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  • Kat Sarfas 4:00 am on 2020/07/09 Permalink
    Tags: Best Books of the Year, bnstorefront-bestbooks, bnstorefront-bookstore   

    The Best Books of the Year (So Far): Great New Reads You Might Have Missed 

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    It’s been a year. While it feels like 2020 has been a non-stop roller coaster ride of the wildly unimaginable kind—we’re only halfway through. And although the start of this decade has been a rocky one, the publishing this year has been nothing short of stellar. Words are often a source of comfort, escape, and learning, and our booksellers had the great pleasure of rounding up our picks for the best books of 2020 (so far). These thought-provoking titles range from the informative to the historical, electrifying new novels, unforgettable characters and heartwarming narratives. Don’t miss the full list here and read on to check out five of the books we’re highlighting below.

    The Vanishing Half
    Brit Bennett

    Spoiler alert: you will not be able to put this book down! The Vanishing Half is an indelible story of identity, family and home that tells the story of identical twin sisters and their daughters, all living vastly different lives. From the acclaimed author of The Mothers, this is a story that asks big questions about who we are and where we’re headed. It’s topping bestseller lists and HBO just won a highly competitive auction to secure the rights to develop the story into a limited series. Everyone is talking about this book! Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie hailed The Vanishing Half as “a novel that shows just how human emotion, uncertainty and longing can be captured and put on paper.”

    “Brit Bennett’s writing is smart and sharp, funny and melancholy, and it’s clear she has a lot of love for her characters. A great recommendation for fans of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.”—Miwa M, Bookseller, B&N Home Office

    “Smart, sharp, and oh so good. I absolutely loved this book and was very invested in the characters, even the ones I got frustrated with! This is the first book I have read by Brit Bennett and I cannot wait to read more.”—Lindsay B, Bookseller, B&N Home Office

    The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
    Suzanne Collins

    Fans of The Hunger Games spent the better part of year swapping theories, pouring over the original texts to confirm or deny said theories and searching the new cover for any possible clues, all while patiently waiting to re-enter Panem. This is the series that ushered in a new era of dystopian fiction, one that’s character-driven in an extraordinary world filled with action, suspense, romance and social commentary – it’s basically got it all, and nothing is off limits. So, when the day arrived to finally unearth the early days of Coriolanus Snow and bring new insights to this complex and compelling world, fans were not left disappointed:

    “A heart-stopping adrenaline rush that has you clamoring to reread the original series now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of this unexpected backstory!”—Melissa L, Bookseller, Bellingham, MA

    “I didn’t want it to end, and knowing the events of the Hunger Games, I didn’t want to feel for Snow. The book gives you a peek into his world, and leaves you wanting to see more.”—Paul, Bookseller, Santee, CA

    Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning 
    Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi

    This is not a history book. Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and the celebrated author of Long Way Down and Look Both Ways lends his powerful, lyrical prose in this remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning—a staggering look at the deeply rooted systemic racism in American society and how we got here. This edition shines a light on the many dangerous forms in which racism presents itself today and ways to identify and eradicate it from your daily life. Stamped is brilliant and profound and should find its way into the hands of every young reader. There’s no end to the heights this book will reach:

    “Reynolds’s engaging, clear prose shines a light on difficult and confusing subjects, including anti-blackness and the creation of racial capitalism. Terms like “segregationist,” “integrationist” and “anti-racist” are defined in direct, accessible language, becoming real tools for a reader to take from the book. This is no easy feat.”— Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman, in The New York Times

    Stamped is a book that should be in the hands of every teenager. This book is a call to action and is written with the intention of dismantling the racist prejudices that continue to plague our nation. It is educational, important and so very relevant.”—Victoria B, Bookseller, Corte Madera, CA

    A Burning
    Megha Majumdar

    A Burning is like nothing we’ve ever read. An astonishing, heartbreaking story about power—who has it, who doesn’t and what some will do to get it—that’s also an absolute page-turner. In a deceptively slim package like Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys and There, There by Tommy Orange, this is an unforgettable debut by a magnificent new voice. We could not get over the complexities, distinct characters and timely messages throughout this amazing story, and we’re not the only ones who were completely enchanted by its language and universal themes: Yaa Gyasi, author of Homecoming raved about how “Megha Majumdar writes about the ripple effects of our choices, the interconnectedness of our humanity, with striking beauty and clarity.”

    “The story is told through three characters whose fates become so carefully intertwined that you won’t stop asking “Why did they do that?” until long after you’ve finished the book. It’s a masterfully orchestrated story that will just leave you stunned and speechless.”—Stephanie F, Bookseller, B&N Home Office

    “A searing debut novel filled with characters who will live with you long after you turn the final page… the intensity of this story cannot be overstated. A Burning is the best book I’ve read so far this year!”—Sarah C, Bookseller, Schaumburg, IL

    Glennon Doyle

    More than just a memoir, this book takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery. It seeks to liberate women from the societal expectations that bind them, to honor beauty and rage equally—it speaks to the soul. While Doyle’s previous books Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior started the conversation, Untamed started a movement. Her legions of fans (old and new) have found within themselves those three little words “There She Is” and have kept this book at the top of bestseller lists since it’s arrival in March. It was the April selection for Reese’s Book Club and one that Reese herself raved as a book “packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today, what it means to be ‘good,’ and what women will do in order to be loved.”

    “Some books shake you by the shoulder while others steal your heart. In Untamed, Glennon does both at the exact same time.” Brené Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection

    Untamed is another honest, moving and empowering book from Glennon Doyle. Her books feel like you’re having a conversation with just her, this one is no different.” —Sarah S, Bookseller, Corte Madera, CA

    The post The Best Books of the Year (So Far): Great New Reads You Might Have Missed appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Joel Cunningham 1:00 pm on 2019/11/21 Permalink
    Tags: 1919: the year that changed america, , arthur size, , baron wenchkeim's homecoming, bnstorefront-bookstore, , , great slate, lászló krasznahorkai, martin w. sandler, National Book Award, , , , ,   

    Announcing the Winners of the 2019 National Book Awards 

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    When the journalist and writer Sarah M. Broom decided to tell the story of her family—of the home her then-19-year-old mother bought in New Orleans East at the age of 19; the house where she raised twelve children, including Sarah; the house that was was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2006—in her searing memoir The Yellow House, she knew there was value in sharing their intimate, personal story with the world. She knew it was worth the risk.

    “My family understands, I think, the value of having these stories in a book,” she said. “I think they know that in a way this will outlast them and be something that the next generations can draw on to understand where they came from.”

    That pronouncement took on an air of prophecy last night, as Broom took home the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction, ensuring the already widely acclaimed work will find its way into the hands of many more readers. The Broom family’s story will live on.

    This fall, we’ve been following along with the 2019 National Book Awards, from the announcement of the fascinating longlists in September to last month’s unveiling of the formidable shortlists. At a ceremony last night in New York City, the awards were finally handed out in each of five categories—Young People’s Literature, Translated Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction. Taken together, the winners are a powerful collection of books, from authors whose work, from prose to poetry, feels utterly vital to the landscape of American letters in 2019.

    Here is the complete list of winners. Explore the other nominated works here.

    Winner for Fiction

    Trust Exercise, by Susan Choi
    An Indie Next pick named to 11 best book lists in 2018, Trust Exercise is set in the 1980s at a highly competitive suburban performing arts high school, Trust Exercise will incite heated discussions about fiction and truth, friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and the powers and responsibilities of adults.


    Winner for Nonfiction

    The Yellow Houseby Sarah M. Broom
    A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the “Big Easy” of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows.

    Winner for Poetry

    Sight Lines, by Arthur Sze
    From the current phenomenon of drawing calligraphy with water in public parks in China to Thomas Jefferson laying out dinosaur bones on the White House floor, from the last sighting of the axolotl to a man who stops building plutonium triggers, Sight Lines moves through space and time and brings the disparate and divergent into stunning and meaningful focus. In this new work, Arthur Sze employs a wide range of voices—from lichen on a ceiling to a man behind on his rent—and his mythic imagination continually evokes how humans are endangering the planet; yet, balancing rigor with passion, he seizes the significant and luminous and transforms these moments into riveting and enduring poetry.

    Winner for Translated Literature

    Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, by László Krasznahorkai, translated by Ottilie Mulzet
    Set in contemporary times, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming tells the story of a Prince Myshkin–like figure, Baron Béla Wenckheim, who returns at the end of his life to his provincial Hungarian hometown. Having escaped from his many casino debts in Buenos Aires, where he was living in exile, he longs to be reunited with his high-school sweetheart Marika. Confusions abound, and what follows is an endless storm of gossip, con men, and local politicians, vividly evoking the small town’s alternately drab and absurd existence. All along, the Professor—a world-famous natural scientist who studies mosses and inhabits a bizarre Zen-like shack in a desolate area outside of town—offers long rants and disquisitions on his attempts to immunize himself from thought. Spectacular actions are staged as death and the abyss loom over the unsuspecting townfolk.

    Winner for Young People’s Literature

    1919: The Year That Changed America, by Martin W. Sandler
    1919 was a momentous year, as Sandler documents in this fascinating overview of events ranging from Boston’s Great Molasses Flood, to laborers protesting working conditions, to women’s gaining the right to vote. Sandler breathes life into each event, gives it context, and examines its impact on modern day politics and culture; connections to immigration, the Black Lives Matter movement, and climate change will particularly resonate with young readers. A meticulous and breathtaking look at history’s influence on the present day.

    Congratulations to the winners! Explore all all of the nominees here.

    The post Announcing the Winners of the 2019 National Book Awards appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 5:00 pm on 2019/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-bookstore, , , ,   

    The Best Thrillers of November 2019 

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    As we crash headlong into the holiday season, it’s time to start proactively planning a little You Time. The end of the year can be stressful and crowded, so making sure you take a few hours to read some good books is essential, and this month’s best thrillers offer the ideal counter-programming. With new books from James Patterson, David Baldacci, Mary Higgins Clark, and many more, you’ll have plenty of books to get you through.

    Criss Cross, by James Patterson
    James Patterson’s 27th Alex Cross thriller sets the bar high, as Cross and partner John Sampson bear witness to the execution of a killer they helped put behind bars. But then they’re called to a crime scene that’s a clearly the work of as copy-cat killer—except there’s a note telling Alex Cross that he ‛messed up big time.’ A spree of killings seeded with subtle references to Cross’ career and family ensues, the work of someone who knows everything there is to know about him As Cross desperately tries to piece the clues together, he realizes that the perpetrator has a horrifying goal in his sights—one that might cost Cross his own life.

    A Minute to Midnight, by David Baldacci
    David Baldacci’s second Atlee Pine novel follows the FBI agent back to her rural Georgia hometown, where she’s retreated from a professional setback to finally investigate the decades-old disappearance of her twin sister, Mercy. But just as she begins to dig into the deeply-buried past, a woman is found dead—murdered ritualistically and dressed in a wedding veil. A second victim follows, and Atlee finds her search for her own truth complicated by the urgent need to stop a serial killer before they strike again. But as she spreads herself thin seeking answers to two mysteries, she finds that digging up the past is dangerous, and possibly deadly.

    The Andromeda Evolution, by Daniel H. Wilson
    Robopocalypse author Daniel H. Wilson capably mimics the Crichton’s style and brings plenty of personal tech cred to this sequel, published fifty years after the classic The Andromeda Strain. Ever since that alien virus threatened humanity, Project Eternal Vigilance has monitored the world for any hint of a similar incident. When an anomaly is found in the Amazon, a team is quickly dispatched, including paraplegic astronaut Sophie Kline and roboticist James Stone, who has an intimate connection to the original encounter. They’re charged with containing the infection, but what they discover is terrifying: the Andromeda Strain has mutated and evolved, and is now something entirely different—and much deadlier.

    The Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell
    Twenty-five years ago, a ghastly scene greeted police at a tony London address: Three dead adults, four missing children, and one crying baby. A quarter-century later, Libby Jones has spent her life wondering about her birth parents and the truth of her life. When she finally discovers the truth of her birth parents, she learns that she’s inherited the house, worth millions. As she contemplates how her life is about to change, she has no idea that she’s not the only person who’s been waiting for this day—and that she’s about to meet the other interested parties. This exclusive Barnes and Noble edition includes a discussion guide and an essay by the author.

    Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry, by Mary Higgins Clark
    Journalist Gina Kane receives an email from a woman named Ryan who wants to talk about the ‛terrible experience’ she had working at television news network REL, she smells a story. But her source goes dark, and she learns that Ryan has died in a freak jet ski accident. At REL, corporate counsel Michael Carter has received numerous complaints from women working at the network, alleging sexual harassment and worse. He begins a campaign to buy the women off, trading settlements for their silence. As more bodies turn up, Kane and Carter engage in a chess game as one tries to cover up the story and one tries to expose it—and someone else is willing to kill to stop it cold.

    Tom Clancy: Code of Honor, by Marc Cameron
    Marc Cameron returns to the world and characters created by Tom Clancy in a story where Jack Ryan resumes center stage as President of the United States. When a brilliant computer scientist creates a game-changing artificial intelligence, he’s murdered by agents of the Chinese government who want the technology for themselves. The killing is witnessed by an old friend of Ryan’s, Father Pat West, who manages to get in touch with the president with what he knows. Ryan is concerned, but when West is abducted, Ryan’s rage knows no limits—and he sets out to demonstrate to his enemies that the most powerful man in the world is the wrong person to make into a personal enemy.

    The Siberian Dilemma, by Martin Cruz Smith
    The ninth Arkady Renko book finds the investigator, who works for the Moscow Prosecutor’s office, worried about his girlfriend Tatiana Petrovna. The journalist left for an assignment in Siberia and failed to return. When Renko is ordered there himself—to supervise the prosecution of a terrorist named Aba Makhmud and ensure a long prison sentence, with a threat against his stepson if he fails—he sees an opportunity to look for Tatiana as well. When he arrives in Siberia he stumbles into a murder investigation, the victim a wealthy oligarch and a friend of the reclusive billionaire Tatiana was interviewing. Getting Tatiana—and himself—out alive while following his boss’s orders will take every ounce of Renko’s brains, but as always he’s up for the challenge.

    What thrillers are giving you chills this month?

    The post The Best Thrillers of November 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 2:00 pm on 2019/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-bookstore, , , current affair, , rachel maddow, , then and now,   

    This Season’s Best History & Current Events Books 

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    As 2019 winds down, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the past—both the events of a momentous year and the more distant history that brought us to where we are today.  The best history and current events books of this season come to us from journalists like Rachel Maddow, Gail Collins, and Ronan Farrow, and historians like Amity Shlaes and S. C. Gwynne, all of them exploring the events that have and will define our lives.

    Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, by Rachel Maddow
    Firebrand journalist Rachel Maddow’s latest argues that the primary corrupting influence disrupting our world today—responsible for eroding democratic norms and making things worse for just about everybody—is the oil and natural gas industry. On one hand, she makes a case that the obscene amounts of money generated by these parts of the energy sector make it easy for corporate interests to pervert good governance for their own short-term interests. On the other, she takes a deep dive into the affairs of modern-day Russia, arguing that Vladimir Putin seized control of his country’s oil and gas industry and made it (and its profits) a tool of his domestic and international policies, while simultaneously running it into the ground. It’s an incendiary take on global politics that might change the way you look at the world.

    Deep State: Trump, the FBI, and the Rule of Law, by James B. Stewart
    James B. Stewart analyzes the ongoing collateral damage ensuing from the back-and-forth between the Trump administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, beginning with the simultaneous investigations of both the Trump and Clinton campaigns that dangerously politicized the work of the country’s main investigative body—a situation that only grew more fraught after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The result of these power struggles will redefine what the term “rule of law” means in a country where the concept is foundational; Stewart makes the case that whatever the result of these conflicts, the chief loser will be American democracy.

    Great Society: A New History, by Amity Shlaes
    Amity Shlaes makes the forceful argument that decisions made fifty years ago under the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations seeking to ameliorate the suffering of the poor have now made it nearly impossible to solve the very problems they were designed to address. The book takes a contrarian view of the Johnson and Nixon administrations, arguing that they were more similar in process than is usually accepted, and that together they doomed both the ambitious agenda of the Great Society and the administration of the Vietnam War. She suggests the spending commitments of the Great Society have not only trapped multiple generations into what she terms “government dependence,” but also now made it impossible for the government to reverse course in any meaningful way to address the issue. It’s a sobering work that reminds us that, in government, there are no easy fixes.

    Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War, by S. C. Gwynne
    The Civil War remains a fascinating area of study, not least because of the contrary nature of the narrative—for long stretches, the worth of each costly skirmish was inconclusive at best, as both sides spent blood and treasure in battles that had little impact on the overall course of the conflict. That all changed in 1864 when Ulysses S. Grant was placed in charge of the federal forces; within a year, the Confederacy surrendered. Gwynne takes a detailed look at this final year of the war to discover what changed, highlighting Grant’s relative ineffectiveness as a field commander, a Robert E. Lee defined more by frustration than brilliance, and a Sherman who was simultaneously a poor general and a brilliant man. There’s still more to discover about this defining American conflict.

    Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, by Ronan Farrow
    Ronan Farrow delivers a book fated to inspire future generations of journalists. While working on a related story, Farrow and his producer stumble on clues that indicate a well-known, powerful Hollywood figure is a serial sexual predator. The ensuing investigation reads like a spy thriller, as Farrow—who doesn’t lack connections and resources—faces a growing army of operatives working to derail the story and intimidate him by any means necessary. Even as Farrow is followed, surveilled, and threatened, the story remains as much about the women who sparked a global movement as it is about careful journalism.

    No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History, by Gail Collins
    The perception of age is shifting in today’s society, especially for women, who have historically struggled against prevalent ageism. Gail Collins’s latest offers a clear look back at the contributions made by women over a certain age throughout history, from Martha Washington to Muriel Fox—fascinating tales of overcoming prejudice and other obstacles while simultaneously fighting against the idea that women have a “sell-by” date that renders them voiceless, sexless, and invisible. With deep-dive analysis broken up by briefer vignettes, Collins reveals surprising facts uncovered in her research (for example, doctors once thought sexual activity would literally kill women over the age of 50) while establishing that woman have always been more than capable of handling themselves at any age.

    Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History, by Brian Kilmeade
    The conflict that made Sam Houston, David Crockett, and Jim Bowie household names was a pivotal moment for both Texas and the United States. But General Houston, the hero of Texas independence and its president, is often overlooked in popular history, despite his influence on this momentous event. Kilmeade seeks to remedy that with a fast-paced account of Houston’s life and career, culminating in the Battle of San Jacinto, the Texan victory that secured its independence from Mexico and ultimately set it on the path to statehood. Kilmeade brings Houston to life as a bold, flawed hero living in the midst of incredible events and surrounded by personalities large enough to match his own.

    The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, by Eric Foner
    Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Foner takes a deep dive into the lasting repercussions of the Civil War, most notably the so-call Reconstruction Amendments—the 13th, 14th, and 15th—and their enduring impact on our constitution and system of government. Foner notes that these amendments marked the first time equality was specifically extended to all Americans, and challenged tradition by charging the federal government with enforcement of the rule of law they established, rather than the states. Foner sees this change as ushering in a second iteration of the United States—one that floundered almost immediately, but which he sees as still viable; certainly the book is shot-through with optimism, and the belief that America still has a chance to become a country in which all citizens are truly equal.

    Three Days at the Brink: FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win World War II, by Bret Baier with Catherine Whitney
    Co-writers Bret Baier and Catharine Whitney combines a perceptive portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a thriller-esque depiction of the fateful meeting between FDR, Stalin, and Churchill in Tehran in 1943. It was at this meeting that Stalin argued for an invasion of Nazi-held Europe to ease the pressure on the Red Army, a plan that eventually culminated in the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944. Baier details how Roosevelt worked to befriend and “seduce” Stalin, then took lead on the strategy and decision-making when it came time to plan the massive undertaking. Baier isn’t uncritical of the 32nd president, suggesting several decisions in which even the charismatic and brilliant Roosevelt turned out to have been in the wrong. Writing with verve, Baier and Whitney make consequential history come alive.

    What history and current affairs books are you reading this season?

    The post This Season’s Best History & Current Events Books appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Sarah Skilton 1:00 pm on 2019/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-bookstore, , , , , , , final option, gwendy's magic feather, , richard chizmar, spy, sword of kings, the age of anxiety, ,   

    The Season’s Can’t-Miss New Releases in Fiction 

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    Seven years after The Night Circus won our hearts, Erin Morgenstern returns with an equally riveting sophomore novel full of magic, lush imagery, and secret societies. The incomparable Danielle Steel is also back with a World War II spy tale, and in his debut novel, rocker Pete Townshend brings us an operatic, psychedelic meditation on creativity. If you’re not ready to leave behind the thrills and chills of late fall, look no further than Gwendy’s Magic Feather, by Richard Chizmar (with a foreward by Stephen King).

    The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
    In this love letter to books and the power of stories to transform and make sense of our lives, The Night Circus author introduces us to graduate student and bibliophile Zachary Rawlins, who discovers a magical underground library that’s in danger of being destroyed. Soon Zachary is following clues that relate to an incident from his childhood, somehow captured in a book he never wrote. Painted doors that lead to lost cities; masquerade parties; secret societies; and a love story to call his own await him. Morgenstern’s masterful ability to immerse readers in fantastical realms will enchant and delight.

    Spy, by Danielle Steel       
    Fans of Steel’s historical fiction (particularly Silent Honor and A Good Woman) will devour this World War II-set espionage tale about a young woman living a life of subterfuge and risk. Alexandra Wickham is a classic beauty, fluent in French and German, and born into privilege in Hampshire, England, but she refuses to remain on the sidelines while her fellow countrymen put their lives on the line. Her volunteer work as a nurse in London quickly springboards to a position as a secret agent. But can she keep her true identity hidden from everyone she’s ever cared about?

    Final Option, by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
    Juan Cabrillo, leader of “The Corporation” and captain of the Oregon—a disgusting clunker of a steamer that’s secretly the most high-tech ship in the world—is back for a 14th adventure. Sent to extract two American spies who’ve been exposed in Brazil, Cabrillo finds himself scrambling to avoid a trap. Worse, someone has duplicated the formerly one-of-a-kind Oregon in a bid to beat Cabrillo. He’s never faced such a formidable opponent, nor had more to lose if he and his crew fail in their mission.

    The Age of Anxiety, by Pete Townshend
    The Who’s lead guitarist and songwriter (who once owned a bookstore!) has written a novella, an autobiography, and a short story collection in the past, but this month he debuts something entirely new: an “operatic rock novel” ten years in the making. A sprawling, at times hallucinatory meditation on what it means to be creative (and the fine line between brilliance and madness), the book pulls back the curtain on certain aspects of the music industry while following two generations of a London family and the artistic—sometimes broken, sometimes damaged, always fascinating—people who surround them.

    Gwendy’s Magic Feather, by Richard Chizmar
    In Gwendy’s Button Box, Chizmar teamed up with Stephen King for a novella set in the iconic fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. Now Chizmar is flying solo for this full-length sequel that finds Gwendy (the once-hapless girl entrusted with the nightmarish button box) all grown up into an accomplished, happily married woman with political aspirations. Gwendy returns to her hometown when two girls go missing in a storm. Perhaps she’s meant to use the contraption to help aid in the search—or perhaps the contraption is using her.

    Sword of Kings, by Bernard Cornwell
    If you miss A Game of Thrones, why not dive into this bloody, battle-heavy, medieval history of England? In the twelfth book of the series (which inspired the Netflix show The Last Kingdom), 10th-century monarch King Edward sees power slipping from his grasp. He’ll need to rely on Uhtred of Bebbanburg—our narrator—to secure a proper heir by killing the heir’s main two rivals. Reluctant though he is to leave Northumbria (remind you of a certain Stark?) Uhtred is bound by oath and reluctantly up to the task, his sword “Serpent-Breath” by his side.

    The Glittering Hour, by Iona Grey
    At twenty-two, wealthy British socialite Selina Lennox and her wild ways are the talk of the town. But a chance encounter with penniless artist Lawrence Weston changes all that when he and Selina fall in love, although both are aware that their star-crossed romance will be frowned upon. When tragedy forces Selina to make a difficult decision, she chooses safety over passion. Years later, Selina’s nine year old daughter Alice has been left with her grandparents while her parents travel abroad. To keep her entertained, her mother sends Alice letters, and clues which lead her on a consequential treasure hunt. With its twists and turns, unforgettable characters, and lush period detail, this gorgeous historical saga of family, love, and loss will keep you spellbound.

    Africaville: A Novel, by Jeffrey Colvin
    This unforgettable debut follows the lives of three generations of the Sebolt family, whose ancestors, former slaves from the Caribbean and United States, settled in Nova Scotia, where they managed to build a thriving community, despite facing devastating hardships, from harsh winters to racial prejudice. No stranger to these same hardships, Kath Ella is nevertheless disappointed when her defiant son Omar leaves Canada behind for the US, eventually settling in the deep South, where he has a son of his own. He may have left Africaville behind, but Omar still finds himself forced to confront and come to terms with his roots, his identity, and his past in an epic story that weaves together family, history, and identity, against the backdrop of tumultuous historical events over the last century.

    The post The Season’s Can’t-Miss New Releases in Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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