Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale seems to have gotten a lot of mentions in this week’s EarlyWord Galley Chat and has supernatural elements. It doesn’t come out until January but is already generating holds in our system.
Books for Living is a biography by Will Schwalbe, famous for The End of Your Life Book Club, a perennial favorite in our discussion kit collection as well as a power circulater (over 500 times) in the regular nonfiction collection.
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Arden, Katherine. The Bear and the Nightingale. Del Rey.
debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’sThe Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear
and the Nightingale
spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice. At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest thatprotect their homes from evil. After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows. And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or confinement in a convent. As danger circles nearer, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales. Advance praise for The Bear
and the Nightingale
“An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale. A Russian setting adds unfamiliar spice to the story of a young womanwho does not rebel against the limits of her role in her culture so much as transcend them. TheBear
and the Nightingale
is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic.”–Robin Hobb, bestselling author of the Fitz andthe Fool trilogy “A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.”–Naomi Novik, bestselling author of Uprooted”– Provided by publisher.
Schwalbe, Will. Books for Living. Knopf.
From the author of the best-selling and beloved The End of Your Life Book Club –a wonderfully engaging new book: both a celebration of reading in general and an impassioned recommendation of specific books that can help guide us through our daily lives. “I’ve always believed that everything you need to know you can find in a book,” writes Will Schwalbe in his introduction to this thought-provoking, heartfelt, and inspiring new book about books. In each chapter he makes clear the ways in which a particular book has helped to shape how he leads his own life and the ways in which it might help to shape ours. He talks about what brought him to each book–or vice versa; the people in his life he associates each book with; how each has led him to other books; how each is part of his understanding of himself in the world. And he relates each book to a question of our daily lives, for example: Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener speaks to quitting; 1984 to disconnecting from our electronics; James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room to the power of finding ourselves and connecting with one another; Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea to taking time to recharge; Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird to being sensitive to the surrounding world; The Little Prince to making friends; Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train to trusting. Here, too, are books by Dickens, Daphne du Maurier, Haruki Murakami, Edna Lewis, E. B. White, and Hanya Yanagihara, among many others. A treasure of a book for everyone who loves books, loves reading, and loves to hear the answer to the question: “What are you reading?”