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    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)

      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 graveyard’s 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 Saunders’s 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.

      Nobel laureate and two-time Booker Prize winner J. M. Coetzee returns with a new chapter of his haunting Christian allegory about childhood and destiny that is sure to rank with his classic novels. Though no one named Jesus appears, there are parallels aplenty in this story set in an unnamed Spanish-speaking country where the people are decent, well-intentioned, strangely satisfied, don't eat meat, don't fight and don't charge for services.
      "Plunges us at once into a mysterious and dreamlike terrain. . . A Kafka-inspired parable of the quest for meaning itself. The brilliance of this turn is that it allows Coetzee to create a kind of fusion genre blending the energy of philosophical dialogue, the warmth and unprogrammed humor of father-son repartee, the emotional potency of a family romance and finally the uncanny suggestion of allegory. The result is rich, dense, often amusing and, above all, full of inner tension and suspense." — The New York Times.
      "One of the world’s finest living authors. . . a proven master with an increasingly wilful streak, always a writer to excite. The Schooldays of Jesus could be a book of the year, never mind an expected contender." — The Irish Times (U.K.).
      "Captivating and provocative. . . Coetzee's precise prose is at once rich and austere, lean and textured, deceptively straightforward and yet expansive, as he considers what is required, not just of the body, but by the heart." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Maddening, obscure - and brilliant. Coetzee has done it again. Through the invocation of a strange and mostly alienating world he sucks you into interrogating the fundamentals: what we live for, and why." — The Telegraph (U.K.).

      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, children’s 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 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016
      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.
      "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 NORTH WATER by Ian McGuire
      A nineteenth-century British whaling ship becomes the stage for a confrontation between brutal harpooner Henry Drax and ex-army surgeon Patrick Sumner, the ship's medic, during a violent, ill-fated voyage to the Arctic. This dark, sharp, and highly original tale grips like a thriller with savage, unstoppable momentum and the blackest wit. The North Water weaves a superlative story of humanity under the most extreme conditions. This is historical fiction at its finest!
      "A great white shark of a book - swift, terrifying, relentless and unstoppable. Mr. McGuire is such a natural storyteller and recounts his tale here with such authority and verve that The North Water swiftly immerses the reader in a fully imagined world. Riveting and darkly brilliant, The North Water feels like the result of an encounter between Joseph Conrad and Cormac McCarthy in some run-down port as they offer each other a long, sour nod of recognition." — The New York Times.
      "McGuire delivers one bravura set-piece after another. This is a stunning novel, one that snares the reader from the outset and keeps the tightest grip until its bitter end." — The Financial Times (U.K.).
      "An audacious work of historical suspense fiction. It's the poetic precision of McGuire's harsh vision of the past that makes his novel such a standout. Absolutely transporting!" — Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air.
      "A conspiracy thriller stuffed into the skin of a blood-and-guts whaling yarn. The novel is a stunning achievement, by turns great fun and shocking, thrilling and provocative. Behold: one of the finest books of the year!" — The Independent (U.K.).
      "Terrific, seamed with pitch black humour and possessed of a momentum that's kept up to the final, unexpected but resoundingly satisfying scene. Inspired!" — The Daily Mail (U.K.).

      WORK LIKE ANY OTHER by Virginia Reeves
      As electricity begins to transform 1920s rural Alabama, electrician Roscoe T. Martin is convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison for electrocuting a state power worker. As he climbs the ladder of the ranks of the incarcerated (from dairy hand to librarian to "dog boy"), he struggles to reconcile his fierce pride in his expertise with the price paid by him and his family for his crime. Virginia Reeves' debut novel provides a stunning commentary on guilt, love, and redemption - and on intriguing, little-known facets of the Jim Crow South.
      "A consummately well-written, deeply affecting, thought-provoking American historical novel of hard labor, broken dreams, moral dilemmas, violence, racism, and the intricacies of marriage, parenthood, and friendship. Reeves' gripping, dynamically plotted, and profound novel will resonant on different frequencies for men and women and spark soul-searching and heated discussion." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "When you’re on the last few pages of a book and find yourself longing for more, then you know that it is a very powerful read. Such is the case with Work Like Any Other. This is a deeply gripping portrayal of Americana in the Deep South, replete with racism, violence, and heartbreak. Reeves delivers powerful heartrending scenes of despair and hope and paints magnificent scenes with expressive and direct language. Her characters are well thought out and deeply permeated with emotion. Astonishingly well-written. . . astonishingly beautiful." — New York Journal of Books.

      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 author’s 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.).

      (Little a)
      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 city’s 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 writer’s 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 writer’s 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.).

      EVERYBODY'S FOOL by Richard Russo
      A new novel from Pulitzer Prize winner Russo is always cause for celebration, even more so when it returns readers to North Bath, NY, where Sully Sullivan and his cronies still inhabit the same bar stools. Ten years after Russo introduced readers to some of modern fiction's most memorable comic characters in Nobody's Fool, Sully's circumstances have changed considerably, but as always, he is the "man with the plan". A masterpiece of American humor!
      "Russo's reunion with these beloved characters is genius: silly slapstick and sardonic humor play out in a rambling, rambunctious story that poignantly emphasizes that particular brand of loyalty and acceptance that is synonymous with small-town living." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Russo brings wit and warmth to this slapstick tale . . . Once again his characters are marvelous creatures, endearing in spite of themselves." — People Magazine.
      "Russo is probably the best writer of physical comedy that we have. The abiding wonder is that Russo's novel bears down on two calamitous days and exploits the action in every single minute - mudslides, grave robbery, collapsing buildings, poisonous snakes, drug deals, arson, lightning strikes and toxic goo." — The Washington Post.
      "A delightful return to a town where dishonesty abounds, everyone misapprehends everyone else and half the citizens are half-crazy. It's a great place for a reader to visit, and it seems to be Russo's spiritual home." — Janet Maslin, The New York Times.
      "The Fool books represent an enormous achievement, creating a world as richly detailed as the one we step into each day of our lives. Sully in particular emerges as one of the most credible and engaging heroes in recent American fiction." — T.C. Boyle, The New York Times.

      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.

      STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
      Americans like to insist that we are living in a postracial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.
      "In this tour de force, Kendi explores the history of racist ideas - and their connection with racist practices - across American history. Racism is the enduring scar on the American consciousness. In this ambitious, magisterial book, Kendi reveals just how deep that scar cuts and why it endures, its barely subcutaneous pain still able to flare." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "An engrossing and relentless intellectual history of prejudice in America. It offers a grim vision of America and of human nature, but one consistent with an era when the prison warden has supplanted the slave master, and when Black Lives Matter is the latest incarnation of a civil rights movement that has no reason to stop moving. The greatest service Kendi provides is the ruthless prosecution of American ideas about race for their tensions, contradictions and unintended consequences." — The Washington Post.
      "Kendi's provocative egalitarian argument combines prodigious reading and research with keen insights into the manipulative power of racist ideologies that suppress the recognition of diversity. This is a must for serious readers of American history, politics, or social thought." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.

      (Other Press/Random)
      AT THE EXISTENTIALIST CAFE: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell
      : THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016
      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.
      "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)

      THE RETURN: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar
      : THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016
      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.
      "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.

      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
      : THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016
      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.
      "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
      : THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016
      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.
      "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.

      (St. Martins Griffin/MPS)
      SKEPTIC: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye by Michael Shermer
      Shermer makes a strong case for the value of the scientific endeavor and the power of rational thinking in 75 provocative and insightful essays, reprinted from his monthly column for Scientific American.
      "The author turns a critical eye toward questions big, small, and trivial. One of the biggest: is religion a good thing? Studies and statistics give the answer: it depends. Shermer admits that, sadly, most people admire science and the advancements that result from experimentation, but only a minority believe that a phenomenon is probably true if backed by evidence and unlikely if it isn't. Two-thirds of Americans prefer creationism to evolution, and 60 percent believe in extrasensory perception. Dense with facts, convincing arguments, and curious statistics, this is an ingenious collection of light entertainment for readers who believe that explaining stuff is a good idea." — Kirkus Reviews.
      "His subjects include an exploration of the nature of science and a discussion of the principles of skepticism, with a particular focus on the appropriate interplay between data and theory. Among Shermer's more engaging pieces are his thoughts on why so many intelligent people believe so many irrational ideas, the relationship between religion and science, and ways to distinguish science from pseudoscience. Shermer is not shy about expressing his opinions clearly and forcefully. Each entry is insightful, informative, and entertaining." — Publishers Weekly.

      I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck by James Baldwin | Edited by Raoul Peck
      To compose his stunning documentary film I Am Not Your Negro, acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck mined James Baldwin's published and unpublished works, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews that are every bit as incisive and pertinent now as they have ever been. Weaving these texts together, Peck brilliantly imagines the book that Baldwin never wrote.
      "Thrilling. . . . A portrait of one man's confrontation with a country that, murder by murder, as he once put it, 'devastated my universe.'" — The New York Times.
      "A kaleidoscopic journey through the life and mind of James Baldwin, whose voice speaks even more powerfully today than it did 50 years ago. He was the prose-poet of our injustice and inhumanity. The times have caught up with his scalding eloquence." — Variety.
      "A striking work of storytelling. One of the best movies about the civil rights era ever made. This might be the only movie about race relations that adequately explains with sympathy the root causes." — The Guardian (U.K.).

      (Thomas Dunne/MPS)
      Magicians of the Gods: Sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock
      This sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods brings new evidence supporting Hancock's thesis that a global cataclysm wiped out a great global civilization. The author travels to a wholly different set of ancient sites, including Gobekli Tepe, and brings new and exciting material (ranging from DNA to astrophysics) to the table for those awaiting more evidence in favor of the prehistoric civilization. Even more intriguingly, he proposes an answer to the one question he could not answer in Fingerprints of the Gods: what caused this civilization to disappear?
      "A reading experience of pure gold. . . History buffs, Bible scholars, anyone who likes a great intellectual detective yarn will plunge and not come up for air until the end." — The Seattle Times.
      "Ingenious. . . and spectacularly shameless but highly entertaining pseudoscience." — Kirkus Reviews.
    • Poetry: New in Paperback (Aisle 2-A)

      (Hub City)
      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)
      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)
      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 year’s most extraordinary new poems and writers. This year, guest editor Sherman Alexie’s 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)
      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 Zana Fraillon
      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 ***.

      (Little Brown/Hachette)
      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.

      (Little Brown/Hachette)
      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 ***

      (Little Brown/Hachette)
      RADIANT CHILD: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
      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)

      (William Morrow/Harper)
      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.

      THE ARRIVAL (originally published as Stories of Your Life and Others) by Ted Chiang
      A "what-if" question fuels each of this masterful collection's eight thought-provoking works of short fiction. "What if genuinely alien aliens visited Earth, and an earthling learned their conceptually different language?" is the question asked in "Story of Your Life", the title story adapted into the motion picture The Arrival.
      "The stakes are high in all Chiang's stories, for their social and existential implications concern him as much as their construction. These are stories to enjoy both for their form and for their intriguing foundations. Chiang puts the science back in science fiction - brilliantly." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
      "Chiang writes seldom, but his almost unfathomably wonderful stories tick away with the precision of a Swiss watch and explode in your awareness with shocking, devastating force." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Here's the must-read SF book of the year. Chiang's stories are audacious, challenging and moving. They resemble the work of a less metaphysical Philip K. Dick or a Borges with more characterization and a grasp of cutting-edge science." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
      "Shines with a brutal, minimalist elegance. Every sentence is the perfect incision in the dissection of the idea at hand. . . The eight stories collected here (his entire output over more than a decade) have deservedly notched up three Nebulas and a Hugo - the most prestigious awards in SF. The collection is united by a humane intelligence that speaks very directly to the reader, and makes us experience each story with immediacy." — The Guardian (U.K.).

      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

      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 reader’s 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 can’t 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)

      SPY GAMES by Adam Brookes
      Journalist Philip Mangan is trying to stay out of trouble in East Africa, his reputation and his life in tatters. But when he is caught in a terrorist attack in East Africa and a shadowy Chinese figure approaches him in the dead of night with information on the origins of the attack, Mangan is suddenly back in the eye of the storm. From Washington, D.C. to the hallowed halls of Oxford University and dusty African streets, a sinister power is stirring. . . Deeply steeped in tension and paranoia, Adam Brookes's second novel is a remarkable, groundbreaking spy thriller.
      "A difficult book to put down. Brookes has separated himself from the pack: I've read a lot of very good China books by excellent journalists, but I've never before stayed up far too late on a work night to finish one, unwilling to go to sleep until I knew how it ended." — The Los Angeles Review of Books.
      "In the tradition of the great spy novelists. . . Brookes' second novel is a multipronged spy thriller that fires on all cylinders. A smarter or more exciting mystery likely won't be released this year. As powerfully as this story is, in fact, resolved, readers will be left hanging on, keenly anticipating the next installment in the series." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
      "Brookes's intricately plotted sequel to Night Heron finds Philip Mangan, foreign correspondent and part-time spy, in Ethiopia looking into a story about how the Chinese are influencing African politics. With a flurry of double and triple crosses, and perfidy. . . Brookes shows that his impressive debut was no fluke." — Publishers Weekly.

      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 ***.

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