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

    15 Newly Translated Novels You Need to Read in 2019 


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

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

    Argentina: 77, by Guillermo Saccomanno

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

    Sweden: Acts of Infidelity, by Lena Andersson

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

    Thailand: Bright, by Duanwad Pimwana

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

    Syria: Death is Hard Work, by Khaled Khalifa

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

    France: League of Spies, by Robert Merle

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

    China: Life, by Lu Yao

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

    Japan: Star, by Yukio Mishima

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

    Russia: The Coronation, by Boris Akunin

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

    South Korea: The White Book, by Han Kang

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

    France: Pretty Things, by Virginie Despentes

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

    Norway: T Singer, by Dag Solstad

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

    South Korea: The Plotters, by Un-su Kim

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

    Chile: The Spirit of Science Fiction, by Roberto Bolaño

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

    Denmark: The Summer of Ellen, by Agnete Friis

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

    Zimbabwe: House of Stone, by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

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

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

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

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

    15 Newly Translated Novels You Need to Read in 2019 


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

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

    Argentina: 77, by Guillermo Saccomanno

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

    Sweden: Acts of Infidelity, by Lena Andersson

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

    Thailand: Bright, by Duanwad Pimwana

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

    Syria: Death is Hard Work, by Khaled Khalifa

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

    France: League of Spies, by Robert Merle

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

    China: Life, by Lu Yao

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

    Japan: Star, by Yukio Mishima

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

    Russia: The Coronation, by Boris Akunin

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

    South Korea: The White Book, by Han Kang

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

    France: Pretty Things, by Virginie Despentes

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

    Norway: T Singer, by Dag Solstad

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

    South Korea: The Plotters, by Un-su Kim

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

    Chile: The Spirit of Science Fiction, by Roberto Bolaño

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

    Denmark: The Summer of Ellen, by Agnete Friis

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

    Zimbabwe: House of Stone, by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

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

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

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

     
  • Jen Harper 3:00 pm on 2019/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: Fiction, girl stop apologizing, , , quotable quotes,   

    Girl, Stop Apologizing: 15 Insta-worthy Quotes from Rachel Hollis’s New Book 


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    In 2018, she told readers to wash their faces, and now she’s back with another important piece of advice for her legions of fans: Stop apologizing! Author, podcaster, businesswoman and motivational speaker Rachel Hollis wants to get women to overcome their fears, embrace their dreams, and follow their ambitions in both their personal and professional lives with her brand-new book Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals.

    Her follow-up to the bestselling Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be is chock-full of helpful tactical tips and inspirational nuggets of wisdom Hollis has gleaned from her own experiences building a successful enterprise. And she doesn’t just draw from her own know-how;  she even includes some motivational quotes from friends of hers like Elizabeth—”You need less wishbone and more backbone.”—and other luminaries like renowned historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich—”Well-behaved women seldom make history.”—and rapper and Mr. Beyonce himself, Jay-Z—”I’m a hustler, baby.”

    With her blunt, no-nonsense style, Rachel’s words of encouragement occasionally venture into the slightly profane—as Hollis says, “I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.” But for her fans, it’s all part of her charm.

    We rounded up some of the most Instagrammable quotes from Girl, Stop Apologizing, so start scanning your photo archives for some breathtaking landscapes upon which you can superimpose Hollis’s words and start posting! And be sure to order Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals for even more important pearls of wisdom on living your best life.

    1. “Embracing the idea that you can want things for yourself even if nobody else understands the whys behind them is the most freeing and powerful feeling in the world.”

    2. “Talents and skills are like any other living thing—they can’t grow in the dark.”

    3. “There is so much untapped potential inside people who are too afraid to give themselves a chance.”

    4. “[T]he world needs your spark. The world needs your energy. The world needs you to show up for your life and take hold of your potential.”

    5. “A goal is a dream with its work boots on.”

    6. “Stop waiting for someday; someday is a myth.”

    7. “Not having the knowledge makes you teachable, not stupid. Not being in shape makes you moldable, not lazy. Not having the experience just makes you stronger, not ignorant.”

    8. “You are enough. Today. As you are.”

    9. “You guys, mommy guilt is bulls—!”

    10. “OPO, other people’s opinions. You down with it? Because if you are, you’re giving all your power away.”

    11. “When everything is important, nothing is important.”

    12. “Ambition is not a bad thing.”

    13. “Girl, maybe you should get it tattooed on your body, but it’s this simple: go all in.”

    14. “You cannot control the circumstances of your life; you can only control your reaction to them.”

    15. “Who you are is defined by the next decision you make, not the last one.”

    What’s your favorite bit of advice from Rachel Hollis’s new book?

    The post <i>Girl, Stop Apologizing</i>: 15 Insta-worthy Quotes from Rachel Hollis’s New Book appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 7:00 pm on 2019/03/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Fiction, ,   

    March’s Best New Thrillers 


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    The Cornwalls Are Gone, by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois
    Army intelligence officer Amy Cornwall is skilled at dealing with scenarios that would make most people blanch. But nothing in her professional career prepares her for the sense of dread she experiences when she comes home to find her husband and young daughter missing. Contacted by the kidnapper, she is told there is only one way to save her family: she must somehow secure the release of an unnamed captive. She has two days to accomplish her mission, and if she fails, her family will be killed. Amy has no choice but to go rogue, using her training, contacts, and desperation to find out who took her family and why.

    Cemetery Road (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Greg Iles
    Marshall McEwan escaped Bienville when he was young, heading off to Washington D.C. to become a journalist. When his father’s death and his family’s struggling newspaper force him to return home, he finds a transformed town flush with sketchy money and controlled by Max Matheson’s shadowy Bienville Poker Club, and discover’s Max’s old flame Jet has married the man’s son. After Max is implicated in the murder of his wife, he insists Jet serve as his defense lawyer. She secretly teams up with Marshall to investigate the whole web of lies, corruption, and murder, acting as the confidential informant to the journalist. Soon, the whole town seems to turn against Marshall, refusing to deal with the horrifying truth he’s threatening to reveal. The B&N exclusive edition includes a note from Greg Iles to his readers.

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

    The Persian Gamble, by Joel C. Rosenberg
    Rosenberg’s sequel to The Kremlin Conspiracy spins a thrilling story that feels like a secret history unfolding in real time. In a bold move against NATO, Russia plans an invasion of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania while simultaneously signing a mutual defense pact with North Korea, which has only pretended to give up its nuclear program. Oleg Kraskin, son-in-law to Russian president Luganov, sees the potential end of the world in his father-in-law’s plot and passes information about his schemes to former secret service agent Marcus Ryker. They link up with the CIA’s Moscow station chief Jenny Morris in a desperate attempt to stop the mad president’s plans.

    The Perfect Alibi: A Novel, by Phillip Margolin
    Star athlete Blaine Hastings is convicted of rape despite his passionate, angry denials, largely due to the incontrovertible DNA evidence. While he’s in prison a second rape is committed, with DNA evidence pointing to the same culprit—which should be impossible. With a new lawyer, Blaine gets a fresh trial and is released on bail. His original lawyer is soon found dead. Fearing for her safety, the original rape victim hires young attorney Robin Lockwood, a skilled MMA fighter who is also handling another client charged with murder, despite clear evidence the act was committed in self-defense. Soon, Lockwood comes to suspect the two cases are connected, but she’ll have to act quickly to prove her theory before someone else winds up dead.

    My Lovely Wife, by Samantha Downing
    When the body of a young woman named Lindsay is discovered in an abandoned motel, it’s shocking—especially to the narrator of the book, who, along with his wife Millicent, had previously kidnapped her as part of a twisted attempt to inject sick thrills into their stale marriage. Millicent was supposed to kill Lindsay quickly and dispose of her body, but confesses she decided it would be better if the crime scene mimicked those of a notorious local serial killer. While the husband is intrigued by the possibility of hiding a murder spree behind another string of killings, the downside to this trick is the increased attention the crime receives.

    Dark Tribute: An Eve Duncan Novel, by Iris Johansen
    Johansen’s 24th Even Duncan novel kicks off with deceptive calm. Eve’s ward, violin prodigy Cara Delaney, leaves a celebrated performance and travels to Atlanta to meet her friend Jock in hopes of convincing him their intense bond should evolve into something romantic. At the hotel they’re both staying at, however, Cara’s whole world is turned upside-down when she’s abducted by a man bent on against Eve and her husband Joe Quinn. While Eve and Joe scramble to chase down clues, Cara must use all of her wits to survive.

    The Woman in the Dark, by Vanessa Savage
    After accidentally overdosing in the wake of her mother’s death, Sarah and her husband Tom decide to move their family into Tom’s childhood home. Sarah insists her brush with suicide was an accident, and that the change of scenery will be a wonderful way to leave grief behind. When they arrive, however, they find the house has been abandoned for 15 years after its last occupants were brutally murdered. They move into what the locals call the “Murder House” anyway. As Tom becomes obsessed with the crime, odd objects from the house’s past begin to turn up on their doorstep. When Sarah learns the murderer has just been released from prison—and that the sole survivor is in town too—she begins to doubt her husband’s stories of his own childhood in the house. As her struggle with depression worsens, Sarah grows desperate to protect her children from what increasingly seems like a supernatural evil within the residence. Or is it all in her head?

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

     
  • Sarah Skilton 6:00 pm on 2019/02/26 Permalink
    Tags: candice carty-williams, , crown jewel, daisy jones & te six, , , Fiction, gina marie guadagnino, in the blink of an eye, jess blackadder, lolly winston, louisa morgan, me for you, queenie, silent night, taylor jenkins reid, the parade, the parting glass, the witch's kind,   

    March’s Best New Fiction 


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    This month brings us tales of witches, espionage, and a Downton Abbey-esque love triangle, as well as an oral history of the dramatic break-up of a wildly famous 1970s band. Across the pond in England, you’ll fall head over heels for Queenie in a debut that’s been called Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah. Lastly, grab your tissues for emotional stories about families in crises from Jess Blackadder and Danielle Steel.

    Silent Night, by Danielle Steel
    Fans of Steel’s recent novels The Cast and Beauchamp Hall in particular will love her latest, also set in the world of TV. After a tragic car accident, nine-year-old child star Emma loses her mother, relentless stage mom Paige, whose own parents were considered Hollywood legends. Emma is sent to live with her Aunt Whitney, a down-to-earth, accomplished psychiatrist who was never comfortable with the family’s celebrity status. But the physical and mental trauma from the accident has irrevocably altered the once-bubbly, outgoing little girl, and it will take every ounce of strength and love Whitney possesses to bring Emma back.

    Daisy Jones & The Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Fresh off the success of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Reid returns with a 1970s-set story reminiscent of the rise and break-up of Fleetwood Mac. Via interview transcripts, readers learn how the brilliant, fiery Daisy Jones joined forces with up-and-coming band The Six to form an iconic, larger-than-life group. The Six’s leader, Billy Dunne, isn’t prepared for Daisy to challenge his authority or decisions, and her actions may have inspired his other bandmates to rebel, too.  There’s enough drama, sex, drugs, and betrayals in this rock documentary to power a small country, all centered on the book’s main question: What tore the band apart at the height of their success?

    The Witch’s Kind, by Louisa Morgan
    Witches are often metaphors for women distrusted by society, and Morgan (A Secret History of Witches) uses that tension to great effect in this World War II-era family story. Barrie Anne and her aunt Charlotte live alone in a small Pacific Northwest town that views them with suspicion, and when they take in an abandoned baby who appears to share their supernatural powers, they feel a fierce need to protect the child. Then Barrie Anne’s abusive husband shows up, and the women must determine the lengths they’re willing to go to for autonomy and self-determination.

    The Parade, by Dave Eggers
    Two foreign contractors are sent to pave a road meant to unite the people of an unnamed country ravaged by a decade-long civil war. Known only as Four and Nine, the contractors are opposites in every way; rule-abiding Four wants to get in and out as swiftly as possible, while wild-card Nine insists on exploring the local nightlife and meandering onto any path that entices him. Nine’s irresponsible and reckless behavior quickly causes problems above and beyond the chaos that awaits the two men. Eggers has spent time in the Sudan, which may have helped inspire this allegorical tale that poses the question, are outsiders capable of strengthening another country’s fragile peace?

    Crown Jewel, by Christopher Reich
    Last year’s The Take introduced readers to thief-turned-corporate-spy Simon Riske, a high-end problem solver who lives for the thrill of the chase. After all, to catch a criminal, you’ve got to think like one, and Simon’s shady past proves the perfect training ground for his latest caper. The manager of a casino in luxurious Monte Carlo hires Riske to figure out who’s been ripping off the establishment—to the tune of millions—and how the heists tie together with a recent murder and kidnapping. Fast cars, stunning locales, mobsters around every corner, and a mysterious woman who may or may not be royalty, make for a slick and compelling read.

    The Parting Glass, by Gina Marie Guadagnino
    A sexy historical debut set in 1830s New York City, Glass is perfect for fans of Sarah Waters and centers on a tortured, passionate love triangle. When siblings Maire and Seanin O’Farren arrived from Ireland, by necessity they assumed British personas to find work. Rechristened Mary and Johnny, respectively, they are both hiding illicit secrets that could ruin their lives and positions, not the least of which is that lady’s maid Mary is deeply in love with her gorgeous, wealthy employer, Charlotte. Unbeknownst to Charlotte, the stable groom with whom she’s having an affair—facilitated by Mary—is Mary’s brother. An irresistible tale of forbidden love, family loyalty, the criminal underworld, and the risks we take to protect the people we cherish.

    Me For You, by Lolly Winston
    It’s been nearly a year since fifty-something Rudy became a widower. Having left the world of finance for a job playing piano at Nordstrom’s, he gains a friend in Sasha, a co-worker from the watch department who appreciates his music. Their tentative connection makes him feel as though he’s betraying his wife, however, and his guilt only intensifies as the anniversary of his wife’s death draws closer. When the police inform him that foul play was involved, his world is altered once again, obliterating any clear path forward. As with Good Grief, Winston’s bestselling debut, Me For You provides a sympathetic voice to those who’ve loved and lost but aren’t yet down for the count.

    In the Blink of an Eye, by Jess Blackadder
    Transplanted from Tasmania to New South Wales to care for an ailing relative, the Brennan family has barely settled in to their new home when their toddler son drowns in the backyard pool. In light of the tragedy, parents Bridget and Finn turn on each other, and their surviving son, teenaged Jarrah, already the victim of bullies, must navigate the harrowing reality of Before and After. Blackadder gives a POV to each family member, whose grief, pain, hopelessness, and rage are deftly and emotionally rendered.

    Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams
    This debut looks to be a blistering and blisteringly funny take on modern life and love. Queenie is a whip smart but foundering Jamaican-British journalist trying to figure out her next move after being dumped by her long-term white boyfriend. As she fumbles to make sense of her twenties, her increasingly frustrating job, and the racial politics that surround her everywhere she goes, her judgmental family dismisses Queenie’s interest in receiving psychotherapy, since they view Queenie’s problems as trivial. Will her trio of tight-knit friends and a series of questionable one-night stands see her through?

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

     
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