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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 (Center Display)

      (Penguin/Random)
      ON EARTH WE ARE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS by Ocean Vuong
      A letter from a son to a mother who cannot read unearths a Vietnamese family's history that leads to an unforgettable revelation. Both a portrait of a family and a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity, Ocean Vuong's first novel is a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling.
      "In his prose debut, T.S. Eliot-prized, Whiting-awarded poet Vuong mines his memories, his traumas, his triumphs to create an epistolary masterpiece. VERDICT: Fearless, revelatory, extraordinary; an essential acquisition for every library." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
      "A lyrical work of self-discovery that's shockingly intimate and insistently universal. Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning." - The Washington Post.
      "Poetic in the deepest sense - not merely on the level of language, but in its structure and its intelligence. More important is the novel's earnest and open-hearted belief in the necessity of stories and language for our survival. A raw and incandescently written foray into fiction by one of our most gifted poets." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Staggering tenderness. . . Reading On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous can feel like watching an act of endurance art, or a slow, strange piece of magic in which bones become sonatas, to borrow one of Vuong's metaphors." - The New Yorker.
      "Ocean Vuong's devastatingly beautiful first novel, as evocative as its title, is a painful but extraordinary coming-of-age story about surviving the aftermath of trauma. Vuong's language soars as he writes of beauty, survival, and freedom. . . The title says it: Gorgeous." - NPR.

      (William Morrow/Harper)
      FALL; OR, DODGE IN HELL by Neal Stephenson
      A mind-blower of a novel about an afterlife where uploaded brain scans exist as digital souls. Neal Stephenson raises profound existential questions and explores the revolutionary scientific breakthroughs that are transforming our future. Combining the technological, philosophical, and spiritual in one grand saga, he delivers a speculative literary epic for the modern age.
      "Stephenson is known for ambitious books, and this is certainly no exception. Those ready for an endlessly inventive and absorbing story are in for an adventure they won't soon forget. An audacious epic with more than enough heart to fill its many, many pages." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Stephenson devotees with a taste for Tolkienesque fantasy will revel in the author's imaginative world building. There are enough futuristic, envelope-pushing ideas here, especially related to AI and digital consciousness, to keep even nonfans and science buffs intrigued." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Fall is at once science fiction and fantasy, with quantum computing enabling what amounts to magic. Vintage Stephenson, which is to say it's like nothing he's ever written." - Wired Magazine.
      "The audacity of Stephenson's intentions is itself part of the entertainment value. A feat of mind-blowing adventure powered by deep existential questions. . . The last section of the novel assumes the form of a rippingly Tolkienesque epic fantasy quest: an eventful journey through a magical landscape, embarked on by characters it's impossible to think of as mere processes. It's great fun." - Slate.
      "Builds to a level of awesome not seen since Stephenson's early days of sound and fury. . . Gives equal weight to religion, mythology and technology in a way that, by page 600 or so, feels almost revolutionary. Flat-out amazing." - NPR.

      (Harper)
      THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON by Sara Collins
      A servant and former slave is accused of murdering her employer and his wife in this astonishing historical thriller that moves from a Jamaican sugar plantation to the fetid streets of Georgian London. A brilliant, searing depiction of race, class, and oppression, it is the story of a woman of her own making in a world that would see her unmade.
      "Administers a bold and vibrant jolt to both the gothic and historical fiction genres. There's betrayal, depravity, pseudoscience, forbidden love, drug addiction, white supremacy, and, oh yes, a murder mystery with tightly wound knots to unravel. Her evocations of early-19th-century London and antebellum Jamaica are vivid and, at times, sensuously graphic. Most of all, she has created in her title character a complex, melancholy, and trenchantly observant protagonist as dynamic and compelling as any character conceived by a Brontë sister. A gripping, groundbreaking debut." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "A stunning debut. . . I love this book! Collins hasn't just written an authentic gothic novel: she rugby tackles the notion of the saintly girl who emerges from suffering rather improved by it. She is entirely her own writer." - The Guardian (U.K.).
      "Collins paints a ferociously unsentimental portrait of enslavement both external and internal, voiced by an agonizingly conflicted narrator. Its scathing honesty and rivetingly complicated narrator demand attention." - Newsday.
      "Frannie is an unforgettable character with a delicious, wicked turn of phrase. . . Collins is a star in the making." - The Times (U.K.).
      "A startling, compelling historical debut novel that should be on top of your vacation reading pile." - The Washington Post.

      (Harper)
      THE SENTENCE IS DEATH by Anthony Horowitz
      A fictionalized version of the author (a writer also named Anthony Horowitz) once again plays Dr. Watson to private investigator Daniel Hawthorne's Sherlock Holmes in this superb sequel to The Word Is Murder. The identity gamesmanship is just one of the delights of this outstanding mystery - it's also one of the best locked-door puzzles to be found since the Agatha Christie era. (Yes, you can read it as a standalone.)
      "The storytelling is masterful. . . The Sentence Is Death may just be one of summer's grandest, guiltiest pleasures. The questions of who and why-dunit will keep you guessing, but it's the players themselves that are ultimately arresting. Pray for solitary confinement, because you'll want to read this one straight through and uninterrupted." - The New York Journal of Books.
      "Horowitz succeeds on all levels. Readers will enjoy the insights into the publishing world and rack their brains deciding which stories are true and which are fictional. Literary references abound within the text, too, including a three-digit number scrawled on a wall, nodding to Doyle's A Study in Scarlet, along with other Doyle and Christie references. Fresh and original, Horowitz writes with the effortless élan that distinguishes all of his work. Horowitz has the Midas touch." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Superb . . . Horowitz plays fair with the reader all the way to the surprise reveal of the killer's identity. Fans of traditional puzzle mysteries will be enthralled." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.

      (Knopf/Random)
      THIS STORM by James Ellroy
      James Ellroy delivers a brilliant historical crime novel, a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles and Mexico in the wake of Pearl Harbor.
      "As the characters work angles to seek gold, power, revenge, or even justice, alliances form, twist, and break against a backdrop of war profiteering and fifth-column activity. A deeper theme, utterly timely given the real-world rise of the strongman, is authoritarianism: swastika pins and uniform fetishes signal cabals of Nazis, Communists, and Sinarquistas (Mexican fascists). A fevered secret history that could have been dreamed by nobody else. Relentlessly compelling." - Booklist.
      "A gritty, absorbing novel that proves once again that Ellroy is the rightful heir of Chandler, Cain, and Hammett." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Ellroy moves backward in time to the opening days of World War II. The result is a portrait of life on the home front that only Ellroy, with his obsessive interest in the dark underside of the American story, could have written. By the novel's end, the interrelated mysteries have been resolved, and it's exciting, page-turning stuff - but it's only one aspect of a novel that has other, bigger things on its mind." - The Washington Post.
      "Ellroy remains one of the most exciting literary stylists in the English language. It’s been five years since his last novel, but it’s worth the wait. Like all good jazzmen, Ellroy works very hard indeed to make his music flow so easily." - The Guardian (U.K.).

      (Tin House/Norton)
      MOSTLY DEAD THINGS by Kristen Arnett
      Taking over the reins of her Florida family's taxidermy business after her father suddenly commits suicide, Jessa-Lynn Morton discovers that the dysfunction that pervades her family knows no bounds. But, struggling to keep the business afloat, Jessa has no choice but to cross her own ethical boundaries. Kristen Arnett delivers one of the most excruciatingly witty and shockingly honest family dramas in current American fiction.
      "Darkly funny, both macabre and irreverent, and its narrator is so real that every time I stopped reading the book, I felt a tiny pull at the back of my mind, as if I'd left a good friend in the middle of a conversation. Jessa does that scariest of things: She lives. - NPR.
      "An irresistible first novel set in the hard sunshine of Central Florida, featuring a family of taxidermists, suicides and ruthless intimacies. Arnett possesses all the bravery her characters dream of. She writes comic set pieces to make you laugh, sex scenes to turn you on. This book is my song of the summer. The pulse in this book emanates not only from its sun-drunk, word-drunk wit, but from what it knows about life." - The New York Times.
      "If you read from now until the Sunshine State sinks into the ocean, you will never come across another novel even remotely like Arnett's madcap, poignant tale of romance and taxidermy. An artist of the highest order, Arnett possesses an extraordinary gift for language, an ear for the perfect turn of phrase. Some of the most dryly comedic dialogue one will ever encounter. . . Both highly entertaining and inspiring, as uplifting as it is original." - The New York Journal of Books.

      (Berkley/Random)
      A BRIGHTNESS LONG AGO by Guy Gavriel Kay
      One of our finest fantasy writers delivers a grand drama of war, intrigue, and love set in an imagined world inspired by the Italian Renaissance. Two rival warlords scheme and counter-scheme against each other using all the political, religious, social, and military weapons in their arsenals. But, on the sidelines, a clever young tailor's son is observing their every move. . . This is a masterfully plotted novel virtually guaranteed to enthrall and delight fans of both speculative and historical fiction. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
      "Read anything by Guy Gavriel Kay. His strengths are strong characters and fantastic set pieces." - The New Yorker.
      "The setting is evocative and vivid, inspired by real historical events and figures, and Kay manages a deft balance between quiet contemplation and exciting action as he explores the roles that fate, chance, and choice play in a time of upheaval." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
      "Extraordinarily profound, complex, lyrical and moving storytelling that deserves far more than the five stars I am able to award it. Kay spins a thought provoking tale that is more than the sum of its parts, creating an enthralling, compelling and charismatic set of characters. . . An indelible, exhilarating and memorable reading experience." - GoodReads *** starred review ***.
      "Strong historical research and worldbuilding, a vast cast of characters, world-changing events. . . An epic tale filled with characters compelling enough to bear the weight of the high stakes." - Kirkus Reviews.
      "History and fantasy rarely come together as gracefully or readably as they do in the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay." - The Washington Post.
      "A masterpiece; perhaps the finest work of one of the world's greatest living storytellers. A beautiful story, with prose that can only be properly described as art. . . elegant in its simplicity, yet painstakingly profound as it cuts to the core of what makes us think, and act, and remember. This is Kay at his finest, his most reflective, his most powerful." - Fantasy Book Review (U.K.).

      (Harper)
      WESTSIDE by W. M. Akers
      Set in an alternate 1920s Manhattan where a 13-mile barbed-wire fence divides the thriving Eastside from a nightmarish Westside, this fascinating debut novel introduces a truly remarkable private investigator - Gilda Carr, a Westsider who specializes in solving "tiny mysteries". A delightfully unique setting, an unforgettable heroine, and sublimely skillful writing - an unbeatable combination.
      "An addictively readable fusion of mystery, dark fantasy, alternate history, and existential horror. The seamless blending of genre elements creates a fresh and unpredictable narrative, but the real power here comes from Akers' focus on description throughout. Masterful worldbuilding, character development, and attention to dark atmospherics make for a fully immersive read. The cast of deeply developed characters and the richly envisioned setting are perfectly complemented by a breakneck-paced and action-packed storyline. It's like a literary shot of Prohibition-era rotgut moonshine - bracing, quite possibly hallucination-inducing, and unlike anything you've ever experienced before. The illegitimate love child of Algernon Blackwood and Raymond Chandler." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "W. M. Akers's superb debut is a novel steeped in existentialism while delivering gun molls, drunken wastrels and purebred thugs. Akers's choice to spotlight a sleuth preoccupied by 'those impossible puzzles that burrow into our brains like splinters' is viscerally effective. A world that could be completely unwieldy is rendered tangible in the sounds of street music, glimpses of skittering shadows and whiffs of violent smells. One cannot effectively borrow from the horror genre as freely as Akers does without concrete imagery to sustain the imagination. His prose is sharply crystalline, especially when describing minute, bittersweet and even ugly moments. Endearingly clearheaded ferocity and good humor. . . Excellent." - The New York Times.
      "A fantasy novel that is both literary and convention bending, reading as horror, crime fiction, dark noir, pulp slasher novel, action, and adventure gaming script, hidden-door-anthropological-history, delayed coming-of-age novel, gumshoe mystery, a love letter to pre-Prohibition New York City, and a disquieting dystopian fable reminiscent of Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland. Yes, it is all of those things simultaneously, and yes, it works, thanks in no small part to Akers' talent for staying in tense control of his story. Beverly Cleary once said great fiction should be, above all things, a pleasure to read, and Westside is certainly that, and then some." - The New York Journal of Books.
    • Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)

      (Back Bay/Hachette)
      TRANSCRIPTION by Kate Atkinson
      In the early months of World War II, 18-year-old Juliet Armstrong worked with British Intelligence to track the movements of British Fascist sympathizers. A decade later, when she's a BBC radio producer, her past espionage activities come back to haunt her. A masterful novel of how unsophisticated idealism can be transformed into jaded cynicism. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
      "There is intrigue. There are surprises. But the unknowns aren't always what we think they are. The deepest pleasure here, though, is the author's language. Another beautifully crafted book from an author of great intelligence and empathy." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "This is a novel full of surprises, but also one full of indelible characters. Atkinson is a masterful narrative strategist. . . she is an exquisite writer of prose, using language with startling precision whether she is plumbing an inner life, describing events of appalling violence, or displaying her characters' wonderfully acerbic wit. This is a wonderful novel about making choices, failing to make them, and living, with some degree of grace, the lives our choices determine for us." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Beguiling. . . unexpected and inspired. . . Atkinson marvelously captures the sheltered, insouciant Juliet’s longing for experience. Only as the book unfolds is each character more fully revealed. Ms. Atkinson's artistry in making this happen is marvelously delicate and varied." - The New York Times.
      "Intelligent and artful. . . consistently inventive. . . a plot that’s not only ingeniously constructed but, in the end, fully resolved. Within a deceptively familiar form, Atkinson treats the lives and labor of women with fresh complexity. Before you know it, Transcription has turned from a wartime spy yarn into a fuguelike meditation on the fungibility of female identity. Far from interfering with the plot, this meditation on identity kindles it." - The New Yorker.

      (Riverhead/Random)
      FLORIDA by Lauren Groff
      In eleven electric stories, one of our most gifted authors unpacks the "dread and heat" of her home state. This is quite possibly the twenty-first century's best collection of short fiction by a single author. These are stories that surprise and menace us, fascinate and sometimes frighten us, and leave the whole world fuller than it was before. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
      "Florida is a gift to writers. Ms Groff's Floridian landscape is exotic and bright, yet pulsing with hidden malevolence. . . her writing is marvelous, her insights keen, each story a glittering, encrusted treasure hauled from the deep." - The Economist.
      "These gems are like the Florida Keys: distinct islands, each beautiful in its own way. Prepare to sweat, see snakes and get lost in a swamp. Groff's depictions aren't always pretty, but they'll keep you turning the pages - and not just for the breeze." - People Magazine.
      "Lauren Groff is a great storyteller. Florida is restorative fiction for these urgent times. Its final gestures, even the most ominous, lean toward love and the promise of good people, in not just this state but the world." - The New York Times.
      "The stories overflow with imagery so powerfully tangible that it's hard to believe the humidity and rainstorms aren't truly escaping from the page to touch you." - The Chicago Review of Books.
      "Taken together, the stories have the feel of autobiography, although, as in a Salvador Dali painting, their emotional disclosures are encrypted in phantasmagoria. . . gorgeously weird and limber. The collection conjures that feeling of when the floor falls out from under you; familiar, everyday life dangles by a thin string." - The New Yorker.

      (Harper)
      SPEAK NO EVIL by Uzodinma Iweala
      A revelation shared between Niru and Meredith, two teenagers from very different backgrounds, sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences. This is a heart-wrenching and timely novel that explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. This is a tale about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people.
      "Don't miss this; there's gorgeous writing, crucial issues, and edge-of-the-seat emotions. Throughout a narrative spiraling toward tragedy, Niru's pain is so palpable it will make you gasp. Highly recommended." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
      "In Uzodinma's staggering novel, the untimely disclosure of a secret sets off a cascade of heartbreaking consequences. Speaks volumes about white heterosexual privilege. Notable both for the raw force of Iweala's prose and the moving, powerful story." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Speak No Evil is the rarest of novels: the one you start out just to read, then end up sinking so deeply into it, seeing yourself so clearly in it, that the novel starts reading you." - Marlon James (Booker Award-winning author).
      "Iweala delivers with immediate poignancy. Portraying cross-generational and cultural misunderstandings with anything but simplicity, Iweala tells an essential American story." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Iweala allows a young voice to ring clearly, shattering assumptions and demanding attention for unavoidable truths - about being black, queer and the child of successful immigrants in the United States. This graceful, consuming tale of differences, imbalances and prejudices is necessary reading." - BookPage *** starred review ***.

      (William Morrow/Harper)
      THE BOOKSHOP ON THE SHORE by Jenny Colgan
      Single mother Zoe tries to build a new life for herself and her four year old son Hari as far from the urban crush as possible. She finds a refuge in two new jobs: as a nanny to two feral children in a crumbling Scottish castle and as a bookshop worker on the banks of Loch Ness. A poignant and delightful novel about the healing power of books, fresh air, and kindness.
      "An absolute cracker of a romantic comedy." - Woman and Home (U.K.).
      "Gorgeous location, dancing dialogue and characters you'll fall in love with. Irresistible!" - Jill Mansell.
      "A charming, heartwarming, gobble-it-all-up-in-one-sitting kind of book, a tale of new beginnings with characters you'll love and root for from the very first page." - Mike Gayle.
      "A massive hug in book form, utterly charming, magical, heartwarming. . . easily one of the best books I have read this year. Perfect feel-good fare for the summer. . . A lovely, heartwarming read" - Good Reads.
      "Set amid the gorgeous scenery of Scotland, laced with clever dialogue and scenes set like jewels, just begging to be filmed. A charming, bracingly fresh happily-ever-after tale." - Kirkus Reviews.

      (Graywolf/MPS)
      A 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
      A LUCKY MAN: STORIES by Jamel Brinkley
      A must-read debut collection of profoundly moving short fiction portraying young African-American men struggling with fathers, brothers, and friends - present and absent.
      "Full of subtle poignancy. . . Each story is a trenchant exploration of race and class, vividly conveying the tension between social codes of masculinity and the vulnerable, volatile self." - The New Yorker.
      "A Lucky Man is intent on recognizing what masculinity looks like, questioning our expectations of it, and criticizing its toxicity - and somehow managing to do all of that with love. The collection may include only nine stories, but in each of them, Brinkley gives us an entire world." - NPR.
      "These stories hit with a silent thunder that reverberates within you long after you've finished them." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
      "It's difficult to single out any story as most outstanding since they are each distinguished by Brinkley's lyrical invention, precise descriptions of both emotional and physical terrain, and a prevailing compassion toward people as bemused by travail as they are taken aback by whatever epiphanies blossom before them. A major talent." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "A collection as fine as this, of fiction that is reflecting our world and searching for the truth, is one to be treasured, read and reread, admired, and loved." - Ploughshares.

      (Vintage/Random)
      THE ONLY STORY by Julian Barnes
      A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
      From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending, a novel about a young man on the cusp of adulthood and a woman who is already there, a love story shot through with sheer beauty, profound sadness, and deep truth.
      "Combines brilliant wit with sorrow, an obsession with love and its shelf life, and a commitment not only to great storytelling but also to exploring how stories are told." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
      "The reader drifts along on Barnes' gorgeous, undulating prose. Focusing on love, memory, nostalgia, and how contemporary Britain came to be, Barnes' latest will enrapture readers from beginning to end." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "So much of the pleasure in The Only Story comes from the wit and verbal precision that Barnes allows his narrator. . . Barnes's switch from voice to voice is at once understated and dazzling." - The New York Review of Books.
      "Consistently surprising. . . It shows a novelist at the height of his powers and is a book that quietly sinks its hooks into the reader and refuses to let go." - The Times (U.K.).
      "Stakes bold claims and provokes surprising questions that demonstrate Barnes is anything but resting on his laurels. Through his precise attention to the marvels of love and his perfect stylistic accompaniments to each state, Barnes has once again shown himself capable of transforming the mundane and ephemeral into the lyrical and lasting." - The Los Angeles Review of Books.
      "Barnes' novels, essays and stories are among the most innovative works of literature of the past 40 years. The Only Story is one of the best works of his career." - The Houston Chronicle.

      (Sandstone)
      U.K. edition
      CELESTIAL BODIES by Jokha Alharthi | Translated by Marilyn Booth
      WINNER OF THE 2019 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
      The very first winner of the International Booker Prize originally written in Arabic. Three sisters and their families in the Oman village of al-Awafi witness their country evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex oil-producing present. Tautly and elegantly structured, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman's coming-of-age through the prism of one family's losses and loves.
      "A book to win over the head and the heart in equal measure. Its delicate artistry draws us into a richly imagined community, opening out to tackle profound questions of time and mortality." — Man Booker International Prize Judging Panel.
      "A beautifully achieved account of lives pulling at the edges of change. A novel that deftly undermines recurrent stereotypes about Arab language and cultures." — The Irish Times (U.K.).
      "Marks the arrival of a major literary talent. . . Celestial Bodies continually re-evaluates both present and past. And while the book doesn't tell us how things turn out, it skilfully builds suspense by creating 'Aha!' moments as characters come to better understand their pasts. Readers who can leap nimbly into its stream will certainly find themselves carried away." — The National.
      "Slavery was only outlawed in Oman in 1970 and its dark complexities affect the families at the heart of the novel. The glimpses into a culture relatively little known in the West are fascinating." — The Guardian (U.K.).

      (Grove/PGW)
      A 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
      SNAP by Belinda Bauer
      When the family car broke down, eleven-year-old Jack and his two younger sisters had to be left behind on the side of the highway until their mother returned with help. "Jack's in charge," said his mother. "I won't be long." But she never returned. Now Jack's fifteen and is on the verge of finding out who killed his mother. Jack's still in charge - but he's also become a criminal. This twisting, masterfully written novel contains some of the most acutely perceived characters to be found in the thriller genre. It will also keep readers on the edge of their seats from the opening chapter to the last.
      "Bauer deftly interweaves a cold-case murder, a teenage master burglar, some ill-assorted coppers and a pregnant wife, knowing exactly when to turn the dial to humor, pathos or something darker. Intelligent entertainment that keeps you guessing." - The Sunday Times (U.K.).
      "Vividly unnerving. . . Bauer deftly weaves an intelligent mystery, written with razor-sharp observation and wry humour. Her ability to get under the skins of her characters is second to none." - The Guardian (U.K.).
      "Surprise, of course, is the most potent aspect of suspense. And Belinda Bauer knows exactly how to manipulate that element, right until the very end with extraordinary dexterity, maturity and feeling. . . Brilliant." - The Daily Mirror (U.K.).
      "Amazing! Whilst the story tugged on my heartstrings, I could not have predicted where it would lead, and how deviously Bauer's mind works, creating spine-chilling situations in the seemingly mundane. Snap is undoubtedly one of the cleverest thrillers I have read in a long time, and stands out from the fray in its original premise, writing style and characters." - But Books Are Better (U.K.).
      "Bauer takes astonishing risks but - like a brilliant ski-jumper - arcs down to the perfect landing." - The Independent (U.K.).
      "Bauer secures her place as a star in the British psychological-suspense firmament with this tightly written tale. Bauer's characters are richly drawn and her plotting is impeccable. Even the most bizarre circumstances and red herrings make perfect sense." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
    • Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Hardcover (Front Display)

      (Knopf/Random)
      FURIOUS HOURS: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
      Sitting in the audience of an Alabama courtroom during the trial of a serial killer's vigilante shooter in the 1970s was Harper Lee, the acclaimed author of To Kill a Mockingbird who was intent on writing her second book. Lee spent years in research, but the book was never written. Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders, to the courtroom drama, to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of our most beloved writers and her struggle with fame and the mystery of artistic creativity.
      "A compelling hybrid of a novel, at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and miniature biography of Harper Lee. If To Kill a Mockingbird was one of your favorite books growing up, you should add Furious Hours to your reading list today." - Southern Living.
      "Casey Cep has written the true-crime story that Harper Lee never figured out how to write. And it's here, in her descriptions of another writer's failure to write, that her book makes a magical little leap, and it goes from being a superbly written true-crime story to the sort of story that even Lee would have been proud to write." - The New York Times.
      "I expected to be charmed by the writing. . . But what I didn't see coming was the emotional response I would have as I blazed through the last 20 pages of the book — yet there I was, weeping. Furious Hours delivers a gripping, incredibly well-written portrait of not only Harper Lee, but also of mid-20th century Alabama - and a still-unanswered set of crimes." - NPR.
      "Cep's book is a marvel. In elegant prose, she gives us the fullest story yet of Lee's post-Mockingbird life. Cep's is an account emotionally attuned to the toll that great writing takes, and shows that sometimes one perfect book is all we can ask for, even while we wish for another." - Time Magazine.

      (Harper)
      EVERYTHING IS F*CKED: A Book about Hope by Mark Manson
      We are freer, healthier and wealthier than any people in human history. And yet... the planet is warming, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, everyone on social media seems perpetually offended, and so many of us are consumed by an overriding feeling of hopelessness. With an insightful mix of erudition and humor, Mark Manson challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven't considered before. A remarkably entertaining - and educational - counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul.
      "Manson's take: the world might seem like a hopeless place right now, but that doesn't mean you get a pass to stop behaving like a decent person. A straightforward, sensible take, peppered with wisdom from some of history's greatest philosophers (and plenty of swearing)." - The New York Post.
      "An entertaining and thought-provoking book about the importance of being hopeful in terrible times. Manson's dark-humored wit and blunt prose are both informative and engaging. Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better world alive." - Kirkus Reviews.
      "Mark Manson has succeeded in explaining a crazy world to an entire generation by invoking hard science, moral philosophy, and gobs of hilarious wit. This book is guaranteed to make you laugh, question your beliefs, and (hopefully) change your life." - Nir Eyal (author of Hooked and Indistractable).
      "Just because everything appears to be a mess doesn't mean you have to be one. Mark Manson's book is a call to arms for a better life and better world and could not be more needed right now." - Ryan Holiday.

      (Flatiron/MPS)
      MOMENT OF LIFT: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
      The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the world, Melinda Gates has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. In Moment of Lift, she shares lessons she's learned from the inspiring people she's met during her work and travels around the world. Throughout her journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.
      "Drawing on her vast experiences meeting women in far-flung corners of the developing world, Gates' book is a heartfelt memoir about stepping out of her comfort zone, as well as a manifesto about the transformative power of broadening women's rights." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
      "Part memoir, part call to action, Gates's compassionate narrative underscores her determination to leave a positive mark on this world. She inspires and emboldens in this eloquently argued work." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "An inspirational look at the need to empower women to make change in the world." - The Washington Post.
      "Backs her arguments with the facts that came from immersing herself in cultures where she could observe and experience firsthand the changes that empowering women can bring. At a time when beneficial globalization is being threatened by nationalism, and women's rights are in danger of being rolled back to nineteenth-century norms, Gates offers urgent reminders of why it's necessary to help women everywhere achieve their full potential." - Booklist *** starred review ***.

      (Knopf/Random)
      EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE: First Loves and Last Tales by Oliver Sacks
      Oliver Sacks, scientist and storyteller, is beloved by readers for his neurological case histories and his fascination and familiarity with human behavior at its most unexpected and unfamiliar. Everything in Its Place is his final collection of essays and is a celebration of Sacks's myriad interests, told with his characteristic compassion and erudition, and in his luminous prose.
      "Wonderfully odd. . . Life bursts through all of Oliver Sacks's writing. He was and will remain a brilliant singularity. It's hard to call to mind one dull passage in his work - one dull sentence, for that matter." - The New York Times.
      "Polished and intimately voiced. . . Each piece is impossible to put down unfinished." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "A wealth of previously published and unreleased pieces by the gifted neurologist, justly called the 'poet laureate of science'. Unusually intriguing. . . particularly edifying. . . Balanced and insightful, this valedictory collection offers a fine coda to a remarkable life and career." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "This is not a mere Sacks smorgasbord: it has a distinct identity of its own and covers a remarkably wide range of topics, unified by a particular tone... we are left with an image of the author that is extraordinarily touching." - The New York Review of Books.
      "A lovely collection... Readers will learn of influences that molded Sacks's brilliant mind... Sacks's gentle, ruminative voice is a salve when investigating difficult subject matter... Piercingly insightful and delightfully strange, Sacks's final collection is a treat for the chronically curious." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.

      (St. Martin's/MPS)
      HOW TO THINK LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald Robertson
      Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was the last famous Stoic philosopher of the ancient world. The Meditations, his personal journal, survives to this day as one of the most loved self-help and spiritual classics of all time. Cognitive psychotherapist Donald Robertson weaves the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius together seamlessly to provide a compelling modern-day guide to the Stoic wisdom followed by countless individuals throughout the centuries as a path to achieving greater fulfillment and emotional resilience.
      "An illuminating study of the principles of Stoic philosophy, to which Aurelius was an adherent, within the framework of cognitive-behavioral therapy. A fascinating history of Aurelius and his beliefs, and an insightful consideration of how they inform the practice of modern mindfulness." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Robertson distills the emperor's philosophy into useful mental habits. . . He displays a sound knowledge of Marcus' life and thought and his accessible prose style contributes to its appeal. The book succeeds on its own terms, presenting a convincing case for the continuing relevance of an archetypal philosopher-king." - The Wall Street Journal.
      "A wonderful introduction to one of history's greatest figures: Marcus Aurelius. His life and this book are a clear guide for those facing adversity, seeking tranquility and pursuing excellence." - Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic.

      (Bloomsbury/MPS)
      THE APOLOGY by Eve Ensler
      Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues - one of the most celebrated plays of the 20th century, waited decades for an apology from her abusive father that never came. She finally had to write one for him.
      "The Apology contains the words that Ensler needed to hear her father say. It's a slim book of unbearable heft. Ensler isn't letting her father - or any abuser - off the hook. For those men - the famous and the unknown - The Apology is a blueprint of contrition." - The Washington Post.
      "Beyond its power and personal bravery, this is a reintroduction to Ensler's smart, sophisticated writing. Much as The Vagina Monologues made space for people to talk about female sexuality, this book will transform our collective understanding of what an apology for sexual violence can and should be, and how maybe it's more important for survivors to write the script; necessary reading for all." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
      "The Apology is more than a reckoning with a man long dead; it's a healing exploration of how survivors can recover from sexual abuse." - The New York Times.
      "A bold act of imaginative empathy. . . Electrically intense. . . An incredibly brave attempt to make sense of what seems senseless. It's a powerful and sometimes devastating anatomisation of harm." - The Times (U.K.).
      "Fully amplifying her father's warped perceptions, the author provides an exacting, revealing glimpse into the psychology of gaslighting from the view of a perpetrator. This imagined voice is as intimate as it is alarming, and Ensler also taps into a broader struggle, seeking to hold all perpetrators of abuse accountable for their actions. Those seeking a greater understanding of psychological manipulation will appreciate this powerful examination. A potent, necessary narrative of healing." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
    • Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)

      (William Morrow/Harper)
      THE LAST UNKNOWNS: Deep, Elegant, Profound Unanswered Questions about the Universe, the Mind, the Future of Civilization, and the Meaning of Life edited by John Brockman
      A little book of profound questions - unknowns that address the secrets of our world, our civilization, the meaning of life. Here are the deepest riddles that have fascinated, obsessed, and haunted the greatest thinkers and finest minds of our time. Contributors include the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, JARED DIAMOND - Nobel Prize-winning University of Chicago economist RICHARD THALER - Harvard psychologist STEVEN PINKER - religion scholar ELAINE PAGELS - author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics CARLO ROVELLI - Booker Prize-winning novelist IAN McEWAN - neuroscientist SAM HARRIS - philosopher DANIEL C. DENNETT - MIT theorist SHERRY TURKLE - decoder of the human genome J. CRAIG VENTER - The Coddling of the American Mind author JONATHAN HAIDT - Nobel Prize-winning physicist FRANK WILCZEK - UC Berkeley psychologist ALISON GOPNICK - philosopher REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN - New York Times columnist CARL ZIMMER - MIT cosmologist MAX TEGMARK - Whole Earth founder STEWART BRAND - economist TYLER COWEN - author HELEN FISHER - Noble Prize-winning NASA physicist JOHN C. MATHER - psychologist JUDITH RICH HARRIS - physicist FREEMAN DYSON - musician BRIAN ENO - environmental scientist JENNIFER JACQUET - economist DAN ARIELY - Oxford philosopher A. C. GRAYLING - Harvard cosmologist LISA RANDALL - anthropologist MARY CATHERINE BATESON - Emotional Intelligence author DANIEL GOLEMAN, and more than 200 others.
      "Intriguing. . . Eclectic. . . Brockman, CEO of the Brockman Inc. literary agency, assembles far-reaching questions from 284 people. Each person was prompted, he explains, to 'ask the last question - your last question, the question for which you will be remembered.' Some participants are well-known, such as Jared Diamond, Freeman Dyson, Ian McEwan, and Steven Pinker, but most, while well-respected in their fields, will likely be new to general readers. Genuinely provocative. . ." - Publishers Weekly.

      (Ecco/Harper)
      CREATIVE QUEST by Questlove
      Questlove - musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary entrepreneur, professor, and cultural omnivore - shares his wisdom on the topics of inspiration and originality in a one-of-a-kind guide to living your best creative life.
      "Powered by the pistons of Questlove's ever-curious mind and his decades of experience in varied artistic projects with top entertainers, thinkers and creators, this book feels fresh and personal. Credible research is buttressed by 'here's how it played out for me' stories, and his humor and geniality shine through." - BookPage.
      "Questlove encourages artists to work with those who have different approaches, as he did with Talking Heads founder David Byrne, among others. Questlove's generous, provocative guidebook offers experienced wisdom about tapping into the creative process." - Publishers Weekly.
      "Uncommonly incisive, reflective, and engaging. . . plenty of genuine gems of insight." - Kirkus Reviews.
      "Think of this book as a remix that might help you tap into your own creativity and trust your intuition." - Esquire.
      "The exceedingly credentialed Questlove devotes his fifth book to creativity: what it is and how to pursue it. His near-devotional fascination with and research into the subject over the course of three decades as an artist make for an infectiously winde-ranging blend of stories, advice, and exercises. There couldn't be a better author for this befittingly open-minded, endlessly inspiring deep dive into creative processes." - Booklist.

      (Picador/MPS)
      DARWIN COMES TO TOWN: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution by Menno Schilthuizen
      One of our foremost ecologists shows us how our manmade environments are accelerating and changing the evolution of the animals and plants around us. Menno Schilthuizen shares a vision of urban evolution in which humans and wildlife co-exist in a unique harmony, providing a glimmer of hope that our race toward over-population might not take the rest of nature down with us.
      "As appealing as it is informative. . . Schilthuizen does a superb job of introducing important ecological principles along the way, leaving readers with a fascinating question: 'Can we harness the power of urban evolution to use it to make more livable cities for the future?'" - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "In this delightful account, readers who assume that pigeons, cockroaches, and rats are the only representatives of city biology will learn that it is far more complex. An expert romp through urban natural history." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Brims with absorbing, evocative stories, but it's also cutting-edge science. Schilthuizen's book makes for essential reading. But don't expect a dry textbook: he's written an enthralling account that stands out from the pack of environmental literature." - The New York Journal of Books.
      "In Japan, carrion crows have learnt to crack open walnuts by dropping them beneath the wheels of cars. Coyotes have moved into Chicago, leopards into Mumbai. In Leiden, sparrows nest in cycle racks, and in Mexico City sparrows and finches line their nests with cigarette butts (the nicotine acts as an insecticide). A spellbinding and important book. . . the message is thrilling." - The Times (U.K.).

      (Grove/PGW)
      One of the Ten Best Books of the Year: The New York Times
      SMALL FRY: A Memoir by 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.
    • Poetry: Recently Released (Aisle 2-A)

      (Knopf/Random)
      THE OCTOPUS MUSEUM: Poems by Brenda Shaughnessy
      A stunning collection of bold and scathingly beautiful feminist poetry that imagines what comes after our current age of environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics. These heartbreaking, terrified poems are the battle cry of a woman who is fighting for the survival of the world she loves, and a stirring exhibition of who we are as a civilization.
      "A highly original look at the world as it is today and the dangers we seem intent on inflicting upon ourselves. . . Shaughnessy writes startling poems that are both intellectually wide-ranging and emotionally riveting." - The New York Journal of Books
      "Shaughnessy imagines a dystopian future in which octopuses reign, while humans receive their just deserts for centuries of environmental devastation. With an unparalleled ear for language, Shaughnessy excels at making the tragic transcendent." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Like octopuses, Shaughnessy's poems manage to be both fleshy and cerebral, concerned with a self that breathes through fragile skin. She offers up these beautiful innards through her words; they twist agony into acceptance only to return and be picked apart again, a recognizable cycle of motherhood and womanhood - humanhood, depending on your definition." - The Paris Review.
      "If they are often bleak, Shaughnessy's poems are also very funny. Shaughnessy can also write the kind of line that is confusing in its beauty, whose beauty exceeds its sense, which is the thing I go to poetry for - lines that can be read and reread without exhausting their potential meaning." - The New York Times.

      (Graywolf/MPS)
      Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets
      BRUTE: Poems by Emily Skaja
      An introduction to a new and unforgettable voice in American poetry. Emily Skaja's debut collection is a fiery, hypnotic book that confronts the dark questions and menacing silences around gender, sexuality, and violence.
      "In Brute, the anguish comes from an emotionally abusive lover and the abrupt end of a relationship. As the speaker excavates her grief and disbelief, she slowly moves from self-condemnation to a fiery insistence that she can overcome her boyfriend's damaging assessments of her worth and reclaim the power she once had. The speaker's brutal honesty and emotional transformation offer an engrossing guide for anyone dealing with a devastating loss." - The Washington Post
      "Skaja's poems are both primal scream-songs and elegies to the end of a relationship. With relentless, driving energy, Skaja's poems seek brutal truths while searching for meaningful transformation." - Booklist.
      "Emily Skaja reaches for nature in Brute to overcome the loss of an abusive lover, to overcome grief. Skaja knows exactly how to engage nature, readers, and life. Her diverse poetics prove her broad range of skills. She takes risks. . . All poems in Brute flow with precision and ease." - The New York Review of Books.
      "What happens when rage and grief transform us, when our bodily fury makes us feel animal? What language do we use to howl such feral moments? These are the questions that animate Skaja's taut, ferocious debut. This is a book about survival, and a welcome, confident debut." - The New York Times.
    • Young Adult & Juvenile Fiction & Non-Fiction: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)

      (Knopf/Random)
      THE BOOK OF DUST: LA BELLE SAUVAGE by Philip Pullman
      Renowned storyteller Pullman returns to the parallel world of Lyra Belacqua and The Golden Compass for a thrilling and epic adventure in which daemons, alethiometers, and the Magisterium all play a part.
      "People will love the first volume of Philip Pullman's new trilogy with the same helpless vehemence that stole over them when The Golden Compass came out. Reading this novel is like standing in a room in which suddenly all of the windows have blown open at once." — Slate.
      "Magisterial storytelling will sweep readers along; the cast is as vividly drawn as ever; and big themes running beneath the surface invite profound responses and reflection." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Enthralling, enchanting. . . Too few things in our world are worth a seventeen year wait: The Book of Dust is one of them." — The Washington Post.
      "Luminous prose, heady philosophical questions, and a lovable protagonist combine with a gripping plot sure to enchant fans and newcomers alike." — School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
      "A stunning achievement. . . The author of the trilogy His Dark Materials carries on the story of one of literature's most indelible heroines. Lyra Silvertongue, Lyra Belacqua, but really just Lyra: one of those characters - Pip, Emma, Lolita - who is on first-name terms with her public. It will be devoured." — The New York Times.

      (Harper)
      THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT by Misa Sugiura
      Mild-mannered teenager C.J. Katsuyama has trouble living up to her ambitious mother's expectations, but finds her true calling when she has to save her aunt's business from a predatory company with a history of preying on the defenseless. A thrilling coming-of-age novel that weaves riveting family drama, surprising humor, and delightful romance into a story that will draw readers in from the very first page.
      "Deftly questions accountability for past injustices. . . Sugiura tackles an abundance of topics with finesse, including social and economic injustice, allyship, and feminism, simultaneously breaking down the Asian-American immigration narrative and the myth of the model minority. Essential." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "C.J.'s emotional landscape is a nonstop roller coaster. Her inner thoughts crackle with an angst and self-doubt that teens will find engaging. Sugiura's deep dive into mother-daughter relationships, the fragility of self-worth, and the gathering of courage resonates deeply." - Booklist.
      "Set in present-day California, this is a gripping, emotionally charged story that presents an interesting window into a uniquely Japanese American experience that deserves attention. Although a work of fiction, the novel discusses the present influence of devastating American history and counters the idea that past experiences of injustice no longer affect the modern landscape. Sugiura's writing perfectly blends these important themes and more as readers travel through very real emotions with a teen attempting to grow up." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***.

      (Viking/Random)
      SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson
      Inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published in 1999, bestselling author Anderson presents a searing poetic memoir in which she shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. This is a work that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless.
      "A captivating, powerful read about clawing your way out of trauma, reclaiming your body, and undoing lifetimes of lessons in order to use your voice as the weapon it is. Fervent and deafening." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "In this powerful memoir told in free verse, Anderson delves into her past. . . Her potent words and willingness to shout her message are proof of the soundness of that advice." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "In searing free verse, Anderson unloads decades of trauma on these pages. . . Anderson fans will appreciate this deeply personal look into how the author channeled her pain into the writing of Speak, and readers new to her work will be swept up in her singular style, which melds bold honesty with fluttering moments of lyrical beauty." - Bookpage *** starred review ***.
      "With Speak, Anderson opened the door for more novels exploring the deeply felt and deeply personal aftermath of sexual violence. Shout serves as both a testament to the life-altering, lifesaving impact of these types of stories - and as an urgent and brutal reminder of their ongoing necessity." - The New York Times.

      (Harper)
      KING'S CAGE by Victoria Aveyard
      The third installment of The Red Queen series - a sweeping tale of power, intrigue, and betrayal. Mare Barrow, the "Lightning Girl" who once led a revolution, is now held captive by her enemies and allegiances are tested on all sides.
      "A sizzling, imaginative thriller, where romance and revolution collide, where power and justice duel. It's exhilarating. Compelling. Action-packed. Unputdownable." - USA Today.
      "Aveyard's 'little lightning girl' remains a relatable and deeply flawed heroine. . . Aveyard adeptly sets the scene for a fourth book to follow, amid a war not yet won." - Publishers Weekly.
      "Aveyard allows the dizzyingly large fleet of characters room to gain new depth. Mare's romantic entanglements shift and sizzle, but the true intrigue lies in the ever expanding war for the crown as the players grow and change games. Simmering with internal conflict and well-devised courtly scheming." - Kirkus Reviews.
      "Aveyard sets her audience up for a gaspworthy twist that reconfigures nearly every character's role and leaves Mare with no one to trust but herself. This blend of fantasy and dystopia will be an unexpected and worthy addition to many genre fans' reading list." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.

      (Ember/Random)
      A National Book Award Finalist | A Michael L. Printz Honor Book
      A New York Times Notable Book | A BuzzFeed Best YA Book of the Year
      A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens

      THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
      Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. Daniel is the good son, the good student, living up to his parents' high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But a chance encounter on a crowded city street changes everything. . .
      "Carefully plotted and distinctly narrated in Natasha's and Daniel's voices; yet it also allows space for the lives that are swirling around them. . . It's lyrical and sweeping, full of hope, heartbreak, fate, and free will. Every day, like every book, begins full of possibility, but this one holds more than others." - Booklist *** Editor's Choice ***.
      "Is it fate or chance that brings people together? This is the question posed in this impressively multilayered tale of a one-day romance. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of every character she introduces, Yoon weaves an intricate web of threads connecting strangers as she delves into the personal histories of her protagonists, as well as the emotions and conflicts of others who cross their paths. A moving and suspenseful portrayal of a fleeting relationship." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Natasha and Daniel meet and fall in love during 12 intense hours in New York City. Yoon's lush prose chronicles an authentic romance that's also a meditation on family, immigration, and fate. With appeal to cynics and romantics alike, this profound exploration of life and love tempers harsh realities with the beauty of hope in a way that is both deeply moving and satisfying." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "A new classic. . . The lives of two immigrants teens collide in NYC - despite impossible odds and with unimaginable potential. Our young heroes go through all the phases of dramatic love in just over 12 hours: introduction, attraction, infatuation, confrontation, separation, realization, reconciliation." - The Chistian Science Monitor.
    • Children's Books: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)

      (Balzer & Bray/Harper)
      PAX by Sara Pennypacker | Illustrated by Jon Klassen
      A National Book Award-nominated title, this is a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling story about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox.
      "Pennypacker's elegant language and insight into human nature spin a fable extolling empathy above all. By the novel's poignant ending, Pennypacker has gently made the case that all of us should aspire to that view - children and adults alike." - Time Magazine.
      "A meditation on the bond between children and animals, and how the longing for closeness to the animal world shapes childhood. . . What makes the book truly remarkable are two things: the quality of Pennypacker's prose, which is sharp and restless and vulpine, and the pull of the love between Peter and Pax. Pax the book is like Pax the fox: half wild and wholly beautiful." - The New York Times.
      "The author of the award-winning Clementine books steps aside from her popular series to break new ground in this arresting novel, at once a wilderness adventure about survival and a philosophical foray into big questions." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
      "Both fox and boy grow in unexpected ways. While there's a lot of emotional complexity here, the focus is solidly on the earthy, tense wilderness adventure, which is likely what will draw young readers most. Pennypacker's expert, evenhanded storytelling reveals stunning depth in a relatively small package. This adventure story will easily find a wildly enthusiastic audience." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "A viscerally affecting story of war, loss, and the power of friendship. Pennypacker displays not only her formidable writing skills and a willingness to stretch her storytelling into increasingly complex narrative forms but also her ability to tackle dark and weighty themes with sensitivity and respect for the child reader. A startling work of fiction that should be read - and discussed - by children and adults alike." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***.

      (Harper)
      HOW TO READ A BOOK by Kwame Alexander | Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
      Newbery Medalist author Kwame Alexander and Caldecott Honoree illustator Melissa Sweet join forces to take children on a poetic and sensory journey through the experience of reading.
      "A linguistic and visual feast. . . The orchestration of finding magic between pages is an art emphasized but unexplained - until now. Not only does the book explain how to read, but it also demonstrates the elegant and emotive chaos awaiting readers in an intricate partnership of text and image." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Who better to illustrate this delicious poem than Caldecott Honoree Sweet? Not a splash of color, a piece of paper, or a line is out of place. A beautiful book not to be rushed through, but to be enjoyed morsel by tasty morsel." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***. "An engaging and mesmerizing ode to reading. Beginning with the captivating front endpapers that contain a poem and letters of the alphabet, this title is a treat to ears and eyes with its lyrical language and visual metaphors." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "This love poem to literacy conjures up startling, luscious images...By turns dreamy and ecstatic." - Publishers Weekly.

      (Hyperion)
      BECAUSE by Mo Willems | Illustrated by Amber Ren
      A series of events, some seemingly very insignificant, lead to a young girl attending a life-changing concert. Acclaimed children's author Mo Willems composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl's journey to center stage. Illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems' music to life, conducting a stunning picture-book debut.
      "A wonderful vision of the powerful emotions that music evokes - building on the idea that it takes multiple players to create something wonderful." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Writing simply but powerfully about inspiration, Willems creates a narrative that will resonate with both children and adults. Ren uses expressive line drawings and subtle washes of color to illustrate this unusual story. Her depiction of music brings a sense of enchantment to the pages. This radiant picture book celebrates the magical, far-reaching power of serendipity. That sound you hear is this new collaboration soaring off the shelves." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Willems presents an artfully written dedication to the power of music and those who live for it. Ren's lively and deeply saturated cartoon illustrations delightfully capture the audacity and power of inspiration as a little girl gets taken to a concert and enjoys a symphony orchestra performance. The experience is so transcendent that she becomes galvanized to create music of her own. In order to get to that point, however, there were other people whose passions and hard work paved the way for that little girl in row C, seat 14. VERDICT: An iconic book not only for musicians and music lovers but also for anyone wishing to celebrate those who came before them and those who come after." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***.

      (Henry Holt/MPS)
      IT FEELS GOOD TO BE YOURSELF: A Book about Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn | Illustrated by Noah Grigni
      This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. Written by the mother of a transgender child and illustrated by a transgender artist, this picture book provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.
      "An inclusive primer about gender that integrates vocabulary words and definitions into the text. The spirit of free expression and creativity infuses every spread of this inclusive exploration." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "This expansive, straightforward framing of gender emphasizes curiosity, joy, and positive self-expression. Illustrator Grigni's full-bleed images are magical in their jewel-toned palette. Among gender-centered picture books, this one stands out for its dazzling art and its simple yet nuanced phrasing. Giving kids and adults a hopeful model for discussing (and embracing) one another's gender is just one of the gifts offered by this valuable narrative. Exceptional." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "As the song has it, we're living in a big, wide wonderful world. And this book is a welcome addition to it, as it fills a large gap in the literature." - Booklist *** starred review ***.

      (Little Brown/Hachette)
      SWARM OF BEES by Lemony Snicket | Illustrated by Rilla Alexander
      A brilliantly illustrated picture book that takes on an intense childhood emotion - anger. Whether you're a kid or a bee, sometimes you feel so mad, you buzz around looking for people to sting and trouble to make. See how one boy, a swarm of bees, and a whole town can get riled up and then find a way to feel better through the comfort of unconditional love and community.
      "Snicket's dark humor permeates and pairs well with Alexander's bold color illustrations. Readers will delight in finding hidden clues of what is to come. A great lesson that sometimes we all have a bee in our bonnet, and it can affect others, but still comfort and redemption can be found. VERDICT: A buzzworthy book that tackles an often negated feeling in a bold new way." - School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
      "The artwork perfectly enhances the text, balancing its emotional depth with comedic beats. Rarely does a design so fully consider how images tell a story from cover to cover, from the swarm leading the eyes to the ingenious use of shapes, color, patterns, negative space, and framing. Mischief-makers will be captivated by its humor and promise of unconditional love and forgiveness; their caregivers will appreciate the exploration of emotions and possible responses. A witty, thought-provoking triumph." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Snicket's quirky narrative voice and observations of events both great and lowly make this a fine read aloud - and a sure cure for a bad mood." - Publishers Weekly.

      (Haymarket)
      CINDERELLA LIBERATOR by Rebecca Solnit | Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
      In her debut children's book, Rebecca Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from Arthur Rackham on each page.
      "With wit and tenderness, Solnit lights up the imagination. . . the contrast between Cinderella's down-to-earth, relatable progression and Arthur Rackham's timeless silhouettes elevates this picture book into an art object. It feels entirely fresh, and yet, with a whimsical silhouette on every page, like a tribute to all the Cinderellas who have captivated readers for centuries. I would treasure reading Solnit's rendition to kids." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
      "Solnit retells the classic story in a way that liberates each character. Emerging from these simply worded, profound, richly rewarding pages is Solnit the literary artist, Solnit the revolutionary, Solnit the enchanter, Solnit the subtle and endlessly delightful satirist, Solnit the sage." - Brainpickings.
      "Being a princess is absolutely fine if that's what you choose. It's having those choices taken away from you that make for big problems. Cinderella in Solnit's book is given that choice. She's allowed to say what her dreams are, and then she goes out and attains them. And they're not huge ridiculous dreams but small, happy, manageable ones. Ultimately, that's the gift Ms. Solnit is giving kids with this book." - School Library Journal.
      "Solnit recasts this familiar story into a tale that is fundamentally about freedom. The decision to use Arthur Rackham's original cut-paper silhouette illustrations was a brilliant choice. This is, hands down, a wonderful book - one that even the jaded reader will clasp upon completion with a contented sigh." - The New York Times.

      (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
      ANOTHER by Christian Robinson
      In his eagerly anticipated debut as author-illustrator, the Caldecott and Coretta Scott King honoree for Last Stop on Market Street takes young readers on a playful, imaginative journey into another world where they encounter another perspective - and perhaps another version of themselves.
      "The simple geometry of Robinson's work comes alive in this expanse of wordless narrative. A fearless use of white space and an utter disregard of conventions of direction encourage readers to engage with the physical book as the story unfolds, touching and turning it as they literally take the narrative into their hands." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Robinson makes this wholly original wordless fantasy utterly coherent thanks to clutter-free, digitally tweaked paint-and-collage art that pointedly doesn't hide its real-world seams (brushstrokes, crumpled paper). Readers will gladly surrender to this mind-bending romp." - Shelf Awareness.
      "Both beautiful and fanciful. . . vibrant shapes reminiscent of Paul Klee or Piet Mondrian fill the pages. A work of art and celebration of childhood for all libraries." - School Library Journal.
      "Robinson's first book as both author and illustrator is a gentle, wordless wonder. Flat-out adorable. . . a unique kind of enchantment." - The New York Times.
    • Comics and Graphic Novels - Children (Children's Book Section)

      (First Second/MPS)
      LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME by Mariko Tamaki | Illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
      Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. A hilarious and poignant story of teen heartbreak and friendship.
      "Stunning artwork, which masterfully captures the mood with gestures and facial expressions. . . Tamaki truly gets to the heart of the struggle to balance the intoxicating allure of being loved by someone thrilling and a desire for a healthy, autonomous sense of identity, all in pitch-perfect teen dialogue. Touching gently but powerfully on topics of bullying, homophobia, and toxic relationships, this superb graphic novel has its finger on the pulse of teenage concerns." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Tamaki explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O'Connell's art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink. A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "This exploration of toxic relationships and social dynamics at the cusp of adulthood is, like its cast, sharp and dazzling." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Tamaki and Valero-O'Connell's tender-hearted narrative sings with real, honest emotion that will resonate with anyone trying to figure out love." - The New York Times.

      (First Second/MPS)
      THIS WAS OUR PACT by Ryan Andrews
      On the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when townsfolk float paper lanterns down the river, Ben and his classmates make a pact to find out where the lanterns end up. Soon the pact is broken by all except for Ben and Nathaniel, who travel down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship.
      "Andrews explores the distinctive, though related, ways cultures can mark a shared experience, and how kids who start out as annoyed and annoying acquaintances can turn into genuine friends. A great starting point for fantasy lovers who haven't yet embraced graphic novels. Do not let the Autumn Equinox (September 23) catch the library without a copy of this in the collection." - Bulletin of Center for Childrens Books *** starred review ***.
      "An original and much-needed view of the complex world of middle-school friendships." - The New York Times.
      "Andrews' marvelously melancholic, earnest graphic novel, is at its core an exercise in whimsical self-reflection. This story's a quiet one in which danger flickers and hope flares at odd but fruitful moments. The primarily blue and red mixed-media pictures underscore how nighttime sometimes promises transformation. Brilliantly enchanting." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      Richly imagined and complexly emotional. This was Our Pact may owe some of its eerie melancholy and occasionally menacing absurdity to the likes of Lewis Carroll and Shaun Tan, but its message is distinctly its own: what you imagine to be the end of the journey maybe satisfying, but the adventure actually goes on as long as you keep riding down the road." - Booklist *** starred review ***
    • Comics and Graphic Novels - Adults (Wall Display)

      (Nan A. Talese/Random)
      THE HANDMAID'S TALE: The Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood | Illustrated by Renee Nault
      The graphic novel adaptation of Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel.
      "Equal parts gorgeous and horrifying. . . Nault takes great advantage of the graphic form. Skillfully done; the tale's relevance and Nault's talent are undeniable." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Nault spectacularly transforms lines and color into fear, resignation, desperation, and the tiniest glimmers of hope. She draws with precision; most piercing throughout are her affecting uses of color." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Nault's illustrations are haunting and delicately ethereal. It's almost guilt inducing to be so captivated by the beauty of her art, so effectively does it depict the horror of Offred's experiences. At times following the narrative word for word and at other times expanding the plot to portray deeper themes of fear, determined resistance, and the complicity of the public, each frame melds with the text until neither can exist without the other. VERDICT: A must-read." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
      "This is great comics. If you agree that the most basic definition of comics is a fluid dance between words and pictures, you will very likely be struck by the beauty of this book. What Nault has done here is stunning." - Seattle Review of Books.

      (Quirk/Random)
      GIRAFFES ON HORSEBACK SALAD: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made by Josh Frank & Tim Heidecker | Illustrated by Manuela Pertega
      The long-lost script of a Marx Brothers film written by modern art icon Salvador Dali, recreated as a graphic novel in all its full-color, cinematic, surreal glory.
      "The story follows Jimmy, a Spanish aristocrat living in exile, as he becomes infatuated with a mysterious figure known as the Woman Surreal and finds himself in a world gone mad with bizarre imagery and Groucho's quips in equal measure. Artist Pertega excels at portraying dreamlike illustrations. VERDICT: A fascinating project inspired by obvious passion from everyone involved." - Library Journal.
      "Don't even try to understand; just revel in the weirdness, along with the wonderful photographs and other archival material Frank includes in this book." - NPR.
      "This graphic novel is utterly one of a kind. The overall page compositions are exceptional, bursting with motion, mind-bending patterns, and wildly shifting color schemes. This messy, imperfect, fearless visual buffet is almost certainly better than any film version would have been." - Publishers Weekly.
      "This book is a gallery, a museum, a riotous romp of art that reverberates through personal and public history and will make your dwelling's shelves (and your mind) a little loonier." - The Austin Chronicle.

      (One World/Random)
      GOOD TALK by Mira Jacob
      Trying to answer her son Jacob's questions, Mira Jacob delivers a deeply relatable graphic memoir that takes on racism, love, and the election of President Trump.
      "A masterful mix of pictures and words to speak on life's most uncomfortable conversations." - io9.
      "A showstopping memoir about race in America, by turns funny, philosophical, cautious, and heartbreaking. Particularly moving are striking pen-and-ink drawings collaged onto vibrant found photographs and illustrated backgrounds. Told with immense bravery and candor, this book will make readers hunger for more of Jacob's wisdom and light." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Creates an odd, immediate intimacy. . . Mira Jacob employs pages of narrative prose sparingly but hauntingly. The 'talks' Jacob relates are painful, often hilarious, and sometimes absurd, but her memoir makes a fierce case for continuing to have them." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Grace and disarming wit. . . The book lives up to its title, and reading these searching, often hilarious tête-à-têtes—with her parents and brother, confidantes and strangers, employers and exes is as effortless as eavesdropping on a crosstown bus. The medium is part of the magic of Good Talk. The old comic-book alchemy of words and pictures opens up new possibilities of feeling." - The New York Times.
    • Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)

      (Harper)
      THE ORACLE YEAR by Charles Soule
      When an unassuming musician named Will Dando awakens from a dream one morning with 108 predictions about the future in his head, he rapidly finds himself the most powerful man in the world. Delivering fast-paced adventure on a global scale as well as sharp-witted satire on our concepts of power and faith, Marvel writer Charles Soule's audacious debut novel takes readers on a rollicking ride where it's impossible to predict what will happen next.
      "Wildly entertaining. . . the relentless pacing, richly developed characters, and brilliant ending make this apocalyptic speculative thriller an undeniable page-turner." - Publishers Weekly
      "A whip-smart thriller that employs the tiniest bit of speculative fiction, spinning an entertaining, keenly satirical tale about behavior and causality. Soule finesses Will's dilemma with a Byzantine plot in which Will and his companions can't tell if the prophecies are coalescing into a dangerous endgame or their very lives are being manipulated by the arc of the predictions. A thrilling, noodle-bending adventure that keeps readers guessing until the very end" - Kirkus Reviews.
      "Moves with suspense and well-coordinated attention. Herein is Soule's greatest victory: The riots for and against the Oracle, the government operations, the religious sermons and the attempts to prove the predictions wrong all feel grounded and born out of a fully aware, digital world. Soule has delivered a realistic meditation on the consequences of being different. If The Oracle Year predicts the future, we need more people like Will Dando leading us there." - BookPage *** starred review ***
      "A fast-paced thrill ride; a marvelous novel filled with significant twists and turns and unforgettable characters. The contemporary human condition is explored in the context of understanding the veracity of future events. What sort of power comes from knowing the future and what sort of danger does such knowledge engender? This volatile and unpredictable novel will entertain and keep you guessing until the very end." - The New York Journal of Books

      (One World/Random)
      A PEOPLE'S FUTURE OF THE UNITED STATES: Speculative Fiction from 25 Extraordinary Writers edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
      Imagination has always been an act of resistance. . . An extraordinarily talented group of writers contribute stories to this spectacular collection of twenty-five tales that blend the dark and the light, the dystopian and the utopian. This is thrilling and inspiring short fiction that challenges oppressive American myths, releases us from the chokehold of our history, and gives us new futures to believe in.
      "Challenges the ideas of who the people of the future United States might be - and therefore also challenges assumptions about who the people of the United States are now. Within all of the futures contained here, there remain people, people whose marginalizations, whose existence on the edges of what some ideologies would think of as America, have given them profound depths of resilience. These futures are not easy. But they show us how we too might find ways to live, and live well, no matter what is coming." - NPR
      "Strange and wondrous. . . This anthology is highly recommended for any speculative fiction reader, particularly those interested in the possibilities of science fiction to critique the present through visions of the future." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "An outstanding collection written by 25 heavy hitters of speculative fiction, offering dazzling and often chilling glimpses of an uncertain future in which America teeters on the brink. Each story builds a plausible extrapolation of the current world, and each character is well drawn. This bold collection is full of hope, strength, and courage, and will be welcomed by readers looking for emotional sustenance and validation of their experiences in a challenging time." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
      "A rock-solid collection whose quality never wavers - every story is a standalone reward. This kind of provocative and passionate writing illustrates just how valuable and powerful speculative fiction can be; these stories help show who we are by looking toward who we might become." - The Maine Edge

      (Penguin)
      GAMESHOUSE by Claire North
      The World Fantasy Award-winning author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August presents a mesmerizing tale of a gambling house whose deadly games of chance and skill control the fate of empires.
      "A twisty tale of intrigue and games played for the highest possible stakes. North creates a dark, atmospheric world in 17th-century Venice, then moves to a high-stakes, suspenseful game of hide-and-seek all over Thailand in 1938, and finally a world-spanning game of chess played for control of the Gameshouse itself. An unusual, intriguing novel that's both a paranoid fantasy about a world where anyone can be bought and a broody tale about what really matters when anything can be gambled away." — Kirkus Reviews
      "Another captivating novel from one of the most intriguing and genre-bending novelists currently working in the intersection between thriller and science fiction." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "A terrifying setting that feels rooted to the present day. . . Imbued with a menace that feels both recognizable and urgent, and the decisions the characters make as a result feel uncomfortably real." — RT Book Reviews
      "Consistently thoughtful fiction like this needs to be championed. I'll admit it, I'm a little in awe of the author. Her work is sublime. . . Claire North deserves your undivided attention. Buy the book, read it. Your brain will thank you. If there was a rating higher than highly recommended this book would receive it." — Minneapolis Star Tribune.

      (TOR/MPS)
      AMNESTY (Book 3 in the Amberlough Dossier) by Lara Elena Donnelly
      The heart-pounding conclusion to Lara Elena Donnelly's award-nominated trilogy (which began with Amberlough and Armistice) deals with revenge and retribution as the decadent city of Amberlough strives to rebuild itself from the ashes of revolution. Now, a rising politician is determined to bring Amberlough's traitors to justice, but does he have the right targets in his sights?
      "Set in a vibrant Art Deco milieu, Donnelly's characters smoke, drink, meet clandestinely, scheme, and doublecross, trying to make the best of circumstances that require a series of unenviable compromises. Amnesty attempts, after systematically stripping away all its characters' pretenses, to answer the question: 'Can spies ever really come in from the cold?' A fitting finale for the series; the experience of reading it is somewhat like watching an elegant train wreck in progress and wondering if there will be any survivors." — Booklist
      "Bracing and timely. . . Donnelly has successfully built upon her intricate, lush world of passionate spies and turncoats, and each character leaps off the page in this satisfying novel that succeeds on both grand and intimate scales." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "A tightly woven and diverse cast of spies, criminals, cabaret bohemians, and lovers struggles to save what matters to each of them. . . A sense of inevitable loss and futility permeates this rich drama. . . This is a series for readers who enjoy luxuriating in rich prose, sharp dialogue, and detailed interpersonal histories." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***

      (Orbit/Hachette)
      SIXTEEN WAYS TO DEFEND A WALLED CITY by K. J. Parker
      A remarkable tale of the siege of a walled city, and the even more remarkable man who had to defend it. A siege is approaching, and the city has little time to prepare. The people have no food and no weapons, and the enemy has sworn to slaughter them all. To save the city will take a miracle, but what the city does have is Colonel Orhan. An engineer, Orhan has far more experience with bridge-building than battles. He's also a cheat and a liar, and has serious problems with authority. He may be perfect for the job.
      "Parker, the more sly and bitter pseudonym of British fantasist Tom Holt, launches a witty adventure series set in a fictional world with features similar to the Roman Empire. Orhan is a comical, exceptionally lucky, unreliable narrator. Readers will appreciate the infusion of humor and fun-loving characters into this vivid and sometimes grim fantasy world." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "An unexpected book that felt really unparalleled in style to anything I've read recently with an incredibly snarky and dry-witted protagonist. There's a strong air of intrigue and uncertainty at times that makes the entire story that much more compelling. Highly recommended." — Forever Lost in Literature
      "I had no idea what to expect other than what little the synopsis gave me. What I got was a wildly entertaining book with a narrator that both kept me on my toes and in stitches from laughter. I loved every page of it and thought it was downright hilarious at times without lessening the severity of the situation." — Powder and Page
      "Parker's acerbic wit and knowledge of human nature are a delight to read." — RT Book Reviews
    • Mystery, Suspense, Crime, Espionage Fiction: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)

      (Penguin/Random)
      POISON THREAD by Laura Purcell
      An imprisoned seamstress claims her needle and thread have the power to kill. A fascinating Victorian gothic thriller - truly memorable. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
      "Purcell crafts a virtually flawless work of Gothic fiction with this deeply atmospheric, foreboding story. Reminiscent of the work of all the greats, particularly Shirley Jackson and Daphne du Maurier, but Purcell has a style all her own. A must." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
      "Inspired by an 18th-century murder case involving a milliner and her daughter, Purcell expertly threads splashes of Grand Guignol violence with dark gothic atmosphere to make for a chilling and engrossing read." - Kirkus Reviews.
      "Intricate, atmospheric and chilling - with a wonderfully dark premise at its heart. Phantasmic thrills. . . A true page-turner." - The Times (U.K.).
      "The novel's suspenseful plot is a fittingly knotty one. What elevates Purcell's novel is its inflection with issues of class, race, gender, and educational inequities, upon which much of the novel's dramatic irony relies. A smart and sophisticated historical thriller." - Publishers Weekly.
      "A compelling slice of early Victorian gothic. Vivid and well researched, this book is an evocative portrait of a society that punishes women who dare to contravene social norms. A splendid mystery with suitably melodramatic flourishes." - The Guardian (U.K.).

      (Tin House/Norton)
      WHO IS VERA KELLY? by Rosalie Knecht
      It's the 1960s. . . The quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills of Vera Kelly, a troubled young girl living in Greenwich Village, get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA. Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with infiltrating a group of student activists. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, she learns the Cold War makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself.
      "The author has sly, intelligent fun with the idea that the mindset necessary to live as a closeted queer woman transfers seamlessly to high-stakes espionage work. It's hard to gauge which generates more exquisite tension, performing as an undercover agent or suffocating in the closet in the years before liberation. By the end of Who is Vera Kelly? the reader is rooting for Vera to claim her much deserved personal freedom as much as succeed as a spy." - NPR.
      "A coming-of-age story meets spy thriller. . . Knecht's crisp prose moves swiftly as Vera tails suspects and also accommodates moments of increasing self-awareness. This is the character readers have been waiting for. A riveting, satisfying novel." - Kirkus Reviews.
      "Gripping. . . Vera is a charming narrator, especially among the ranks of spy thriller leads. This is a promising subversion of the classic espionage novel, one which would lend itself well to a sequel or series to come." - Publishers Weekly.
      "Forget about 007. This heroine has her own brand of spycraft. It's refreshing to read a novel where a capable young woman not only knows how to fix an electrical short in a transformer, but also how to maneuver around the homophobic biases of her own era." - The Washington Post.

      (Berkley/Penguin)
      ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S 10 BEST THRILLERS AND MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR
      ONE OF PUBLISHERS WEEKLY'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

      OUR HOUSE by Louise Candlish
      When Fiona Lawson arrives home to find strangers moving into her house, she is plunged into confusion. She and her husband, Bram, have owned their home on Trinity Avenue for years; how can another family possibly think the house is theirs? As confusion escalates into nightmare, Fiona begins to untangle the lies that led to a devastating crime - and a betrayal so shocking it will teach her to keep her own secrets behind locked doors.
      "Particularly inspired. . . British author Candlish makes her U.S. debut with an artfully plotted, affecting page-turner setting up a truly killer climax. American fans of domestic suspense will want to see more from this talented author." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "A twisty domestic thriller that features everything readers enjoy about the genre: dark secrets, unreliable narrators, a fast-moving plot, and a terrifyingly plausible premise. This could be summer's breakout hit." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Superb. . . Candlish skillfully portrays Fiona's friendships with other wives. . . Few male writers could have captured these women as shrewdly and affectionately as Candlish has. We read on, wondering if Fiona's house can be saved, or if a happy ending might somehow emerge. In fact, the ending Candlish has devised is devastating." - The Washington Post.
      "The 'how' and 'why' are only gradually revealed in this intriguing novel. British author Candlish is skilled at portraying families in critical situations and ramping up the suspense. She does both here, in an absorbing plot with surprising twists until the final page. A sure bet for fans of family drama, mystery, and suspense." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.

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