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  • Sarah Skilton 2:00 pm on 2018/08/01 Permalink
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    August’s Best New Fiction 

    This month’s best new work includes the second book of the Half-Drowned King Viking fantasy trilogy, a portrait of a Midwest town in decline, a debut roman à clef by an Iraq veteran currently imprisoned for bank robbery, and a historical about the Black Plague. And for lighter, contemporary reads, enjoy a sorority-set drama, a romance in Paris gone wrong, and an octogenarian-led cozy mystery. 

    The Masterpiece, by Fiona Davis
    In 1928, Clara Darden struggles against the restraints of the era as the lone female teacher at New York City’s Grand Central School of Art, housed in the majestic terminal of the same name. After the Great Depression hits, her career in illustration disappears, as does Clara. Fast-forward to the 1970s, when divorcée Virginia Clay takes a job at Grand Central, intrigued by the abandoned art studio there, as well as a painting she discovers—a painting that may shed light on Clara’s mysterious fate fifty years prior.

    Rush, by Lisa Patton
    Yankee Doodle Dixie author Patton has written another entertaining, Southern-set contemporary, this time pulling back the curtain on the secret lives of sorority sisters at Ole Miss. Cali Watkins hopes to earn a place with the elite Alpha Delta girls, but lacks the right pedigree and fears a long-buried family secret will tank her chances. The Advisory Board members have more power than sense, but the girls rise up against them when a beloved house staff member at Alpha Delta Beta is denied a promotion.

    Ohio, by Stephen Markley
    A searing debut about one evening in the summer of 2013, in which four ex-classmates who came of age during 9/11 reunite in New Canaan, Ohio, a town marked and marred by decline. From the opioid crises to the Great Recession to the never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, these Midwesterners have been affected by it all, and each seek closure from their painful pasts in this beautiful, sad, contemplative study of a rust belt town that has been hollowed out.

    The Sea Queen, by Linnea Hartsuyker
    Last summer kicked off the Half-Drowned King trilogy, a 9th-century Viking fantasy based on historical events and overflowing with political machinations and violent battles. In the new installment, six years have passed for minor king Ragnvald and his sister Svanhild, the titular Sea Queen. Their separation has evolved into opposition: While Ragnvald dedicates his life to the unification of Norway under Harald’s command, Svanhild marries the leader of the resistance and displays remarkable strength as a maritime warrior in her own right. 

    The Last Hours, by Minette Walters
    While her husband is away, a woman educated by nuns in 1348 England uses her smarts and intuition to hold the line against the Black Death when it arrives in the town of Develish. Having quarantined herself, her cruel teenage daughter, and her serfs in her moat-surrounded house, Lady Anne denies her own husband entry, correctly fearing he has brought the plague home with him. Her decision does not go over well with her progeny, Lady Eleanor, who harbors a sadistic streak.

    Three Things About Elsie, by Joanna Cannon
    A lifelong friendship between two women forms the heart of this mystery set in an assisted living facility. Our firmly independent octogenarian narrator, Florence, provides sharp commentary but finds it difficult to communicate with others, fearful her memory is failing. With a new arrival, who strongly resembles a frightening figure from Florence’s past, Florence dedicates herself to uncovering the hows and whys of the man’s reappearance. Shifting perceptions provide a bittersweet, suspenseful, and emotionally cathartic reading experience. 

    If You Leave Me, by Crystal Hana Kim
    Against the backdrop of the Korean War and its aftermath, a young woman desperate to provide for her invalid younger brother and widowed mother must choose between two cousins who love her. One is her childhood sweetheart, while the other has the financial stability necessary to save her family. A memorable, heartwrenching debut with multiple POVs that will appeal to fans of Samuel Park’s This Burns My Heart.

    Bad Man, by Dathan Auerbach
    Auerbach got his start terrifying Redditors on their NoSleep short story forum, and it’s easy to see why he proved so popular there. His second full-length novel tells the harrowing story of a young man from North Florida drowning in guilt over the role he played in his three-year-old brother’s disappearance. Five years later, now twenty, Ben decides to take a job stocking groceries at the very store where little Eric vanished. Will he find answers in this oddly creepy, disconcerting milieu, even when the local authorities could not? 

    Cherry, by Nico Walker
    PTSD, heroin addiction, bank robbing, and young-love-turned-bleak-survival are the themes of this breakneck debut by an author well-versed in all four topics. As a medic in Iraq, and a veteran of 250 combat missions, Walker returned home to find his memories incapacitating him; in a parallel to combat, the adrenaline rush he got while committing crimes was the only time he felt calm. A blisteringly authentic and timely work is the result.

    Goodbye Paris, by Anstey Harris
    When her relationship with David (who has a wife and family) comes to a difficult and public end in Paris, thirtysomething Grace Atherton is left to pick up the pieces back home in Kent, where she runs a shop making violins and cellos. Her own burgeoning career in music was derailed decades ago, and truly moving on from her broken relationship may require a hard look at the painful secrets she has been keeping from that time. Luckily, she’ll have help from people in her community, including a young shop clerk and a wise, older customer.

    The post August’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 2:00 pm on 2018/07/01 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-bookstore, , ,   

    July’s Best New Fiction 

    Anglophiles, take note: this month is all about historical fiction, several of which take place in Merry Old England. Travel to London during World Wars I and II, or to the early 1800s for a Pride & Prejudice retelling that ushers Mary Bennet into the spotlight. Then cross the Atlantic for a Virginia-set Southern Gothic and a New York-to-LA road trip, or board a fast boat to China for a Shanghai family drama. 

    Dear Mrs. Bird, by AJ Pearce
    Taking the London Blitz as its backdrop, this historical debut focuses on female friendships as well as the possibility of finding comfort in the empathy of strangers. When upbeat, 20something Emmeline Lake answers an ad for a job at Women’s Friend magazine, she’s hoping it will launch her career as a journalist. Instead, she finds herself assisting Mrs. Bird, the magazine’s judgmental advice columnist. Mrs. Bird won’t even consider answering letters about “unpleasant” topics (doesn’t she notice there’s a war on?). Emmy decides to write back for her, offering kindness and compassion to those whose struggles have been consigned to the rubbish heap.

    The Dying of the Light, by Robert Goolrick
    Fans of Southern Gothic will lose their minds for this dramatically rich story about Diana Cooke, the most beautiful teen debutante of the 1919 season, who marries a cruel man in order to save her family’s derelict Virginia mansion. Known as Saratoga, the estate has been in the Cooke family for a century and represents much more than the lavish parties it once hosted. However, the real trouble starts when the widowed Diana’s cherished son returns home from college with his roommate in tow.

    Saving Beck, by Courtney Cole
    Though known for her psychologically gripping, bestselling romance books, Cole’s new novel takes her writing in a new direction, one informed by her own life. Using dual perspectives, Saving Beck tells the story of widowed Natalie and her eldest child, grieving, guilt-ridden Beck, who blames himself for the car crash that killed his father. When Beck’s family life falls apart, burdening him with new responsibilities, he turns to heroin for relief. This appears to be a thoughtful, extraordinarily honest look at addiction.

    The Lido, by Libby Page
    Octogenarian Rosemary has resided in Brixton, London, since birth. Twentysomething Kate is a nervous newcomer to town who’s accepted an unglamorous reporting job at the local paper. The two form an unexpected bond of friendship while attempting to save the lido, the beloved public swimming pool that’s been a constant to Rosemary her entire life, from her WWII childhood to her years of marriage. Will Rosemary’s memories of what makes the pool so important be enough to keep it open? Can Kate cast off her anxiety and self-doubt and lead the charge on Rosemary’s behalf?

    Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh
    A brief, intense, and life-changing romance between middle-aged Sarah and Eddie ends in heartache and confusion when Eddie’s promised phone call after some time apart never comes. Sarah’s friends try to convince her she’s been ghosted, but Sarah can’t bear the idea of never seeing or hearing from Eddie again. She’s convinced something has gone terribly wrong, and her instincts are correct—leading her to uncover secrets she never saw coming.

    America For Beginners, by Leah Franqui
    Pival Sengupta, a recently widowed Indian woman, travels to the U.S. for the first time via a madcap touring company, in hopes of locating her estranged son, Rahi. The road trip from New York to LA allows Pival to learn about Rahi through his adoptive homeland. Her companions include a tour guide who’s only been in America for a year, and a would-be actress. The team members find solace in each other’s journeys and viewpoints. 

    Mary B: An untold story of Pride and Prejudice, by Katherine J. Chen
    Middle child Mary Bennet, an avid reader and writer, is voted least likely to marry by her family, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to sit on the sidelines of life. In fact, in this novel of behind the scenes and offscreen moments surrounding the events of P&P, Mary reveals herself to be observant and charming, with a quiet wit. Pair it with Curtis Sittenfeld’s 2017 novel, Eligible, for the best in old school and contemporary Austen retellings.

    What We Were Promised, by Lucy Tan
    Desperate housewife and mother Lina Zhen has trouble acclimating to her new life of leisure in modern-day Shanghai, but her husband Wei’s job provides everything the family could want. Still, Lina is restless and distracted, particularly when a reunion with her true love—Wei’s brother, Qiang—looms on the horizon after a twenty-year absence. The only person who senses the hidden tumult about to erupt is Sunny, the Zhens’ long-term housekeeper, who is privy to more than a few secrets.

    Fruit of the Drunken Tree, by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
    A historical coming of age novel set in Bogotá, Colombia, during the worst years of Pablo Escobar’s narcoterrorism, Fruit’s narration comes from the POV of two girls: seven-year-old Chula and thirteen-year-old Petrona, the family maid whose own family is being destroyed by the drug war. Petrona is determined to turn things around for her loved ones, but when she puts her trust in the wrong boy, she’s not the only one who’ll pay the price.

    Eagle Crane, by Suzanne Rindell
    Harry (who is Japanese American) and Louis (who is white) were neighbors and best pals during the Depression and their barnstorming days as stunt pilots in California, but the rivalry between their respective families, as well as a romantic interest in the same woman, caused problems for the two men. Jumping ahead a few years, it appears Harry and his father have been murdered in a plane crash after escaping from an internment camp, but the FBI is convinced the case is not as cut-and-dry as it appears.

    The post July’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2018/06/30 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-bookstore, , , ,   

    July’s Best New Thrillers 

    The Other Woman, by Daniel Silva
    Silva’s 18th entry in the Gabriel Allon series finds the art restorer and Israel’s most effective spy drawn back into the struggle against Russia’s to tip the balance of world power in their favor. When one of Allon’s best assets inside Russian intelligence is assassinated while trying to defect, he investigates—and is soon on the trail of one of the biggest and best-kept secrets of the last few decades: there is a mole inside the highest corridors of power in the west—someone who has bided their time and now stands at the summit of power. Allon will have to risk everything and give all in order to stop the unthinkable.

    Spymaster, by Brad Thor
    The 17th Scot Harvath book finds the skilled agent finally feeling his age—though he’s still the most dangerous and effective employee at private security and espionage endeavor The Carlton Group. Across Europe, someone is assassinating diplomats, and Harvath is ordered to find out who—and why. When it’s revealed to be part of a plot by Russia to leverage the NATO alliance to draw the United States into a war, Harvath is tasked with stopping the Russian plan, and he goes on the offensive, identifying and hunting down the assassins themselves. Meanwhile, the founder of the Carlton Group battles a declining mental state that means the secrets of his long career are at risk—and the new head, former CIA chief Lydia Ryan, must scramble to protect those secrets—as well as her agents in the field.

    Give Me Your Hand, by Megan Abbott
    As a teenager, Kit Owens isn’t particularly ambitious—until she meets Diane Fleming, a troubled girl with a troubled past who pushes herself to perfection in everything. Kit finds herself being pushed along with her as they both pursue an elite science scholarship, until one night Diane shares a secret with Kit—and Kit, horrified, turns her back on Diane. A decade later, Kit is working in a prestigious lab under a famous scientist and pursuing a coveted spot on the male-dominated team, and she is shocked to find herself suddenly competing against Diane. Kit struggles to keep the past in the past as she realizes her connection to Diane, so long buried, is as powerful as ever—and Diane’s secret, which she worked so hard to forget, is as terrible as ever.

    Double Blind, by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
    The Johansens’ sixth Kendra Michaels novel finds the FBI agent drawn into a murder investigation when the victim, paralegal Elena Meyer, is found holding an envelope addressed to Kendra. Kendra doesn’t know Elena, and doesn’t recognize anyone on the video of a wedding reception contained on a memory stick in the envelope. She enlists the help of freelance investigator Adam Lynch—but the video suddenly disappears. As Adam and Kendra struggle with their attraction to one another, Kendra finds herself diving into a massive conspiracy—and tallying a rising body count.

    She Was the Quiet One, by Michele Campbell
    When their mother passes away, twins Rose and Bel are sent to Odell Academy, an elite boarding school. Rose is thrilled and immediately excels. but Bel falls in with a bad crowd. Both sisters forge unusually strong bonds with a married couple, Sarah and Heath, who act as both faculty advisors and dorm parents. When Bel gives in to peer pressure and hazes Rose, the bond between siblings is strained to the breaking point. Rose turns to Sarah and Bel turns to Heath, whose motives may be less than honorable. As the sisters’ relationship sours into violence, a deep and disturbing mystery arises, told through overlapping points of view and twisting timelines.

    Caged, by Ellison Cooper
    Sayer Altair, a talented special agent for the FBI, studies the patterns of serial killers in order to forget the tragedies that trail in her wake—parents dead in a horrific car crash, fiancé killed while working a mysterious case for the Bureau. She is forced to emerge from her research when she’s assigned to the case of Gwen Van Hurst, daughter of a senator who went missing a year before, who has been found dead in a cage in the basement of a booby-trapped house in Washington, D.C. Sayer learns that another victim may still be alive in a cage somewhere, kicking off a frantic race against time.

    Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage
    Stage’s debut tells the story of fragile Suzette, battling with her distant, cold mother and the crippling effects of Crohn’s disease. Despite the physical risks, she and her husband Alex have a child. Determined to be a better mother than her own, Suzette tries her best, but Hanna is a difficult child. As the story opens, Hanna is seven years old and Suzette is home-schooling her because Hanna—who has yet to speak a word despite knowing how to read and write—refuses to behave. The only person for whom Hanna seems to have any affection is her father, and she views Suzette as a barrier between her and the total devotion of her dad. As Hanna’s behavior becomes more violent and unhinged, Alex doesn’t see the danger—but Suzette begins to fear for her life.

    Bound for Gold, by William Martin
    Rare-book dealer Peter Fallon returns along with his girlfriend Evangeline Carrington. At Peter’s son’s behest, the pair head out to California in search of the stolen journal of James Spencer of the Sagamore Mining Company, who searched for a legendary “river of gold.” Spencer’s story is one of violence and greed, racism and capitalism—in short, the story of America. And it’s a story that may not be quite over; as Peter and Evangeline hunt for the stolen book and stumble into a plot that threatens their lives.

    Four Dominions, by Eric Van Lustbader
    The third entry in Lustbader’s Testament series opens with Emma Shaw, artifacts expert, studying the recently acquired Testament of Lucifer onboard a private plane. Turbulence knocks lemon juice onto the parchment, revealing hidden writings that Emma reads before she realizes the danger—and finds herself possessed by the demon Beleth, who serves Lucifer’s plan to finally free Heaven itself from God’s tyranny. Beleth sets Emma to turning her brother, academic Bravo Shaw, towards evil as the demons plot their final victory.

    All These Beautiful Strangers, by Elizabeth Klehfoth
    Ten years ago, Charlie Fairchild’s mother Grace was seen on bank security cameras cleaning out the family’s safe deposit boxes—and never seen again. Now 17, Charlie is haunted by her mother’s disappearance, wondering if she truly abandoned her family, or if there is another explanation. Attending an exclusive boarding school, Charlie is pushed by the secret society she’s pledging to dig into her family’s secrets—and what she finds makes her head reel. forcing her to consider the possibility she never knew either of her parents at all.

    The post July’s Best New Thrillers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 9:00 pm on 2018/05/31 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-bookstore, , , ,   

    June’s Best New Thrillers 

    It’s summer, and things are heating up outside and on bookstore shelves, thanks to the arrivals of these 10 tightly-plotted, fast-paced new thrillers, including one from the dream team of former president Bill Clinton and James Patterson. Read on—only you can decide how thrilling your June will be.

    The President is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
    Combining his personal knowledge of the presidency with Patterson’s knowledge of how to write a heart-pounding thriller, Bill Clinton spins a story about President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan, under pressure from all sides, besieged by unhappy and hostile congressional committees, a determined assassin, and an apocalyptic threat only he knows about—a computer virus that could roll the clock back to the stone age overnight. Duncan sees just one way to deal with these combined threats—he walks out of the White House, leaving his security detail behind, and takes matters into his own hands.

    Tom Clancy Line of Sight, by Mike Maden
    Vladimir Vasilev, chief of the Iron Syndicate, is dying, and the one thing he wants to accomplish before the cancer gets him is to see Jack Ryan, Jr.’s head on a platter. Ryan heads to Sarajevo on a mission for his mother, seeking to track down her former patient, Aida. As assassins circle, Jack locates the gorgeous Aida, a Muslim who runs a refugee organization, and the sparks fly even as a new threat emerges—the Iron Syndicate is planning to kill thousands in a terrorist attack on a stadium in hopes of triggering World War III. Ryan must race to figure out the plot and somehow secure the military assets necessary to stop it—but Aida has secrets that threaten to upend everything, and trigger to a disaster of incalculable proportions.

    The Pharaoh Key, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
    Gideon Crew returns in his fifth novel from Preston and Child, but Effective Engineering Solutions doesn’t. When the organization suddenly shuts down, world-class thief Gideon and and Manuel Garza head to Egypt in pursuit of EES’ final project, a priceless treasure—but not before secretly downloading a scan of the Phaistos Disk and cracking the ancient code contained thereon, revealing the treasure’s precise location. Garza and Crew face shipwrecks and other dangers on their way to meet a beautiful geologist and discover a lost civilization, adventuring their way through deadly puzzles and ancient mysteries with equal aplomb.

    Turbulence, by Stuart Woods
    Stone Barrington returns in the 46th novel featuring the suave, self-made millionaire lawyer. As a hurricane bears down on Key West, Barrington plays host to some friends—including Secretary of State Holly Barker. In the midst of the storm, Senator Joe Box arrives to beg for shelter, and is admitted—even though he attempted to assault Barker at a state dinner months earlier. When the storm passes, Barrington becomes involved in an effort to capture notorious arms dealer Selwyn Owaki (set free through machinations by Box) and the nuclear device he’s shopping—but the failure of the operation puts crosshairs on Barrington, and he must go underground. In the world of Stone Barrington, this means jetting about the world in order to get the drop on Owaki, one way or another.

    Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris
    In this tense thriller, Finn McQuaid and his fiancée Ellen are settled into a comfortable cottage in the small village of Simonbridge, financially secure thanks to a stroke of luck on Finn’s part. Their relationship is unusual; 12 years earlier Finn was dating Ellen’s sister Layla, until Layla disappeared while driving through France with Finn, with only a Russian nesting doll near the car for a clue. Initially a suspect, Finn was cleared of the crime, and over the years, their mutual loss and desire for comfort led Ellen and Finn to forge a bond. But now, the police are suddenly telling Finn that Layla’s been seen in town, and he and Ellen start receiving strange gifts—Russian nesting dolls. It’s clear Finn hasn’t been entirely forthcoming about the circumstances of Layla’s disappearance, but unraveling the truth of what’s really happening won’t be easy.

    Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton
    Louise Wilson is an aspiring writer worried that her looming 30th birthday means she’s failed to make it in New York City. Tutoring a rich girl to make ends meet, she encounters her student’s older sister, Lavinia, who dresses like she’s always headed for a costume ball, and the queen of New York’s underground society. Louise decides she must keep her access to this glamorous life no matter the cost, and shirks all other responsibilities to maintain her orbit around Lavinia. At first all is well; Lavinia invites Louise to be her roommate, and it’s quite the ride—but then, Lavinia gets bored and decides its time for new blood. In order to maintain her grip on Lavinia, Louise must contemplate taking desperate measures. This thriller offers an exploration of a toxic relationship in the mold of Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley novels.

    Bearskin, by James A. McLaughlin
    Rice Moore is working as a caretaker in the rough, lawless Turk Mountain Preserve, located in the Appalachians of Virginia. The prior caretaker was raped and left for dead by the vicious poachers who plague the Preserve, and Rice is a man of secrets, fleeing from a Mexican drug cartel and hoping to stay hidden in the backwoods of Virginia. Just as he thinks he can relax, bears start turning up dead, killed by poachers seeking their valuable organs to sell overseas. When his efforts to stop the killing raises his profile, Rice finds himself fighting both the locals and the foreign criminals seeking to exact their revenge.

    The Moscow Offensive, by Dale Brown
    Brown’s sequel to Price of Duty returns to Captain Brad McLanahan, Colonel Wayne “Whack” Macomber, and Major Nadia Rozek of the Iron Wolf Squadron, which is composed of cybenetically-controlled robotic infantry, as they face a new threat: Russian President Gryzlov has managed to reverse-engineer the design and is building his own corps of war machines. Gryzlov shows off his new strength by attacking an Air Force base in Louisiana. The United States strikes back, and tensions and hostilities continue escalate, as Macomber, McLanahan, and Rozek risk everything in order to protect their country and the man who might be the next president.

    Providence, by Caroline Kepnes
    Jon Bronson was a typical high school kid, hassled by the jocks but saved by his deep friendship with classmate Chloe. When Jon disappears from his home, only Chloe and his parents keep faith that he’ll return—which he finally does, waking up four years later in a basement with no memory of the intervening time. Next to him is a copy of The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft, and a letter from a former teacher who tells Jon that he was put into an induced coma, and now has access to more power than he can possibly imagine. Jon’s return is bittersweet—and gets more complicated when he realizes how dangerous his new powers are to the people around him. Jon tries to isolate himself, moving to Lovecraft’s home city of Providence, Rhode Island, but mysterious deaths soon attract a detective’s attention, and Jon and Chloe must find the answers to the mystery of Jon’s disappearance before it’s too late.

    The Real Michael Swann, by Bryan Reardon
    A phone call between Julia Swann and her husband Michael, who is at Penn Station in New York City, is suddenly cut off when a bomb explodes. Julia, in a panic, attempts to drive to NYC from Pennsylvania, but the city is in lockdown, and she can’t get in. Then she hears the impossible: the domestic terrorist suspected in the blast is none other than Michael Swann. Convinced of his his survival and his innocence, she seeks to make contact with her husband, who soon turns up dazed from the blast and suffering from amnesia. Julia must evade law enforcement as they search for Michael while somehow proving he isn’t the man they think he is.

    The post June’s Best New Thrillers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 4:00 pm on 2018/05/30 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-bookstore, , ,   

    June’s Best New Fiction 

    Weddings (and murder!) take center stage this monthalong with intriguing family dramas starring modern Muslim Americans and Native Americans. Fates and Furies author Lauren Groff is back with a collection of short stories, and sequels to I Don’t Know How She Does ItBeartown, and The Devil Wears Prada bridge the gap between Lowcountry beach reads and juicy, heart-clenching tales of starting over. 

    The Perfect Couple, by Elin Hilderbrand
    Hilderbrand’s latest combines her signature Nantucket beach fun with a page-turning mystery. When the maid of honor’s body is found (by the bride, no less) hours before a lavish wedding ceremony is set to begin, the festivities grind to a halt while the remaining members of the wedding party are interrogated. The island-set whodunit includes much-loved characters from Hilderbrand’s previous novels, but newcomers needn’t be familiar with them to enjoy this summer brainteaser. 

    All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin
    Two families in Nashville—one wealthy and privileged, and one struggling financially and emotionally—collide when their teenage children become entangled in a scandal. Well-to-do Nina is forced to question the true natures of her husband and son when a troubling photo featuring a high school sophomore surfaces, throwing a private school into chaos. Who took the picture? And who’s trying to use their money and influence to make the controversy go away? Wanted appears to be a relevant, thoughtful, and complex drama that supplies no easy answers.

    Us Against You, by Fredrik Backman
    In the critically acclaimed Beartown, Backman introduced readers to a small forest town in Sweden convinced that a junior ice hockey team held the key to “fixing” their troubled community. In this follow-up story, the denizens of Beartown face off against those of nearby Hed, where many of the Beartown hockey players have defected. Adding tension to the rivalry is the fact that Beartown’s entire league may soon be disbanded. Hope arrives in the form of a new coach, but when the anger between the teams escalates to the point of murder, can their once-pure love of the sport ever return? 

    How Hard Can it Be?, by Allison Pearson
    In this sequel to Pearson’s bestselling 2003 novel, I Don’t Know How She Does It, we drop back into supermom Kate Reddy’s life a decade and a half later, as she rounds the corner toward fifty. Having spent seven of the intervening years as a stay-at-home mom (quite a change from her frenetic former job running a hedge fund), Londoner Kate prepares to reenter the workforce after her husband is laid off. Expect a lot of humor in this menopause-while-raising-teenage-hellions dramedy.

    There There, by Tommy Orange
    A powerhouse debut likely to earn a spot on countless best of the year lists, There There chronicles the coming together of twelve modern-day, urban Native American people at the inaugural Oakland, California, Powwow. Disparate in their ages, goals, hopes, and dreams, some of the twelve hope to connect with their history and/or long-lost family members; some desire to perform traditional dance; and others plan to take advantage of the event for their own purposes. Set aside some time to delve deep into this must-read novel.

    A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza
    An Indian American Muslim family of five living in California come together for the eldest daughter’s wedding, an event that forces them to reevaluate their lives together and apart over the past few decades. In particular, youngest son Amar, who has become estranged from his parents and siblings, is reluctant to make peace with his past. Tension between the traditional Muslim culture practiced by parents Rafiq and Layla and the contemporary attitudes of their adult children infuses this highly anticipated debut with plenty of emotion and heart.

    Florida, Lauren Groff
    Not every story in this collection of shorts—Groff’s first since Delicate Edible Birds—takes place in Florida, but they all depict a darkly comedic Floridian state of mind, filled with “dread and heat.” Of the eleven narratives, a handful depict the same tough-as-nails mom, a novelist drowning in booze as well as love for her children.

    Before and Again, by Barbara Delinsky
    Having survived the car crash death of her young daughter, for which she was accidentally responsible, Mackenzie Cooper changes her name and starts a new life in a new town. As Maggie Reid, she works as a makeup artist beautifying others while never losing sight of the literal and metaphorical scars she’s hiding. When a friend’s teenage son finds himself in trouble with the law, Maggie knows she should back away—her probation prohibits fraternizing with criminals—but helping out another troubled soul may provide Maggie a modicum of peace in her own life.

    When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger
    In this fabulous follow-up to The Devil Wears Prada and Revenge Wears Prada, first assistant-turned-image consultant Emily Charlton, who stole scenes left and right in book and movie form (where she was portrayed by Emily Blunt), is thrown to the yummy mummy wolves of suburban Connecticut. Tasked with fixing the public’s view of a politician’s DUI-ruined wife, she joins forces with some old friends—including one Miranda Priestly. Pour the cocktails and start the party!

    Dreams of Falling, by Karen White
    The best beach reads of 2018 take place in Lowcountry, South Carolina, and Dreams will show you why. When Larkin’s mother, Ivy, is badly injured under mysterious circumstances, Ivy is compelled to leave New York and return to her hometown after a nine-year absence. As she tentatively reaches out to old friends and studies the past to better understand her mother’s predicament, secrets dating back decades will be revealed in this multigenerational drama featuring female friendships and a hint of romance.

    The post June’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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