This new book by Azar Nafisi after 2004’s Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories (2008) will surely be welcomed by our readers. I just finished the ARC and nominated it for October LibraryReads. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t make that list, and I’d love to pass it on to first commenter.
Review submitted to LibraryReads:
In The Republic of Imagination, Azar Nafisi highlights three novels that for her exemplify a unique Amerian quality consisting of a restless individualism that can lead to loneliness but also true freedom and authentic moral choices. In part this is a literary critique of the works covered and their iconic characters: Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Sinclair Lewis’ Babbit, and Carson McCullers’ John Singer. This analysis is blended with interesting parallels between the works and Nafisi’s own life in both Iran and the U.S., as well as a compelling manifesto for American fiction as vital to its democratic ideals. Nafisi’s insights amount to a personalized book about books that library readers will enjoy, and prove once again that immigrants make some of the most genuine American patriots.
August 15, 2014
Annotations from Baker & Taylor or IngramListed by Author Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Brown, Rita Mae The chase is on in “New York Times” bestselling author Rita Mae Brown’s gripping new foxhunting mystery, featuring the irrepressible “Sister” Jane Arnold and the wily antics of her four-legged friends. In “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, “a century-old crime reawakens bad will–and stirs up a scandal that chills Sister to the bone. The Burning Room Connelly, Michael In the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but all other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Flesh and Blood: A Scarpetta Novel Cornwell, Patricia Daniels In her 22nd outing, Dr. Kay Scarpetta goes after the Copperhead, a serial sniper who kills seemingly random victims with a single deadly shot delivered at such a distance that there’s really no crime scene, only odd bits of copper left behind as a memento. What does Kay’s techie-brilliant niece, Lucy, have to do with it? The Promise: An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel Crais, Robert When Elvis Cole is hired to locate a woman who may have disappeared with a stranger she met online, it seems like an ordinary case – until Elvis learns the missing woman worked for a defense contractor and was being blackmailed to supply explosives components for a person or persons unknown. Revival King, Stephen King offers his expected unmatchable suspense in a novel that certainly sounds deeper than your average chillfest. Sometime in the mid- to late 20th century, Rev. Charles Jacobs arrives in young Jamie Morton’s small New England town with his alluring wife and wows the community. Then, when tragedy strikes Jamie’s family, Jacobs lashes out violently at God and religious belief and is therefore banished. Years later, Jamie, a drug-addicted rocker still running from familial woe, encounters Jacobs and enters into a relationship that turns positively Faustian. The conclusion promises to rock us to our bones while echoing Hawthorne and Poe. The Drop Lehane, Dennis While rescuing an abused puppy from a trash can on the streets of Mystic River, a lonely bartender meets a damaged woman, who is looking for something to believe in, and as their relationship grows, they encounter the Chechen mafia, stick-up artists, a relentless cop and the original owner of the puppy who now wants it back. Inspired the forthcoming film. Private India Patterson, James / Sanghi, Ashwin No annotation at this time. A New York Christmas Perry, Anne Anne Perry’s new Christmas novel is an irresistible tale of love, betrayal, greed, murder, and selfless devotion. For the first time, Perry’s annual yuletide offering is set in New York City’s sparkling young metropolis bursting with life, promise, and subtle menace. Blue Labyrinth Preston, Douglas / Child, Lincoln A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast’s most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California’s desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his family’s sinister past. In short order, Pendergast is caught in a wickedly clever plot, which will leave him stricken in mind and body…and may well end with his death. The Girl Next Door Rendell, Ruth Three-time Edgar Award winner Rendell returns to tingle our spines with suspense about a tin box containing the skeletal remains of a male and a female hand, uncovered near an earthen tunnel where decades before a group of London children played during World War II. The youth now come together as aging adults to offer up memories that might help in the investigation. Posted by Jenifer Brown
August 11, 2014
This batch has interesting choices and annotations with helpful insight on reader appeal. (I do still have a Station Eleven ARC, btw, if this piques interest). In print we have all on order or soon will (Horrorstör), and we’ll get several in audiobook as well.
Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty–a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre–took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like? Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).
August 6, 2014
This is the latest by Australian novelist Flanagan, right now considered one of if not their best. His latest The Narrow Road to the Deep North, has just been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. This is the first year the longlist includes, controversially, four Americans as well. The winner’s announcement should be interesting. Narrow Road is being published next week and already has 12 holds. The title derives from a haiku by Basho and is related to the book’s themes rather than location. Would someone care for the ARC?
“A novel of love and war that traces the life of one man–an Australian surgeon–from a prisoner-of-war camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway during World War II, up to the present”– Provided by publisher.
Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever. Moving deftly from the POW camp to contemporary Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo and his comrades to those of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of love, death, and family, exploring the many forms of good and evil, war and truth, guilt and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost. [Summary]
August 6, 2014
Jan Karon’s Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good comes out September 2 and seems like the perfect gentle read for the dog days. Anyone interested?
“A publishing event: #1 New York Times-bestselling author Jan Karon returns-and invites her millions of fans to join her again in Mitford. After five hectic years of retirement from Lord’s Chapel, Father Tim Kavanagh returns with his wife, Cynthia, froma so-called pleasure trip to the land of his Irish ancestors. While glad to be at home in Mitford, something is definitely missing: a pulpit. But when he’s offered one, he decides he doesn’t want it. Maybe he’s lost his passion. His adopted son, Dooley, wrestles with his own passion-for the beautiful and gifted Lace Turner, and his vision to become a successful country vet. Dooley’s brother, Sammy, still enraged by his mother’s abandonment, destroys one of Father Tim’s prized possessions. And Hope Murphy, owner of Happy Endings bookstore, struggles with the potential loss of her unborn child and her hard-won business. All this as Wanda’s Feel Good Cafe; opens, a romance catches fire through an Internet word game, their former mayor hatches a reelection campaign to throw the bums out, and the weekly Muse poses a probing inquiry: Does Mitford still take care of its own? Millions of fans will applaud the chance to spend time, once more, in the often comic and utterly human presence of Jan Karon’s characters. Indeed, they have never been more sympathetic, bighearted, and engaging. “– Provided by publisher.
August 4, 2014
Surely these will be claimed lickety split? World of Trouble is the third of a series called Last Policeman, endorsed by Nancy Pearl. Bones Never Lie comes out Sept 23rd. If you feel so brash as to claim more than one at a time, I have no problem with that.
…In the acclaimed author’s thrilling new novel, Brennan is at the top of her game in a battle of wits against the most monstrous adversary she has ever encountered. Unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common–the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. It was a devastating defeat for her pursuers, Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan. Now, as if summoned from their nightmares, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, linked to victims in Vermont and North Carolina. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue–unless Brennan can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath. But Brennan will have to draw her bitter ex-partner out of exile, keep the local police and feds from one another’s throats, and face more than just her own demons as she stalks the deadliest of predators into the darkest depths of madness…
“Atlanta, 1974. It’s Kate Murphy’s first day on the job and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she’s not cut out for the job as a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can’t handle a gun, and she’s rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt, he’ll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind (and a brother and uncle already on the force)–a strategy meant to isolate Kate and Maggie from the action. But the move will backfire, putting them right at the heart of it”
Critically acclaimed author Ben H. Winters delivers this explosive final installment in the Edgar Award winning Last Policeman series. With the doomsday asteroid looming, Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank’s safety is only relative, and his only relative–his sister Nico–isn’t safe. Soon, it’s clear that there’s more than one earth-shattering revelation on the horizon, and it’s up to Hank to solve the puzzle before time runs out . . . for everyone.
August 4, 2014
A university student from a troubled family of modest means thinks she’s going to spend an easy summer at her rich roommate’s family estate in Vermont…but no. Full of disturbing secrets and suspense, this one already has a building queue. Who’d like to have the arc?
Beverly-Whittemore, Miranda. Bittersweet. Crown, 2014.
On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, Mabel Dagmar is befriended by her roommate, the blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Invited to spend the summer at Bittersweet, a cottage on a Vermont estate, Mabel falls in love with the moneyed laughter that carries across the still lake while fireworks burst overhead. Soon she has everything she’s ever wanted: friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and the sense that she belongs. When a discovery leads to violence and reveals how the Winslows keep their power intact, Mabel must either expose them and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and make this world her own.