Best New Books: Week of 11/27/2018

If you found yourself getting a lot of reading done while you sat around digesting all of that Thanksgiving turkey, you might be in need of a new book. Luckily we’re here to help! This week sees the release of several exciting novels across a variety of genres, including new stories from popular authors like Joyce Carol Oates, Louise Penny, Michael Robotham, and Mike Lupica. In addition, we have a sweet teen romance and a graphic novel sequel to cult-hit cartoon miniseries “Over the Garden Wall”. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get reading!



FICTION



The Adults by  Caroline Hulse

adultsMeet The Adults. 

Claire and Matt are no longer together but decide that it would be best for their daughter, Scarlett, to have a “normal” family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was to go to the Happy Forest holiday park, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did–and it’s too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend, Patrick (never Pat), a seemingly sensible, eligible from a distance Ironman in Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life, Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, who is seven, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a giant rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Forced Fun Activities, drink a little too much after Scarlett’s bedtime, overshare classified secrets about their pasts . . . and before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends where this novel begins–with a tearful, frightened call to the police.

What happened? They said they’d all be adults about this. . . .

Description from Goodreads.

“A snappy writing style and changing viewpoints make the pages of this debut fly by as readers will want to know what happens next.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“This debut is the whole package: realistic, flawed characters placed in an increasingly tense situation, resulting in a surprising, suspenseful novel.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Brilliantly funny.” – Good Housekeeping UK

Available Formats:

Print Book


Hazards of Time Travel by  Joyce Carol Oates

hazards of time travel“Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America — “Wainscotia, Wisconsin”—that existed eighty years before.  Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town she is set upon a course of “rehabilitation”—but cannot resist falling in love with a fellow exile and questioning the constrains of the Wainscotia world with results that are both devastating and liberating.

Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel is both a novel of harrowing discovery and an exquisitely wrought love story that may be Joyce Carol Oates’s most unexpected novel so far.

Description from Goodreads.

“Oates weaves a feeling of constant menace and paranoia throughout… The conclusion is surprising and ambiguous, leaving readers to question their own perception of events, making for a memorable novel.” – Publishers Weekly

“Within a tautly suspenseful, wryly incisive tale of a daring truth-seeker and forbidden love, of the dawn of behavioral psychology and the weaponizing of virtual realities, Oates probes the diabolical, shape-shifting nature of authoritarianism and the timeless valor of dissent. While in this clever, brain-twisting, Poe-like fable she looks to the past and the future to dramatize the vulnerability of the psyche, the fragility of freedom, and the catastrophic consequences of repressing intelligence, independence, and creativity, what Oates illuminates is the present.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book


Come With Me by  Helen Schulman

come with me“What do you want to know?”

Amy Reed works part-time as a PR person for a tech start-up, run by her college roommate’s nineteen-year-old son, in Palo Alto, California. Donny is a baby genius, a junior at Stanford in his spare time. His play for fortune is an algorithm that may allow people access to their “multiverses”—all the planes on which their alternative life choices can be played out simultaneously—to see how the decisions they’ve made have shaped their lives.

Donny wants Amy to be his guinea pig. And even as she questions Donny’s theories and motives, Amy finds herself unable to resist the lure of the road(s) not taken. Who would she be if she had made different choices, loved different people? Where would she be now?

Amy’s husband, Dan—an unemployed, perhaps unemployable, print journalist—accepts a dare of his own, accompanying a seductive, award-winning photographer named Maryam on a trip to Fukushima, the Japanese city devastated by tsunami and meltdown. Collaborating with Maryam, Dan feels a renewed sense of excitement and possibility he hasn’t felt with his wife in a long time. But when crisis hits at home, the extent of Dan’s betrayal is exposed and, as Amy contemplates alternative lives, the couple must confront whether the distances between them in the here and now are irreconcilable.

Taking place over three non-consecutive but vitally important days for Amy, Dan, and their three sons, Come with Me is searing, entertaining, and unexpected—a dark comedy that is ultimately both a deeply romantic love story and a vivid tapestry of modern life.

Description from Goodreads.

“An astute comedy of manners with elements of speculative fiction…. Schulman’s intriguing premise gives depth to this domestic drama. Adding to that, every sentence sparkles, even minor characters have full and surprising lives, and she pulls it all together in an elegant ending.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Schulman has brought to life a large cast of supporting players with intelligence and humor…. Richly imagined, profound, and of the moment.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Gripping.” – Esquire

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook



MYSTERY



Kingdom of the Blind by  Louise Penny

kingdom of the blindWhen a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder.

None of them had ever met the elderly woman.

The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that Gamache and the others suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane?

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing.

But it isn’t the only menace Gamache is facing.

The investigation into what happened six months ago—the events that led to his suspension—has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip though his hands, in order to bring down the cartels, have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception.

Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers.

As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.

Description from Goodreads.

“Penny reveals a deeper vulnerability in the introspective Gamache; is it possible he’s not quite sure of himself anymore? A theme of desperation plays out in both story arcs, as characters from all walks of life move between hope and despair and traverse the fine line that separates them. The ending is adrenaline-filled….This starts as a small-town mystery and becomes something grander and more frightening.” – Kirkus Reviews

“…well-plotted … Penny offers intriguing commentary on the willful blindness that can keep people from acknowledging the secrets and lies in their own lives.” – Publishers Weekly

“…a welcome return to Three Pines and its inhabitants.” – The Scotsman

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | Playaway | eBook | eAudiobook


Robert B. Parker’s Blood Feud by  Mike Lupica

blood feudSunny Randall is “on” again with Richie, the ex-husband she never stopped loving and never seemed to be able to let go, despite her discomfort with his Mafia connections. When Richie is shot and nearly killed, Sunny is dragged into the thick of his family’s business as she searches for answers and tries to stave off a mob war. But as the bullets start flying in Boston’s mean streets, Sunny finds herself targeted by the deranged mastermind of the plot against the Burke family, whose motive may be far more personal than she could have anticipated…

Description from Goodreads.

“Lupica, an award-winning sports columnist, author of 40 books, and longtime friend of the late Parker, nails the Sunny Randall character and the Boston criminal milieu that Parker created. The patter is snappy. The criminal honor codes are only understood by the criminals but are dismissed anyway when they interfere with personal enrichment. Even family loyalties come and go. Great stuff, Parker fans. Sunny’s back!” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Lupica does justice to the work of MWA Grand Master Robert B. Parker in this splendid continuation of the late author’s Sunny Randall series. . . . Lupica hits the sweet spot by balancing Sunny’s professional hypercompetence with first-person narration that exposes her fears and self-doubts. Parker fans will look forward to seeing what Lupica does with Sunny in her next outing.” – Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“…mixes a heavy dose of suspense with a shot of nostalgia, effortlessly delivering a relentless thriller that might just be the best book in the series so far.” – The Real Book Spy

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook



SUSPENSE



The Other Wife by  Michael Robotham

the other wifeA secret wife. A secret life. A killer who knows.

Childhood sweethearts William and Mary have been married for sixty years. William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife. Both have a strong sense of right and wrong.
This is what their son, Joe O’Loughlin, has always believed. But when Joe is summoned to the hospital with news that his father has been brutally attacked, his world is turned upside down. Who is the strange woman crying at William’s bedside, covered in his blood – a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer?

Against the advice of the police, Joe launches his own investigation. As he learns more, he discovers sides to his father he never knew – and is forcibly reminded that the truth comes at a price.

Fresh from the highest selling book of his career, The Secrets She Keeps, multi-million-copy bestselling author Michael Robotham returns to his beloved Joe O’Loughlin series in this compelling psychological thriller that delves into the consequences of a tragedy, exposing a lifetime of shocking cover-up that is too close to home for the famous psychologist.

Description from Goodreads.

“[O]ne giant, delicious maze, with twists and turns at every page. …will have you reading until the early hours of the morning, unable to peel yourself away.” – Better Reading

“…an intelligent psychological thriller with the dogged and cerebral Joe – who himself is nearer to 60 than 50 – battling illness, demons, memories and unexpected new threats to uncover toxic secrets.” – Crime Review

Available Formats:

Print Book


Tom Clancy Oath of Office by  Marc Cameron

oath of officePresident Jack Ryan preaches caution when the prospects for a Persian Spring excite the rest of the world. His is the lone Western voice urging watchfulness. As he says, “Sometimes it’s better to have all the bad guys all in one place where you can keep an eye on them rather than scattered around the Middle East.”

Meanwhile, the Campus has been trailing a major international arms dealer whose business has waxed as the power of the Ayatollah has waned. Now the change of regimes in Iran has opened up formerly unimagined possibilities to him. Possibilities that may lead to a new balance of power in the region.

Description from Goodreads.

“The spirit of Tom Clancy lives on…Cameron’s storytelling is indistinguishable from the late Clancy’s…An enjoyable read for Clancy fans.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Deftly plotted, high-stakes scenarios…Marc Cameron dazzled Clancy loyalists with Power and Empire, but now he’s kicking it up a notch for his next book…and Tom Clancy Oath of Office is going to blow readers away.” – The Real Book Spy

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook



ROMANCE



Someone to Trust by  Mary Balogh

someone to trustAfter her husband’s passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snowbank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them, for she is nine years older than he.

They return to London the following Season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love. . . .

Description from Goodreads.

“…emotionally rich … the best installment yet.” – Publishers Weekly

“…an enjoyable story … fans of the series will be pleased…” – All About Romance

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook



YOUNG ADULT



Love à la Mode by  Stephanie Kate Strohm

love a la modeTake two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir. . . .

Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent’s school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn’t all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.

Henry Yi grew up in his dad’s restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent’s school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie’s growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away.

Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs.

Perfect for lovers of “Chopped Teen Tournament” and “Kids Baking Championship”, as well as anyone who dreams of a romantic trip to France, Love à la Mode follows Rosie and Henry as they fall in love with food, with Paris, and ultimately, with each other.

Description from Goodreads.

“Strohm’s delectable novel perfectly captures the mania of food obsession… and her descriptions of food are salivatingly good. The snappy banter and camaraderie among the rich cast of well-rounded characters crackles, and the halting, awkward romantic tension between Rosie and Henry simmers tantalizingly through every page. It’s got the lighthearted, cinematic pace of a rom-com… An utterly satisfying, delicious delight.” – Booklist

“The story is infused with such joy and love–and delectable dishes–that readers will simply gobble it up whole. Like a souffle: bright, frothy, and entirely delicious.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

Print Book



GRAPHIC NOVELS



Over the Garden Wall: Distillatoria

over the garden wall distillatoriaWhen Greg and Wirt make it back home from the Unknown, their victory is bittersweet when they realize Beatrice came as well. Now, it’s up to them to help Beatrice return safely to the Unknown before anyone realizes she can talk. As the brothers juggle keeping Beatrice’s secret safe as Sara expresses a newfound interest in Greg, only Beatrice notices something sinister lurking in the shadows…

The Eisner Award-winning series goes further into the Unknown with this all-new original story by Eisner Award-winning writer Jonathan Case (Green River Killer: a True Detective Story) and Eisner Award-winning “Over the Garden Wall” artist Jim Campbell.

Description from Goodreads.

“This addition to ‘Over the Garden Wall’ won’t disappoint the fans that desire any new addition to the mythos. You’ll rip your faces off in anticipation of getting your hands on this book.” – The Daily Fandom

Available Formats:

Print Book

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