April 14, 2016
Updates: Best Friend’s Exorcism and Kill ‘Em “sold out”
I have two of each of these. Be the first or second to comment and I’ll see they get to your Sno-Isle workplace.
Angela Duckworth’s Grit has a near purchase alert queue brewing, while the other have budding queues of 2-3 and could perhaps thrive with an RA nudge. James McBride, author of Kill ‘Em and Leave ‘Em about pop singer legend James Brown, also gave us The Color of Water and The Good Lord Bird. Both have been hits in our book discussion kits.
McBride, James. Kill ‘Em and Leave ‘Em. Spiegel & Grau. April 5, 2016
Summary: National Book Award winner James McBride goes in search of the “real” James Brown after receiving a tip that promises to uncover the man behind the myth. His surprising journey illuminates not only our understanding of this immensely troubled, misunderstood, and complicated soul genius but the ways in which our cultural heritage has been shaped by Brown’s legacy. Kill ‘Em and Leave is more than a book about James Brown. Brown’s rough-and-tumble life, through McBride’s lens, is an unsettling metaphor for American life: the tension between North and South, black and white, rich and poor. McBride’s travels take him to forgotten corners of Brown’s never-before-revealed history: the country town where Brown’s family and thousands of others were displaced by America’s largest nuclear power bomb-making facility; a South Carolina field where a long-forgotten cousin recounts, in the dead of night, a fuller history of Brown’s sharecropping childhood, which until now has been a mystery.
Hendrix, Grady. My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Quirk Books. May 17, 2016.
Summary: A heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possession. The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries–and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? Like an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist , My Best Friend’s Exorcism blends teen angst, adolescent drama, unspeakable horrors, and a mix of ’80s pop songs into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller.
Vestal, Shawn. Daredevils. Penguin Press. April 12, 2016.
Summary: From the winner of 2014’s PEN Robert W. Bingham Prize, an unforgettable debut novel about Loretta, a teenager married off as a “sister wife,” who makes a break for freedom At the heart of this exciting debut novel, set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s, is fifteen-year-old Loretta, who slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her so-called gentile boyfriend. Her strict Mormon parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. The Harders relocate to his native Idaho, where Dean’s teenage nephew Jason falls hard for Loretta. A Zeppelin and Tolkien fan, Jason worships Evel Knievel and longs to leave his close-minded community. He and Loretta make a break for it. They drive all night, stay in hotels, and relish their dizzying burst of teenage freedom as they seek to recover Dean’s cache of “Mormon gold.” But someone Loretta left behind is on their trail… A riveting story of desire and escape, Daredevils boasts memorable set pieces and a rich cast of secondary characters. There’s Dean’s other wife, Ruth, who as a child in the 1950s was separated from her parents during the notorious Short Creek raid, when federal agents descended on a Mormon fundamentalist community. There’s Jason’s best friend, Boyd, part Native American and caught up in the activist spirit of the time, who comes along for the ride, with disastrous results. And Vestal’s ultimate creation is a superbly sleazy chatterbox–a man who might or might not be Evel Knievel himself–who works his charms on Loretta at a casino in Elko, Nevada. A lifelong journalist whose Spokesman column is a fixture in Spokane, WA, Shawn has honed his fiction over many years, publishing in journals like McSweeney’s and Tin House. His stunning first collection, Godforsaken Idaho, burrowed into history as it engaged with masculinity and crime, faith and apostasy, and the West that he knows so well. Daredevils shows what he can do on a broader canvas–a fascinating, wide-angle portrait of a time and place that’s both a classic coming of age tale and a plunge into the myths of America, sacred and profane.
Duckworth, Angela. Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success. Scribner. May 3, 2016.
Summary: In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, athletes, students, and business people–both seasoned and new–that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called “grit.” Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, MacArthur “genius” Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments.Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth created her own “character lab” and set out to test her theory. Here, she takes readers into the field to visit teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers–from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to the cartoon editor of The New Yorker to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll. Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that –not talent or luck–makes all the difference.
April 5, 2016
EarlyWord reports that Alex Haley’s Roots is being re-adapted for TV’s The History Channel this May. A new TV tie-in edition of the novel published by Da Capo (though it still may be classified as non-fiction or biography as it was originally) is coming this May as well. We have 15 copies on order under the title Roots: The Saga of An American Family. A picture of the new cover is below.
Another media tie-in to watch out for is Lost City of Z by David Grann, the basis for a movie likely to come out this fall. We have 10 copies of the book but I’m not finding an audiobook supplier, but we’ll keep our eyes open.
March 28, 2016
This comes out April 19th. The audio edition is on the way also. I now have two print ARC’s to share.
Lynch, Jim. Before the Wind. Knopf, 2016.
Following The Highest Tide, Border Songs, and Truth Like the Sun, Jim Lynch now gives us a grand and idiosyncratic family saga that will stand alongside Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion. Joshua Johannssen has spent all of his life surrounded by sailboats. His grandfather designed them, his father built and raced them, his Einstein-obsessed mother knows why and how they work (or not). For Josh and his two siblings, their backyard was the Puget Sound and sailing their DNA. But both his sister and brother fled many years ago: Ruby to Africa and elsewhere to do good works on land, and Bernard to god-knows-where at sea, a fugitive and pirate. Suddenly thirty-one, Josh–who repairs boats of all kinds in a Steinbeckian marina south of Seattle–is pained and confused by whatever the hell went wrong with his volatile family. His parents are barely speaking, his mystified grandfather is drinking harder, and he himself–despite an endless and comic flurry of online dates–hasn’t even come close to finding a girlfriend. But when the Johannssens unexpectedly reunite for the most important race in these waters–all of them together on a classic vessel they made decades ago–they will be carried to destinies both individual and collective, and to a heart-shattering revelation. Past and present merge seamlessly and collide surprisingly as Jim Lynch reveals a family unlike any other, with the grace and humor and magic of a master storyteller.
March 24, 2016
On offer this weekend are four ARCS for titles, either just published or just about to be published, that are building nice holds queues. The longest queue right now is for by far the shortest book: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. Curtis Sittenfeld’s retelling of Pride and Prejudice should be quite popular around here, as her contemporary novel Sisterland has circulated over 1800 times!
Comment to claim with your Sno-Isle workplace. Thank you!
Cronin, Justin. The City of Mirrors.
Summary: In The Passage and The Twelve, Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity’s desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon–but does silence promise the nightmare’s end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale. The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place? The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew–and daring to dream of a hopeful future. But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy–humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him. One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.
Sittenfeld, Curtis. Eligible.
Summary: From the “wickedly entertaining” ( USA Today ) Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice . A bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century. This version of the Bennet family–and Mr. Darcy–is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help–and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches. Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible . At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale.
Rovelli, Carlo. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics.
Summary: Instant New York Times Bestseller “A startling and illustrative distillation of centuries of science.”– The Economist “Lean, lucid and enchanting.”– New Scientist The international bestseller that reveals all the beauty of modern physics in seven short and enlightening lessons Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is a book about the joy of discovery. Carlo Rovelli brings a playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, offering surprising–and surprisingly easy to grasp–explanations of Einstein’s general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. “Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world,” Rovelli writes. “And it’s breathtaking.”
Hawley, Noah. Before the Fall.
Summary: From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics’ Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year. On a foggy summer night, eleven people-ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter-depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs-the painter-and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members-including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot-the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage. Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
March 10, 2016
Comment to claim. This is on the April Library Reads list. The favorite was Chris Sittenfeld’s Eligible. More information to come on BiblioFiles closer to release.
Publisher Summary: “An intoxicating Manhattan fairy tale… As affecting as it is absorbing. A thrilling debut.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “…a vital, sensuous, edgy, and suspenseful tale of longing, rage, fear, compulsion, and love.” – Booklist (starred review). An intoxicating and transcendent debut novel that follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way–and ultimately collide–amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980’s. Welcome to SoHo at the onset of the eighties: a gritty, not-yet-gentrified playground for artists and writers looking to make it in the big city. Among them: James Bennett, a synesthetic art critic for the New York Times whose unlikely condition enables him to describe art in profound, magical ways, and Raul Engales, an exiled Argentinian painter running from his past and the Dirty War that has enveloped his country. As the two men ascend in the downtown arts scene, dual tragedies strike, and each is faced with a loss that acutely affects his relationship to life and to art. It is not until they are inadvertently brought together by Lucy Olliason–a small town beauty and Raul’s muse–and a young orphan boy sent mysteriously from Buenos Aires, that James and Raul are able to rediscover some semblance of what they’ve lost. As inventive as Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad and as sweeping as Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings , Tuesday Nights in 1980 boldly renders a complex moment when the meaning and nature of art is being all but upended, and New York City as a whole is reinventing itself. In risk-taking prose that is as powerful as it is playful, Molly Prentiss deftly explores the need for beauty, community, creation, and love in an ever-changing urban landscape.
March 3, 2016
For those maybe reading ahead for the 16 in 16 promotion, I have a few ARCs that may be of interest in the translated category. Translations are getting more publicity and promotion lately, and it goes way beyond Scandinavian thrillers (though they’re still going strong, too). Publishers and imprints like New Directions, Europa Editions, Other Press, Overlook Books, etc. etc. are supplying great new genre and literary titles to expand the American reader’s mind. Italian writer Elena Ferrante has hit the NYT bestseller list, along with Indian-American Jhumpa Lahiri, whose new book In Other Words is an interesting experiment by an author writing in her third language, Italian, and having it translated into English in a parallel text.
Also, I welcome input on getting originals of any translated work originally in one of the six non-English languages we collect., as reading the same book in two languages is a great way to study another language, including English.
Please comment to this post to claim. The Dove’s Necklace by Raja Alem is particularly richly written and poignant, and Shelter by Jung Yun is developing a solid queue.
Alem, Raja. The Dove’s Necklace.
Summary: When a dead woman is discovered in Abu Al Roos, one of Mecca’s many alleys, no one will claim the body because they are ashamed by her nakedness. As we follow Detective Nassir’s investigation of the case, the secret life of the holy city of Mecca is revealed. Tackling powerful issues with beautiful and evocative writing, Raja Alem reveals a city–and a civilization–at once beholden to brutal customs, and reckoning (uneasily) with new traditions. Told from a variety of perspectives–including that of Abu Al Roos itself–The Dove’s Necklace is a virtuosic work of literature, and an ambitious portrait of a changing city that deserves our attention.
Chirbes, Rafael. On the Edge.
Summary: On the Edge opens with the discovery of a rotting corpse in the marshes on the outskirts of Olba, Spain–a town wracked by despair after the burst of the economic bubble, and a microcosm of a world of defeat, debt, and corruption. Stuck in this town is Esteban–his small factory bankrupt, his investments stolen by a “friend,” and his unloved father, a mute invalid, entirely his personal burden. Much of the novel unfolds in Esteban’s raw and tormented monologues. But other voices resound from the wreckage–soloists stepping forth from the choir–and their words, sharp as knives, crowd their terse, hypnotic monologues of ruin, prostitution, and loss. Chirbes alternates this choir of voices with a majestic third-person narration, injecting a profound and moving lyricism and offering the hope that a new vitality can emerge from the putrid swamps. On the Edge, even as it excoriates, pulsates with robust life, and its rhythmic, torrential style marks the novel as an indelible masterpiece.
Camilleri, Andrea. Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories.
Summary: From the author of the New York Times -bestselling Inspector Montalbano mystery series, twenty-one short stories spanning the beloved detective’s career. Inspector Montalbano has charmed readers in nineteen popular novels, and now in Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories , Andrea Camilleri has selected twenty-one short stories, written with his trademark wit and humor, that follow Italy’s famous detective through highlight cases of his career. From the title story, featuring a young deputy Montalbano newly assigned to Vigàta, to “Montalbano Says No,” in which the inspector makes a late-night call to Camilleri himself to refuse an outlandish case, this collection is an essential addition to any Inspector Montalbano fan’s bookshelf and a wonderful way to introduce readers to the internationally bestselling series.
Yun, Jung. Shelter.
Summary: You can never know what goes on behind closed doors. One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of the Year (Selected by Edan Lepucki) Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house he can’t afford. For years, he and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means. Now their debts and bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future. A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantageâe”private tutors, expensive hobbiesâe”but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and heâe(tm)s compelled to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves living under the same roof. Tensions quickly mount as Kyung’s proximity to his parents forces old feelings of guilt and anger to the surface, along with a terrible and persistent question: how can he ever be a good husband, father, and son when he never knew affection as a child? As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Shelter is a masterfully crafted debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one’s family and, in answer, delivers a story as riveting as it is profound.
February 23, 2016
This came out last week and now has 73 holds and counting. I have an ARC for first to comment specifying Sno-Isle workplace pickup. Thanks! BTW, the cover of this says “On sale 3/1/16” so these things do change.
THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train , an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife. When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen…<br> <br> But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore. There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. The truth–that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…