August 24, 2016
Claim to comment. We also have another of Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things.
Parkhurst, Carolyn. Harmony. Pamela Dorman, August 2016.
How far will a mother go to save her family? The Hammond family is living in DC, where everything seems to be going just fine, until it becomes clear that the oldest daughter, Tilly, is developing abnormally–a mix of off-the-charts genius and social incompetence. Once Tilly–whose condition is deemed undiagnosable–is kicked out of the last school in the area, her mother Alexandra is out of ideas. The family turns to Camp Harmony and the wisdom of child behavior guru Scott Bean for a solution. But what they discover in the woods of New Hampshire will push them to the very limit. Told from the alternating perspectives of both Alexandra and her younger daughter Iris (the book’s Nick Carraway), this is a unputdownable story about the strength of love, the bonds of family, and how you survive the unthinkable.
August 17, 2016
This is a second offering of each of these. I gave out an ARC of the Nix in June and have another. It’s coming out next Tuesday. It’s an impressive, amazing debut but may need a bit of word of mouth.
Hill, Nathan. The Nix. Knopf, August 2016.
Summary: “The Nix is a mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics, but it’s also a tragicomedy about anger and sanctimony in America. . . . Nathan Hill is a maestro.” –John Irving A Nix can take many forms. In Norwegian folklore, it is a spirit who sometimes appears as a white horse that steals children away. In Nathan Hill’s remarkable first novel, a Nix is anything you love that one day disappears, taking with it a piece of your heart. It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson–college professor, stalled writer–has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn’t seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help. To save her, Samuel will have to embark on his own journey, uncovering long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew, secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. As he does so, Samuel will confront not only Faye’s losses but also his own lost love, and will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself. From the suburban Midwest to New York City to the 1968 riots that rocked Chicago and beyond, The Nix explores–with sharp humor and a fierce tenderness–the resilience of love and home, even in times of radical change.
August 16, 2016
This has 27 holds and building – a fiction winner from Norton.
Summary: Ava’s twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood–one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
August 15, 2016
This is about to trigger the Holds Purchase Alert and Moore’s The Sherlockian (2010) circulated over 300 times. Be the first to claim an advance copy, no litigation involved.
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING EDDIE REDMAYNE New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history–and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyernamed Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country? The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society–the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal–private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it? In obsessive pursuit of victory, Paul crosses paths with Nikola Tesla, an eccentric, brilliant inventor who may hold the key to defeating Edison, and with Agnes Huntington, a beautiful opera singer who proves to be a flawless performer on stage and off. As Paul takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem.
August 10, 2016
Two books coming out in October – one a perennially popular author with newly challenging subject and one a debut of some buzz. Comment to claim. The Library Reads nomination deadline for October is August 20th. A little reminder that Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different also comes out in October. (Smiley emoji)
Picoult, Jodi. Small Great Things. Ballantine.
Publisher Summary: This stunning new novel is Jodi Picoult at her finest–complete with unflinching insights, richly layered characters, and a page-turning plot with a gripping moral dilemma at its heart. Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family–especially her teenage son–as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others–and themselves–might be wrong.
Bennett, Brit. The Mothers. Riverhead.
One of The Millions ‘ “Most Anticipated” for the second half of 2016 “Brit Bennett is a brilliant and much-needed new voice in literature.” -Angela Flournoy, author of National Book Award-finalist The Turner House. A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community–and the things that ultimately haunt us most. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret. “All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.” It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance–and the subsequent cover-up–will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt. In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.
August 10, 2016
I have scrounged back up a single precious ARC of Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, now endorsed by Oprah after already being headed for strong success. Originally slated for mid-September, it looks like RH Doubleday has been doing a print run August 2nd with the Oprah logo on the cover. Our lucky OverDrive audio users are able to access this title right now. Comment to claim.
From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood–where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned–Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor–engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey–hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
August 10, 2016
This will be an interesting sci-fi FBI thriller blend, co-authored by Tom Clancy’s Op-Center writer Jeff Rovin and the unassuming William Shatner.
I have the ARC ready to be claimed, which says October 4th for publication but that’s been moved up to September 20th.
A new science fiction adventure from William Shatner, famous for his role as Captain Kirk on Star Trek, about the intrepid, eighty-year-old FBI deputy director Samuel Lord and his quest to stop the Chinese from using a weapon that, unknown to them, could destroy the earth. In the year 2050, the United States sends the FBI to govern its space station, the Empyrean. Under the command of former fighter pilot and FBI field agent Samuel Lord, the space based “Zero-G” men are in charge of investigating terrorism, crime, corruption, and espionage beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and of keeping an eye on the rival Chinese and Russian stations. During the Zero-G team’s first days in space, a mysterious and beautiful scientist, Dr. May, shows up to the Empyrean claiming that important research has been stolen from her lab on the moon. Her arrival suspiciously coincides with timing of a tsunami that destroys part of the coast of Japan, and her unusual behaviour makes Director Lord think that Dr. May might know more about the disaster than she’s letting on. Meanwhile, the Chinese space station has gone mysteriously silent. In this gripping space adventure, Director Lord must connect the dots to discover who or what has caused the tsunami as well as subsequent disasters, and how Dr. May and the Chinese might be involved.