June 11, 2015
The July selections have been announced. The only one we don’t already have on order is Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which I’ve just submitted. There’s also a non-fiction food related selection: Good and Cheap Eat Well on $4/Day.
The Favorite – Kitchens of the Great Midwest.
Already a hotly anticipated debut–about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine–and a dashing sommelier–he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter–starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience. Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life–its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.
Here is the link to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of American website with the announcement and other prizes.
Catalog Summary: Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In “Annihilation,” the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition. The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers–they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding–but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
Best Novella – Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress
Aliens have landed in New York. After several months of no explanations, they finally reveal the reason for their arrival.The news is not good.Geneticist Marianne Jenner is having a career breakthrough, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Her children Elizabeth and Ryan constantly bicker, agreeing only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Her youngest, Noah, is addicted to a drug that keeps temporarily changing his identity. The Jenner family could not be further apart. But between the four of them, the course of human history will be forever altered.Earth’s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent a disaster-and not everyone is willing to wait.
June 10, 2015
These all have current holds queues, Kent Haruf’s particularly long. Sally Mann’s memoir about her photographic career is a sleeper hit on the non-fiction NYT list.
Haruf, Kent. Our Souls at Night.
A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future. In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf’s inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. Their brave adventures–their pleasures and their difficulties–are hugely involving and truly resonant, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer’s enduring contribution to American literature.
Mann, Sally. Hold Still.
A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann. In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann’s preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her. Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: “deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder.” In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.
Parry, Leslie. Church of Marvels.
A ravishing first novel set in vibrant, tumultuous turn-of-the-century New York City, where the lives of four outsiders become entwined, bringing irrevocable change to them all New york, 1895. Sylvan Threadgill, a night-soiler cleaning out the privies behind the tenement houses, finds an abandoned newborn baby in the muck. An orphan himself, Sylvan rescues the child, determined to find where she belongs. Odile Church and her beautiful sister, Belle, were raised amid the applause and magical pageantry of the Church of Marvels, their mother’s spectacular Coney Island sideshow. But the Church has burnt to the ground, their mother dead in its ashes. Now Belle, the family’s star, has vanished into the bowels of Manhattan, leaving Odile alone and desperate to find her. A young woman named Alphie awakens to find herself trapped across the river in Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum-sure that her imprisonment is a ruse by her husband’s vile, overbearing mother. On the ward she meets another young woman of ethereal beauty who does not speak, a girl with an extraordinary talent that might save them both. As these strangers’ lives become increasingly connected, their stories and secrets unfold. Moving from the Coney Island seashore to the tenement-studded streets of the Lower East Side, a spectacular human circus to a brutal, terrifying asylum, Church of Marvels takes readers back to turn-of-the-century New York-a city of hardship and dreams, love and loneliness, hope and danger. In magnetic, luminous prose, Leslie Parry offers a richly atmospheric vision of the past in a narrative of astonishing beauty, full of wondrous enchantments, a marvelous debut that will leave readers breathless.
June 4, 2015
Nancy thought these would be good candidates to share. Please comment to claim. I’ll be sure you get them. Thanks. Publisher information below:
Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs
No one speaks the language of suspense more brilliantly than Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Temperance Brennan series. In Speaking in Bones, the forensic anthropologist finds herself drawn into a world of dark secrets and dangerous beliefs, where good and evil blur. Professionally, Temperance Brennan knows exactly what to do–test, analyze, identify. Her personal life is another story. She’s at a loss, wondering how to answer police detective Andrew Ryan’s marriage proposal. But the matter of matrimony takes a backseat when murder rears its head. Hazel “Lucky” Strike–a strident amateur detective who mines the Internet for cold cases–comes to Brennan with a tape recording of an unknown girl being held prisoner and terrorized. Strike is convinced the voice is that of eighteen-year-old Cora Teague, who went missing more than three years earlier. Strike is also certain that the teenager’s remains are gathering dust in Temperance Brennan’s lab. Brennan has doubts about working with a self-styled websleuth. But when the evidence seems to add up, Brennan’s next stop is the treacherous backwoods where the chilling recording (and maybe Cora Teague’s bones) were discovered. Her forensic field trip only turns up more disturbing questions–along with gruesome proof of more untimely deaths. While local legends of eerie nocturnal phenomena and sinister satanic cults abound, it’s a zealous and secretive religious sect that has Brennan spooked and struggling to separate the saints from the sinners. But there’s nothing, including fire and brimstone, that can distract her from digging up the truth and taking down a killer–even as Brennan finds herself in a place where angels fear to tread, devils demand their due, and she may be damned no matter what.
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie (to be published Sept 8 – in catalog soon)
From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered novel in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason,Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.
In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub–Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.
Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.
Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia’s children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights—or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.
Inspired by the traditional “wonder tales” of the East, Salman Rushdie’s novel is a masterpiece about the age-old conflicts that remain in today’s world.Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is satirical and bawdy, full of cunning and folly, rivalries and betrayals, kismet and karma, rapture and redemption.
May 14, 2015
This isn’t being published until September 8th but we are soon putting in an initial order of 25 (and 3 New Camano which will appear first), so RINC’s can now become holds. Evison’s West of Here circulated over 2000 times and it’s so exciting to anticipate the next. I do have an ARC for first Sno-Isle employee/fan who comments to this post, but you may not get until early next week.
This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison
Baker & Taylor Annotation from publisher:
With her husband Bernard two years in the grave, seventy-nine-year-old Harriet Chance sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise only to discover that she’s been living the past sixty years of her life under entirely false pretenses. There, amid the buffets and lounge singers, between the imagined appearance of her late husband and the very real arrival of her estranged daughter, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life.
Jonathan Evison has crafted a bighearted novel with an endearing heroine at its center. Through Harriet, he paints a bittersweet portrait of a postmodern everywoman with great warmth, humanity, and humor. Part dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the mother/daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of acceptance, reexamination, forgiveness, and, ultimately, healing. It is sure to appeal to admirers of Evison’s previous work, as well as fans of such writers as Meg Wolitzer, Junot Díaz, and Karen Joy Fowler.
May 14, 2015
Sorry I’ve been a bit slow with these lately but the list does seem to be a demand generator so it’s worth consulting. The full list with all publisher annotations is here. Note this month’s list has an interesting non-fiction selection, Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson. Note: 3M titles are all on pre-order but don’t show in the catalog until their street date, which is still a difference from OverDrive. The eAudio I can collect should also be in the catalog shortly as well.
The Favorite – Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You ). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she’s describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine ). There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide… Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands. But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever. Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets… Bestselling author Laura Dave has been dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” ( USA TODAY ), a “decadent storyteller” ( Marie Claire ), and “compulsively readable” ( Woman’s Day ). Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect.
May 6, 2015
Paula McLain’s book Circling the Sun is coming out July 28th and I’ve just finished an ARC. I can promise one to the first commenter, but do let me know if you’re 2 or 3 as we have a few floating around. McLain’s The Paris Wife circulated over 1000 times and I’m starting with 30 copies of Circling, which will be in the catalog shortly. This is a fictionalized account of rugged pioneer horse trainer, aviator and unapologetic “tomboy” Beryl Markham, with rich descriptions of colonial East Africa and an intriguing characterization of Karen Blixen. Enduring and resisting social prejudice to be true to one’s nature, much like the safari animals of the main character’s childhood, is a definite theme.
Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s.Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, author of the classic memoirOut of Africa.
Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.
Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.
Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain’s powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit.
This one comes out this month – would anyone like to jump the queue?
Paolo Bacigalupi, New York Times -Bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist, dives once again onto our uncertain future with his first thriller for adults since his multi-award winning debut phenomenon The Windup Girl . In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel “cuts” water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents. With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.
Finally, this is also being promoted heavily and comes out in June. (Note: ARC cover design is different).
An utterly stunning novel of love, loss, the insidious nature of secrets, and the enduring power of words. I Saw a Man fulfills the promise of Owen Sheers’s acclaimed novel, Resistance . When journalist Caroline Marshall fails to return from assignment in Pakistan, her grief-stricken husband, Michael, leaves their cottage in Wales and returns to London where he quickly develops a friendship with his neighbors, Josh and Samantha Nelson, and their two young daughters. Michael’s friendship with the Nelsons marks the beginning of a long healing process, until a terrible accident adds yet more grief, and the burden of a shattering secret, to Michael’s life. How will Michael bear this weight as he navigates his persistent doubts on the path to attempted redemption? The answer, revealed with nerve-wracking suspense , is eloquent, resonant, and completely unforgettable.