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  • Jeff Somers 9:00 pm on 2019/03/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , international fiction   

    15 Newly Translated Novels You Need to Read in 2019 


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    It’s easy to fall into the trap of reading nothing but American authors—maybe with a few Brits mixed in for good measure. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with reading what you know and love—but part of the reason we read is to glean a wider understanding of the world, and there’s no better way than to read brilliant books by writers from around the world.

    Here are 15 newly translated international novels to add to your reading list in 2019.

    Argentina: 77, by Guillermo Saccomanno

    Saccomanno’s novel is set in Buenos Aires in 1977, during the nightmarish rule of dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, and tells the story of Gómez, a closeted gay man who works as a teacher. Gómez lives in fear of his sexuality being found out, and with good reason: people are being disappeared by the government regularly, and homosexuals are a particular target. As he descends into a Kafka-esque state of permanent paranoia that parallels Argentina’s descent into chaos, the novel delves into difficult questions about what right and wrong even mean when bare-knuckle survival is the best you can hope for.

    Sweden: Acts of Infidelity, by Lena Andersson

    Andersson’s acerbic, sharp-witted novel puts the lie to stereotypes about aloof, chilly Swedes, exploring the heated, constrained relationship between Ester Nilsson and and the actor Olof Sten. Ester enters into an affair with the married man with her eyes open—Olof is up front about the fact that he never plans on leaving his wife. But as their affair unfolds in fits and starts over the course of years, Ester has to wrestle with the fact that on some level, she always thought she’d be more than just someone’s mistress. Ester and Olof are the stuff of great characters: fascinating people engaged in terrible behavior.

    Thailand: Bright, by Duanwad Pimwana

    Amazingly, this is the first novel by a Thai woman to ever be translated into English. Kampol is five years old when his father leads him to some sketchy apartment buildings and tells him to wait for him. The young boys does, but his father never returns, and soon he has been adopted by the locals in the desperately poor part of town. As he’s raised by the shopkeepers and neighbors who can barely afford to feed their own children, much less an abandoned boy, Kampol faces poverty and the crushing loneliness that comes with being left behind by the only family you ever knew. Kampol’s journey to adulthood provides a glimpse into not just another culture, but another way of seeing the world.

    Syria: Death is Hard Work, by Khaled Khalifa

    Literature is alive in Syria, even after years of horrifying civil war—and this novel’s award-winning author, Khaled Khalifa, yet lives in Damascus, despite the pervasive danger. This novel tells the story of three siblings who struggle to honor their father’s deathbed wish to be buried next to his sister in their childhood home. Placing his body in the back of a van, they set off across war-torn Syria, risking everything as they encounter unspeakable violence, corruption, and lawlessness as their father’s body rots right there in the vehicle with them. It’s a moving novel that provides a clear-eye vision of what ordinary people face everyday in one of the most turbulent corners of the world.

    France: League of Spies, by Robert Merle

    Novels-in-translation need not be weighty tomes. Merle’s famous Fortunes of France series, thirteen novels strong, is filled with action and intrigue. They follow the exploits of 17th-century doctor Pierre de Siorac, who becomes a spy amidst the disruption of religious wars in Europe. The word “swashbuckling” goes a long way toward describing these fun, flawlessly-executed adventure stories, which are only now being translated into English after selling like gangbusters in their home country. There’s another great story off the page: Merle wrote the first book when he was 77, and finished the final volume when he was 95. C’est si bon.

    China: Life, by Lu Yao

    If you’ve been paying attention to science fiction in recent years, you know that Chinese writers have been storming into English markets with gusto—so why not other genres? Yao published just two novels in his lifetime, but they were incredibly influential in China. Life captures the chaos, energy, and upheaval of the country in the 1980s, the beginning of a vast cultural and economic transformation whose scope is only now becoming apparent. Gao Jialin is happy with his lot in life as a schoolteacher in a small, rural village. When corrupt officials cost him his job, the disillusioned Gao follows in the footsteps of millions of others from rural China, and leaves the country behind to try his luck in the city. What happens to him next is a grand story of personal courage and cultural surprise.

    Japan: Star, by Yukio Mishima

    This 1961 novel is finally getting the translation it has so long deserved. The psychologically complex story of Rikio Mizuno, young star of a series of gangster films, is based in part on Mishima’s own experiences as an actor. Mizuno revels in his fame and has a singular ability to disappear into his role, but the always-on life of a famous actor wears on him, and over the course of the novel he begins to lose his grip. The question of whether we are what people see us to be, or if there’s an ineffable us inside, impervious to outside perception, is a fascinating one, rendered with a skill that manages to make Mizuno sympathetic despite his dissatisfaction at having every advantage the modern world can offer. This is a landmark novel of 20th century Japan, and you no longer have to learn Japanese to read it.

    Russia: The Coronation, by Boris Akunin

    If you thought Americans and Brits had a monopoly on sharp historical mysteries, we’d like to introduce you to gentleman detective Erast Petrovich Fandorin. As Moscow prepares for the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duke Georgii Alexandrovich’s daughter Xenia is the subject of an attempted kidnapping, soon foiled by Fandorin. In the confusion, the Grand Duke’s other child, Mikhail, is taken. The ransom demanded for the young prince is the Orlov diamond, priceless and necessary for the coronation ceremony—and the kidnapper, Fandorin suspects, is international mastermind Dr. Lind. Fast-paced and whip-smart, this is a fantastic thriller in any language.

    South Korea: The White Book, by Han Kang

    Kang won the 2016 International Man Booker Prize for The Vegetarian, and The White Book was shortlisted for the same honor last year. With a singularly sparse literary style, Kang explores the many meanings attached to the color white (notably the color of mourning in his native Korea) as a writer imagines the older sister he never knew, who died within minutes of being born. As she mixes her present-day explorations with memories of her childhood, always clouded by the knowledge that she lived when her sister died, the phantom sibling becomes almost a real person, someone whose death allowed the writer to live. It’s a beautiful, quiet novel of regret.

    France: Pretty Things, by Virginie Despentes

    This is a fierce, unsettling story explores issues of feminism, femininity, the male gaze, and identity. Claudine and Pauline are twin sisters brought up by abusive parents who often set them against one another. Claudine has leaned into her good looks, and hopes to use her beauty to become a famous singer—the one major obstacle being that she can’t carry a tune. Pauline can sing, beautifully, but has downplayed her looks. She travels to Paris at her crude, loud sister’s request, but when Claudine commits suicide, Pauline steps into her twin’s life. She soon learns that being perceived as beautiful is more of a trap than she suspected, as the deception reveals things about herself that she would rather not know.

    Norway: T Singer, by Dag Solstad

    Written in 1999 and released in translation last year, this novel is a good starting point for Solstad, one of Norway’s premiere writers. The titular Singer is a man retreating from the world—slowly at first, then with increasing speed. In-between the myriad events of his life (becoming a small-town librarian, then a millionaire; getting married and gaining a stepdaughter), Singer falls into lengthy obsessions that play out as extended monologues that sharply explore what it’s like to be trapped inside your own head.

    South Korea: The Plotters, by Un-su Kim

    This surreal thriller follows an assassin named Reseng, found as an orphan and raised by a Fagin-esque man nicknamed the Old Raccoon, whose home, the Library, teems with contract killers. Reseng and those like him are directed by the Plotters, and invisible, secret cabal. When Reseng makes a mistake and upsets a carefully orchestrated plot, he’ll have to decide if he’s content to remain a pawn, or if he wants to take control. The books is also a commentary on a modern world in which people we’ll never meet make decisions that can devastate our lives, with zero responsibility or accountability.

    Chile: The Spirit of Science Fiction, by Roberto Bolaño

    Bolaño, who died in 2003, remains a towering literary figure, and any “new” work of his appearing in translation is worthy of note. This novel was written in 1984 and subsequently  “lost.” On the one hand, it’s easy to see why: the story of two writers pursuing literary fame  along separate paths is an obvious precursor to the later (and superior) classic The Savage Detectives. On the other hand, even early, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time Bolaño is guaranteed to be worthwhile. This work—more a series of brilliant riffs than a narrative—is fitfully brilliant. Jan pursues writing in solitude, serious and curious; Remo plays at being a writer without actually writing much, but practices social climbing along the way. Somewhere between them is a truth, if only they can manage to discover it. This is either a perfect complement to Bolaño’s later work, or a perfect introduction to a brilliant author.

    Denmark: The Summer of Ellen, by Agnete Friis

    Friis offers up a spellbinding mystery totally in step the growing dialog about toxic masculinity and the price we all pay for indulging it. Jacob is in the depths of an alcoholic depression in Copenhagen, drinking his way through a terrible divorce. He is invited by his elderly uncle Anton to come back to the old farm where Jacob spent his summers, but this isn’t to be a pleasurable visit—Anton, in his nineties, wants to put an old mystery to rest. In the summer of 1978, Jacob was obsessed with his beautiful, free-spirited cousin Ellen who came to stay with Anton and his brother Anders—and Anton wants to know the answer to a simple question: what happened to Ellen that summer? It’s a deep dive into dark places.

    Zimbabwe: House of Stone, by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

    If you’re living in a stable (if imperfect) society, be thankful—not all countries are peaceful, or safe. In Zimbabwe, much is in turmoil. Against this backdrop of chaos, a teenager named Bukhosi goes missing. His family’s lodger, Zamani, becomes their greatest help in a horrible moment, working tirelessly to hand out fliers, hang posters, and take part in vigils. But Zamani wants more than to help—he seems to want to become part of the family, to absorb and appropriate their history and past for himself. Drowning in grief and alcohol, Bukhosi’s parents are vulnerable, and Zamani moves inexorably towards his goals.

    What other works in translation are you excited about this year?

    The post 15 Newly Translated Novels You Need to Read in 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 9:00 pm on 2019/03/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , international fiction, novels in translation   

    15 Newly Translated Novels You Need to Read in 2019 


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    It’s easy to fall into the trap of reading nothing but American authors—maybe with a few Brits mixed in for good measure. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with reading what you know and love—but part of the reason we read is to glean a wider understanding of the world, and there’s no better way than to read brilliant books by writers from around the world.

    Here are 15 newly translated international novels to add to your reading list in 2019.

    Argentina: 77, by Guillermo Saccomanno

    Saccomanno’s novel is set in Buenos Aires in 1977, during the nightmarish rule of dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, and tells the story of Gómez, a closeted gay man who works as a teacher. Gómez lives in fear of his sexuality being found out, and with good reason: people are being disappeared by the government regularly, and homosexuals are a particular target. As he descends into a Kafka-esque state of permanent paranoia that parallels Argentina’s descent into chaos, the novel delves into difficult questions about what right and wrong even mean when bare-knuckle survival is the best you can hope for.

    Sweden: Acts of Infidelity, by Lena Andersson

    Andersson’s acerbic, sharp-witted novel puts the lie to stereotypes about aloof, chilly Swedes, exploring the heated, constrained relationship between Ester Nilsson and and the actor Olof Sten. Ester enters into an affair with the married man with her eyes open—Olof is up front about the fact that he never plans on leaving his wife. But as their affair unfolds in fits and starts over the course of years, Ester has to wrestle with the fact that on some level, she always thought she’d be more than just someone’s mistress. Ester and Olof are the stuff of great characters: fascinating people engaged in terrible behavior.

    Thailand: Bright, by Duanwad Pimwana

    Amazingly, this is the first novel by a Thai woman to ever be translated into English. Kampol is five years old when his father leads him to some sketchy apartment buildings and tells him to wait for him. The young boys does, but his father never returns, and soon he has been adopted by the locals in the desperately poor part of town. As he’s raised by the shopkeepers and neighbors who can barely afford to feed their own children, much less an abandoned boy, Kampol faces poverty and the crushing loneliness that comes with being left behind by the only family you ever knew. Kampol’s journey to adulthood provides a glimpse into not just another culture, but another way of seeing the world.

    Syria: Death is Hard Work, by Khaled Khalifa

    Literature is alive in Syria, even after years of horrifying civil war—and this novel’s award-winning author, Khaled Khalifa, yet lives in Damascus, despite the pervasive danger. This novel tells the story of three siblings who struggle to honor their father’s deathbed wish to be buried next to his sister in their childhood home. Placing his body in the back of a van, they set off across war-torn Syria, risking everything as they encounter unspeakable violence, corruption, and lawlessness as their father’s body rots right there in the vehicle with them. It’s a moving novel that provides a clear-eye vision of what ordinary people face everyday in one of the most turbulent corners of the world.

    France: League of Spies, by Robert Merle

    Novels-in-translation need not be weighty tomes. Merle’s famous Fortunes of France series, thirteen novels strong, is filled with action and intrigue. They follow the exploits of 17th-century doctor Pierre de Siorac, who becomes a spy amidst the disruption of religious wars in Europe. The word “swashbuckling” goes a long way toward describing these fun, flawlessly-executed adventure stories, which are only now being translated into English after selling like gangbusters in their home country. There’s another great story off the page: Merle wrote the first book when he was 77, and finished the final volume when he was 95. C’est si bon.

    China: Life, by Lu Yao

    If you’ve been paying attention to science fiction in recent years, you know that Chinese writers have been storming into English markets with gusto—so why not other genres? Yao published just two novels in his lifetime, but they were incredibly influential in China. Life captures the chaos, energy, and upheaval of the country in the 1980s, the beginning of a vast cultural and economic transformation whose scope is only now becoming apparent. Gao Jialin is happy with his lot in life as a schoolteacher in a small, rural village. When corrupt officials cost him his job, the disillusioned Gao follows in the footsteps of millions of others from rural China, and leaves the country behind to try his luck in the city. What happens to him next is a grand story of personal courage and cultural surprise.

    Japan: Star, by Yukio Mishima

    This 1961 novel is finally getting the translation it has so long deserved. The psychologically complex story of Rikio Mizuno, young star of a series of gangster films, is based in part on Mishima’s own experiences as an actor. Mizuno revels in his fame and has a singular ability to disappear into his role, but the always-on life of a famous actor wears on him, and over the course of the novel he begins to lose his grip. The question of whether we are what people see us to be, or if there’s an ineffable us inside, impervious to outside perception, is a fascinating one, rendered with a skill that manages to make Mizuno sympathetic despite his dissatisfaction at having every advantage the modern world can offer. This is a landmark novel of 20th century Japan, and you no longer have to learn Japanese to read it.

    Russia: The Coronation, by Boris Akunin

    If you thought Americans and Brits had a monopoly on sharp historical mysteries, we’d like to introduce you to gentleman detective Erast Petrovich Fandorin. As Moscow prepares for the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duke Georgii Alexandrovich’s daughter Xenia is the subject of an attempted kidnapping, soon foiled by Fandorin. In the confusion, the Grand Duke’s other child, Mikhail, is taken. The ransom demanded for the young prince is the Orlov diamond, priceless and necessary for the coronation ceremony—and the kidnapper, Fandorin suspects, is international mastermind Dr. Lind. Fast-paced and whip-smart, this is a fantastic thriller in any language.

    South Korea: The White Book, by Han Kang

    Kang won the 2016 International Man Booker Prize for The Vegetarian, and The White Book was shortlisted for the same honor last year. With a singularly sparse literary style, Kang explores the many meanings attached to the color white (notably the color of mourning in his native Korea) as a writer imagines the older sister he never knew, who died within minutes of being born. As she mixes her present-day explorations with memories of her childhood, always clouded by the knowledge that she lived when her sister died, the phantom sibling becomes almost a real person, someone whose death allowed the writer to live. It’s a beautiful, quiet novel of regret.

    France: Pretty Things, by Virginie Despentes

    This is a fierce, unsettling story explores issues of feminism, femininity, the male gaze, and identity. Claudine and Pauline are twin sisters brought up by abusive parents who often set them against one another. Claudine has leaned into her good looks, and hopes to use her beauty to become a famous singer—the one major obstacle being that she can’t carry a tune. Pauline can sing, beautifully, but has downplayed her looks. She travels to Paris at her crude, loud sister’s request, but when Claudine commits suicide, Pauline steps into her twin’s life. She soon learns that being perceived as beautiful is more of a trap than she suspected, as the deception reveals things about herself that she would rather not know.

    Norway: T Singer, by Dag Solstad

    Written in 1999 and released in translation last year, this novel is a good starting point for Solstad, one of Norway’s premiere writers. The titular Singer is a man retreating from the world—slowly at first, then with increasing speed. In-between the myriad events of his life (becoming a small-town librarian, then a millionaire; getting married and gaining a stepdaughter), Singer falls into lengthy obsessions that play out as extended monologues that sharply explore what it’s like to be trapped inside your own head.

    South Korea: The Plotters, by Un-su Kim

    This surreal thriller follows an assassin named Reseng, found as an orphan and raised by a Fagin-esque man nicknamed the Old Raccoon, whose home, the Library, teems with contract killers. Reseng and those like him are directed by the Plotters, and invisible, secret cabal. When Reseng makes a mistake and upsets a carefully orchestrated plot, he’ll have to decide if he’s content to remain a pawn, or if he wants to take control. The books is also a commentary on a modern world in which people we’ll never meet make decisions that can devastate our lives, with zero responsibility or accountability.

    Chile: The Spirit of Science Fiction, by Roberto Bolaño

    Bolaño, who died in 2003, remains a towering literary figure, and any “new” work of his appearing in translation is worthy of note. This novel was written in 1984 and subsequently  “lost.” On the one hand, it’s easy to see why: the story of two writers pursuing literary fame  along separate paths is an obvious precursor to the later (and superior) classic The Savage Detectives. On the other hand, even early, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time Bolaño is guaranteed to be worthwhile. This work—more a series of brilliant riffs than a narrative—is fitfully brilliant. Jan pursues writing in solitude, serious and curious; Remo plays at being a writer without actually writing much, but practices social climbing along the way. Somewhere between them is a truth, if only they can manage to discover it. This is either a perfect complement to Bolaño’s later work, or a perfect introduction to a brilliant author.

    Denmark: The Summer of Ellen, by Agnete Friis

    Friis offers up a spellbinding mystery totally in step the growing dialog about toxic masculinity and the price we all pay for indulging it. Jacob is in the depths of an alcoholic depression in Copenhagen, drinking his way through a terrible divorce. He is invited by his elderly uncle Anton to come back to the old farm where Jacob spent his summers, but this isn’t to be a pleasurable visit—Anton, in his nineties, wants to put an old mystery to rest. In the summer of 1978, Jacob was obsessed with his beautiful, free-spirited cousin Ellen who came to stay with Anton and his brother Anders—and Anton wants to know the answer to a simple question: what happened to Ellen that summer? It’s a deep dive into dark places.

    Zimbabwe: House of Stone, by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

    If you’re living in a stable (if imperfect) society, be thankful—not all countries are peaceful, or safe. In Zimbabwe, much is in turmoil. Against this backdrop of chaos, a teenager named Bukhosi goes missing. His family’s lodger, Zamani, becomes their greatest help in a horrible moment, working tirelessly to hand out fliers, hang posters, and take part in vigils. But Zamani wants more than to help—he seems to want to become part of the family, to absorb and appropriate their history and past for himself. Drowning in grief and alcohol, Bukhosi’s parents are vulnerable, and Zamani moves inexorably towards his goals.

    What other works in translation are you excited about this year?

    The post 15 Newly Translated Novels You Need to Read in 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 2:00 pm on 2019/03/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , the fifth doctrine, , the wyoming kid   

    Romance Roundup: Ranchers, Reunited Friends, and Gym Lovers 


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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes two guys and a gal who are all about fitness (and each other), a teacher who finds herself reluctantly falling in love with a rancher, and a tough woman who needs to convince the U.S. government that she’s not a criminal.

    The Life She Wants, by Robyn Carr
    Readers who love a good friendship-focused story will enjoy this reprint! Emma Shay Compton’s life isn’t going so great at the moment. Her mega-rich husband, it turns out, was mega-corrupt, and he ends up committing suicide to avoid facing the consequences of his actions. This leaves Emma with nothing (like, zilch), so she goes home to Sonoma County in order to rebuild her life from the bottom up. (Emma, you go girl!) She runs into her former best friend, Riley Kerrigan. Riley and Emma used to be like sisters, and then Riley did something quite naughty and they fell out of touch. Here’s hoping these two ladies reconcile over a really good bottle (or two) of wine! (Available in paperback on March 19.)

    The Wyoming Kid, by Debbie Macomber
    This reprint features two stories in one! In “The Wyoming Kid,” teacher Joy Fuller refuses to fall in love with rodeo cowboy-turned-rancher Lonny Ellison. This throws Lonny in for a bit of a loop, because he’s become quite accustomed to ladies throwing their proverbial and literal panties at him. (Lonny, buddy, Joy is no ordinary woman. If you really want her panties you’ll have to work very, very hard for them!) Then Lonny starts to mentor one of Joy’s troubled students, and she starts to realize that there’s WAY more to Lonny than his very talented buns of steel. (Let’s just say that while Lonny may be a former rodeo cowboy he has certainly NOT lost his capabilities!) Can Lonny show Joy that he’s a man worth keeping? Will Joy realize that Lonny is the real deal? And will they honeymoon in the Caribbean or the Pacific? Oh, and fret not, romance readers who can’t get enough cowboys: This volume includes a bonus story, “The Horseman’s Son,” by Delores Fossen. (Available in paperback on March 19.)

    Second Chance Summer, by Jill Shalvis
    This reprint features Lily Danville, who is going through an exceptionally rough time right now. She’s going back home to Cedar Ridge, Colorado, which is filled with many sad and painful memories for her. (Sending you tons and tons of hugs, Lily!) Things take a turn for the better when she gets a job at a popular resort. Trouble is, the resort is owned by the family of Aidan Kincaid. This would normally be all fine and dandy, because Aidan is the kind of guy who makes women feel all kinds of yummy feelings, but he and Lily will need to work through some major issues before they can start a new chapter of their lives together. Lily, we all admire your courage and strength! And Aidan, lacking any discernible talent in the artistic department would NEVER stop us from trying to replicate your body in ice sculpture form! This is the first book in Shalvis’ Cedar Ridge series. (Available in paperback on March 19.)

    The Fifth Doctrine, by Karen Robards
    Bianca St. Ives had an upbringing that was, shall we say, Not Exactly Traditional. Forget about dolls and proms and pizza outings with friends. Instead, our gal got to learn a whole lotta martial arts and how to handle explosives. (Now THAT would have made for a killer college essay!) Now she’s all grown up, and she pays her bills by swindling con men. Life is just peachy until a mission goes very, very wrong. For one, her dad—who also was in her same profession—is killed. Top secret government documents go missing. Also missing is money to the tune of $200 million. The U.S. government is not 100 percent convinced that her father is dead, nor do they think she is completely innocent, either. Bianca will need to think really hard and fast if she’s going to survive this latest conundrum. Here’s hoping she busts herself out of this mess ASAP, and that maybe she gets a much-needed helping hand or two! This is the third book in Robards’ Guardian series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on March 19.)

    Misadventures in a Threesome, by Elizabeth Hayley
    Fitness instructor Jasmine Pritchett just had THE BEST job interview EVER. She got to bare her professional soul to gym owners Maddox Gibson and Wilder Vaughn. That’s twice the biceps and gluteus maximus and all of that good stuff. Oh, and let’s just say that both men are also very taken with our gal and her healthy ways. (Indeed, Jasmine, we all worship at your altar of awesomeness!) The timing is perfect, because each of these three beautiful people can use a bit of cheering up. They each certainly bring something to the table. (Maddox is more grounded while Wilder is the adventurous one. As for Jasmine, well, she is quite the determined go-getter.) Jasmine, Maddox, and Wilder, you three enjoy yourselves thoroughly, and while you’re at it, please share your top tips for a toned body and make sure you have at least one superbaby! This is the latest book in the extensive, multi-authored Misadventures series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on March 19.)

    Come Sundown, by Nora Roberts
    This reprint features Bodine Longbow, who runs the family business, the Bodine Ranch and Resort in western Montana. (When can we book our vacations?) She’s recently gotten some extra help in the form of new hire Callen Skinner, who would make any woman immediately want to know way more about him. Then some gruesome things start happening—dead bodies start popping up—and Callen is the first suspect. Bodine knows that Callen can’t be the one (not in THAT sense), and together they start digging a little bit deeper into the danger. Further complicating matters is the reappearance of Bodine’s long-lost aunt, who might be able to shed some more light on the situation. Here’s hoping Bodine and Callen figure things out sooner rather than later, and that they enjoy all of the romantic possibilities Montana has to offer. (Available in paperback on March 26.)

    The post Romance Roundup: Ranchers, Reunited Friends, and Gym Lovers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 2:00 pm on 2019/03/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , the fifth doctrine,   

    Romance Roundup: Ranchers, Reunited Friends, and Gym Lovers 


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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes two guys and a gal who are all about fitness (and each other), a teacher who finds herself reluctantly falling in love with a rancher, and a tough woman who needs to convince the U.S. government that she’s not a criminal.

    The Life She Wants, by Robyn Carr
    Readers who love a good friendship-focused story will enjoy this reprint! Emma Shay Compton’s life isn’t going so great at the moment. Her mega-rich husband, it turns out, was mega-corrupt, and he ends up committing suicide to avoid facing the consequences of his actions. This leaves Emma with nothing (like, zilch), so she goes home to Sonoma County in order to rebuild her life from the bottom up. (Emma, you go girl!) She runs into her former best friend, Riley Kerrigan. Riley and Emma used to be like sisters, and then Riley did something quite naughty and they fell out of touch. Here’s hoping these two ladies reconcile over a really good bottle (or two) of wine! (Available in paperback on March 19.)

    The Wyoming Kid, by Debbie Macomber
    This reprint features two stories in one! In “The Wyoming Kid,” teacher Joy Fuller refuses to fall in love with rodeo cowboy-turned-rancher Lonny Ellison. This throws Lonny in for a bit of a loop, because he’s become quite accustomed to ladies throwing their proverbial and literal panties at him. (Lonny, buddy, Joy is no ordinary woman. If you really want her panties you’ll have to work very, very hard for them!) Then Lonny starts to mentor one of Joy’s troubled students, and she starts to realize that there’s WAY more to Lonny than his very talented buns of steel. (Let’s just say that while Lonny may be a former rodeo cowboy he has certainly NOT lost his capabilities!) Can Lonny show Joy that he’s a man worth keeping? Will Joy realize that Lonny is the real deal? And will they honeymoon in the Caribbean or the Pacific? Oh, and fret not, romance readers who can’t get enough cowboys: This volume includes a bonus story, “The Horseman’s Son,” by Delores Fossen. (Available in paperback on March 19.)

    Second Chance Summer, by Jill Shalvis
    This reprint features Lily Danville, who is going through an exceptionally rough time right now. She’s going back home to Cedar Ridge, Colorado, which is filled with many sad and painful memories for her. (Sending you tons and tons of hugs, Lily!) Things take a turn for the better when she gets a job at a popular resort. Trouble is, the resort is owned by the family of Aidan Kincaid. This would normally be all fine and dandy, because Aidan is the kind of guy who makes women feel all kinds of yummy feelings, but he and Lily will need to work through some major issues before they can start a new chapter of their lives together. Lily, we all admire your courage and strength! And Aidan, lacking any discernible talent in the artistic department would NEVER stop us from trying to replicate your body in ice sculpture form! This is the first book in Shalvis’ Cedar Ridge series. (Available in paperback on March 19.)

    The Fifth Doctrine, by Karen Robards
    Bianca St. Ives had an upbringing that was, shall we say, Not Exactly Traditional. Forget about dolls and proms and pizza outings with friends. Instead, our gal got to learn a whole lotta martial arts and how to handle explosives. (Now THAT would have made for a killer college essay!) Now she’s all grown up, and she pays her bills by swindling con men. Life is just peachy until a mission goes very, very wrong. For one, her dad—who also was in her same profession—is killed. Top secret government documents go missing. Also missing is money to the tune of $200 million. The U.S. government is not 100 percent convinced that her father is dead, nor do they think she is completely innocent, either. Bianca will need to think really hard and fast if she’s going to survive this latest conundrum. Here’s hoping she busts herself out of this mess ASAP, and that maybe she gets a much-needed helping hand or two! This is the third book in Robards’ Guardian series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on March 19.)

    Misadventures in a Threesome, by Elizabeth Hayley
    Fitness instructor Jasmine Pritchett just had THE BEST job interview EVER. She got to bare her professional soul to gym owners Maddox Gibson and Wilder Vaughn. That’s twice the biceps and gluteus maximus and all of that good stuff. Oh, and let’s just say that both men are also very taken with our gal and her healthy ways. (Indeed, Jasmine, we all worship at your altar of awesomeness!) The timing is perfect, because each of these three beautiful people can use a bit of cheering up. They each certainly bring something to the table. (Maddox is more grounded while Wilder is the adventurous one. As for Jasmine, well, she is quite the determined go-getter.) Jasmine, Maddox, and Wilder, you three enjoy yourselves thoroughly, and while you’re at it, please share your top tips for a toned body and make sure you have at least one superbaby! This is the latest book in the extensive, multi-authored Misadventures series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on March 19.)

    Come Sundown, by Nora Roberts
    This reprint features Bodine Longbow, who runs the family business, the Bodine Ranch and Resort in western Montana. (When can we book our vacations?) She’s recently gotten some extra help in the form of new hire Callen Skinner, who would make any woman immediately want to know way more about him. Then some gruesome things start happening—dead bodies start popping up—and Callen is the first suspect. Bodine knows that Callen can’t be the one (not in THAT sense), and together they start digging a little bit deeper into the danger. Further complicating matters is the reappearance of Bodine’s long-lost aunt, who might be able to shed some more light on the situation. Here’s hoping Bodine and Callen figure things out sooner rather than later, and that they enjoy all of the romantic possibilities Montana has to offer. (Available in paperback on March 26.)

    The post Romance Roundup: Ranchers, Reunited Friends, and Gym Lovers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2019/03/15 Permalink
    Tags: , picks of the month   

    Barnes & Noble’s Must-Read Books of March 


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    March is a month with a lot going on, but for book nerds it’s the month when your reading-related New Year’s Resolutions smack into reality, and you realize you’re never going to get through all the books you promised yourself you’d read. That’s why we’re here, to help cull that to-be-read list down to the best of the best. From an oral history of the best seventies band you’ve never heard of, to  for the month of March.

    Beautiful Bad, by Annie Ward
    For a must-read mystery, look no further than Ward’s latest. In Meadowlark, Kansas, police officer Diane Varga responds to a 911 call made from the home of Ian and Maddie Wilson. She finds the house empty, the kitchen trashed and bloody, and no sign of the couple or their young son. As Varga investigates, flashbacks tell the story of how Ian and Maddie met, their often rocky relationship, Ian’s work as a security consultant in Nigeria, his struggles with PTSD, as well as Maddie’s own battle with anxiety and depression following a terrible accident. The story slowly builds up to revelations about what actually went on in the house before and after the cut off emergency call, and how it all relates back to the very beginnings of the relationship.

    Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law, by Preet Bharara
    If your must-read decision tree leans toward politics and current events, this is the book for you. Former federal prosecutor Bharara offers a thoughtful exploration of the modern role of the criminal justice system and the prosecutors working within it. Through a series of in-depth reviews of his own cases—including high-profile prosecutions like Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber—Bharara underlines the complexities of investigating crimes in the modern age. He’s refreshingly honest about his own uncertainties and regrets. It’s rare to see a high-level public official admit to mistakes, and Bharara’s candor lends weight to his insights into our criminal justice system and to the conclusions he draws about the specific cases he worked on.

    Daisy Jones & The Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Reid’s story of a brilliant, privileged woman thrust into the go-go world of 1960s and ’70s sex, drugs, and rock and roll is a must-read. Narrated by a mysterious, unnamed figure, this is the tell-all story of Daisy Jones, who emerges from a neglected bohemian childhood to become a wild child on the Sunset Strip, drinking and drugging at fourteen—and how she crash landed into upstart rock band the Six, and its tormented frontman. Come for the tea, and stay for the twisting “behind the music” tale, populated by fascinating characters who each have their secrets and their part to play. You’ll want to know how everyone’s lives turn out, which loves are built to last, and who’s telling the story—and why.

    The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood and Renee Nault
    In this graphic novel adaptation of Atwood’s classic, Nault’s amazing visuals reinvent the story, adding a depth and startling immediacy to Atwood’s most tragic and nightmarish images, from the soaking reds that infuse every inch of the Handmaids’ lives to the gruesome punishments they endure. Atwood’s words have always exploded off the page with near-physical force, and Nault’s work amplifies that power, making this an absolute must-read—this month and ever after.

    Supermarket, by Bobby Hall
    This first novel written by Bobby Hall—aka, rap star Logic—is a dense, dark thriller that will keep surprising you. Flynn is a depressed young man who takes a job at a supermarket because he needs something—anything—to give him a reason to get out of bed in the morning and leave his mother’s house. At the store he journals, observing the weirdos and freaks he works with, the customers, the adorable coworker he’s falling for. When a horrible crime is committed at the supermarket, everything changes, and Flynn begins questioning his reality.

    Cemetery Road, by Greg Iles
    If books that combine twisty puzzles and deep, dark secrets tend to float to the top of your reading pile, Iles’ latest is your perfect pick. Marshall McEwan escaped Bienville when he was young, heading off to Washington, D.C., to become a journalist. When his father’s death and his family’s struggling newspaper force him to return home, Marshall finds a transformed town flush with sketchy money and controlled by Max Matheson’s shadowy Bienville Poker Club—and discovers his old flame Jet has married Max’s son. After Max is implicated in the murder of his wife, he insists Jet serve as his defense lawyer. She secretly teams up with Marshall to investigate the whole web of lies, corruption, and murder, acting as a confidential informant to the journalist. Soon, the whole town seems to turn against Marshall, refusing to deal with the horrifying truth he’s threatening to reveal. The B&N exclusive edition includes a note from Greg Iles to his readers.

    Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die: How the Allies Won on D-Day, by Giles Milton
    History should always make up a healthy portion of everyone’s must-read piles, and this is one of those books that changes how you view one of the most famous events in modern history. Milton meticulously outlines the awe-inspiring level of planning, detail, and cooperation that D-Day’s Operation Overlord required to pull off the largest sea invasion ever staged. From the harried officers struggling to get an official green light from disparate commanders, to the German intelligence agent who made an astoundingly accurate prediction of what was about to happen, only to have his report ignored, the machine of D-Day only becomes more impressive when you learn the details. Interspersed with the high-altitude view are gritty stories of individuals—the soldiers and members of the French Resistance—whose acts of personal bravery and sacrifice triumphed over insurmountable odds.

    The American Agent, by Jacqueline Winspear
    In the fifteenth Maisie Dobbs novel, Maisie is in London in 1940, trying to help in any way she can as the city is pummeled by German bombers during the Blitz. She meets American journalist Catherine Saxon, and the two immediately share a friendly bond. When Catherine is found murdered the next day, Maisie is asked by Scotland Yard to help solve the crime—and the list of suspects becomes disturbingly long. As usual, Winspear deftly weaves multiple threads into a lushly detailed story that’s equal parts mystery, adventure, and history.

    Mama’s Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions, by Frans de Waal
    De Waal is one of the most famous animal researchers on the planet, and in this book he explores something we know surprisingly little about: the emotional lives of animals. De Waal uses the famous, viral moment when biologist Jan van Hoof visited chimpanzee Mama as she lay dying—receiving a joyous, intimate embrace from the animal, who was obviously delighted to see her friend one last time—as the jumping-off point to a fascinating exploration of just how much emotional language we share with animals. The implications for the world in general and humanity specifically are profound, and this is the sort of book you will carry with you forever.

    The post Barnes & Noble’s Must-Read Books of March appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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