Best New Books: Week of 8/6/2019

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges



FICTION



Keeping Lucy by  T. Greenwood

Keeping LucyDover, Massachusetts, 1969. Ginny Richardson’s heart was torn open when her baby girl, Lucy, born with Down Syndrome, was taken from her. Under pressure from his powerful family, her husband, Ab, sent Lucy away to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny it was for the best. That they should grieve for their daughter as though she were dead. That they should try to move on. 

But two years later, when Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, shows her a series of articles exposing Willowridge as a hell-on-earth–its squalid hallways filled with neglected children–she knows she can’t leave her daughter there. With Ginny’s six-year-old son in tow, Ginny and Marsha drive to the school to see Lucy for themselves. What they find sets their course on a heart-racing journey across state lines—turning Ginny into a fugitive.

For the first time, Ginny must test her own strength and face the world head-on as she fights Ab and his domineering father for the right to keep Lucy. Racing from Massachusetts to the beaches of Atlantic City, through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to a roadside mermaid show in Florida, Keeping Lucy is a searing portrait of just how far a mother’s love can take her.

Description from Goodreads.

“Greenwood’s heart-wrenching, emotional roller coaster of a read also seamlessly captures the transformation of women’s roles in the early 1970s. A heartfelt tale of true friendship, a mother’s unstoppable love, and the immeasurable fortitude of women.” – Booklist

“…An unabashed heart-tugger… a moving depiction of the primal power of a mother’s love.” – Publishers Weekly

“…an engaging plot that may cause you to loose sleep, delay housework or simply skip other normal life activities.” – Literature & Leisure

Available Formats:

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We Are All Good People Here by  Susan Rebecca White

we are all good people hereEve Whalen, privileged child of an old-money Atlanta family, meets Daniella Gold in the fall of 1962, on their first day at Belmont College. Paired as roommates, the two become fast friends. Daniella, raised in Georgetown by a Jewish father and a Methodist mother, has always felt caught between two worlds. But at Belmont, her bond with Eve allows her to finally experience a sense of belonging. That is, until the girls’ expanding awareness of the South’s systematic injustice forces them to question everything they thought they knew about the world and their places in it.

Eve veers toward radicalism—a choice pragmatic Daniella cannot fathom. After a tragedy, Eve returns to Daniella for help in beginning anew, hoping to shed her past. But the past isn’t so easily buried, as Daniella and Eve discover when their daughters are endangered by secrets meant to stay hidden.

Spanning more than thirty years of American history, from the twilight of Kennedy’s Camelot to the beginning of Bill Clinton’s presidency, We Are All Good People Here is “a captivating… meaningful, resonant story” (Emily Giffin, author of All We Ever Wanted) about two flawed but well-meaning women clinging to a lifelong friendship that is tested by the rushing waters of history and their own good intentions.

Description from Goodreads.

“Masterful… with a surgeon’s delicate precision, White examines sensitive and timely topics such as race, gender inequality, sexual abuse, religion and sexuality… the author captures the complexities of Atlanta’s history in a riveting way reminiscent of Tom Wolfe’s 1998 novel A Man in Full.” – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“The upheaval of the 60’s was not only political: especially for women, ethical choices were complicated by love, sex, and, not least, money. White handles that complexity with gentleness and empathy… a well-paced narrative palpably evokes America’s stormy past.” – Kirkus Reviews

“This latest from White is highly recommended for its absorbing characterization and engrossing plot that perfectly capture the zeitgeist of the 1960s. For readers who enjoyed Emma Cline’s The Girls or Caroline Leavitt’s Cruel Beautiful World.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


Ellie and the Harpmaker by  Hazel Prior

ellie and the harpmakerIn the rolling hills of beautiful Exmoor, there’s a barn. And in that barn, you’ll find Dan. He’s a maker of exquisite harps – but not a great maker of conversation. He’s content in his own company, quietly working and away from social situations that he doesn’t always get right.

But one day, a cherry-socked woman stumbles across his barn and the conversation flows a little more easily than usual. She says her name’s Ellie, a housewife, alone, out on her daily walk and, though she doesn’t say this, she looks sad. He wants to make her feel better, so he gives her one of his harps, made of cherry wood.

And before they know it, this simple act of kindness puts them on the path to friendship, big secrets, pet pheasants and, most importantly, true love.

Description from Goodreads.

“Prior’s debut resonates with a clear voice, depicting love evolving from a friendship based upon genuine acts of kindness… Ellie and Dan, both delightful, down-to-earth characters, selflessly put each other’s needs ahead of their own, and fans of fast-paced romantic stories will enjoy watching them discover true happiness together.” – Publishers Weekly

“With the character-driven charm of Liane Moriarty’s and Sara Baume’s novels… delightfully heartwarming… guaranteed to tug at readers’ heartstrings.” – Booklist

“…melodious… an innocent, old-fashioned love story that could have been plucked from a simpler time… What could be a tired plot is instead fresh and sweet, rejuvenated by a set of unusual characters, the raw beauty of England and the musicality of Prior’s prose.” – Washington Post

Available Formats:

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All the Water in the World by  Karen Raney

all the water in the worldMaddy is sixteen. Smart, funny, and profound, she has loyal friends, a mother with whom she’s unusually close, a father she’s never met, devoted grandparents, and a crush on a boy named Jack. Maddy also has cancer. Living in the shadow of uncertainty, she is forced to grow up fast.

All the Water in the World is the story of a family doing its best when faced with the worst. Told in the alternating voices of Maddy and her mother, Eve, the narrative moves between the family’s lake house in Pennsylvania; their home in Washington, DC; and London, where Maddy’s father, Antonio, lives. Hungry for experience, Maddy seeks out her first romantic relationship, finds solace in music and art, and tracks down Antonio. She continually tests the depths and limits of her closeness with her mother, while Eve has to come to terms with the daughter she only partly knows, in a world she can’t control.

With unforgettable voices that range from tender to funny, despairing to defiant, this novel illuminates the transformative power of love, humor, and hope.

Description from Goodreads.

“Domestic-fiction fans and readers who loved YA novels like John Green’s The Fault in our Stars (2012) and Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything (2015) will fall for All the Water in the World, which is heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure. Unafraid to probe the complexities of parenthood and partnership, Raney is an author to watch.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“An exquisite tracing of the tangled lines of mother-daughter love, loss, and grief.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Raney’s ardent debut examines love and loss through the eyes of Maddy, a vibrant 16-year-old girl diagnosed with cancer, and Eve, her loving mother… Raney’s pleasing tale is a deep, genuine investigation of memory, the pain of loss, and the strength of a mother’s love.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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SUSPENSE



Lost You by  Haylen Beck

lost youLibby needs a break. Three years ago her husband split, leaving her to raise their infant son Ethan alone as she struggled to launch her writing career. Now for the first time in years, things are looking up. She’s just sold her first novel, and she and Ethan are going on a much-needed vacation. Everything seems to be going their way, so why can’t she stop looking over her shoulder or panicking every time Ethan wanders out of view? Is it because of what happened when Ethan was born? Except Libby’s never told anyone the full story of what happened, and there’s no way anyone could find her and Ethan at a faraway resort… right?

But three days into their vacation, Libby’s fears prove justified. In a moment of inattention, Ethan wanders into an elevator before Libby can reach him. When the elevator stops and the doors open, Ethan is gone. Hotel security scours the building and finds no trace of him, but when CCTV footage is found of an adult finding the child wandering alone and leading him away by the hand, the police are called in. The search intensifies, a lost child case turning into a possible abduction. Hours later, a child is seen with a woman stepping through an emergency exit. Libby and the police track the woman down and corner her, but she refuses to release Ethan. Asked who she is, the woman replies:

“I’m his mother.”

What follows is one of the most shocking, twisty, and provocative works of psychological suspense ever written. A story of stolen identity, of surrogacy gone horribly wrong, and of two women whose insistence that each is the “real” mother puts them at deadly cross-purposes, Lost You is sure to be one of 2019’s most buzzed-about novels.

Description from Goodreads.

“An adrenaline-pumping, anxiety-inducing thriller built around a core so sentimental it just might make you cry.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“The absorbing narrative… spins a heart-wrenching web of desperation, surrogacy, mistaken identity, and murder… Recommend to fans of Tana French, Allison Brennan, and Hallie Ephron.” – Booklist

“Beck tells a richly complicated story about two desperate women and the reality of surrogacy in America.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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The Perfect Wife by  J.P. Delaney

perfect wifeAbbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science.

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives–and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?

Description from Goodreads.

“This compulsively readable psychological thriller… asks some provocative questions… Delaney keeps the suspense high throughout. The highly unusual setup sets this one above the thriller pack.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“…the kind of novel words like ‘unputdownable’ were invented for…” – The Independent

“Readers… will be rewarded with a fresh take on the domestic thriller that will leave them satisfied.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook


Outfox by  Sandra Brown

outfoxFBI agent Drex Easton is relentlessly driven by a single goal: to outmaneuver the conman once known as Weston Graham. Over the past thirty years, Weston has assumed many names and countless disguises, enabling him to lure eight wealthy women out of their fortunes before they disappeared without a trace, their families left without answers and the authorities without clues. The only common trait among the victims: a new man in their life who also vanished, leaving behind no evidence of his existence… except for one signature custom.

Drex is convinced that these women have been murdered, and that the man he knows as Weston Graham is the sociopath responsible. But each time Drex gets close to catching him, Weston trades one persona for another and disappears again. Now, for the first time in their long game of cat and mouse, Drex has a suspect in sight.

Attractive and charming, Jasper Ford is recently married to a successful businesswoman many years his junior, Talia Shafer. Drex insinuates himself into their lives, posing as a new neighbor and setting up surveillance on their house. The closer he gets to the couple, the more convinced he becomes that Jasper is the clever, merciless predator he’s sought–and that his own attraction to Talia threatens to compromise his purpose and integrity.

This is Drex’s one chance to outfox his cunning nemesis before he murders again and eludes justice forever. But first he must determine if the desirable Talia is a heartless accomplice… or the next victim.

Description from Goodreads.

[An] engrossing thriller… Well-defined characters complement the twisty plot, which ends with a gratifying final revelation. Brown once again shows why she remains at the top of the suspense field.” – Publishers Weekly

“…does not disappoint. It starts off strong and keeps going with a lot of twists and turns right up to the climatic finale. You can never go wrong reading one of [Brown’s] books.” – Red Carpet Crash

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook



MYSTERY



The Turn of the Key by  Ruth Ware ★

turn of the keyWhen she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Description from Goodreads.

“Let’s just say that if you’ve got an Echo, you’re going to unplug it as soon as you finish the book… What Ware does beautifully is infuse The Turn of the Key with a creepy Gothic sensibility. For all of the novel’s contemporary touches—particularly the house’s malevolent smart technology—she has delivered an old-fashioned horror story, peopled by children with ‘eyes full of malice,’ a dour housekeeper straight out of Rebecca and an inscrutable handyman.” – New York Times Book Review

“This appropriately twisty Turn of the Screw update finds the Woman in Cabin 10 author in her most menacing mode, unfurling a shocking saga of murder and deception.” – Entertainment Weekly

“Ware does a good job of creating tension… But above all, Ware skillfully lays the bread crumbs to the novel’s satisfying conclusion… [that] leaves readers with one final, haunting question, one that will stay with them long after they turn the last page.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook


The Whisperer by  Karin Fossum

whispererHow did a lonely, quiet woman come to kill a man—or did she?
 
Ragna Riegel is a soft-spoken woman of routines. She must have order in her life, and she does, until one day she finds a letter in her mailbox with her name on the envelope and a clear threat written in block capitals on the sheet inside. With the arrival of the letter, and eventually others like it, Ragna’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel into a nightmare—threatened by an unknown enemy, paranoid and unable to sleep, her isolation becomes all the more extreme. Ragna’s distress does culminate in a death, but she is the perpetrator rather than the victim.

The Whisperer shifts between Inspector Sejer’s interrogation of Ragna and the shocking events that led up to her arrest. Sejer thinks it is an open-and-shut case, but is it? Compelling and unnerving, The Whisperer probes plausible madness in everyday life and asks us to question assumptions even in its final moments.

Description from Goodreads.

“A wonderfully tense psychological crime novel by a master storyteller.” – Booklist

“Engrossing… Fossum has rendered Ragna’s plight with great precision and empathy in this acute psychological study of loneliness and grief. Fans of more nuanced Scandinavian crime fiction will be rewarded.” – Publishers Weekly

“Those who like Scandinavian mysteries and the subtle buildup of psychological thrillers will enjoy this book. An essential purchase.” – Library Journal

Available Formats:

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A Dangerous Man by  Robert Crais

dangerous manJoe Pike didn’t expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank, and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down, and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to rest, the arrests are only the beginning of the trouble for Joe and Izzy.

After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what of all that did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?

Description from Goodreads.

“If you’ve always wished Lee Child’s Jack Reacher had a little more balance in his life—but the same formidable talents—you’ll love Joe Pike and the latest book in this long, superb series… A taut, exceptional thriller.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Crais is a whip-smart writer. Cole and Pike are carefully drawn, multilayered characters who’ve grown more complex through the years. This is one of the very best entries in a long-running and still first-rate series.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Outstanding… Crais begins the story with deceptive simplicity but slowly ratchets up both the tension and the action with surgical precision… The particular kind of danger [Joe Pike] carries is just plain off the charts. This one’s sure to hit the bestseller charts.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | Large Print Book | eBook



HISTORICAL FICTION



Caging Skies by  Christine Leunens

caging skiesAn avid member of the Hitler Youth in 1940s Vienna, Johannes Betzler discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa behind a false wall in their home. His initial horror turns to interest—then love and obsession. After his parents disappear, Johannes is the only one aware of Elsa’s existence in the house and the only one responsible for her survival.

By turns disturbing and blackly comic, haunting and cleverly satirical, Christine Leunens’s captivating and masterful novel—sold in 16 countries and the basis for a major forthcoming film by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnorak, What We Do in the Shadows)—examines this world of truth and lies, laying bare the darkest corners of the human soul.

Description from Goodreads.

“Leunens is a strong writer, her prose supple and darkly engaging. Her depiction of wartime Vienna is nearly cinematic and utterly convincing… A dark, disturbing novel… Vivid prose.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The best part of this interesting novel is its ability to show parts of our history which others dismiss: why suffering can make some people more sensitive but others more cruel, and how a war, such an outrage to human dignity, blurs the line between the victorious and defeated.” – Elle

“One wonders why this beautiful, strange and terrible subject had never been taken before. A masterpiece… the book fascinates and leaves a rare impression of strangeness and power.” – Le Nouvel Observateur

Available Formats:

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ROMANCE



Is There Still Sex in the City? by  Candace Bushnell ★

is there still sex in the cityTwenty years after her sharp, seminal first book Sex and the City reshaped the landscape of pop culture and dating with its fly on the wall look at the mating rituals of the Manhattan elite, the trailblazing Candace Bushnell delivers a new book on the wilds and lows of sex and dating after fifty. 

Set between the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a country enclave known as The Village, Is There Still Sex in the City? gathers Bushnell’s signature short, sharp, satirical commentaries on the love and dating habits of middle aged men and women as they continue to navigate the ever-modernizing world of relationships. Throughout, Bushnell documents 21st century dating phenomenon, such as the “Unintended Cub Situation” in which a sensible older woman suddenly becomes the love interest of a much younger man, the “Mona Lisa” Treatment—a vaginal restorative surgery often recommended to middle aged women, and what it’s really like to go on Tinder dates as a fifty something divorcee. Bushnell also updates one of her most celebrated stories from Sex and the City, “The Bicycle Boys,” a breed of New York man who was always trying to bring his bike up to women’s apartments. Once an anomaly, Bushnell charts their new ubiquitousness, in addition to where, and how to do your own man stalking via bicycle (and whether or not it’s worth it).

In Is There Still Sex in The City? Bushnell looks at love and life from all angles—marriage and children, divorce and bereavement, as well as the very real pressures on women to maintain their youth and have it all. This is a pull-no-punches social commentary and an indispensable companion to one of the most revolutionary dating books of the twentieth century.

Description from Goodreads.

“You know the title. You watched the show. Maybe you even saw the movies. Candace Bushnell is back doing what she knows best: chronicling the lives of women and how they find love. This time, she turns her lens on middle-aged men and women, and the result is pure magic. At turns wistful and sad, thoughtful and funny, Is There Still Sex In The City? is even better than the original.” – PopSugar

“It’s hard out there for a cougar. But for Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, it’s exactly the age when women need her the most. Her latest book addresses… women in their 50s and 60s who suddenly find themselves dating again. As with its predecessor [Sex and the City] there is no shortage of catchphrase-worthy sentiments.” – Entertainment Weekly

“A collection of commentaries and recounted hijinks (and lojinks)… Sometimes funny, sometimes silly, sometimes quite sad—i.e., an accurate portrait of life in one’s 50s.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


Life and Other Inconveniences by  Kristan Higgins

life and other inconveniencesEmma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back… but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

Description from Goodreads.

“Higgins explores another set of deeply affecting topics using engaging characters and a full spectrum of realistic emotions: humor, anger, anguish, and pride, among others, but above all, hope. Funny, heart-wrenching, insightful, and lovely.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will be riveted as the well-drawn characters uncover one another’s hidden depths and heal old wounds. This rich and memorable story will instantly win readers over.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook



SCI-FI & FANTASY



Hollow Kingdom by  Kira Jane Buxton

hollow kingdomS.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos®.

Then Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn’t quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies–from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim’s loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis–fail to cure Big Jim’s debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity’s extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.

Hollow Kingdom is a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.

Description from Goodreads.

“…a unique, oddly hopeful perspective on the end of human civilization… What makes Hollow Kingdom special is the ease with which Buxton offsets heavy themes with humor. At the heart of the novel is an entertaining adventure story… S.T.’s relationship with Dennis achieves pathos and an incredibly earned emotional denouement that I would have never predicted at the start of the novel… a surprising, funny, genre-bending novel, an environmentalist parable crossed with an epic adventure story, difficult to describe and even more difficult to put down.” – Shelf Awareness

“While S.T.’s floridly descriptive, expletive-laden narration sometimes feels self-indulgent, Buxton’s quirky ideas and compelling nonhuman characters will satisfy literary fiction and zombie genre enthusiasts alike who are looking for something beguilingly different.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Buxton spins a fresh, alarming apocalypse from the perspectives of intelligent, communicative animals in her hilarious debut… Amid S.T.’s adventure, a variety of animals both tame and wild share moving ruminations on the end of humanity. S.T.’s complicated personality and the masterful blend of humorous and tragic make this novel an eloquent, emotional exploration of survival during an unthinkable cataclysm.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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NONFICTION



Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by  Jia Tolentino ★

trick mirrorTrick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly in a culture that revolves around the self.

In each essay, Jia writes about the cultural prisms that have shaped her: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the American scammer as millennial hero; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the mandate that everything, including our bodies, should always be getting more efficient and beautiful until we die.

Description from Goodreads.

“It isn’t hyperbolic to say that New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time—writing about feminism, vaping, popular music, religion, and sexual assault with equal amounts of ease and insight. In her debut essay collection, the writer unveils nine new pieces that help cement her place in the essayist canon. She’s an expert in the sweet spot where contemporary politics and youth culture meet and make out.” – Vulture

“From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television. Tolentino is among our age’s finest essayists, dissecting the foibles that animate our modern lives with wit, intellectual rigor, and empathy.” – Esquire

“Exhilarating, groundbreaking essays that should establish Tolentino as a key voice of her generation.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America by  Karen Abbott

ghosts of eden parkIn the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he’s a multimillionaire. The press calls him “King of the Bootleggers,” writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esque events he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand new Pontiacs for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States.

Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt’s bosses at the U.S. Attorney’s office hired her right out of law school, assuming she’d pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It’s a decision with deadly consequences: With Remus behind bars, Dodge and Imogene begin an affair and plot to ruin him, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government–and that can only end in murder.

Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, The Ghosts of Eden Park is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive.

Description from Goodreads.

“Karen Abbott tells the story of Remus’ rise and fall with a novelist’s eye… I was transfixed, not only by the incredible research that informed this compulsively readable book but also by what the story reveals about human nature, the interplay of brilliant and unpredictable individuals and the societies in which they live, and the way that greed, fame and lust can—and have—corrupted the motives of both lovers and enemies. If you are a fan of true crime, historical nonfiction and the Jazz Age, this is not a book to miss.” – BookPage, STARRED REVIEW

“Engrossing… This real-life page-turner will appeal to fans of Erik Larson.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Abbott continues her inquiry into sensational yet forgotten women’s lives in this riveting combination of social history and true crime… Smart and delectable [and] generating lots of buzz.” – Booklist

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