This title, due April 3rd from Random House, covers the perilous and courageously risky Apollo 8 mission, which was the first to travel to the moon and orbit it to gather information critical to the eventual moon landing the following summer. For readers born after these events, the blow by blow you are there writing style brings the times to life.  The biographical element borders on hero worship, but that also seems true to the period.  The inspiring success of a daring and improbable mission is set against a backdrop of recent NASA tragedy, Cold War politics, and disillusionment with war and unrest at home.  Comment to claim.

Kurson, Robert. Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon. Random House, April 3rd.

Rocket MenPublisher summary: The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers .

By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch. With just four months to prepare–a fraction of the normal time required to plan a space mission–the agency committed to sending the first men in history to the Moon. And it would all happen at Christmas.

In a year of historic violence and discord–the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago–the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.

Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours that reads like a real-life thriller. In these pages, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time–and arrive at a new world.

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Bohjalian, Chris. The Flight Attendant. Doubleday, March 2018.

The Flight Attendant

Publisher Summary: “From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened. Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes ina Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the manshe spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police – she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home – Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did? Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, of the giddy pleasures of alcohol and the devastating consequences of addiction, and of murder far from home”– Provided by publisher.

 

 

 

Comment to claim.

Halpern, Sue.  Summer House at the Robbers Library. HarperPerennial, February 2018.

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library

Summary: From journalist and author Sue Halpern comes a wry, observant look at contemporary life and its refugees. Halpern’s novel is an unforgettable tale of family…the kind you come from and the kind you create.

People are drawn to libraries for all kinds of reasons. Most come for the books themselves, of course; some come to borrow companionship. For head librarian Kit, the public library in Riverton, New Hampshire, offers what she craves most: peace. Here, no one expects Kit to talk about the calamitous events that catapulted her out of what she thought was a settled, suburban life. She can simply submerge herself in her beloved books and try to forget her problems.

But that changes when fifteen-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary. The judge throws the book at Sunny–literally–assigning her to do community service at the library for the summer. Bright, curious, and eager to connect with someone other than her off-the-grid hippie parents, Sunny coaxes Kit out of her self-imposed isolation. They’re joined by Rusty, a Wall Street high-flyer suddenly crashed to earth.

In this little library that has become the heart of this small town, Kit, Sunny, and Rusty are drawn to each other, and to a cast of other offbeat regulars. As they come to terms with how their lives have unraveled, they also discover how they might knit them together again and finally reclaim their stories.

Mamet, David.  Chicago.  Custom House (WilliamMorrow), February 2018.

ChicagoSummary: “A big shouldered, big trouble thriller set in mobbed up 1920s Chicago–a city where some people knew too much, and where everyone should have known better–by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of THE UNTOUCHABLES and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS”– Provided by publisher.
“A big-shouldered, big-trouble thriller set in mobbed-up 1920s Chicago–a city where some people knew too much, and where everyone should have known better–by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Untouchables and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Glengarry Glen Ross. Mike Hodge–veteran of the Great War, big shot of the Chicago Tribune, medium fry–probably shouldn’t have fallen in love with Annie Walsh. Then, again, maybe the man who killed Annie Walsh have known better than to trifle with Mike Hodge. In Chicago, David Mamet has created a bracing, kaleidoscopic page-turner that roars through the Windy City’s underground on its way to a thunderclap of a conclusion. Here is not only his first novel in more than two decades, but the book he has beenbuilding to for his whole career. Mixing some of his most brilliant fictional creations with actual figures of the era, suffused with trademark “Mamet Speak,” richness of voice, pace, and brio, and exploring–as no other writer can–questions of honor, deceit, revenge, and devotion, Chicago is that rarest of literary creations: a book that combines spectacular elegance of craft with a kinetic wallop as fierce as the February wind gusting off Lake Michigan”– Provided by publisher.

 

 

This is been getting quite some buzz and is now on order (Thanks ACQ! There will be 11 copies, not one – this was zapped by the server unpleasantness). Comment to claim this ARC.

Finn, A.J. The Woman in the Window. WilliamMorrow, January 2018.

The Woman in the Window

 

Publisher Summary from HarperCollins: SFor readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

Courtesy of Becky and her LJ connection.  These aren’t quite in the catalog yet but will be shortly.  Educated  I can attest is an engaging memoir, written with critical affection and a literary flourish. The author is a History PHD whose paranoid and apocalypse obsessed parents, a scrap dealer and unlicensed midwife in rural Idaho, prevented her from receiving any formal education and who went on nonetheless to attend Brigham Young, Cambridge and Harvard.  Some are comparing it to The Glass Castle.   Comment to claim and please specify which title you’re interested in.  As this is a staff-only blog, I will concentrate on distributing some of our ARC’s on it since they should not be distributed directly to the public.

Westover, Tara. Educated: A Memoir. Random House, February 20, 2018.

Educated by Tara WestoverPublisher Summary: Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing ties with those closest to you. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

Elliott, Lexie.  The French Girl. Berkley, February 20, 2018.

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

This already has 74 holds on 35 copies for a February publication date.  Comment to claim.

The Great Alone

Publisher Description from MacMillan Palgrave: 

Alaska, 1974.
Untamed.
Unpredictable.
And for a family in crisis, the ultimate test of the human spirit.

From the author who brought you the phenomenon of The Nightingale.

This is also from Nancy’s have-read stash, but she wants you to make your own judgment.  This should also be in the catalog very soon.  Benjamin’s The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote’s falling out with his connected friends and beginning a personal spiral and artistic block, circulated 564 times – and The Aviator’s Wife, about the Lindberghs, almost 600.  Comment to claim.

Benjamin, Melanie. The Girls in the Picture. Delacorte, January 16th, 2018.

The Girls in the PicturePublisher Summary: It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “flickers”—the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you’ll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have earned her the title “America’s Sweetheart.” The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged by both the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender—and their astronomical success could come at a price. As Mary, the world’s highest paid and most beloved actress, struggles to live her life under the spotlight, she also wonders if it is possible to find love, even with the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks. Frances, too, longs to share her life with someone. As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered.

With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness. Melanie Benjamin perfectly captures the dawn of a glittering new era—its myths and icons, its possibilities and potential, and its seduction and heartbreak.

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