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  • Sarah Skilton 7:05 pm on 2018/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, ,   

    November’s Best New Fiction 

    November is full of drama and suspense, with new offerings from fan favorites Liane Moriarty, Danielle Steel, Jeffrey Archer, and Barbara Taylor Bradford. A holiday farce and a serial-killing sister provide light and dark laughs for every mood, and Jonathan Lethem returns with his first detective story since 2000’s Motherless Brooklyn.

    Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty
    The Big Little Lies author is back with an addictive thriller set at a health retreat. Tranquillum House promises a total mind and body transformation for its well-to-do guests over an intense ten days. Among the group hoping for a mental and physical rebirth are a romance writer and a young woman whose troubled family is along for the ride. None of the nine have any idea what they’re in for, though some of them can’t help but wonder if they’d be better off running from the secluded resort as fast as they can.

    Beauchamp Hall, by Danielle Steel
    If you’ve ever dreamed of trading the real world for Downton Abbey, you have something in common with Winnie Farmington. Unlucky in love and career, Winnie’s love for the British television show Beauchamp Hall keeps her going when everything else feels hopeless. An impulsive trip to England to visit the town where the series is filmed leads to a magical new chapter in her life.

    Heads You Win, by Jeffrey Archer
    Archer is in excellent form with his latest book, a thrilling, surprising double storyline featuring one character with two fates. As a boy growing up in the late 1960s, Alex Karpenko flees Russia with his mother after his father is murdered by the KGB. Will the two of them emigrate to Great Britain or America? Why not both, and watch the chips fall? The tale spans thirty years and follows Alex’s opposing paths, each of which requires a return to Mother Russia and a confrontation with his past.

    Tony’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani
    Chi Chi Donatelli’s fierce independence is incongruous with the era in which she lives: the Jersey Shore in the 1940s. She has no interest in becoming a wife or mother until she has lived out her dream of singing with her favorite orchestras, and dreamy big-band entertainer Saverio Armandonada is just the man to make that happen. Their partnership spans radio, TV, and the nightclub circuit, and their inevitable marriage is upended by World War II. But stick around, because their passionate love story is just getting started.

    Fox 8, by George Saunders (illustrated by Chelsea Cardinal)
    Fox lovers will adore this novella-length story by the award-winning Saunders, whose melancholic Lincoln in the Bardo won the 2017 Man Booker Prize. Fox 8 is considered by his pack to have his furry head in the clouds, but his curiosity about people (and his penchant for learning children’s bedtime stories by eavesdropping underneath windows) may ultimately save his brethren when it comes time to seek out food in a neighborhood beset by danger.

    Night of Miracles, by Elizabeth Berg
    An uplifting, standalone sequel to The Story of Arthur Truluv, this delicious companion novel centers on Arthur’s friend Lucille, now living in Arthur’s home and newly inspired to teach baking classes there as a means of keeping busy. Familiar faces sign up for lessons, and when a new family moves in next door, they’re folded into the group of friends and loved ones while coming to grips with a difficult health crisis.

    The Feral Detective, by Jonathan Lethem
    A Motherless Brooklyn for the west coast, Feral Detective marks Jonathan Lethem’s first detective story in nearly twenty years. The inland empire of California’s desert is the perfect locale for his brand of off-the-grid noir, in which Manhattanite Phoebe Siegler hires the detective of the title, animal-loving vagabond Charles Heist, to find her friend’s missing teenage daughter, last seen near Mount Baldy. Up-to-the-minute commentary on today’s political atmosphere, conspiracies, and cultlike thinking inject an urgency into the hallucinatory, miragelike setting.

    The Splendor Before the Dark, by Margaret George
    In 2017’s The Confessions of Young Nero, our narrator proved to be an idealistic cultivator of artistry, beauty, and athleticism. In this second and final installment, and contrary to popular belief, Nero doesn’t fiddle while Rome burns, but he does take advantage of its destruction to mold a new society from the ashes, one that’s worthy of his self-perceived glory. Though his marriage to Poppaea seems perfect, the adoration of his people constant, not everyone is pleased with the power he wields and the decisions he makes (ahem, Golden House…). A traitor in his midst is about to make this anger known, and readers will feel completely absorbed by this sensitive, complex character study.

    Master of His Fate, by Barbara Taylor Bradford
    Kicking off a new Victorian-era saga, master of historical fiction Bradford introduces us to self-made James Lionel Falconer, a charming, would-be merchant prince enjoying a secret dalliance with an older woman, and Alexis Malvern, an aristocratic but charitable-minded young woman who has no desire to wed—until she meets Sebastian Trevelyan, fifteen years her senior, and romantic yearnings sweep her away. With their parallel lives and headstrong ambitions, it’s only a matter of time before the Falconer and Merchant families collide in this detail-rich series opener.

    Come With Me, by Helen Schulman
    In this modern, tech-soaked family drama, a virtual reality “choose your own adventure” program allows users to contemplate the alternate paths their lives might have taken if multiple universes were accessible. For employee and test subject Amy, a wife and mother who fears her husband Dan is unfaithful, that means bringing her own fantasies into the mix. Dan just wishes he could have a second chance at a jet-setting journalism career, and his decisions in that regard throws his relationship with Amy and their three children into chaos and heartbreak that may or may not be fixable.

    The Adults, by Caroline Hulse
    A comedic farce that sears all the goo out of Christmas fables, The Adults centers on Matt and Claire, former spouses who share a seven-year-old daughter, Scarlett. The alleged grown-ups decide to put aside their differences and spend Christmas together at a forced-fun theme park called Happy Forest—along with their new love interests, Patrick and Alex. Scarlett also brings a plus one in the form of her imaginary and opinionated bunny, Posey. Tension escalates with hilarious and unexpected results.

    My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    This suspenseful, mordant, and clever debut finds sisters Ayoola and Korede, who live in Lagos, Nigeria, perfecting the art of murder. Whenever beautiful, favored sibling Ayoola kills a boyfriend (three thus far), Korede, a shy, empathetic nurse, hides the crime and disposes the evidence. But when Ayoola sets her sights on Tade, a physician colleague of Korede’s whom Korede adores, the sisters’ latent sibling rivalry threatens to consume them.

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

     
  • Jeff Somers 7:00 pm on 2018/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , , new thrills,   

    November’s Best New Thrillers 

    Time—and publishing schedules—wait for no one, so if you slacked off on your TBR pile in October, watch out, because November is bringing a bumper crop of new thrillers. This month’s picks of the litter are heavy on the returning faves as James Patterson, Lee Child, and Clive Cussler bring back some of their most popular characters, while Anthony Horowitz delivers a brand-new adventure for one of the most famous classic thriller characters of all time—and David Baldacci goes the other way, hitting the ground running with a brand-new character.

    Long Road to Mercy, by David Baldacci
    Baldacci takes a break from Amos Decker to introduce FBI Agent Atlee Pine, whose skill set makes her one of the FBI’s top criminal profilers, but who chooses to work in solitude as the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona, resident agency. Pine is haunted by the kidnapping of her twin sister, Mercy, when they were six years old; the kidnapper sang out an old nursery rhyme as they chose which twin to abduct. Mercy was chosen, and Atlee never saw her sister again, and dedicated her life to saving others. When a mule is found dead in the Grand Canyon and its rider missing, Atlee is plunged into an investigation that would be beyond most agents—but not her. At least not until she’s abruptly ordered to close the case just as she’s figuring out the terrifying scope of what’s she’s chasing after…

    Target: Alex Cross, by James Patterson
    Patterson’s twenty-sixth Alex Cross book opens on a somber scene of mourning as hundreds of thousands of people gather in Washington, D.C., to mourn the president—among them Alex Cross, whose wife, Bree, has just become D.C.’s chief of detectives. When a sniper takes out a member of the president’s cabinet, it falls to Bree to solve the crime—and it’s clear her job is on the line. Cross begins to suspect the sniper is only getting started, and as usual he’s right—and the country is plunged into a violent crisis like nothing it’s ever seen before. Patterson raises the stakes beyond anything Cross has ever dealt with before—and that’s saying something.

    Past Tense, by Lee Child
    Jack Reacher returns in his twenty-third outing in fine form, as Child continues to get tremendous mileage from an older Reacher’s slow-burn journey into his own past. Faced with yet another fork in the road, Reacher chooses to walk into Laconia, New Hampshire, where his late father, Stan, was born. Meanwhile, a young couple driving from Canada stop at a mysteriously empty motel near Laconia when they have car trouble. Reacher, as usual, steps in to help the helpless and gets nothing but trouble for his efforts, while his efforts to learn about his father turn up a disturbing lack of information. As the two stories slowly work toward each other, Reacher discovers he might be more like his father than he suspected—and another batch of small-time goons discovers they’re no match whatsoever for Jack Reacher.

    Tom Clancy: Oath of Office, by Marc Cameron
    Cameron returns to the Jack Ryan universe for the second time with a complex story of betrayal and realpolitik that begins in Iran, where a Russian spy mourns his lover, Maryam, cut down by the Revolutionary Guard. This spurs Erik Dovzhenko to defect, traveling to Afghanistan to contact Maryam’s friend Ysabel Kashani. Ysabel brings in Jack Ryan, Jr., son of the President of the United States and member of antiterrorism unit the Campus. Ryan is in the area as part of a mission to track down two stolen nuclear weapons, and meets with Erik and Ysabel even as his father deals with an attack on an American embassy in Cameroon. The twisting story builds to an explosive conclusion in true Clancy style.

    You Don’t Own Me, by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
    Clark and Burke deliver the fifth book in the Under Suspicion series, featuring television producer Laurie Morgan, whose penchant for getting into trouble is just as strong as ever. Laurie is busy planning her wedding to former host Alex Buckley (who is about to be confirmed as a federal judge) when she’s contacted by the parents of a physician famously gunned down in his own driveway five years before; they’re in a bitter custody battle with his wife, and believe she was the killer. As Laurie takes on the story she finds, as usual, more layers to it than meet the eye—but as she works she’s being followed by a mysterious man who admires her from afar and thinks she might not be missed when she’s gone, pushing the tension to the breaking point.

    Sea of Greed, by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
    The sixteenth NUMA Files novel depicts a world on the verge of chaos as oil supplies dry up and stock markets drop. When a massive explosion in the Gulf of Mexico destroys three crucial oil rigs, the President of the United States is concerned enough to ask Kurt Austin and the NUMA Special Projects Team to investigate. Their attention is drawn to a maverick billionaire who sees her alternative energy company as the future—and who might be willing to take drastic measures to get to that future sooner rather than later. The crew of the NUMA finds evidence that an oil-eating bacteria thought lost fifty years before has been deployed in the Gulf, and now threatens to plunge the world into chaos if Austin and his team can’t get to the bottom of the mystery in time.

    Forever and a Day, by Anthony Horowitz
    Crafting an origin story for no less of a pop culture icon than James Bond is a daunting task, but Horowitz is in familiar waters after 2015’s Trigger Mortis, and does an expert job. The story kicks off with the death of the prior 007, found floating in the water off of Marseilles. M calls up Bond, newly attached to the Double-O section, and assigns him to investigate the agent’s death. Bond goes toe-to-toe with the Corsican mob and a classic Bond villain in the immensely obese and incredibly dangerous crime boss Jean-Paul Scipio. Horowitz seeds the story with plenty of Bond Easter eggs for longtime fans while crafting a tense, action-heavy story that satisfies simply as a modern-day spy thriller that’s gritty, violent, and morally complex.

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

     
  • Jeff Somers 3:00 pm on 2018/10/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , ,   

    October’s Best Thrillers 

    The Reckoning, by John Grisham
    Grisham’s latest is a compelling mystery set in the wake of World War II. Veteran Pete Banning, now enjoying civilian life as a farmer, gets up one day, has breakfast with his sister, and then drives into town and shoots the Reverend Dexter Bell three times, killing him. Banning makes no attempt to resist arrest, and only states that he has “nothing to say” about the murder. Is it connected to his wife, Liza, so recently committed to a hospital? Or is there a less obvious mystery afoot? As the community struggles to understand what’s happened, Grisham digs deeply into Banning’s backstory, following his journey through life and war on the way to a killing no one understands.

    Dark Sacred Night, by Michael Connelly
    Connelly pairs up two of his most enduring characters as Harry Bosch, now retired and working cases for his own reasons, and LAPD Detective Renée Ballard see their paths cross. After Ballard files a sexual harassment claim against the police department, she gets relegated to the graveyard shift. One night she catches Bosch looking through an old case file, researching the unsolved murder of a runaway girl in 2009. When she learns the girl’s mother, Daisy, is staying with Bosch as he helps her recover from drug addiction, Renée is moved to help. Meanwhile, Bosch’s other activities have put him directly in the sights of one of the most violent and ruthless street gangs in the area, Varrio San Fer 13, making the new partnership an extremely dangerous one—not that the detective is the type to spook easily.

    Ambush, by James Patterson and James O. Born
    When Detective Michael Bennett receives an anonymous tip that leads him into an attempted assassination, he quickly realizes it’s the work of a talented and mysterious professional, who soon targets Bennett’s family, while serving perfect red herrings clues to keep Bennett and his fellow cops chasing their tails. As Bennett puts the pieces together while protecting everyone he cares about, he realizes that while the assassin’s motivates are related to the rival cartels trying to corner the city’s drug traffic—cartels that may have joined forces to take out their main obstacle: Detective Michael Bennett.

    Paper Gods, by Goldie Taylor
    When Ezra Hawkins, a long-serving black congressman from Georgia, is assassinated, a hunt begins for both the killer and the congressman’s replacement. On the same day, infamous reporter Hampton Bridges is almost killed in a car accident that doesn’t seem so accidental, which drives him to dig even harder into the seamy underbelly of Georgia politics. Hawkins’ obvious successor would be his protégé, Atlanta Mayor Torrie Dodds—but dissatisfaction with Hawkins has soured Dodds, who resents a system controlled by wealthy white elites. As Bridges tracks down corruption and skulduggery, more killings ensue, and Dodds finds a mysterious link between the victims—one of whom is her own disgraced brother.

    The Night in Question, by Nic Joseph
    Paula Wilson works a rideshare gig to help with the medical bills that are crushing her family. One night she picks up her final passenger and is thrilled to recognize famous musician Ryan Hooks in her backseat. When she brings him to his destination and he’s met by a woman decidedly not his equally famous wife, Paula does something desperate—she suggests the best way to keep his meeting out of the papers is to pay her. But when it later turns out someone was murdered at that address, Paula realizes she might be the only person to know about Hooks’ secret affair, and thus the only witness to a terrible crime.

    The Trust, by Ronald H. Balson
    Balson’s fourth book following Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart sees Liam returning with reluctance to Northern Ireland for a funeral. He isn’t looking forward to seeing his family again, but is soon  astonished to find he’s been named the executor of his uncle’s secret trust, which can only be settled after Fergus’ murder is solved. Liam is forced to do the last thing he wants: take a deep dive into his family’s affairs, their long-standing connection to the IRA and the Troubles, and the skein of greed, resentment, and violence at the end of his every inquiry. Whoever killed Fergus is undoubtedly watching.

    Smile, by Roddy Doyle
    Booker Prize-winner Doyle returns with a fascinating character study that follows Victor Forde, a past-his-prime radio commentator who returns to his dingy hometown after separating from his celebrity chef wife. Abandoning his determination to make friends and do some writing, Forde drinks his sorrows away at Donnelly’s pub, spending time with the locals and then tottering off to work on a project he never quite gets started. One night at Donnelly’s, Forde encounters an old schoolmate, Fitzpatrick, a man he quite doesn’t remember from hisviolent years at St. Martin’s Christian Brothers School. Fitzpatrick forces Forde to revisit those dark childhood years, unraveling a decades-old mystery and memories of sexual abuse, and slowly becomes the man’s unlikely best friend, as Doyle builds to an ending both unexpected and inevitable.

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

     
  • Melissa Albert 2:00 pm on 2018/10/01 Permalink
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    October’s Best New Fiction 

    October brings chill winds and warm comfort food, with books to match. Stephen King and Anne Rice provide the chills, with new tales of Castle Rock and the vampire Lestat, respectively; and Nicholas Sparks, Kate Morton, and Mitch Albom provide the comfort with heartfelt dramas. Jodie Picoult’s ensemble about a women’s health clinic under attack is perfect for book groups, and Jan Karon’s collection of Father Tim’s advice makes a beautiful gift for Mitford fans.

    The Clockmaker’s Daughter, by Kate Morton
    An artist’s retreat in the summer of 1862 along the banks of the Thames ends in murder, thievery, and ruination for its host and guests. A century and a half later, archivist Elodie Winslow comes across some tantalizing clues about the events of that pivotal season, which she believes may connect with her own family history. Fans of The Lake House and The Secret Keeper know Morton excels at dual timelines and complex emotions.

    Every Breath, by Nicholas Sparks
    Sparks’s twentieth book is a breathtakingly romantic story about two strangers who meet at a North Carolina beach town and change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. Lonely-hearted Hope—whose boyfriend of six years still won’t commit—has returned to her family’s cottage to sell the property in light of her father’s failing health. Tru is a safari leader from Zimbabwe who’s compelled to seek out his biological dad. Over a fateful five days, they’re brought together for something grander and more heart-wrenching than either is prepared for. Keep your Kleenex handy! 

    The Next Person You  Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom
    Speaking of tearjerkers, the long-anticipated sequel to Albom’s 2003 smash hit, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, will have readers alternating between smiling and sobbing, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. As a child, Annie survived a Coney Island–esque roller-coaster accident in which maintenance engineer Eddie sacrificed himself to save her. Now grown up, Annie seemingly succumbs to tragedy on her wedding day, but she still has many lessons to learn about life, loss, and love. The B&N exclusive edition contains a bonus chapter you won’t want to miss.

    A Spark of Light, by Jodi Picoult
    A thoughtful and harrowing ensemble drama set at a Mississippi women’s health clinic under attack from a gunman, Light’s timeline travels backward as we get to know the hostages and law enforcement members involved. Multiple viewpoints invite readers to empathize with each character, from the nurses, doctors, protestors, and patients trapped inside, to the hostage negotiator trying to save his injured sister and fifteen-year-old daughter. The B&N exclusive edition provides an author interview and reading group guide. 

    Elevation, by Stephen King
    Just in time for Halloween, take a trip to Castle Rock, King’s favorite spooky locale, in a novella about what it means to be a member of a community. A man with a mysterious, possibly supernatural health problem dislikes the couple next door because their dog is a nuisance to him, but when he learns their restaurant is failing due solely to the homophobia of his fellow townspeople (the restauranteurs are lesbians), he makes it his mission to stand by them and shine a light on prejudice. 

    Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami (translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen)
    A lonely portrait painter going through a domestic crisis holes up in the mountain home of a famous, dementia-afflicted artist. There, the unnamed narrator teaches classes and discovers a never-before-seen, disturbing painting in the attic. The titular image has a story all its own, and a mystical, fever-dream journey ensues, denoted by the nightly ringing bells that torment our hero. Additional elements (cats, an homage to The Great Gatsby) make this an imaginative, vintage Murakami novel. 

    Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat, by Anne Rice
    Packed with appearances by Rice’s most beloved vampire creations, Communion feels like a reunion. Book thirteen in the Vampire Chronicles finds Lestat the Vampire Prince revealing how he came to rule the vampire world and how he intends to keep a peaceful court. However, Rhoshamandes has different plans for Lestat’s “Children of the Universe,” and you can bet they will involve a glorious and bloody battle.

    Bathed in Prayer: Father Tim’s Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford Series, by Jan Karon
    When the internationally bestselling Mitford Series began in 1989, the stories were published in the Blowing Rocket newspaper of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Fourteen books and countless fans later, lead character Father Tim Kavanaugh, the town’s Episcopal rector, has earned a collection dedicated to his words of comfort and wisdom as explored throughout the series. Included in the compilation are inspirational essays and personal anecdotes from Karon, a former advertising executive going strong in her eighties. 

    Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger
    Greenstone, Minnesota, is a mining town in decline, but its residents are worth rooting for. When middle-aged Virgil, the town clerk, drives his car into Lake Superior, he emerges a changed man. No longer will he shy away from confrontation or accept the apparently doomed fate of the classic movie theatre he has poured his heart into. Virgil’s new roommate is a quirky Norwegian whose missing son abandoned the woman Virgil loves. As their stories twist and twine together, readers will be utterly charmed by the town’s unusual, lovable inhabitants.

    The Kennedy Debutante, by Kerri Maher
    This well-researched, compelling debut historical puts the spotlight on Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, a lesser-known figure from the famous family, as she navigates London society in the late 1930s. Her love for Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire, proves complicated because of his family’s religion (Hartington is Protestant, and the Kennedys are Catholic) but those problems pale in comparison to the war that swiftly engulfs both sides of the Atlantic. Kick throws herself into the conflict as a journalist and Red Cross volunteer, hoping beyond hope that her path will cross again with Billy’s. Readers will hope so, too.

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

     
  • BN Editors 2:00 pm on 2018/09/04 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, ,   

    September’s Best New Fiction 

    As summer bids us farewell and vacation time winds down, what could be better than curling up with a transportive book? Whether you’re in the mood for 1940s Britain, 1970s Argentina, 1990s Paris, or current-day America with all its rapid-fire twists and turns, September’s best new novels will enthrall you. Fascinating love stories, daring tales of espionage, and a new, female-driven perspective of Homer’s Iliad await.

    Hippie, by Paulo Coelho (translated by M.B. Becker)
    Anti-authoritarian protestors of 2018 will enjoy this look at a previous generation of freedom seekers and demonstrators. Brazilian author Coelho—whose groundbreaking work The Alchemist celebrated its 30th anniversary this year—draws from his real-life experiences to present an authentic journey of self-discovery set in South America and Europe in the early 1970s. From Peru, Chile, and Argentina through Amsterdam and Kathmandu, young Paulo, an aspiring writer, and his Dutch lover Karla travel via the Magic Bus, learning about themselves and their fellow passengers in what promises to be an immersive examination of original hippie culture.

    Sea Prayer, by Khaled Hosseini
    This timely, heartfelt illustrated novel, the proceeds of which will go to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), depicts the hopes and fears of a father for his young son. As the duo waits for the boat that will take them on a harrowing escape from war-torn Syria, the father composes a letter to his sleeping child, detailing the lives they once lived in their home village of Homs. Intended for all ages, it’s a good choice for parents who want to explain the refugee crisis to their kids.

    Transcription, by Kate Atkinson
    Historical spy fiction at its finest, Transcription revolves around the mysterious choices made by Juliet, a teenager recruited by MI5 in 1940. Tasked with transcribing the clandestine meetings between a double agent and British Nazi sympathizers, Juliet believes her work is finished once the war ends. But ten years later her past returns, demanding answers about the role she really played serving justice to turncoats. Fans of Atkinson’s Life After Life  (i.e., everyone) will devour this suspenseful story.

    Katerina, by James Frey
    Toggling between Paris in the early ’90s and modern-day L.A., this love story/addiction parable seems to parallel some of the more controversial aspects of Frey’s real life. As a young American living in France, eager to write books that matter, Jay scrounges and scrimps and deals drugs alongside his sexy model muse. Twenty-five years later, now a famous author, he receives a message—possibly from said ex—that throws his world off-kilter. Will revisiting their passionate struggles ignite Jay’s creativity?

    Labyrinth of the Spirits, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    The fourth and final installment of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series (which began with The Shadow of the Wind) centers on Alicia Gris, orphaned by the Spanish Civil War as a child. Now nearly thirty, and working for Madrid’s secret police, she’s entrusted with locating a government official who seems to have vanished. Solving the mystery brings her into contact with friends of her parents and proves Franco’s regime was even more corrupt than previously understood. As with the earlier books in the tetralogy, Zafon continues to lavish love (and plot points) on books, those who love them, those who write them, and those who sell them. A literary feast. 

    Lake Success, by Gary Shteyngart
    Combining his trademark slapstick wit with a Greyhound bus road trip through the south and southwest, Shteyngart spins a tale set in right-this-second America, highlighting its surreal beauty and horror. Readers may not expect to root for a timepiece-obsessed hedge fund manager who abandons his American Indian wife and their autistic son for greener pastures, but watching Barry Cohen flail through his decisions in an attempt to outlast and outrun them proves satirical humor may be the best medicine in a society gone mad.

    The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker
    Previous Iliad / Odyssey retellings include Ransom, by David Malouf; The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller; and, of course Ulysses, by James Joyce. What makes Silence unique is that it focuses on the female prisoners held in Greece during the last days of the Trojan War. Briseis, the former queen of Lyrnessus, becomes Achilles’s concubine after he slaughters her family and lays waste to her city, but her struggles don’t end there; soon, Agamemnon demands that Achilles hand Briseis over to him, which changes the entire direction of the war. Barker is a master of wartime narratives, having won the Booker Prize for The Ghost Road, set during World War I.

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

     
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