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  • Kat Sarfas 11:00 am on 2020/01/17 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-booksofthemonth, , , jane harper, jedidiah jenkins, , , , , to shake the sleeping self   

    Barnes & Noble Books of the Month for January 

    So you’ve resolved to read more this year—fantastic! That also means you might be in the market for some brilliant and highly recommended titles to add to your must-read list for 2020, and we just happen to have the perfect place to start—our new Books of the Month program!

    Books of the Month was created to engage and inspire you—our avid readers. Each month we aim to spark new and exciting conversations around powerful narratives with thoughtfully selected stories picked by our amazing team of booksellers. We love a really good book recommendation and look forward to sharing ours with you.

    Our choices this month range from a heart-racing thriller set in the brutal isolation of the Australian outback to an unflinchingly honest memoir that travels from Oregon to Patagonia. We shine a light on an up and coming author’s clever look at two women ultimately finding their power in eerily similar patriarchies, some sixty years apart, and complete our list with a hilarious new middle grade novel that mashes together a class of lovable misfits and academic train wrecks and a teacher who just wants to retire.

    Thriller of the Month

    The Lost Man, by Jane Harper

    “Jane Harper has done it again! This standalone novel takes the reader on a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the Australian Outback as Nathan tries to solve the mystery of his brother’s death and learns that his family has more to hide than he could have ever imagined.” – Heidi Shinbaum, Bookseller, Brentwood, TN

    Two brothers meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches deep in the Australian outback—where their third brother lies dead at their feet. With no sign of foul play and a victim with seemingly everything to live for, eldest brother Nathan starts his search to understand what led his brother Cameron to his fate. With a brutal climate and formidable landscape looming over the story, Nathan will wade through haunting urban legends and be forced to reckon with his family’s own secret history of violence.

    Just when you think you have all the pieces in place, this slow burn thriller will casually rebut all your theories, keeping you guessing until the very end. Thoroughly atmospheric and filled with compelling characters, this is a story that stays with you long after you finish reading.

    Non-Fiction Book of the Month

    To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regretby Jedidiah Jenkins

    To Shake the Sleeping Self is a remarkable story of self-reflection and growth. Jedidiah Jenkins’s humor, wit and honesty easily made this one of my favorite books. You’ll laugh, cry, and grow, all within 330 pages.” – Stephen Harrington, Visual Merchandiser, New York, NY

    Terrified of being funneled into a life he didn’t choose, Jedidiah Jenkins decides to set off on an epic adventure all his own, spending sixteen months cycling from Oregon to Patagonia—and chronicling his meditations and experiences on Instagram along the way. While a yearning for the great unknown may be in his blood—his father is the author of the classic A Walk Across Americathis is more than just a travelogue. Emboldened by his travel companion and the people he meets along the way, Jedidiah focuses as much energy on his internal quest for self-discovery, grappling with questions of faith and his own identity.

    A powerful reminder that extraordinary things can happen when we truly embrace uncertainty and escape our comfort zones, this poetic and inspirational memoir takes a piercing look at the fears we carry and those moments of bravery that can set us free.

    Children’s Book of the Month

    The Unteachables, by Gordon Korman

    Any book that makes me both laugh out loud and tear up on the subway will always hold a special place in my heart! I found I unexpectedly learned a lot from the misfit group known as Unteachables, and their journey to connect with each other will resonate with every kid in a classroom today.” – Shannon Devito, Book Buyer, New York, NY

    Isolated from the rest of the student body in Room 117, the Unteachables are just thatan infamous group of middle school misfits with a colorful array of quirks that are considered simply irredeemable.  To add to the fun, their newly assigned teacher Mr. Kermit is by far the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. Once a rising star, Mr. Kermit’s career was rocked by a cheating scandal some 26 years prior and now the only thing he cares about is counting down the days until early retirement.  When a gutsy vuvuzela heist rallies them all together, the Unteachables and Mr. Kermit might finally get their true shot at redemption after all.

    Hilarious, insightful, and deeply heartfelt, a rotating first person narrative keeps this story lively and completely entertaining. This is a true underdog story that shows a little kindness can ignite the hidden sparks in all of us.

    Discover Book of the Month

    Recipe for a Perfect Wife, by Karma Brown

    Recipe for a Perfect Wife has all of the ingredients for a page turning story that you will not want to put down. Rife with secrets, intricate storylines, and compelling characters—not to mention a recipe for the perfect meatloaf—Karma Brown’s latest is a tasty read this winter.” — Marisa Gothie, Bookseller, Wilmington, DE

    After reluctantly leaving New York City for the suburbs, newlywed Alice struggles with shifting roles at home and achieving domestic bliss in a new fixer-upper. When she discovers a vintage cookbook in her basement the allure of cooking up Baked Alaska and Chicken à la King soon reveals the darker story of the woman who previously owned it. As Alice discovers striking parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it finally forces her to focus on the trajectory of her own life, questioning the foundation of her marriage and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.

    This mesmerizing dual narrative of a modern-day woman and a quintessential 1950s housewife is all at once witty and charming as well as dark and sinistermuch like its focus characters. With great care and gravity, this book creates a satisfying look at the lies we tell to feed the secrets we keep.

    The post Barnes & Noble Books of the Month for January appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 5:00 pm on 2019/01/31 Permalink
    Tags: a justified murder, alex delaware, careless love: a dci banks novel, , charles todd, connections in death, hannah swensen series, , jane harper, , , , , , , the black ascot, the chocolate cream pie murder, , the vanishing man, the wedding guest   

    February’s Best New Mysteries 

    February may be a bleak month in a bleak season, but mysteries were made for bleak weather! To celebrate freezing temperatures and still-too-short days, we’ve got some brilliant whodunits for you this month, gumshoes. Pile on another lap blanket as you settle into your favorite armchair, and lose yourself in one or two of our eight favorite new mysteries for February.

    Connections in Death, by J. D. Rob
    Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are fans of giving back. That’s why they’re building a new school and shelter for troubled kids who need a second chance. They’ve enlisted the help of Dr. Rochelle Pickering, a psychologist who has experience in this area, having helped support her brother Lyle, whose life had been hurtling down a path of drug addiction and crime before he managed to get himself clean. But before long Lyle is found dead, a needle in his lap. It seems like an open and shut case of relapse, but something doesn’t add up for Eve, who is soon able to prove that actually, Lyle’s demise was not by his own hand.

    The Wedding Guest (Alex Delaware #34), by Jonathan Kellerman
    Fans of Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series know that no one is better at delving into a criminal’s twisted mind than the brilliant psychologist. Delaware’s pal, detective Milo Sturgis, is called to investigate a grisly murder that took place during a wedding reception that possibly got just a bit out of control at a former strip club. When a well-dressed female guest is found with her throat slashed, it’s up to this intuitive duo to narrow down the suspects from a list of 100 invitees, none of whom will cop to actually knowing the victim.

    The Chocolate Cream Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Series #24), by Joanne Fluke
    The honeymoon is over for newlywed and bakery owner Hannah Swensen, whose life has fallen to pieces not long after her celebrated nuptials. The Cookie Jar has been chosen as the setting for an exciting television special, but to Hannah’s chagrin it’s her own personal life, rather than her bakery, that’s taken center stage. Gossip is spreading like wildfire in Lake Eden and it’s not helping that Hannah has received a visit from an ex she’s on less than good terms with. Worse, she’s being followed everywhere by a bunch of bodyguards ever since a victim turned up…in her bedroom. Camped out in her mother Delores’s penthouse, Hannah must team up with a former flame to solve a deadly mystery.

    The Lost Man, by Jane Harper
    Nathan and Bub Bright are brothers whose properties adjoin each other—but because this is the Australian outback, they live a three-hour drive from one another—and are each other’s closest neighbors. There they find the body of their third brother, middle child Cameron. Cameron ran the family homestead, and his passing leaves behind a grieving family. His death is a mystery, and there are few clues to what led Cameron to head out across the brutal landscape alone. All Nathan and Bub know is that there is a dearth of suspects in this sparsely populated part of the world, and their investigation into Cameron’s death begins to unearth family secrets that may have been best left buried.

    A Justified Murder, by Jude Deveraux
    In the second book in Deveraux’s hit new mystery series, trio Sara, Kate, and Jack find themselves entangled in another murder mystery—but this time, the trio has decided to leave sleuthing to the professionals, having suffered too close a call the last time they got involved in solving a murder. But when a lovely older woman named Janet Beeson is found shot, stabbed and poisoned, the townspeople of Lachlan (and even the local sherrif!) decide that the residents who solved the infamous Morris murders should be the ones investigating this heinous new crime.

    The Black Ascot, by Charles Todd
    Inspector Ian Rutledge receives a tip that just might be enough to reopen the search for Alan Barrington, the suspect in a terrible murder who has managed to disappear for ten years. As Rutledge pursues the cold case, he begins to believe that Barrington may be back in England, giving investigators a priceless opportunity to finally apprehend him. But as he continues to dig into the mind of a ruthless killer, he finds his own sanity coming into question as the long-buried demons of his past are shaken loose.

    The Vanishing Man: A Prequel to the Charles Lenox Series, by Charles Finch
    The second novel in a prequel trilogy to the Charles Lenox Victorian series opens with the theft of a valuable painting from the home of the Duke of Dorset. But as Charles Lenox discovers when called to the scene of the crime, the thieves missed an even more valuable painting, and he’s concerned that they’ll come back for it. When they do, they add ‘murder’ to their list of crimes, and Lenox finds himself a party to a dreadful secret that the venerable Dorset family will do anything to protect. Fans of Charles Lenox will relish reading about his early exploits as a hungry young detective early in his career.

    Careless Love: A DCI Banks Novel, by Peter Robinson
    Two bodies turn up under very peculiar circumstances with no clear explanation behind their deaths in the newest novel in the riveting 25th novel in the Inspector Alan Banks series. One, a young woman, is discovered in an abandoned car in the middle of nowhere. But she doesn’t drive—doesn’t even have a license. Then an older gentleman is found in the woods, presumably he died from a fall during a hike, but why is he dressed in business clothes? The eerie and confounding details continue to add up until a surprising tip leads back to a very old—and very cruel—enemy.

    The post February’s Best New Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 5:00 pm on 2018/01/31 Permalink
    Tags: , death of an honest man, down the river unto the sea, force of nature, jane harper, , , joseph knox, , , , , night moves, raspberry danish murder, sirens, sunburn, the woman in the water, ,   

    The Best New Mysteries of February 2018 

    As the bleak winter months drag on, it becomes even more important to take time to do the things you enjoy. For armchair detectives, this means stocking up on some of February’s best new mysteries. From twisty tales of murder and mayhem, to cozy cloak-and-daggers, our latest bumper crop of whodunits has got you covered.

    Night Moves (Alex Delaware Series #33), by Jonathan Kellerman
    When a wealthy family returns home after an evening dinner, they discover a mutilated corpse sitting in their den. Detective Alex Delaware and his friend on the LAPD, Milo Sturgis, are having trouble finding any leads save the suggestion, from one of the family, that their cartoonist neighbor is “weird”, which is a long-shot of a lead, but it’ll have to do. Longtime fans of Kellerman’s long-running Alex Delaware Series will love the gruesome 33rd installment, which is conveniently also a good place for new readers to start from.

    Raspberry Danish Murder (Hannah Swensen Series #22), by Joanne Fluke
    Newlywed Hannah Swensen Barton has barely had time to savor her newfound wedded bliss when her husband Ross vanishes without a trace. Unable to piece together his disappearance, she throws herself into a baking frenzy to help fill holiday orders at The Cookie Jar, including a raspberry Danish tasty enough to help anyone forget about their troubles at home. But before P.K., Ross’s assistant at KCOW-TV, gets the chance to try the delectable pastry, he is murdered. P.K. had been sitting at Ross’s desk at work and driving his car—was he the murderer’s target, or was it Ross? Dig into the delicious 22nd mystery in this toothsome series.

    Force of Nature, by Jane Harper
    There’s nothing quite as awful as a corporate retreat, is there? Especially when it involves a trek into the great outdoors. Five colleagues are compelled to put on hiking boots and trek off into the mud…but only four make it back. And their stories don’t add up. As Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk begins investigating the disappearance, he finds himself stumbling down a rabbit hole of betrayal, inter-office intrigue, and long-buried secrets. Harper’s dazzling debut is not to be missed.

    Down the River Unto the Sea, by Walter Mosley
    A new standalone novel by the author of the Easy Rawlins series introduces Joe King Oliver, who has had what you might call a very difficult time of things. A former cop who found himself framed for assault by fellow NYPD officers, he was sent to Rikers Island, where he endured (and meted out) his fair share of abuse and brutality, and finally ended up in solitary. Now free, Joe’s post-prison life is a quiet one, revolving around his work as a private detective with the aid of his teenage daughter. Until he receives a mysterious note in the mail from a woman claiming to be the person who was paid to frame him. Joe realizes that he cannot rest until he gets to the bottom of his own case, but discovering the truth means aligning himself with a sociopath and wading into a fray of dirty cops and crooked lawyers.

    Death of an Honest Man, by M. C. Beaton
    Honesty is the best policy, but when newcomer Paul English moves to the town of Cnothan and begins attending church in Lochdubh, his policy of brutal truth-telling gets him in trouble, fast. English likes to call things as he sees them, and this essentially involves insulting every townsperson he comes across (he even has the nerve to tell everyone’s favorite laconic police sergeant, Hamish Macbeth, that it’s obvious he dyes his red hair). Before long, nearly everyone English has met would cheerfully kill him—and then someone does. It’s up to Hamish to solve this crime, but when basically everyone is a suspect, it’s far from an open and shut case. The entertaining 33rd installment in the Hamish Macbeth Series will delight longtime fans and win new ones.

    Sunburn, by Laura Lippman
    No one is quite who they seem in Lippman’s riveting noir masterpiece. Polly and Adam first encounter each other in a small town in Delaware. Adam is drawn to Polly’s air of mystery, but she’s not the only one with secrets. Even as they begin a passionate affair that is sure to end in disaster, each continues to hold back, engaging in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. As Polly and Adam’s lives become more tightly entwined, the stakes grow ever higher, until a suspicious death threatens to destroy them both. Be warned: you’ll want to finish this one in a single sitting.

    Sirens, by Joseph Knox
    Disgraced undercover officer Aidan Waits has been given the perfect assignment—perfect because it involves infiltrating the inner circles of dangerous drug lord Zain Carver, so it’s basically a suicide mission, and Aidan’s superiors are not particularly concerned about his health and safety. But Aidan will not be underestimated. He’s been assigned to save young Isabelle Rossiter from Zain’s dangerous influence, and he’s going to do it, even if it costs him everything. Which in fact it may, especially because his interest in her has gone beyond purely professional…

    The Woman in the Water, by Charles Finch
    The eleventh book in the Charles Lenox series is a prequel, taking readers back to the illustrious detective’s early days, when he was fresh, inexperienced, and eager to prove himself. When the discovery of a woman’s body in a naval trunk just off a small island in the middle of the Thames is linked to an anonymous letter sent to the paper suggesting that the killer will strike again, and soon—Lenox sees the opportunity to advance his career he’s been looking for. But his efforts to solve the case attract the killer’s attention, putting Lenox’s inner circle in danger. With a frightening murderer and a desperate young detective, The Woman in the Water will delight longtime fans of the series, while providing the perfect entry point for new readers.

    Claws for Concern, by Miranda James
    Delighted new grandfather Charlie Harris is keeping busy in the 9th novel in James’ endearing series. Through volunteering at the local library, he’s befriended an elderly man who is doing genealogical research that ends up being shockingly close to home. At the same time, true-crime author Jack Pemberton has become obsessively focused on making Charlie the subject of his next book. Fortunately, Charlie’s Maine Coon cat Diesel is up for the challenge of helping him get to the bottom of an unsolved murder. Heaped with Southern Charm and with a puzzling mystery at its heart, Claws for Concern is the perfect story to curl up with on a cold February night.

    The Gate Keeper (Ian Rutledge Series #20), by Charles Todd
    Ian Rutledge is driving around aimlessly after his sister’s wedding when he encounters a startling scene: a woman standing over a bloodied body in the middle of the road. The shaken woman insists that she is not the murderer; that the man was killed by a passerby, and Ian persuades Scotland Yard to give him the case despite the fact that he is a witness after the fact. The victim’s name was Stephen Wentworth, and he appears to have been generally well-liked, except by his own family, who refers to him as a murderer. As Ian digs deeper into the case, a second death makes it clear that the killer is not finished, and in fact may just be getting started.

    What mysteries are you sleuthing on this month?

    The post The Best New Mysteries of February 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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