5 Books to be Excited About
One of the most wonderful parts of working at the library is hearing about exciting new authors and new releases of favorite authors. Hearing that one of my favorite authors is about to have a new book published is akin to a holiday: there's anticipation and excitement. And of course, I love hearing about new authors. A suggestion from a colleague or someone who stops to chat about books is always exciting. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but most of the time I find fabulous new books and authors. Unfortunately, I'm at a lull in my reading -- but I'm eagerly looking forward to a break between semesters.
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
Oryx and Crake, and its companion,Year of the Flood were complex, beautiful, heartbreaking, and uncomfortable. In these books, Margaret Atwood examines some of the most important issues of our day - genetic modification, cybercrime, biological terrorism - as well as the role of apathy in disaster. MaddAddam, the third book in Atwood's MaddAddam Trilogy takes us back to Toby, the narrator of Year of the Flood picking up where Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood left off. (I'll not comment about the end of those books for the sake of those who still want to read the series.) Atwood, always a keen observer of humankind, forces us to confront conflict between self-preservation and self-sacrifice, and asks us to consider what's really worth saving. To be released September 3, 2013
Jewelweed by David Rhodes
David Rhodes caused a kerfuffle when he released Driftless in 2008. His first three books, released in the mid-1970's were greeted with enthusiasm from literary critics, proclaiming that he was "one of the best eyes in recent fiction." And then he disappeared for more than 30 years. Driftless was his return to publication, winning the Milkweed National Fiction Prize. Driftless follows former drifter, July Montgomery, and residents of his adopted hometown of Words, Wisconsin. Rhodes spins a rich tale with fleshed-out characters, skillfully picking up threads and overlapping narratives. In Jewelweed, David Rhodes takes us back to Words a decade after the conclusion of Driftless. He introduces us to residents we've never met before and allows us to look in on those first introduced in Driftless. Jewelweed is a beautifully written book, perfect for quiet, pensive evenings.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls by Anton DiSclafani
In DiSclafani's debut, we meet Thea as she is being taken to the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls after her role in a family tragedy. The country is in the midst of the Great Depression, and Thea, insulated by the school, struggles to adapt to its strict environment and the camp's social strata.
We, The Drowned: A Novel by Carsten Jensen
This novel has a bit of everything: heartbreak, power, poinancy, humor, and darkness. Spanning a century, this is the tale of a tiny town on the island of Aero in the Danish archipelago. A graceful, powefully written book about the birth of modern Denmark, Jensen skillfully uses a series of narrators to pick up the story and move it forward.
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake: A Novel by Jenny Wingfield
After the death of his father-in-law, John, Samuel Lake moves his family to rural Arkansas. Samuel's family is put in a unique position -- between two porches: Moses, a convenience store that stays open all day, and Never Closes, a bar, formerly run by John, that stays open all night. The book isn't about the two porches, it's about the family that lives in the house between them. Published in 2011, this is Wingfield's first book, and it's gotten quite a bit word of mouth recommendation.
Amazon Amazon Says:
“This summer’s first romantic page turner.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Named a most anticipated book for Summer 2013 by The Wall Street Journal and Publ more...
“This summer’s first romantic page turner.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Named a most anticipated book for Summer 2013 by The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly and USA Today, NPR, and People summer reads pick From the author of The After Party, coming May 2016, a lush, sexy, evocative debut novel of family secrets and girls’-school rituals, set in the 1930s South. It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age fifteen, has been cast out of her Florida home, exiled to an equestrienne boarding school for Southern debutantes. High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty, and girls’ friendships, the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a far remove from the free-roaming, dreamlike childhood Thea shared with her twin brother on their family’s citrus farm—a world now partially shattered. As Thea grapples with her responsibility for the events of the past year that led her here, she finds herself enmeshed in a new order, one that will change her sense of what is possible for herself, her family, her country. Weaving provocatively between home and school, the narrative powerfully unfurls the true story behind Thea’s expulsion from her family, but it isn’t long before the mystery of her past is rivaled by the question of how it will shape her future. Part scandalous love story, part heartbreaking family drama, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is an immersive, transporting page-turner—a vivid, propulsive novel about sex, love, family, money, class, home, and horses, all set against the ominous threat of the Depression—and the major debut of an important new writer. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
The long-awaited new novel from Margaret Atwood. The Year of the Flood is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to her visionary power. The times and species have be more...
The long-awaited new novel from Margaret Atwood. The Year of the Flood is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to her visionary power. The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners—a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life—has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible. Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers . . . Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can't stay locked away . . . By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
David Rhodes's long-awaited new novel turns an unblinking eye on an array of eccentric characters and situations. The setting is Words, Wisconsin, an anonymous town of only a more...
David Rhodes's long-awaited new novel turns an unblinking eye on an array of eccentric characters and situations. The setting is Words, Wisconsin, an anonymous town of only a few hundred people. But under its sleepy surface, life rages. Cora and Graham guard their dairy farm, and family, from the wicked schemes of their milk co-op. Lifelong paraplegic Olivia suddenly starts to walk, only to find herself crippled by her fury toward her sister and caretaker, Violet. Recently retired Rusty finds a cougar living in his haymow, dredging up haunting childhood memories. Winifred becomes pastor of the Friends church and stumbles on enlightenment in a very unlikely place. And Julia Montgomery, both private and gregarious, instigates a series of events that threatens the town's solitude and doggedly suspicious ways. Driftless finds the author's powers undiminished in this unforgettable story that evokes a small-town America previously unmapped, and the damaged denizens who must make their way through it. less...