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May 3rd, 2016

New Releases: May 3rd, 2016

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

AND AFTER THE FIRE by Lauren Belfer
At the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him. In America in 2010, Henry’s niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family’s history. Literary Thriller

THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF LOVE by Elizabeth J. Church
For Meridian Wallace, being ambitious meant being an outlier. Ever since she was a young girl, Meridian had been obsessed with birds, and she was determined to become an ornithologist. But she didn’t expect to fall in love with her brilliant physics professor, Alden Whetstone. When he’s recruited to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to take part in a mysterious wartime project, she reluctantly defers her own plans and joins him. What began as an exciting intellectual partnership devolves into a “traditional” marriage. It’s not until years later, when Meridian meets a Vietnam veteran who opens her eyes to how the world is changing, that she realizes just how much she has given up. Historical Fiction

BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE by Fredrik Backman
When Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband and has to fend for herself, she is more than a little unprepared. Employed as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center, she finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, which includes a handsome local policeman whose romantic attentions to Britt-Marie are as unmistakable as they are unwanted. Most alarming of all, she’s given the impossible task of leading the supremely untalented children’s soccer team to victory. In this small town of big-hearted misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?  Fiction

EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave
It’s 1939, and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or --- like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary --- have colored skin. Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself.  Historical Fiction

THE HONEYMOON by Dinitia Smith
Dinitia Smith’s novel recounts George Eliot’s honeymoon in Venice following her marriage to a handsome young man 20 years her junior. When she agreed to marry John Walter Cross, Eliot was recovering from the death of George Henry Lewes, her beloved companion of 26 years. Eliot was bereft: left at the age of 60 to contemplate profound questions about her physical decline, her fading appeal and the prospect of loneliness. In her youth, Mary Ann Evans --- who would later be known as George Eliot --- was a country girl, considered too plain to marry, so she educated herself in order to secure a livelihood.  Historical Fiction

IMAGINE ME GONE by Adam Haslett
When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. IMAGINE ME GONE is the story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings struggle along with their mother to care for his increasingly troubled and precarious existence.  Fiction

ZERO K by Don DeLillo
Jeffrey Lockhart’s father, Ross, is a billionaire in his 60s, with a younger wife, Artis Martineau, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a remote and secret compound where death is exquisitely controlled and bodies are preserved until a future time when biomedical advances and new technologies can return them to a life of transcendent promise. Jeff joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say “an uncertain farewell” to her as she surrenders her body.  Fiction


NEW RELEASES IN PAPERBACK

THE CHINA MIRAGE: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia by James Bradley
James Bradley introduces us to the prominent Americans who, in the 1800s, made their fortunes in the China opium trade. Meanwhile, American missionaries sought a myth: noble Chinese peasants eager to Westernize. The media propagated this mirage, and FDR believed that supporting Chiang Kai-shek would make China America's best friend in Asia. But Chiang was on his way out, and when Mao Zedong instead came to power, Americans were shocked, wondering how we had "lost China." From the 1850s to the origins of the Vietnam War, Bradley reveals how American misconceptions about China have distorted our policies and led to the avoidable deaths of millions.  History

EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave
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: 800. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands. But just a week before her wedding, 30-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.  Fiction

GIRL WAITS WITH GUN by Amy Stewart
Constance Kopp towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding 15 years ago. One day, a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family --- and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.  Historical Fiction / Mystery

GO SET A WATCHMAN by Harper Lee
Originally written in the mid-1950s, GO SET A WATCHMAN was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. GO SET A WATCHMAN features many of the characters from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD some 20 years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch --- Scout --- struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.  Fiction

IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT by Judy Blume
Judy Blume takes us back to the 1950s and introduces us to the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, where she herself grew up. Here she imagines and weaves together a vivid portrait of three generations of families, friends and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed during one winter. At the center of an extraordinary cast of characters are 15-year-old Miri Ammerman and her spirited single mother, Rusty. Their warm and resonant stories are set against the backdrop of a real-life tragedy that struck the town when a series of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving the community reeling.  Fiction

THE KNOCKOFF by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
As editor in chief of Glossy magazine, Imogen Tate is queen of the fashion world...until Eve, her conniving twenty-something former assistant, returns from business school with plans to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and re-launch Glossy as an app. Suddenly, the Louboutin is on the other foot; Imogen may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she doesn’t know Facebook from Foursquare and once got her phone stuck in Japanese for three days. But Imogen will do anything to reclaim her kingdom --- even if it means channeling her inner millennial and going head to head with a social-media monster.  Fiction

SPEAK by Louisa Hall
Each of the characters in SPEAK is attempting to communicate across gaps --- to estranged spouses, lost friends, future readers, or a computer program that may or may not understand them. Louisa Hall explores how the chasm between computer and human --- shrinking rapidly with today’s technological advances --- echoes the gaps that exist between ordinary people. Though each speaks from a distinct place and moment in time, all five characters share the need to express themselves while simultaneously wondering if they will ever be heard or understood.  Fiction

WIND/PINBALL: Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 (Two Novels) by Haruki Murakami
In the spring of 1978, a young Haruki Murakami sat down at his kitchen table and began to write. The result: two remarkable short novels --- HEAR THE WIND SING and PINBALL, 1973 --- that launched his career. These powerful, at times surreal, works about two young men coming of age are stories of loneliness, obsession and eroticism. Widely available in English for the first time ever, newly translated, and featuring a new introduction by Murakami himself, WIND/PINBALL gives us fascinating insight into a great writer’s beginnings.  Fiction

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough
On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men, and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.  History





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015:
2014: Swallowing the Earth by Osamu Tezuka
2013: The Ordinary Acrobat by Duncan Wall
2012: Fashionista Piranha on hiatus until May 24th
2011: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After by Steven Hockensmith
2010: Erotica gives publishers a surprising boost
2009: Contest #7: Gilded Age Giveaway

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