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)
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
|THE OVERSTORY by Richard Powers|
Nine remarkable strangers are summoned in different ways for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest.
Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning homage to the natural world - a world alongside
ours, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
"This ambitious novel soars up through the canopy of American literature and remakes the landscape of environmental fiction." — The Washington Post.
"An extraordinary novel. . . an astonishing performance. I found, while reading, that some of what was happening to his characters passed into my conscience, like alcohol into the bloodstream, and left a feeling behind of grief or guilt, even after I put the book down. Which is one test of the quality of a novel." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"A masterpiece of operatic proportions, involving nine central characters and more than half a century of American life.
A magnificent achievement: a novel that is, by turns, both optimistic and fatalistic, idealistic without being naive." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A magnificent saga! Powers’ sylvan tour de force is alive with gorgeous descriptions; continually surprising, often heartbreaking characters; complex suspense; unflinching scrutiny of pain; celebration of creativity and connection; and informed and expressive awe over the planet’s life force and its countless and miraculous manifestations." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A monumental novel that accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of story, Powers pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size. . . The descriptions of this deeply animate place stand with any prose I’ve ever read. I hesitate to tell more, and spoil the immense effort Powers invests in getting us into that primal forest to bear witness." — The New York Times.
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
|SNAP by Belinda Bauer|
When the family car broke down, eleven-year-old Jack and his two younger sisters had to be left behind on the side of the highway until their
mother returned with help. "Jack's in charge," said his mother. "I won't be long." But she never returns. Now Jack's fifteen and is on the verge
of finding out who killed his mother. Jack's still in charge - but he's also become a criminal. This twisting, masterfully written novel contains
some of the most acutely perceived characters to be found in the thriller genre. It will also keep readers on the edge of their seats from the opening chapter to the last.
"Bauer deftly interweaves a cold-case murder, a teenage master burglar, some ill-assorted coppers and a pregnant wife, knowing exactly when
to turn the dial to humor, pathos or something darker. Intelligent entertainment that keeps you guessing." — The Sunday Times (U.K.).
"Vividly unnerving. . . Bauer deftly weaves an intelligent mystery, written with razor-sharp observation and wry humour.
Her ability to get under the skins of her characters is second to none." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Surprise, of course, is the most potent aspect of suspense. And Belinda Bauer knows exactly how to manipulate that element, right until the very end with extraordinary dexterity, maturity and feeling. . . Brilliant." — The Daily Mirror (U.K.).
"Amazing! Whilst the story tugged on my heartstrings, I could not have predicted where it would lead, and how deviously Bauer’s mind works, creating spine-chilling situations in the seemingly mundane. Snap is undoubtedly one of the cleverest thrillers I have read in a long time, and stands out from the fray in its original premise, writing style and characters." — But Books Are Better (U.K.).
"Bauer takes astonishing risks but - like a brilliant ski-jumper - arcs down to the perfect landing." — The Independent (U.K.).
"Bauer secures her place as a star in the British psychological-suspense firmament with this tightly written tale.
Bauer's characters are richly drawn and her plotting is impeccable. Even the most bizarre circumstances and red herrings make perfect sense." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
|WARLIGHT by Michael Ondaatje|
Nathaniel Williams delves into his memory to look back at the year 1945, when he was 14 and "our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals." But nothing is at it seems in this transfixing coming-of-age tale of intrigue and crossed destinies.
"Michael Ondaatje is at the peak of his powers. A work of fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory.
Warlight sucked me in deeper than any novel I can remember; when I looked up from it, I was surprised to find the 21st century still going on
about me." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"A new masterpiece. . . An elegiac thriller with the immediate allure of a dark fairy tale. In Warlight, all is illuminated, at first dimly then starkly, but always brilliantly. Warlight is a mosaic so cunningly assembled that the finished pattern seems as inevitable as it is harmonious. What must happen does happen in this elegiac thriller; we just can’t see it coming." — The Washington Post.
"Ondaatje casts a magical spell, as he takes you into his half-lit world of war and love, death and loss, and the dark waterways of the
past." — The New York Review of Books.
"A haunting, brilliant novel from Ondaatje. . . Mesmerizing from the first sentence, rife with poignant insights and satisfying subplots, this novel about secrets and loss may be Ondaatje's best work yet." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A tender coming of age story so warmly delivered you almost forget how much of its plot involves smuggling, spycraft, and assassins. The novel becomes at once a mystery tale and an exploration into how much of our lives are out of our control, especially in wartime." — The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
"An intricate and absorbing novel. . . This is a book rich with detail. The reader is bound to be conscious of a hidden ballast of research, the seven-eighths of the iceberg without which the thing would founder, but so deft is the writing that you forget this, simply appreciating the meticulous background that brings alive a time and a place." — The New York Times.
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
|THE MARS ROOM by Rachel Kushner|
As Romy Hall begins serving two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women's Correctional Facility in California's Central Valley, she comes to grips
with her new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners;
and the absurdities of institutional living. Rachel Kushner has written a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America.
"In smart, determined, and vigilant Romy, Kushner, an acclaimed writer of exhilarating skills, has created a seductive narrator of tigerish intensity.
This is a gorgeously eviscerating novel of incarceration writ large. Rooted in deeply inquisitive thinking and executed with artistry and edgy wit, Kushner's
dramatic and disquieting novel investigates with verve and compassion societal strictures and how very difficult it is to understand each other and to be
truly free." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Heartbreaking and unforgettable. . . Kushner excels at capturing the minutiae of prison life, and manages to critique the justice system and vividly capture the reality
of life behind bars. Her novel is notable for its holistic depiction of who gets wrapped up in incarceration - families, lawyers, police, and prisoners; it deserves to
be read with the same level of pathos, love, and humanity with which it clearly was written." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Much of the action of Rachel Kushner's brilliant new novel is set in California prisons. She has done her research. But the moral scope of The Mars Room is
really too large for it to be considered a prison novel. Through its vividly rendered characters, it asks the reader to ponder bigger questions about the system of justice, the possibility of redemption and even the industrialization of the natural landscape. A captivating and beautiful novel." — BookPage *** Top Fiction Pick ***.
"A major novel, a sustained performance, one that broods on several exigent ideas.
The Mars Room prowls rather than races. It is like a muscle car oozing down the side roads of your mind. Kushner’s portrait of life inside the women’s prison is grainy and persuasive. It’s all here." — The New York Times.
|SUGAR MONEY by Jane Harris|
Brothers Emile and Lucien are charged by their French master, Father Cleophas, with a mission. They must return to Grenada, the island they once called home, and smuggle back the 42 slaves claimed by English invaders at the hospital plantation in Fort Royal. While young Lucien sees the trip as a great adventure, the older and worldlier Emile has
no illusions about the dangers they will face. Based on a true story set against the backdrop of the 18th century Caribbean slave trade, this absolutely stunning adventure
novel is one of the truly great reads of the year.
"Harris credits Robert Louis Stevenson as inspiration for this book. It's evident why. Like Stevenson, she describes an exotic setting and tells a ripping good
story." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"With a richness of historical detail, wry wit, and subtle characterization reminiscent of Hilary Mantel, Harris bridges the distance of centuries. Through the eyes of young Lucien, we witness the cruelties of slavery, the heroism of his brother Emile - and are powerfully reminded that the past is, in many ways, still with us." — The Huffington Post.
"Harris builds a lush sense of place, and the pace and tension of a rip-roaring adventure here, with derring-do and double-crossing and a looming sense of threat and dread from the start. But what is most striking is the irrepressible voice of Lucien - whose highly original turns of phrase bring a spark and tingle to the telling of his tale." — The London Times (U.K.).
"A gripping tale of colonial cruelty set in the Western Antilles in the late 18th century. Enthrallingly narrated by Lucien, a teenage slave, this is a novel that celebrates the incredible capacity of humans to pursue lives filled with love and courage in the face of overwhelming cruelty. Harris' novel may be set some 250 years ago, but it has a key relevance to the modern slavery that still blights our world." — The National (U.K.).
"Jane Harris pitches you headfirst into this outstanding, heartbreaking story of siblings, slavery and the savagery of the colonial past. Unwilling participants in a deadly escapade, their fate and the fates of their fellow slaves are beyond their control. As this superb novel reveals, they are at the mercy of the merciless." — The Sunday Express (U.K.).
|BLACKFISH CITY by Sam Miller|
After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and
sustainable energy. But decay has set in: the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside direst poverty are
spawning unrest, and a new disease is ravaging the population. A remarkably urgent novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the
consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection.
"An ambitious, imaginative, and big-hearted dystopian ensemble story that's by turns elegiac and angry. Miller has crafted a thriller that unflinchingly examines the ills of
urban capitalism. The floating city of Qaanaaq is a beautiful and brutal character in its own right, rendered in poetic interludes." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Qaanaaq is vividly brought to life in all its squalid glory, and Miller excels at depicting a metropolis bursting at the seams and populated by both refugees and the elite.
Blackfish City is a compelling dystopian thriller." — The Guardian (U.K.)
"An eco-punk thriller with startling implications for how climate change, technology, and the political machinations of the mega-rich could dramatically alter our future.
Sam J. Miller has proven himself a force to be reckoned with. Fascinating. . . A science fantasy that is truly remarkable in scope." — B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy.
"An urgent tale imploring us to look at the ties between technology, race, gender and class privilege. . . Surprisingly heartwarming. . . Ultimately, Blackfish is a book about power structures and the way that privilege is built on the backs of the disenfranchised - wrapped in an action-packed science fiction thriller." — The Washington Post.
AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz|
2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
Jack Chen is a drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap cures for poor people who can't otherwise afford them.
But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.
Now she must rectify the damage by finding a cure and exposing the corrupt manufacturer who first developed the drug. Annalee Newitz explores
issues of free will, social accountability, and scientific responsibility in a dazzling futuristic thriller.
"In a phenomenal debut that's sure to garner significant awards attention, Newitz sends three fascinating characters on an action-packed race against time through a strange yet familiar futuristic landscape. A skillful inspection of attraction and identity in a fragmented, frenetic society." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Newitz takes some of today's key social and technical issues (the nature of artificial intelligence, the notion of property and ownership) and wraps them in a compelling,
original story line acted out by memorable characters. VERDICT: Lovers of original, thought-provoking SF should not miss this one." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Fascinating. . . Newitz is an excellent writer, with an effortless style. A terrific book that covers an astounding amount of ground. You will be the smarter for it." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
"From startling insights, to delicately turned prose, to whole passages of unbearably tender musings on the intimate desires of artificial intelligence, there's much more than I can feasibly talk about here. Breathtaking descriptions. . . tremendously compelling character arcs. . . Autonomous brims and bubbles over with ideas.
It's a brilliant, fascinating debut, beautifully written and developed, and I'm excited to see what conversations it provokes." — NPR Book Reviews.
- Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
SPOONBENDERS by Daryl Gregory|
An NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR | 2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
Tricking his way into a classified government study, Teddy Telemachus meets and falls in love with Maureen, a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. They marry, raise three gifted children, and as The Amazing Telemachus Family, perform astounding feats across the country. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered.
Master storyteller Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all.
"A nimble and substantial novel with a cast of odd, damaged, enormously likable characters in a complex story that gracefully balances melodrama with the ordinary mysteries of family dynamics. Each of the characters has a precise energy and depth that makes him or her irresistible. The chapters shift between their points of view, revealing different threads of the story with masterful control. A skillfully written family drama that employs quirk and magic with grace." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Daryl Gregory has created a captivating cast. These are eccentric people with eccentric lives, but the level of emotional detail at work is astounding, and Gregory's magic touch makes even their strangest moments relatable. An intensely endearing read. . . The premise will hook you, the plot will entice you, and then the Telemachuses themselves will make you fall in love." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
"What Daryl Gregory accomplishes in his seventh novel is both magic and magic trick. Gregory writes with humor and charm, offering up a rollicking and quick-paced plot tailor-made for summer." — The New York Times.
"Superbly engaging, balancing delightful wackiness with genuine tenderness throughout. Deeply moving, faceted, complex and affecting." — NPR Book Reviews.
WINNER OF THE 2018 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION|
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year | A Washington Post Top Ten Book of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Book of the Year
LESS by Andrew Sean Greer
Arthur Less, a gay failed novelist turning 50, decides to avoid an ex-boyfriend's awkward wedding by skipping town.
Accepting invitations from every half-baked literary event in the world, Arthur finds himself in one embarrassing, perilous, ridiculous situation after another.
From Mexico City to Berlin, from Marrakech to Kyoto, mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes abound and compound.
A writer at the peak of his talents, Andrew Sean Greer delivers a scintillating satire of the American abroad,
a rumination on time and the human heart, and a bittersweet romance of chances lost.
"Less is the funniest, smartest and most humane novel I've read. . . Greer writes sentences of arresting lyricism and beauty. His metaphors come at you like fireflies.
It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful." — The New York Times.
"Greer signals his debt to Proust and paints a comic yet moving picture of an American abroad. As Greer explores Less' lovelorn memories, he also playfully mocks the often ludicrous nature of the publishing industry. His finest novel yet. . . Less is a wondrous achievement!" — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Greer is an exceptionally lovely writer, capable of mingling humor with sharp poignancy. . . Brilliantly funny. . . Greer's narration, so elegantly laced with wit, cradles the story of a man who loses everything: his lover, his suitcase, his beard, his dignity." — The Washington Post.
"Philosophical, poignant, funny and wise, filled with unexpected turns. . . Although Greer is gifted and subtle in comic moments, he's just as adept at ruminating on the
deeper stuff. His protagonist grapples with aging, loneliness, creativity, grief, self-pity and more." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
"Less adorably butchers the German language, nearly falls in love in Paris, celebrates his birthday in the desert and, somewhere along the way, discovers
something new and fragile about the passing of time, about the coming and going of love, and what it means to be the fool of your own narrative. It's nothing
less than wonderful."— BookPage *** starred review ***.
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
SING UNBURIED, SING by Jesmyn Ward
Hoping for a loving reunion, a black woman takes her children to meet her white husband who is about to be released from prison. Her journey through
modern rural Mississippi becomes a harrowing road trip fraught with danger. Jesmyn Ward's novel of a family haunted by poverty, drug addiction, and the legacy of
violence is a powerful and deeply affecting narrative of marginalized people struggling to exist under the weight of hate and prejudice.
"However eternal its concerns, Ward's new book is perfectly poised for the moment. It combines aspects of the American road novel and the ghost story with a timely treatment of the long aftershocks of a hurricane and the opioid epidemic devouring rural America. . . Ward’s greatest feat here is achieving a level of empathy that is all too often impossible to muster in real life, but that is genuine and inevitable in the hands of a writer of such lyric imagination." — The New York Times.
"With intensely evocative imagery, musical rhetoric, and bountiful sympathy toward even the most exasperating of its characters, the terrible beauty of life along the nation's lower margins is summoned in this bold, bright, and sharp-eyed road novel. As with the best and most meaningful American fiction these days, old truths are recast here in new realities rife with both peril and promise." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Speaks across chasms of age, class, and color. . . A moving illumination of danger and exposure. . . The signal characteristic of Ward's prose is its lyricism. The effect can be hypnotic. This, and her ease with vernacular language, puts Ward in fellowship with such forebears as Zora Neale Hurston and William Faulkner." — The New Yorker.
"As long as America has novelists such as Jesmyn Ward, it will not lose its soul. Sing, Unburied, Sing, is nothing short of magnificent. Combining stark circumstances
with magical realism, it illuminates America's love-hate tug between the races in a way that we seem incapable of doing anywhere else but in occasional blessed works of art." — The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"Ward’s book conjures the same raw emotion of her previous works, like her previous National Book Award-winning novel Salvage the Bones. But this time, a sense of magical realism deepens the ghostly sense of the past reaching out to touch - or even strangle - the present. Ward’s novel is a true triple threat, expert in prose, human observation and social commentary." — Time Magazine: The Top Ten Novels of 2017.
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Hardcover (Front Display)
|3 KINGS: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Hip-Hop's Multibillion-Dollar Rise by Zack O'Malley Greenburg|
A fascinating and detailed look at the rise of the financial empires built by Jay-Z and his hip-hop contemporaries Diddy and Dr. Dre that focuses on the entrepreneurial spirit of these three titans of the genre.
"Greenburg's vivid descriptions - a small sampling includes the 'farty bass lines' of Dre's G-funk period; Suge Knight in his notorious 1995 Source Awards
appearance 'looking like a gang-affiliated Kool-Aid Man'; and Diddy dressed like 'a very fashionable porcupine' - make for engaging reporting that will satisfy
neophytes and devotees alike." — Publishers Weekly.
"What sets this book apart from other biographies is Greenburg's attention to hip-hop as a cultural phenomenon. More important, Greenburg details the thinking of
these three tastemakers throughout their musical careers and into their corporate identities as they focus on shaping the way people enjoy their lives. Greenburg
offers a refreshing perspective on three immensely talented and popular personalities." — Booklist.
"There is no keener, more knowledgeable and scintillating observer of the modern cultural scene than Zack Greenburg. He proves it with this definitive, absorbing history
of hip-hop and its three mega-giants. It reads better than an adventure novel and provides highly useful entrepreneurial lessons for anyone who wants to achieve
success." — Forbes Magazine.
"A comprehensive review of hip-hop history on all fronts. It will inspire newcomers and deepen the appreciation of aficionados, while explaining just how hip-hop took its current place on the world stage." — The Huffington Post.
|FEEL FREE: Essays by Zadie Smith|
Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.
Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. This is literary journalism at its best.
"A compelling collection of essays and reviews embracing literary, art, film, and cultural criticism, amplified by a dissection of the vagaries of modern life.
The author is honest, often impassioned, always sober. Smith executes these pieces with consummate skill. She is never less than a formidable intellect, with an imposing command of literary and artistic canons." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Brilliant. . . Smith's new book is lively, intelligent and frequently hilarious, and proves that she's one of the brightest minds in English literature today.
She engages artists on their own terms; she's opinionated, but not judgmental. And she manages to breathe new life into well-worn topics.
There's not an essay in Feel Free that's less than engrossing. More importantly, she's an elegant writer, original, big-hearted and enthusiastic." — NPR.
"It is exquisitely pleasurable to observe Smith thinking on the page, not least because we have no idea where she's headed." — The New York Times.
"What binds the collection is Smith's voice: frank, urgent, self-ironic. Dipping into these pieces (in any order) is like setting out on a walk with a vibrant, curious, gracefully articulate friend." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
|FASCISM: A Warning by Madeleine Albright|
The first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State presents a timely, considered, and personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism and the virulent threat it poses to international freedom, prosperity, and peace. A book for our times that is relevant to all times. Written by someone who has not only studied history but helped to shape it, this call to arms teaches us the lessons we must understand and the questions we must answer if we are to save ourselves from repeating the tragic errors of the past.
"Yes, it can happen here. . . The Georgetown professor and former Clinton Secretary of State identifies various characteristics of fascism, including hypernationalism and populism mixed with authoritarian-leaning rule, militarism, contempt for democratic customs, persecution of minority populations, a dread of disorder and decadence, charismatic leaders, and public spectacles. Albright's incisive analyses are enriched by her experiences as a refugee from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and as America's diplomat-in-chief.
She offers cogent insights on worrisome political trends" — Publishers Weekly.
"A close observer of world governments sounds an alarm about threats to democracy. Albright concludes with 10 questions to ask of any prospective leader: Do they
inflame prejudices and incite desire for revenge; encourage contempt for governing institutions, the press, and the judiciary; exploit symbols of patriotism; brag about
their power to solve all problems? Sage advice in perilous times." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A cautionary primer on what democracy's antithesis looks like. Albright outlines the warning signs of fascism and offers concrete actions for restoring America's values and reputation. There is priceless wisdom on every page." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
- Non-Fiction: Soon-to-be or Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
|HUNGER: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay|
From the author of Bad Feminist, a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.
"A heart-rending debut memoir from the outspoken feminist and essayist. Gay pulls no punches. The author offers hope for others struggling with weight, sexual trauma,
or bodily shame. An intense, unsparingly honest portrait of childhood crisis and its enduring aftermath." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"It's hard to imagine this electrifying book being more personal, candid, or confessional. Gay powerfully takes readers through realities that pain her, vex her, guide her,
and inform her work. The result is a generous and empathic consideration of what it's like to be someone else: in itself something of a miracle." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"This raw and graceful memoir digs deeply into what it means to be comfortable in one's body. Gay denies that hers is a story of a triumph, but readers will be hard
pressed to find a better word." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A gripping book, with vivid details that linger long after its pages stop, Hunger is arresting and candid. It affords women, in particular, something so many other
accounts deny them - the right to take up space they are entitled to, and to define what that means." — The Atlantic.
|SAPIENS: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari|
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one: homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity's creation and evolution that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be "human."
"One of the exceptional works of nonfiction that is both highly intellectual and compulsively readable. . . a fascinating, hearty read." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"It's not often that a book offers readers the possibility to reconsider, well, everything. But that's what Harari does in this sweeping look at the history of humans. . .
with both wit and intellectual heft. Readers of every stripe should put this at the top of their reading lists. Thinking has never been so
enjoyable." — Booklist *** starred review *** Best Books of the Year.
"It is one hell of a story. And it has seldom been told better. . . Compulsively readable and impossibly learned, Sapiens takes readers on a sweeping tour of the
history of our species. Harari's formidable intellect sheds light on the biggest breakthroughs in the human story. . . important reading for serious-minded,
self-reflective sapiens." — The Washington Post.
"Harari’s account of how we conquered the Earth astonishes with its scope and imagination. A bravura retelling of the human story. . . Brilliantly clear, witty and erudite.
One of those rare books that lives up to the publisher’s blurb. It really is thrilling and breath-taking; it actually does question our basic narrative of the
world." — The Guardian (U.K.)
|NOT THAT BAD: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay|
In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and author Roxane Gay collects first-person essays that address what it means
to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face. Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection
both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that "not that bad" must no longer be good enough.
"We’ve entered a new era of understanding of how bad it really is, opening a new space for conversations on how to move forward. And Gay is the perfect person to help
us start. A refreshingly diverse range of writers. . . and the contributions are just as diverse - from gut-wrenching stories of assault to sharp analysis of all the ways our culture chooses to ignore the actions of perpetrators in favour of victim-blaming." — The Toronto Star.
"It’s hard to imagine a more fitting editor for a collection like this. Gay has garnered so much attention for her writing that it’s easy to forget she also has extensive talents
as an editor. The pieces she’s chosen for this collection are extremely well constructed. They vary widely in tone, structure, and voice, yet all underscore the same
themes: sexual violence can happen to anyone, and when it does, no one can ever forget what happened. It’s difficult to read and not despair - at the state of our culture,
at the horrors that people willfully enact on one another. But everyone should read it." — The Brooklyn Rail.
HILLBILLY ELEGY: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance|
The riveting story of how the author overcame his dysfunctional rural Kentucky upbringing to graduate from Yale Law School and embark on a stable and happy adulthood
poses the bigger question of how other such "hillbillies" can surmount these problems. Vance compellingly describes the terrible toll that alcoholism, drug abuse, and an
unrelenting code of honor took on his family, neither excusing the behavior nor condemning it.
"In this understated, engaging debut, the author reflects on his stormy journey from the coal-country Kentucky hollers of Appalachia to the declining Rust Belt to life
among the Ivy League-educated elite. An unusually timely and deeply affecting view of a social class whose health and economic problems are making headlines in this election year." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Vivid characters and an eye for nuance are among the strengths of this sincere memoir, an elegy for both the hillbillies Vance has loved, and a large population
of struggling, working-class poor. He offers ideas for improving his people's lot: cultural change from within rather than policy. But the bulk of Hillbilly Elegy
is a loving remembrance of imperfect but dearly beloved individuals, who did their best with what they had." — Shelf Awareness *** starred review ***.
"To understand the rage and disaffection of America s working-class whites, look to Greater Appalachia. J.D. Vance confronts us with the economic and spiritual travails of this forgotten corner of our country. Here we find women and men who dearly love their country, yet who feel powerless as their way of life is devastated. Never before have I read a memoir so powerful, and so necessary." — The National Review.
"A compassionate, discerning sociological analysis. Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference
guide for an uncivilized election, and he's done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans. Imagine that." — The New York Times.
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
PRIESTDADDY: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood|
Patricia Lockwood's father is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met - a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on
the guitar reverberates "like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972." When an unexpected crisis leads the author and her husband to move back into her parents'
rectory, their two worlds collide. A vivid, heartbreakingly funny, and unforgettable portrait of a deeply odd religious upbringing, and how one balances a hard-won
identity with the weight of family and tradition.
"Priestdaddy roars from the gate. . . It's not just that Lockwood has fresh eyes and quick wits, but that in her father she's lucked upon one of the great characters
of this nonfiction decade. . . What I love about this book was the way it feels suffused with love - of literature, nature and the English language; for family . . . one
of the pleasures of this memoir is its particularly tender mother-daughter bond. . . Lockwood's voice is wonderfully grounded and authentic - she proves herself
a formidably gifted writer who can do pretty much anything she pleases." — The New York Times.
"Funny and gorgeously written, with scenes so witty and zany they could be lifted from a Broadway show, Priestdaddy will be one of the major prose debuts of the year." — The Huffington Post.
"A vivid, unrelentingly funny memoir. . . Lockwood's stories are both savage and tender, shot through with surprises and revelations." — The New Yorker.
"Remarkable. . . Lockwood proceeds with a near unflagging sense of ironic exuberance and verbal inventiveness. . . this superabundance of comic energy and literary vigor is a measure of Lockwood's seriousness." — The Washington Post.
"A sidesplittingly funny, and simply gorgeously written reflection on her father's decision to become a Catholic priest. As poignantly self-reflective as it is authoritative and enlightening about the state of the Catholic Church - and modern religion - today." — Harper's Bazaar.
WINNER OF THE 2018 PULITZER PRIZE FOR HISTORY|
Winner of the 2017 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction
GULF: The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis
An incisive and comprehensive portrait of the Gulf of Mexico - from its lusty birth in the chaos of shifting continental plates to its slow and agonizing death of a million cuts inflicted by pollution and exploitation. Frequently viewing the history of the Gulf through the prism of artists and writers including Winslow Homer, Wallace Stevens, Ernest Hemingway and John D. MacDonald, the author has delivered a uniquely illuminating homage to one of the world's most diverse and productive marine ecosystems.
"Environmental historian Davis presents an engaging, truly relevant new study of the Gulf as a powerful agent in the American story, one that has become lost
in the pages of American history. The story of this magnificent body of water and its wildlife grows tragic. . . Still, it remains an improbable, valiant survival tale
in the face of the BP oil spill and ongoing climate change. An elegant narrative braced by a fierce, sobering environmental
conviction." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***..
"This is a work of astonishing breadth: richly peopled, finely structured, beautifully written." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A perceptive historical survey of America's Gulf Coast, this fascinating work accents the region's nexus between nature and civilization.
Amid the land and seascapes Davis populates colorful characters, from would-be conquistadors to business and tourism entrepreneurs to environmental activists, who form a gallery of human interest that easily carries the reader from cover to cover." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A sprightly and sweeping new history. . . Davis has written a beautiful homage to a neglected sea, a lyrical paean to its remaining estuaries and marshes, and a marvelous mash-up of human and environmental history." — The New York Times.
"An enthralling splendid new book. . . Davis is a historian, and this book is packed with research, but The Gulf does not read like a textbook. He is a graceful, clear, often lyrical writer who makes sometimes surprising, always illuminating connections - and he is telling an important story. — The Tampa Bay Times.
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
|THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - And Us by Richard O. Prum|
An acclaimed zoologist extrapolates on Darwin's overlooked theory of sexual selection, which argues that choosing a mate for aesthetic reasons - for the mere pleasure of it - is its own key force in evolutionary change.
"Prum draws on decades of study, hundreds of papers, and a lively, literate, and mischievous mind. . . a delicious read, both seductive and mutinous. Prum's attention
never strays far from nature, and his writing is minutely detailed, exquisitely observant, deeply informed, and often tenderly
sensual." — The New York Times.
"A major intellectual achievement that should hasten the adoption of a more expansive style of evolutionary explanation that Darwin himself would have appreciated." — The Washington Post.
"Exhilarating. . . The Evolution of Beauty should be widely read, as it will provoke readers, shaking them from their dogmatic slumbers.
I don't see how any biologist could read this book and not walk away at least questioning the idea that adaptation must explain every last trait.
Survival of the fittest might not be enough to explain nature. We might need survival of the prettiest, too." — The Wall Street Journal.
"A smorgasbord of evolutionary biology, philosophy, and sociology, filtered through Prum's experiences as a birdwatcher and his diverse research on everything from dinosaur colors to duck sex. Through compelling arguments and colorful examples, Prum launches a counterstrike against the adaptationist regime, in an attempt to 'put the subjective experience of animals back in the center of biology' and to 'bring beauty back to the sciences." — The Atlantic.
"Fascinating. . . we learn about the patterning of dinosaur feathers, consider the evolutionary basis of the human female orgasm, the tyranny of academic patriarchy, and the corkscrewed enormity of a duck's penis. Rich and absorbing. . . The dance Prum performs to convince you to take him on as an intellectual partner is beautiful and deserves to be appreciated on its own terms." — The New Scientist.
10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
WINNER OF THE 2018 PULITZER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION|
A New York Times Best Book of the Year
LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman
The war on crime that began in the 1970s and contributed to the rise of mass incarceration - along with its disproportionate impact on people of color -
was supported by many African American leaders in the nation's urban centers. James Forman seeks to understand how and why.
"Superb and shattering. . . A masterly account of how a generation of black elected officials wrestled with recurring crises of violence and drug use in the nation's capital.
A big deal and a major breakthrough. Forman's novel claim is this: What most explains the punitive turn in black America is not a repudiation of
civil rights activism, as some have argued, but an embrace of it. . . Locking Up Our Own compels readers to wrestle with some very tough questions about the nature of American democracy and its deep roots in racism, inequality and punishment." — The New York Times.
"Forman's moving, nuanced, and candid account challenges another aspect of the New Jim Crow thesis. He shows that some of the most ardent proponents of tough-on-crime policies in the era that brought us mass incarceration were black politicians and community leaders - many of whom were veterans of the civil rights movement.
The correctives offered by Forman have consequences not only for how we understand mass incarceration, but for how we go about fixing it." — The New York Review of Books.
"Remarkable. . . Forman's beautifully written narrative, enriched by firsthand knowledge of the cops and courts, neither condemns black leaders in hindsight nor exonerates the white-dominated institutions. He adds historical nuance to the story of mass incarceration told in The New Jim Crow." — The Washington Post.
"A gritty, eloquent, often revelatory work of local history, interspersed with tales of Forman's experiences as a public defender. A sobering chronicle of how black
people, in the hope of saving their communities, contributed to the rise of a system that has undone much of the progress of the civil rights era. But, as Forman knows,
they could not have built it by themselves." — The London Review of Books (U.K.).
"Poignant and insightful. Forman deftly moves between examples of black community support for a law-and-order crackdown and the dire present-day consequences of
our increasingly punitive and aggressive war on crime. Timely and important." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Poetry: New in Paperback (Aisle 2-A)
WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY
HALF-LIGHT: COLLECTED POEMS 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart (available only in hardcover)
The collected works of one of contemporary poetry's most original voices.
The poems of Frank Bidart represent the human voice in all its extreme registers, whether it's that of the child-murderer Herbert White, the obsessive anorexic Ellen West, the tormented genius Vaslav Nijinsky, or the poet's own. Visionary and revelatory, intimate and unguarded, Bidart's Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2017 are a radical confrontation with human nature.
"A single-minded exploration of the sources and meanings of emotional intensity, the passions, fears, and cravings that drive people to do what we do. . .
Relentless and ever willing to face his demons, no matter how terrifying, in the interest of making great art, Bidart is one of the very few major living poets who never
wavers, never repeats himself, and extends his questing and questioning through each new work. This collected poems is an almost overwhelming bounty,
a permanent book." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Throughout his career, Bidart's self-devoting genius has been his ability to transform a poem into a vocalized performance of consciousness and moral interrogation, an occasion for metaphysical speculation as intense and oracular as any Shakespearean monologue or philosophical treatise. . . Sublime. . . Mesmerizing . . ." — The New York Times.
"Frank Bidart has long challenged readers - and convention - with a complexity and originality not often seen in American poetry. Now readers can gain a deeper
understanding of how Bidart's writing works together to create a vast, manifold narrative. The book closes with an ambitious section of new writing that deals with mortality and remembered friendships, a fitting way to end this monumental work." — The Washington Post.
"Half-light is a tremendous literary event. One of the undisputed master poets of our time, Frank Bidart eats and breathes the high culture of the twentieth
century. But Bidart is no mere aesthete; for him, art is a supreme life force, water in the desert of the soul, a talisman against oblivion. Bidart has honed and refined his relentlessly intense voice. . . Reading him, we feel less alone in our cosmic aloneness." — NPR
(Andrews McMeel/Simon & Schuster)
THE SUN AND HER FLOWERS by Rupi Kaur|
From Rupi Kaur, the acclaimed bestselling author of Milk and Honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one's roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.
Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.
"Rupi Kaur reinvents poetry. She is undeniably equipped with the poet's ability to articulate emotions that readers struggle to make sense of." — The Economist (U.K.).
"Rupi Kaur is kicking down the doors of publishing. Ms. Kaur’s work reminds us that the ordinary business and experience of millennial minority women is not to be dismissed." — The New York Times.
"Kaur’s style is artless and therefore sincere; its lack of workbench polish is the mark of immediacy. This is poetry that aspires to be message rather than music - and it is a potently direct and feminist message." — The Times (U.K.).
ON CATS by Charles Bukowski | Edited by Abel Debritto|
Felines touched a vulnerable spot in the unfathomable soul of Charles Bukowski. On Cats brings together the acclaimed writer's reflections on the animals
he considered among his most profound teachers. An illuminating portrait of this one-of-a-kind artist and his unique view of the world, witnessed through his relationship with the animals he so admired.
"This anthology of Bukowski's poems and short prose honors the animals that touched his soul. Bukowski captures the spirit of his own pet cats as fighters, hunters
and survivors, including photos of himself with his charges." — The Associated Press.
"Acclaimed writer Charles Bukowski turns his signature eye on the world of felines. A series of essays and poems all about cats, Bukowski's classic funny and frank
tone becomes, at times, even endearing as he explores and honors the majestic creatures and our relationship with them." — Bustle Magazine.
"Would you have guessed the hard-drinking writer whose life inspired the film Barfly would have a soft spot for felines? Editor Abel Debritto has pulled together
Bukowski poems and prose about cats, friendly and respectful but not gooey - and given Bukowski s other preoccupations, not for kids." — The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
|THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY: 2017 edited by David Lehman | Guest Editor: Natasha D. Trethewey|
Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner and nineteenth US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, The Best American Poetry 2017 brings together the most notable poems of the year in the series that offers “a vivid snapshot of what a distinguished poet finds exciting, fresh, and memorable” (Robert Pinsky).
Librarian of Congress James Billington says Natasha Trethewey “consistently and dramatically expanded the power” of the role of US Poet Laureate, traveling the country, and reaching millions through her innovative PBS NewsHour segment Where Poetry Lives. Marilyn Nelson says “the wide scope of Trethewey’s interests and her adept handling of form have created an opus of classics both elegant and necessary.” With her selections and introductory essay for this year's anthology, Trethewey will be highlighting even more “elegant and necessary” poems and poets, adding to the national conversation of verse and its role in our culture.
The Best American Poetry is not just another anthology; it serves as a guide to who’s who and what’s happening in American poetry and is an eagerly awaited publishing event each year. With Trethewey’s insightful touch and genius for plumbing the depths of history and personal experience to shape striking verse, The Best American Poetry 2017 is another brilliant addition to the series.
- Young Adult & Juvenile Fiction & Non-Fiction: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)
In this prequel to Alexander's Newbery Medal winner The Crossover, Josh and Jordan's father, Chuck Bell, takes center stage, as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to.
"Once again, Alexander has given readers an African-American protagonist to cheer. He is surrounded by a strong supporting cast, especially two brilliant female characters, his friend CJ and his cousin Roxie, as well as his feisty and wise granddaddy. Music and cultural references from the late 1980s add authenticity. An eminently satisfying story of family, recovery, and growing into manhood. " — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"This is an Alexander production, so the plot, as rich and satisfying as it is, is outdazzled by the brilliance of wordplay and syntax. There is a rhythm to each page,
whether it's the snappy give-and-take of dialogue, the throbbing of Charlie's bottomless melancholy, or the rushing excitement of a basketball game.
A pitch-perfect follow-up. " — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"As in his previous novels in verse, Alexander shows off his expert command of the format, employing staccato breaks with smooth rhymes that mimic the bounce and flow of the sport. Alexander's poetry is buoyant and optimistic. Fans of The Crossover will delight in learning the origin tale of Josh and JB's dad, while new readers can comfortably jump right into the game." — School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
( Henry Holt/MPS)
|CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Dashka Slater (Children of Orisha #1)|
Tomi Adeyemi's fantasy debut - set in a kingdom with traditions and mythology reminiscent of Nigeria and greater West Africa - is an astounding feat of storytelling and world-building.
"Adeyemi's devastating debut is a brutal, beautiful tale of revolution, faith, and star-crossed love. A story that resonates with magic both literal and figurative while condemning apathy in the face of injustice. . . Complex characters, colossal stakes, and a kaleidoscopic narrative captivate, and the book's punishing pace catapults readers to a jaw-dropping conclusion that poses as many questions as it answers." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Plunges readers into a dense, vivid world full of intriguing politics, evocative magic, and brutal violence. Cinematic pacing, alternating viewpoints, and well-choreographed action make the pages fly toward the cliff-hanger ending, which will surely leave readers eager for the next installment." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Adeyemi's debut and series opener is a revelation. She has brilliantly woven the Yoruba language and culture into a complex and epic tale. Readers will appreciate the intergenerational cast. This extraordinary literary work should be on every shelf." — School Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.
Powerful, captivating, and raw - Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional!" — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Filled with fascinating landscapes, complex mythology and nuanced characters coping with a world on the brink of massive change.
Unmistakably descended from traditional high fantasy, Children of Blood and Bone is perfectly positioned to join the ranks of sprawling speculative
worlds for teens, bringing with it a much-needed Afrocentric perspective." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
- Children's Books: Recently Released (Children's Books Section)
|THEY SAY BLUE by Jillian Tamaki|
In captivating paintings full of movement and transformation, Caldecott Medal and Printz Honor-winner Jillian Tamaki follows a young girl as she examines the colors in the world around her. Playful and philosophical, this is a book about color as well as perspective, about the things we can see and the things we can only wonder at.
"Tamaki's picture book debut explores color and the seasons in a lyrical, philosophical way that is rooted in a child's sensibilities. Attuned to a child's psychology and
patterns of critical thinking, this visually stunning work is a must-purchase." — School Library Journal *** starred review ***
"A girl weighs what she's been told about the world against what she observes and knows, leading to more questions and contemplations. Thinking, imagining, noticing--these, Tamaki suggests, are the tools we have to understand our world." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"The free-associative nature of the child narrator's interaction with her surroundings seems utterly familiar, and approaching it with observational, sensory language lands it firmly in territory children can relate to. This poetic, off-kilter little book has enigmatic power, and observant children will likely be enchanted." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
(Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
|TEDDY'S FAVORITE TOY by Christian Trimmer | Illustrated by Madeline Valentine|
A mom goes to extraordinary and literally heroic lengths to rescue her son's favorite doll in this delightful tribute to treasured toys - and to mothers.
"Teddy has loads of cool toys, but his favorite is Bren-Da, Warrior Queen of Pacifica, a redheaded doll in a pink dress. When Teddy is at school his mother mistakes Bren-Da for trash and throws her away. When Teddy returns home to find Bren-Da missing, his mother performs some moves worthy of the Warrior Queen of Pacifica herself.
The story's implicit messages (it should be unremarkable when boys play with dolls; that parents can become superheroic to do right by their children) ring loud, true, and funny."
— Horn Book Magazine
"Trimmer's smart, closely observed portrait celebrates a boy and a mother whose relationship grows out of mutual respect. An imgainative
free-for-all." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"Trimmer's simple story of a universal experience will captivate young readers and have them rooting for Teddy's reunion with Bren-Da. A heartwarming story that uses an everyday occurrence to push the envelope on many fronts." — Kirkus Reviews.
"A refreshingly bold story that makes its message clear without being pedantic. What makes this book so appealing is the back-and-forth dynamic between the text and
images. Simple, sophisticated language suggests a respectful alliance between mother and son, and is perfectly complemented by charming gouache-and-pencil
illustrations that capture the characters' emotions as the story unfolds. Slightly older readers can unpack other layers about social norms and diversity, but all will appreciate this dynamic book's adventurous yet relatable style." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
- Comics and Graphic Novels - Children (Children's Book Section)
|BE PREPARED by Vera Brosgol|
Vera's sure she's found the one place she can fit in - a summer camp just for Russian-American kids. But nothing could prepare her for the reality of mean girls,
stinking outhouses, and baffling camp traditions. A gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir about navigating one's own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship.
"An adorable art style! A gorgeous, emotional memoir worthy of any graphic novel collection." — School Library Journal
"Brosgol's illustration skills fully match her convincing narration. Vera is a character with appeal to every tween who's ever felt disappointed by peers - or by a fulfilled
wish that didn't live up to its bright, shiny promise." — Center for Children's Books Bulletin *** starred review ***.
"The dialogue rings true, the pace is seamless . . . By turns sardonic, adorable, and noble, Vera is a beguiling hero who learns how to recognize who's really on her
side." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"With fantastic pacing and poignant emotional turns, Brosgol's winsome graphic memoir hilariously captures the lengths kids go to in order to fit in as well as the author's growth from a girl desperate for a place to belong into someone confident enough to stand up for herself. Pitch-perfect!
Brosgol's artwork has immense depth and she strikes a perfect balance between heartfelt honesty and uproarious, self-deprecating humor. This will easily lodge a place in
readers' hearts, even as it has them rolling in the aisles." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
- Comics and Graphic Novels - Adults (Wall Display)
(Drawn & Quarterly/MPS)
2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
|SABRINA by Nick Drnaso|
The first graphic novel ever to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize
A woman named Sabrina vanishes from her Chicago apartment, leaving friends and family haunted by what might have befallen her.
Unable to cope, her boyfriend Teddy takes refuge with his childhood friend Calvin - but Calvin finds that by sheltering Teddy he has become the target of vague, hostile conspiracy theories spread by internet cranks and late-night radio hosts. Incisive, chilling, and completely unpredictable, Sabrina demonstrates the inexplicable power of comics at their best.
"A profoundly American nightmare. The fictional killing in Sabrina is disturbing, but Drnaso doesn't fixate on the gore or the culprit; he's more concerned with how the public claims and consumes it, spinning out morbid fantasies with impunity. It's a shattering work of art." — The New York Times.
"What's most curious and, ultimately, valuable about this book is that it is not a crime story; it's a perspicacious and chilling analysis of the nature of trust and truth and the erosion of both in the age of the internet - and especially, in the age of Trump." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Cinematic and deeply timely, this tale is torn from today's darkest headlines of fake news, terrorism, and the ultimately dehumanizing effect of the Internet. Drnaso's artwork
reveals depths of emotion that culminate in a reading experience guaranteed to linger. More indictment of modern life than satire, and almost sure to be one of the most discussed graphic novels of the year - if not the next several, this should skyrocket Drnaso to the top tier of comics creators today." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A quietly forceful examination of suburban ennui. . . a masterful look at the emotional toll taken by the dehumanizing forces at large in modern society.
Drnaso's subtly penetrating work is an incisive depiction of emotionally stunted men who don't need a tragedy to display the symptoms of trauma victims." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
- Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
JADE CITY by Fonda Lee|
2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST | A Best Book of the Year: Locus Magazine, The Verge, and NPR
The island of Kekon is protected from foreign invasion by the magical jade mined there. But now the honor-driven Kaul family seizes control of the market, even as a
new drug lets anyone use the fierce power of the jade. The first in a trilogy inspired by Asian warring clans history, this is an absolutely enthralling saga of intrigue,
ambition, and magic.
"Lee draws on her Chinese heritage, passion for gangster stories, and strong writing to launch a Godfather-inspired fantasy series that mixes bold martial-arts action and vivid worldbuilding. The result is terrific." — Library Journal PICK-OF-THE-MONTH *** starred review ***.
"Lee has created a fully realized universe in which to expand, with a solid magic system and boatloads of history and gravitas. Jade City flows with a sense of purpose, visceral brutality and dizzying spectacle." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
"An intrigue-packed adventure set in an Asia-inspired, alternate-world modern city. As this ambitious and complex story unfolds, Lee skillfully juggles a huge cast. An engaging blend of crime drama and Asian martial arts tropes in a strongly envisioned world. . . an intense, satisfying experience." — Publishers Weekly.
"An absolutely blistering read. The characters are perfectly three-dimensional. The plot is thrilling and the action sequences are damn near perfect.
I cannot recommend Jade City highly enough." — The Eloquent Page.
"Stunning. . . Brilliant. . . Exceptionally deep and fully realized characters. . . There is a complexity surrounding this book’s ensemble that is rarely seen in the first book
of a series. The character progression is also exquisite. An epic, unique, and often unforgiving gangster fantasy narrative intertwined with glimpses of hope and
goodness." — Fantasy Book Review.
"An instantly absorbing tale of blood, honor, family and magic, spiced with unexpectedly tender character beats." — NPR Book Reviews.
|THE RISE AND FALL OF D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland|
When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets intelligence agent Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. Ancient documents have been found that prove that magic - now extinct - once actually worked.
Written with the genius, complexity, and innovation that characterize all of Neal Stephenson's work and steeped with the warmth and humor of Nicole Galland's storytelling style, this exciting and vividly realized novel will make you believe in the impossible, and take you to places - and times - beyond imagining.
"There’s a lot going on here - stylistic flourishes, comedic pratfalls, romance and science - but it’s handled deftly. Those familiar with Stephenson will recognize his humor and ideas, while Galland brings a fresh and irresistible voice to this ambitious novel." — The Washington Post.
"An immense and immensely entertaining genre-hopping yarn. Characters worthy of Umberto Eco are perfectly at home here." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Quantum physics, witchcraft, and multiple groups with conflicting agendas, playfully mixed with vernacular from several centuries and a dizzying number of acronyms, create a fascinating experiment in speculation and metafiction that never loses sight of the human foibles and affections of its cast." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A high-stakes techno-farce with brains and heart. A playful sense of humor, a willingness to tackle big subjects with accuracy and rigor, a facility with thriller
plots that contain well-hidden surprises are all on display." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
"A brave novel that defies genre and incorporates many of the best characteristics of both its contributing authors. The sprawling cast is one of the book’s
strongest points, especially the witches. Smart, hilarious, and bewitching. . ." — The Chicago Review of Books
|THE WOLF by Leo Carew|
In an alternate Viking-era Europe, the isle of Albion is shared by ambitious, comfort-loving human Suthernors and the Anakim, incredibly long-lived, nature-loving giants
who revel in their own wildness. An uneasy peace between the two races is broken when
the Anakim ruler is unexpectedly killed, and his heir must deal with both invasion and civil war. A work of extraordinary imagination, this is epic fantasy at its very best.
"A grand-scale historical fantasy. . . an action-packed and blood-splattered tour de force.
A memorable cast of characters, exceptional worldbuilding, meticulously choreographed battle scenes, and relentless pacing. . . Carew is the real deal - an exciting new voice in fantasy." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A gripping and ambitious epic fantasy. Delightfully clever. . . The book is twisty in its political maneuverings, gritty in its battle descriptions, and rich with a sense of heroism and glory. The depth of Anakim culture is thoroughly developed, including shadow organizations run by women that may threaten the heavily militarized male-focused power structure. The finale of this installment perfectly sets the stage for a larger story, and readers will excitedly anticipate the rest of the series." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A beautiful tapestry of a tale. All you need is here - the battles are bloody and well planned, the politics are twisted and the characters pop off the
page." — The Bookbag (U.K.) ***** 5-out-of-5-stars.
"An absorbing study of one man’s rise to power - imagine Game of Thrones rewritten by John le Carré - with some magnificent world-building.
Excellent anthropological observations of the opposing cultures of the Anakim and the Suthernors, and building inexorably towards its climactic battle, The Wolf is a marvellously accomplished debut." — The Guardian (U.K.).
|AMBERLOUGH by Lana Elena Donnelly|
2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
In freewheeling and decadent Amberlough, spies, criminals, cabaret bohemians, and lovers struggle to save what matters
to each of them from a tide of rising fascism and violence. Donnelly's debut - set in a richly imagined city evocative of Weimar-era Berlin - is an audacious blend of
espionage, romance, and tragedy.
"Amberlough has an amazing voice. Its spy-thriller twists and ever-growing tension combine to provide an extraordinarily entertaining ride. And I have to say: if this is her debut? I can’t wait to see what Donnelly does next." — Locus.
"Donnelly's striking debut brings a complex world of politics, espionage, and cabaret life to full vision. The emotional journeys of the characters as they struggle to survive in a society under siege by dark forces will strike a chord with readers as they race to the story's conclusion." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Donnelly's masterly creation is richly imagined and moves at an unchecked pace, painting a layer of sumptuous indulgence over a society of corruption, vice, and oppression.
the characters are drawn inexorably to their limits in a conclusion that is as heartbreaking as it is satisfying." — Publisher's Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A sense of inevitable loss and futility permeates this rich drama. The fascists may never be defeated but only escaped - if the characters are willing to abandon the people they love. That dilemma will haunt them, as it haunts the reader." — Kirkus Reviews.
(Saga/Simon & Schuster)
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE ALCHEMIST'S DAUGHTER by Theodora Goss|
2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
A remarkable group of women come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders - and the bigger mystery of their own origins.
When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return.
An utterly delightful gothic gem of a novel!
"A standout pastiche of late Victorian mystery fiction, set in an alternate 1880s London and featuring Sherlock Holmes and a quintet of remarkable women.
This is a tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with impressive wit and insight." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Theodora Goss has assembled a deceptively intricate mosaic of friendship, family, history, science, and the way literature - not to mention truth - can be manipulated.
As each of the characters' haunting pasts comes to light, the book's balance between academic playfulness and poignant storytelling becomes more exquisite.
A swiftly paced, immaculately plotted mystery full of winning characters you always thought you knew. Overhauls, and pokes gentle fun at the era's weird-fiction tradition.
But it's also a sparkling, insightful conversation with the canon from which it sprang." — NPR.
"Goss upends fantasy tropes to bring to life characters who would have been ignored in the period works that inspired them, and the result is a fantastic, gripping read that feels true to the spirit of the original works, but updated with a modern spin for the 21st century reader." — The Verge.
SIX WAKES by Mur Lafferty|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
The ship Dormire carries 2,000 colonists and a crew of six clones with criminal pasts who are hoping to build new lives with clean slates. But nearly 25 years into the mission, the ship's crew awaken from their cryogenic sleep in the middle of a bloody crime scene. A masterful mix of locked-room mystery detection and hard science-fiction
that will enthrall fans of either genre.
"Interleaving urgent scenes with telling flashbacks, Lafferty delivers a tense nail-biter of a story fueled by memorable characters and thoughtful worldbuilding.
This space-based locked-room murder mystery explores complex technological and moral issues in a way that's certain to earn it a spot on award ballots." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Six survivors must figure out who killed their previous bodies and why. Lafferty delivers the ultimate locked-room mystery combined with top-notch sci-fi worldbuilding. The puzzle of who is responsible for the devastation on the ship keeps the pages turning." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A taut, nerve-tingling, interstellar murder mystery with a deeply human heart." — NPR.
"A perfect blend of science fiction and mystery, complete with Clue-like red herrings and thought-provoking philosophizing about the slippery slope of cloning technology. Lafferty jumps back and forth in time, developing each character and building a world in which human cloning is completely believable. Highly recommended." — Booklist.
THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE by John Scalzi|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2018 LOCUS AWARD FINALIST
Humanity has spread to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can
survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war - and, for the empire's rulers, a system of control.
The brilliant first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning author of Redshirts and Old Man's War.
"Scalzi mixes science, history, and politics with sharp action and intriguing characters. Readers will be thrilled to take another wild ride across the universe with the author of the Old Man's War series." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"Plenty of action, great character development, vivid and believable world-building, and a thought-provoking examination of culture and politics. . .
Yet more evidence that Scalzi is a master." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Scalzi has constructed a thrilling novel so in tune with the flow of politics that it would feel relevant at almost any time." — Entertainment Weekly.
"The Collapsing Empire - whose title alone seems like an appallingly on-the-nose allegory for the state of the United States at this moment - is one
of the most important revisionist hyperspace narratives to come along in some time. Combines elements of Asimov’s Foundation series with Banks’s
Culture series, Herbert’s Dune, and Lucas’s Star Wars in ways that I found quite delightful as a life-long fan of the
genre." — The Los Angeles Review of Books.
NEW YORK 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
In the 22nd century a series of climate disasters and ocean level risings have left New York City partially underwater.
But the residents of the partially submerged Met Life skyscraper are determined to stay - and to survive. This is their story - a story of
real estate, finance, climate change, treasure hunting, and kidnapping. Kim Stanley Robinson once again delivers a masterful novel of ecofiction.
"The tale is one of adventure, intrigue, relationships, and market forces. The cast is large and varied. . . The individual threads weave together into a complex
story well worth the read. This is hard SF the way it's meant to be written: technical, scientific, with big ideas and a fully realized society." — Booklist.
"Exploring this vastly changed cityscape, where familiar streets are replaced by skybridges and subways by vaporettos, is great fun. A post-disaster fairy tale that's
a thoroughly enjoyable exercise in worldbuilding, written with a cleareyed love for the city's past, present, and future." — Kirkus Reviews.
"New York may be underwater, but it's better than ever." — The New Yorker.
"Robinson, one of the greatest living science fiction writers, presents a drastically changed city that retains many of its eternal charms and perils.
Sporting a diverse cast of characters and a bracing, rarely cynical tone, this is some of Robinson's nimblest writing to date.
Through it all, though, his 2140-era New York City remains as delightfully confounding as the present iteration." — Shelf Awareness.
RAVEN STRATAGEM by Yoon Ha Lee|
2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
This stunning sequel to the Hugo and Nebula-nominated Ninefox Gambit contains a riveting mixture of interstellar battles, politics, intrigue, and
arcane technology. This is world-building space-opera at its finest.
"With multiple characters skilled in deception, Lee is able to keep readers guessing until the end. A brilliantly imagined tale." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"The sequel to Yoon Ha Lee’s phenomenal Ninefox Gambit, a sequel that is as mind-blowing as its predecessor but in a completely different way.
How do you follow-up a breathtaking, multiple award-nominated debut that combined world-changing technologies, interesting reality-altering mathematics and awesome characters?
You change perspective. Then add a plot to change the world. And then twist everything around half way through." — Kirkus Reviews.
"Yoon Ha Lee breaks new ground, focusing tightly on questions of free will. Ninefox explored the ethics of war, Raven is unflinching in its criticism
of the ethics of power. The entire novel acts as a strident call to arms: to reject inhumane government; to resist wherever possible.
Raven is a triumphant continuation of a vibrant new space opera. I expected intrigue and entertainment; I wasn’t prepared for all the feelings. I can’t wait to see where Yoon Ha Lee takes this rollercoaster next." — The Speculative Herald.
- Mystery, Suspense, Crime, Espionage Fiction: New Titles in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
|SINCE WE FELL by Dennis Lehane|
A chance encounter on a rainy afternoon devastates Rachel Child's ideal life - and sucks her into a conspiracy thick with deception, intrigue, and possibly madness. By turns heart-breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, this is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension.
"Since We Fell takes us into the heart of a tormented woman. It's about identity, too - how you picture yourself internally and how that contrasts with the outer personality you use to face the rest of the world. Lehane is in command of what he’s doing - unspooling plot twists and developing his character as Rachel descends into her own heart of darkness." — The Washington Post
"What seems at the start to be an edgy psychological mystery seamlessly transforms into a crafty, ingenious tale of murder and deception - and a deeply resonant account of one woman's effort to heal deep wounds that don't easily show." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***
"Lehane remains one of the great, diabolical thriller kings who seems intimately acquainted with darkness and can make it seep from the page." — The New York Times.
"Lehane's wicked-smart Since We Fell begins with what looks like a conclusion. But Lehane so completely defies expectations, you get the feeling he's as interested in fooling his characters as he is in fooling us. Free of the period demands of his excellent recent novels, Lehane is in feisty form, channeling classic noir with cutting irony. As ever, he has you falling for his seemingly effortless command as a writer and the ease with which he sinks his hooks into you." — The Chicago Tribune.
"A ride you won’t want to miss. . . The second half of the novel is nothing short of an avalanche." — The New York Journal of books.
|GOLDEN PREY by John Sandford|
A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house is robbed, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. It's Lucas Davenport's first case as a U.S. Marshal - and it quickly spirals out of control. Filled with John Sandford's trademark razor-sharp plotting and some of the best characters in suspense fiction,
this should be at the top of your summer-reading suspense novel list.
"Sandford has always been at the top of any list of great mystery writers. His writing and the appeal of his lead character are as fresh as
ever." — The Huffington Post
"The best Lucas Davenport story so far. The man has a fine touch for outlaws. If you haven't read Sandford yet, you have been missing one of the great summer-read
novelists of all time." — Stephen King
"Buckle up, grab a cold drink, and settle in for another splendid entry in a stellar series." — The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"It appears there is no limit to John Sandford's ability to keep new breath and blood flowing into his Lucas Davenport series. This is a series you must be
reading if you are not already." — Book Reporter.
|A LEGACY OF SPIES by John Le Carre|
The undisputed master of espionage fiction returns with a riveting new book - his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years.
Intelligence agent Peter Guillam must defend his mentor, George Smiley - and operations that were once the toast of secret London - to a generation with no memory
of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications. As past and present intertwine, le Carre and his narrator present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.
"George Smiley returns in this stunning spy novel from Grand Master le Carre, though it's Peter Guillam, Smiley's devoted assistant from MI6, who takes center stage.
The result is both a riveting reprise of the Smiley novels and a new articulation of le Carre's theme: spying is as morally bankrupt as the ideologies it serves. Readers
familiar with le Carre will recognize allusions everywhere; those who aren't won't be left out, given the power of the storytelling and le Carre's inimitable prose. He can
convey a character in a sentence, land an emotional insight in the smallest phrase - and demolish an ideology in a paragraph." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***
"Le Carre returns to his peerless chronicles of George Smiley and his fellow spies to put yet another spin on the events of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
The miracle is that the author can revisit his best-known story and discover layer upon layer of fresh deception beneath it." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***
"Among this book’s pleasures is a reminder that adults were once in charge of the destiny of the free world.
For many readers, le Carre's characters are old friends - part of their mental furniture. There’s something moving about seeing him revive them so effortlessly, to see
that the old magic still holds. He thinks internationally but feels domestically. In an upside-down time, he appeals to comprehension rather than instinct. I might as well
say it: to read this simmering novel is to come in from the cold." — The New York Times.
WINNER OF THE 2018 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
SHE RIDES SHOTGUN by Jordan Harper
Polly McClusky is eleven years old when she is unexpectedly reunited with her ex-convict father and is flung into a world of robbery, violence, and the constant threat of death. Confident, brutal, but always human, Jordan Harper's debut novel is a darkly irresistible parable of family and sacrifice. With an intelligence and fervor all her own, Polly McClusky is an unforgettable character.
"From its bravura prologue to its immensely satisfying ending, this first novel comes out with guns blazing and shoots the chambers dry. It's both a dark, original take on the chase novel and a strangely touching portrait of a father-daughter relationship framed in barbed wire." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"The characters' loyalty, love, and struggle for redemption grip the reader and don't let go." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A True Grit sort of saga, but on hot-wired horsepower instead of horseback. With Harper's storytelling chops, it's a rolling hell-bent adventure with all the snappy dialogue and action of the best noir fiction." — Shelf Awareness *** starred review ***.
"Buckle up for a winning debut! A visceral noir that will at turns shock, delight and completely subvert readers’ expectations. An emotionally resonant road story that puts the pedal to the medal." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
"Fascinating, tightly written. Readers will find this book hard - hard to put down." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
|PRUSSIAN BLUE by Philip Kerr|
2018 EDGAR AWARD FINALIST
The French Riviera, 1956. Bernie Gunther's nemesis Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Nice. An old and dangerous adversary, Mielke pressures the former Berlin homicide detective to poison a female agent in London. Fleeing to Berlin, Bernie recalls solving a murder at Hitler's mountaintop retreat in 1939.
The 12th episode in the late, great Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther saga, this is a masterpiece of twin narratives. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
"Stunning. . . races along on two parallel tracks. Kerr once again brilliantly uses a whodunit to bring to horrifying life the Nazi regime's corruption and brutality." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"This case had it all. . . absurdity, alienation, existential anxiety, and no shortage of likely and unlikely suspects. The double and triple dealing atop Hitler's mountain
steals the show." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Gunther is one of crime fiction's most gratifyingly melancholy creations, and in Prussian Blue we watch him match wits with the officialdom of two Germanys, pre- and postwar. In terms of narrative, plot, pace and characterization, Kerr's in a league with John le Carré." — The Washington Post.
"A knockout, zipping along like a car with a cut brake line. As the novel swings between decades, Bernie Gunther's saving graces are his cynical humor and sense of honor.
He wonders why he didn't plant a bomb in Hitler's study. The reader wonders with him, but knows he will stay the course, even when events of the two decades stunningly converge." — Shelf Awareness *** starred review ***.