YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT:
FAVORITE BOOKS & STAFF PICKS
BOOKS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT:
Here's a list of some outstanding current and forthcoming titles on our shelves. These are books that offer something
special superb writing by talented authors, a riveting reading experience, unforgettable characters, intriguing concepts,
fascinating subject matter, impeccable scholarship, or just sheer literary entertainment.
These are books that truly deserve your attention...
Drop by Walden Pond Books at 3316 Grand Avenue and browse. Or - if you see a book listed here that you know you've
just got to read immediately - call us at 510-832-4438 and we'll hold that title for you at the front counter or ship directly to your home.
- Fiction: Recently Released in Hardcover (Front Display)
|AMERICAN WAR: A Novel by Omar El Akkad|
The Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. Oil is outlawed, Louisiana is half underwater, and unmanned drones fill the sky.
Award-winning journalist Akkad's gripping and frightening debut novel takes off from current American political and environmental issues to imagine a bleak and savage not-too-distant future.
"Explosive! El Akkad has created a brilliantly well-crafted, profoundly shattering saga of one family's suffering in a world of brutal power struggles, terrorism, ignorance, and vengeance. American War is a gripping, unsparing, and essential novel for dangerously contentious times." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Terrifyingly plausible. . . Part family chronicle, part apocalyptic fable, American War is a vivid narrative of a country collapsing in on itself." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"In El Akkad's debut novel, the second American Civil War has broken out, and six-year-old Sarat Chestnut is herded into a displaced persons camp with her family. There, a mysterious official begins training her to be a weapon of war. VERDICT: Well written, inventive, and engaging, this relentlessly dark tale introduces a fascinating character in Sarat. Highly recommended!" Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Follow the tributaries of today's political combat a few decades into the future and you might arrive at something as terrifying as Omar El Akkad's debut novel,
American War. Across these scarred pages rages the clash that many of us are anxiously speculating about in the Trump era: a nation riven by irreconcilable ideologies, alienated by entrenched suspicions. . . both poignant and horrifying." The Washington Post.
"Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, an allegory of past conflicts or a study of the psychology of war, American War is a deeply unsettling novel.
The only comfort the story offers is that it's a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway." The New York Times.
|LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders|
Short story virtuoso George Saunders delivers his first novel - a spellbinding story of love
and loss that breaks free of its historical framework into a hilarious and terrifying supernatural realm.
While mourning the passing of his son Willie in a Georgetown graveyard in his first year as President, Abraham Lincoln is accosted by the ghosts of dead Americans who
are trapped in the Bardo - a transitional state between death and the next realm. As the spirits condemn, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance,
the new President discovers that what is at stake is the fate of his son's soul.
"A stunningly powerful work, both in its imagery and its intense focus on death, this remarkable work of historical fiction gives an intimate view of 19th-century fears and mores." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A wild and wily improvisation that mirrors, by turns, the ambience of Hieronymus Bosch and Tim Burton. A boldly imagined,
exquisitely sensitive, sharply funny, and utterly unnerving historical and metaphysical drama." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"The novel beats with a present-day urgency - a nation at war with itself, the unbearable grief of a father who has lost a child, and a howling congregation of ghosts, as divided in death as in life, unwilling to move on." Vogue.
"A true artist charting hidden creative territory. . . a luminous feat of generosity and humanism. In the graveyards slaves and slavers, drunkards and priests, soldiers of
doomed regiments, suicides and virgins, are assembled a country. The wretched and the brave, and such is Saunderss magnificent portraiture that readers will recognize
in this wretchedness and bravery aspects of their own characters as well. He has gathered 'sweet fools' here, and we are counted among their number." The New York Times.
WINNER OF THE 2017 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley
Eleven people - ten privileged, and one down-on-his-luck painter - depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable
happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and
powerful media mogul's family. In the aftermath of the crash, as the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. A stunning novel that raises
questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
"A masterly blend of mystery, suspense, tragedy, and shameful media hype. A gritty tale of a man overwhelmed by unwelcome notoriety, with a stunning, thoroughly satisfying conclusion." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A terrific thriller and an irresistible mystery. A tale that's both an intriguing puzzle and a painful story of human loss." The Washington Post.
"This is one of the year's best suspense novels, a mesmerizing, surprise-jammed mystery that works purely on its own, character-driven terms. Mr. Hawley has
made it very, very easy to race through his book in a state of breathless suspense." Janet Maslin, The New York Times.
"Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages, but there's more to the novel than suspense. On one hand, Before The Fall is a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel. On the other hand, it is an exploration of the human condition, a meditation on the vagaries of human nature, the dark side of celebrity, the nature of art, the power of hope and the danger of an unchecked media. The combination is a potent, gritty thriller that exposes the high cost of news as entertainment and the randomness of fate." Kristin Hannah, The New York Times.
|THE SONG RISING by Samantha Shannon|
Samantha Shannon continues her Bone Season series: an epic fantasy of rebellion and courage against enormous odds in a futuristic Europe.
In this eagerly anticipated third entry, heroine Paige Mahoney has risen to the dangerous position of Underqueen, ruling over London's paranormal criminal population.
But her reign may be cut short by the introduction of a deadly technology that spells doom for her clairvoyant community and the world as they know it.
"Terrific - intelligent, inventive, dark, and engrossing. . . Shannon now has proven staying power. Fans will be calling for more." NPR.
"As before, Shannon vividly and purposefully realizes each meticulously detailed setting, from London's underground to outposts in Scotland, while infusing her imaginative, passionate, and gripping saga with profound insights into humankind's long, bloody history of tyranny and the radiant ones who zealously fight for freedom and justice." Booklist.
"The series hits its stride, effectively mirroring current debates on immigration, violence, and equality. Shannon's writing shines, and as the revolution progresses, the loss of key Mime Order members will be acutely felt by readers of the previous books." Library Journal.
"A triumphant blend of Orwellian dystopia and China Miιville nonconformity. Shannon's ability to take classic tropes, such as forbidden love and dystopian societies,
and give them a well-knuckled twist is to be admired. She is set to become a trailblazer for young talent." The Independent (U.K.).
|NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman|
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a dazzling rendition of the great Scandinavian sagas and myths.
"There's plenty of mayhem and gore, and once the gods have had their fun, everything comes 'crashing down and crumbling into ash and devastation.'
But before that happens and Ragnarok descends, we have this lively book to cheer us along. Superb. Just the thing for the literate fantasy lover and the
student of comparative religion and mythology alike. " Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***
"Giants, ogres, dwarves, fantastical beasts, and the occasional human freely mingle with Thor, Odin, Loki, Freya, and other, less well-known gods and goddesses,
all of whom are passionate, flawed, weird, and divinely entertaining. VERDICT: A spectacularly entertaining and elucidating collection of stories.
Essential for all collections." Library Journal *** starred review ***
"Gaiman's retelling of these ever-striking and strange stories should be every reader's first book of Norse mythology." Booklist *** starred review ***
"Gaiman's work reflects his restless spirit, encompassing
science fiction, fantasy, fairy tales, childrens books, adult books, comic books, screenplays, short stories, essays and poetry.
His new book starts with the beginning of the world and ends with its destruction by ice and fire and darkness before hope is restored, gingerly and tentatively, with the beginnings of a new earth from the ruins of the old one. Its message seems relevant just now." The New York Times
|ALL THAT MAN IS by David Szalay|
Nine men from nine different backgrounds in nine different cities strive to understand what it means to be alive in a globalized Europe.
Tracing a dramatic arc from youth to old age, the nine narratives aggregate into a picture of a single shared existence of modern manhood.
As this brilliantly conceived book progresses, the protagonist at the center of each chapter is older than the last one, the weather grows colder,
and the story gathers power and momentum. Szalay is a writer of supreme gifts - a master of a new kind of realism that vibrates with detail, intelligence, and relevance.
"Cleverly conceived, authoritative, timely and (in a good way) crushing. There is a cheerful and ghastly sordidness to everything, and Szalay's prose with its ruthlessly
banal dialogue, arm-twisting present tense, shard-like fragments, and on every other page or so an irresistibly brilliant epithet or startlingly quotable phrase, lets nothing
go to waste." London Review of Books (U.K.).
"Each story grips the reader by the throat. We fully inhabit their progression of heroes and finally face the dreadful truth of the human condition: that nothing is eternal,
not us, not our children, the human race, the Earth nor the stars. Rarely has it been so brilliantly and chillingly spelled out." The Daily Mail (U.K.).
"Without exception, the stories - subtle, seductive, poignant, humorous - bear witness to the alienation, self-doubt, and fragmentation of contemporary life; each succeeds
on its own while complementing the others. Riveting prose and a consummate command of structure. . . In 2013, Szalay was named as one of Granta's Best of
Young British Novelists. This effort exceeds even that lofty expectation." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
|WAR & TUPENTINE by Stefan Hertmans|
The life of Urbain Martien - artist, soldier, survivor of World War I - lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. When his grandson, a writer, retells
his grandfather's story, the notebooks provide a key to the locked chambers of Urbain's memories. An extraordinary exploration of one man's life and the echo of its impact
resounding through the generations.
||: THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016|
"Wonderful, full of astonishingly vivid moments of powerful imagery and moving moments of mysterious beauty. Hertmans brilliantly captures the intractable reality of a complex man." The Sunday Times (U.K.).
"Vivid, masterly. . . War and Turpentine, at once memoir, novel, biography, and confession, is a masterpiece." Modern Traveler.
"A future classic. It is a book that lies at the crossroads of novel, biography, autobiography and history, with inset essays, meditations, pictures. In David McKay's
lyrical translation, every detail has the heightened luminosity of poetry. . . . The book has such convincing density of detail, with the quiddities of a particular life so
truthfully rendered." The Guardian (U.K.).
"Potent. . . Harrowing. . . War and Turpentine is billed as a novel, but that's hardly the word for it. It's an uncanny work of historical reconstruction. . .
Mr. Hertmans explores the places where narrative authority, invention and speculation flow together.
A masterly book about memory, art, love and war, War and Turpentine delivers a blast of narrative fresh air." The New York Times.
- Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
|THE GIRLS by Emma Cline|
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and
is immediately attracted to their freedom and their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who
is its charismatic leader. A beautifully written first novel with startling psychological insights.
"Spellbinding! A seductive and arresting coming-of-age story told in sentences at times so finely wrought they could almost be worn as jewelry.
Emma Cline gorgeously maps the topography of one loneliness-ravaged adolescent heart. She gives us the fictional truth of a girl chasing danger beyond
her comprehension, in a Summer of Longing and Loss." The New York Times.
"Debut novels like this are rare, indeed. The most remarkable quality of this novel is Cline's ability to articulate the anxieties of adolescence in language
that's gorgeously poetic without mangling the authenticity of a teenager's consciousness. With the maturity of a writer twice her age, Cline has written a wise novel that's never showy: a quiet, seething confession of yearning and terror." The Washington Post.
"A provocative, wonderfully written debut. Cline is especially perceptive about the emulation and competition, the longing and loss, that connect her novel's
women and their difficult, sometimes destructive passages to adulthood." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"As fast-moving as a van on the run, as dark and atmospheric as the smog it cuts through. A complex story about girlhood, violence, and the psychology
of cults, carried by the author's buoyant sentences and insights into the paradoxes of femininity." The Huffington Post.
|HOT MILK by Deborah Levy|
Sofia, a young anthropologist, has spent much of her life trying to solve the mystery of her mother's unexplainable illness. She and her mother travel to the searing, arid coast of southern Spain to see a famous consultant - their very last chance - and encounter strange treatment methods even more baffling than the illness.
The author of a previous Man Booker Prize nominee (Swimming Home), Deborah Levy delivers a profound exploration of the sting of sexuality, of unspoken
female rage, of myth and modernity, the lure of hypochondria and big pharma, and, above all, the value of experimenting with life.
"A memorable heroine. . . It is Sofia's frantic, vulnerable voice that makes this novel a singular read. Levy has crafted a great character in Sofia, and witnessing a pivotal point in her life is a pleasure." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"This rich new novel from a highly regarded British writer dazzles and teases with its many connections while exposing the double-edged sword of
mother-daughter love. Levy's wit and fluency render her quicksilver, sometimes surreal narrative simultaneously farcical and fascinating. Scintillating and
provocative, Levy combines intellect and empathy to impressively modern effect." Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A beguiling tale of myths and identity. Exquisite prose, perfectly crafted, a dream-narrative so mesmerising that reading it is to be under a spell.
Reaching the end is like finding a piece of glass on the beach, shaped into a sphere by the sea, that can be held up and looked into, and kept, in secret, to be looked at again and again." The Independent (U.K.)
"Acutely relevant. A triumph of technically adroit storytelling. Levy's elegant and poised prose has the rare quality of being simultaneously expansive and succinct . . . A breath of fresh air." The Literary Review (U.K.)
WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr
The paths of two unforgettable characters intersect in the waning days of World War II: an orphaned engineering prodigy recruited into the Nazi ranks, and a blind girl who joins the French Resistance. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel that illuminates the ways, against all odds, that people try to be good to one another.
"I must blame Anthony Doerr for lost sleep, because once I started reading his new novel, there was no putting it down. Tackling questions of survival, endurance and moral obligations during wartime, the book is precise and artful and ingenious. Impressively, it is also a vastly entertaining feat of storytelling." The New York Times.
"This novel has the physical and emotional heft of a masterpiece. It presents two characters so interesting and sympathetic that readers will keep turning the pages hoping for an impossibly happy ending. Highly recommended." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Gorgeous . . . moves with the pace of a thriller. Doerr imagines the unseen grace, the unseen light that, occasionally, surprisingly, breaks to the surface even in the worst of times."
The San Francisco Chronicle.
"Enthrallingly told, beautifully written. Every piece of back story reveals information that charges the emerging narrative with significance, until at last the puzzle-box of the plot slides open to reveal the treasure hidden inside." The Washington Post.
|THE ANCIENT MINSTREL by Jim Harrison|
A stunning collection of three novellas that highlight the late Jim Harrison's phenomenal range as a writer, shot through with his trademark wit and keen insight into the human condition. Fresh and entertaining, with moments of both profound wisdom and sublime humor, The Ancient Minstrel is an exceptional reminder of why Harrison was
one of our most beloved and critically acclaimed writers.
"An ascended master of the form returns to the novella, turning in three very different pieces with autobiographical elements in common.
Jim Harrison writes with his customary rough grace and bodhisattva wisdom, whether comically treating sexual improprieties or reflecting deeply on the meaning of life. Grand entertainment all and a pleasure!" Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"No one writes more persuasively about the natural world, the ways of animals both wild and domestic, rural roughneck mores, hunting and fishing. A writer still independent, fierce and feral. . . Among the most indelible American novelists of the last hundred years." The New York Times.
"Jim Harrison's novellas are always on point . . . Written with the skill and tradition of one of the best. The man is legend." Book Riot *** Most Anticipated Books of 2016 ***.
|BARKSKINS by Annie Proulx|
In the late 18th century Rene Sel, an illiterate French woodsman, emigrates to the Canadian North Woods to seek a living.
As an indentured servant in exchange for land, he suffers extraordinary hardship and violence, always in awe of the forest he is charged with clearing.
In the course of this epic novel, Proulx tells the stories of Rene's children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, as well as the descendants of his friends
and foes, as they travel back to Europe, to China, to New England, always in quest of a livelihood or fleeing stunningly brutal conditions - war, pestilence,
Indian attacks, the revenge of rivals.
This is the historical novel of the year! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
"A vast multigenerational story of the North Woods. Part ecological fable a la Ursula K. Le Guin, part foundational saga along the lines of Brian Moore's Black Robe
and James Michener's Centennial, Proulx's story builds in depth and is always told with the most beautiful language. Another tremendous book from Proulx, sure to
enthrall." Kirkus Reviews.
"Annie Proulx's Barkskins is remarkable not just for its length, but for its scope and ambition. This is a monumental achievement, one that will perhaps be
remembered as her finest work. Proulx, a master storyteller, delivers the kind of immersive reading experience that only comes along
every few years." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A rigorously researched, intrepidly imagined, complexly plotted, and vigorously written multigenerational epic. Barkskins is nothing less than a sylvan
Moby Dick replete with ardently exacting details about tree cutting from Canada and Maine to Michigan, California, and New Zealand, with dramatic
cross-cultural relationships and with the peculiar madness catalyzed by nature's glory. Here, too, are episodes of profound suffering and loss, ambition and
conviction, courage and love. Proulx's commanding, perspective-altering epic is momentous!" Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A heartbreaking eulogy for the vanished forests and peoples of North America. The novels scope is huge and encompassing, its vision panoramic.
The novel is quite simply tremendous and, of Annie Proulxs many fine works, Barkskins stands, in my view, as her masterpiece." Newsday.
|HYSTOPIA by David Means|
At the bitter end of the 1960s, after surviving multiple assassination attempts, President John F. Kennedy is entering his third term in office.
The Vietnam War rages on, and the president has created a vast federal agency, the Psych Corps, dedicated to maintaining the nation's mental
hygiene by any means necessary. This destabilized version of American history is the vision a young Vietnam War veteran turned author struggles to write
in David Mean's outlandish, tender, funny, violent, timely book-within-a-book.
"Having established his literary standing with short stories, Means delivers his long-anticipated debut novel, a compelling, imaginative alternative-history tale about
memory and distress. By turns disturbing, hilarious, and absurd, Means' novel is also sharply penetrating in its depiction of an America all too willing to bury
its past." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Supremely gonzo and supremely good. If Flannery O'Connor had written about Vietnam, this might be what she would have created. Henry James once
described the real as the things we cannot possibly not know. Hystopia reads like a Jamesian investigation of knowledge, albeit one fueled by
amphetamines." The Boston Globe.
"A picture of social breakdown that feels horribly believable, given the questions about civil rights, foreign wars and future leadership that Americans are asking today.
In the hysterical, dystopian history that is Hystopia there are no easy answers and no happy endings, just an intense and scary story of survival. Means takes a
truer, harder look at the frailties and strengths of humanity than most authors dare, and he has created a work of meta-fiction that crackles with life and
menace." The London Times (U.K.).
|THE YEAR OF THE RUNAWAYS by Sunjeev Sahota|
A wonderfully evocative storyteller takes us into the heart of the world of illegal immigration with
a riveting novel that puts the most urgent questions of the day in a human context.
"A narrative that unfurls with an enormous variety of characters. Thoroughly believable, irresistibly humane
enough fine drawing of human foibles and of different idioms to fill up several lesser novels" The Daily Telegraph (U.K.).
"Sahota moves some of the most urgent political questions of the day away from rhetorical posturing and contested statistics into the realm of humanity. A brilliant and beautiful novel." The Guardian (U.K.).
"Novels of such scope and invention are all too rare; unusual, too, are those of real heart, whose characters you grow to love and truly care for. The Year of the Runaways has it all. You just don't want this book to end. It is amazing that this book, so rich, so absorbing, so deftly executed, should be only the authors second." The Spectator (U.K.).
"This massive book, stuffed with compelling stories, rich in characters and resoundingly authentic in its detailing of life in the harsh underbelly of this country, should be compulsory reading. A magnificent achievement." The Daily Mail (U.K.).
"A rich, intricate, beautifully written novel, bursting and seething with energy." The London Times (U.K.).
|SERIOUS SWEET by A.L. Kennedy|
Jon Sigurdsson is fifty-nine and divorced, a civil servant who loathes his work for a government engaged in unmentionable acts.
Meg Williams is a recently sober forty-five year old bankrupt accountant desperately keeping her alcoholism at bay. Poignant, deeply funny, and beautifully written,
this is an unusually moving love story (and espionage novel) about two decent, damaged people trying to make moral choices in an immoral world.
"A bold, cinematic novel that covers a lot of territory, its subjects as large, diverse and intimate as addiction, politics, clothing, animals, coffee, the trappings of power,
and what little measure of kindness may remain in the world. Not to mention love... The actual moment when Jon and Meg fall in love is one of the best descriptions
of that major human treat ever." The Herald (U.K.).
"Like the great city symphonies of the modernist era - Mrs Dalloway and Ulysses among them - Serious Sweet takes place over the course of a single day, juxtaposing the lives of the citys inhabitants over 24 hours. This is a novel for our times. . . a novel of ideas that is deft enough never to be didactic because it asks more questions than it answers." The Guardian (U.K.).
"A writer of exquisite precision. . . a public novel, angrily political, taking aim at inequalities, injustices and callous harshness.
For many this will hit the nail bang on the head, and they will applaud a novelist expressing her idea of a writers social responsibility so eloquently." The Scotsman (U.K.).
|SLEEPING ON JUPITER by Anuradha Roy|
A young girl is taken from her family and finds herself in an ashram in the Indian temple city of Jarmuli, overseen by Guruji, a charismatic guru. But Guruji's charm masks a predatory menace, and the young girl faces danger beyond her understanding. A riveting and disturbing novel that lays bare the treacherous hypocrisies of Indian society.
"Deliberate and haunting prose... Roy has used the most potent weapon in a writers arsenal - the form of the novel, with its ability to simultaneously be universal and particular - to boldly unmask the hidden face of Indian spirituality." The Guardian (U.K.).
"The themes of innocence stolen, the refuge of the imagination, and the inclination to look away are handled with sensitivity and subtlety in some of the best prose of recent years encountered by this reader. Roy brings a painterly eye, her choice of detail bringing scenes to sensual life. Roy's poetic work deserves a wide readership in India and beyond." The Independent (U.K.).
"Both incredibly timely and extremely brave." The National (U.K.).
THE BIG GREEN TENT by Ludmila Ulitskaya|
With epic breadth and intimate detail, Ludmila Ulitskaya's remarkable work tells the story of three school friends who meet in Moscow in the 1950s and go on to embody the heroism, folly, compromise, and hope of the Soviet dissident experience. Ludmila Ulitskaya's work belongs to the tradition of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Pasternak.
This is the great classic Russian novel of the 21st century.
"A sweeping novel of life in the Cold War Soviet Union, with plenty between the lines about life in Putin's Russia today. Among many other things, Ulitskaya's novel
is also about the power of books, writing, and music to shape lives worth living. But more, it is about what happens to people inside a prison society: denunciations,
hardship, and punishment ensue as surely as night follows day. The greatest tragedy of Ulitskaya's story is that it comes to an end. Worthy of shelving alongside
Doctor Zhivago: memorable and moving." Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"One of Russia s most-read (and increasingly denounced) novelists writes a page-turner that just happen to be monumentally important." New York Magazine.
"Populating the novel are scientists, artists, educators, retired generals, apparatchiks, dissenters, KGB agents, and KGB informants, grappling to combine
decency and flexibility toward the whims of the authorities. The stark realities of life under a repressive regime are vividly portrayed, as are life's daily joys
and satisfactions." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A voice of moral authority, and one of Russia's most famous writers. The Big Green Tent is compelling, addictive reading." The New Yorker.
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Hardcover (Front Display)
|SOUTH AND WEST: From a Notebook by Joan Didion|
Two extended excerpts from Joan Didion's never-before-seen notebooks - both offer an intimate and illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary
writer. One records her observations during a road trip to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in the summer of 1970; the other begins with the 1976 trial of
Patty Hearst and blossoms into insightful reflections on the Bay Area, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and the author's own upbringing in Sacramento.
"A revealing publication from the celebrated prose stylist. Here are many of the splendid, sharp-eyed sentences for which she has long been admired.
Some of her observations are classics: a man with a shotgun shooting pigeons on a street in a Mississippi town; a comment about the fierce heat:
'all movement seemed liquid.'. . . An almost spectral text haunted by a past that never seems distant." Kirkus Reviews.
"A compelling book - rooted utterly in a past now all but lost to us, while also incredibly timely and relevant.
Originally written in the 1970s as a pair of diaries, it finally sees the light of day at a moment when California and the Real America of the South are warring over the soul of the country. South and West is vital, ultimately, for how it demonstrates (even inadvertently) how such a tension plays out." The Los Angeles Review of Books.
"Reveals the author at her most fascinatingly unfiltered, recording folksy vernacular at a motel pool, having Gin & Tonics with Walker Percy, and searching fruitlessly for Faulkner's grave in an Oxford cemetery. Her riffs captures the thrill of a writer discovering her richest subject: the American mythologies that governed her own romantic girlhood, a yearning for a heritage that never really was - a yearning that feels freshly perilous in its delusions." Vogue.
(Simon & Schuster)
|THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL by Timothy B. Tyson|
In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old boy from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of
the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. But what actually happened to Emmett Till?
Part detective story, part political history, this book draws on a wealth of new evidence, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant, the white woman in whose name Emmett Till was murdered.
"Tyson offers new perspectives in this searing account, which is especially relevant today given the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of the so-called alt-right
and its echoes of white supremacy. Till's death, Tyson concludes, was an extreme example of the logic of America's national racial caste system and continues to be
a national metaphor for racial injustice. An indispensable inquiry." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"With rare immediacy, Tyson revisits the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till in Mississippi and the acquittal of those responsible in a gripping account of the cultural milieu of a
racist environment. A remarkable achievement. . . each thread is explored in detail, backstories as well as main events. Cinematically engaging, harrowing, and poignant,
Tyson's monumental work illuminates Emmett Till's murder and serves as a powerful reminder that certain stories in history merit frequent retelling." Publishers Weekly.
"From one of our finest civil rights historians comes this harrowing, brilliant, and crucial book. The full story of Emmett Till has never before been told. It will terrify you;
it should. It will inspire you; it must." Jeff Sharlet, The New York Times.
WINNER OF THE 2017 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FACT CRIME
THE WICKED BOY: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale
The former literary editor of The Daily Telegraph, Kate Summerscale, transforms the investigation and trial of one of the most chilling murder cases of the Victorian era
into an extraordinary reconstruction of turn-of-the-century Britain and an insightful tale of hard-won redemption. A masterful mixture of crime detection, courtroom drama,
and sociological study.
"Irresistible!. . . An atmospheric tale of crime and punishment from a distant era written in lucid, limber prose, The Wicked Boy also implicitly raises questions
that remain with us today. The author's easy mastery of what turns out to be a complicated, at times surprising narrative drives the book forward. Ms. Summerscale draws
no firm psychological conclusions, but instead leaves the mystery of the boy and the man to our imaginations, where it pricks at us throughout the book." The New York Times.
"Summerscale bolsters her reputation as a superior historical true crime writer with this moving account of Victorian-age murder that is a whydunit rather
than a whodunit. Her dogged research yields a tragedy that reads like a Dickens novel, including the remarkable payoff at the end." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A remarkable job of historical reconstruction. In the time-honored tradition of Victorian crime stories, The Wicked Boy is a compelling mixture of the gruesome and the perfectly ordinary, a brew uniquely British, a feat of genuine detective work." Dallas Morning News.
"Summerscale has taken her research to many levels of learning for the reader. It's more than The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer - it's a tale about change. It belongs on every reader's bookshelf." The New York Journal of Books.
|AT THE EXISTENTIALIST CAFE: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell|
A spirited and vital account of one of the twentieth century's major intellectual movements and the revolutionary thinkers who came to shape it.
Featuring not only philosophers, but also playwrights, anthropologists, convicts, and revolutionaries, Sarah Bakewell follows the story of existentialism from its 1933 birth in a Paris
cafe, through the Second World War, to its role in postwar liberation movements such as anticolonialism, feminism, and gay rights.
||: THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016|
"Bakewell brilliantly explains 20th-century existentialism. Through vivid characterizations and a clear distillation of dense philosophical concepts, Bakewell embeds the
story of existentialism in the story of a whole European century, dramatizing its central debates of authenticity, rebellion, freedom, and
responsibility." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Exciting. . . Persuasive. . . Audacious. . . Enticing and unusual. . . Bakewell asks demanding questions about the ways in which people think about themselves
and their relations with others. Her central theme is that the large impersonal ideas pursued by much modern philosophy are less profound and illuminating than
the varied and conflicting truths found in stories of individual lives. Those stories, in this book, include impressively lucid descriptions of what these thinkers thought
and what they said." The New York Times.
"'What is existentialism anyway?' asks Bakewell in her tremendous new work, and you're wrong if you find that question irrelevant to your life.
Existentialism is so wound up in contemporary culture that we think it, speak it, and encounter it daily. Along with her rigorous and clarifying explanations of existentialism,
Bakewell offers refreshing reaction and context that make this book a journey for the reader as well as the writer.
VERDICT: Highly recommended for anyone who thinks." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
|IN THE DARKROOM by Susan Faludi|
After a 25-year estrangement, the author's father announced - at age 76 - that she had undergone a sex change operation and requested
that her Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist daughter document the transformation.
Susan Faludi's struggle to come to grips with her father's metamorphosis takes her across historical, political, religious, and sexual borders and brings her
(and us) face to face with the question of the age: Is identity something you choose, or is it the very thing you can't escape?
||: THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016|
"Extraordinary: part riveting family memoir, part revelatory Holocaust history, but most of all a profound meditation on human identity.
In the Darkroom is nothing if not timely. We live in an age overflowing with bitter battles over identity with too little of Susan Faludi's
humane desire to understand." The National Book Review.
"Many great writers eventually turn to biography, but rarely does it so directly crash into their lifelong intellectual pursuits. Very few can dissect a prevailing cultural norm
as well as Faludi can." The Washington Post.
"A searching investigation of identity barely disguised as a sometimes funny and sometimes very painful family saga. Faludi is a mercilessly droll and careful writer.
The emotional incontinence and narcissism that pass for insight and power in memoirs these days is not for her. All the same, I cried quite often as I read her book, and
at one point, I had to go off and stare at some flowers for a while. An out-and-out masterpiece of its kind." The Guardian (U.K.).
"An absolute stunner of a memoir - probing, steel-nerved, moving in ways you'd never expect. Ms. Faludi is determined both to demystify the father of her youth - a
simultaneously inscrutable and volatile presence, a black box and a detonator - and to re-examine the very notion and nature of identity." The New York Times.
|AMERICAN HEIRESS by Jeffrey Toobin|
An insightful and swiftly moving account of the kidnapping that mesmerized the world. On February 4, 1973, a young U.C. Berkeley sophomore, the heir to the
Hearst family fortune, was abducted by revolutionaries calling themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army.
Patty Hearst, rebellious and unhappy about her impending marriage, appeared to publicly embrace the cause espoused by her abductors. What followed has been endlessly
debated for the past forty years. New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin relied on more than 100 interviews and thousands of previously secret documents to capture an event that defined the shift from the freewheeling, sunshiny Sixties to the darker and more violent Seventies.
"Definitive and nuanced. . . Toobin's rigorous detective work is enhanced by his placement of the Hearst case in the context of its times. His expert critique of both prosecution
and defense in Hearst's 1976 trial and his thorough research, careful parsing of all the evidence, and superior prose make the book read like a summertime
thriller." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"The abduction and subsequent radicalization of Patricia Hearst is one of the most bizarre but illuminating episodes of that tumultuous era of protest.
Jeffrey Toobin retells the story with a full-blown narrative treatment that may astonish readers too young to remember it themselves. Toobin spins this
complex chapter of recent history into an absorbing and intelligent page-turner." The Washington Post.
"Mr. Toobin delves deeply into an American crime story that had tremendous notoriety in its day and retells it with new resonance. In an age of terrorism, the
chronicle of how a sedate heiress named Patricia morphed into a gun-toting, invective-spouting revolutionary calling herself Tania holds a definite
fascination. Terrifically engrossing! Toobin uses his knowledge of the justice system and his examination of the evidence to pierce the veil of spectacle.
As for Patty Hearst herself, Toobin treats her as a person, not a tabloid phantasm." The New York Times.
"Toobin has crafted a book for the expert and the uninitiated alike, a smart page-turner that boasts a cache of never-before-published details.
Toobin s book successfully captures the unrivaled spectacle of the Hearst drama." The San Francisco Chronicle.
|THE RETURN: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar|
One of the Qaddafi regime's most prominent opponents in exile, Hisham Matar's father was kidnapped off the streets of Cairo in 1990 and held in a secret prison in Libya.
Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Qaddafi, Hisham returns to the homeland he never thought he'd see again to search for his father. The Return is the story of what he found there. It is at once an exquisite meditation on history, politics, and art, a brilliant portrait of a nation and a people on the cusp of change, and a disquieting depiction of the brutal legacy of absolute power.
||: THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016|
"A masterful memoir, a searing meditation on loss, exile, grief, guilt, belonging, and above all, family. It is, as well, a study of the shaping and breaking of the bonds
between fathers and sons. This is writing of the highest quality." The Sunday Times (U.K.).
"A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart by the savage realities of today's Middle East. The crushing of hopes raised by the Arab spring at both the personal
and national levels is conveyed all the more powerfully because Matar's anger remains controlled, his belief in humanity undimmed." The Guardian (U.K.).
"Hisham Matar writes with both a novelist's eye for physical and emotional detail, and a reporter's tactile sense of place and time. The prose is precise, economical, chiseled;
the narrative elliptical, almost musical. The Return is, at once, a suspenseful detective story about a writer investigating his father's fate at the hands of a brutal
dictatorship, and a son's efforts to come to terms with his father's ghost. . . It seems unfair to call this extraordinary new book a memoir, since it is so many other things besides:
a reflection on exile and the consolations of art, an analysis of authoritarianism, a family history, a portrait of a country in the throes of a revolution, and an impassioned work of mourning." The New York Times.
|BUT WHAT IF WE'RE WRONG?: Thinking about the Present as If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman|
Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown? Is it possible that we overrate democracy?
A seemingly impossible achievemen from Klosterman: a book about the things we cannot know, explained as if we did.
"A spin class for the brain! Klosterman challenges readers to reexamine the stability of basic concepts, and in doing so broadens our perspectives. An engaging and
entertaining workout for the mind led by one of today's funniest and most thought-provoking writers." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Full of intelligence and insights, as the author gleefully turns ideas upside down to better understand them. This book will become a popular book club selection
because it makes readers think. Replete with lots of nifty, whimsical footnotes, this clever, speculative book challenges our beliefs with jocularity and
perspicacity." Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Klostermanconducts a series of intriguing thought experiments in this delightful new book...Klosterman's trademark humor and unique curiosity propel the reader
through the book. He remains one of the most insightful critics of pop culture writing today and this is his most thought-provoking and memorable book
yet." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
|WHITE TRASH: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg|
Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, this provocative history of the class system in America
upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility.
Nancy Isenberg delivers a thought-provoking discourse on what may be a contentious subject, but is a crucially important American social issue.
"An eloquent synthesis of the country's history of class stratification, one that questions whether the United States is indeed a place where all are created equal.
White Trash powerfully unites four centuries of history economic, political, cultural, and pseudo-scientific to show how thoroughly the notion of class is woven into
the national fabric." The Boston Globe.
"Here is a book that should forever change the way we think and talk about class, which Isenberg suggests is the rotting stage upon which American democracy will
either stand or fall." The American Scholar.
"What makes people whom Trump has never cared about before this election so eager to see him as their spokesman? What in tarnation do they see in his
vague bluster and thinly coded racist remarks? For answers to these and other questions, look no further than Nancy Isenberg's fascinating and unsettling
new book, a meticulously researched survey of the class system in America." The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
"Isenberg has written an eloquent volume that is more discomforting and more necessary than a semitrailer filled with new biographies of the founding fathers and the
most beloved presidents. This estimable book rides into the summer doldrums like rural electrification." The New York Times.
|Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond|
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Washington Post | Kirkus Reviews | Politico | The Guardian | Publishers Weekly | BookPage
Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing,
and eviction has become ordinary. In vivid, intimate prose, Matthew Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. Based on
years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while
providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem.
||: THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016|
"Gripping and important. . . Desmond, a Harvard sociologist, is one of a rare academic breed: a poverty expert who engages with the poor. His portraits are vivid and
unsettling. It's not easy to show desperate people using drugs or selling sex and still convey their courage and dignity. Evicted pulls it off. " The New York
Review of Books.
"Thank you, Matthew Desmond. Thank you for writing about destitution in America with astonishing specificity yet without voyeurism or judgment. Thank you for proving that the struggle to keep a roof over one's head is a cause, not just a characteristic of poverty. Evicted is an extraordinary feat of reporting and ethnography. Desmond has made it impossible to ever again consider poverty in America without tackling the role of housing and without grappling with Evicted. The Washington Post.
"Extraordinary! I can't remember when an ethnographic study so deepened my understanding of American life." The Guardian (U.K.).
"An exhaustively researched, vividly realized and, above all, unignorable book - after Evicted, it will no longer be possible to have a serious discussion about poverty
without having a serious discussion about housing. Eye-opening and original. . . But Evicted is most memorable for its characters, rendered in such high-resolution
detail that their ghost images linger if you shut your eyes." The New York Times.
|SHRILL: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West|
Combining humor with a rare honesty and introspection, Lindy West details finding her voice as a writer and a feminist through stories about her family, her weight, having an abortion, and the emotional toil of being harassed online. A triumphant, exacting, and absorbing memoir.
" In this uproariously funny debut, West, GQ writer and fat-acceptance activist, blends memoir, social commentary, and ribald comedy in a biting
manifesto. West's ribald jokes, hilarious tirades, and raucous confessions keep her narrative skipping merrily along as she jumps from painful confession to powerful
epiphany." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"West is utterly candid and totally hilarious. She's also quite moving. In an age in which Internet umbrage is almost as rampant as Internet trolling, West, as funny
as she is incisive, distinguishes herself as a writer who cuts to the heart of the matter." Vogue.
"One of the most distinctive voices advancing feminist politics through humor. With patience, humor and a wildly generous attitude toward her audience
West meets readers at their point of prejudice so that she may, with little visible effort, shepherd them toward a more humane point of view." The New York Times.
DARK MONEY: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer|
Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers?
As Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views have bankrolled a systematic,
step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by
that network and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy.
||: THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016|
"Jane Mayer's Dark Money is absolutely necessary reading for anyone who wants to make sense of our politics. Mayer is telling the epic story of America in our time.
It is a triumph of investigative reporting, perhaps not surprising for a journalist who has won most of the awards her profession has to offer. She's a pro, and she's given the
world a full accounting of what has been a shadowy and largely unseen force. Remarkable!" The New York Review of Books.
"Bombshells explode in the pages of Dark Money. Jane Mayer's indispensible new history combines her own research with the work of scores of other investigators, to describe how the Kochs and fellow billionaires like Richard Scaife have spent hundreds of millions to move their political ideas from the fringe to the center of American political life." The Guardian (U.K.).
"Written in straightforward and largely unemotional prose, but reads as if conceived in quiet anger. An impressively reported and well-documented work. . .
The importance of Dark Money flows from its scope and perspective. . . It is not easy to uncover the inner workings of an essentially secretive political
establishment. Mayer has come as close to doing it as anyone is likely to come anytime soon. . . She makes a formidable argument.
Revelatory. . . persuasive, timely and necessary." The New York Times.
- Poetry: New in Paperback (Aisle 2-A)
|MAGIC CITY GOSPEL by Ashley M. Jones|
In traditional forms and free verse poems, an exploration of race, identity, and history through the eyes of a black woman from Alabama. From De Soto's
"discovery" of Alabama to George Wallace's infamous stance in the schoolhouse door, to the murders of black men like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner in
modern America, Magic City Gospel weaves its story through time, weaving Jones' personal history with the troubled, triumphant, and complicated history
of Alabama. In Magic City Gospel's pages, you'll find that "gold is laced in Alabama's teeth," but you will also see the dark underbelly of a state and
a city with a storied past, and a woman whose history is inextricably linked to that past.
"Ashley M. Jones achieves magic. She is not just a Southern writer. She is a writer for the present time who has carefully observed Alabama history and canonized it in the fabric of American history, blending her own childhood experiences into the complex American tapestry." Up the Staircase Quarterly
"Jones paints a sweeping picture of Southern culture in her terrific debut collection, exhibiting pride of place as well as unflinching honesty about the traumas of
its historical legacy. Through rich imagery and fluid language, Jones paints a complete picture of the South without sugarcoating the truth." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
(University of Chicago)
WINNER OF THE 2016 PULITZER PRIZE FOR POETRY
OZONE JOURNAL by Peter Balakian
A montage of poems that has the feel of history as lived experience, with the speaker struggling with the nature of memory. Peter Balakian aims at the bigger
picture of humanity's history of atrocity and trauma, but through short vignettes grounded in everyday situations, and in particular times and places.
"Distinguished poet Balakian also authored the best-selling The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response, so it's no surprise
that the 54-section title poem at this book's heart recalls excavating the bones of Armenian genocide victims in 2009 Syria. But the poem seamlessly shifts to
memories of a perfectly rendered New York, of jazz and John Cage, single parenthood and a relative's death from AIDS, and throughout we see how experiences
converge, how we are all containers of the past." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Balakian is blessed with an eerie ability to connect seemingly unrelated events separated by vast amounts of time and space. His work is one of contrasts: the contrast between day and night, earth and sky, love and hate, the temporary and eternal, between inner war and outer peace" The Literary Review.
"A mix of intense sensory, even sensual, experience and cerebral force, the verse both meditative and urgent. Balakian's long lines pick up and draw out thoughts, clauses, notes, in the rhythms of exploratory prose, then snap back at unexpected line-breaks, maintaining a gut-level as well as an intellectual tension." PN Review.
(Brooklyn Arts Press)
WINNER OF THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY
THE PERFORMANCE OF BECOMING HUMAN by Daniel Borzutzky
Daniel Borzutzky's new collection of poetry draws connections between the US and Latin America, specifically touching upon
issues relating to border and immigration policies, economic disparity, political violence, and the disturbing rhetoric of capitalism and bureaucracies.
Borzutzky argues that to become human is to navigate these borders,
and asks what it means to be both an American and a globalized subject whose body is "shared between the earth, the state, and the bank."
"A relentlessly and unapologetically brutal vision at the center of which is the human body being violated, maimed, tortured, exploited, judged, imprisoned,
surveilled, and otherwise unjustly controlled. The voice of the speaker moves from moment to moment through that of a refugee, a migrant worker, a child laborer,
a prisoner, a dissident, a victim of racism or ethnic cleansing, a victim of police brutality, a victim of rape, a victim of corporate
profiteering." Boston Review.
"The bloody images build upon each other relentlessly, creating a world in which we are all complicit and from which there is no escape and no redemption. The Performance of Becoming Human is not an easy book to read, but it is a powerful one." Vox.
"Borzutzky's poetry is part Orwellian nightmare and part politicized call to arms regarding the very real state of the world. The bodies in his collection are bordered. They have been conquered and militarized. They have been dumped into gulags to fester. . . Yet Borzutzky manages to instill a hope in his readers that although we remain trapped in our putrid and failing bodies, we, too, will succeed in our spiritual mission to persevere." American Microreviews & Interviews
|S O S: Poems 1961-2013 by Amiri Baraka|
Fusing the personal and the political in high-voltage verse, Amiri Baraka was one of the preeminent literary innovators of the past century. This volume comprises the fullest spectrum of his rousing, revolutionary poems, from his first collection to unpublished pieces composed during his final years.
"The most complete representation of over a half-century of revolutionary and breathtaking work." The New York Times
"S O S provides readers with rich, vital views of the African American experience and of Baraka's own evolution as a poet-activist.
Baraka is as adept with spare, imagistic lines as with lyrical realism. Racist, provincial ideas earn his angry unmasking as he sings, shouts
and shakes a fist at corruption and ignorance." The Washington Post
"S O S is a signal of blunt urgency . . . this is undeniably the work of the kind of poet we will not see again; Amiri Baraka was one of the last of the
20th century's literary lions. This momentous collection exhibits his abiding resistance to almost everything but subversiveness." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
|THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY: 2015 edited by David Lehman | Guest Editor: Sherman Alexie|
The premier anthology of contemporary American poetry. Each volume in the series presents the years most extraordinary new poems and writers. This year, guest editor Sherman Alexies selections highlight the depth and breadth of the American experience. Culled from both electronic and print journals, the poems showcase some of our leading luminaries and introduce a number of outstanding younger poets taking their place in the limelight.
SPECIAL NOTE: Yes, this is the anthology that retained the controversial poem by Michael Derrick Hudson (aka Yi-Fen Chou).
"A 'best' anthology that really lives up to its title." The Chicago Tribune
"Showcases emerging, experienced, and high-profile poets who have contributed compelling work. As a measure of the quality of work in the volume, three contributors, Amy Gerstler, Terrance Hayes, and Jane Hirshfield, set a high bar for the other poems in The Best American Poetry 2015, a standard achieved in many contributions. The volume is recommended as an authentically inclusive and rewarding experience that is certain to attract a wide audience." The Yellow Chair Review
|LOVE POEMS by Bertold Brecht|
The full scope and variety of Bertold Brecht's poetic output did not become apparent until after his death. Now, the English-speaking world can access part of
his stunning body of work in the first volume in a monumental undertaking by award-winning translators David Constantine and Tom Kuhn to translate
Brecht's poetic legacy into English. Love Poems collects his most intimate and romantic poems - many of which were banned in German in the 1950s
for their explicit eroticism - and reveals Brecht as not merely one of the most famous playwrights of the twentieth century but also one of its most fiercely creative poets.
"Poems on erotic devotion, longing, disappointment, and good and bad sex. With the variety in tones comes a welcome mix of forms: a few dozen sonnets (put skillfully into rhymed English), but also enthusiastically vulgar ballads, stark free verse, and beautifully archaizing fragments. Constantine's and Kuhn's forceful, clear versions sound like real poetry, not translationese." Publishers Weekly
(Farrar Straus Giroux)
|THE SPIRIT LEVEL: Poems by Seamus Heaney|
Winner of the Costa Book Award, the most prestigious literary prize in the U.K., this is the first book of poems Heaney published after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.
"Not just a new book but a book with newness in it. It marks a sustained effort, not exactly to unite the two parts of himself and his cultural inheritance but rather to make the line between them more permeable than before." Nicholas Jenkins, London Times Literary Supplement.
"So many of Heaney's poems have become personal lodestones for us that reading this new book is like awakening to an experience both fresh and familiar. . . .Heaney offers a vision that is a powerful tonic against the fin de siecle alienation and solipsism touted by fashionable literary criticism." Richard Tillinghast, New York Times Book Review
(Wesleyan University Press)
|PLEASURE DOME: New and Collected Poems by Yusef Komunyakaa|
The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1994 (as well as the Bronze Star for his service as a war correspondent in Vietnam), Yusef Komunyakaa has become one of America's most compelling poets. Pleasure Dome gathers the poems of over two and a half decades of Komunyakaa's work, including 25 early, uncollected poems and a rich selection of 18 new poems.
"Pleasure Dome attests to the protean nature of his poetic imagination and skills, his fluent creative energy, and his passion for living the examined life. . . Komunyakaa is emerging as one of the major American poets of our time." Booklist *** starred review ***
(Wesleyan University Press)
|SILENCE IN THE SNOWY FIELDS by Robert W. Bly|
A passionate spokesperson for the healing powers of literature and myth, Robert Bly is credited with rejuvenating public interest in poetry and the imaginative arts in late twentieth-century America.
Silence in the Snowy Fields, his first book of poems, signaled a new beginning in American poetry in the early 1960s and it immediately put Bly on the literary map, disarming readers and critics with its clear-sighted intelligence and apparent simplicity.
Unlike much of the academically based American poetry of its time, Bly's work aimed at a kind of Oriental balance in which human beings participate in but do not dominate nature. Many still find Silence in the Snowy Fields one of Bly's most healing books. It remains his signature volume.
- Young Adult & Juvenile Fiction & Non-Fiction: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)
|THE BONE SPARROW by
Subhi knows only life in the Australian refugee detention center where he was born, and lately, things are getting worse. Then he meets Jimmie, a local child who finds her way into the camp - and an unlikely friendship is born.
"Fraillon crafts a harrowing vision of life in the detention center, yet Subhi finds solace in sensitively portrayed friendships with a rebellious older boy, a
compassionate guard, and an intrepid girl named Jimmie. While addressing themes of loss, desperation, and injustice in an all-too-relevant setting, Fraillon's
resonant novel underscores the healing power of story." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"The pivoting story line, with chapters alternating among Subhi, Jimmie, and sparkling slivers of family lore, allows Fraillon to explore the many faces of otherness,
bravery, and solidarity. But Subhi's narrative, whether he's squabbling with a rubber duck or searching the stars, remains the standout of the three: wide-eyed,
heartfelt, and infectiously imaginative. . . This tale is breathtaking and indispensable." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Outstanding. . . This is an important, heartbreaking book with frequent, unexpected humor that everyone should read." The Guardian (U.K.).
- Children's Books: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)
NANNETTE'S BAGUETTE by Mo Willems|
This hilarious new picture book follows a plucky young heroine on her first big solo trip to the bakery. But will Nanette get the baguette from baker Juliette?
Or will Nanette soon be beset with regret? Set in a meticulously handcrafted-paper-modeled French village, the uniquely vibrant laugh-out-loud world of
Nanette's Baguette may be Mo Willem's best creation yet.
"Hilarious complications ensue when Nanette's mom gives her the responsibility of buying the family baguette. Willems is at his outlandish best with line after line
of 'ettes' and their absurd rhymes, all the while demonstrating a deep knowledge of children's thought processes. Nannette's every emotion explodes all over the
pages in wildly expressive, colorful vignettes. Laugh-out-loud fun for all." Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Willems is a master of this genre: a simple story with a distinctive setting and a relatable childhood predicament; delicious wordplay (who knew there were so many
rhymes for baguette?) that reads well aloud; and delightful illustrations that convey energy, emotion, and humor." Booklist *** starred review ***
"With lip-smacking delight, Nanette floats through double-page splashes of vibrant color. There is so much to discover and enjoy in this treat for eye and ear.
A storytime treat that children will devour!" School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
THE LAND OF STORIES: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales by Chris Colfer|
Enter the world of fairy tales in this stunningly illustrated collection of stories retold by acclaimed children's author Chris Colfer.
This gorgeous, full-color companion book to Colfer's Land of Stories series will appeal to new and old fans alike, who will delight in favorite classics such
as "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and more. Here is the beloved fairy-tale treasury that Alex and Conner
fall into in The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell - a beautifully designed addition to the series, and the magical book that started it all!
"Dear Reader, you hold in your hands a very special book that contains more than thirty-five classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes, plus your very own survival guide
to the Land of Stories. If you notice the pages glowing, followed by an inviting humming noise, don't be afraid! That is just the book's magic. But whatever you do,
don't lean too far into the book. You never know where you might end up." from the Introduction by Chris Colfer.
"There's more in Colfer's magic kingdoms than Disney has dreamt of." USA Today.
ONE MINUTE TILL BEDTIME: 60-Second Poems to Send You Off to Sleep by Ken Nesbitt | Illustrated by Christoph Niemann|
Fill that last minute before bedtime with something that will feed the imagination, fuel a love of reading, and send them off to sleep in a snap. Reach for a one-minute poem!
Former Children's Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt presents a blockbuster collection of all-new poetry penned by some of the most beloved and celebrated poets of our time,
including Jack Prelutsky, Jon Scieszka, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, Lemony Snicket, Jane Yolen, and many more. Illuminated with dreamlike wit and whimsy
by award-winning artist Christoph Niemann, here is a new bedtime classic.
"With a broad range of voices and sentiments, the collection delivers poems to meet any mood." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"These pithy poetic observations and Niemann's engaging illustrations prove at once antidote and anodyne for the sleep-averse child demanding just one more....A dreamy collection of bedtime poems and witty illustrations that's anything but sleepy." Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***
"This charming compendium holds a wide variety of poetic forms and emotions. . . it's bound to be a lasting contribution to
collections. Perfect for those bedtime or read-aloud pleas of just one more! Sure to enchant adults and children alike." School Library Journal *** starred review ***
|RADIANT CHILD: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by
New York Public Library: 2016 Best Books for Kids | Kirkus Reviews: Best Children's Book of 2016 | School Library Journal: Best of 2016
Before Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings soared to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen,
he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City.
In this visually stunning picture book biography, Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always
have to be neat or clean - and definitely not inside the lines - to be beautiful.
"Javaka Steptoe is the perfect person to create this book: a tour de force that will introduce an important artist to a new
generation." The Horn Book *** starred review ***.
"One extraordinary artist illuminates another in this textured, heartfelt picture book biography. Pairing simple text with expressive, encompassing illustrations, this excellent title offers a new generation a fittingly powerful introduction to an artistic luminary." School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Vibrant colors and personal symbols channel the 'sloppy, ugly, and sometimes weird, but somehow still BEAUTIFUL' paintings, incorporating meticulously attributed
collage elements and capturing the artist's energy and mystery. Stellar - a riveting portrait of a young artist." Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
- Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
2017 HUGO AWARD NOMINEE
|ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders|
As children, Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead were gifted beyond most adults' comprehension. Now as adults, they meet again in San Francisco
and find that each is working to save the world from annihilation. While Lawrence is using science, Patricia is using magic. Which will work?
A stunning and perceptive novel about life, love, and the apocalypse. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
"At turns darkly funny and deeply melancholy, this is a polished gem of a novel.
The depiction of near-future San Francisco shows a native's understanding (and love) of the city, while gently skewering it at the same
time." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A riveting story! Anders' knock-your-socks-off blend of science and magic will be a strong contender for science fiction and fantasy awards, appealing to not
only genre fans but also those looking for great literary reads." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"One of the most endearing literary romances of recent years. . . Charlie Jane Anders' brilliant, cross-genre novel has the hallmarks of an instant classic.
It's a beautifully written, funny, tremendously moving tale that explodes the boundaries between science fiction and fantasy and 'mainstream' fiction." The Los Angeles Times.
"Into each generation of science fiction/fantasydom a master absurdist must fall, and its quite possible that Charlie Jane Anders has established herself as the one for the Millennials. Its going to be hard for even the most jaded reader not to fall head first into this tale of a boy who builds an artificial intelligence in his bedroom closet and
a girl who magically talks to birds. Its complex, and scary, and madcap. . . as hopeful as it is hilarious, and highly recommended." The New York Times.
|THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill|
A chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to
save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.
"Hill has a talent for depicting fascinating characters caught in terrible situations. . . With a full cast of characters and multiple story lines to keep the reader hooked, Hill's
enthralling fourth thriller hits another home run." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A superb supernatural thriller. . . a tremendous, heartrending epic of bravery and love set in a fully realized and terrifying apocalyptic world, where hope lies in the simplest of gestures and the fullest of hearts." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Readers will be hard-pressed to stop turning the pages. The very best that genre fiction has to offer readers today." Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A bona fide, post-apocalyptic page-turner that's equal parts touching and pulse-pounding, surprising and awe-inducing." Bookpage.
|BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon|
In the mid-21st century, major world cities are controlled by a formidable security force, and clairvoyant underworld cell member Paige Mahoney commits acts of psychic treason before being captured by an otherworldly race that would make her a part of their supernatural army. A dark and exquisitely rendered fantasy unlike anything out there.
"A galvanic debut, dynamically and shrewdly imagined. A dazzlingly brainy, witty, and bewitching tale of outrageous courage, heroic compassion, transcendent love, and the quest for freedom. . . the first in a thoughtful fantasy series by a brilliant young writer." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Intelligent, inventive, dark, and engrossing. There's a distinct Margaret Atwood wash to Shannon's dystopian universe, and echoes of
Anthony Burgess's Clockwork Orange. Shannon has remarkable talent for world-building. . . But her most sublime otherworldly creation is the complex, ever evolving, scrappy yet touching Paige Mahoney. She has me hooked." NPR.
"Invokes both the political tyranny of George Orwell and the mythmaking of J.R.R. Tolkien. The Bone Season may turn out in time to be the richest mythology book fans have seen since Harry Potter hopped on a Nimbus 2000." USA Today (featured review).
WAKE OF VULTURES by Lila Bowen|
Bowen's fascinating debut, set in a gritty and well-realized paranormal Wild West, introduces half-Native American, half-African American teenager Nettie Lonesome.
A rich, dark, ferocious fantasy of destiny, death, and the supernatural.
"The unforgiving western landscape is home to supernatural beasties as diverse as the human inhabitants, and no-nonsense Nettie is pragmatic and brave.
Themes of self-worth, gender, and the complexity of identity are treated with frank realism and sensitivity, and the narrative is a love letter to the paranormal
western genre. Fantastical history fans will be delighted." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Bowen has created a fascinating, textured Wild West world. The monsters are gruesome, the battles are bloody, and the pace of this story never flags.
Readers will love this absorbing fantasy adventure (the first in a planned series) and its strong, dynamic heroine." Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"This first novel stand far above the usual fantasy crowd. Incorporating Native American and Western myths, plus Nettie's multicultural heritage and characters
from a wide range of backgrounds, this is a must-have for all modern fantasy collections." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"There are fast-paced thrill-a-minute novels where the plot twists and wild action just. Keep. Coming. And then there are introspective books about someone
searching for their identity and untangling deep issues of race, sexuality and gender. And then occasionally, you get a book that manages to do both.
Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen is one such book, and it's a goddamn keeper." io9
THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET by Becky Chambers|
Rosemary Harper doesn't expect much when she joins the motley crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up spaceship has seen better days, it offers her a bed,
a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. When the ship's captain accepts a dangerous contract to tunnel
a wormhole through space to a distant planet, Rosemary discovers that having a family isn't necessarily the worst thing in the universe.
"A novel of character as the motivations of the diverse and likable crew, comprising humans and aliens, are laid bare for the readers delight. It is a quietly profound,
humane tour de force that tackles politics and gender issues with refreshing optimism." The Guardian (U.K.).
"A wonderfully imaginative and quirky novel. . . It is hard to believe that this is Becky Chambers first novel, as it is so well constructed, imaginative, and fluently written.
A follow-up is promised. . . I cant wait!" Strange Horizons (U.K.).
"There are many personalities here to love, and they all get a chance to shine.
VERDICT: A huge hit in the UK and now nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, this debut space opera is delightful." Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"An optimistic space opera that is a joy to read. Does The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet really live up to the buzz? The answer is a resounding, and
unconditional, YES! Chambers has taken a rag-tag crew, given them each unique and deep personalities, and run with it from there.
I only wish that more science fiction would deliver even half of what can be found within these pages. Highly recommended." SFF World (U.K.)
- Mystery/Crime/Espionage Fiction: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
THE UNFORTUNATE DECISIONS OF DAHLIA MOSS by Max Wirestone|
Veronica Mars meets the World of Warcraft in this absolutely delightful mystery romp. This is the first of a series featuring the most appealing online role-playing gamer
heroine in modern mystery fiction.
"Wirestone's debut is a gem! The title character is like no other. Dahlia's life is hilarious, ridiculous, and adventurous as she has surrounded herself with others who are even more bizarre. A recommended read." Library Journal.
"A hapless 20-something is surprised to find that online gaming is good for something after all - and that something is catching a real-world murderer.
Wirestone's writing is funny and quite nerdy - though while practicing geeks will find many jokes hidden in the story for them, nongeeks will not feel left out.
The many clever references are a nice accompaniment for Dahlia's complex voice, which is winning even when she's being a bit of a loser.
Even the acknowledgments are fun to read. A clever mystery featuring a delightful amateur detective. Or, in online parlance: Dahlia Moss FTW!" Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Filled with comic circumstances and geek culture. A hilarious, delightful start to a new mystery series." Booklist.
|THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO BROKE ALL THE RULES by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg|
Led by the unforgettable 79-year-old Martha Andersson, a band of spirited seniors escape their retirement home, raise some hell, and cause more than a little menace
as they plan and execute the perfect crime.
"A hilarious comedy of errors! The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is the read of the summer!" Bookloons.
"The first of the League of Pensioners series translated from the Swedish, Ingelman-Sundberg's tale captures the rebelliousness percolating just under the surface of ignored, shuffled away elderly folks. A merry, lighthearted caper." Kirkus Reviews.
"Ingelman-Sundberg's winning seriocomic series debut is both charming and surprising. Readers will pull for the unlikely gang in their efforts to commit
the 'ultimate crime'" Publishers Weekly.
"A comedy of errors, oversights and obstacles infuse Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg's clever U.S. debut, and the hilarious, escalating antics of a spirited cast of
walker-dependent characters in their 70s and 80s will have readers of all ages rooting for their cause." Shelf Awareness *** starred review ***.
THE ABSOLUTION by Jonathan Holt|
Looking for a sinister, complex, immersive suspense series to dive into? You've found it!
A trio of allies uncover a conspiracy involving the Italian security services, the Vatican, and the CIA - a devastating plot stretching back decades that could destroy all three of them.
This conclusion to Jonathan Holt's acclaimed Carnivia Trilogy masterfully connects all the dots and clues from the preceding volumes (The Abomination and The Abduction). This trilogy is one of the greatest conspiracy novel series of the century. Be sure to grab the first two (now in paperback) off of our shelves! (HINT: You
may start to regard your smart phone in a new light.)
"Intriguing from start to finish, Holt's nicely orchestrated plot - complex but never confusing - is a tremendous achievement . Fascinating characters and locales add up to a great read that both instructs and entertains." Library Journal.
"British author Holt's masterly sequel to The Abduction concludes his Carnivia trilogy with a bang. Holt manages to make the risks posed by the growing
movement toward smart devices intelligible and chilling, bringing all the pieces together plausibly and enabling newcomers to immediately identify with the multifaceted leads." Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A fascinating mix of history, paranoia, and real-live terror." Booklist *** starred review ***.