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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)
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|THE GREAT BELIEVERS by Rebecca Makkai|
In two intertwined storylines, the characters of this insightful novel grapple with the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic at its height and in its aftermath. Set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, Pushcart Prize-winning author Rebecca Makkai's compelling new work is an unforgettable story of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss.
“A page-turner about illness and mortality. The plots are ingeniously interwoven. . . The question 'What happens next?' remains pressing from the first page to the last. An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
“Makkai's rich portraits of an array of big personalities and her affecting depiction of random, horrific death faced with varying degrees of gallantry make this tender, keening novel an impressive act of imaginative empathy. As compulsively readable as it is thoughtful and moving: an unbeatable fictional combination.” — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
“As Rebecca Makkai’s magnificent third novel alternates between an AIDS-stricken circle of friends in mid-1980s Chicago and a handful of straight and gay survivors in 2015 Paris, it doesn’t set a foot wrong. The Great Believers soars. Makkai has full command of her multi-generational perspective, and by its end, the novel offers a grand fusion of the past and the present, the public and the personal. It's remarkably alive despite all the loss it encompasses.”
— The Chicago Tribune.
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan|
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST
A dazzling adventure story about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world. 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 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).
"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 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.).
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|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.
- Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE WINNER
|MILKMAN by Anna Burns|
WINNER OF THE 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
In a strife-torn district of Northern Ireland in the 1970s, the narrator, a bookish 18-year-old girl, is relentlessly stalked by the "Milkman", a menacing paramilitary leader.
Told in a comically convoluted prose style, this is a nerve-jangling tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. This is a story of inaction with enormous consequences.
"Breathless, intense - even overwhelming at times.
Its shrewd observations about sexual harassment and tribalism will speak to the moment. Boldly different from anything else on the Booker shortlist. . .
a truthful and complex account of what it’s like for a teenager to experience the heat of an older man’s unwanted attentions.
Burns brings alive the disorientating experience of being victim-shamed for being too conspicuous." — The Times (U.K.).
"Burns' writing has been described as 'point-blank poetry', and rightly so.
From the outset, Milkman is delivered in a breathless, hectic, glorious torrent. The pace doesn't let up for a single moment.
It's an astute, exquisite account of Northern Ireland's social landscape, but Milkman is much more than that, too.
It's also a coming-of-age story with flecks of dark humour, yet at other points it's a damning portrait of rape culture. A potent and urgent book, with
more than a hint of barely contained fury." — The Irish Independent (U.K.).
"Original and thought-provoking. Burns ingeniously draws comparisons between the hypocrisies and injustices of a sectarian society and the troubled and misunderstood experience of female adolescence. That she successfully tackles her serious mission with razor sharp wit, warm humour and great compassion is even more impressive.
This one's a keeper." — Big Issue (U.K.).
"Anna Burns is excellent at evoking the strange ecosystem that emerges during protracted conflict: Distrust of state forces is total: 'The only time you’d call the police in my area would be if you were going to shoot them.' Milkman has its own energy, its own voice. Despite the surreality, everything about this novel rings true.
The narrator of Milkman disrupts the status quo not through being political, heroic or violently opposed, but because she is original, funny, disarmingly oblique and unique: different. The same can be said of this book." — The Guardian (U.K.).
(Simon & Schuster)
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|ASYMMETRY Lisa Halliday|
The seemingly disparate stories of two uniquely compelling characters intersect in this thought-provoking novel that explores the imbalances in human relationships: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, this is a brilliant and truly original examination of power dynamics in love and war.
“Extraordinary. . . the timing of its publication seems almost like a feat of civics. . . So startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. . . a scorchingly intelligent first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years. . . the issues Halliday has raised - both explicitly and with the book's canny structure - have sown seeds that fiction will harvest for years to come.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
“Exquisite. . . For us, the ride is in surrendering to falling down rabbit holes to unknown places. The moment Asymmetry reaches its perfect ending, it's all the reader can do to return to the beginning in awe, to discover how Halliday upturned the story again and again.” — The Washington Post.
“Powerful. . . In its subtle and sophisticated fable of literary ambition, and the forms it can take for a young woman writer, Asymmetry is a 'masterpiece'
in the original sense of the word - a piece of work Halliday has produced to show that she has mastered her trade.” — The Atlantic.
“Can any of us escape our own perspective? What are the risks, if we do not? What is art for, and how do we fit our lives around it? This is a striking debut asking a dizzying number of questions, to thrilling effect. That it leaves the reader wondering is a mark of its success.” — The Guardian (U.K.).
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|THE PERFECT NANNY Leila Slimani|
WINNER OF THE PRIX GONCOURT
The American debut novel by the immensely talented Moroccan author Leila Slimani elevates domestic terror to literary art. Inspired by a 2012 murder case involving an Upper West Side nanny, this is a propulsive and riveting tale of power, class, race, motherhood, and madness.
"An unnerving cautionary tale. . . Mesmerizingly twisted. . . What’s remarkable about this unconventional domestic thriller is the author’s intimate analysis of the special relationship between a mother and the person she hires to care for her offspring. Slimani writes devastatingly perceptive character studies and raises painful questions. One thing is clear: Loneliness can drive you crazy, and extreme loneliness can make you homicidal.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
"Exquisite craft. . . In Slimani's hands, the unthinkable becomes art. The Perfect Nanny won France's most prestigious literary award. One can see why the judges were wowed. A chillingly clever horror novel about class and parenting. One of the most important books of the year. You can't unread it.” — NPR.
"If you are a mother, whatever kind of mother you aspire to be, you'll know what kind of mother you are after reading Slimani. If you are not a mother, the insights that she administers can be no less jolting. Slimani can write ravishingly. This is a book that I've thought about pretty much every day. I found it extraordinary.” — The New Yorker.
"Unflinching. . . assured. . . The book aspires toward the taut elegance of that classic nanny nightmare tale, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, and, in language and complexity, it comes pretty darn close. Talk about a guilty pleasure!” — The Washington Post.
|THE KING IS ALWAYS ABOVE THE PEOPLE: Stories by Daniel Alarcón|
Migration. . . Betrayal. . . Family secrets. . . Doomed love. . . Uncertain futures. . . In Daniel Alarcón's hands, these are transformed into deeply human stories with high stakes.
Richly drawn, full of unforgettable characters, The King is Always Above the People reveals experiences both unsettling and unknown, and yet eerily familiar.
"His tales build with all the power of a Flannery O'Connor story: a gentle enough start, an innocent setting, and before long the reader is adrift in a drama that defies the imagination - with characters that live long after the book is closed." — The Washington Post
"Superb! Throughout the collection, Alarcón writes with a spellbinding voice and creates a striking cast of characters. Each narrative lands masterfully and memorably, showcasing Alarcón's immense talent." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"A brilliant stylist. . . Alarcón is an empathic observer of the isolated human, whether isolated by emigration or ambition, blindness or loneliness, poverty or war.
His stories have a reporter's mix of kindness and detachment, and perhaps as a result, his endings land like a punch in the gut. I put the book down with my mouth
open and my eyes stinging. Alarcón writes with a beauty that few writers can achieve, or try to. His purpose isn't to approve or condemn, or to liberate. He's writing to
show us other people's lives, and in every case, it's a pleasure to be shown." — NPR.
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
|EVERYTHING UNDER by Daisy Johnson|
While in her teens, Gretel was abandoned by her mother. She's found peace and purpose as a lexicographer updating dictionary entries.
But after years of silence, one phone call from her mother is all it takes for the past to come rushing back.
In this electrifying reinterpretation of a classical myth, Daisy Johnson explores questions of fate and free will, gender fluidity, and fractured family relationships. A daring, moving story gorgeously written and profoundly unsettling.
"A retelling of Oedipus Rex set in the insular community of the boat people who live along the canals of Oxford. A tense, startling book of true beauty and insight.
Proof that the oldest of stories contain within them the seeds of our future selves." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Blends a deep understanding of character and storytelling sophistication to examine a troubled mother-daughter relationship.
A complex uncompromising novel. . . Johnson excels at making psychic phenomena feel visceral. An eerie melodrama which
tosses, almost in passing, a grenade into debates over self-determination,
luridly staging the supremacy of biological fact." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Johnson's harrowing, singular first novel retells the myth of Oedipus Rex, putting a modern spin on a familiar tale. This story about motherhood and
self-determination is a stunning fever dream of a novel." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"This imaginative and innovative use of myth leads to the creation of a new myth. As well as the pleasures of allusion and innovation, there is a spellbinding tension.
As the threads move towards a common end, you’re a child who wants to know the magic; all the more if, like a young listener to a fairytale, you sense what’s
coming." — The Irish Times (U.K.).
"Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction." - Lauren Groff.
SPOONBENDERS by Daryl Gregory|
An NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR | 2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
Tricking his way into a classified government study, Teddy Telemachus meets and falls in love with Maureen, a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. They marry, raise three gifted children, and as The Amazing Telemachus Family, perform astounding feats across the country. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered.
Master storyteller Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all.
"A nimble and substantial novel with a cast of odd, damaged, enormously likable characters in a complex story that gracefully balances melodrama with the ordinary mysteries of family dynamics. Each of the characters has a precise energy and depth that makes him or her irresistible. The chapters shift between their points of view, revealing different threads of the story with masterful control. A skillfully written family drama that employs quirk and magic with grace." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Daryl Gregory has created a captivating cast. These are eccentric people with eccentric lives, but the level of emotional detail at work is astounding, and Gregory's magic touch makes even their strangest moments relatable. An intensely endearing read. . . The premise will hook you, the plot will entice you, and then the Telemachuses themselves will make you fall in love." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
"What Daryl Gregory accomplishes in his seventh novel is both magic and magic trick. Gregory writes with humor and charm, offering up a rollicking and quick-paced plot tailor-made for summer." — The New York Times.
"Superbly engaging, balancing delightful wackiness with genuine tenderness throughout. Deeply moving, faceted, complex and affecting." — NPR Book Reviews.
WINNER OF THE 2018 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION|
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year | A Washington Post Top Ten Book of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Book of the Year
LESS by Andrew Sean Greer
Arthur Less, a gay failed novelist turning 50, decides to avoid an ex-boyfriend's awkward wedding by skipping town.
Accepting invitations from every half-baked literary event in the world, Arthur finds himself in one embarrassing, perilous, ridiculous situation after another.
From Mexico City to Berlin, from Marrakech to Kyoto, mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes abound and compound.
A writer at the peak of his talents, Andrew Sean Greer delivers a scintillating satire of the American abroad,
a rumination on time and the human heart, and a bittersweet romance of chances lost.
"Less is the funniest, smartest and most humane novel I've read. . . Greer writes sentences of arresting lyricism and beauty. His metaphors come at you like fireflies.
It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful." — The New York Times.
"Greer signals his debt to Proust and paints a comic yet moving picture of an American abroad. As Greer explores Less' lovelorn memories, he also playfully mocks the often ludicrous nature of the publishing industry. His finest novel yet. . . Less is a wondrous achievement!" — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Greer is an exceptionally lovely writer, capable of mingling humor with sharp poignancy. . . Brilliantly funny. . . Greer's narration, so elegantly laced with wit, cradles the story of a man who loses everything: his lover, his suitcase, his beard, his dignity." — The Washington Post.
"Philosophical, poignant, funny and wise, filled with unexpected turns. . . Although Greer is gifted and subtle in comic moments, he's just as adept at ruminating on the
deeper stuff. His protagonist grapples with aging, loneliness, creativity, grief, self-pity and more." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
"Less adorably butchers the German language, nearly falls in love in Paris, celebrates his birthday in the desert and, somewhere along the way, discovers
something new and fragile about the passing of time, about the coming and going of love, and what it means to be the fool of your own narrative. It's nothing
less than wonderful."— BookPage *** starred review ***.
10 BEST BOOKS
WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
SING UNBURIED, SING by Jesmyn Ward
Hoping for a loving reunion, a black woman takes her children to meet her white husband who is about to be released from prison. Her journey through
modern rural Mississippi becomes a harrowing road trip fraught with danger. Jesmyn Ward's novel of a family haunted by poverty, drug addiction, and the legacy of
violence is a powerful and deeply affecting narrative of marginalized people struggling to exist under the weight of hate and prejudice.
"However eternal its concerns, Ward's new book is perfectly poised for the moment. It combines aspects of the American road novel and the ghost story with a timely treatment of the long aftershocks of a hurricane and the opioid epidemic devouring rural America. . . Ward’s greatest feat here is achieving a level of empathy that is all too often impossible to muster in real life, but that is genuine and inevitable in the hands of a writer of such lyric imagination." — The New York Times.
"With intensely evocative imagery, musical rhetoric, and bountiful sympathy toward even the most exasperating of its characters, the terrible beauty of life along the nation's lower margins is summoned in this bold, bright, and sharp-eyed road novel. As with the best and most meaningful American fiction these days, old truths are recast here in new realities rife with both peril and promise." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Speaks across chasms of age, class, and color. . . A moving illumination of danger and exposure. . . The signal characteristic of Ward's prose is its lyricism. The effect can be hypnotic. This, and her ease with vernacular language, puts Ward in fellowship with such forebears as Zora Neale Hurston and William Faulkner." — The New Yorker.
"As long as America has novelists such as Jesmyn Ward, it will not lose its soul. Sing, Unburied, Sing, is nothing short of magnificent. Combining stark circumstances
with magical realism, it illuminates America's love-hate tug between the races in a way that we seem incapable of doing anywhere else but in occasional blessed works of art." — The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"Ward’s book conjures the same raw emotion of her previous works, like her previous National Book Award-winning novel Salvage the Bones. But this time, a sense of magical realism deepens the ghostly sense of the past reaching out to touch - or even strangle - the present. Ward’s novel is a true triple threat, expert in prose, human observation and social commentary." — Time Magazine: The Top Ten Novels of 2017.
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Hardcover (Front Display)
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|SMALL FRY: A Memoir Lisa Brennan-Jobs|
A fascinating and moving account of the author's complex and difficult relationship with her complex and difficult father - Apple founder Steve Jobs. This is a deeply personal and artfully crafted memoir that unveils hidden and unknown sides of Steve Jobs from the person who knew him best. Lisa Brennan-Jobs proves to be an unforgettable guide.
“Entrancing. . . Brennan-Jobs is a deeply gifted writer. Her inner landscape is depicted in such exquisitely granular detail that it feels as if no one else could have possibly written it. Indeed, it has that defining aspect of a literary work: the stamp of a singular sensibility. In the fallen world of celebrity memoirs, this may be the most beautiful, literary and devastating one ever written.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
“An epic, sharp coming-of-age story. Brennan-Jobs offers a stunningly beautiful study of parenting that just so happens to include the co-founder of Apple. She skillfully and poignantly navigates her formative years, revealing the emotional wounds that parents can often visit upon their children. But this is not a tell-all; it’s an exquisitely rendered story of family, love, and identity. It’s rare to find a memoir from a celebrity’s child in which the writing is equal to - or exceeds - the parent’s reputation, but that is the case with Brennan-Jobs’ debut.” — Kirkus Revews *** starred review ***.
“A memoir of uncommon grace, maturity and spare elegance. Despite it all, despite Jobs’ callousness, Lisa Brennan-Jobs writes about her father without a hint of rancor. Instead, the reader of this exquisite memoir is left with a loving, forgiving remembrance and the lasting impression of a resilient, kindhearted and wise woman who is at peace with her past.” — The San Francisco Chronicle.
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence Michael Pollan|
A unique and elegant blend of research, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, this exploration of both the science and spirituality of psychedelics is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is also the gripping account of the author’s own personal journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world.
“Psychedelics are to drugs what the Pyramids are to architecture - majestic, ancient and a little frightening. Pollan makes the story of the rise and fall and rise of psychedelic drug research gripping and surprising. But where he truly shines is in his exploration of the mysticism and spirituality of psychedelic experiences. Michael Pollan does the impossible: He makes losing your mind sound like the sanest thing a person could do.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
"Pollan's complexly elucidating and enthralling inquiry combines fascinating and significant history with daring and resonant reportage and memoir, and looks forward to a new open-mindedness toward psychedelics and the benefits of diverse forms of consciousness.” — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A sweeping and often thrilling chronicle of the history of psychedelics. While Pollan ranks among the best of science writers, he's willing, when necessary, to abandon that genre's fixation on materialist explanation as the only path to understanding. One of the book's important messages is that the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, for the dying or seriously ill, can't be separated from the mystical experiences to which they give rise.” — The Guardian (U.K.).
"A trip well worth taking, eye-opening and even mind-blowing." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
(Simon & Schuster)
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Prophet of Freedom David W. Blight|
The most important African American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. Now David W. Blight affords this major American prophet and reformer the distinguished biography he deserves. With the lucid prose and in-depth research that have been a hallmark of his long and distinguished career, the acclaimed historian has drawn on new information few other biographers have been able to access. The result is a portrait that is likely to stand as the definitive account for years to come.
“A monumental work about a monumental figure. Cinematic and deeply engaging. . . a tour de force of storytelling. Blight isn't looking to overturn our understanding of Douglass, whose courage and achievements were unequivocal, but to complicate it - a measure by which this ambitious and empathetic biography resoundingly succeeds.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
“David W. Blight brilliantly captures this legendary figure and his times in one of the best biographies of recent years. Blight's portrait of Douglass is engrossing, moving, nuanced, frightening - and certainly thought-provoking.” — Bookpage *** starred review ***.
“The most comprehensive biography of Douglass ever written. Above all, Blight lets this remarkable voice speak for itself throughout the text. Douglass excelled at telling his own story (he wrote three autobiographies), and Blight does not talk over him. Blight has written a biography that will likely stand as definitive for decades to come.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Magisterial. . . David Blight has written the definitive biography of Frederick Douglass. With extraordinary detail he illuminates the complexities of Douglass's life and career and paints a powerful portrait of one of the most important American voices of the 19th century. The resulting chronicle enriches our understanding of Douglass and the challenges he faced and offers a lesson for our own troubled times.” — The Boston Globe.
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|EDUCATED: A Memoir Tara Westover|
Raised on an isolated Idaho farm by survivalist parents, Tara Westover seemed trapped in an abusive life of illiteracy, paranoia, patriarchy and religious dogma.
Her rejection of her toxic upbringing is the subject of this astonishing memoir. Against all odds, Tara secretly home-schooled herself and ultimately escaped
to an unexpected refuge: a scholarship to Harvard and a PhD from Cambridge University. Educated is the astonishing account of her unique journey.
“In recounting her upbringing and her triumph over it, Westover took great risks. The reward is a book that testifies to an irrepressible thirst to learn. Westover’s extraordinary memoir is an act of courage and self-invention. Heart-wrenching. . . a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable. Her new book is a heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir about striding beyond the limitations of birth and environment into a better life. **** out of 4 stars.” — USA Today.
"Incredibly thought-provoking. . . Educated is so much more than a memoir about a woman who graduated college without a formal education. It is about a woman who must learn how to learn.” — The Harvard Crimson.
"A brutal one-of-a-kind memoir. A soul-wrenching ordeal. . . pain was the rule, not the exception. But succumbing was not an option, a lesson that ultimately proved liberating for Westover. A mind-opening odyssey." — The Atlantic.
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|AMERICAN PRISON: A Reporter's Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment Shane Bauer|
While researching the Corrections Corporation of America, an award-winning investigative journalist went to work as a guard in one of their private prisons and
discovered unimaginable depths of cruelty and corruption. Sean Bauer's blistering exposé delves into the history of the incarceration-for profit industry and delivers a gripping and eye-opening indictment of a truly bad business.
“The sheer number of forehead-slapping quotes from Bauer's superiors and fellow guards alone are worth the price of admission. A page-turning narrative. . . A searing exposé. . . a comprehensive analysis impossible to ignore. Bauer’s book is a meticulous catalog of horrors, from the historical precursors to the rampant violence, neglect and incompetence that pervade a multibillion-dollar industry.” — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
“A remarkable story. It's Bauer's investigative chops, though, that make American Prison so essential. A deeply sad and consistently infuriating first-hand account. . . An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system and a convincing clarion call for prison reform.” — NPR.
“A relentless and uncompromising book, one that takes a crowbar to the private prison industry and yanks hard, letting just enough daylight slip inside to illuminate the contours of the beast.”— The San Francisco Chronicle.
“One of the most incisive - and damning - investigations into prison culture and business in recent memory, Bauer's illuminating hybrid memoir and sociological study shines much-needed light into some dark corners of the criminal justice system.”— The Boston Globe.
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
10 BEST BOOKS
|GRANT by Ron Chernow|
America's greatest biographer brings to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. Winner of both the National Book Award and the Pultizer Prize, Ron Chernow
delivers a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance in the definitive biography of Ulysses S. Grant.
"Vast and panoramic in ways that history buffs will love. Books of its caliber by writers of Chernow's stature are rare, and this one qualifies as a major event. . .
Even those who think they are familiar with Ulysses S. Grant’s career will learn something from Chernow’s fascinating and comprehensive biography.
What is more, at a time of economic inequality reflecting the 19th century’s Gilded Age and a renewed threat from white-supremacy groups, Chernow reminds us that
Grant’s courageous example is more valuable than ever, and in this sense, Grant is as much a mirror on our own time as a history lesson." — The New York Times.
"Chernow tells all this rapidly and well; his talent is suited to Grant's story. . . he can uncannily detect the actual meaning beneath social interactions. Fluent and intelligent. . .
Extraordinarily good." — The New Yorker.
"A stupendous new biography. Fascinating and immensely readable. . . Uncommonly compelling and timely, Chernow's biography is replete with fascinating details
and insightful political analysis, a combination that brings Grant and his time to life. Put Grant on your must-read list" — BookPage *** starred review ***.
"Arriving at a moment when excitable individuals and hysterical mobs are demonstrating crudeness in assessing historical figures, Chernow's book is a tutorial on
measured, mature judgment. Chernow's Grant is a gift to a nation much in need of measured judgments about its past." — The Washington Post.
"Another classic. . . It corrects nearly a half-century of stupidity inflicted upon America by historians who preferred a portrait of Grant as a bumbling, corrupt butcher of men. Eminently readable but thick with import, Grant hits like a Mack truck of knowledge. Stupid doesn't stand a chance." — Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic.
10 BEST BOOKS
|PRAIRIE FIRES: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser|
The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie books.
Spanning nearly a century of epochal change, from the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl, Wilder's dramatic life provides a unique perspective
on American history and our national mythology of self-reliance. With fresh insights and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman
whose classic stories grip us to this day.
"An absorbing new biography that deserves recognition as an essential text. For anyone who has drifted into thinking of Wilder's Little House books as relics
of a distant and irrelevant past, reading Prairie Fires will provide a lasting cure. Meanwhile, Little House devotees will appreciate the extraordinary care
and energy Fraser devotes to uncovering the details of a life that has been expertly veiled by myth." — The New York Times.
"Unforgettable. . . A magisterial biography, richly documented, it is a compelling, beautifully written story. One of the more interesting aspects of this wonderfully
insightful book is its delineation of the fraught relationship between Wilder and her deeply disturbed, often suicidal daughter. But it is its marriage of biography
and history - the latter providing such a rich context for the life - that is one of the great strengths of this indispensable book." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A tale of true grit. . . The sweep of the story is magnificent. 'It is a long story, filled with sunshine and shadow,' said Ingalls of her life as she told it, and that is true, too, of this admiring, enormous biography." — The London Times (U.K.).
"Richly demythologizes the life and times of one of America's most treasured authors. . . Fraser assiduously avoids sentimentality. . . proving herself a fearless chronicler, adept at skewering sacred cows. She’s given us the definitive biography of a self-taught writer whose pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mythology cloaked the shame of poverty and airbrushed a life perpetually teetering on the brink of doom." — The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION|
THE FUTURE IS HISTORY: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen
The acclaimed journalist and biographer of Vladimir Putin reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of
autocracy and totalitarianism. Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy in Russia and charts their paths against the
machinations of the regime that would crush them all. A powerful and urgent cautionary tale for our time and for all time.
"A remarkable portrait of an ever-shifting era. . . Gessen weaves her characters' stories into a seamless, poignant whole. Her analysis of Putin's malevolent administration is just as effective. A harrowing, compassionate and important book." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
"Ambitious, timely, insightful and unsparing. . . By far Gessen's best book, a sweeping intellectual history of Russia over the past four decades, told through a Tolstoyan
gallery of characters. What makes the book so worthwhile are its keen observations about Russia from the point of view of those experiencing its return to a heavy-handed
state. It helps that Gessen is a participant, and not just an observer, able to translate that world so adeptly for Western readers." — The Washington Post.
"Fascinating and deeply felt. . . both poignant and frightening." — The New York Times.
"Gessen is an exemplary journalist who knows when to sit back and let facts speak for themselves and The Future Is History just might be the culmination of
her life's work. If you've been confused by all the talk about 'Russia stuff,' this might be the most important book you'll read all year." — The Seattle Times.
"A brave and eloquent critic of the Putin regime. . . For anyone wondering how Russia ended up in the hands of Putin and his friends, and what it means for the rest of us,
Gessen's book gives an alarming and convincing picture." — The London Times (U.K.).
|DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean|
Behind today's headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots which has been working
not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement.
Democracy in Chains names its true architect and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.
"MacLean constructs an erudite, searing portrait of how the late political economist James McGill Buchanan and his deep-pocketed conservative allies have
reshaped - and undermined - American democracy. A thoroughly researched and gripping narrative. . . Her work here is a major feat of American intellectual and political history." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take over the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains. MacLean takes
the time to meticulously trace how we got here. If you're worried about what all this means for America's future, you should be. And if someone you know isn't convinced,
you have just the book to hand them." — NPR.
"MacLean provides an extensive history lesson that traces the genesis of the right wing back to post-WWII doctrines. MacLean's intense and extensive examination
of the right-wing's rise to power is perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American
government." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A vibrant intellectual history of the radical right. Powerful and disturbing. . . What we think of as dysfunction is the result of years of strategic effort." — The Atlantic.
|HUNGER: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay|
From the author of Bad Feminist, a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.
"A heart-rending debut memoir from the outspoken feminist and essayist. Gay pulls no punches. The author offers hope for others struggling with weight, sexual trauma,
or bodily shame. An intense, unsparingly honest portrait of childhood crisis and its enduring aftermath." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"It's hard to imagine this electrifying book being more personal, candid, or confessional. Gay powerfully takes readers through realities that pain her, vex her, guide her,
and inform her work. The result is a generous and empathic consideration of what it's like to be someone else: in itself something of a miracle." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"This raw and graceful memoir digs deeply into what it means to be comfortable in one's body. Gay denies that hers is a story of a triumph, but readers will be hard
pressed to find a better word." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A gripping book, with vivid details that linger long after its pages stop, Hunger is arresting and candid. It affords women, in particular, something so many other
accounts deny them - the right to take up space they are entitled to, and to define what that means." — The Atlantic.
|SAPIENS: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari|
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one: homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity's creation and evolution that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be "human."
"One of the exceptional works of nonfiction that is both highly intellectual and compulsively readable. . . a fascinating, hearty read." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"It's not often that a book offers readers the possibility to reconsider, well, everything. But that's what Harari does in this sweeping look at the history of humans. . .
with both wit and intellectual heft. Readers of every stripe should put this at the top of their reading lists. Thinking has never been so
enjoyable." — Booklist *** starred review *** Best Books of the Year.
"It is one hell of a story. And it has seldom been told better. . . Compulsively readable and impossibly learned, Sapiens takes readers on a sweeping tour of the
history of our species. Harari's formidable intellect sheds light on the biggest breakthroughs in the human story. . . important reading for serious-minded,
self-reflective sapiens." — The Washington Post.
"Harari’s account of how we conquered the Earth astonishes with its scope and imagination. A bravura retelling of the human story. . . Brilliantly clear, witty and erudite.
One of those rare books that lives up to the publisher’s blurb. It really is thrilling and breath-taking; it actually does question our basic narrative of the
world." — The Guardian (U.K.)
|NOT THAT BAD: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay|
In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and author Roxane Gay collects first-person essays that address what it means
to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face. Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection
both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that "not that bad" must no longer be good enough.
"We’ve entered a new era of understanding of how bad it really is, opening a new space for conversations on how to move forward. And Gay is the perfect person to help
us start. A refreshingly diverse range of writers. . . and the contributions are just as diverse - from gut-wrenching stories of assault to sharp analysis of all the ways our culture chooses to ignore the actions of perpetrators in favour of victim-blaming." — The Toronto Star.
"It’s hard to imagine a more fitting editor for a collection like this. Gay has garnered so much attention for her writing that it’s easy to forget she also has extensive talents
as an editor. The pieces she’s chosen for this collection are extremely well constructed. They vary widely in tone, structure, and voice, yet all underscore the same
themes: sexual violence can happen to anyone, and when it does, no one can ever forget what happened. It’s difficult to read and not despair - at the state of our culture,
at the horrors that people willfully enact on one another. But everyone should read it." — The Brooklyn Rail.
HILLBILLY ELEGY: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance|
The riveting story of how the author overcame his dysfunctional rural Kentucky upbringing to graduate from Yale Law School and embark on a stable and happy adulthood
poses the bigger question of how other such "hillbillies" can surmount these problems. Vance compellingly describes the terrible toll that alcoholism, drug abuse, and an
unrelenting code of honor took on his family, neither excusing the behavior nor condemning it.
"In this understated, engaging debut, the author reflects on his stormy journey from the coal-country Kentucky hollers of Appalachia to the declining Rust Belt to life
among the Ivy League-educated elite. An unusually timely and deeply affecting view of a social class whose health and economic problems are making headlines in this election year." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Vivid characters and an eye for nuance are among the strengths of this sincere memoir, an elegy for both the hillbillies Vance has loved, and a large population
of struggling, working-class poor. He offers ideas for improving his people's lot: cultural change from within rather than policy. But the bulk of Hillbilly Elegy
is a loving remembrance of imperfect but dearly beloved individuals, who did their best with what they had." — Shelf Awareness *** starred review ***.
"To understand the rage and disaffection of America s working-class whites, look to Greater Appalachia. J.D. Vance confronts us with the economic and spiritual travails of this forgotten corner of our country. Here we find women and men who dearly love their country, yet who feel powerless as their way of life is devastated. Never before have I read a memoir so powerful, and so necessary." — The National Review.
"A compassionate, discerning sociological analysis. Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference
guide for an uncivilized election, and he's done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans. Imagine that." — The New York Times.
10 BEST BOOKS
PRIESTDADDY: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood|
Patricia Lockwood's father is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met - a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on
the guitar reverberates "like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972." When an unexpected crisis leads the author and her husband to move back into her parents'
rectory, their two worlds collide. A vivid, heartbreakingly funny, and unforgettable portrait of a deeply odd religious upbringing, and how one balances a hard-won
identity with the weight of family and tradition.
"Priestdaddy roars from the gate. . . It's not just that Lockwood has fresh eyes and quick wits, but that in her father she's lucked upon one of the great characters
of this nonfiction decade. . . What I love about this book was the way it feels suffused with love - of literature, nature and the English language; for family . . . one
of the pleasures of this memoir is its particularly tender mother-daughter bond. . . Lockwood's voice is wonderfully grounded and authentic - she proves herself
a formidably gifted writer who can do pretty much anything she pleases." — The New York Times.
"Funny and gorgeously written, with scenes so witty and zany they could be lifted from a Broadway show, Priestdaddy will be one of the major prose debuts of the year." — The Huffington Post.
"A vivid, unrelentingly funny memoir. . . Lockwood's stories are both savage and tender, shot through with surprises and revelations." — The New Yorker.
"Remarkable. . . Lockwood proceeds with a near unflagging sense of ironic exuberance and verbal inventiveness. . . this superabundance of comic energy and literary vigor is a measure of Lockwood's seriousness." — The Washington Post.
"A sidesplittingly funny, and simply gorgeously written reflection on her father's decision to become a Catholic priest. As poignantly self-reflective as it is authoritative and enlightening about the state of the Catholic Church - and modern religion - today." — Harper's Bazaar.
WINNER OF THE 2018 PULITZER PRIZE FOR HISTORY|
Winner of the 2017 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction
GULF: The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis
An incisive and comprehensive portrait of the Gulf of Mexico - from its lusty birth in the chaos of shifting continental plates to its slow and agonizing death of a million cuts inflicted by pollution and exploitation. Frequently viewing the history of the Gulf through the prism of artists and writers including Winslow Homer, Wallace Stevens, Ernest Hemingway and John D. MacDonald, the author has delivered a uniquely illuminating homage to one of the world's most diverse and productive marine ecosystems.
"Environmental historian Davis presents an engaging, truly relevant new study of the Gulf as a powerful agent in the American story, one that has become lost
in the pages of American history. The story of this magnificent body of water and its wildlife grows tragic. . . Still, it remains an improbable, valiant survival tale
in the face of the BP oil spill and ongoing climate change. An elegant narrative braced by a fierce, sobering environmental
conviction." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***..
"This is a work of astonishing breadth: richly peopled, finely structured, beautifully written." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A perceptive historical survey of America's Gulf Coast, this fascinating work accents the region's nexus between nature and civilization.
Amid the land and seascapes Davis populates colorful characters, from would-be conquistadors to business and tourism entrepreneurs to environmental activists, who form a gallery of human interest that easily carries the reader from cover to cover." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A sprightly and sweeping new history. . . Davis has written a beautiful homage to a neglected sea, a lyrical paean to its remaining estuaries and marshes, and a marvelous mash-up of human and environmental history." — The New York Times.
"An enthralling splendid new book. . . Davis is a historian, and this book is packed with research, but The Gulf does not read like a textbook. He is a graceful, clear, often lyrical writer who makes sometimes surprising, always illuminating connections - and he is telling an important story. — The Tampa Bay Times.
10 BEST BOOKS
|THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - And Us by Richard O. Prum|
An acclaimed zoologist extrapolates on Darwin's overlooked theory of sexual selection, which argues that choosing a mate for aesthetic reasons - for the mere pleasure of it - is its own key force in evolutionary change.
"Prum draws on decades of study, hundreds of papers, and a lively, literate, and mischievous mind. . . a delicious read, both seductive and mutinous. Prum's attention
never strays far from nature, and his writing is minutely detailed, exquisitely observant, deeply informed, and often tenderly
sensual." — The New York Times.
"A major intellectual achievement that should hasten the adoption of a more expansive style of evolutionary explanation that Darwin himself would have appreciated." — The Washington Post.
"Exhilarating. . . The Evolution of Beauty should be widely read, as it will provoke readers, shaking them from their dogmatic slumbers.
I don't see how any biologist could read this book and not walk away at least questioning the idea that adaptation must explain every last trait.
Survival of the fittest might not be enough to explain nature. We might need survival of the prettiest, too." — The Wall Street Journal.
"A smorgasbord of evolutionary biology, philosophy, and sociology, filtered through Prum's experiences as a birdwatcher and his diverse research on everything from dinosaur colors to duck sex. Through compelling arguments and colorful examples, Prum launches a counterstrike against the adaptationist regime, in an attempt to 'put the subjective experience of animals back in the center of biology' and to 'bring beauty back to the sciences." — The Atlantic.
"Fascinating. . . we learn about the patterning of dinosaur feathers, consider the evolutionary basis of the human female orgasm, the tyranny of academic patriarchy, and the corkscrewed enormity of a duck's penis. Rich and absorbing. . . The dance Prum performs to convince you to take him on as an intellectual partner is beautiful and deserves to be appreciated on its own terms." — The New Scientist.
10 BEST BOOKS
WINNER OF THE 2018 PULITZER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION|
A New York Times Best Book of the Year
LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman
The war on crime that began in the 1970s and contributed to the rise of mass incarceration - along with its disproportionate impact on people of color -
was supported by many African American leaders in the nation's urban centers. James Forman seeks to understand how and why.
"Superb and shattering. . . A masterly account of how a generation of black elected officials wrestled with recurring crises of violence and drug use in the nation's capital.
A big deal and a major breakthrough. Forman's novel claim is this: What most explains the punitive turn in black America is not a repudiation of
civil rights activism, as some have argued, but an embrace of it. . . Locking Up Our Own compels readers to wrestle with some very tough questions about the nature of American democracy and its deep roots in racism, inequality and punishment." — The New York Times.
"Forman's moving, nuanced, and candid account challenges another aspect of the New Jim Crow thesis. He shows that some of the most ardent proponents of tough-on-crime policies in the era that brought us mass incarceration were black politicians and community leaders - many of whom were veterans of the civil rights movement.
The correctives offered by Forman have consequences not only for how we understand mass incarceration, but for how we go about fixing it." — The New York Review of Books.
"Remarkable. . . Forman's beautifully written narrative, enriched by firsthand knowledge of the cops and courts, neither condemns black leaders in hindsight nor exonerates the white-dominated institutions. He adds historical nuance to the story of mass incarceration told in The New Jim Crow." — The Washington Post.
"A gritty, eloquent, often revelatory work of local history, interspersed with tales of Forman's experiences as a public defender. A sobering chronicle of how black
people, in the hope of saving their communities, contributed to the rise of a system that has undone much of the progress of the civil rights era. But, as Forman knows,
they could not have built it by themselves." — The London Review of Books (U.K.).
"Poignant and insightful. Forman deftly moves between examples of black community support for a law-and-order crackdown and the dire present-day consequences of
our increasingly punitive and aggressive war on crime. Timely and important." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Poetry (Aisle 2-A)
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 (available only in hardcover)
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
(Andrews McMeel/Simon & Schuster)
THE SUN AND HER FLOWERS by Rupi Kaur|
From Rupi Kaur, the acclaimed bestselling author of Milk and Honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one's roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.
Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.
"Rupi Kaur reinvents poetry. She is undeniably equipped with the poet's ability to articulate emotions that readers struggle to make sense of." — The Economist (U.K.).
"Rupi Kaur is kicking down the doors of publishing. Ms. Kaur’s work reminds us that the ordinary business and experience of millennial minority women is not to be dismissed." — The New York Times.
"Kaur’s style is artless and therefore sincere; its lack of workbench polish is the mark of immediacy. This is poetry that aspires to be message rather than music - and it is a potently direct and feminist message." — The Times (U.K.).
ON CATS by Charles Bukowski | Edited by Abel Debritto|
Felines touched a vulnerable spot in the unfathomable soul of Charles Bukowski. On Cats brings together the acclaimed writer's reflections on the animals
he considered among his most profound teachers. An illuminating portrait of this one-of-a-kind artist and his unique view of the world, witnessed through his relationship with the animals he so admired.
"This anthology of Bukowski's poems and short prose honors the animals that touched his soul. Bukowski captures the spirit of his own pet cats as fighters, hunters
and survivors, including photos of himself with his charges." — The Associated Press.
"Acclaimed writer Charles Bukowski turns his signature eye on the world of felines. A series of essays and poems all about cats, Bukowski's classic funny and frank
tone becomes, at times, even endearing as he explores and honors the majestic creatures and our relationship with them." — Bustle Magazine.
"Would you have guessed the hard-drinking writer whose life inspired the film Barfly would have a soft spot for felines? Editor Abel Debritto has pulled together
Bukowski poems and prose about cats, friendly and respectful but not gooey - and given Bukowski s other preoccupations, not for kids." — The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
|THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY: 2017 edited by David Lehman | Guest Editor: Natasha D. Trethewey|
Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner and nineteenth US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, The Best American Poetry 2017 brings together the most notable poems of the year in the series that offers “a vivid snapshot of what a distinguished poet finds exciting, fresh, and memorable” (Robert Pinsky).
Librarian of Congress James Billington says Natasha Trethewey “consistently and dramatically expanded the power” of the role of US Poet Laureate, traveling the country, and reaching millions through her innovative PBS NewsHour segment Where Poetry Lives. Marilyn Nelson says “the wide scope of Trethewey’s interests and her adept handling of form have created an opus of classics both elegant and necessary.” With her selections and introductory essay for this year's anthology, Trethewey will be highlighting even more “elegant and necessary” poems and poets, adding to the national conversation of verse and its role in our culture.
The Best American Poetry is not just another anthology; it serves as a guide to who’s who and what’s happening in American poetry and is an eagerly awaited publishing event each year. With Trethewey’s insightful touch and genius for plumbing the depths of history and personal experience to shape striking verse, The Best American Poetry 2017 is another brilliant addition to the series.
- Young Adult & Juvenile Fiction & Non-Fiction: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)
In this prequel to Alexander's Newbery Medal winner The Crossover, Josh and Jordan's father, Chuck Bell, takes center stage, as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to.
"Once again, Alexander has given readers an African-American protagonist to cheer. He is surrounded by a strong supporting cast, especially two brilliant female characters, his friend CJ and his cousin Roxie, as well as his feisty and wise granddaddy. Music and cultural references from the late 1980s add authenticity. An eminently satisfying story of family, recovery, and growing into manhood. " — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"This is an Alexander production, so the plot, as rich and satisfying as it is, is outdazzled by the brilliance of wordplay and syntax. There is a rhythm to each page,
whether it's the snappy give-and-take of dialogue, the throbbing of Charlie's bottomless melancholy, or the rushing excitement of a basketball game.
A pitch-perfect follow-up. " — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"As in his previous novels in verse, Alexander shows off his expert command of the format, employing staccato breaks with smooth rhymes that mimic the bounce and flow of the sport. Alexander's poetry is buoyant and optimistic. Fans of The Crossover will delight in learning the origin tale of Josh and JB's dad, while new readers can comfortably jump right into the game." — School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
( Henry Holt/MPS)
|CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Dashka Slater (Children of Orisha #1)|
Tomi Adeyemi's fantasy debut - set in a kingdom with traditions and mythology reminiscent of Nigeria and greater West Africa - is an astounding feat of storytelling and world-building.
"Adeyemi's devastating debut is a brutal, beautiful tale of revolution, faith, and star-crossed love. A story that resonates with magic both literal and figurative while condemning apathy in the face of injustice. . . Complex characters, colossal stakes, and a kaleidoscopic narrative captivate, and the book's punishing pace catapults readers to a jaw-dropping conclusion that poses as many questions as it answers." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Plunges readers into a dense, vivid world full of intriguing politics, evocative magic, and brutal violence. Cinematic pacing, alternating viewpoints, and well-choreographed action make the pages fly toward the cliff-hanger ending, which will surely leave readers eager for the next installment." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Adeyemi's debut and series opener is a revelation. She has brilliantly woven the Yoruba language and culture into a complex and epic tale. Readers will appreciate the intergenerational cast. This extraordinary literary work should be on every shelf." — School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.
Powerful, captivating, and raw - Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional!" — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Filled with fascinating landscapes, complex mythology and nuanced characters coping with a world on the brink of massive change.
Unmistakably descended from traditional high fantasy, Children of Blood and Bone is perfectly positioned to join the ranks of sprawling speculative
worlds for teens, bringing with it a much-needed Afrocentric perspective." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
- Children's Books: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)
|THEY SAY BLUE by Jillian Tamaki|
In captivating paintings full of movement and transformation, Caldecott Medal and Printz Honor-winner Jillian Tamaki follows a young girl as she examines the colors in the world around her. Playful and philosophical, this is a book about color as well as perspective, about the things we can see and the things we can only wonder at.
"Tamaki's picture book debut explores color and the seasons in a lyrical, philosophical way that is rooted in a child's sensibilities. Attuned to a child's psychology and
patterns of critical thinking, this visually stunning work is a must-purchase." — School Library Journal *** starred review ***
"A girl weighs what she's been told about the world against what she observes and knows, leading to more questions and contemplations. Thinking, imagining, noticing--these, Tamaki suggests, are the tools we have to understand our world." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"The free-associative nature of the child narrator's interaction with her surroundings seems utterly familiar, and approaching it with observational, sensory language lands it firmly in territory children can relate to. This poetic, off-kilter little book has enigmatic power, and observant children will likely be enchanted." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
(Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
|TEDDY'S FAVORITE TOY by Christian Trimmer | Illustrated by Madeline Valentine|
A mom goes to extraordinary and literally heroic lengths to rescue her son's favorite doll in this delightful tribute to treasured toys - and to mothers.
"Teddy has loads of cool toys, but his favorite is Bren-Da, Warrior Queen of Pacifica, a redheaded doll in a pink dress. When Teddy is at school his mother mistakes Bren-Da for trash and throws her away. When Teddy returns home to find Bren-Da missing, his mother performs some moves worthy of the Warrior Queen of Pacifica herself.
The story's implicit messages (it should be unremarkable when boys play with dolls; that parents can become superheroic to do right by their children) ring loud, true, and funny."
— Horn Book Magazine
"Trimmer's smart, closely observed portrait celebrates a boy and a mother whose relationship grows out of mutual respect. An imgainative
free-for-all." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"Trimmer's simple story of a universal experience will captivate young readers and have them rooting for Teddy's reunion with Bren-Da. A heartwarming story that uses an everyday occurrence to push the envelope on many fronts." — Kirkus Reviews.
"A refreshingly bold story that makes its message clear without being pedantic. What makes this book so appealing is the back-and-forth dynamic between the text and
images. Simple, sophisticated language suggests a respectful alliance between mother and son, and is perfectly complemented by charming gouache-and-pencil
illustrations that capture the characters' emotions as the story unfolds. Slightly older readers can unpack other layers about social norms and diversity, but all will appreciate this dynamic book's adventurous yet relatable style." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
- Comics and Graphic Novels - Children (Children's Book Section)
|BE PREPARED by Vera Brosgol|
Vera's sure she's found the one place she can fit in - a summer camp just for Russian-American kids. But nothing could prepare her for the reality of mean girls,
stinking outhouses, and baffling camp traditions. A gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir about navigating one's own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship.
"An adorable art style! A gorgeous, emotional memoir worthy of any graphic novel collection." — School Library Journal
"Brosgol's illustration skills fully match her convincing narration. Vera is a character with appeal to every tween who's ever felt disappointed by peers - or by a fulfilled
wish that didn't live up to its bright, shiny promise." — Center for Children's Books Bulletin *** starred review ***.
"The dialogue rings true, the pace is seamless . . . By turns sardonic, adorable, and noble, Vera is a beguiling hero who learns how to recognize who's really on her
side." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"With fantastic pacing and poignant emotional turns, Brosgol's winsome graphic memoir hilariously captures the lengths kids go to in order to fit in as well as the author's growth from a girl desperate for a place to belong into someone confident enough to stand up for herself. Pitch-perfect!
Brosgol's artwork has immense depth and she strikes a perfect balance between heartfelt honesty and uproarious, self-deprecating humor. This will easily lodge a place in
readers' hearts, even as it has them rolling in the aisles." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
- 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)
PERSEPOLIS RISING by James S. A. Corey (pen name for Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham)|
In the thrilling seventh chapter of Corey's acclaimed Expanse space opera series, an ambitious colony world ruled by a ruthless dictator with access to
powerful alien technology threatens the ring gates that connect 1,300 human colonies to the Sol system.
"Corey's tense, tightly plotted story is stuffed to the brim with intrigue, action, awesome alien tech, multidimensional characters, and provocative ideas." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Combining an exploration of real human frailties with big science fiction ideas and exciting thriller action, Corey cements the series as must-read space opera." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"We’re already familiar with the characters, but the new threat challenges them in ways we haven’t seen in the past six books. Like the novels that came before it, Persepolis Rising is a tightly-plotted thriller that juggles a variety of often-opposing threads. As the action plays out, it’s clear that the authors have a huge finale planned, with huge stakes and challenges ahead for its characters." — The Verge.
"A narrative that takes no prisoners as it approaches its devastating destination. Persepolis Rising proves as pulse-pounding and poignant as any of its powerful predecessors" — Tor.com.
|ARTEMIS by Andy Weir|
In 2014, the author astounded readers with his brilliant and best-selling debut novel, The Martian. Now science-fiction fans everywhere can once again rejoice because Andy Weir has done it again. This time the action takes place a little closer to home - Weir's heroine, Jazz Bashara, lives and works in Artemis, the first and only city on Earth's moon.
"Narrated by a kick-ass leading lady, this thriller has it all - a smart plot, laugh-out-loud funny moments, and really cool science. A four-star read!" — Library Journal *** starred review ***
"Fans of Weir’s brand of science fictional problem solving will find much to satisfy them in Artemis, but the novel goes farther than those concrete issues, revitalizing The Martian’s survival logic within the constraints of a lunar colony. Unlikely hero Jazz serves as the perfect protagonist for Weir. . . a scientifically literate, independent, and strong brown woman as a protagonist is a welcome development." — The Los Angeles Review of Books
"This exciting, whip-smart, funny thrill-ride boasts a wonderful cast of characters, a wide cultural milieu, and the appeal of a striking young woman as the main character. It's one of the best science fiction novels of the year." — Booklist *** starred review ***
"An action-packed techno-thriller of the first order - the perfect vehicle for humans who want to escape, if only for a time, the severe gravity of planet earth. The pages fly by." — USA Today.
AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz|
2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
Jack Chen is a drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap cures for poor people who can't otherwise afford them.
But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.
Now she must rectify the damage by finding a cure and exposing the corrupt manufacturer who first developed the drug. Annalee Newitz explores
issues of free will, social accountability, and scientific responsibility in a dazzling futuristic thriller.
"In a phenomenal debut that's sure to garner significant awards attention, Newitz sends three fascinating characters on an action-packed race against time through a strange yet familiar futuristic landscape. A skillful inspection of attraction and identity in a fragmented, frenetic society." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Newitz takes some of today's key social and technical issues (the nature of artificial intelligence, the notion of property and ownership) and wraps them in a compelling,
original story line acted out by memorable characters. VERDICT: Lovers of original, thought-provoking SF should not miss this one." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Fascinating. . . Newitz is an excellent writer, with an effortless style. A terrific book that covers an astounding amount of ground. You will be the smarter for it." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
"From startling insights, to delicately turned prose, to whole passages of unbearably tender musings on the intimate desires of artificial intelligence, there's much more than I can feasibly talk about here. Breathtaking descriptions. . . tremendously compelling character arcs. . . Autonomous brims and bubbles over with ideas.
It's a brilliant, fascinating debut, beautifully written and developed, and I'm excited to see what conversations it provokes." — NPR Book Reviews.
|PROVENANCE by Ann Leckie|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
A driven young woman has just one chance to win family approval and to secure the status she craves. To regain priceless stolen artifacts prized by her people,
she must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned. Following her record-breaking debut Ancillary trilogy, Ann Leckie, winner
of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards, returns with an enthralling new novel of power, privilege and birthright.
"The intricacies and oddities are a delight. . . A thrill for fans of heists and capers." — The Washington Post
"Setting her new novel in the same universe as her previous books, Leckie again uses large-scale worldbuilding to tell a deeply personal story - in this case, to
explore what binds children to their families. As always, she impels the reader to consider the power that language has to shape perception and reality. The title
is meaningful in several senses. More intriguing cultures to explore, more characters to care about, more Leckie to love." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***
"A standalone SF thriller styled as a space opera of manners. . . full of the charm and wit characterizing Leckie's other works, including delightful appearances by a Radch ambassador and tantalizing hints about the upcoming conclave." — Publishers Weekly.
"A perfect follow-up to the trilogy. . . Should please those who like tea with their space opera." — The New York Times
|BLACKFISH CITY by Sam Miller|
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.
JADE CITY by Fonda Lee|
2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST | A Best Book of the Year: Locus Magazine, The Verge, and NPR
The island of Kekon is protected from foreign invasion by the magical jade mined there. But now the honor-driven Kaul family seizes control of the market, even as a
new drug lets anyone use the fierce power of the jade. The first in a trilogy inspired by Asian warring clans history, this is an absolutely enthralling saga of intrigue,
ambition, and magic.
"Lee draws on her Chinese heritage, passion for gangster stories, and strong writing to launch a Godfather-inspired fantasy series that mixes bold martial-arts action and vivid worldbuilding. The result is terrific." — Library Journal PICK-OF-THE-MONTH *** starred review ***.
"Lee has created a fully realized universe in which to expand, with a solid magic system and boatloads of history and gravitas. Jade City flows with a sense of purpose, visceral brutality and dizzying spectacle." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
"An intrigue-packed adventure set in an Asia-inspired, alternate-world modern city. As this ambitious and complex story unfolds, Lee skillfully juggles a huge cast. An engaging blend of crime drama and Asian martial arts tropes in a strongly envisioned world. . . an intense, satisfying experience." — Publishers Weekly.
"An absolutely blistering read. The characters are perfectly three-dimensional. The plot is thrilling and the action sequences are damn near perfect.
I cannot recommend Jade City highly enough." — The Eloquent Page.
"Stunning. . . Brilliant. . . Exceptionally deep and fully realized characters. . . There is a complexity surrounding this book’s ensemble that is rarely seen in the first book
of a series. The character progression is also exquisite. An epic, unique, and often unforgiving gangster fantasy narrative intertwined with glimpses of hope and
goodness." — Fantasy Book Review.
"An instantly absorbing tale of blood, honor, family and magic, spiced with unexpectedly tender character beats." — NPR Book Reviews.
|THE RISE AND FALL OF D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland|
When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets intelligence agent Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. Ancient documents have been found that prove that magic - now extinct - once actually worked.
Written with the genius, complexity, and innovation that characterize all of Neal Stephenson's work and steeped with the warmth and humor of Nicole Galland's storytelling style, this exciting and vividly realized novel will make you believe in the impossible, and take you to places - and times - beyond imagining.
"There’s a lot going on here - stylistic flourishes, comedic pratfalls, romance and science - but it’s handled deftly. Those familiar with Stephenson will recognize his humor and ideas, while Galland brings a fresh and irresistible voice to this ambitious novel." — The Washington Post.
"An immense and immensely entertaining genre-hopping yarn. Characters worthy of Umberto Eco are perfectly at home here." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Quantum physics, witchcraft, and multiple groups with conflicting agendas, playfully mixed with vernacular from several centuries and a dizzying number of acronyms, create a fascinating experiment in speculation and metafiction that never loses sight of the human foibles and affections of its cast." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A high-stakes techno-farce with brains and heart. A playful sense of humor, a willingness to tackle big subjects with accuracy and rigor, a facility with thriller
plots that contain well-hidden surprises are all on display." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
"A brave novel that defies genre and incorporates many of the best characteristics of both its contributing authors. The sprawling cast is one of the book’s
strongest points, especially the witches. Smart, hilarious, and bewitching. . ." — The Chicago Review of Books
|THE WOLF by Leo Carew|
In an alternate Viking-era Europe, the isle of Albion is shared by ambitious, comfort-loving human Suthernors and the Anakim, incredibly long-lived, nature-loving giants
who revel in their own wildness. An uneasy peace between the two races is broken when
the Anakim ruler is unexpectedly killed, and his heir must deal with both invasion and civil war. A work of extraordinary imagination, this is epic fantasy at its very best.
"A grand-scale historical fantasy. . . an action-packed and blood-splattered tour de force.
A memorable cast of characters, exceptional worldbuilding, meticulously choreographed battle scenes, and relentless pacing. . . Carew is the real deal - an exciting new voice in fantasy." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A gripping and ambitious epic fantasy. Delightfully clever. . . The book is twisty in its political maneuverings, gritty in its battle descriptions, and rich with a sense of heroism and glory. The depth of Anakim culture is thoroughly developed, including shadow organizations run by women that may threaten the heavily militarized male-focused power structure. The finale of this installment perfectly sets the stage for a larger story, and readers will excitedly anticipate the rest of the series." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A beautiful tapestry of a tale. All you need is here - the battles are bloody and well planned, the politics are twisted and the characters pop off the
page." — The Bookbag (U.K.) ***** 5-out-of-5-stars.
"An absorbing study of one man’s rise to power - imagine Game of Thrones rewritten by John le Carré - with some magnificent world-building.
Excellent anthropological observations of the opposing cultures of the Anakim and the Suthernors, and building inexorably towards its climactic battle, The Wolf is a marvellously accomplished debut." — The Guardian (U.K.).
|AMBERLOUGH by Lana Elena Donnelly|
2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
In freewheeling and decadent Amberlough, spies, criminals, cabaret bohemians, and lovers struggle to save what matters
to each of them from a tide of rising fascism and violence. Donnelly's debut - set in a richly imagined city evocative of Weimar-era Berlin - is an audacious blend of
espionage, romance, and tragedy.
"Amberlough has an amazing voice. Its spy-thriller twists and ever-growing tension combine to provide an extraordinarily entertaining ride. And I have to say: if this is her debut? I can’t wait to see what Donnelly does next." — Locus.
"Donnelly's striking debut brings a complex world of politics, espionage, and cabaret life to full vision. The emotional journeys of the characters as they struggle to survive in a society under siege by dark forces will strike a chord with readers as they race to the story's conclusion." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Donnelly's masterly creation is richly imagined and moves at an unchecked pace, painting a layer of sumptuous indulgence over a society of corruption, vice, and oppression.
the characters are drawn inexorably to their limits in a conclusion that is as heartbreaking as it is satisfying." — Publisher's Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A sense of inevitable loss and futility permeates this rich drama. The fascists may never be defeated but only escaped - if the characters are willing to abandon the people they love. That dilemma will haunt them, as it haunts the reader." — Kirkus Reviews.
(Saga/Simon & Schuster)
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE ALCHEMIST'S DAUGHTER by Theodora Goss|
2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
A remarkable group of women come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders - and the bigger mystery of their own origins.
When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return.
An utterly delightful gothic gem of a novel!
"A standout pastiche of late Victorian mystery fiction, set in an alternate 1880s London and featuring Sherlock Holmes and a quintet of remarkable women.
This is a tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with impressive wit and insight." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Theodora Goss has assembled a deceptively intricate mosaic of friendship, family, history, science, and the way literature - not to mention truth - can be manipulated.
As each of the characters' haunting pasts comes to light, the book's balance between academic playfulness and poignant storytelling becomes more exquisite.
A swiftly paced, immaculately plotted mystery full of winning characters you always thought you knew. Overhauls, and pokes gentle fun at the era's weird-fiction tradition.
But it's also a sparkling, insightful conversation with the canon from which it sprang." — NPR.
"Goss upends fantasy tropes to bring to life characters who would have been ignored in the period works that inspired them, and the result is a fantastic, gripping read that feels true to the spirit of the original works, but updated with a modern spin for the 21st century reader." — The Verge.
SIX WAKES by Mur Lafferty|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
The ship Dormire carries 2,000 colonists and a crew of six clones with criminal pasts who are hoping to build new lives with clean slates. But nearly 25 years into the mission, the ship's crew awaken from their cryogenic sleep in the middle of a bloody crime scene. A masterful mix of locked-room mystery detection and hard science-fiction
that will enthrall fans of either genre.
"Interleaving urgent scenes with telling flashbacks, Lafferty delivers a tense nail-biter of a story fueled by memorable characters and thoughtful worldbuilding.
This space-based locked-room murder mystery explores complex technological and moral issues in a way that's certain to earn it a spot on award ballots." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Six survivors must figure out who killed their previous bodies and why. Lafferty delivers the ultimate locked-room mystery combined with top-notch sci-fi worldbuilding. The puzzle of who is responsible for the devastation on the ship keeps the pages turning." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A taut, nerve-tingling, interstellar murder mystery with a deeply human heart." — NPR.
"A perfect blend of science fiction and mystery, complete with Clue-like red herrings and thought-provoking philosophizing about the slippery slope of cloning technology. Lafferty jumps back and forth in time, developing each character and building a world in which human cloning is completely believable. Highly recommended." — Booklist.
THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE by John Scalzi|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2018 LOCUS AWARD FINALIST
Humanity has spread to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can
survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war - and, for the empire's rulers, a system of control.
The brilliant first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning author of Redshirts and Old Man's War.
"Scalzi mixes science, history, and politics with sharp action and intriguing characters. Readers will be thrilled to take another wild ride across the universe with the author of the Old Man's War series." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Plenty of action, great character development, vivid and believable world-building, and a thought-provoking examination of culture and politics. . .
Yet more evidence that Scalzi is a master." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Scalzi has constructed a thrilling novel so in tune with the flow of politics that it would feel relevant at almost any time." — Entertainment Weekly.
"The Collapsing Empire - whose title alone seems like an appallingly on-the-nose allegory for the state of the United States at this moment - is one
of the most important revisionist hyperspace narratives to come along in some time. Combines elements of Asimov’s Foundation series with Banks’s
Culture series, Herbert’s Dune, and Lucas’s Star Wars in ways that I found quite delightful as a life-long fan of the
genre." — The Los Angeles Review of Books.
NEW YORK 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
In the 22nd century a series of climate disasters and ocean level risings have left New York City partially underwater.
But the residents of the partially submerged Met Life skyscraper are determined to stay - and to survive. This is their story - a story of
real estate, finance, climate change, treasure hunting, and kidnapping. Kim Stanley Robinson once again delivers a masterful novel of ecofiction.
"The tale is one of adventure, intrigue, relationships, and market forces. The cast is large and varied. . . The individual threads weave together into a complex
story well worth the read. This is hard SF the way it's meant to be written: technical, scientific, with big ideas and a fully realized society." — Booklist.
"Exploring this vastly changed cityscape, where familiar streets are replaced by skybridges and subways by vaporettos, is great fun. A post-disaster fairy tale that's
a thoroughly enjoyable exercise in worldbuilding, written with a cleareyed love for the city's past, present, and future." — Kirkus Reviews.
"New York may be underwater, but it's better than ever." — The New Yorker.
"Robinson, one of the greatest living science fiction writers, presents a drastically changed city that retains many of its eternal charms and perils.
Sporting a diverse cast of characters and a bracing, rarely cynical tone, this is some of Robinson's nimblest writing to date.
Through it all, though, his 2140-era New York City remains as delightfully confounding as the present iteration." — Shelf Awareness.
RAVEN STRATAGEM by Yoon Ha Lee|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
This stunning sequel to the Hugo and Nebula-nominated Ninefox Gambit contains a riveting mixture of interstellar battles, politics, intrigue, and
arcane technology. This is world-building space-opera at its finest.
"With multiple characters skilled in deception, Lee is able to keep readers guessing until the end. A brilliantly imagined tale." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"The sequel to Yoon Ha Lee’s phenomenal Ninefox Gambit, a sequel that is as mind-blowing as its predecessor but in a completely different way.
How do you follow-up a breathtaking, multiple award-nominated debut that combined world-changing technologies, interesting reality-altering mathematics and awesome characters?
You change perspective. Then add a plot to change the world. And then twist everything around half way through." — Kirkus Reviews.
"Yoon Ha Lee breaks new ground, focusing tightly on questions of free will. Ninefox explored the ethics of war, Raven is unflinching in its criticism
of the ethics of power. The entire novel acts as a strident call to arms: to reject inhumane government; to resist wherever possible.
Raven is a triumphant continuation of a vibrant new space opera. I expected intrigue and entertainment; I wasn’t prepared for all the feelings. I can’t wait to see where Yoon Ha Lee takes this rollercoaster next." — The Speculative Herald.
- Mystery, Suspense, Crime, Espionage Fiction: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
WINNER OF THE 2018 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD by Attica Locke
A New York Times Book Review EDITORS' CHOICE.
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Financial Times (U.K.), Vulture, The Strand Magazine, Southern Living, Publisher's Weekly, Book Riot,
The Guardian (U.K.), Lit Hub, The Boston Globe, Dallas News, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, National Public Radio, Texas Monthly, The Daily Beast,
and the South Florida Sun Sentinel
When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules - a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. Attica Locke delivers
a propulsive novel concerning past deeds, injustice and courage. A riveting masterpiece of Southern noir - and much more: it's also a powerful and dramatic look at contemporary black life in rural America.
"An emotionally dense and intricately detailed thriller, roiling with conflicting emotions steeped in this nation's troubled past and present. A rich sense of place and relentless feeling of dread permeate Attica Locke's heartbreakingly resonant new novel about race and justice in America. Bluebird, Bluebird is no simple morality tale. Far from it. It rises above 'left and right' and 'black and white' and follows the threads that inevitably bind us together, even as we rip them apart." — USA Today.
"Stupendous. . . Pushing her classic noir plot deep into history and culture, Attica Locke sings her own unshakable, timeless lament. Streaked with wit and hard-earned wisdom, Bluebird, Bluebird soars." — The Chicago Tribune.
"Locke's mesmerizing new novel bears all the hallmarks of modern crime fiction: the alcoholic protagonist with the damaged marriage; the townsfolk who close rank against outsiders; the small-town law enforcement agent with murky loyalties. But Bluebird, Bluebird is a true original in the way it twists these conventions into a narrative of exhilarating immediacy. Locke is building a compelling body of work. In this age of enduring and renewed racial tensions, we need her voice more than ever." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Gripping, suspenseful and gut-wrenching. . . I've never bought the notion of the Great American Novel, but if Attica Locke's Bluebird Bluebird isn't on literary
historians' lists, I'm coming back to haunt them. This is a layered portrait of a black man confronting his own racial ambivalence and ambition told with a pointed and
poignant bluesy lyricism. . . Locke's novel is America 'telling on itself.' Listen up." — The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
|SINCE WE FELL by Dennis Lehane|
A chance encounter on a rainy afternoon devastates Rachel Child's ideal life - and sucks her into a conspiracy thick with deception, intrigue, and possibly madness. By turns heart-breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, this is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension.
"Since We Fell takes us into the heart of a tormented woman. It's about identity, too - how you picture yourself internally and how that contrasts with the outer personality you use to face the rest of the world. Lehane is in command of what he’s doing - unspooling plot twists and developing his character as Rachel descends into her own heart of darkness." — The Washington Post
"What seems at the start to be an edgy psychological mystery seamlessly transforms into a crafty, ingenious tale of murder and deception - and a deeply resonant account of one woman's effort to heal deep wounds that don't easily show." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***
"Lehane remains one of the great, diabolical thriller kings who seems intimately acquainted with darkness and can make it seep from the page." — The New York Times.
"Lehane's wicked-smart Since We Fell begins with what looks like a conclusion. But Lehane so completely defies expectations, you get the feeling he's as interested in fooling his characters as he is in fooling us. Free of the period demands of his excellent recent novels, Lehane is in feisty form, channeling classic noir with cutting irony. As ever, he has you falling for his seemingly effortless command as a writer and the ease with which he sinks his hooks into you." — The Chicago Tribune.
"A ride you won’t want to miss. . . The second half of the novel is nothing short of an avalanche." — The New York Journal of books.
|GOLDEN PREY by John Sandford|
A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house is robbed, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. It's Lucas Davenport's first case as a U.S. Marshal - and it quickly spirals out of control. Filled with John Sandford's trademark razor-sharp plotting and some of the best characters in suspense fiction,
this should be at the top of your summer-reading suspense novel list.
"Sandford has always been at the top of any list of great mystery writers. His writing and the appeal of his lead character are as fresh as
ever." — The Huffington Post
"The best Lucas Davenport story so far. The man has a fine touch for outlaws. If you haven't read Sandford yet, you have been missing one of the great summer-read
novelists of all time." — Stephen King
"Buckle up, grab a cold drink, and settle in for another splendid entry in a stellar series." — The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"It appears there is no limit to John Sandford's ability to keep new breath and blood flowing into his Lucas Davenport series. This is a series you must be
reading if you are not already." — Book Reporter.
|A LEGACY OF SPIES by John Le Carre|
The undisputed master of espionage fiction returns with a riveting new book - his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years.
Intelligence agent Peter Guillam must defend his mentor, George Smiley - and operations that were once the toast of secret London - to a generation with no memory
of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications. As past and present intertwine, le Carre and his narrator present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.
"George Smiley returns in this stunning spy novel from Grand Master le Carre, though it's Peter Guillam, Smiley's devoted assistant from MI6, who takes center stage.
The result is both a riveting reprise of the Smiley novels and a new articulation of le Carre's theme: spying is as morally bankrupt as the ideologies it serves. Readers
familiar with le Carre will recognize allusions everywhere; those who aren't won't be left out, given the power of the storytelling and le Carre's inimitable prose. He can
convey a character in a sentence, land an emotional insight in the smallest phrase - and demolish an ideology in a paragraph." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"Le Carre returns to his peerless chronicles of George Smiley and his fellow spies to put yet another spin on the events of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
The miracle is that the author can revisit his best-known story and discover layer upon layer of fresh deception beneath it." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***
"Among this book’s pleasures is a reminder that adults were once in charge of the destiny of the free world.
For many readers, le Carre's characters are old friends - part of their mental furniture. There’s something moving about seeing him revive them so effortlessly, to see
that the old magic still holds. He thinks internationally but feels domestically. In an upside-down time, he appeals to comprehension rather than instinct. I might as well
say it: to read this simmering novel is to come in from the cold." — The New York Times.