Best New Books: Week of 2/15/22

“The problem with a book is that you never know what it’s planning to do to you until you’re too far into it.” – Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings

Age of Ash by  Daniel Abraham

Fiction / Fantasy.

Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold.

This is Alys’s.

When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why. But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives.

Swept up in an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.

Description from Goodreads.

“[An] outstanding series debut, which instantly hooks readers with dual mysteries… Readers will eagerly anticipate the sequel.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“This new [book] bears the hallmark of a great Abraham work.” – Kirkus Reviews

“…packed with interesting ideas and cool twists on fantasy tropes and elements.” – Civilian Reader

Away to Stay by  Mary Kuryla


Weary of rundown motels and long nights sleeping in her mother’s truck, Olya wants nothing more than to find a home. It seems she might finally find one with Jack, her mother’s cousin who lives in a tumbledown ranch in Southern California’s Inland Empire. But safety is not all that it seems, and, even here, with a roof over her head and four walls to surround her, Olya is confronted with…

Away to Stay burns with the urgency of its young narrator, living at the hard edge of homelessness. Through Olya’s off-beat and probing consciousness, we witness a world of desperate people flailing inside a broken system. Olya’s mother Irina is a Russian émigré and self-serving liar, obsessed with becoming a prima ballerina and stalking Mikhail Baryshnikov. Cousin Jack is haunted by demons from the Afghanistan war—and the oft-absent Irina. Jack turns his obsession onto his untrainable dog named Bird that he kidnapped from the Riverside Police Department. To Olya, Bird is Job on four legs.

Away to Stay is an exploration of the precarity of shelter and home in the life of an immigrant and American working family.

Description from Goodreads.

“Kuryla shines in her descriptions of the offbeat characters and their antics… It adds up to a captivating coming-of-age yarn.” – Publishers Weekly

Bitter by  Akwaeke Emezi

Fiction / Young Adult.

Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the town of Lucille. Bitter’s instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus… but her friends aren’t willing to settle for a world that the adults say is “just the way things are.”

Pulled between old friendships, her creative passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn’t sure where she belongs – in the art studio or in the streets. And if she does find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost?

Description from Goodreads.

“A compact, urgent, and divine novel.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“…timely… with vivacious queer characters of color who have the agency to define the future for themselves and their city.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Emezi’s novel is mesmerizing from start to finish.” – Booklist

Black American Refugee: Escaping the Narcissism of the American Dream by  Tiffanie Drayton

Nonfiction / Memoir / Current Events.

In the early ’90s, young Tiffanie Drayton and her siblings left Trinidad and Tobago to join their mother in New Jersey, where she’d been making her way as a domestic worker, eager to give her children a shot at the American Dream. At first, life in the US was idyllic. But chasing good school districts with affordable housing left Tiffanie and her family constantly uprooted–moving from Texas to Florida then back to New Jersey. As Tiffanie came of age in the suburbs, she began to ask questions about the binary Black and white American world. Why were the Black neighborhoods she lived in crime-ridden, and the multicultural ones safe? Why were there so few Black students in advanced classes at school, if there were any advanced classes at all? Why was it so hard for Black families to achieve stability? Why were Black girls treated as something other than worthy?

Ultimately, exhausted by the pursuit of a better life in America, twenty-year old Tiffanie returns to Tobago. She is suddenly able to enjoy the simple freedom of being Black without fear, and imagines a different future for her own children. But then COVID-19 and widely publicized instances of police brutality bring America front and center again. This time, as an outsider supported by a new community, Tiffanie grieves and rages for Black Americans in a way she couldn’t when she was one.

An expansion of her New York Times piece of the same name, Black American Refugee examines in depth the intersection of her personal experiences and the broader culture and historical ramifications of American racism and global white supremacy. Through thoughtful introspection and candidness, Tiffanie unravels the complex workings of the people in her life, including herself, centering Black womanhood, and illuminating the toll a lifetime of racism can take. Must Black people search beyond the shores of the land of the free to realize emancipation? Or will the voices that propel America’s new reckoning welcome all dreamers and dreams to this land?

Description from Goodreads.

“Drayton’s rich storytelling reveals the complex roles ‘victims’ and ‘abusers’ play in ‘American racial stratification’ and offers a path toward healing for both. Those seeking to better understand the long-term effects of racism should pick this up.” – Publishers Weekly

“Drayton examines her experiences as a Black woman in both countries, and how her personal story connects to the broader history of white supremacy.” – Bustle

“Drayton explores the ramifications of racism that span generations, global white supremacy, and the pitfalls of American culture.” – Shondaland

The Boy with a Bird in His Chest by  Emme Lund

Fiction / Fantasy.

Though Owen Tanner has never met anyone else who has a chatty bird in their chest, medical forums would call him a Terror. From the moment Gail emerged between Owen’s ribs, his mother knew that she had to hide him away from the world. After a decade spent in hiding, Owen takes a brazen trip outdoors in the middle of a forest fire, and his life is upended forever.

Suddenly, Owen is forced to flee the home that had once felt so confining and hide in plain sight with his uncle and cousin in Washington. There, he feels the joy of finding a family among friends; of sharing the bird in his chest and being embraced fully; of falling in love and feeling the devastating heartbreak of rejection before finding a spark of happiness in the most unexpected place; of living his truth regardless of how hard the thieves of joy may try to tear him down. But the threat of the Army of Acronyms is a constant, looming presence, making Owen wonder if he’ll ever find a way out of the cycle of fear.

A heartbreaking yet hopeful novel about the things that make us unique and lovable, The Boy with a Bird in His Chest grapples with the fear, depression, and feelings of isolation that come with believing that we will never be loved, let alone accepted, for who we truly are, and learning to live fully and openly regardless.

Description from Goodreads.

“Lund’s brilliant debut is unlike any other coming-of-age out there… This is an unputdownable and weirdly relatable book readers won’t want to miss.” – Debutiful

“The burden of living with a secret is poignantly rendered and illuminating for those who seek to understand living a life outside the ordinary.” – Washington Post

“A lovely piece of magical realism… the strangeness sets it apart from other coming-of-age stories. Embrace magic and suspend your disbelief and this novel may just take you on a beautiful, necessary journey.” – Kirkus Reviews

Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life by  James Curtis

Nonfiction / Biography / Film.

It was James Agee who christened Buster Keaton “The Great Stone Face.” Keaton’s face, Agee wrote, “ranked almost with Lincoln’s as an early American archetype; it was haunting, handsome, almost beautiful, yet it was also irreducibly funny. Keaton was the only major comedian who kept sentiment almost entirely out of his work and… he brought pure physical comedy to its greatest heights.”

Mel Brooks: “A lot of my daring came from Keaton.”

Martin Scorsese, influenced by Keaton’s pictures in the making of Raging Bull: “The only person who had the right attitude about boxing in the movies for me,” Scorsese said, “was Buster Keaton.”

Keaton’s deadpan stare in a porkpie hat was as recognizable as Charlie Chaplin’s tramp and Harold Lloyd’s straw boater and spectacles, and, with W. C. Fields, the four were each considered a comedy king–but Keaton was, and still is, considered to be the greatest of them all.

His iconic look and acrobatic brilliance obscured the fact that behind the camera Keaton was one of our most gifted filmmakers. Through nineteen short comedies and twelve magnificent features, he distinguished himself with such seminal works as Sherlock Jr., The Navigator, Steamboat Bill, Jr., The Cameraman, and his masterpiece, The General.

Now James Curtis, admired biographer of Preston Sturges (“definitive” – Variety), W. C. Fields (“by far the fullest, fairest and most touching account we have yet had. Or are likely to have” – Richard Schickel, front page of the New York Times Book Review), and Spencer Tracy (“monumental; definitive” – Kirkus Reviews), gives us the richest, most comprehensive life to date of the legendary actor, stunt artist, screenwriter, director–master.

Description from Goodreads.

“Authoritative… [Keaton] emerges from the pages of Curtis’s [book] not just as the first indie auteur but as the direct forerunner of Indiana Jones and Jason Bourne: the first action hero.” – Avenue

“Comprehensive… Curtis, who has also written mighty biographies of Preston Sturges, James Whale, W.C. Fields, and Spencer Tracy, does a delightful job of capturing the old, weird America in which the Keatons plied their trade… Keaton was as much a technical innovator as he was a comic, and Curtis’s book goes into painstaking detail about how these effects were achieved… As definitive an account of the sad-faced comedian as one could hope for.” – New York Times

“A landmark biography… Keaton’s career in the limelight (he started performing at age 3) and his innovations in motion pictures should keep readers riveted.” – Los Angeles Times

The Cage by  Bonnie Kistler

Fiction / Suspense / Mystery.

On a cold, misty Sunday night, two women are alone in the offices of fashion conglomerate Claudine de Martineau International. One is the company’s human resources director. Impeccably dressed and perfectly coiffed, she sits at her desk and stares somberly out the window. Down the hall, her colleague, one of the company’s lawyers, is buried under a pile of paperwork, frantically rushing to finish.

Leaving at the same time, the two women, each preoccupied by her own thoughts, enter the elevator that will take them down from the 30th floor.

When they arrive at the lobby, one of the women is dead. Was it murder or suicide?

An incredibly original novel that turns the office thriller on its head, The Cage is a wild ride that begins with a bang and picks up speed as it races to its dramatic end.

Description from Goodreads.

“[An] absolutely spellbinding thriller… An utterly engrossing and thoroughly entertaining story.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“[An] exciting psychological thriller… The suspenseful plot careens among various surprising twists toward a satisfying finale as Shay attempts to clear herself and expose the executives. Kistler is a writer to watch.” – Publishers Weekly

“Kistler ladles on the suspense in a strong plot that accelerates with each chapter… releases myriad twists as it leads to a surprising finale.” – South Florida Sun Sentinel

Chilean Poet by  Alejandro Zambra, translated by  Megan McDowell ★


Nine years after their bewildering breakup, aspiring poet Gonzalo reunites with his high school girlfriend, Carla, now the mother of a six-year-old son, Vicente. Soon the three form a happy sort-of family–a stepfamily, though no such word exists in their language.

After a few years, their ambitions pull the lovers in different directions, but traces of Gonzalo remain: Vicente inherits his love of poetry. When, at eighteen, he meets Pru, an American journalist literally and figuratively lost in Santiago, he encourages her to write about Chilean poets–not the famous, dead kind, your Nerudas or Mistrals or Bolaños, but rather the living, everyday poets, who are also a kind of family. By the time Pru’s article is published, Gonzalo has returned to Chile. But will he and Vicente find their way back to one another?

In Chilean Poet, Alejandro Zambra chronicles with enormous tenderness and insight the everyday moments–absurd, painful, sexy, sweet, profound–that make up our personal histories. Exploring how we choose our families and how we betray them, and what it means to be a man in relationships, it is a bold and brilliant new work by one of the most important writers of our time.

Description from Goodreads.

“Engaging… written with a simplicity and freedom… The final part is wonderful, almost miraculous, masterly.” – El Mundo

“Zambra has earned a reputation as an autofiction alchemist, an artist who does not simply notate the numbing details of daily life but spins the quotidian into art. In his latest novel, Chilean Poet, he writes in a different, grander register… we encounter scenarios that are recognizable because we have experienced them before, yet he depicts them with such care and irreverence that they are rendered unfamiliar.” – Vulture

“A playful, discursive novel about families, relationships, poetry, and how easily all three can come together or fall apart… renders both the small moments of literary striving and the everyday difficulties of being part of, and raising, a family with an insight that’s both cleareyed and tender.” – Kirkus Reviews

Chloe Cates Is Missing by  Mandy McHugh

Fiction / Suspense / Mystery.

Chloe Cates is missing. The 13-year-old star of the hit YouTube series, CC and Me, has disappeared, and nobody knows where she’s gone — least of all ruthless momager Jennifer Scarborough, who has spent much of her daughter’s young life crafting a child celebrity persona that is finally beginning to pay off. And in Chloe’s absence, the faux-fairytale world that supported that persona begins to fracture, revealing secrets capable of reducing the highly dysfunctional Scarborough family to rubble.

Anxious to find her daughter and preserve the life she’s worked so hard to build, Jennifer turns to social media for help, but the hearsay, false claims, and salacious suspicions only multiply. As the search becomes as sensational as Chloe’s series, Missing Persons detective Emilina Stone steps in, only to realize she has a connection to this case herself. Will she be able to stay objective and cut through the rumors to find the truth before it’s too late?

Told from multiple points of view including Jennifer, Emilina, and pages from Chloe’s lost diary, Chloe Cates Is Missing is a suspenseful novel of a child pushed to the brink, and of the troubled family that desperately needs her back.

Description from Goodreads.

“A thriller for our social-media obsessed times” – PopSugar

“A tale guaranteed to keep genre fans up till dawn.” – Kirkus Reviews

“[A] gripping debut… Chapters told from multiple perspectives skillfully tease out the characters’ respective secrets to reveal the rage lurking beneath their smiling faces. McHugh is off to a strong start.” – Publishers Weekly

Desgraciado: The Collected Letters by  Angel Dominquez

Nonfiction / Poetry.

A collection of epistolary poems that exorcises and explores the material violence and generational trauma of colonization and systemic racism stored within queer Latinx memory.

In Desgraciado, Angel Dominguez navigates language and memory to illuminate the ongoing traumas of misremembered and missing histories and their lasting impacts. Dominguez unravels a critical and tender language of lived experience in letters addressed to their ancestral oppressor, Diego de Landa, (a Spanish friar who attempted to destroy the written Maya language in Mani Yucatán, on July 12th, 1562), to articulate an old rage, dreaming of a futurity beyond the wreckage and ruin of the colonial imaginary. This collection doesn’t seek to heal the incurable wound of colonization so much as attempt to re-articulate a language towards recuperation.

Description from Goodreads.

“By treating the figure of Diego as both enemy and lover, Dominguez attempts to subvert his enduring influence, holding the colonizer in his own purgatory… This is an intimate embrace of personal struggle, but Dominguez also takes many opportunities to highlight the resiliency of all those who were colonized across centuries of violence.” – Harriet

“With repeated images of fire and ghosts, and all the echoes of our colonized world, Dominguez pens the most tender vengeance.” – Vagabond City

Diablo Mesa by  Douglas Preston &  Lincoln Child

Fiction / Suspense / Mystery.

Lucas Tappan, a wealthy and eccentric billionaire and founder of Icarus Space Systems, approaches the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute with an outlandish proposal—to finance a careful, scientific excavation of the Roswell Incident site, where a UFO is alleged to have crashed in 1947. A skeptical Nora Kelly, to her great annoyance, is tasked with the job.

Nora’s excavation immediately uncovers two murder victims buried at the site, faces and hands obliterated with acid to erase their identities. Special Agent Corrie Swanson is assigned to the case. As Nora’s excavation proceeds, uncovering things both bizarre and seemingly inexplicable, Corrie’s homicide investigation throws open a Pandora’s box of espionage and violence, uncovering bloody traces of a powerful force that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—and that threatens to engulf them all in an unimaginable fate.

Description from Goodreads.

Diablo Mesa will keep you enthralled.” –  Florida Times-Union

“The story has tension, mystery, murder… Down-to-earth action tackles an otherworldly mystery in this devilishly plausible yarn.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Excellent… The taut suspense and tight plotting that marked the authors’ earliest Pendergast novels are very much in evidence. Fans of kick-ass female leads will be delighted.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You by  Ariel Delgado Dixon

Fiction / Suspense.

“When the Juvenile Transportation Services come for you in the night in a preordained kidnapping, complete with an unmarked van and husky guardsmen you can’t outmatch, you have been sold for a promise.”

A young woman thinks she has escaped her past only to discover that she’s been hovering on its edges all along: She and her younger sister bide their time in a dilapidated warehouse in a desolate town north of New York City; their parents settled there with dreams of starting an art commune. But after the girls’ father vanishes, all traces of stability disappear for the family, and the girls retreat into strange worlds of their own mythmaking and isolation.

As the sisters both try to survive their increasingly dark and dangerous adolescences, they break apart and reunite repeatedly, orbiting each other like planets. Both endure stints at the Veld Center, a wilderness camp where troubled teenage girls are sent as a last resort, and both emerge more deeply warped by the harsh outdoor survival experiences they must endure and the attempts by staff to break them down psychologically.

With a mesmerizing voice and uncanny storytelling style, this is a remarkable debut about two women who must struggle to understand the bonds that link them and how their traumatic history will shape who they choose to become as adults.

Description from Goodreads.

“[A] sharp and unsettling story of two girls’ ongoing search for their own place in the world and how their history shapes who they become.” – Good Housekeeping

“Consistently and devastatingly intriguing… A coming-of-age rife with destruction.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Two sisters navigate childhood trauma in Dixon’s chilling, complex debut… The layered story lines and Fawn’s shocking actions pay big dividends. Readers will be eager to see what the author does next.” – Publishers Weekly

The End of Getting Lost by  Robin Kirman

Fiction / Mystery / Suspense.

The year is 1996—a time before cell phones, status updates, and location tags—when you could still travel to a remote corner of the world and disappear, if you chose to do so. This is where we meet Gina Reinhold and Duncan Lowy, a young artistic couple madly in love, traveling around Europe on a romantic adventure. It’s a time both thrilling and dizzying for Gina, whose memories are hazy following a head injury—and the growing sense that the man at her side, her one companion on this strange continent, is keeping secrets from her.

Just what is Duncan hiding and how far will he go to keep their pasts at bay? As the pair hop borders across Europe, their former lives threatening to catch up with them while the truth grows more elusive, we witness how love can lead us astray, and what it means to lose oneself in love… The End of Getting Lost is “atmospheric, lyrical, and filled with layered insights into the complexities of marriage” (Susie Yang, New York Times bestselling author of White Ivy). “Kirman is wonderfully deft with suspense and plot” (Katie Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in Trucks) in this “electric page-turner” (Courtney Maum, author of Costalegre and Touch), a novel that is both a tightrope act of deception as much as it is an elegant exploration of love and marriage, and our cherished illusions of both. With notes of Patricia Highsmith, Caroline Kepnes, and Lauren Groff, Robin Kirman has spun a delicious tale of deceit, redemption, and the fight to keep love alive—no matter the costs.

Description from Goodreads.

“Skillful… this twisty page-turner delivers.” – Publishers Weekly

“This is a slim and beautifully written novel, more literary than thriller but plot-driven all the same. Readers won’t know who to root for in this story that is ripe for discussion.” – Booklist

Gwendy’s Final Task by  Stephen King &  Richard Chizmar

Fiction / Fantasy / Mystery.

When Gwendy Peterson was twelve, a mysterious stranger named Richard Farris gave her a mysterious box for safekeeping. It offered treats and vintage coins, but it was dangerous. Pushing any of its seven colored buttons promised death and destruction.

Years later, the button box entered Gwendy’s life again. A successful novelist and a rising political star, she was once again forced to deal with the temptation that box represented.

Now, evil forces seek to possess the button box and it is up to Senator Gwendy Peterson to keep it from them. At all costs. But where can you hide something from such powerful entities?

In Gwendy’s Final Task, “horror giants” (Publishers Weekly) Stephen King and Richard Chizmar take us on a journey from Castle Rock to another famous cursed Maine city to the MF-1 space station, where Gwendy must execute a secret mission to save the world. And, maybe, all worlds.

Description from Goodreads.

“This charming, whimsical tale about a woman with an enchanted toy deepens into a story of pain and threat, destiny and desire.” – The Daily Mail

“…one of the more memorable collaborative enterprises of recent years… satisfying and unexpectedly moving. Like its predecessors, Gwendy’s Final Task is both a seamless act of collaboration and a deeply felt reflection on the perilous state of our fractured modern world.” – Washington Post

Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies by  Laura Thompson

Nonfiction / Biography / History.

Heiresses: surely they are among the luckiest women on earth. Are they not to be envied, with their private jets and Chanel wardrobes and endless funds? Yet all too often those gilded lives have been beset with trauma and despair. Before the 20th century a wife’s inheritance was the property of her husband, making her vulnerable to kidnap, forced marriages, even confinement in an asylum. And in modern times, heiresses fell victim to fortune-hunters who squandered their millions.

Heiresses tells the stories of these million dollar babies: Mary Davies, who inherited London’s most valuable real estate, and was bartered from the age of twelve; Consuelo Vanderbilt, the original American “Dollar Heiress”, forced into a loveless marriage; Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress who married seven times and died almost penniless; and Patty Hearst, heiress to a newspaper fortune who was arrested for terrorism. However, there are also stories of independence and achievement: Angela Burdett-Coutts, who became one of the greatest philanthropists of Victorian England; Nancy Cunard, who lived off her mother’s fortune and became a pioneer of the civil rights movement; and Daisy Fellowes, elegant linchpin of interwar high society and noted fashion editor.

Heiresses is about the lives of the rich, who—as F. Scott Fitzgerald said—are ‘different’. But it is also a bigger story about how all women fought their way to equality, and sometimes even found autonomy and fulfillment.

Description from Goodreads.

“Skillfully evoking disparate social milieus and generational divides, Thompson packs the narrative full of juicy gossip without resorting to caricature. Readers will be enthralled.” – Publishers Weekly

“Authoritative, eye-opening, and gloriously gossipy.” – Booklist

“Engaging… A book that offers insight as well as entertainment―a peek into the human condition from an unexpected angle.” – Kirkus Reviews

House of Sky and Breath by  Sarah J. Maas

Fiction / Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance.

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal―they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

In this sexy, action-packed sequel to the #1 bestseller House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas weaves a captivating story of a world about to explode―and the people who will do anything to save it.

Description from Goodreads.

The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir by  Karen Cheung

Nonfiction / Memoir / Current Events / World Affairs.

Nothing survives in this city. But in a place that never allowed you to write your own history, even remembrance can be a radical act.

Hong Kong has long been known as a city of extremes: a former colony of the United Kingdom that today exists at the margins of an authoritarian, ascendant China; a city rocked by mass protests, where residents once rallied against threats to their democracy and freedoms. But it is also misunderstood and often romanticized, its history and politics simplified for Western headlines. Drawing richly from her own experience, as well as interviews with musicians, protesters, and writers who have made Hong Kong their home, journalist Karen Cheung gives us an insider’s view of this remarkable city at a critical moment in history—both for Hong Kong and democracies around the world.

Coming of age in the wake of Hong Kong’s reunification with China in 1997, Cheung traverses the multifold identities available to her in childhood and beyond, whether that was her experience at an English-speaking international school where her classmates would grow up to be “global citizens” struggling to fit in with the rest of Hong Kong, or within her deeply traditional, multilingual family. Along the way, Cheung gives a personal account of what it’s like to seek out affordable housing and mental healthcare in one of the world’s most expensive cities. She also takes us deep into Hong Kong’s vibrant indie music and literary scenes–youth-driven spaces of creative resistance. Inevitably, Cheung brings us with her to the protests, where her understanding of what it means to belong to Hong Kong finally crystallized.

Weaving together memoir, cultural criticism, and reportage, The Impossible City transcends borders to chart the parallel journeys of both a young woman and a city as they navigate the various, sometimes contradictory, paths of coming into one’s own.

Description from Goodreads.

“In a book that should appeal to young protesters everywhere, the author eloquently demonstrates how ‘it takes work not to simply pass through a place but instead to become part of it.’ Hong Kong is in dire straits, and Cheung brings us to the front lines to offer a clearer understanding of the circumstances… A powerful memoir of love and anguish in a cold financial capital with an underbelly of vibrant, freedom-loving youth.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Spanning over 20 years, Cheung’s debut memoir examines her tumultuous childhood and young adulthood in Hong Kong. It tragically juxtaposes the author’s severe depression with the disintegration of democracy in Hong Kong, depicting a heartrending destruction of Hongkongese cultural identity… An outstanding contribution for any library about one personal experience of political upheaval in Hong Kong.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“English-language readers might not find a book that more fully captures Hong Kong in such visceral detail and humanity as Cheung’s, from its tragic political history to its hierarchical educational system, its woeful mental-health-care system, its failure to provide affordable housing to its people, its stultifying Confucian family ethos, and its heroic but embattled arts scene… It’s a grim status report, to be sure, but Cheung doesn’t quite let go of hope for that extraordinary city.” – Booklist

Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age by  Dennis Duncan

Nonfiction / History.

Most of us give little thought to the back of the book—it’s just where you go to look things up. But here is the secret world of the index: an unsung but extraordinary everyday tool, with an illustrious but little-known history.

Charting its curious path from the monasteries and universities of thirteenth-century Europe to Silicon Valley in the twenty-first, Dennis Duncan reveals how the index has saved heretics from the stake, kept politicians from high office, and made us all into the readers we are today. We follow it through German print shops and Enlightenment coffee houses, novelists’ living rooms and university laboratories, encountering emperors and popes, philosophers and prime ministers, poets, librarians, and—of course—indexers along the way. Duncan reveals the vast role of the index in our evolving literary and intellectual culture, and he shows that in the Age of Search we are all index-rakers at heart.

Description from Goodreads.

“[A] witty and wide-ranging study… [Duncan] is adventurous as well, often writing as if academic research were as revved-up as a Formula One race.” – The Guardian

“Dennis Duncan’s fascinating study of the origins of the index offers subversion, whimsy ― and hope.” – Financial Times

“Sparkles with geeky wit and shines with an infectious enthusiasm… Always erudite, frequently funny, and often surprising―a treat for lovers of the book qua book.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Loss of Memory Is Only Temporary: Stories by  Joanna Kaplan


Johanna Kaplan’s beautifully written stories first burst on the literary scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today they have retained all of their depth, surprise, and humor–their simultaneously scathing, hilarious, and compassionate insight into character and behavior. From Miriam, home from school with the measles, to Louise, the daughter of a family that fled Vienna for the Dominican Republic, to Naomi, a young psychiatrist, her heroines are fierce, tender, funny, and cuttingly smart.

At once specific to a particular period, place, and milieu–mainly, Jewish New York in the decades after World War II–Kaplan’s stories resonate with universal significance. In this new collection, which includes both early and later stories, unforgettably vivid characters are captured in all of their forceful presence and singularity, their foolishness and their wisdom, their venality and their nobility, while, hovering in the background, the inexorable passage of time and the unending pull of memory render silent judgment.

In its pitch-perfect command of dialogue matched with interwoven subtleties of insight and feeling and a masterful control of language, Loss of Memory Is Only Temporary is itself a timeless collection of the finest work by one of the most extraordinary talents of our age.

Description from Goodreads.

“This reissue seems likely to find [Kaplan] a new set of fans… Snarky young ladies are timeless. Plus, the dialogue is to die for.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A joy of discovery attends the publication of Johanna Kaplan’s Loss of Memory is Only Temporary (Ecco)—a volume that gathers her cacophonous, mordantly funny stories from the 1960s and ‘70s (and includes the contents of her prized debut, Other People’s Lives)… It fizzes with the urbane energy of J.D. Salinger, Grace Paley, and Deborah Eisenberg—a restless delight.” – Vogue

“Kaplan’s incisive attention to detail matches her gift for conveying the mysterious mesh of physicality and consciousness, while her characters’ predicaments are at once ordinary and profound, specific yet universal in their illumination of inheritance, loss, exile, and generational divides.” – Booklist

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by  Allison Pataki

Fiction / Historical Fiction.

Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you… So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard–even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweather Post lived an epic life few could imagine.

Marjorie’s journey began gluing cereal boxes in her father’s barn as a young girl. No one could have predicted that C. W. Post’s Cereal Company would grow into the General Foods empire and reshape the American way of life, with Marjorie as its heiress and leading lady. Not content to stay in her prescribed roles of high-society wife, mother, and hostess, Marjorie dared to demand more, making history in the process. Before turning thirty she amassed millions, becoming the wealthiest woman in the United States. But it was her life-force, advocacy, passion, and adventurous spirit that led to her stunning legacy.

And yet Marjorie’s story, though full of beauty and grandeur, set in the palatial homes she built such as Mar-a-Lago, was equally marked by challenge and tumult. A wife four times over, Marjorie sought her happily-ever-after with the blue-blooded party boy who could not outrun his demons, the charismatic financier whose charm turned to betrayal, the international diplomat with a dark side, and the bon vivant whose shocking secrets would shake Marjorie and all of society. Marjorie did everything on a grand scale, especially when it came to love.

Bestselling and acclaimed author Allison Pataki has crafted an intimate portrait of a larger-than-life woman, a powerful story of one woman falling in love with her own voice and embracing her own power while shaping history in the process.

Description from Goodreads.

“A character study of a larger-than-life character whose truth was most certainly stranger than fiction, and whose influence can still be felt today.” – Town & Country

The Maiden of All Our Desires by  Peter Manseau

Fiction / Historical Fiction.

Fourteenth-century Europe. The Black Death has killed half the known world, and in an isolated convent, a small group of nuns spends their days in work, austerity, and devotion, chanting the Liturgy of the Hours. But their community is threatened. Rumors of heresy and a scandalous Book of Ursula, based on the teachings of the charismatic former abbess and founder of the order, have prompted the male church hierarchy to launch an investigation. The priest assigned to minister to the nuns, Father Francis, who is wracked by guilt for an unspeakable crime committed during the lawless plague years, was no friend of Ursula and can’t be counted on to defend the order. Disrespect and rebellion infect some novices, and the youngest among them pines for the bishop’s chief inquisitor. And Mother John, the convent’s aging spiritual leader, fears she’s losing her mind after experiencing a vision that brings back her own rebellious past.

As events unfold over the course of a single day, a blizzard that has swept across Europe will break over the convent, endangering the women there and testing their faith. In this astonishing novel, the author of the award-winning Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter explores the territory between faith and freedom, and how the horrific events of history shape individual lives.

Description from Goodreads.

“Evoking both Umberto Eco and Lauren Groff, The Maiden of All Our Desires unfolds in a single day at a convent during the 14th-century Black Death, in which issues of belief and heresy are engaged, and the individual must face the enormity of history.” – The Millions

Meet Me in the Margins by  Melissa Ferguson

Fiction / Romance.

Savannah Cade is a low-level editor at Pennington Publishing, a prestigious publisher producing only the highest of highbrow titles. And while editing the latest edition of The Anthology of Medieval Didactic Poetry may be her day job, she has two secrets she’s hiding.

One: She’s writing a romance novel.

Two: She’s discovered the Book Nook—a secret room in the publishing house where she finds inspiration for her “lowbrow” hobby.

After leaving her manuscript behind one afternoon, she returns to the nook only to discover someone has written notes in the margins. Savannah’s first response to the criticism is defensive, but events transpire that force her to admit that she needs the help of this shadowy editor after all. As the notes take a turn for the romantic, and as Savannah’s madcap life gets more complicated than ever, she uses the process of elimination to identify her mysterious editor—only to discover that what she truly wants and what she should want just might not be the same. Melissa Ferguson’s latest—a love letter to books, readers, and romance—will leave fans laughing out loud and swooning in the same breath.

Description from Goodreads.

“Ferguson enchants with this whimsical tale set against the evergreen culture war between literary and commercial fiction… An idealistic, competent heroine, a swoon-worthy hero, and delightfully quirky supporting characters bolster this often hilarious send up of the publishing industry, which doubles as a love letter to the power of stories. This is sure to win Ferguson some new fans.” – Publishers Weekly

“[An] ode to literature–romantic and otherwise–with a sweet heroine who will delight readers while on her journey to becoming her truest self and finding love along the way.” – Harlequin Junkie

Moon Witch, Spider King by  Marlon James ★

Fiction / Fantasy.

In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sogolon the Moon Witch proved a worthy adversary to Tracker as they clashed across a mythical African landscape in search of a mysterious boy who disappeared. In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened to the boy, and how she plotted and fought, triumphed and failed as she looked for him. It’s also the story of a century-long feud—seen through the eyes of a 177-year-old witch—that Sogolon had with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. It is said that Aesi works so closely with the king that together they are like the eight limbs of one spider. Aesi’s power is considerable—and deadly. It takes brains and courage to challenge him, which Sogolon does for reasons of her own.

Both a brilliant narrative device—seeing the story told in Black Leopard, Red Wolf from the perspective of an adversary and a woman—as well as a fascinating battle between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man, it is a fascinating novel that explores power, personality, and the places where they overlap.

Description from Goodreads.

“Moving, vivid, and thought-provoking, this second book is, if anything, even more brilliant than the first.” – BuzzFeed

“James masterfully flips the first installment on its head… Through Sogolon’s roving journeys across landscapes and decades, James makes the mythic tantalizingly real. Pick up this titanic story of empire, adventure, and power to see why the trilogy has earned the title ‘the African Game of Thrones.’” – Esquire

“Brilliant… If book one centers on the nature of storytelling, this volume turns its focus to memory, archiving, and history as Sogolon works to correct the record. The two stories run parallel to and contradict each other, and James mines the distance between them to raise powerful questions about whether truth is possible when the power of storytelling is available only to a few. This is a tour de force.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“If Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a penciled comic panel, Moon Witch, Spider King is the version rendered by James the inker: the geography, myth, magic, and people of this epic setting are revisited to add shading and detail in a recursive procedure that results in a vibrant tapestry begging for infinite return trips.” – Booklist

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water: An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees by  Matthieu Aikins

Nonfiction / Memoir / Current Events.

In 2016, a young Afghan driver and translator named Omar makes the heart-wrenching choice to flee his war-torn country, saying goodbye to Laila, the love of his life, without knowing when they might be reunited again. He is one of millions of refugees who leave their homes that year.

Matthieu Aikins, a journalist living in Kabul, decides to follow his friend. In order to do so, he must leave his own passport and identity behind to go underground on the refugee trail with Omar. Their odyssey across land and sea from Afghanistan to Europe brings them face to face with the people at heart of the migration crisis: smugglers, cops, activists, and the men, women and children fleeing war in search of a better life. As setbacks and dangers mount for the two friends, Matthieu is also drawn into the escape plans of Omar’s entire family, including Maryam, the matriarch who has fought ferociously for her children’s survival.

Harrowing yet hopeful, this exceptional work brings into sharp focus one of the most contentious issues of our times. The Naked Don’t Fear the Water is a tale of love and friendship across borders, and an inquiry into our shared journey in a divided world.

Description from Goodreads.

“Riveting… The book shines a humane spotlight on many of the people the author met along the way as well as on the role chance played in their fates, with particularly moving chapters on life within the Greek refugee camp. The narrative is scrupulous and often suspenseful.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Timely, personal, and deeply human, this is a riveting look at the struggles of refugees, one of the world’s most enduring crises.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“This is a magnificent book… Aikins writes an absorbing record of an amazing adventure, framed by sympathy with Afghan lives… A beautifully written individual story made more meaningful by thoughtful and well-informed insights into a country ravaged by war… Highly recommended.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

New Animal by  Ella Naxter


Amelia Aurelia is approaching thirty and her closest relationships ― other than her mother ― are through her dating apps. She works at the family mortuary business as a cosmetic mortician with her eccentric stepfather and older brother, whose throuple’s current preoccupation is with what type of snake to adopt. When Amelia’s affectionate mother passes away without warning, she is left without anchor. Fleeing the funeral, she seeks solace with her birth-father in Tasmania and stumbles into the local BDSM community, where her riotous attempts to belong are met with confusion, shock, and empathy.

Hilarious and heartfelt, New Animal reveals hard-won truths as Amelia struggles to find her place in the world without her mother, with the help of her two well-intentioned fathers and adventures at the kink club.

Description from Goodreads.

“In her incredible debut, Baxter combines dark humor with a complex protagonist and bold narration to both astound and devastate her readers. Amelia is a memorable heroine who is raw with grief as she struggles with and explores the paradox of finding harmony in the dichotomy of life and death.” – Booklist

“While this novel is peppered with scenes in kink clubs and the macabre of Amelia’s profession ― and is also, in places obscenely funny ― this is a story of a young woman who has to figure out how to live without her mother and has to also understand how her two dads will put aside their differences to hold her through the loss of the woman they both loved. There is fiction about grief and then there is Ella Baxter’s New Animal. Truly stunning.” – BuzzFeed

“Baxter’s prose is a living thing, wild and snarling, its jagged claws and honed teeth unforgiving and relentless. Amelia stokes empathy as a woman seeking absolution down dead ends. Her codependency and repression are addressed in frank terms―’Other people have always been the canary in the mine for me’―and every beat of dark comedy is paired with an empathetic wince as Amelia forces herself past her limits. New Animal is at turns graphic, disturbing, and tender―in other words: human.” – Foreword Reviews

Our American Friend by  Anna Pitoniak ★

Fiction / Historical Fiction / Mystery / Suspense.

Tired of covering the grating dysfunction of Washington and the increasingly outrageous antics of President Henry Caine, White House correspondent Sofie Morse quits her job and plans to leave politics behind. But when she gets a call from the office of First Lady Lara Caine, asking Sofie to come in for a private meeting with Lara, her curiosity is piqued. Sofie, like the rest of the world, knows little about Lara—only that Lara was born in Soviet Russia, raised in Paris, and worked as a model before moving to America and marrying the notoriously brash future president.

When Lara asks Sofie to write her official biography, and to finally fill in the gaps of her history, Sofie’s curiosity gets the better of her. She begins to spend more and more time in the White House, slowly developing a bond with Lara—and eventually a deep and surprising friendship with her.

Even more surprising to Sofie is the fact that Lara is entirely candid about her mysterious past. The First Lady doesn’t hesitate to speak about her beloved father’s work as an undercover KGB officer in Paris—and how he wasn’t the only person in her family working undercover during the Cold War.

As Lara’s story unfolds, Sofie can’t help but wonder why Lara is rehashing such sensitive information. Why to her? And why now? Suddenly Sofie is in the middle of a game of cat and mouse that could have explosive ramifications.

For fans of The Secrets We Kept and American Wife, Our American Friend is a propulsive Cold War-era spy thriller crossed with a fictional biography of a First Lady. Spanning from the 1970s to the present day, traveling from Moscow and Paris to Washington and New York, Anna Pitoniak’s novel is a gripping page-turner—and a devastating love story—about power and complicity and how sometimes, the fate of the world is in the hands of the people you’d never expect.

Description from Goodreads.

“Wholly original.” – Entertainment Weekly

“A surprising tale of international intrigue… A smart, timely take on American politics, Soviet spy craft, and the lengths we’ll go to for love and revenge.” – Town & Country

“An enthralling journey into the life of one of the most powerful women in the world… Exploring interpersonal loyalties and the difference between cowardice and patience, the well-researched and twist-filled Our American Friend is a natural next-read for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld, A. Natasha Joukovsky, and Stacey Swann.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“This lively political thriller mulls love, loyalty, and the rewards of playing the long game.” – Kirkus Reviews

A Perfect Equation by  Elizabeth Everett

Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction.

Six years ago, Miss Letitia Fenley made a mistake, and she’s lived with the consequences ever since. Readying herself to compete for the prestigious Rosewood Prize for Mathematics, she is suddenly asked to take on another responsibility—managing Athena’s Retreat, a secret haven for England’s women scientists. Having spent the last six years on her own, Letty doesn’t want the offers of friendship from other club members and certainly doesn’t need any help from the insufferably attractive Lord Greycliff.

Lord William Hughes, the Viscount Greycliff cannot afford to make any mistakes. His lifelong dream of becoming the director of a powerful clandestine agency is within his grasp. Tasked with helping Letty safeguard Athena’s Retreat, Grey is positive that he can control the antics of the various scientists as well as manage the tiny mathematician—despite their historic animosity and simmering tension.

As Grey and Letty are forced to work together, their mutual dislike turns to admiration and eventually to something… magnetic. When faced with the possibility that Athena’s Retreat will close forever, they must make a choice. Will Grey turn down a chance to change history, or can Letty get to the root of the problem and prove that love is the ultimate answer?

Description from Goodreads.

“Splendidly entertaining… detonates with an ingeniously orchestrated display of wit and whimsy that dazzlingly celebrates the importance of both STEM research and love in a lady’s life.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Enchanting… the characters’ intense chemistry keeps the pages flying. This is a winner.” – Publishers Weekly

“The second book in Everett’s Secret Scientists of London series stands out among recent feminist historical romances thanks to a fierce enemies-to-lovers plotline and a sexual tension that is built slowly and expertly.” – Kirkus Reviews

Pure Colour by  Sheila Heti ★


Here we are, just living in the first draft of Creation, which was made by some great artist, who is now getting ready to tear it apart.

In this first draft of the world, a woman named Mira leaves home to study. There, she meets Annie, whose tremendous power opens Mira’s chest like a portal—to what, she doesn’t know. When Mira is older, her beloved father dies, and his spirit passes into her. Together, they become a leaf on a tree. But photosynthesis gets boring, and being alive is a problem that cannot be solved, even by a leaf. Eventually, Mira must remember the human world she’s left behind, including Annie, and choose whether or not to return.

Description from Goodreads.

“Heti’s latest is that rarest of novels—as alien as a moon rock and every bit as wondrous.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Pure Colour has an intricate philosophical superstructure… [it] runs its readers along a borderline of substance and hallucination… she has a way of turning metaphysics to her advantage. There are moments in this novel that might remind you of the scene in The Real Thing, the Tom Stoppard play, when a character shakes a souvenir snow globe and a snowstorm fills the entire stage. Just like that, there’s magic.” – New York Times

Pure Colour has been written as if to foreclose literal-minded misapprehension. It is an explicitly mystical book about the creation of art and the creation of the universe, about the death of a father and the death of ego, about the uses and abuses of doubt. And it is written in a register that is so involute and so new for this writer that it demands bespoke criteria.” – The New Yorker

“A philosophical novel that tackles questions including the mystery of creation and the demands of art and life after death might sound ponderous, but in Pure Colour, Canadian writer Sheila Heti approaches these weighty topics with an inquisitive yet playful touch that invites her readers to reflect on them with new eyes… For all its musings on theology, cosmology and art… Pure Colour is at heart a story about love and the precious quality of our human connections. It’s a challenging novel that beckons brave readers to follow it along its winding trail.” – Shelf Awareness

Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space edited by  Zoraida Córdova

Fiction / Young Adult / Fantasy / Science Fiction.

Reclaim the Stars is a collection of bestselling and acclaimed YA authors that take the Latin American diaspora to places fantastical and out of this world. From princesses warring in space, to the all too-near devastation of climate change, to haunting ghost stories in Argentina, and mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean. This is science fiction and fantasy that breaks borders and realms, and proves that stories are truly universal.

Authors include Daniel José Older, Yamile Saied Méndez, Anna-Marie McLemore, Mark Oshiro, Romina Garber, David Bowles, Lilliam Rivera, Claribel Ortega, Isabel Ibañez, Sara Faring, Maya Motayne, Nina Moreno, Vita Ayala, J.C. Cervantes, Circe Moskowitz, Linda Nieves Pérez, and Zoraida Córdova.

Description from Goodreads.

“Those reading… will be overjoyed to venture to distant lands and times with these distinct, imaginative
tales.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Magnetic and artfully curated… [A] visionary anthology.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“There is a little something for everyone in this powerful, essential anthology.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us by  Danielle J. Lindemann

Nonfiction / Sociology / Pop Culture / Television / History.

What do we see when we watch reality television?

In True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us, the sociologist and TV-lover Danielle J. Lindemann takes a long, hard look in the “funhouse mirror” of this genre. From the first episodes of The Real World to countless rose ceremonies to the White House, reality TV has not just remade our entertainment and cultural landscape (which it undeniably has). Reality TV, Lindemann argues, uniquely reflects our everyday experiences and social topography back to us. Applying scholarly research—including studies of inequality, culture, and deviance—to specific shows, Lindemann layers sharp insights with social theory, humor, pop cultural references, and anecdotes from her own life to show us who we really are.

By taking reality TV seriously, True Story argues, we can better understand key institutions (like families, schools, and prisons) and broad social constructs (such as gender, race, class, and sexuality). From The Bachelor to Real Housewives to COPS and more (so much more!), reality programming unveils the major circuits of power that organize our lives—and the extent to which our own realities are, in fact, socially constructed.

Whether we’re watching conniving Survivor contestants or three-year-old beauty queens, these “guilty pleasures” underscore how conservative our society remains, and how steadfastly we cling to our notions about who or what counts as legitimate or “real.” At once an entertaining chronicle of reality TV obsession and a pioneering work of sociology, True Story holds up a mirror to our society: the reflection may not always be pretty—but we can’t look away.

Description from Goodreads.

“[A] sharp sociological analysis of how race, gender, and class intersect within the genre.” – Literary Hub

“[An] insightful study… [Lindemann] makes astute points by tracing the history of the genre all the way back to MTV’s The Real World in 1992, and offering analysis of popular shows such as Survivor, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and the Real Housewives franchise… [True Story] takes the guilt out of a popular guilty pleasure.” – Publishers Weekly

“Balancing the authority of a scholar with the spirit of a fan, she explores representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality within the genre, recognizing reality television for the ‘funhouse mirror’ it is while resisting the pull to pass judgment on those of us who, like herself, understand the appeal of indulging in the distortion.” – Vulture

Watergate: A New History by  Garrett M. Graff

Nonfiction / History / Politics.

In the early hours of June 17, 1972, a security guard named Frank Wills entered six words into the log book of the Watergate office complex that would change the course of history: 1:47 AM Found tape on doors; call police.

The five ​men—Virgilio Gonzalez, Bernard Baker, James McCord, Eugenio Martinez, and Frank Sturgis—arrested and charged with attempted burglary that night kicked off the biggest scandal in American politics. Over the next two years, that single thwarted break-in would lead to dozens more arrests, an alleged kidnapping, FBI and congressional investigations, a Senate hearing, and bombshell testimonies from the highest levels of political power that ultimately would reveal a cover-up, sink a vice-president and a half-dozen Cabinet officials, lead to the jailing of an FBI director, end a presidency, and alter our views of moral authority and leadership. Watergate defined a decade, and a nation.

And yet, recent revelations like the release of more Nixon tapes and the identity of “Deep Throat” himself, means that the full story has never been told from start to finish.

Now, in Watergate, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Garrett M. Graff explores the full sweep of the scandal that would come to define all others, from the release of The Pentagon Papers in 1971—the first signs of trouble for the White House—and the 1972 DNC break-in to the denials, trials, hearings, and eventual downfall of the Nixon Administration three years later—the implications of which we still feel today. Watergate, Graff shows, is a much bigger and much weirder story than America remembers. Along the way, he introduces a vibrant cast of characters, including the psychologically tortured President and his doomed inner circle, special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski, the Congressional committees led by Sam Ervin and Peter Rodino, groundbreaking reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and Mark Felt, an Associate Director of the FBI who would conceal his identity for decades behind the name “Deep Throat,” as well as a host of others whose involvement has been forgotten—from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to a young impeachment aide named Hillary Rodham.

Grippingly told, meticulously researched, and featuring new details and never-told stories, Watergate is the defining, behind-the-scenes look at the era that upended the course of American politics—and life—as we knew it.

Description from Goodreads.

“A brisk, riveting, compulsively readable, comprehensive, up-to-date narrative of the entire tangled affair, and it’s hard to imagine it better told… Now the best and fullest account of the Watergate crisis, one unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Expertly researched and assembled, this is a valuable introduction to one of history’s greatest political scandals… Graff skillfully interweaves the perspectives of journalists and law enforcement officials investigating the Watergate break-in with the Nixon team’s attempts to ‘use the organs of government to cover up their own rogue operation,’ and incisively analyzes how the congressional inquiry into the scandal resulted in Democrats and Republicans coming together to uphold the Constitution and limit the powers of the president.” – Publishers Weekly

Where I Can’t Follow by  Ashley Blooms

Fiction / Fantasy.

Maren Walker told herself she wouldn’t need to sell pills for long, that it was only means to an end. But that end seems to be stretching as far away as the other side of Blackdamp County, Kentucky. There’s always another bill for Granny’s doctor, another problem with the car, another reason she’s getting nowhere.

She dreams of walking through her little door to leave it all behind. The doors have appeared to the people in her mountain town for as long as anyone can remember, though no one knows where they lead. All anyone knows is that if you go, you’ll never come back.

Maren’s mother left through her door when Maren was nine, and her shadow has followed Maren ever since. When she faces the possibility of escaping her struggles for good, Maren must choose just what kind of future she wants to build.

From critically acclaimed author Ashley Blooms, Where I Can’t Follow explores the forces that hold people in place, and how they adapt, survive, and struggle to love a place that doesn’t always love them back.

Description from Goodreads.

“…intriguing… emotional and personal… beautifully portrays the tug of war between wanting to go and being unable to leave. Life isn’t supposed to be a plateau, it has its ups and downs. This book explores what makes life worth it and the role relationships and support systems play in everyday living, no matter how hard everyday living may be.” – The Nerd Daily


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