Bill recommends

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The Turnglass By Gareth Rubin Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781454955979
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Union Square & Co. - November 26th, 2024

Not one, but TWO great mysteries in one book!  THE TURNGLASS by Gareth Rubin is an Ingenius take on a "Tete-Beche", aka a book split in two parts and bound back-to-back (flip Books if you were a child of the 70s).   In one story set in England in the 1880s, a woman, a convicted killer, is kept in a special glass room, constantly observed by the brother of her dead husband, and it looks like he is being poisoned by her (or is it someone else mwahahah).  In the other tale, a young actor in Hollywood falls in with the governor's son, who was the survivor of his siblings after a terrible kidnapping in England when he was a small child.  Now, he has been killed and everything points toward the actor being the killer.  How these two books relate to each other is half the fun, but the actual two books are pretty darn great, with twists and turns galore!  You can read the 1880s one first followed by the Hollywood story, but I read them at the same time, two or three chapters at a time, and they are written so you get revelations from each affecting the other in this manner, so that's how I suggest you read them.  So much fun!


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Polostan: Volume One of Bomb Light By Neal Stephenson Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780062334497
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: William Morrow - October 15th, 2024

POLOSTAN is the first installment in a new series by Neal Stephenson, all centered around the character of Dawn Rae Bjornberg.  Cowgirl, gangster, thief, polo player, Communist, and, eventually, an agent for the Soviet Union, Dawn relates her youth as she is being tortured by the Russians.  All of this is, of course, is aimed at making her a spy during the Atomic Age.  the science got beyond me a few times, but this exciting historical drama rumbles along with a great sense of humor and a fabulous central character in Dawn.  I can't wait for the nxt installment.


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The Treasure Hunters Club: A Mystery By Tom Ryan Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802163639
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - October 15th, 2024

Well, this was ridiculously fun! THE TREASURE HUNTER'S CLUB by Tom Ryan is an adult take on THE GOONIES or CANDLESHOE. A middle-aged gay man seeks out his lost family; a 17-year-old girl, mourning the death of her beloved grandfather, finds piece of a treasure map; and a writer struggling with a second book finds the spark of n idea while house sitting by a bay in Nova Scotia. There are pirates, lost gold treasure, double-crosses, twists and turns, and even a few murders before the stunning final revelations. It's a delightful mystery that evokes so many memories of childhood and childhood films, that I was swept up in the treasure hunt along with the heroes.


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Playground: A Novel By Richard Powers Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781324086031
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 24th, 2024

PLAYGROUND, the new novel by Richard Powers, delivers everything that Powers does best – an it takes it to the next level!  Here are the detailed characters that you grow to love, the beautiful, expressive writing about nature and man’s place within it, and his uncanny ability to juggle multiple storylines without ever becoming confusing or reductive.  In PLAYGROUND, we have the story of two young men who grow up together – one white, privileged, and innocent and one Black, street-smart, and full of trauma from a broken childhood.  Alongside their stories, we get one about a woman oceanographer who must choose between family and work and who will one day influence one of these men in untold ways.  They all end up involved with a new sea scaping factory planned to be built upon a tropical island, possibly ruining the paradise, harming the recovering ecology.  How each of these characters (ad the author has gotten so much better with his portrayal of characters) influence this story is the crux of novel’s moral core, and Powers handles every plotline beautifully.  Our oceans are in danger, and Powers shows this in fantastically subtle ways.  The finale, when everyone comes together, is incredibly moving and emotionally resonant.  I loved this book, and it is at the top of the best of the year!


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Entitlement: A Novel By Rumaan Alam Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593718469
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Published: Riverhead Books - September 17th, 2024

ENTITLEMENT is Rumaan Alam's delicious slow burn od a literary novel, examining class, race, and the very fabric of our economic social structure.  A young Black woman gets a job working for a billionaire who wants to give his money away.  Slowly, she becomes enamored with his life and, for the first time, sees herself actually climbing a social ladder.  All through the book, I was screaming at her as well as at several other characters.  It's a painful downfall, and the book cn be difficult and challenging, but it sure grabbed me and didn';t let go.  I was shattered by the end.


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The Alaska Sanders Affair: A Novel By Joël Dicker, Robert Bononno (Translated by) Cover Image
By Joël Dicker, Robert Bononno (Translated by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063324800
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperVia - September 17th, 2024

THE ALASKA SANDERS AFFAIR shows author Joel Decker returning to New Hampshire and the characters from THE TRUTH ABOUT HARRY QUEBERT, but you do not have to read that book to understand everything in this new plot (although it will give you some character insight).  Author Marcus Goldman thinks he is done with the past, but then a cold case involving the murder of a young woman from Salem, Ma. brings him back to the side of his grieving friend, Officer Perry Gahalawood.  Little do they know, secrets bubble beneath the surface of this sleepy New England town, and they are about to expose them all!  It's a slow burn mystery that twists and turns so expertly you could get whiplash, but Decker keeps you fully in control of the complicated plot.  Fans of Tana French, Scott Turow, or Anthony Horowitz are going to love this literary mystery with meat on its bones!


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The Mesmerist: A Novel By Caroline Woods Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385550161
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Published: Doubleday - September 10th, 2024

THE MESMERIST by Caroline Woods -- what a page-turner!  This historical novel deals with the Quaker proprietress of a home for unwed mothers and recovering prostitutes as well as a mute, new woman in her charge as well as one who is about to leave, although she doesn't know where she is going.  Enter a man known for abuse, torture, blackmail, and murder, and you have all the ingredients for a thrilling story of crime and women's rights.   The writing i crisp, and the characters -- many based upon real people who lived this story -- are well-drawn and fully-fleshed out.  You care so much about these women!  It all comes together in a fantastic and exciting ending.  An epilogue helps to separate fiction from the facts of the true crime case!  Fans of FROZEN RIVER and THE HOME FOR UNWANTED GIRLS will eat this up! 


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William By Mason Coile Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593719602
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 10th, 2024

WILLIAM by Mason Coile (pen name of Andrew Pyper) is a Blumhouse - type horror novel that's short enough, and exciting enough, to read in one sitting.  A house controlled by AI becomes uncontrollable when something takes over the robot attached to the AI system (a demon?)  It's a new kind of haunting, and, for once, I did not see that ending coming at all!  Very spooky, this will be a fun addition to the Halloween tables in bookstores!


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The Accomplice: A Novel (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson Presents #1) By Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063312906
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Amistad - September 3rd, 2024

When I heard Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson had co-written a book with Aaron Phillip Clark, I couldn't wait to read it, even though I had my doubts.  I shouldn't have doubted.  THE ACCOMPLICE (1st in a new series) is the lightning-paced story of the first Black woman Texas Ranger, and her pursuit of a man who is stealing information to use against politicians who lie and cheat.  Talk about a conflict of interest!  Through violent fight scenes, shoot-em-ups, and some brushes with our current political landscape, this book moves so fast you'd miss something if you blink.  Also, super kudos for Jackson making his Ranger heroine a lesbian POC.  For readers of Lee Child and Chester Himes, this is a treat.


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Tell Me Everything: A Novel By Elizabeth Strout Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593446096
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Published: Random House - August 13th, 2024

Elizabeth Strout returns to Maine and all the characters we have grown to love during her career in TELL ME EVERYTHING.  As Bob Burgess and Lucy Barton find themselves growing attracted to each other, Lucy finally meets the indomitable Olive Kitteredge and the two women exchange stories.  And that is what Strout is examining in this novel -- how stories are the possible futures we live with like ghosts in our homes, like ghosts in our relationships.  Unless the stories are shared, they take up space without adding anything to the world.  Stories are unrecorded lives, and boy, does Strout give us some stories in this book!  Her love for humanity oozes from the page, and her characters are more human than many people that I know.  It's a lovely high-wire act, and Strout navigates these tales with grace.  I think this is her best book yet!


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House of Bone and Rain By Gabino Iglesias Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780316427012
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Mulholland Books - August 6th, 2024

Gabino Iglasias's HOUSE OF BONE AND RAIN begins with a group of young men, ready to avenge the killing of one of their mothers after a drive-by shooting.  Then, things get dark really fast!  A major drug kingpin is involved and Hurricane Maria is swiftly approaching, a storm that threatens to let loose the demons that live in the waters off the coast of Puerto Rico.  Demons out for blood...which flows copiously in this gripping horror/crime novel hybrid.  It's a fast, thrilling read that will keep you up late, turning pages into the night, but it is also a look into the lives of a group of young men, relegated to second class citizenship by colonialists, disaffected and floating with little purpose other than to get out.  .  Just do NOT read this one during a storm.  Chills are guaranteed.


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Five-Star Stranger: A  Novel By Kat Tang Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781668050149
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Scribner - August 6th, 2024

FIVE STAR STRANGER by Kat Tang is a sly and deceptive work of literature.  What first appears to be a charming comedy of manners featuring a man who rents himself out as a stranger (think best man at weddings, mourner at funerals, drinking buddy for a night) becomes a nuanced, psychologically astute character study of a man searching for a lost identity.  As he has become far too close to a mother and daughter where he is a pretend father and husband, he becomes friendly with a woman, a writer who wants to bounce ideas off of him.  As he tries to be everybody to everyone, he finds himself becoming less of a person, losing his heart.  It's a beautiful story, filled with funny and sweet moments that builds to a richly satisfying conclusion.  A surprising delight!


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The Dissonance: A Novel By Shaun Hamill Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593317259
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Pantheon - July 23rd, 2024

THE DISSONANCE is Shaun Hamill's long-awaited sophomore novel after his terrifying COSMOLOGY OF MONSTERS, and he doesn't disappoint!  Four teenagers fall under the tutelage of a man who can use magic to change the world.  After years of practice, something very bad happens and one of them is killed.  Twenty years later, the group reunites for a reunion of the tragic event, while being stalked by a living corpse and the young, terrified gay man it takes hostage.  There are themes of bonds of many sorts (friendship, magic, allegiances), as well as loyalty, love, and regret.  But, at its black heart, it is a dark fantasy/horror hybrid -- like if Peter Straub's SHADOWLANDS had been written by Leigh Bardugo!  It's a thrill ride, for sure, but you get emotionally attached to these characters, and you just pray they will all be all right by the stunning conclusion.  fantastic fantasy!


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Nicked: A Novel By M. T. Anderson Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593701607
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Pantheon - July 23rd, 2024

NICKED by M.T. Anderson is unlike any historical novel you've ever read.  Witty beyond belief, it tells the mostly true story of a group of Medieval thieves and monks who perform a daring heist to steal St. Nicholas's bones for their town, which is suffering from the pox!  The writing is zippy and every single sentence is shined to perfection.  It's as though Ken Follett, Terry Pratchett, and OUR FLAG MEANS DEATH had a literary baby.  It's a great time!


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Navola: A novel By Paolo Bacigalupi Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593535059
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf - July 9th, 2024

NAVOLA bu Paolo Bacigalupi is something entirely new -- an epic fantasy based upon 15th Century Florence and the lives of the de Medicis.  The fantastic elements are kept to a minimum, so it reads like historical fiction for the most part...historical fiction taking place in another world.  The attention to detail in the world-building is truly mind-blowing, which makes it a slow burn at first, but once the action kicks in, it really moves!  Fans of BABEL and the first GAME OF THRONES books will enjoy this palace-intrigue novel.  I can't wait for Book Two!


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The Lion Women of Tehran By Marjan Kamali Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668036587
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Gallery Books - July 2nd, 2024

Marjan Kamali follows her wonderful book THE STATIONARY SHOP with a new novel, THE LION WOMEN OF TEHRAN...and it is wonderful!  This beautiful story tracks two girls, unlikely friends in Iran, from the 1950s, when women were gaining stature and independence in that country until the 1990s when women lose almost all their rights.  One friend is a fighter and a revolutionary while the other is wealthy and seated among the upper class, so many issues don't even touch her at first.  Then, one betrays the other in an unforgivable manner.  How this plays out against history makes for a dramatic and emotional tale that can comfortably sit next to A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS or THE KITE RUNNER.


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The Night Ends with Fire By K. X. Song Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593815724
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Ace - July 2nd, 2024

THE NIGHT ENDS WITH FIRE by K.X. Song is a brilliant reimaging of the Mulan legend -- but this is no Disney cartoon!  It's definitely for adults and older teens.  When young Meilin is promised to a wicked man, she disguises herself as a man and joins the army, little knowing how the war will affect her and those she loves.  Or about the elemental dragon that will try to also control her.  Or the two handsome princes who will romance her.  As she is slowly driven mad, the book turns from  flashy epic historical fantasy to an examination of hubris, madness, and the controlling aspects of power.  It's quite the ride, brimming with swoony romance and violent clashes.  One of the best fantasy novels in recent times!


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Bear: A Novel By Julia Phillips Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525520436
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hogarth - June 25th, 2024

BEAR by Julia Phillips is a breath-taking work of fiction and certain to be one of the year's best.  Two sisters live with their dying mother on an island off the Pacific Northwest Coast, and they dream of a future when they can leave and start their lives.  Then, a bear comes to the island.  One sister sees it as dangerous and an omen and the other believes it to be beautiful and gentle.  Things are not going to end well in this psychological allegorical novel.  Superb writing and incredible maintained suspense drive this wonderful book.


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All the Colors of the Dark By Chris Whitaker Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593798874
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Crown - June 25th, 2024

ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is -one of the very best books in years...possibly decades for me.  I haven't been so moved by a novel since THE KITE RUNNER, and that's not hyperbole.  What begins as a taut thriller of a boy who is kidnapped and the search his best friend embarks upon to find him evolves into an emotional bildungsroman about how these two characters grow up, each of them puppets of fate.  Where their paths lead is the majority of the book, with a killer suspenseful ending that took my breath away...and then made me cry.  It's utterly beautiful and humanistic.  Whitaker obviously loves these characters as much as the reader does, and you can tell he is ripped apart by their trauma.  It reads a bit like THE GOLDFINCH meets TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD meet SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, but I thought it was remarkably coherent and achingly, lyrically, beautifully written.  Easily one of the best books of the year, and probably of the decade.  I cannot praise it enough!


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Sandwich: A Novel By Catherine Newman Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063345164
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 18th, 2024

Don't be fooled by the cover and short length of SANDWICH, the new novel from Catherine Newman.  It packs a real emotional whallop that sneaks up on you!  When a middle-aged couple and their grown children (and later her parents) vacation for a week at Cape Cod, old secrets are revealed, leading to everyone questioning their place in their family.  Middle age and menopause have rarely, if ever, been detailed so vividly and realistically.  It starts slow, gains some speed, then the last fifty pages will blow your mind with how great the writing is and how deeply you come to care about these characters.  It's terrific and also, very funny!


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Caledonian Road: A Novel By Andrew O'Hagan Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781324074878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 18th, 2024

Imagine Anthony Trollope distilled through the satiric lens of Tom Wolfe, and you might get an idea of how great CALEDONIAN ROAD is!  This epic story of five interconnected families whose fortunes crumble or rise during a year's time is hilarious, horrifying, gripping, and often so close to the truth that it becomes discomforting.  Russian gangsters and art critics, drug runners and lords and ladies, young misanthropes ready to overthrow the world and the wealthy one percent fighting to maintain the status quo...each of these groups and more are skewered with aplomb by O' Hagan.  Nobody escapes unscathed!  I had to read this one slowly, because the reader wants to relish every witty quip, pun, and political rant (on every side!) and the writing is just that good!  Every sentence is a little gem of wit and each is polished 
impeccably.  Easily one of the top novels of the year.  this one is going to ruffle a lot of feathers!


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A Love Like the Sun By Riss M. Neilson Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780593640494
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - June 11th, 2024

This is a fantastic friends-to-lovers romance that's just chock full of lovely people that you want to have as a circle of friends.  There's great diverse representation as well as conversation about the way women are never believed by doctors.  Sweet, well-written, and with a spice level of about 4, this one is a winner.


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Dead Tired: A Mystery (Expectant Detectives Mystery) By Kat Ailes Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250322739
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - June 4th, 2024

Another delightful cozy mystery featuring the amateur detectives from a Mommy Group.  Now that the children are all babies and toddlers, they once again stumble upon a murder -- this time after chaining themselves to trees to protect a meadow from being bulldozed.  The pacing is sure-footed, and the jokes and quips come at such a rapid rate, the reader cannot help but smile and giggle along with Alice and her group.  And, hurray for Helen, possibly the worst dog to ever grace the pages of a mystery novel.  I can't wait for the next book in the series!


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Enlightenment: A Novel By Sarah Perry Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780063352612
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 4th, 2024

ENLIGHTENMENT by Sarah Perry takes place in Essex (like her ESSEX SERPENT), and it's a gloriously well-written novel of an older man, a writer, and a young woman who become friends.  Their friendship is tested over twenty years through falsehoods and faith, religion and science, and truth vs. lies.  Driving the narrative, is the writer's search for the details about a ghost woman he sees sometimes, why she disappeared and what do the cryptic scrawlings in her diary really mean.  Perry's writing is beautiful, bring the book into full Victorian Gothic mode, and the characters are strong and flawed.  The last parts of the book are very emotional, although presented in a quiet manner.  This is a treasure.


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Swift River By Essie Chambers Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781668027912
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 4th, 2024

SWIFT RIVER by Essie Chambers is a heartfelt novel about generational trauma and how it affects familial bonds.  In gorgeous writing, Chambers introduces us to one of the most strikingly original and fascinating characters in recent memory -- Diamond Newberry is a teenaged mixed-race girl who lives with her damaged white mother after her Black father disappeared when she was a child.  When she attains letters from her grandmother to another family member, she learns about her New England town and how it was a 'Sundown town' where Black people fled for their lives, performing a sort of reverse migration back to the South.  How the scars of the past haven't healed and help/prevent Diamond from growing up form the crux of the novel.  The writing is Toni Morrison exceptional with passages you read aloud and try to commit to memory.   This is a powerful book, one I will not soon forge


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Fire Exit: A Novel By Morgan Talty Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781959030553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - June 4th, 2024

Morgan Talty's debut novel, FIRE EXIT, is a powerful character study of a man, half-white and half-Native American, who struggles to identify fully in either world.  he is taking care of his mother with dementia, keeping his alcoholic buddy from doing anything too reprehensible. and watching his estranged daughter from across the river.  The novel delvess deeply into the psyche of this man and his multiple worries, and Talty doesn't shy away from looking under the uglier rocks of the landscape.  It's written in spare, simple prose that resonates with the reader long after the book is finished, and the climax, shattering and touching, is beautifully orchestrated.  Talty is truly a talent to watch out for.


The Safekeep By Yael van der Wouden Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668034347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - May 28th, 2024

THE SAFEKEEP by Yael Van Der Wouden is a brilliantly structured historical novel in which a woman, whose inherited home means everything to her, is troubled by an unwanted guest, the girlfriend of her brother.  The relationship between the women moves from prickly antagonism to passion in a believable way (be warned, this one gets super spicy a few times!), and then... the author pulls the rug out from under you with breath-taking ease.  And then, the reader ends up questioning everything.  This beautiful story left me warm and with my mind racing.  It's a terrific book, and it will probably be counted in many of the year's best lists!


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The Wealth of Shadows: A Novel By Graham Moore Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593731925
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - May 21st, 2024

A thriller about economic theory?  This sounded like a stretch for me, but in Graham Moore's capable hands, THE WEALTH OF SHADOWS is an incredible historical novel that, yes, delves deeply into Keynesian economics, but... gasp... I actually understood it all!  Based upon the true story of a group of accountants and mathematicians who are recruited in 1939 by the Treasury Department to head up a secret organization with the intention of tanking the German economy before America enters WW2, the book reads like non-fiction with some dialogue.  The concepts and ideas behind the schemes are thrilling, and the ending is a true Wow moment.  Moore is great at this kind of novel, and this exposes a brilliant group of people who are completely unknown, despite all that they did.  Readers who love Erik Larsen, David Grann, and Ken Follett are going to eat this up with a spoon!


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The Guncle Abroad By Steven Rowley Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593540459
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 21st, 2024

This charming, delightful sequel to THE GUNCLE shows that Stephen Rowley knows exactly howe to continue a story.  instead of a retread, we get to see our favorite guncle, Patrick, fleeing from his own problems and forced to accompany his teen niece and younger nephew on a tour across Europe before their father gets married again.  It's a story about how and why we love, the ways we protect ourselves from emotion and fear, and the powerful medicine of humor and love.  A truly funny book should also get you right in the heartstrings, and this one does so without cruelty or meanness, and I loved every second of it.  Only, now I desperately want to go to Italy!


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I'm Afraid You've Got Dragons By Peter S. Beagle Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781668025277
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: S&S/Saga Press - May 14th, 2024

 

Peter S. Beagle (THE LAST UNICORN) is back in fine fantasy form with I'M AFRAID YOU'VE GOT DRAGONS.  A picky princess, a ravishing inexperienced prince, a castle infested with dragons, and a handsome you exterminator all find themselves in a fractured fairy tale that will delight anyone with a sense of whimsy.  Although it gets dark and brooding and pretty scary in the middle, this dragon tale is sweet and funny and full of jokes and smarts.  I enjoyed the heck out of it!


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Spitting Gold: A Novel By Carmella Lowkis Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781668024959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - May 14th, 2024

In SPITTING GOLD by Carmella Lowkis, two sisters, fake mediums who have retired in 1860s Paris, decide to pull off one more con game.  Things are not going to go well!   I loved this sapphic romance/gothic tale.  The writing is crisp and beautifully descriptive, and the characters of the sisters really come alive on the page.  You will be rooting for them -- even when they are doing terrible things.  There are lots of fairy tale references in this book, and like most fairy tales, we get exactly the ending we wanted!  Loads of fun!


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This Strange Eventful History: A Novel By Claire Messud Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780393635041
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 14th, 2024

History doesn't flow within our memories in a linear manner; it jumps around in spurts and eddies.  And Claire Messud knows this as she demonstrates so beautifully in her new novel THIS STRANGE EVENTFUL HISTORY.  We follow three generations of a displaced French-Algerian family from 1940 to 2010 and across four continents as they work, love, grapple with their place in the world, and reckon with the most important thing of all to them -- family.  Each chapter gives us a snapshot of a time, featuring life events big and small -- the Nazi invasion of France, a career imploding, a wild spring break trip from college, a wedding anniversary, the death of a parent, and so much more.  It harkens back to the feel of sifting   through an old photo album, or the first time I watched FANNY AND ALEXANDRA.  This is a strong family, and these glimpses into their lives (loosely based upon Messud's own) show us that life, even when difficult or incomprehensible, is always worth living.  It's a beautiful book, full of dense, Proustian language,  and it's one of Claire Messud's best.


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Sipsworth By Simon Van Booy Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781567927948
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: David R. Godine Publisher - May 7th, 2024

SIPSWORTH by Simon Van Booy took me by surprise!  It's a charming little gem of a novel that delighted me on every page and completely warmed my cold heart by the lovely ending.  It's the story of a lonely, elderly woman in England whose life is turned upside down when she accidentally lets a mouse (the titular Sipsworth) into her home. . . and possibly her heart.  As the story progresses, the reader learns all about the woman's amazing life as she finally comes out of her self-imposed prison and has to interact with  cast of eccentric characters.  Fans of MRS. ARRIS GOES TO PARIS or the works of Claire Keegan are going to love this book!


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The Stolen Child: A Novel By Ann Hood Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780393609806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 7th, 2024

Ann Hood has outdone herself with her new novel, THE STOLEN CHILD. Three stories twirl around each other until they become one -- a grumpy, bitter dying man returns to Europe to right a wrong he committed during WW1; a young woman from Rhode Island decides to leave her tragic life and go to sunny Naples to meet a boy she barely knows at Pablo Nerudo's house; and an Italian man creates a Museum of Tears, finding tears in joy and hardship.  It's a story of children and parents, of loss and love, of art and what we leave behind, and a story about tragedy and redemption.  I blew through this book, unable to put it down as the parallel tales, told in a fractured timeline, coalesced into a lovely ending.  I just adored it!


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Colton Gentry's Third Act: A Novel By Jeff Zentner Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781538756652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 30th, 2024

Sometimes, you jst need a well-written book that will make you feel better about the human race and our world...and COLTON GENTRY'S THIRD ACT is exactly that book.  Author Jeff Zentner even includes a footnote to let the reader know the dog doesn't die in this book!  After his best friend dies during a mass shooting, a country singer screams out a drunken ant-gun rant on stage, murdering his career.  In shame, he hurries back to the small Kentucky town where he grew up...and where his first love still resides.  It's a sweet love story filled with likable characters, tons of delicious food (you can almost taste the Nashville Hot Chicken), and a down-home leisurely pace that wrks well with the characters.  It's a true delight.


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The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War By Erik Larson Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780385348744
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - April 30th, 2024

THE DEMON OF UNREST is probably my all time favorite Erik Larson book...and that is saying something!  This one's an examination into the forces at work that led up to the start of the Civil War and the firing upon Fort Sumpter.  The events eerily mirror what is happening in our country today,  Larson tells stories, and the history that is learned from this is utterly gripping.  Facts matter, but in America, chivalry and hubris might matter more.  Highly recommended!


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A Game of Lies: A Novel By Clare Mackintosh Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781728296500
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - April 23rd, 2024

What an absolutely fantastic murder mystery.  It's set in and around the filming of a reality television show in which the contestant's deepest, darkest secrets are revealed live on air.  the detectives (from the Last Party) are great characters with great sexual chemistry, and the suspects are a lively group of eccentrics.  Plus, Dave, the rescue dog fro  Hell!  I loved it, laughed at it, and it surprised me with twists more than a few times.  If you like Agatha Christie or Peter May or Ruth Ware, you will love this book. 


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Muse of Fire: World War I as Seen Through the Lives of the Soldier Poets By Michael Korda Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781631496882
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - April 16th, 2024

Michael Korda's MUSE OF FIRE takes a long look at the 'soldier poets' of The Great War, showing us their lives before and during wartime.  Most didn't survive the war, but as each lived longer and fought longer, their poetry became less rah rah patriotic and more harsh reality blood and fury.  It's a unique look at WW1 history as well as a fascinating glimpse into the artistic process.  This is a winner on every level.


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An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s By Doris Kearns Goodwin Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781982108663
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 16th, 2024

In AN UNFINISHED LOVE STORY, Doris Kearns Goodwin takes us into the halls of power during the turbulent 1960s.  Talk about being in the room where it happened!  er husband had 300 boxes of letters and memorabilia from his time working as a speechwriter with anecdotes from JFK, Robert Kennedy Lindon B Johnson, Martin Luthor King, and even Che Guevara.  It's a fascinating, very personal history of times and changing attitudes and I highly recommend it.  Just wonderful!


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Honey: A Novel By Victor Lodato Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780063309616
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - April 16th, 2024

Victor Lodato's new novel, HONEY, is a big hug of a story... but beware of the prickly and delightfully weird edges!  It's a character study of the daughter of the biggest mafioso in New Jersey, now 82 years old, and returning to her hometown and the family that wronged her.  Is she there for revenge or something else?  Wih the help of a kind, young next door neighbor and an artist who has the hots for her, she will navigate the past into her future... dressing gorgeously and slinging barbs all the way!  i loved Honey, and her story affected me deeply as she tried to come to terms with where all the bodies were buried.  Our past is always there, and it rears its ugly head at strange times.  This novel evokes love and art and beauty as a balm for when things become ugly.  And the book, itself, is a balm against everything out there.  What a perfect and incredibly beautiful read.  Lodato has outdone himself!


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The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook By Hampton Sides Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780385544764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 9th, 2024

THE WIDE WIDE SEA by Hampton Sides is a fabulously thrilling look at the final voyage of explorer James Cook and what may have gone so very wrong to result in his death.  It reads easily, encompassing not only Cook and his very large personality, but also several satellite characters -- a "human pet" brought back to London from Tahiti who was the toast of London, Joseph Banks, the naturalist who accompanied Cook on his earlier voyages, and even Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame!  Cook's legacy is being disputed right now s colonialism has rightly come under attack, but the man is much more complex than his reputation appears to be.  The finale of this book is truly harrowing.  I thought it was terrific narrative history and should please fans of THE WAGER or DEAD WAKE.

PS...the recent discovery of his ship ENDEAVOR off the coast of Rhode Island should have this book in the headlines for several weeks!


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The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers: A novel By Samuel Burr Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593470091
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 9th, 2024

THE FELLOWSHIP OF PUZZLE MAKERS by Samuel Burr is a delightful charmer of a novel.  When a baby left on the doorstep to a commune of elderly puzzle makers grows up, he is sent on a cryptic scavenger hunt to discover the identity of his mother.  This is a comfort read, a bug hug and perfect for readers of VERY REMARKABLE CREATURES, HE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB, or especially THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY.  Plus, there are actually puzzles to solve in the book along the way that provide clues!  Such good fun!


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Bless Your Heart (A Bless Your Heart Novel #1) By Lindy Ryan Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250888884
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - April 9th, 2024

Don't let the cover fool you; BLESS YOUR HEART is an action-packed, blood-soaked horror novel about four generations of Southern women who run a funeral parlor. . . and every once in a while, stop the dead from rising.  It's True Blood meets Steel Magnolias, and the results are a fast-paced page-turner that's a lot of fun if you are game.  It honestly could have been longer to focus even more on family relationships, but it was so delightful and quick that I could forgive it anything.  Even though I am a Yankee!


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The Cemetery of Untold Stories: A Novel By Julia Alvarez Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781643753843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - April 2nd, 2024

This utterly transporting novel will sweep you away into a whirlwind of stories.  When an author decides to physically bury her unfinished manuscripts, she creates a park, a cemetery of stories.  But the tales won't stay buried, and they intermingle with her own family history and the stories of some of the local people who work there in the Dominican Republic.  This book has a wonderful sense of place, and it speaks volumes to the way that stories affect us as human beings.  Just wonderful!


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Clear: A Novel By Carys Davies Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781668030660
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - April 2nd, 2024

This lovely, short novel about a vicar told to clear the last tenant farmer from an island in Scotland, and how things go sweetly awry, is a breath of fresh air.  Davies tells the story simply yet full of atmosphere.  It will delight fans of Claire Keegan!


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The Princess of Las Vegas: A Novel By Chris Bohjalian Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780385547581
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - March 19th, 2024

THE PRINCESS OF LAS VEGAS is a romp of a crime novel about a Princess Diana impersonator and her sister who get mixed up in cryptocurrency schemes, the mafia, and several murders. It's full of well-written characters and over-the-top bad guys, and it's near impossible to put down once you reach a certain point (you will know it when you hit it!) Bohjalian has decided to have fun, and the city of Las Vegas is as much a character as the sisters and their adopted precocious teenager. This one is a lot of fun and quite suspenseful.


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Rainbow Black: A Novel By Maggie Thrash Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063286870
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - March 19th, 2024

RAINBOW BLACK is the new adult novel by Maggie Thrush, and wow! does it ever pack a punch!  Satanic panic, murder, queer fugitives on the run!  The character of Lacey Bond is so believable, sarcastic, snarky, lovable, and flawed that I fell completely head over heels for her.  The book follows her psychological journey from victim to killer to redemption of a sort as she finds her way through the maze of life.  I was charmed and delighted, even when the book dealt with serious, horrifying issues.


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James: A Novel By Percival Everett Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385550369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - March 19th, 2024

brilliant retelling of Huck Finn from Jim, the slave's, point of view.  Only, Everett shows that James (he doesn't like to be called Jim) is so much more than Huck's compatriot and a slave to be utilized as a prop.  He is definitely his own man -- intelligent, thoughtful, loving -- and Everett gets deeply into his head as we relive much of Twain's immortal novel.  The action never stops for a breath as James and Huck run away, James to find a way to buy his family and prevent them from being sold downriver and Huck to escape from his terrifying father.  It's wonderful in every way and I couldn't put it down until I knew the fates of the characters.  Look for awards for this one, but it is also so well written and paced that I believe it will be very popular as well.  Kudos to Everett!  One of the best books of the year.


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King Nyx: A Novel By Kirsten Bakis Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781324093534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - February 27th, 2024

KING NYX is Kirsten Bakis's first novel since her cult success THE LIVES OF THE MONSTER DOGS, and it doesn't disappoint!  This gothic mystery is based around the real writer Charles Forte (of The Fortean Times) and his meek wife, who has suffered mental health issues after an encounter with the unknown years before.  Summoned to a mysterious island by a millionaire, they discover nothing is as it seems and young women have gone missing on the island.  The chauffer wears gas masks and another couple summoned, a psychiatrist and his brash and bawdy wife, are there and the host is nowhere to be seen.  But there are sounds in the woods and dreams bring foreboding warnings.  It's an atmospheric romp that seems like a cross between JANE EYRE and MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, but it's also an examination of the fate of women and girls when surrounded by men who think they know it all.  Sadly, much hasn't changed.  This was a super quick read for me and a truly delightful tale.


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Ours: A Novel By Phillip B. Williams Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780593654828
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - February 20th, 2024

OURS by Phillip B. Williams reads as though Toni Morrison had rewritten ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLIITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez! The language and writing is as lush as anything written in the last decade as Williams relates the story of the establishment of a town, created by a conjure woman who kills the whites on plantations and frees the enslaved. Using African folklore stories as a backbone, the story unfolds slowly, allowing the reader to get to know the inhabitants of the town and utilizing magical realism to cast a spell. Spirits, demons, and the uncanny walks through this town, many of which are allegories for the African Enslaved Experience, and the entire question of 'What is Freedom really?' is suffused on every page. This is a smart, brilliant novel that challenges the reader while keeping them turning the pages for a week.  A true accomplishment!


The Tainted Cup By Robert Jackson Bennett Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781984820709
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - February 6th, 2024

THE TAINTED CUP by Robert Jackson Bennett is an unadulterated treat! A murder mystery set in an elaborately-imagined fantasy setting, it reads as though Nero Wolfe and Archie or Holmes and Watson were on a case in the middle of Game Of Thrones! Plus, Kaiju! The characters are beautifully drawn, and the world-building is first rate. I honestly cannot get over how much fun this book was to read; I had a smile plastered on my face the entire time. This could be a break-out fantasy hit!


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The Bullet Swallower: A Novel By Elizabeth Gonzalez James Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781668009321
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 23rd, 2024

I just finished THE BULLET SWALLOWER by Elizabeth Gonzalez James, and I can't wait to talk to people about it!  Two parallel stories, each tinged with magical realism, that interconnect in such a beautiful way the reader can't but sing the praises of James.  A Mexican bandit in the late 1800s loses everything and is deformed, followed by a shadow that might be his death.  His ancestor, a movie star in Mexico City in the 1960s finds himself obsessed with making a film about his outlaw grandfather.  It's beautifully written and tragic and comic in equal measures.  History melds with dark fantasy in original and lovely ways.  I adored it!


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Martyr!: A novel By Kaveh Akbar Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593537619
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - January 23rd, 2024

MARTYR! by Kveh Akbar is a fantastic debut and a novel unlike any I have ever read.  Integrating prose, poetry, fictional interviews, dreams, fables, and the story of a young alcoholic Persian American man and his obsession with a dying woman who has installed herself as an art exhibit in a museum -- this book should be confusing and too artsy.  But it reads beautifully, quotable lines on nearly every page, and more insights than ten other so-called "literary novels."  It's full of ideas about art, death, family, the power of literature, and our eternal search for meaning in life and death (thus, the title), but it never feels cluttered or too full of ideas.  Instead, it's very funny and very tragic in equal parts, and the hope for our protagonist suffuses the pages.  It's a wonderful book, perfect for fand of Elif Batuman or Kurt Vonnegut.


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The Fetishist By Katherine Min Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593713655
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 9th, 2024

THE FETISHIST is Katherine Min's final book, published posthumously, and it solidifies her position as one of the most brilliant wordsmiths of our time.  What begins as a reverse LOLITA, in which a man who fetishizes Asian women is kidnapped by the punk rock daughter of a woman he wronged years earlier.  Meanwhile, another woman he wronged is dying, nursed by her gay neighbor.  This comic novel inverts every expectation, delving deep into why Asian women have been fetishized for so many years by whitre men, yet it also gets you to genuinely love these characters.  they are wonderfully flawed and human, and Min fills them with so much heart that this short novel will bring many to tears...of happiness and sadness.  It's a wonderful achievement, but it's also extremely sexy and erotic, so if you are ready for this journey, take Min's hand.  She will get you through it with a book that feels like a prickly hug!


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One of the Good Guys By Araminta Hall Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781638931553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Zando - Gillian Flynn Books - January 9th, 2024

ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS by Araminta Hall will not only keep you on the edge of your seat for its entirety, but it will have you thinking for weeks afterwards!  This thriller is cleverly divided into three parts: in part one, a good guy suffering after a nasty divorce from a cruel woman meets someone new but finds himself embroiled in the disappearance of two young women.  In part two, we get the story of his marriage from the wife's point of view, throwing everything we believed into doubt.  in the third, we see the drama play out on social media and TV news programs.  It's so well structured you change your mind about the protagonist several times.  It also acts as a brilliant look into how women can never feel safe in our world, no matter how many "good guys" there are.  It's frank and eye-opening, and it will make for incredible book club fodder.  This is suspense writing with a brain, and people are going to love it.


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The Expectant Detectives: A Mystery (Expectant Detectives Mystery) By Kat Ailes Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250322708
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Minotaur Books - January 9th, 2024

The Expectant Detectives is a delightful cozy mystery, full to the brim with British wit and humor.  When Alice and her husband move to a small town to get out of London, she joins a group of pregnant women in a pre-natal class...only to have the owner of their meeting place get murdered while one is having her baby!  The women are varied and diverse, and the mystery rolls along at a good clip.  I admit it, I laughed several times aloud.  Bring on the next book in the series -- "But don't bring Helen!"


You Only Call When You're in Trouble: A Novel By Stephen McCauley Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250296795
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - January 9th, 2024

YOU ONLY CALL WHEN YOU'RE IN TROUBLE is Stephen McCauley's new big hug of a novel, a continuation of his examinations into 21st Century family dynamics.  Dorothy is a bit flighty and, in later middle age, is being taken advantage of by a self-help guru while exposing a family secret; her daughter, Cecily is having trouble with her boyfriend's mother-in-law and is being investigated in a Title IX examination about misconduct involving one of her students; Tom is her uncle, Dorothy's brother and great protector, who finds himself struggling with his own career and love life as he balances all the juggling balls of his family's troubles.  It's warm, sweet-natured, and feels like Ann Tyler and Stephen Rowling had a literary baby.  The pages turn ridiculously quickly, and you truly fall in love with the characters.  A delight!


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The Frozen River: A Novel By Ariel Lawhon Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385546874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - December 5th, 2023

THE FROZEN RIVER is, simply, Ariel Lawhon's best novel to date.  Based upon a true woman, a midwife in Maine in post-Revolutionary times, who never lost a mother in over 1000 births.  Focusing on one brutal Winter, FROZEN RIVER tells the tale of Martha Ballard, the aforementioned midwife, and her trials during this time period, especially upon the murder of an accused rapist in the town.  Part historical novel and part mystery, this is a compulsively readable book, and I found myself staying up until way past my bedtime to find out how it all ended.  Extra points for the afterward that explains all the real history and what was fictional creation.  I loved it!


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Same Bed Different Dreams: A Novel By Ed Park Cover Image
By Ed Park
$30.00
ISBN: 9780812998979
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Random House - November 7th, 2023

Ed Park pulls off a Thomas Pynchon-esque tale in SAME BED DIFFERENT DREAMS.  Combining everything from the history of Korea, Ronald Reagan, Friday the 13th, the movie, Betsy Palmer, Marilyn Monroe, Inchon!,  Phillip K. Dick, and more  guest appearances than you can count, he blends history with art to question the validity of our perceptions of said history.  It's a heady mix, and a difficult read sometimes, but it's worth it in the end.  I will be thinking about this novel for months and probably also dreaming about it.


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Absolution: A Novel By Alice McDermott Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374610487
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 31st, 2023

ABSOLUTION may be Alice McDermott's greatest novel yet -- and with all due consideration to her other novels, that's truly saying something! Told through a long letter (and its response) from a young, naive wife of a man working in 1964 Vietnam to the daughter of the more worldly woman she becomes friends with, it reveals nuanced levels of characterization seldom seen in popular literature. The writing is stunning, and the fates of these women, lost amidst a culture and war not of their making, is gripping and emotional. One of the best and most subtlly moving of the year.


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The Reformatory: A Novel By Tananarive Due Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781982188344
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: S&S/Saga Press - October 31st, 2023

THE REFORMATORY is a new supernatural historical novel from Tananarive Due is a nail-biting suspense story set in Jim Crow Florida (at the same real-life school as Colson Whitehead's THE NICKEL BOYS -- only Due had a relative killed there!).  A young boy is rail-roaded into a boy's reformatory where he can see ghosts.  While his sister tries to get him released through legal channels, the warden, a despicable man, sees the boy as an instrument to get rid of the phantoms haunting the school.  Allegorical shivers ensue!  The final hundred and fifty pages detailing a thrilling prison break will have you climbing the walls!  This is an excellent book for readers of horror fiction, literary, or historical fiction, and I think it will please everyone!


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The Berry Pickers: A Novel By Amanda Peters Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781646221950
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - October 31st, 2023

THE BERRY PICKERS by Amanda Peters packs a true, honestly-earned emotional wallop!  While a family of Mi'kmaq migrate to Maine to pick blueberries, the four year old daughter goes missing, never to be found, and her older brother is devastated by her loss.  Wracked with guilt, he goes through life on the edge of fury while she grows up in an overprotective household with an unstable mother, dreaming of a past she doesn't understand.  There's no mystery to if she is the kidnapped child, but the novel beautifully focuses on how childhood trauma can follow us through our lives and how we react in different manners to it.  Every note rings true in this terrific book, and I can't wait to sell it to people!  


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Starter Villain By John Scalzi Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780765389220
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - September 19th, 2023

If Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams wrote a story for the Marvel Universe, and made it a bit raunchier, STARTER VILLAIN would be the result. This hilarious and heart-warming tale begins with a young man inheriting his late uncle's business -- only it happens to be the business of a supervillain, complete with volcano island lair and spy cats! Only, the dolphin sentries are unionizing, his home has been destroyed, and every other super-villain wants him dead. It's a rollicking romp and more fun than it has any right to be! Hugely enjoyable.


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North Woods: A Novel By Daniel Mason Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593597033
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - September 19th, 2023

NORTH WOODS, the new novel by Daniel Mason, is an amazing achievement in literature.  Two pilgrim lovers run away from their settlement and build a house in Western Massachusetts.  We then follow the house through the centuries as each chapter details different owners, each written in an entirely different style, from a doctor's notes, to pulp detective fiction, to songs, poetry, and literary fiction.  There are ghosts, murders, mental health issues, and, always, the effect of the surrounding nature and wilderness.  This book does a beautiful job relating exposure to nature and its psychological benefits, but it is so much more than its many bits.  The finale, which stretches from modern times and into the future, is a lovely epilogue on this stunning read.  The photographs and maps are the icing o the cake, making this one of the best novels of the year.


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Wellness: A novel By Nathan Hill Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593536117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 19th, 2023

WELLNESS confirms the masterful writing of Nathan Hill after his success with THE NIX. This new novel follows a relationship from its beginnings to marriage and children, but in a non-linear manner that requires attention to details. This isn't a book you can skin, as it's full of big ideas -- from children and parents, to health and mental wellness, responsibility and obligation, art and science, history and optimism. All of these concepts are tackled in the way of telling a simple (ha!) story of a boy and a girl who meet and fall and love and try to build a good life together. But what is a good life? Good for whom? What do we owe to ourselves and our partners? It's heady stuff, but the writing is always fluid and often very funny. It's challenging, but it's oh so worth it.


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The Square of Sevens: A Novel By Laura Shepherd-Robinson Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781668031124
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - September 5th, 2023

THE SQUARE OF SEVENS by Laura Shepherd-Robinson is the kind of epic, dreamy novel you get lost in, the kind that envelopes you so you forget everything around you. . . and then the author starts the twists and turns and the reader is left with their jaw dropped to floor in astonishment, wanting to read the whole thing again to see what clues they missed!  It's an elegant historical mystery set in the mid 1700s in England, in which a young female fortune teller insinuates herself into a wealthy family in order to discover who her mother was and why she was abandoned.  Thus begins a rollicking story of intrigue, sexual liaisons, family disputes, lies, and cartomancy.  This is the most fun I have had reading a book this year (and maybe last year as well), and I cannot wait to sell it to customers.  Please, S & S, bring more Laura She[herd-Robinson to American shores!  I need to read them all now.


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The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Novel By James McBride Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593422946
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 8th, 2023

McBride brings us another beautifully crafted novel using his distinctive voice, and it's a true gem.  When a Black deaf boy is accused of assault, the Jewish/African-American community  of Pottsville, Pa. works together to free him from the asylum where he is being held.  Tragic, sweet, very funny, and often heart-breaking, McBride brings a distinct voice to each character in the community . . . and these are some true characters!  I loved it!


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All the Sinners Bleed: A Novel By S. A. Cosby Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250831910
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - June 6th, 2023

ALL THE SINNERS BLEED is S.A. Cosby's best thriller yet. . . and that's saying a lot coming from someone who loved RAZORBLADE TEARS as much as I did!  This story of a Black sheriff in a town in Virginia -- a town ripped apart by a horrific crime -- is an edge-of-your-seat thrill fest and also a great character study and examination upon what it means to be Black in the American South.  A shooter kills the most-beloved teacher in school before being shot by the police, but there are layers of secrets determining the young man's path to violence, and a lot of people don't want the sheriff to get too close to the truth.   I was screaming at the book as I furiously turned the pages. This is absolutely incredible, and tied for first place for best mystery/thriller of the year for me.


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Big Gay Wedding: A Novel By Byron Lane Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250267146
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 30th, 2023

BIG GAY WEDDING by Byron Lane feels like a big hug in the middle of a terrible time.  It's the story of a gay wedding taking place on a farm for retired, elderly animals where the mother of one groom is a Louisiana farmer who wants to support her son but has issues with his being gay and the other Mom is a Manhattan socialite alcoholic.  Will the mothers reconcile their differences in time for the wedding?  Will protesters and vandals put a stop to the nuptials?  Will that elderly goat named after a Seinfeld character stay alive until after the wedding happens?  The novel is smart, fast-paced, sweet, funny as heck, and understanding of differences in viewpoints across the country.  I really rooted for these people who seemed like family by the bittersweet and lovely ending


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The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book Club) By Abraham Verghese Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780802162175
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - May 2nd, 2023

Abraham Verghese returns with his new novel, THE COVENANT OF WATER, and it is a magnificent book, both personal and epic, but always enthralling.  Following one family that is cursed to lose someone to drowning within each generation, the novel sweeps you up in the history of India as well as the evolving science of medicine that may cure the families of their 'condition.'  Characters are vividly brought to life and their world --both sad and joyous -- is brought to life with exquisite prose.  This one knocks it out of the ballpark!