Best New Books: Week of 6/5/2018

June is here, and with it comes our biggest batch of fantastic new books yet! 17 titles, across a range of genres, make our list this week, and most of them are strong candidates to appear on year-end best lists, so make sure you don’t miss these!



FICTION



Florida by  Lauren Groff

floridaStorms, snakes, sinkholes, and secrets: In Lauren Groff’s Florida, the hot sun shines, but a wild darkness lurks.

The New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies returns, bringing the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature. A family retreat can be derailed by a prowling panther, or by a sexual secret. Among those navigating this place are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple, a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character—a steely and conflicted wife and mother.

The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

Description from Goodreads.

“…mesmerizing, decadent language … Groff’s storytelling has such ferocious energy.” – Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“In 11 electric short stories, the gifted Groff (Fates and Furies, 2015, etc.) unpacks the ‘dread and heat’ of her home state … These are raw, danger-riddled, linguistically potent pieces. They unsettle their readers at every pass … A literary tour de force of precariousness.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Easily the year’s best story collection.” – Vogue

Available Formats:

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There There by  Tommy Orange

there thereThere There is a relentlessly paced multigenerational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. It tells the story of twelve characters, each of whom have private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss.

Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with stunning urgency and force. Tommy Orange writes of the plight of the urban Native American, the Native American in the city, in a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. An unforgettable debut, destined to become required reading in schools and universities across the country.

Description from Goodreads.

“Groundbreaking. Extraordinary. Tommy Orange has written a tense, prismatic book with inexorable momentum.” – The New York Times

“Masterful. White-hot. A devastating debut novel.” – The Washington Post

“Commanding…The propulsion of both the overall narrative and its players are breathtaking as Orange unpacks how decisions of the past mold the present, resulting in a haunting and gripping story.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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Kudos by  Rachel Cusk

kudosRachel Cusk, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Outline and Transit, completes the transcendent literary trilogy with Kudos, a novel of unsettling power.

A woman writer visits a Europe in flux, where questions of personal and political identity are rising to the surface and the trauma of change is opening up new possibilities of loss and renewal. Within the rituals of literary culture, Faye finds the human story in disarray amid differing attitudes toward the public performance of the creative persona. She begins to identify among the people she meets a tension between truth and representation, a fissure that accrues great dramatic force as Kudos reaches a profound and beautiful climax.

In this conclusion to her groundbreaking trilogy, Cusk unflinchingly explores the nature of family and art, justice and love, and the ultimate value of suffering. She is without question one of our most important living writers.

Description from Goodreads.

Kudos achieves a kind of formal perfection. Rarely does a single word of its exceptionally polished prose seem out of place . . . Cusk has triumphed in the completion of this masterly trilogy.” – Slate

“With the release of Kudos, these three novels can now be appreciated―and will surely be looked back on―as one of the literary masterpieces of our time.” – The Washington Post

“This is a novel of ideas, intelligent, original in form and content, and brilliantly engaging . . . Kudos is rich and compelling. It confirms Rachel Cusk’s status as one of the most interesting contemporary writers―avant-garde, highly original, challenging but entirely accessible.” – The Irish Times

Available Formats:

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Us Against You by  Fredrik Backman

us against youAfter everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach.

Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.

As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.

Description from Goodreads.

“If Alexander McCall Smith’s and Maeve Binchy’s novels had a love child, the result would be the work of Swedish writer Fredrik Backman…With his wry acceptance of foible and failure, Backman combines a singular style with a large and compassionate perspective for his characters…[His] novels have wide appeal, and for good reason. Us Against You takes a lyrical look at how a community heals, how families recover and how individuals grow.” – The Washington Post

“Backman (A Man Called Ove) returns to the hockey-obsessed village of his previous novel Beartown to chronicle the passion, violence, resilience, and humanity of the people who live there in this engrossing tale of small-town Swedish life… Backman’s excellent novel has an atmosphere of both Scandinavian folktale and Greek tragedy.  Darkness and grit exist alongside tenderness and levity, creating a blunt realism that brings the setting’s small-town atmosphere to vivid life.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | Playaway | eBook | eAudiobook


How Hard Can It Be? by  Allison Pearson

how hard can it beAllison Pearson’s brilliant debut novel, I Don’t Know How She Does It, was a New York Times bestseller with four million copies sold around the world. Called “the definitive social comedy of working motherhood” (The Washington Post) and “a hysterical look―in both the laughing and crying senses of the world―at the life of Supermom” (The New York Times), I Don’t Know How She Does It introduced Kate Reddy, a woman as sharp as she was funny. As Oprah Winfrey put it, Kate’s story became “the national anthem for working mothers.”

Seven years later, Kate Reddy is facing her 50th birthday. Her children have turned into impossible teenagers; her mother and in-laws are in precarious health; and her husband is having a midlife crisis that leaves her desperate to restart her career after years away from the workplace. Once again, Kate is scrambling to keep all the balls in the air in a juggling act that an early review from the U.K. Express hailed as “sparkling, funny, and poignant…a triumphant return for Pearson.”

Will Kate reclaim her rightful place at the very hedge fund she founded, or will she strangle in her new “shaping” underwear? Will she rekindle an old flame, or will her house burn to the ground when a rowdy mob shows up for her daughter’s surprise (to her parents) Christmas party? Surely it will all work out in the end. After all, how hard can it be?

Description from Goodreads.

“Filled with smart insights…Kate makes good company. You can’t help rooting for her.” – The New York Times Book Review

“In this side-splitting follow-up to I Don’t Know How She Does It…the electricity is politively sparkling….Laugh-out-loud yet all too realistic….Spot on.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“The funniest and most feminist writing of the year…How Hard Can It Be? is that rare thing: a sequel that matches and even surpasses the original…Every line is meticulous; every reflection on parenthood hilarious, or else so true it’s heartbreaking.” – The Telegraph

Available Formats:

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When Life Gives You Lululemons by  Lauren Weisberger

when life gives you lululemonsWelcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.

Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being a stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career.

Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.

Description from Goodreads.

“When Life Gives You Lululemons is a delicious sequel to The Devil Wears Prada.  [It] reads like ‘The Real Housewives of Greenwich,’ a reality show that doesn’t exist, but should… underneath the shiny surface, both Lululemons and Prada are exploring what it’s like to be a woman buffeted by conflicting messages about career, relationships and motherhood. I’m hoping that When Life Gives You Lululemons gets made into a movie so it can become my new favorite.” – Lisa Scottoline, The Washington Post

“Fast-paced, funny, and gossipy, When Life Gives You Lululemons is the must-have accessory for your beach bag.” – POPSUGAR

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook


Dreams of Falling by  Karen White

dreams of fallingIt’s been nine years since Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that she both loves and dreads–and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home.

Ivy, Larkin’s mother, is discovered in the burned-out wreckage of her family’s ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.

Description from Goodreads.

“Three lifelong best friends. One dark secret that will reverberate for generations to come. Told in multiple timelines of the present and the past, this is Southern fiction at its best. A novel about dreams, friendship, and family, Dreams of Falling will make you long for home.” – PopSugar

“Intricate storytelling across generations and time periods, using eloquent language, makes for deep characterization alongside a brisk-paced plot. Full of family secrets and southern charm, Dreams of Falling serves equal helpings of drama and comfort to fans of Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Alice Monroe, and Barbara Claypole White.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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The Lost Family by  Jenna Blum

lost familyIn 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.

Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.

Jenna Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. Spanning three cinematic decades, The Lost Family is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love.

Description from Goodreads.

“This exquisitely crafted and compassionate novel offers a lesson in honesty, regardless of how difficult the truth may be. It will offer plenty of discussion for book groups.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“In…this gripping novel, Blum…displays her keen eye for character…Each unforgettable character in this deeply moving novel brings new meaning to the familiar phrase ‘never forget.’ Elie Wiesel’s A Mad Desire to Dance (2009) and Michael Chabon’s Moonglow (2016) also share.. a sense of hope in the face of tragic loss.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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MYSTERY & SUSPENSE



Something in the Water by  Catherine Steadman

something in the waterIf you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman’s enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we’re tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.

Description from Goodreads.

“With unreliable characters, wry voices, exquisite pacing, and a twisting plot, [Catherine] Steadman potently draws upon her acting chops. . . . A darkly glittering gem of a thriller from a new writer to watch.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Captivating . . . daring . . . The threats and increasingly bad decisions accelerate with Bourne-like velocity. . . . Steadman [is] a newcomer worth watching.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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Social Creature by  Tara Isabella Burton

social creatureThey go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them… They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste…

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.

Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship.

Description from Goodreads.

“Diabolical…A wicked original with echoes of the greats (Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn).” – The New York Times

“Last summer, you read Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive. You relish bad-girl thrillers fueled by toxic friendship, bad choices and exclusive parties. This summer, try Social Creature…Deliciously dark…Glorious fun.” – BookPage

“This fast-paced, stylish, dialogue- and character-driven debut…will definitvely ensnare readers. Diabolically playing on what we think we know about others and what we reveal about ourselves in the social-media age, it will give readers the creeps, too.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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 The Word is Murder by  Anthony Horowitz

word is murderShe planned her own funeral–but did she arrange her murder?

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral.
A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own.
A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control.

What do they have in common?

Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new thriller.

Description from Goodreads.

“Actually, the word is not murder, it’s ingenious….a masterful meta-mystery.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“…the beguiling whodunit plot is dispatched with characteristic élan as Horowitz blurs the line between fiction and reality… there is no denying the sheer ingenuity of the central notion.” – The Financial Times

“Sharp-witted readers who think they’ve solved the puzzle early on can rest assured that they’ve opened only one of many dazzling Christmas packages Horowitz has left beautifully wrapped under the tree.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | Playaway | eBook


Invitation to a Bonfire by  Adrienne Celt

invitation to a bonfireIn the 1920s, Zoya Andropova, a young refugee from the Soviet Union, finds herself in the alien landscape of an elite all-girls New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home, and her sense of purpose, Zoya struggles to belong, a task made more difficult by the malice her peers heap on scholarship students and her new country’s paranoia about Russian spies. When she meets the visiting writer and fellow Russian émigré Leo Orlov—whose books Zoya has privately obsessed over for years—her luck seems to have taken a turn for the better. But she soon discovers that Leo is not the solution to her loneliness: he’s committed to his art and bound by the sinister orchestrations of his brilliant wife, Vera.

As the reader unravels the mystery of Zoya, Lev, and Vera’s fate, Zoya is faced with mounting pressure to figure out who she is and what kind of life she wants to build. Grappling with class distinctions, national allegiance, and ethical fidelity—not to mention the powerful magnetism of sex—Invitation to a Bonfire investigates how one’s identity is formed, irrevocably, through a series of momentary decisions, including how to survive, who to love, and whether to pay the complicated price of happiness.

Description from Goodreads.

“[This] literary novel . . . has all the delicious tension of a psychological thriller, the mysteries dissected in prose as sharp and precise as a scalpel . . . The result is a novel that packs all the punch of the very best noir–only with more depth. Highly recommended.” – Booklist

“An intricate and engrossing tale… at once a taut psychological thriller and a sensitive character study; fans of each should rejoice.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“On a sentence-by-sentence level, Adrienne Celt’s seductive, searing novel . . . is one of the most brilliant books I’ve read in some time . . . [Celt] has a firm grip on style, and her words have a rhythm and cadence (“Cindy Pink was a peripheral friend…”) which further draws the reader in close, all the better to totally lose yourself in this compelling story that makes you question familiar power dynamics, the complicated ethics of fidelity, and what horrible and beautiful things we give ourselves permission to do, all for the sake of the sublime.” – NYLON

Available Formats:

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ROMANCE



The Kiss Quotient by  Helen Hoang

kiss quotientStella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Description from Goodreads.

“Hoang knocks it out of the park with this stellar debut about an autistic woman who takes a methodical approach to learning about sex and accidentally gets a lesson in love. …The diverse cast and exceptional writing take this romance to the next level, and readers who see themselves in Stella will be ecstatic.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Stella’s personality is so vibrant. Her anxieties, her need for routine and dislike of overstimulation, none of these are blown out of proportion or used to create drama and that’s all thanks to the author and her familiarity with Stella’s circumstances. …Helen Hoang has written characters that resonate and you feel for them, feel what they feel; and I found it hard to look away or put them out of my mind. This is a stunning début…” – All About Romance

Available Formats:

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SCI-FI & FANTASY



A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising by  Raymond A. Villareal

a peoples history of the vampire uprisingThis panoramic thriller begins with one small mystery. The body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, walks out of the town morgue. To the young CDC investigator called in to consult the local police, it’s a bizarre medical mystery.

More bodies, dead of a mysterious disease that solidifies their blood, are brought to the morgue, and disappear. In a futile game of catch-up, the CDC, the FBI, and the US government must come to terms with what they’re too late to stop: an epidemic of vampirism that will sweep first the United States, and then the world.

Impossibly strong, smart, poised, beautiful, and commanding, these vampires reject the term as derogatory, preferring the euphemistic “gloamings.” They quickly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society: sports, entertainment, and business. Soon people are begging to be ‘re-created,’ willing to accept the risk of death if their bodies can’t handle the transformation. The stakes change yet again when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, decides to do what none of his kind has done before: run for political office.

This sweeping yet deeply intimate fictional oral history–told from the perspectives of several players on all sides of the titular vampire uprising–is a genre-bending, shocking, immersive and subversive debut that is as addictive as the power it describes.

Description from Goodreads.

“A wide-ranging, readable thrill ride for fans of the genre . . . A spectacularly creepy ecosphere . . . A strong contender in the genus of apocalypse fantasy.” – Kirkus Reviews

“…inventive and chilling … Villareal crafts an interesting bunch of characters who aid in ramping up the tension and exploring the growing and sinister threat … if you’re looking for a horror story unlike anything you’ve ever read, this should be right up your (dark, creepy, vampire infested) alley.” – The AU Review

Available Formats:

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The Book of M by  Peng Shepherd

book of mOne afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Description from Goodreads.

“Eerie, dark, and compelling, this will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014).” – Booklist

“Outstanding and unforgettable…The Book of M is a scary, surprising, sad and sentimental story that will be deeply felt by readers while capturing their imaginations and hearts.” – BookPage

“Sheperd’s debut is graceful and riveting, slowly peeling back layers of an intricately constructed and unsettling alternate future.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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NONFICTION



My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie by  Todd Fisher

my girlsA revelatory and touching tribute to the lives of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds written by the person who knew them best, Todd Fisher’s poignant memoir is filled with moving stories of growing up among Hollywood royalty and illustrated with never-before-seen photos and memorabilia.

In December 2016, the world was shaken by the sudden deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, two unspeakable losses that occurred in less than twenty-four hours. The stunned public turned for solace to Debbie’s only remaining child, Todd Fisher, who somehow retained his grace and composure under the glare of the media spotlight as he struggled with his own overwhelming grief.

The son of “America’s Sweethearts” Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Todd grew up amid the glamorous wealth and pretense of Hollywood. Thanks to his funny, loving, no-nonsense mother, Todd remained down to earth, his own man, but always close to his cherished mom, and to his sister through her meteoric rise to stardom and her struggle with demons that never diminished her humor, talent, or spirit.

Now, Todd shares his heart and his memories of Debbie and Carrie with deeply personal stories from his earliest years to those last unfathomable days. His book, part memoir, part homage, celebrates their legacies through a more intimate, poignant, and often hilarious portrait of these two remarkable women than has ever been revealed before.

With thirty-two pages of never-before-seen photos and memorabilia from his family’s private archives, Todd’s book is a love letter to a sister and a mother, and a gift to countless fans who are mourning the deaths of these two unforgettable stars.

Description from Goodreads.

Available Formats:

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Lincoln’s Last Trial by  Dan Abrams & David Fisher

lincolns last trialThe true story of Abraham Lincoln’s last murder trial, a strange case in which he had a deep personal involvement–and which was played out in the nation’s newspapers as he began his presidential campaign.

At the end of the summer of 1859, twenty-two-year-old Peachy Quinn Harrison went on trial for murder in Springfield, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln, who had been involved in more than three thousand cases–including more than twenty-five murder trials–during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him. This was to be his last great case as a lawyer.

What normally would have been a local case took on momentous meaning. Lincoln’s debates with Senator Stephen Douglas the previous fall had gained him a national following, transforming the little-known, self-taught lawyer into a respected politician. He was being urged to make a dark-horse run for the presidency in 1860. Taking this case involved great risk. His reputation was untarnished, but should he lose this trial, should Harrison be convicted of murder, the spotlight now focused so brightly on him might be dimmed. He had won his most recent murder trial with a daring and dramatic maneuver that had become a local legend, but another had ended with his client dangling from the end of a rope.

The case posed painful personal challenges for Lincoln. The murder victim had trained for the law in his office, and Lincoln had been his friend and his mentor. His accused killer, the young man Lincoln would defend, was the son of a close friend and loyal supporter. And to win this trial he would have to form an unholy allegiance with a longtime enemy, a revivalist preacher he had twice run against for political office–and who had bitterly slandered Lincoln as an “infidel…too lacking in faith” to be elected.

Lincoln’s Last Trial captures the presidential hopeful’s dramatic courtroom confrontations in vivid detail as he fights for his client–but also for his own blossoming political future. It is a moment in history that shines a light on our legal system, as in this case Lincoln fought a legal battle that remains incredibly relevant today.

Description from Goodreads.

“The authors give readers a moment-by-moment account of the murder trial, which featured a well-liked young victim, a claim of self-defense, [and] a deathbed admission… Lincoln enthusiasts will find the illumination of his preternatural legal skills a worthy subject; casual readers will find the centerpiece murder trial an engrossing legal thriller.” – Publishers Weekly

“Legal affairs journalist Abrams and coauthor Fisher illuminate a key marker on Abraham Lincoln’s path to the White House… The transcripts reveal Lincoln at his best, fighting for a cause he believed in with brilliance and passion—qualities that would serve him so well as president.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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