January 11, 2016
Physical ARC for first Sno-Isle comment.
Laurie R. King’s bestselling Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes series weaves rich historical detail and provocative themes with intriguing characters and enthralling suspense. Russell and Holmes have become one of modern literature’s most beloved teams. But does this adventure end it all? Mary Russell is used to dark secrets–her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond. And what of the other person to whom Mary Russell has opened her heart: the couple’s longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson? Russell’s faith and affection are suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson’s son. What Samuel Hudson tells Russell cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him–as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And when the scene is discovered–a pool of blood on the floor, the smell of gunpowder in the air–the most shocking revelation of all is that the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson. Or rather to Clarissa, the woman she was before Baker Street. The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs. Hudson’s past. To uncover the truth, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper’s secrets–to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away. There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed. And nothing will ever be the same. Praise for the award-winning novels of Laurie R. King “The great marvel of King’s series is that she’s managed to preserve the integrity of Holmes’s character and yet somehow conjure up a woman astute, edgy, and compelling enough to be the partner of his mind as well as his heart.” — The Washington Post Book World “The most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.” –Lee Child “A lively adventure in the very best of intellectual company.” — The New York Times “Erudite, fascinating . . . by all odds the most successful re-creation of the famous inhabitant of 221B Baker Street ever attempted.” — Houston Chronicle “Intricate clockworks, wheels within wheels.” — Booklist (starred review) “Imaginative and subtle.” — The Seattle Times “Impossible to put down.” — Romantic Times “Remarkably beguiling.” — The Boston Globe
December 14, 2015
I was interested to see this debut highlighted in Barbara Hoffert’s LJ Pre-Pub Alert. Collecting the Dead comes out in late June. Kope is a Crime Analyst with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and has a particularly unique personal back story. Check out his webpage for details. I’m slating it for order soon.
Publisher Annotation: Magnus “Steps” Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him “The Human Bloodhound,” since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there’s a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability—a kind of synesthesia—where he can see the ‘essence’ of a person, something he calls ‘shine,’ on everything they’ve touched. His ability is known to only a few people—his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan.
When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognizes the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. And he uncovers the signature at both scenes—the mark of a sad face. At the same time, another killer, one Steps has dubbed Leonardo and has been trying to track for over ten years, appears again, taunting Steps. But while Steps tries to find a clue that will lead him to Leonardo, the case of the Sad Face Killer heats up. The team uncovers eleven possible victims: missing women who fit the same pattern. Using his skill and the resources of the Bureau, it is a race against time to find the killer before it’s too late.
Like Life of PI, Martel’s new book, coming in February, is a deeply allegorical but modern tale centered around iconic animals and characters of tragic destiny, this time involving three stories whose connection is revealed at the end. The first section, Homeless, which takes place in rural Portugal in 1904, also uses the historical background of people’s fascinated revulsion to the newly invented automobile to great effect. I have the physical ARC for first claimant. Thanks!
Martel, Yann. The High Mountains of Portugal. Spiegel & Grau, 2016.
The author of the bestselling Life of Pi returns to the storytelling power and luminous wisdom of his master novel. In Lisbon in 1904, a young man named Tomás discovers an old journal. It hints at the existence of an extraordinary artifact that–if he can find it–would redefine history. Traveling in one of Europe’s earliest automobiles, he sets out in search of this strange treasure. Thirty-five years later, a Portuguese pathologist devoted to the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie finds himself at the center of a mystery of his own and drawn into the consequences of Tomás’s quest.Fifty years on, a Canadian senator takes refuge in his ancestral village in northern Portugal, grieving the loss of his beloved wife. But he arrives with an unusual companion: a chimpanzee. And there the century-old quest will come to an unexpected conclusion. The High Mountains of Portugal –part quest, part ghost story, part contemporary fable–offers a haunting exploration of great love and great loss. Filled with tenderness, humor, and endless surprise, it takes the reader on a road trip through Portugal in the last century–and through the human soul.
The December/January LibraryReads list is out (with librarians’ comments), and among the new selections is Dean Koontz’ latest Ashley Bell. I have a physical ARC of that one for the first SI employee commenter.
The favorite is by Elizabeth Strout of Burgess Boys and Olive Kitteridge fame. I don’t have an ARC for that one, I’m afraid, but we have 40 copies on order with only 15 holds at the moment. It comes out January 16th. Among the well-established names making an appearance are Bill Bryson (holding up the non-fiction category and with mention at a recent reader’s advisory training) with The Road to Little Dribbling and Ian Rankin with Even Dogs in the Wild.
The only print title we don’t already have on order is an original paperback title What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan. I will get that in line to be ordered today. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend has been getting a lot of attention from ARC readers and will likely be a book discussion kit candidate. A new story collection, Helen Ellis’ American Housewife, has also attracted genuine pre-pub enthusiasm.
Strout, Elizabeth. My Name Is Lucy Barton.
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
Bivald, Katarina. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend.
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor — not much else to do in a small town that’s almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she’d start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together – and change everything.
December 7, 2015
Sno-Isle employees: please comment to claim. I will comment reply.
Anna Quindlen is on our standing order so Miller’s Valley will be ordered soon. Eating in the Middle is being enthusiastically promoted by Penguin Random House with a 75,000 first printing and is the cookbook companion to her 2015 memoir It Was Me All Along, of which we have 15 copies.
Mitchell, Andie. Eating in the Middle.
In her inspiring New York Times bestselling memoir, It Was Me All Along, Andie Mitchell chronicled her struggles with obesity, losing weight, and finding balance. Now, in her debut cookbook, she gives readers the dishes that helped her reach her goals and maintain her new size. In 80 recipes, she shows how she eats: mostly healthy meals that are packed with flavor, like Lemon Roasted Chicken with Moroccan Couscous and Butternut Squash Salad with Kale and Pomegranate, and then the “sometimes” foods, the indulgences such as Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with Marshmallow Whipped Cream, because life just needs dessert. With 75 photographs and Andie’s beautiful storytelling,Eating in the Middle is the perfect cookbook for anyone looking to find freedom from cravings while still loving and enjoying every meal to the fullest.
Quindlen, Anna. Miller’s Valley.
Filled with insights that are hallmarks of Anna Quindlen’s bestsellers, this extraordinary novel is about a woman coming of age, as she unearths secrets about her family and her town, and surprising truths about herself.
November 19, 2015
Johnson, Adam. Fortune Smiles.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel about North Korea, The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson is one of America’s most provocative and powerful authors. Critics have compared him to Kurt Vonnegut, David Mitchell, and George Saunders, but Johnson’s new book will only further his reputation as one of our most original writers. Subtly surreal, darkly comic, both hilarious and heartbreaking, Fortune Smiles is a major collection of stories that gives voice to the perspectives we don’t often hear, while offering something rare in fiction: a new way of looking at the world. In six masterly stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me.
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” ( The New York Observer ) “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men–bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son.
POETRY – (being ordered)
Lewis, Robin Coste. Voyage of the Sable Venus.
Robin Coste Lewis’s electrifying collection is a triptych that begins and ends with lyric poems considering the roles desire and race play in the construction of the self. The central panel is the title poem, “Voyage of the Sable Venus,” a riveting narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present—titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art.
YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE
Shusterman, Neal. Challenger Deep.
A National Book Award Longlist Title A captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman. Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior. Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images. Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head. Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny. Caden Bosch is torn. Challenger Deep is a deeply powerful and personal novel from one of today’s most admired writers for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, award-winning author of Speak, calls Challenger Deep “a brilliant journey across the dark sea of the mind; frightening, sensitive, and powerful. Simply extraordinary.”
October 28, 2015
These are some more SIL Foundation funded kits that are now also in the reservation system. Thanks to the RA Team for selecting. Of note: Ann Patchett has always been a book club favorite but this one is autobiographical.
Paull, Laline. The Bees.
Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw, but her courage and strength are assets. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect nectar and pollen. A feat of bravery grants her access to the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.
Henderson, Smith. Fourth of July Creek.
After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face-to-face with the boy’s profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times. But as Pete’s own family spins out of control, Pearl’s activities spark the full-blown interest of the FBI, putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed. In this shattering and iconic American novel, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion, and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation’s disquieting and violent contradictions.
Estes, Kelli. The Girl Who Wrote in Silk.
The smallest items can hold centuries of secrets… Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt’s island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara’s life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core — and force her to make an impossible choice. Inspired by true events, Kelli Estes’s brilliant and atmospheric debut serves as a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories.
Daoud, Kamel. The Meursault Investigation.
“A tour-de-force reimagining of Camus’s The Stranger , from the point of view of the mute Arab victims.” –The New Yorker He was the brother of “the Arab” killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus’s classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling’s memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: he gives his brother a story and a name–Musa–and describes the events that led to Musa’s casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach. In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his broken heart, on his anger with men desperate for a god, and on his disarray when faced with a country that has so disappointed him. A stranger among his own people, he wants to be granted, finally, the right to die. The Stranger is of course central to Daoud’s story, in which he both endorses and criticizes one of the most famous novels in the world. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Meursault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.
Patchett, Ann. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.
“The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living.” So begins This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, an examination of the things Ann Patchett is fully committed to–the art and craft of writing, the depths of friendship, an elderly dog, and one spectacular nun. Writing nonfiction, which started off as a means of keeping her insufficiently lucrative fiction afloat, evolved over time to be its own kind of art, the art of telling the truth as opposed to the art of making things up. Bringing her narrative gifts to bear on her own life, Patchett uses insight and compassion to turn very personal experiences into stories that will resonate with every reader.
Watson, Christie. Where Women Are Kings.
From the award-winning author of Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away , the story of a young boy who believes two things: that his Nigerian birth mother loves him like the world has never known love, and that he is a wizard Elijah, seven years old, is covered in scars and has a history of disruptive behavior. Taken away from his birth mother, a Nigerian immigrant in England, Elijah is moved from one foster parent to the next before finding a home with Nikki and her husband, Obi. Nikki believes that she and Obi are strong enough to accept Elijah’s difficulties–and that being white will not affect her ability to raise a black son. They care deeply for Elijah and, in spite of his demons, he begins to settle into this loving family. But as Nikki and Obi learn more about their child’s tragic past, they face challenges that threaten to rock the fragile peace they’ve established, challenges that could prove disastrous.