more useful response, weep." - The Sunday Times (U.K.).
(Oxford University Press)
WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY|
WINNER OF THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
THE NEW NEGRO: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart
In the early 20th century, a black man emerged from Philadelphia to mentor a generation of young artists including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston that he called the “New Negro” - the African Americans whose art, literature, music, and drama would inspire black people to greatness. Jeffrey C. Stewart offers the definitive biography of the father of the Harlem Renaissance, based on primary sources of his life and on interviews with those who knew him personally.
"Jeffrey C. Stewart's majestic biography gives Locke the attention his life deserves, but the book is more than a catalog of this philosopher and critic's achievements. Stewart also renders the tangled knot of art, sexuality and yearning for liberation that propelled Locke's work. The benefits of this book's thoroughness are manifold. A master class in how to trace the lineage of a biographical subject's ideas and predilections." — The New York Times.
"Stewart's sprawling, magisterial labor of love comes as a reminder that a century ago, when race relations were far worse than they are now, a fiercely independent philosopher of color set down visions of black American freedom beyond economic agendas, nationalist visions, and political protest. This book draws Alain Locke out of the shadows and bestows his legacy to artists of all colors and genders seeking freedom from narrow-minded expectations and fear-mongering hypocrisy." — Book Forum *** starred review ***.
"A magisterial biography of the prime mover of the Harlem Renaissance. This hefty, deeply researched book brilliantly doubles as a history of the philosophical debates that girded black artistic triumphs early in the 20th century. A sweeping biography that gets deep into not just the man, but the movements he supported, resisted, and inspired." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A vitally important, astonishingly well researched, exhaustive biography of the brilliant, complex, flawed, utterly fascinating man who served as the curator, intellectual champion, and guiding spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. Stewart's account of Locke's life is detailed, sometimes astoundingly so. More important,
he displays a thorough grasp of the intellectual challenges Locke took on." — The Wall Street Journal.
WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
AMITY AND PROSPERITY: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold
When farm animals, pets, and then children begin to sicken and die in a small Appalachian town, single mother Stacey Haney goes up against the corporate forces behind the natural gas fracking boom. Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.
"Griswold painstakingly builds the narrative amid its historical and social context. Griswold's brilliant choice is to focus tightly on a small group of residents and let the details of their predicament speak for themselves. Thoroughly reported and tightly paced, Amity and Prosperity is an essential document of the region's latest go-round with the riches underfoot." — The Los Angeles Review of Books.
"Griswold's empathetic yet analytical account of Stacey Haney's indefatigable role as advocate for justice is a thorough and thoroughly blood-pressure-raising account of the greed and fraud embedded in the environmentally ruinous natural-gas industry. As honest and unvarnished an account of the human cost of corporate corruption as one will find."
— Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Her impressive research notwithstanding, Amity and Prosperity is at heart a David and Goliath story fit for the movies. It has everything but a happy ending:
a bucolic setting concealing fortune and danger; poor but proud locals; tough, reluctant victim-heroes; grisly scenes of animal die-off; and courtroom drama as a tenacious husband-wife legal team takes on the industry and the state. A valuable, discomforting book." — The New York Times.
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
|THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth by Michio Kaku|
It's not just science fiction anymore. . . We are entering a new Golden Age of space exploration. With irrepressible enthusiasm and a deep understanding of the cutting-edge research in space travel, world-renowned physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku presents a compelling vision of how humanity may develop a sustainable civilization in outer space. He reveals the developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology that may allow us to terraform and build habitable cities on Mars and beyond. Kaku investigates some of the hottest topics in science today, including warp drive, wormholes, hyperspace, parallel universes, and the multiverse. Ultimately, he shows us how humans may someday achieve a form of immortality and be able to leave our bodies entirely, laser porting to new havens in space.
"It is good timing for a book by the theoretical physicist Michio Kaku on the possible paths to our future as a galaxy-trotting species. With admirable clarity and ease, Mr. Kaku rehearses the history of rocketry and the formation of the planets, and explains how we might colonize not only Mars but some of the rocky moons of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. The book has an infectious, can-do enthusiasm." - The Wall Street Journal.
"Kaku, the co-founder of string field theory, confines his expertise to physics, but the 226 experts listed in the acknowledgements have plenty to offer on a variety of scientific disciplines. Always optimistic and undaunted, Kaku delivers a fascinating and series of scenarios in which humans overcome current obstacles without violating natural laws to travel the universe. The author digresses regularly into related areas of study, including extrasolar planets, radical life extension, intelligent robots, and the details of settling other worlds. An exhilarating look at the future." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Kaku is unfailingly interesting, with an unerring instinct for the most thought-provoking aspects of his various subjects. The sheer amount of technical scientific speculation in The Future of Humanity is amazing, and yet Kaku is in smooth, perfect control of it the entire time." - The Christian Science Monitor.
(Spiegel & Grau/Random)
|BORN A CRIME: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah|
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times - USA Today - The San Francisco Chronicle - NPR - Esquire - Newsday - Booklist.
Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Trevor Noah's memoir delivers a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor.
"A compelling memoir. . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, Trevor Noah's book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah's family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. In the end, Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author's remarkable mother." - The New York Times.
"What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her - and an enormous gift to the rest of us." - USA Today.
"A substantial collection of staggering personal essays. Incisive, funny, and vivid, these true tales are anchored to his portrait of his courageous, rebellious, and religious mother who defied racially restrictive laws to secure an education and a career for herself. Trevor Noah's electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories. . . His candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
|FEEL FREE: Essays by Zadie Smith|
Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.
Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. This is literary journalism at its best.
"A compelling collection of essays and reviews embracing literary, art, film, and cultural criticism, amplified by a dissection of the vagaries of modern life.
The author is honest, often impassioned, always sober. Smith executes these pieces with consummate skill. She is never less than a formidable intellect, with an imposing command of literary and artistic canons." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Brilliant. . . Smith's new book is lively, intelligent and frequently hilarious, and proves that she's one of the brightest minds in English literature today.
She engages artists on their own terms; she's opinionated, but not judgmental. And she manages to breathe new life into well-worn topics.
There's not an essay in Feel Free that's less than engrossing. More importantly, she's an elegant writer, original, big-hearted and enthusiastic." - NPR.
"It is exquisitely pleasurable to observe Smith thinking on the page, not least because we have no idea where she's headed." - The New York Times.
"What binds the collection is Smith's voice: frank, urgent, self-ironic. Dipping into these pieces (in any order) is like setting out on a walk with a vibrant, curious, gracefully articulate friend." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
|FASCISM: A Warning by Madeleine Albright|
The first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State presents a timely, considered, and personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism and the virulent threat it poses to international freedom, prosperity, and peace. A book for our times that is relevant to all times. Written by someone who has not only studied history but helped to shape it, this call to arms teaches us the lessons we must understand and the questions we must answer if we are to save ourselves from repeating the tragic errors of the past.
"Yes, it can happen here. . . The Georgetown professor and former Clinton Secretary of State identifies various characteristics of fascism, including hypernationalism and populism mixed with authoritarian-leaning rule, militarism, contempt for democratic customs, persecution of minority populations, a dread of disorder and decadence, charismatic leaders, and public spectacles. Albright's incisive analyses are enriched by her experiences as a refugee from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and as America's diplomat-in-chief.
She offers cogent insights on worrisome political trends." - Publishers Weekly.
"A close observer of world governments sounds an alarm about threats to democracy. Albright concludes with 10 questions to ask of any prospective leader: Do they
inflame prejudices and incite desire for revenge; encourage contempt for governing institutions, the press, and the judiciary; exploit symbols of patriotism; brag about
their power to solve all problems? Sage advice in perilous times." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A cautionary primer on what democracy's antithesis looks like. Albright outlines the warning signs of fascism and offers concrete actions for restoring America's values and reputation. There is priceless wisdom on every page." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
- Poetry (Aisle 2-A)
WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR POETRY|
BE WITH by Forrest Gander
Gander has been called one of our most formally restless poets, and these new poems express a characteristically tensile energy and uniquely eclectic diction.
His partner of more than thirty years, the poet C. D. Wright, died unexpectedly in her sleep in 2016 and in many ways, this collection of Gander's poetry serves as both an elegy to Wright and an outpouring of Gander's grief.
"The book's title gives away its most tragic insight. 'Be with': the phrase is stripped of its object; the beloved has been ripped from the world. Reciprocity is suddenly broken, as though one player in a game had walked off the court mid-volley. A harrowing, sometimes despairing book. . . But even in near-darkness there's light enough for a new, strange kind of love poem." — The New Yorker.
"Reading Forrest Gander's work makes the reader feel as if she's entering a world larger than her own, one with a broader vocabulary, richer imagery, and a deeper understanding of the relationships between the ordinary and the unknowable. This is a book that opens a deeper way of seeing and being in the world, inviting us to go back to it again and again."
— ZYZZYVA: A San Francisco Journal of Arts and Letters..
"Read together, Gander's verses have a shattering, symphonic quality, but he uses poetry to locate and dislocate at once, pushing against the borders of meaning or pitching his camp where language estranges itself from sense. Gander's poems are like rich Möbius strips, entrances and exits at once, tunnels that simultaneously displace us and gather us up, drawing us into a profound human longing. There are dazzling fragments, unraveling syntax, poems that, in their ghostliness, also force us to be alert to our own fragile lives."
— The New York Times
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
|THE LONG TAKE: A Noir Narrative by Robin Robertson|
Brutalized by war, haunted by violence and apparently doomed to return to it, Walker, a World War II veteran, finds his way from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco
during a crucial period of fracture in American history. As Walker tries to piece his life back together, America is beginning to come apart - riven by social and racial
divisions, spiraling corruption, and the collapse of the inner cities. Robin Robertson's epic verse pans with filmic immediacy across the postwar urban
scene - and into the heart of an unforgettable character - in this highly original work of art.
"When was the last time you said of a book of poetry, 'I couldn't put it down'? Well, now's your chance. Moving between poetry and prose, dialogue and history, Robin Robertson's The Long Take is a propulsive verbal tour de force. Exquisite descriptions. . . An audacious and brilliant book." - The Washington Post.
"A beautiful, vigorous and achingly melancholy hymn to the common man that is as unexpected as it is daring. Here we have a poet, at the peak of his symphonic powers, taking a great risk, and succeeding gloriously. A masterly work of art, exciting, colourful, fast-paced - and almost unbearably moving." - John Banville, The Guardian (U.K.).
"A flashpoint in U.S. history, an almost perfect mirror image of the nation today. . . The Long Take remarkably captures linguistic styles of 1940s American
writing - Saroyan and Steinbeck. As it progresses into the mid-50s we're hearing Ginsberg and Baldwin. . . You will be washed in all these when you read this." - The Sunday Herald (U.K.).
"A remarkable work. I can't think of anything quite like it. The phrase 'a slice of life' takes on a particularly graphic edge when you're reading Robertson. . .
Modern, complex, political. . . Robertson's language is functional and often exquisite.
A poem that's long been waiting to be written." - The Los Angeles Review of Books.
WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY
HALF-LIGHT: COLLECTED POEMS 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart (now in paperback)
The collected works of one of contemporary poetry's most original voices.
The poems of Frank Bidart represent the human voice in all its extreme registers, whether it's that of the child-murderer Herbert White, the obsessive anorexic Ellen West, the tormented genius Vaslav Nijinsky, or the poet's own. Visionary and revelatory, intimate and unguarded, Bidart's Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2017 are a radical confrontation with human nature.
"A single-minded exploration of the sources and meanings of emotional intensity, the passions, fears, and cravings that drive people to do what we do. . .
Relentless and ever willing to face his demons, no matter how terrifying, in the interest of making great art, Bidart is one of the very few major living poets who never
wavers, never repeats himself, and extends his questing and questioning through each new work. This collected poems is an almost overwhelming bounty,
a permanent book." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Throughout his career, Bidart's self-devoting genius has been his ability to transform a poem into a vocalized performance of consciousness and moral interrogation, an occasion for metaphysical speculation as intense and oracular as any Shakespearean monologue or philosophical treatise. . . Sublime. . . Mesmerizing . . ." - The New York Times.
"Frank Bidart has long challenged readers - and convention - with a complexity and originality not often seen in American poetry. Now readers can gain a deeper
understanding of how Bidart's writing works together to create a vast, manifold narrative. The book closes with an ambitious section of new writing that deals with mortality and remembered friendships, a fitting way to end this monumental work." - The Washington Post.
"Half-light is a tremendous literary event. One of the undisputed master poets of our time, Frank Bidart eats and breathes the high culture of the twentieth
century. But Bidart is no mere aesthete; for him, art is a supreme life force, water in the desert of the soul, a talisman against oblivion. Bidart has honed and refined his relentlessly intense voice. . . Reading him, we feel less alone in our cosmic aloneness." - NPR
- Young Adult & Juvenile Fiction & Non-Fiction: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)
|ON THE COME UP by Angie Thomas|
The highly anticipated second novel by Angie Thomas, the author of the award-winning The Hate U Give.
The daughter of an underground hip hop legend, sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you.
"Demonstrates again Thomas' gift for crackling dialogue, complex characterization, and impactful emotion. Readers already lining up for this title won't be disappointed."
- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books *** starred review ***.
"This honest and unflinching story of toil, tears, and triumph is a musical love letter that proves literary lightning does indeed strike twice. The rawness of Bri's narrative demonstrates Thomas' undeniable storytelling prowess. A joyous experience awaits. Read it. Learn it. Love it." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"While acknowledging that society is quick to slap labels onto black teens, the author allows her heroine to stumble and fall before finding her footing and her voice. Thomas once again fearlessly speaks truth to power; a compelling coming-of-age story for all teens." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"With sharp, even piercing, characterization, this indelible and intricate story of a young girl who is brilliant and sometimes reckless, who is deeply loved and rightfully angry at a world that reduces her to less than her big dreams call her to be, provides many pathways for readers." - Horn Book *** starred review ***.
|ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME by Roshani Chokshi | Introduction by Rick Riordan (Pandava #1)|
Twelve-year-old Aru stretches the truth to fit in at her school, but when she is dared to prove an ancient lamp is cursed, she inadvertently frees an ancient demon.
"Expertly channels the humor and action. . . With her quick wit and big personality, Aru commands the spotlight and Chokshi weaves an engrossing adventure that will leave readers anticipating the next installment." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Readers will be delighted by this adventurous dive into Hindu mythology and the chance to cheer along a heroic young protagonist. This series starter also doesn't skimp on important lessons about friendship, family, and love. Chokshi is a talented writer who breathes fresh air into her mythological world." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Using Hindu mythology as the foundation, Chokshi has created an exciting adventure around a coming-of-age tale. A glossary provides readers with a basic introduction to the various traditional stories that Chokshi drew from. Just as Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson titles led tweens to a deeper exploration and appreciation of classic Greek mythology, Chokshi's tale will likely inspire a similar demand for traditional Indian mythology. VERDICT: An enthralling start to a series that Riordan fans and anyone in the mood for a high-octane adventure will love." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Chokshi spins a fantastical narrative that seamlessly intertwines Hindu cosmology and folklore, feminism, and witty dialogue for an uproarious novel for young readers. For readers of Indian origin, especially, the novel presents a culture that is not often seen - or accurately represented - in mainstream children's and young adult literature.
Chokshi comes into her own in this novel, reminding readers of the power of language and of stories." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
|DRAGON PEARL by Yoon Ha Lee | Introduction by Rick Riordan|
Inspired by Korean folklore, Lee delivers a riveting space opera about 13-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits, who stows away on a battle cruiser and impersonates a cadet in order to solve the mystery of what happened to her older brother in the Thousand World Space Forces.
"This latest in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint launches Korean mythological creatures into outer space. Fans will breathlessly watch while fox-spirit Min charms
her way onto a hijacked starship. Narrator Min explains Korean mythology smoothly as the action progresses for readers with no previous knowledge. A high-octane,
science-fiction thriller painted with a Korean brush and a brilliant example of how different cultures can have unique but accessible cosmology and universal appeal."
- Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A highly original novel. . . Lee offers a perfect balance of space opera and Korean mythology with enough complexity to appeal to teens." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"The Korean-mythology-in-space setup is great fun, with supernatural beings and ghosts aplenty, spaceships that run on technological and spiritual energy combined, an entire planet populated by ghosts, and bountiful space hijinks and derring-do."- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books *** starred review ***.
"Lee skillfully weaves Korean folklore into this space opera narrative, creating dynamic and relatable characters. VERDICT: With ghosts, pirates, and a rollicking space adventure, there's a little something for everyone here." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
|THE MOON WITHIN by Aida Salzar|
Celi Rivera is approaching puberty and her body is changing. But her mind swirls with questions about her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony. It's an ancestral Mexica ritual that her mother and her community have reclaimed, but Celi does not want to participate. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?
"An important coming-of-age tale of a girl learning about her changing body and all of the questions and revelations that come along with it. Salazar's use of verse in this story adds a layer of raw emotion and honesty that makes the reading experience all the more poignant. The Moon Within is both unique and universal, relatable to women and girls everywhere. Salazar handles this story with beauty and grace, giving young girls a picture of what it means to stand in your own power and reclaim your own story." - Bookpage *** starred review ***.
"Lyrical. . . The characters leap to life and eloquently evoke the passion and pain of a girl's coming-of-age. Absolutely beautiful, reverent, and intensely personal, the book would make a valued gift for pre-teen readers." - School Library Connection.
"Salazar's debut coming-of-age story told in verse explores the themes of first love, first periods, and gender identity. This novel contains rich descriptions of Mexica rituals and provides a unique perspective on gender fluidity and the bonds of unbreakable friendship. VERDICT: An excellent addition for upper middle grade and middle school readers, especially for maturing tweens in the midst of puberty." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A worthy successor to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland. Salazar's verse novel is sensitive and fresh. An authentically middle school voice and diverse Latinx cast make this book a standout." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
- Children's Books: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)
(Penguin Young Readers)
|CORDUROY'S GARDEN by Don Freeman & Alison Inches|
Lisa leaves Corduroy to keep watch over her newly planted seeds. But when a puppy digs up the garden, it's up to Corduroy to save the day.
The Corduroy easy-to-read series is ideal for children just beginning to read on their own.
The late, great Don Freeman created many beloved characters in his lifetime, perhaps the most beloved among them a stuffed, overall-wearing bear named Corduroy.
Don was the author and illustrator of many popular books for children, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, and the Caldecott Honor
Book Fly High, Fly Low.
|DRAGONS EAT NOODLES ON TUESDAYS by John Stahl | Illustrated by Tadgh Bentley|
As two monsters argue over how a story should go, a hungry dragon is listening nearby. He knows exactly how this story should go - but what day is it? A playful, interactive and laugh-out-loud-funny picture book in full color with a deliciously hilarious ending.
"Invites young readers right into the storytelling process to create their own. Bentley's artwork, which has the look and liveliness of animated cartoons, works well with the broad fits and starts of storytelling. No matter how silly it gets, this title never loses its engagement with readers." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Like all good books, the story goes through several edits as it attempts to become more interesting and complex. The surprise conclusion is just the ticket for young readers, and it offers the potential for more. Bentley's illustrations, created by pencil and pen and colored with digital gouache and watercolor, are muted, with some surreal landscapes, giving the story a dreamlike focus and highlighting the world of the imagination." - Booklist.
- Comics and Graphic Novels - Children (Children's Book Section)
|THE ILIAD by Gareth Hinds|
In a companion to his award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey, incomparable graphic novelist Hinds masterfully adapts Homer's classic tale of the Trojan War, capturing all of its grim glory. Includes notes, maps, a cast of characters, and other tools to help readers understand all the action and drama of Homer's epic.
"Presented in intimate detail and in awe-inspiring, sweeping overviews. Hinds's relatively plain language retains just enough meter to hint at the cadences of the work, and, together with the dynamic art, creates an accessible entrée to an enduring classic." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A exceptionally compelling version of the Trojan War handed down through Homer's Iliad. Readers who have struggled to follow the poetry of the standard text or to become emotionally invested in a summary will have no such difficulty here; Hinds has truly produced an easy-to-follow, engrossingly cinematic blockbuster on the page."
- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books *** starred review ***.
"Hinds's magnificently realized graphic telling of The Iliad - in its wealth of muted watercolored hues and evocative landscapes - condenses a more than 20-book-length poem into 251 pages of narrative." - The Los Angeles Times.
"Those who know the epic will find an engrossing and rewarding account: gory, affecting, unforgettable." - The Wall Street Journal.
- Comics and Graphic Novels - Adults (Wall Display)
(Drawn & Quarterly/MPS)
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
|SABRINA by Nick Drnaso|
The first graphic novel ever to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize
A woman named Sabrina vanishes from her Chicago apartment, leaving friends and family haunted by what might have befallen her.
Unable to cope, her boyfriend Teddy takes refuge with his childhood friend Calvin - but Calvin finds that by sheltering Teddy he has become the target of vague, hostile conspiracy theories spread by internet cranks and late-night radio hosts. Incisive, chilling, and completely unpredictable, Sabrina demonstrates the inexplicable power of comics at their best.
"A profoundly American nightmare. The fictional killing in Sabrina is disturbing, but Drnaso doesn't fixate on the gore or the culprit; he's more concerned with how the public claims and consumes it, spinning out morbid fantasies with impunity. It's a shattering work of art." - The New York Times.
"What's most curious and, ultimately, valuable about this book is that it is not a crime story; it's a perspicacious and chilling analysis of the nature of trust and truth and the erosion of both in the age of the internet - and especially, in the age of Trump." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"Cinematic and deeply timely, this tale is torn from today's darkest headlines of fake news, terrorism, and the ultimately dehumanizing effect of the Internet. Drnaso's artwork
reveals depths of emotion that culminate in a reading experience guaranteed to linger. More indictment of modern life than satire, and almost sure to be one of the most discussed graphic novels of the year - if not the next several, this should skyrocket Drnaso to the top tier of comics creators today." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A quietly forceful examination of suburban ennui. . . a masterful look at the emotional toll taken by the dehumanizing forces at large in modern society.
Drnaso's subtly penetrating work is an incisive depiction of emotionally stunted men who don't need a tragedy to display the symptoms of trauma victims." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
- Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
|AWAKENED by John Sandford|
A chilling supernatural novel in the vein of The Strain, in which a beautiful new subway line in New York City unearths an ancient dark horror that threatens the city's utter destruction and the balance of civilization itself.
"Everyone expects the grand opening of New York's newest subway line to be a festive occasion, but the arrival of an empty, blood-splattered train wrecks the party.
Fright fans will appreciate its ample bloodletting and clawful creatures, but the book should also appeal to readers of thrillers. Murray and coauthor Wearmouth sculpt a briskly moving narrative that includes a plethora of short-burst action sequences and perfect pacing. Along the way, they plant the seeds for sequels and craft a tight, pulse-pounding story." - Booklist
"Awakened is a taughtly written, brilliantly unexpected thriller from authorial duo James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth. Awakened hits the high notes of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's Relic but its scope actually extends much further." - Kirkus Reviews
"This book is no joke. Get ready to not sleep tonight. Awakened does exactly what it advertises. Scary amazing fun." - Brad Meltzer.
"An exciting shocker, beginning as a horror story, then switching midway to a political thriller. A terrifying experience. . . The images are vivid and descriptive enough to give the reader more than a chill. Awakening is a thrilling read, with an ending hinting of more to come." - The New York Journal of Books.
SPINNING SILVER by Naomi Novik|
A BEST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, NPR, Time, Vox, Vulture, Paste, Bustle, Library Journal
2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
Miryem comes from a family of moneylenders, but her compassionate father's inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty - until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, Miryem sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when her talents come
to the attention of a fairy-King, she finds the fate of her world may depend on her. Naomi Novik, the acclaimed author of Uprooted, draws readers deep into a glittering realm of fantasy, wonder and terror.
"This gorgeous, complex, and magical novel, grounded in Germanic, Russian, and Jewish folklore but richly overlaid with a cohesive, creative story of its own, rises well above a mere modern re-imagining of classic tales. Novik probes the edges between the everyday and the extraordinary, balancing moods of wonder and of inevitability. Her work inspires deep musings about love, wealth, and commitment, and embodies the best of the timeless fairy-tale aesthetic. Readers will be sad to walk away from its deeply immersive setting. This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A perfect tale. . . This book is about the determination and quiet competence of women doing remarkable things without knowing first that they can do them. A big and meaty novel, rich in both ideas and people, with the vastness of Tolkien and the empathy and joy in daily life of Le Guin." — The New York Times.
"In spare prose of great clarity Novik weaves in and out of multiple first-person narratives exploring human and alien social structures and ethnic prejudices, fathers and daughters, damaged relationships and hidden agendas, wringing unexpected consequences from seemingly simple choices. A medieval fable blossoms into a thoughtful, emotionally complex, absorbing drama that stands confidently on its own merits." — Kirkus Reviews.
"Novik addresses weighty questions of power, choice, prejudice, beauty, and identity with aplomb. Echoes of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale as well as Greek and Slavic myths are transformed through Novik's skill. VERDICT: This masterly, immersive high fantasy tale is grounded in real-world challenges and opportunities for growth. Highly recommended." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
THE POPPY WAR by R. F. Kuang|
A BEST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR: Library Journal, Vulture, Entropy, Bustle
2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
When Lin gains admittance to the Empire's top military academy, she discovers that despite her martial arts prowress and academic excellence, her peasant
background marks her as a target. The odds seem stacked against her until Lin finds she has a gift for shamanism.
R. F. Kuang - a brilliantly imaginative talent - makes her exciting debut with this epic military fantasy, set in an alternate world of historical China.
"An ambitious fantasy re-imagining of Asian history populated by martial artists, philosopher-generals, and gods.
Kuang highlights the horrors of war, especially the moral and emotional toll on combatants who employ scorched-earth strategies. The novel does not allow its characters to slough off their culpability for channeling godly powers. Readers may empathize with Rin's desire for vengeance, but any thrill at her success is matched by horror at its costs. This is a strong and dramatic launch to Kuang's career." — Publishers Weekly.
"The narrative is an impactful, impressive symphony of words that grant life to this incredible morality tale. Setting the stage for an epic fantasy is an understandably enormous undertaking, but Kuang does an exceptional job of world and character building." — RT Book Reviews : Top Pick.
"The humor is a bitter laugh, the lessons bruising. . . The book starts as an epic bildungsroman, and just when you think it can't get any darker, it does. Kuang pulls from East Asian history, including the brutality of the Second Sino-Japanese war, to weave a wholly unique experience." — The Washington Post: Best Science Fiction Novels.
"Immediate, visceral and wrenching, pulling on the reader's sense of disgust and anger. The 'war is hell' trope plays out solemnly and intimately here, leaving no character untouched. Thank goodness we have Rin to lead us through it. Her tenacity, stubbornness and insecurity are instantly sympathetic and Kuang's attention to Rin's feelings opens up oceans of emotional depth. There's a definite weight to Rin's conflicting choices that only builds as the suspenseful final act plays out." — Bookpage *** starred review ***.
(Gallery/Simon & Schuster)
|TRAIL OF LIGHTNING by Rebecca Roanhorse|
2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.
Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope.
Rebecca Roanhorse is an exciting new voice in speculative fiction, and her skilful weaving of Navajo mythology into her debut novel makes for a truly fascinating and unique read.
"It takes a special talent to devise an apocalypse that feels original. Rebecca Roanhorse meets the challenge head-on. Smartly paced, with character development and action sequences expertly interspersed. The beginning of a longer saga, Trail of Lightning is a highly satisfying reading experience all on its own. Roanhorse possesses a sure hand and a singular vision, and she establishes her credentials as a novelist with this ambitious, exciting and well-executed first book." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
"Vividly depicts Navajo land, legends, and culture in a marvelous fantasy debut. . . Roanhorse unspools a fascinating narrative of colorful magic in a world made otherwise bleak by both natural and man-made circumstances. The monster-hunting plot nearly takes a back seat to Maggie's challenging journey of working through personal and cultural trauma.
A fresh take on the tale of the emotionally and spiritually wounded hero who faces down increasing evil to make the world better. This rich tale from a strong Native American voice is recommended for all fantasy audiences." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Roanhorse's sharp prose vividly builds a reborn Navajo universe filled with magic and flawed protagonists who are striving to live beyond their presumed destinies. VERDICT: This exciting postapocalyptic debut, with its heady combination of smartly drawn characters, Wild West feel, and twisty plot, is a must-read." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Delightful. . . I loved the worldbuilding. After decades of reading genre futures in which black and brown people don't exist, it's deeply satisfying to find fiction in which histories of genocide actually equip them to survive disasters." - The New York Times.
(Saga/Simon & Schuster)
|SPACE OPERA by Catherynne M. Valente|
2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
The great galactic civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix - part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Now, for the first time, humans from Earth will compete - and their performance will determine Earth's right to exist.
"One of the funniest books that I've ever read... But the real selling point is Valente's elaborate prose, dense with description and metaphors. Each of Valente's sentences could be an entire story, and I found myself engrossed in each one, visualizing her chaotic, bizarre, and delightful universe. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading Space Opera." - The Verge.
"Although her comedic talents are reminiscent of Douglas Adams at his best, Valente's palette is far larger.
The ability to fluidly tie real-world tragedy together with psychedelic hilarity is perhaps Space Opera's most impressive attribute. It takes confidence, skill and talent to craft a tragic disco ball metaphor, and Valente has all three in spades." - BookPage *** starred review ***.
"There are really no words to describe Space Opera. I can say that it's a wicked-fast read (if you can handle the whiplash) and enjoyable at speeds unsafe for upright mammals. In between it's all big ideas written in glitter. It's surprising tenderness on a galactic scale. It's about loneliness and nerdliness and acceptance and making fun of the old, frowsy powers that be. Valente offers up a universe in which the only thing of true value is rhythm." - NPR.
|RECORD OF A SPACEBORN FEW by Becky Chambers|
2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way.
But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic - those who remain are left to ponder their own lives and futures: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain in space when there are habitable worlds available to live? What is the price of sustaining their carefully balanced way of life - and is it worth saving at all?
"Multiple narrators and plot lines converge thematically into an intensely powerful and multifaceted meditation on time, history, change, and memory, leavened with a welcome touch of humor. The characters are distinct and lovable, each shedding light on a different facet of the Fleet. Chambers uses the interconnections inevitable in such a small society to provide moments of both horrific pain and soaring grace, and to make it clear that those things are inextricably intermingled. This is a superb work from one of the genre's rising stars." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Chambers has created a thoughtful, just society, but one populated by flawed characters. Human decisions can lead to terrible consequences, and all Chambers' characters are complex and fully-realized. Those characters allow us to view aspects of a 'spaceborn' society that are usually erased by space opera's traditionally masculine focus.
Chambers' thoughtful, measured work offers space opera the depth and complexity it so often lacks. Her work is profound, engaging, and beautifully written." - New York Journal of Books.
"This series is a rare gem within the sci-fi genre. Chambers' writing pulls you in, making it impossible not to imagine living in her brilliantly crafted universe." - Pomegranate Magazine.
|THE CALCULATING STARS by Mary Robinette Kowal|
2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
Veteran historical fantasist Kowal tackles an alternate history of the space race, in which a catastrophe necessitates an earlier reach for the stars in the 1950s - and the confrontation of gender barriers by aspiring astronaut Elma York. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
"Kowal's outstanding prequel to her Hugo-winning novelette The Lady Astronaut of Mars shows the alternate history that created a mid-20th-century Mars colony.
In a compelling parallel to our own history, Kowal explores a wide range of issues - including religion, grief, survivor's guilt, mental health, racism, misogyny, and globalism - without sermonising or subsuming the characters and plot. Elma's struggles with her own prejudices and relationships, including her relationship with herself, provide a captivating human center to the apocalyptic background. Readers will thrill to the story of this 'lady astronaut' and eagerly anticipate the promised sequels." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"When a program invites women to take the same astronaut training as men, Elma York won't let anything - not family, history, or the attitudes of men regarding the proper place for women - stand in her way. A fast-forward thrill ride, Hugo Award winner Kowal's exciting alternate history, the first in a duology, highlights the space race and the sexism of the time. Readers will be hooked!" - Library Journal.
"Kowal strikes a fine balance of integrating historical accuracy - including mid-twentieth-century sexism, racism, and technology - with speculative storytelling. Readers will root for Elma as she breaks barriers and calculates lifesaving equations, all while dealing with sometimes-crippling anxiety." - Booklist.
|BLACKFISH CITY by Sam Miller|
2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and
sustainable energy. But decay has set in: the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside direst poverty are
spawning unrest, and a new disease is ravaging the population. A remarkably urgent novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the
consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection.
"An ambitious, imaginative, and big-hearted dystopian ensemble story that's by turns elegiac and angry. Miller has crafted a thriller that unflinchingly examines the ills of
urban capitalism. The floating city of Qaanaaq is a beautiful and brutal character in its own right, rendered in poetic interludes." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Qaanaaq is vividly brought to life in all its squalid glory, and Miller excels at depicting a metropolis bursting at the seams and populated by both refugees and the elite.
Blackfish City is a compelling dystopian thriller." - The Guardian (U.K.)
"An eco-punk thriller with startling implications for how climate change, technology, and the political machinations of the mega-rich could dramatically alter our future.
Sam J. Miller has proven himself a force to be reckoned with. Fascinating. . . A science fantasy that is truly remarkable in scope." - B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy.
"An urgent tale imploring us to look at the ties between technology, race, gender and class privilege. . . Surprisingly heartwarming. . . Ultimately, Blackfish is a book about power structures and the way that privilege is built on the backs of the disenfranchised - wrapped in an action-packed science fiction thriller." - The Washington Post
(Solaris/Simon & Schuster)
|REVENANT GUN by Yoon Ha Lee|
2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
This third and final novel in the Machineries of Empire trilogy brings Yoon Ha Lee's epic of interstellar warfare, politics, intrigue, and arcane technology
to a shattering conclusion. [The preceding volumes are Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem.] Lee combines riveting space opera action with dazzling, imaginative worldbuilding to stunning effect. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
"Lee concludes his brilliant Machineries of Empire trilogy. Lee's highly imaginative creation is a triumph." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Yoon Ha Lee stuck the landing, and in doing so cemented that the Machineries of Empire series is one of the most ambitious and rewarding science fiction series in print.
Lee relentlessly reminds us that war is a self-sustaining state, and that the suffering it produces is its intended product." - Strange Horizons
"A fast, gripping story. . . Its shifting viewpoints - all seeing some part of the picture, none with a complete view or good insight into other people's motivations – and potential for betrayals make it feel complex and demanding. At base, though, it's a thriller crossed with a story about learning to live with consequences you didn't choose.
This is excellent space opera, and I wish there were more like it." - Locus Magazine.
"What am I going to do with my life now that this series is over? I suppose I'm left with no choice but to read everything else Yoon Ha Lee ever writes.
This series is heart-wrenchingly wonderful. I can't recommend it enough." - The Illustrated Page.
|WITCHMARK by C. L. Polk|
2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
In a world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man with the secret gift of healing seeks only to live a life of his own. An exceptional debut full of thrills, atmosphere, lost souls, and more than a touch of romance.
"Polk's stellar debut, set in an alternate early 20th century in an England-like land recovering from a WWI-like war, blends taut mystery, exciting political intrigue, and inventive fantasy. The final revelations are impossible to see coming and prove that Polk is a writer to watch." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Many disparate elements are expertly woven together to make this debut a crackler, with layers like a nesting doll and just as delightful to discover. There's a will-he-or-won't-he romance, mages, wizards, and political intrigue, all wrapped up in the feeling of a historical mystery. Polk has created an amazing new world with hints of Edwardian glamour, sizzling secrets, and forbidden love that crescendos to a cinematic finish. Witchmark is a can't-miss debut that will enchant readers." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Thoroughly charming and deftly paced. . . opening up intriguing possibilities for a sequel." - The New York Times, (Best New Fantasy Novels)
"A startlingly beautiful fantasy debut that is both magical conspiracy thriller and supernatural love story... The increasing darkness of Witchmark is beautifully modulated, funneling the reader closer to a chilling, utterly fantastic final reveal." - BookPage *** starred review ***.
- Mystery, Suspense, Crime, Espionage Fiction: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
|THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A. J. Finn|
Anna Fox lives alone - a recluse in her New York City home, drinking too much wine, watching old movies... and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move next door: a father, a mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble - and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control?
"Grab a bottle of Merlot, and settle in to accompany Anna Fox on her nightmare journey. The shadow of Alfred Hitchcock moves across each page of this neo-noir masterpiece.
However, author Finn has carefully paced Anna's internal narrative and intricately woven interactions (real or imagined?) and added a diabolical dimension that makes this story even more intense than Hitchcock's Rear Window. An astounding debut from a truly talented writer." - Booklist *** starred review ***
"First-rate entertainment. . . A beautifully written, brilliantly plotted, richly enjoyable tale of love, loss and madness. Ends with a series of mind-boggling surprises.
A riveting thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last sentence." - The Washington Post
"The rocket fuel propelling The Woman in the Window is expertise.
Finn knows the classics, old and new. At heart, this is a locked-room mystery in the great Christie tradition.
Dear other books with unreliable narrators: This one will see you and raise you.
It excels at planting misconceptions everywhere. You cannot trust anything you read. A book that's as devious as this novel will delight anyone who's been disappointed too often.
For hard-core aficionados of classic logical mysteries, this book includes some special delights." - The New York Times.
"The plot is very nearly airtight. Finn never loses touch with the fear and insecurity of a woman who has suffered a great loss and feels abandoned and alone in the world.
It's not a book you can easily put down." - The Chicago Tribune.
"A page-turner. This novel is brilliantly crafted and liberally laced with character insights that ring wrenchingly true. It also glides along with quicksilver pacing through plot reversals, explosive revelations, and thrills-a-plenty surprises. Wondrously written." - The Washington Independent Review of Books.
|THE WORD IS MURDER by Anthony Horowitz|
A brilliant eccentric detective teams up with a celebrated novelist (a fictionalized version of the author, Anthony Horowitz)
to investigate a case involving murder, buried secrets, and a trail of bloody clues. But then the novelist discovers that the detective has secrets of his own to hide. . .
A truly irresistible mystery novel. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
"Actually, the word is not murder, it's ingenious. A masterful meta-mystery." - Booklist *** starred review ***
"A whopper of a set-up: a woman named Diana Cowper, healthy and in her 60s, entered a London funeral parlor, where she planned and paid for her own future service.
Six hours later, she's dead, strangled with a red curtain cord. Horowitz succeeds by simultaneously adhering to and defying the rules of a traditional mystery."
- The Christian Science Monitor.
"Spectacular. . . Fans of the spirit of the golden age of detection will clamor for more." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"A fiendishly clever puzzle. A totally unpredictable surprise. . . a mind-boggling plot." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Imaginative literary gamesmanship. . . an irresistible page turner. The Word Is Murder is certainly one of the most entertaining mysteries of the year. It's also one of the most stimulating, as it ponders such questions as: Which is of greater interest to the reader, the crime or the detective?" - The Wall Street Journal.
WINNER OF THE 2019 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
DOWN THE RIVER UNTO THE SEA by Walter Mosley
Acclaimed mystery author Walter Mosley introduces a new main character in this Edgar-Award-winning gem. Joe King Oliver, a framed ex-New York City police
detective turned private eye, takes on the case of a black activist journalist accused of a double murder. Oliver's path leads him to hired killers and crooked cops, drug addicts and prostitutes, and a host of men, women and children - those whose lives have been shattered by the law and those who are supposed to uphold it.
"It's hard not to simply quote all the great lines. There are so many of them. You want to share the pleasures of Mosley's jazz-inflected dialogue and the moody, descriptive passages reminiscent of Raymond Chandler at his best. Down the River Unto the Sea is as gorgeous a novel as anything Mosley's ever written. And with Joe King Oliver I'm betting, and hoping, he's given us a character we haven't see the last of." — The Washington Post.
"A wild ride that delivers hard-boiled satisfaction while toying with our prejudices and preconceptions. The darker and uglier the story gets, the more Joe King Oliver comes alive. . . Despite its serious subject matter, Down the River Unto the Sea is an optimistic noir. A fitting work for a world riddled with dark contradictions." — The Los Angeles Times.
"Mosley shakes things up, crafting a story set squarely in the time of Black Lives Matter. Urgent in its plotting and carefully observed in the behaviors and the voices of its supporting cast. . . Mosley makes it all look simple, creating in Joe King Oliver another fascinatingly flawed detective brimming with potential." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
"Mosley rekindles the remarkable energy that drove the early Easy Rawlins novels. And he has created a new hero in Joe King Oliver with the depth and vulnerability to
sustain what readers will hope becomes a new series. Mosley writes with great power here about themes that have permeated his work: institutional racism, political
corruption, and the ways that both of these issues affect not only society at large but also the inner lives of individual men and women. It's the perfect moment for
Mosley to unveil an exciting new hero and a series set in the present and confronting the issues that drive today's headlines." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
WINNER OF THE 2019 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
BEARSKIN by James A. McLaughlin
Rice Moore, a caretaker for a remote forest preserve in Virginia, cherishes a solitary life that enables him to hide from the Mexican drug cartels he betrayed back in Arizona. But when Rice finds the carcass of a bear killed on the grounds, his quiet life is upended.
"As taut as a crossbow and as sharp as an arrowhead, McLaughlin's debut unfolds in the Appalachian wilderness of Virginia, a landscape whose heart of darkness pulses viscerally through its characters. The novel's denouement, a smoothly orchestrated confluence of the greater and lesser subplots, plays out against a tempest-tossed natural setting whose intrinsic beauty and roughness provide the perfect context for the story's volatile events. This is a thrilling, thoroughly satisfying debut." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A violent, compelling story that uses its milieu to incredible effect. Told in spare prose and portraying the authentic mechanics of hunting, combat, and psychological defense, the novel dares the reader to root for this damaged antihero but convinces us that he's worth it. An intense, visceral debut." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Part thriller, part crime novel, part dreamscape, James A. McLaughlin's Bearskin refuses to be contained. Wonderfully lucid prose starkly conveys Rice's descent into a wild existence. Smart and sophisticated, with animals both wild and domestic acting as metaphors, Bearskin is a gritty, down-home tale told with brute force. Rice is a memorable, reluctant hero for both his community and the animals in his charge." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
"Gruesomely gorgeous. McLaughlin writes about the natural world with a casual lyricism and un-self-conscious joy. Remarkable. . . The kind of writing that makes me shiver." — The New York Times.
"A powerful and often profound debut, Bearskin constructs a riveting narrative, set within a natural world that, should it vanish, McLaughlin suggests, might take part of us with it." — USA Today.
|NOIR by Christopher Moore|
All the requisite noir elements are here: a wise-cracking down-on-his-luck bartender, his inscrutable Chinese sidekick, a mysterious blonde who can drink any wise-cracking down-on-his-luck bartender and his sidekick under the table, sinister gangsters, and, of course, outrageous politically incorrect snappy dialogue. The action ranges from Tenderloin bars, to Chinatown, to Nob Hill drawing rooms, and, finally to Roswell Air Field (yes, that Roswell). Christopher Moore somehow manages to channel both P.G. Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler simultaneously and delivers an homage that is much more than a parody – it's a loving tribute to the genre.
"Raymond Chandler meets the SyFy channel in Moore's latest humorous adventure. Fans of noir film and fiction will find a lot to enjoy in this loving genre tribute, and those already familiar with Moore's books will simply be in love." — Library Journal *** starred review ***
"Dizzy dames and shadowy gangsters! Sammy, Moore's comic revision of Sam Spade, will take you on a silly-thrilly ride through late-1940s San Francisco, and you'll be laughing all the way." — The Washington Post.
"Moore's weird and oddly hilarious new novel, features sunglasses-wearing government agents, a rogue black mamba snake, a helpful madam, and a mysterious object that fell out of the sky in a place called Roswell. This isn't just a spoof of the kind of noir that Thompson, Cain, and Goodis were writing in the 1940s and '50s; hiding behind those trappings is a pedal-to-the-metal, exquisitely written comic romp through a neon-lit San Francisco that may never have actually existed, but that, in Moore's supremely talented hands, sure feels like it could have." — Booklist *** starred review ***