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 This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!

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.

 

 

 

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

Eight hundred grapes : a novel

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.

 

Other Selections

 

The Truth According to Us  The book of speculation : a novel  The little Paris bookshop : a novel  The Invasion of the Tearling  In the unlikely event  The Rumor  The precipice : a novel  My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry : a novel  Pirate hunters : the search for the Golden Fleece

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.

Circling the Sun

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?

The Water Knife

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.

 

 

 

 

  1. Finally, this is also being promoted heavily and comes out in June. (Note: ARC cover design is different).

I Saw a Man : a novelAn 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.

 

 

Edgar Awards 2015

May 5, 2015

The 2015 winners of the Edgar were announced  by the Mystery Writers of America last Wednesday.  We own most of the major prize titles except for critical/biographical, which I have just selected thanks to a SINC (and thanks for the nudge, Marina, who did a great post for BiblioFiles).  Here below are some of them with publisher annotations.

 

Best NovelMr. Mercedes : a novel

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. 

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

 

 

Dry bones in the valley : a novel

Best First Novel 

Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman. 

In Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, secrets and feuds go back generations. The lone policeman in a small township on the sparse northern border, Henry Farrell expected to spend his mornings hunting and fishing, his evenings playing old-time music. Instead, he has watched the steady encroachment of gas drilling bring new wealth and erode neighborly trust. The drug trade is pushing heroin into the territory. There are outlaws cooking meth in the woods, guys Henry grew up with. When a stranger turns up dead, Henry’s search for the killer will open old wounds, dredge up ancient crimes, and exact a deadly price.With vivid characters and flawless pacing, Tom Bouman immerses readers in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region in the grip of change. In these derelict woods full of whitetail deer and history, the hunt is on.

 

 

Best PapThe secret history of Las Vegas : a novelerback Original

The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani. 

A gritty, riveting, and wholly original murder mystery from PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author and 2015 Edgar Awards finalist Chris Abani Before he can retire, Las Vegas detective Salazar is determined to solve a recent spate of murders. When he encounters a pair of conjoined twins with a container of blood near their car, he’s sure he has apprehended the killers, and enlists the help of Dr. Sunil Singh, a South African transplant who specializes in the study of psychopaths. As Sunil tries to crack the twins, the implications of his research grow darker. Haunted by his betrayal of loved ones back home during apartheid, he seeks solace in the love of Asia, a prostitute with hopes of escaping that life. But Sunil’s own troubled past is fast on his heels in the form of a would-be assassin. Suspenseful through the last page, The Secret History of Las Vegas is Chris Abani’s most accomplished work to date, with his trademark visionary prose and a striking compassion for the inner lives of outsiders.

 

Tinseltown : murder, morphine, and madness at the dawn of Hollywood

Best Fact Crime 

Tinseltown by William J. Mann

Who killed Billy Taylor, one of Hollywood’s most beloved men? For nearly a century, no one has known. Until now. In the early 1920s, millions of Americans flocked to movie palaces every year to see their favorite stars on the silver screen. Never before had a popular art so captured the public’s imagination, nor had a medium ever possessed such power to influence. But Hollywood’s glittering ascendancy was threatened by a string of lurid, headline-grabbing tragedies, including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the handsome and popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association–a legendary crime that has remained unsolved since 1922. Now, in this fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William Mann draws on a rich host of sources, many untapped for decades, to reopen the case of the upstanding yet enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him–including three loyal ingenues, a grasping stage mother, a devoted valet, a gang of two-bit thugs, the industry’s reluctant new morals czar, and the moguls Adolph Zukor and Marcus Loew, locked in a struggle for control of the exploding industry. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls and drug dealers, newly minted legends and starlets already past their prime, a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate. A true story re-created with the thrilling suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a master craftsman at the peak of his powers.

 

Best Critical / Biographical 

Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J. W. Ocker – Will Be Ordered 

May 1st, 2015
Annotations from Baker & Taylor or Ingram
Listed by Author

Read the rest of this entry »

Many of you in the branches have done an excellent job disabusing me of the notion that westerns are a fading genre. In some places, you’ve been insistent that there are younger readers of Westerns, too. Because of that, in 3M I’ve been purchasing and re-purchasing the classic writers like Ralph Compton and Louis L’amour, as well as newly popular authors writing westerns as such or regular fiction with a western “feel.” In talking books, fans of the Smoke Jensen series have requested the series be filled in and it, too, is being built up.  I’ll try to get some more copies in the first place as these are published in print.

As part of the effort, I’m also asking Leanne to build a 3M display shelf for Westerns. Look for its appearance soon.

Some examples of recent “mainstreamed” western fiction :

The sonMeyer, Philipp. The Son. 

The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim Spring, 1849. The first male child born in the newly established Republic of Texas, Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a marauding band of Comanches storms his homestead and brutally murders his mother and sister, taking him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and language, answering to a new name, becoming the chief’s adopted son, and waging war against their enemies, including white men–which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

 

 

The bully of order : a novel

Hart, Brian. The Bully of Order. 

Washington Territory, 1886 Jacob and Nell Ellstrom step from ship to shore and are struck dumb by the sight of their new home–the Harbor, a ragged township of mud streets and windowless shacks. In the years to come this will be known as one of the busiest and most dangerous ports in the world, and with Jacob’s station as the only town physician, prosperity and respect soon rain down on the Ellstroms. Then their son, Duncan, is born, and these are grand days, busy and full of growth. But when a new physician arrives, Jacob is revealed as an impostor, a fraud, and he flees, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Years later, on a fated Fourth of July picnic, Duncan Ellstrom falls in love. Her name is Teresa Boyerton, and her father owns the largest sawmill in the Harbor. Their relationship is forbidden by class and by circumstance, because without Jacob there to guide him, Duncan has gone to work for Hank Bellhouse, the local crime boss. Now, if Duncan wants to be with Teresa, he must face not only his past, but the realities of a dark and violent world and his place within it.

 

And an older title recently reprinted…

The homesman

Swarthout, Glendon. The Homesman. 

IN PIONEER NEBRASKA, A WOMAN LEADS WHERE NO MAN WILL GO Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman is a devastating story of early pioneers in 1850s American West. It celebrates the ones we hear nothing of: the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by a life of bitter hardship. A “homesman” must be found to escort a handful of them back East to a sanitarium. When none of the county’s men steps up, the job falls to Mary Bee Cuddy-ex-teacher, spinster, indomitable and resourceful. Brave as she is, Mary Bee knows she cannot succeed alone. The only companion she can find is the low-life claim jumper George Briggs. Thus begins a trek east, against the tide of colonization, against hardship, Indian attacks, ice storms, and loneliness-a timeless classic told in a series of tough, fast-paced adventures. In an unprecedented sweep, Glendon Swarthout’s novel won both the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award and the Western Heritage Wrangler Award.

 

May Library Reads

April 13, 2015

Here is the link to the list with librarian reviews – always a uniquely valuable perspective. Check out also the Titles to Know and Recommend from last Friday’s EarlyWord, again featuring librarian and bookseller reviews. I’m especially intrigued by the Royal We, a humorous romance takeoff of William and Kate, which so far has 19 holds and could build momentum as an identified “beach read.”  It’s really interesting to see an epic fantasy chosen as LibraryReads favorite and a teen title (A Court of Thorns and Roses) make the list.

LibraryReads Favorite

Novik, Naomi.  Uprooted.

UprootedUprooted by Naomi Novik”Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known onlyas the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows–everyone knows–that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose”–

 

 

Titles to Watch Pick

The royal we

Cocks, Heather and Jessica Morgan. The Royal We. 

“I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they’ll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next.” American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face. Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become. Which is how she gets into trouble. Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

Covers of Other Selections 

A court of thorns and roses  A God in Ruins  The Water Knife  Early warning : a novel  Seveneves : A Novel

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