Best New Books: Week of 1/8/2019

2019 is in full-swing now, which means there are a lot of exciting books arriving at the library this week, including some that are already front-runners for the year-end best lists. It’s been a while since we’ve had a list this long, so let’s not waste any time and get right to the week’s best new books!



FICTION



The Water Cure by  Sophie Mackintosh

water cureKing has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. He has lain the barbed wire; he has anchored the buoys in the water; he has marked out a clear message: Do not enter. Or viewed from another angle: Not safe to leave. Here women are protected from the chaos and violence of men on the mainland. The cult-like rituals and therapies they endure fortify them from the spreading toxicity of a degrading world.

But when their father, the only man they’ve ever seen, disappears, they retreat further inward until the day three strange men wash ashore. Over the span of one blistering hot week, a psychological cat-and-mouse game plays out. Sexual tensions and sibling rivalries flare as the sisters confront the amorphous threat the strangers represent. Can they survive the men?

A haunting, riveting debut about the capacity for violence and the potency of female desire, The Water Cure both devastates and astonishes as it reflects our own world back at us.

Description from Goodreads.

“[A] chilling, beautifully written novel…the tautness and tension of the writing are staggering.” – Man Booker Prize 2018 Judges Panel Citation

“Sensational…Mackintosh’s taut novel turns a keen, unsparing eye on violence, patriarchy, and desire.” – Esquire

“Mackintosh’s entry [into feminist dystopian fiction] is among the best, not least because it gets to the root of the genre by dissecting a warped utopia…Three men arrive on the island, and twists ensue — not cheap pyrotechnics but reversals of moral structure, revelations that demonstrate why the subtlest fiction is often the most powerful.” – Vulture

“Ingenious and incendiary” – The New Yorker

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook


Sugar Run by  Mesha Maren

sugar runOn the far side the view was nothing but ridgelines, the craggy silhouettes rising up against the night sky like the body of some dormant god. Jodi felt her breath go tight in her chest. This road went only one way, it seemed, in under the mountains until you were circled.

In 1989, Jodi McCarty is seventeen years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter. She’s released eighteen years later and finds herself at a Greyhound bus stop, reeling from the shock of unexpected freedom. Not yet able to return to her lost home in the Appalachian mountains, she goes searching for someone she left behind, but on the way, she meets and falls in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother. Together, they try to make a fresh start, but is that even possible in a town that refuses to change? Set within the charged insularity of rural West Virginia, Sugar Run is a searing and gritty debut about making a run for another life.

Description from Goodreads.

“In her darkly crackling debut novel, Mesha Maren takes readers for a wild ride, the kind that feels like you’re hurtling down a backwoods road at night, not quite sure if you’re ever going to be able to stop, wondering if you might even suddenly take flight. Maren’s story jumps back-and-forth in time, following the lives of two women, both aching with their need for love and freedom. Maren details the struggles and triumphs of these women with unflinching precision and language as beautiful and ferocious as a summer storm.” – Nylon

“Just plain grittily gorgeous . . . you will feel every word.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Maren’s impressive debut is replete with luminous prose that complements her cast of flawed characters.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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An Orchestra of Minorities by  Chigozie Obioma

an orchestra of minoritiesA contemporary twist on the Odyssey, An Orchestra of Minorities is narrated by the chi, or spirit of a young poultry farmer named Chinonso. His life is set off course when he sees a woman who is about to jump off a bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, he hurls two of his prized chickens off the bridge. The woman, Ndali, is stopped in her tracks.

Chinonso and Ndali fall in love but she is from an educated and wealthy family. When her family objects to the union on the grounds that he is not her social equal, he sells most of his possessions to attend college in Cyprus. But when he arrives in Cyprus, he discovers that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who has made the arrangements for him. Penniless, homeless, we watch as he gets further and further away from his dream and from home.

An Orchestra of Minorities is a heart-wrenching epic about destiny and determination.

Description from Goodreads.

“Obioma alchemizes his contemporary love story into a mythic quest enhanced by Igbo cosmology. . . . Magnificently multilayered, Obioma’s sophomore title proves to be an Odyssean achievement.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“A multicultural fable that heralds a new master of magical realism…It’s a special writer who can take the familiar tropes found within An Orchestra of Minorities and infuse them with new life, transforming them into something exciting and unexpected. Happily, Obioma is exactly such an author…A tragic masterpiece.” – Bookpage, STARRED REVIEW

“Unforgettable . . . Obioma’s novel is electrifying, a meticulously crafted character drama told with emotional intensity. His invention, combining Igbo folklore and Greek tragedy in the context of modern Nigeria, makes for a rich, enchanting experience.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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The Red Address Book by  Sofia Lundberg

red address bookMeet Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. She has few visitors, but her weekly Skype calls with Jenny–her American grandniece, and her only relative–give her great joy and remind her of her own youth.

When Doris was a girl, she was given an address book by her father, and ever since she has carefully documented everyone she met and loved throughout the years. Looking through the little book now, Doris sees the many crossed-out names of people long gone and is struck by the urge to put pen to paper. In writing down the stories of her colorful past–working as a maid in Sweden, modelling in Paris during the 30s, fleeing to Manhattan at the dawn of the Second World War–can she help Jenny, haunted by a difficult childhood, unlock the secrets of their family and finally look to the future? And whatever became of Allan, the love of Doris’s life?

A charming novel that prompts reflection on the stories we all should carry to the next generation, and the surprises in life that can await even the oldest among us, The Red Address Book introduces Sofia Lundberg as a wise–and irresistible–storyteller.

Description from Goodreads.

“Wise and captivating, Lundberg’s novel offers clear-eyed insights into old age and the solace of memory.” – People

“Doris’s life story is magnetic, and it’s her strong personality and pearls of wisdom … that drive the book….Fans of Fredrik Backman will find much to like here.” – Publishers Weekly

“Relationships…are beautifully brought to life in this sweetly elegiac novel.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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MYSTERY



The New Iberia Blues by  James Lee Burke

new iberia bluesDetective Dave Robicheaux’s world isn’t filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier’s rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director.

Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier’s door, it isn’t to congratulate him on his Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Robicheaux has discovered the body of a young woman who’s been crucified, wearing only a small chain on her ankle. She disappeared near Cormier’s Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young deputy, Sean McClain, are looking for answers. Neither Cormier nor his enigmatic actor friend Antoine Butterworth are saying much, but Robicheaux knows better.

As always, Clete Purcel and Davie’s daughter, Alafair, have Robicheaux’s back. Clete witnesses the escape of Texas inmate, Hugo Tillinger, who may hold the key to Robicheaux’s case. As they wade further into the investigation, they end up in the crosshairs of the mob, the deranged Chester Wimple, and the dark ghosts Robicheaux has been running from for years. Ultimately, it’s up to Robicheaux to stop them all, but he’ll have to summon a light he’s never seen or felt to save himself, and those he loves.

Description from Goodreads.

“Many of the character types, plot devices, and oracular sentiments are familiar from Burke’s earlier books. But the sentences are brand new, and the powerful emotional charge they carry feels piercingly new as well.”—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“With his lush, visionary prose and timeless literary themes of loss and redemption, Burke is in full command in this outing for his aging but still capable hero.”—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“At 82, Burke just keeps getting better, his familiar theme of an idyllic past at war with a demon-drenched present taking on more subtle levels of meaning…And, yet, there are signs of hope here—even a glimmer of marriage between past and present—that give the novel a new dimension, but not before an all-stops-out finale with the power of cannon fire in the 1812 Overture.”—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook


The Au Pair by  Emma Rous

au pairSeraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.

Description from Goodreads.

“As delicious and spellbinding as a soap opera, complete with the dramatic moments and outrageous twists. A promising first novel from Rous, The Au Pair is an absolutely absorbing and scandalous page-turner.” – Booklist 

“Pinging between Seraphine’s search in the present and Laura’s experiences in the past, the reader is never entirely sure of what they know, as each chapter brings new information that may change previous certainties. … A modern gothic suspense novel done right.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

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SUSPENSE



An Anonymous Girl by  Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

an anonymous girlSeeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Description from Goodreads.

“Slickly twisty [with] gasp-worthy final twists…major league suspense.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Masterfully escalates the suspense. … keep[s] the reader guessing until the end. A great follow-up.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“For those who relished the creepy stalking in Hendricks and Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us, this unnerving tale will have them rethinking what secrets are safe to share and if morals and ethics really matter when protecting the ones you love.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | Playaway | eBook | eAudiobook


Looker by  Laura Sims

lookerI’ve never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence—placed there as a sort of screen, I’m sure—and have a direct line of view into the kitchen at night. I’m grateful they’ve never thought to install blinds. That’s how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they’re probably right: except for me. 

In this taut and thrilling debut, an unraveling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbor—the actress. The unnamed narrator can’t help noticing with wry irony that, though she and the actress live just a few doors apart, a chasm of professional success and personal fulfillment lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with her face on the side of every bus, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and their three adorable children, while the narrator, working in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.

When an interaction with the actress at the annual block party takes a disastrous turn, what began as an innocent preoccupation spirals quickly, and lethally, into a frightening and irretrievable madness. Searing and darkly witty, Looker is enormously entertaining—at once a propulsive Hitchcockian thriller and a fearlessly original portrait of the perils of envy.

Description from Goodreads.

“In prose that moves between lyrical and caterwauling, the poet Laura Sims has pulled off the high-wire act of making bitterness delicious.” – Vogue

“This debut is a penetrating and unsettling psychological thriller … It’s a novel about identity, appearances, and envy, and it’s one of the season’s most timely reads, an innovative experiment in what a thriller can be.” – Literary Hub

“Tense, twisted and briskly paced, poet Laura Sims’s debut novel, Looker, is the progressively disturbing story of one woman’s grief-fueled spiral downward to an irredeemable rock bottom… Somewhat surprisingly, the most disturbing thing about Looker is the creeping sense of complicity that Sims engenders in the reader… By the end, Sims compels us to ask: Have we been deranged, predatory voyeurs into the actress’s life—or into the narrator’s?” – Shelf Awareness

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook


She Lies in Wait by  Gytha Lodge

she lies in waitOn a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’ investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.

This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.

Description from Goodreads.

“Neatly plotted and nicely atmospheric . . . This British import is plausible and eminently satisfying. Encore, please.” – Booklist

“[T]he perfect mix of police procedural, cold case, and which-one-of-us-done-it. … readers will find themselves caught up in this intricate thriller.” – Amazon Book Review

“The mystery intrigues and twists, offering enough red herrings and moments of police procedural to please fans of the genre.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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Scrublands by  Chris Hammer

scrublandsIn an isolated country town afflicted by interminable drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, shooting dead five parishioners before being gunned down himself.

A year later, accompanied by his own demons from war-time reporting, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend. His assignment is deliberately simple: describe how the townspeople are coping as the anniversary of their tragedy approaches. But as Martin meets the locals and hears their version of events, he begins to realize that the accepted wisdom – that the priest was a pedophile whose imminent exposure was the catalyst for the shooting, established through an award-winning investigation by his own newspaper – may be wrong.

Just as Martin believes he’s making headway, a dramatic new development rocks the town. The bodies of two German backpackers – missing since the time of the church shootings – are discovered in a dam in the scrublands. It’s the biggest story in Australia, the media arrive en masse. Instead of gently easing back into reporting, Martin finds himself thrown into a media storm, and with it a complex mystery.

What was the real reason behind the priest’s shooting spree? And how does it connect to the backpacker murders, if at all? Martin struggles to uncover the town’s dark secrets, putting his job, his mental state, and his life all at risk as events escalate around him.

Description from Goodreads.

“Stellar. . . .Richly descriptive writing coupled with deeply developed characters, relentless pacing, and a bombshell-laden plot make this whodunit virtually impossible to put down.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Scrublands is the epic novel about rural life …that we need right now. In its concern with crime beyond the suburban fringe, it sits right up there with the late Peter Temple’s Broken Shore, Garry Disher’s Bitterwash Road and Jane Harper’s The Dry, even as it extends their focus and reach.” – Sydney Morning Herald

“A compulsively page-turning thriller where the parched interior looms as large as the characters.” – The Guardian

Available Formats:

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Freefall by  Jessica Barry

freefallWhen your life is a lie, the truth can kill you.

When her fiancé’s private plane crashes in the Colorado Rockies, Allison Carpenter miraculously survives. But the fight for her life is just beginning. For years, Allison has been living with a terrible secret, a shocking truth that powerful men will kill to keep buried. If they know she’s alive, they will come for her. She must make it home.

In the small community of Owl Creek, Maine, Maggie Carpenter learns that her only child is presumed dead. But authorities have not recovered her body—giving Maggie a shred of hope. She, too, harbors a shameful secret: she hasn’t communicated with her daughter in two years, since a family tragedy drove Allison away. Maggie doesn’t know anything about her daughter’s life now—not even that she was engaged to wealthy pharmaceutical CEO Ben Gardner, or why she was on a private plane.

As Allison struggles across the treacherous mountain wilderness, Maggie embarks on a desperate search for answers. Immersing herself in Allison’s life, she discovers a sleek socialite hiding dark secrets. What was Allison running from—and can Maggie uncover the truth in time to save her?

Told from the perspectives of a mother and daughter separated by distance but united by an unbreakable bond, Freefall is a riveting debut novel about two tenacious women overcoming unimaginable obstacles to protect themselves and those they love.

Description from Goodreads.

“Hold on to your hats. Freefall is sure to take one on the ride of a lifetime … This is a gut-wrenching suspense thriller in which both the mother and daughter’s only thoughts are to endure, reunite, and make amends while taking the reader on a heartrending journey of trepidation and nail-biting apprehension.” – New York Journal of Books

“Written in a fast-paced style, each chapter offers new twists as motives are brought to light and secrets that Allison struggled to hide are revealed. Barry’s debut novel will keep readers guessing to the end, and fans of Lisa Jackson and Lisa Scottoline will enjoy this thriller written with a focus on family relationships…this debut will be everywhere.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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HISTORICAL FICTION



The Paragon Hotel by  Lyndsay Faye

paragon hotelThe year is 1921, and “Nobody” Alice James is on a cross-country train, carrying a bullet wound and fleeing for her life following an illicit drug and liquor deal gone horribly wrong. Desperate to get as far away as possible from New York City and those who want her dead, she has her sights set on Oregon: a distant frontier that seems the end of the line.

She befriends Max, a black Pullman porter who reminds her achingly of Harlem, who leads Alice to the Paragon Hotel upon arrival in Portland. Her unlikely sanctuary turns out to be the only all-black hotel in the city, and its lodgers seem unduly terrified of a white woman on the premises. But as she meets the churlish Dr. Pendleton, the stately Mavereen, and the unforgettable club chanteuse Blossom Fontaine, she begins to understand the reason for their dread. The Ku Klux Klan has arrived in Portland in fearful numbers–burning crosses, inciting violence, electing officials, and brutalizing blacks. And only Alice, along with her new “family” of Paragon residents, are willing to search for a missing mulatto child who has mysteriously vanished into the Oregon woods.

Why was “Nobody” Alice James forced to escape Harlem? Why do the Paragon’s denizens live in fear–and what other sins are they hiding? Where did the orphaned child who went missing from the hotel, Davy Lee, come from in the first place? And, perhaps most important, why does Blossom DuBois seem to be at the very center of this tangled web?

Description from Goodreads.

“This historical novel, which carries strong reverberations of present-day social and cultural upheavals, contains a message from a century ago that’s useful to our own time: ‘We need to do better at solving things.’ A riveting multilevel thriller of race, sex, and mob violence that throbs with menace as it hums with wit.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Faye once again vividly illuminates history with her fiction….remarkably fluid fiction, framed as a love letter and based in fact.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“With complex, believable characters and an intricate plot, this is a sprightly, enjoyable read.” – People

Available Formats:

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The Only Woman in the Room by  Marie Benedict

only woman in the roomHedy Kiesler is lucky. Her beauty leads to a starring role in a controversial film and marriage to a powerful Austrian arms dealer, allowing her to evade Nazi persecution despite her Jewish heritage. But Hedy is also intelligent. At lavish Vienna dinner parties, she overhears the Third Reich’s plans. One night in 1937, desperate to escape her controlling husband and the rise of the Nazis, she disguises herself and flees her husband’s castle.

She lands in Hollywood, where she becomes Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But Hedy is keeping a secret even more shocking than her Jewish heritage: she is a scientist. She has an idea that might help the country and that might ease her guilt for escaping alone — if anyone will listen to her. A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece.

Description from Goodreads.

“Benedict paints a shining portrait of a complicated woman…Readers will be enthralled.” – Publishers Weekly

“A captivating story of a complicated woman blazing new trails.” – Kirkus Reviews

“[A] compelling fictionalized biography pays tribute to the overlooked scientific contributions and the hidden depths of a stunning beauty and beloved movie star.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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ROMANCE



The Best of Us by  Robyn Carr

best of usDr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

Description from Goodreads.

The Best of Us is a charming novel containing well-defined characters…the small town camaraderie, the colorful mountain locale, and straightforward prose highlight the down-to-earth players making this a fun and delightful tale.” – New York Journal of Books

“A warm bath in the dead of winter that will keep the reader feeling cozy and keep them smiling.” – All About Romance

Available Formats:

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SCI-FI & FANTASY



The Winter of the Witch by  Katherine Arden

winter of the witchFollowing their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

Description from Goodreads.

“Arden’s writing is almost luminescent in its power and emotion, and she bypasses lyrical fripperies for spare, white-hot storytelling. Not only does the Winternight Trilogy shine among Russian-inspired tales, it establishes a new high bar for coming-of-age fantasy epics.” – Amazon Book Review

“[Katherine] Arden’s gorgeous prose entwines political intrigue and feminist themes with magic and folklore to tell a tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Visceral descriptions of battle, an atmospheric sense of place, and some truly heartbreaking moments of loss make this a gut-wrenching read, but there’s ample hope and satisfaction to be found as Vasya chooses her own unique path to triumph.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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NONFICTION



Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. by  Lili Anolik

hollywood's eveLos Angeles in the 1960s and 70s was the pop culture capital of the world—a movie factory, a music factory, a dream factory. Eve Babitz was the ultimate factory girl, a pure product of LA.

The goddaughter of Igor Stravinsky and a graduate of Hollywood High, Babitz posed in 1963, at age twenty, playing chess with the French artist Marcel Duchamp. She was naked; he was not. The photograph, cheesecake with a Dadaist twist, made her an instant icon of art and sex. Babitz spent the rest of the decade rocking and rolling on the Sunset Strip, honing her notoriety. There were the album covers she designed: for Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds, to name but a few. There were the men she seduced: Jim Morrison, Ed Ruscha, Harrison Ford, to name but a very few.

Then, at nearly thirty, her It girl days numbered, Babitz was discovered—as a writer—by Joan Didion. She would go on to produce seven books, usually billed as novels or short story collections, always autobiographies and confessionals. Under-known and under-read during her career, she’s since experienced a breakthrough. Now in her mid-seventies, she’s on the cusp of literary stardom and recognition as an essential—as the essential—LA writer. Her prose achieves that American ideal: art that stays loose, maintains its cool, and is so sheerly enjoyable as to be mistaken for simple entertainment.

For Babitz, life was slow days, fast company until a freak fire in the 90s turned her into a recluse, living in a condo in West Hollywood, where Lili Anolik tracked her down in 2012. Anolik’s elegant and provocative new book is equal parts biography and detective story. It is also on dangerously intimate terms with its subject: artist, writer, muse, and one-woman zeitgeist, Eve Babitz.

Description from Goodreads.

“Fills in many of the gaps in our knowledge of Babitz’s life and work…What Hollywood’s Eve has going for it on every page is its subject’s utter refusal to be dull… It sends you racing to read the work of Eve Babitz.” – The New York Times

“A swooning, sometimes madcap look at Babitz…compelling.” – The Washington Post

“The Eve Babitz story you’ve been looking for—a true page-turner about an icon of Los Angeles’ 1960s art scene that’ll satisfy your thirst for glitz, glam, and drama.” – Women’s Day

Available Formats:

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Thick: And Other Essays by  Tressie McMillan Cottom

thickSmart, humorous, and strikingly original thoughts on race, beauty, money, and more—by one of today’s most intrepid public intellectuals.

Tressie McMillan Cottom, the writer, professor, and acclaimed author of Lower Ed, now brilliantly shifts gears from running regression analyses on college data to unleashing another identity: a purveyor of wit, wisdom—and of course Black Twitter snark—about all that is right and much that is so very wrong about this thing we call society. In the bestselling tradition of bell hooks and Roxane Gay, McMillan Cottom’s freshman collection illuminates a particular trait of her tribe: being thick. In form, and in substance.

This bold compendium, likely to find its place on shelves alongside Lindy West, Rebecca Solnit, and Maggie Nelson, dissects everything from beauty to Obama to pumpkin spice lattes. Yet Thick will also fill a void on those very shelves: a modern black American female voice waxing poetic on self and society, serving up a healthy portion of clever prose and southern aphorisms in a style uniquely her own.

McMillan Cottom has crafted a black woman’s cultural bible, as she mines for meaning in places many of us miss and reveals precisely how—when you’re in the thick of it—the political, the social, and the personal are almost always one and the same.

Description from Goodreads.

“This book is essential for anyone who wants to think deeply about race, feminism, and culture.” – BookRiot

“Incisive, witty, and provocative essays. . . . The collection showcases McMillan Cottom’s wisdom and originality and amply fulfills her aim of telling powerful stories that become a problem for power.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“The meshing of the personal and political and the author’s take-no-prisoners attitude make these essays sizzle. A provocative volume bound to stir argument and discussion.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

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YOUNG ADULT



The Wicked King by  Holly Black

wicked kingYou must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Description from Goodreads.

“A rare second volume that surpasses the first, with, happily, more intrigue and passion still to come.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“…will leave you on the edge of your seat, and ravage your emotions in the process.” – The Nerd Daily

Available Formats:

Print Book

 

 

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