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  • Jeff Somers 8:00 pm on 2019/09/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , top picks   

    The Best History & Current Affairs Books of September 2019 


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    As we head into the final quarter of 2019, history isn’t slowing down to let you catch your breath. The best history and current events books coming this month include a fascinating rumination on leadership from General Jim Mattis, an analysis of our current president by Bill O’Reilly, a book about one new Supreme Court justice and a book by another, and more.

    Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, by Jim Mattis and Bing West
    General Jim Mattis looks back over a storied military and political career that has taught him more about leadership than most people could ever hope to learn. Divided into three sections, Mattis’ memoir reflects on what it means to lead men directly into battle, to coordinate huge forces while being far from the front lines, and finally what it takes to weigh the needs of an entire nation when crafting strategy. Mattis, who started his career as a common recruit and became a four-star general and then, briefly, Secretary of Defense under Donald Trump, brings humility and wisdom to an uncommon memoir, a book with something to teach everyone who reads it, no matter their position or profession.

    The United States of Trump: How the President Really Sees America, by Bill O’Reilly
    Framed as a nonpartisan analysis of President Trump’s worldview and political beliefs, O’Reilly’s latest draws on direct interviews conducted with Trump as well as research into his life and experiences. The result is an attempt to offer fresh insights into how our 45th president sees both his country and the world beyond it. O’Reilly, who has known Trump personally for decades, has the inside track, and uses the skills he’s employed in his bestselling Killing series to trace the origins and evolution of Trump’s politics from his childhood all the way through the most recent developments in the White House. This is a fascinating and unprecedented in-the-moment study of a sitting president.

    The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly
    Journalists Pogrebin and Kelly, who broke several stories about Brett Kavanaugh even as his confirmation hearings descended into chaos, believed that the FBI investigation into allegations against him was truncated and crippled. Here, they finally present the sum total of their investigations into the Supreme Court justice’s upbringing, education, and young adulthood. The result is a portrait of a privileged, contradictory man—a portrait colored by never-before-seen testimony from people who knew Kavanaugh at key moments in his life. As Kavanaugh settles into a lifetime role on the Supreme Court that will allow him to influence America’s way forward for decades to come, this book offers a glimpse into the mind that will be making those consequential decisions.

    Power Grab: The Liberal Scheme to Undermine Trump, the GOP, and Our Republic, by Jason Chaffetz
    A former Utah congressman and chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform offers his perspective on how the country has changed in the wake of President Trump’s election, painting the Democratic party and the progressive movement as irrationally angry and willing to ignore or destroy both political norms and legal restrictions in order to attack conservative positions and leadership. With a healthy dose of inside baseball from his time in congress, Chaffetz accuses many on the Left of deception, corruption, and following an unconstitutional agenda hidden behind accusations of fascism and claims of resistance.

    Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump’s International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy, by Seth Abramson
    Legal and political analyst Abramson delivers a book that reads more like a summer spy thriller than reality, positing that in 2015, George Nader met with various leaders of the Arab world to unveil a plan reshape the political reality of the entire planet—with Donald Trump’s help. Abramson suggests that Nader pitched these leaders a pro-U.S. and pro-Israel alliance designed to contain the ambitions of Turkey and Iran, and that they threw their money, influence, and other resources behind Trump, who they expected to be friendly to Russia and belligerent towards Iran. It’s an intriguing argument, and, if you buy into it, a terrifying glimpse into realpolitik in the modern age.

    A Republic, If You Can Keep It, by Neil Gorsuch
    Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch made headlines when President Donald Trump nominated him to our nation’s highest court. In this book, Gorsuch seeks to define his views on the constitution, our system of government, and the rights that every American citizen enjoys. With speeches, essays, and personal notes, Gorsuch reflects on a life spent studying, interpreting, and defending the laws of the nation, and presents his arguments concerning his role as a justice—and everyone’s role as a citizen—in keeping this republic healthy for future generations of Americans. At the same time, Gorsuch offers glimpses of the personal events in his life that have shaped him just as much as his legal education and practice. Considering the immense influence Gorsuch will have on America over the coming years, this is an essential read for any enlightened citizen.

    Crossfire Hurricane: Inside Donald Trump’s War on the FBI, by Josh Campbell
    Former FBI special agent and law enforcement analyst for CNN Campbell was part of the team that accompanied FBI Director James Comey to Trump Tower to brief the newly-elected president about the Steele dossier, putting him in a unique position to observe the sustained attack that the White House launched against the FBI. Campbell details the early days of the so-called Russia investigation (code-named Crossfire Hurricane), beginning with in-the-room-when-it-happened, firsthand knowledge and continuing the saga with an insider’s keen instincts in the wake of his 2018 resignation. Campbell paints a picture of a historically independent and crucial law enforcement agency that is demoralized and in danger of being politically compromised—or even destroyed—by an out of control presidential administration. His years of access lend gravitas to the incredible events he details here.

    The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History, by Lee Smith
    Smith and Nunes present their narrative of a conspiracy to not only target and destroy President Trump, but the very institutions that sustain our republic—a conspiracy only revealed, Nunes says, due to his investigations as head of the House Intelligence Committee. The plot begins in 2016 with the FBI investigation into Russian infiltration on the upcoming elections—but Nunes claims that investigation never targeted any Russians, rather working to undermine first Trump’s campaign, and then his administration. Nunes believes his investigations expose efforts by the “deep state” to protect its own interests over those of the nation at large.

    Laughing with Obama: A Photographic Look Back at the Enduring Wit and Spirit of President Barack Obama, by M. Sweeney
    Shifting gears from current controversies, M. Sweeney follows up his similarly positive books Hugs from Obama and Go High with one filled with gorgeous images of former President Barack Obama throughout the years. It’s a book to remind readers (of a favorable political persuasion, anyway) how warm, human, and truly funny Obama is. Photos of the 44th president laughing, smiling, and looking joyful are paired with some of the former commander-in-chief’s funniest remarks and one-liners from throughout his administration and beyond. For anyone in desperate need of a bit of optimism or a reminder that American politics can occasionally produce humor or even joy, this book will serve as a mental palate cleanser.

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

    The post The Best History & Current Affairs Books of September 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 5:00 pm on 2019/09/04 Permalink
    Tags: discover new writers, , , top picks   

    The Best Thrillers of September 2019 


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    Summer’s almost over, but your Year of Reading continues, and we’ve got a fresh batch of nail-biting thrillers to fuel your Autumn, including a new novel featuring Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp, the next in James Patterson’s Instinct series, and a terrifying dive into the violent mind of a insane killer from the writer who gave us The Killing.

    Lethal Agent, by Kyle Mills
    Kyle Mills continues to keep Vince Flynn’s legacy going with the 18th Mitch Rapp novel, set during a divisive and chaotic election year in the United States. While politicians undercut each other and pay more attention to the polls than national security, ISIS engineers a horrifying threat, kidnapping a scientist and forcing him to begin developing Anthrax for an attack against the U.S. that will carried out by a Mexican drug cartel—with the horrible act’s progress chronicled by taunting Internet videos. Rapp and Irene Kennedy work feverishly to stop the plan while the country descends into panic, but the terrorists have a twist up their sleeves in the form of a deadly new pathogen that could decimate the world’s population.

    Killer Instinct, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
    Patterson and Roughan rejoin Dr. Dylan Reinhart and Detective Elizabeth Needham (featured in the hit 2018 TV series Instinct, inspired by Patterson and Roughan’s Murder Games ) in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack that strikes New York City just as the pair are tackling a murder case with disturbing connections to Reinhart’s shrouded past. In the fog of disaster, Needham becomes a hero—and the next target of the dangerous sociopath behind the attack. Dr. Reinhart is an expert on why people kill, but he quickly finds that this enemy is beyond anything he’s experienced in his career—and he’ll have to figure out what he’s dealing with fast, or an entire city will suffer for it.

    The Titanic Secret, by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul
    The eleventh Isaac Bell novel is also a time-traveling Dirk Pitt adventure. In the modern day, Pitt does what he does best: saving lives using an antique submersible under the waters off of New York City. This leads Pitt to a document dating back a century and authored by the famous detective Isaac Bell. Back in 1911, Bell is investigating the deaths of nine men at Little Angel Mine. His investigation leads him to an incredibly rare, powerful, and valuable element called byzanium—and into conflict with sinister forces that will do anything to acquire it. As Bell prepares to stop them, the story spans the globe and time itself. Pitt and Bell, a century apart, race to solve a puzzle that could change the world.

    Cold Storage, by David Koepp
    Screenwriter David Koepp’s first novel is a tense thriller with a sci-fi edge that begins with Skylab crashing to Earth in 1979. The doomed satellite is carrying a mutated fungal organism previously sent into space for study. After the organism crashes down in Australia, it rapidly evolves into a sentient life form that sees every other living thing as food. In 1987, Defense Nuclear Agency operative USAF Maj. Roberto Diaz encounters the horrifying creature after it destroys a remote Australian community, and just barely manages to contain it, burying its last remnant underneath a military installation in Kansas. But then, in 2019, Diaz is woken up by a call he’s been dreading for more than 20 years, telling him the organism may have escaped. Diaz races to Kansas and into a desperate struggle to save every living thing on Earth from certain doom, even a security guard who goes by the nickname Teacake and a single mother named Naomi—employees of that ill-fated rural storage facility—face the terror on a much more intimate level. Unsurprisingly, considering the pedigree of its author (the screenplays for Jurassic Park and Spider-Man, for starters), this 2019 Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers selection unfolds with the furious fun of a summer blockbuster—and more than a few nods to the science-minded thrillers of the late Michael Crichton.

    The Chestnut Man, by Søren Sveistrup
    Søren Sveistrup, the man behind the global TV phenomenon The Killing, delivers a debut thriller with just as much grim, violent style. When a serial killer who brutally dismembers his victims—and leaves dolls made from chestnuts and matchsticks behind—strikes Copenhagen, ambitious detective Naia Thulin is paired with run-down, middle-aged Mark Hess. When a fingerprint on one the of the “chestnut men” matches the daughter of a politician who disappeared the year before, the case leaps into overdrive. The two mismatched detectives must navigate their own personal limitations while doing the hard work of sifting clues, red herrings, and horrifying crime scenes that ramp up the terrifying tension. (This one is also a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick for the fall.)

    29 Seconds, by T.M. Logan
    Logan’s newest asks a simple, terrible question: if, with one 29-second phone call, you could make a person disappear—with zero consequences to yourself—would you do it? That’s the question before Sarah Haywood, a literature professor at Queen Anne’s University in London. Sarah suffers under the sexual harassment of her department head, famed academic and author Alan Hawthorne. Hawthorne’s ability to bring money and publicity to the school means his behavior towards his fellow employees is tolerated or even ignored, and as he grows increasingly aggressive and violent, Sarah sees not just her career but her sanity slipping away. After she rescues a young boy from a terrible situation, by acting on pure instinct, Sarah learns the boy’s father is a man with dark resources and a wicked sense of gratitude; he gives Sarah a burner phone and tells her he owes her a favor. All she has to do is make one short call, give a name, and he’ll ensure person will disappear. Sarah gives in to her most desperate self and gives Hawthorne’s name—but unfortunately, she’ll soon discover there’s no such thing as “zero consequences.”

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

     
  • Ross Johnson 4:00 pm on 2019/09/04 Permalink
    Tags: , top picks   

    The Best Biographies & Memoirs of September 2019 


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    Permanent Record, by Edward Snowden
    One of the most controversial and, ultimately, consequential figures of our time, Edward Snowden’s life and career speaks to all the ways in which we’re not fully prepared for the surveillance age. In 2013, CIA contractor Snowden leaked word of an NSA surveillance program that he’d helped to build—a program to collect data on every cell phone call, text, and email in a way that would impact almost everyone on the planet. It was one of the most consequential acts of whistleblowing in American history. He’s seen as a hero by some, and a traitor by others, and now, six years later, the exile—complex, revered, vilified—tells his side of the story.

    What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics, by Rachael Denhollander
    Hundreds of young athletes were sexually abused by USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar over the course of decades, and he wasn’t the sport’s only predatory figure. When Rachael Denhollander and others revealed the abuse they’d suffered in 2016, it inspired other victims to come forward and reveal the systems that had protected and empowered people like Nassar. Denhollander tells her own story here, one that is both deeply personal and widely relevant in exploring both the reasons why the sex abuse was allowed to continue within USA Gymnastics for as long as it did, and explicating the strength and bravery it took to break the whole thing open.

    Inside Out: A Memoir, by Demi Moore
    She earned fame for her iconic movie roles (St. Elmo’s FireGhost, Indecent Proposal, etc.), broke barriers in pay for actresses in Hollywood, and led a personal life highlighted by tabloid-ready marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher. Throughout all of this, just under the surface of her glamorous Hollywood life, Demi Moore battled life-long insecurities, barely concealed childhood trauma, and addiction. In her new memoir, she lays it all on the line, from her complicated relationship with her mother, to the ins-and-outs of her acting career, to the challenges of raising a family under the watchful gaze of the paparazzi.

    Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, by Jonathan Van Ness
    The current Netflix run of Queer Eye has gone well beyond a makeover show for the fashionably clueless, layering in heartwarming and poignant stories of overcoming prejudice that are inspired by a cast that’s not afraid to get to the heart of the issues in the lives of the show’s subjects. That’s certainly the case for grooming and self-care expert Jonathan Van Ness, whose message has been that taking care of yourself comes from the inside out. During his childhood in a small Midwestern town, he was misunderstood by just about everyone—over-the-top and very gay even as a child, he was an easy target for the ridicule and judgement of his peers. Those early experiences shaped his unapologetic positivity and compassion, and he shares that journey in this personal and raw account of the journey to self-acceptance.

    The Education of an Idealist, by Samantha Power
    Beginning her career as a war correspondent and vocal critic of United States military policy, Samantha Power moved on to a role as a human rights educator and activist before joining the Obama administration, eventually taking on the role of United States Ambassador to the United Nations. In her new memoir, the Pulitzer-Prize winner describes her childhood as an American immigrant and describes the challenges of balancing a high-stakes career with parenthood. Her personal story dovetails with that of an increasingly troubled world, highlighting the importance of standing up for the ideals you revere, even in the face of institutional opposition.

    Prince Albert: The Man Who Saved the Monarchy, by A. N. Wilson
    Following up his acclaimed biography of Queen Victoria, A.N. Wilson capitalizes on the occasion of the 200th birthday of the Prince from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to tell Prince Albert’s story. For two decades, Albert had an impact on almost every aspect of British life, pushing for scientific and political modernization amid the rule of his legendary wife. Their deeply complicated but undeniably passionate relationship was often a tug-of-war over the reins of power, with Albert finding ways to work with and around the Queen in order to advance his priorities for the country. Given the significance of Wilson’s book on Victoria, there’s every reason to believe this followup will be just as enlightening.

    Sontag: Her Life and Work, by Benjamin Moser
    Sometimes left off of male-centric lists of the big thinkers of the twentieth century, few Americans had as much to say (and on as many topics) as Susan Sontag. She wrote on photography, on politics, AIDS, human rights, communism, capitalism, and dozens of other topics in her long career as one of America’s most important intellectuals. Her life, as well, was fascinating: she struggled with her sexuality, courted famous lovers, and traveled to some of the most significant and horrific conflict zones of the recent past. Frequently (if not always) controversial, she nonetheless helped shape the consensus of thought during her 71 years, and this definitive biography of her life represents an important effort at reckoning with her legacy.

    To Love and Let Go: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Gratitude, by Rachel Brathen
    Though they looked nothing alike, everyone called Rachel and Andrea twins—such was the nature of their friendship. Until 2014, when Rachel woke up from emergency surgery while on a trip to learn that Andrea had been fatally injured in a car accident. Over the following years, Rachel—already the author of the New York Times bestseller Yoga Girl and the founder of YogaGirl.com—faced trials and triumphs in equal measure while her grief and the memory of childhood trauma conspired to keep her from moving forward. A pregnancy becomes an opportunity to find a way to face the future in this poignant and, ultimately, uplifting memoir.

    Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time, by Ian O’Connor
    A book proclaiming its subject to be “the greatest football coach of all time” might sound like hyperbole—if the title were referring to anyone but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who, as the NFL’s longest-tenured head coach, has a record of wins that’s  unprecedented in the game (since this book was released in hardcover late last year, he’s added a sixth Super Bowl victory to his resume—it’s tough to keep up). Based on extensive new research and interviews, O’Connor offers up the first complete portrait of the dour-faced coach, exploring his life and relationships on and off the field.

    The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, by Maxwell King
    Between last year’s blockbuster documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and the forthcoming Tom Hanks movie about his life, Mr. Rogers is having a moment. And is it any wonder? His lessons about the virtues of curiosity, honesty, play, and simple compassion are evergreen, and we seem to need them now more than ever. King’s new work is the first full-length print biography of the icon, and (thank goodness) it’s no shocking tell-all: by all accounts, the Mr. Rogers we saw on TV wasn’t that far removed from the real-life figure. What does come to light are the struggles of his own childhood, as well as the savvy behind-the-scenes decision making that made his show a beloved staple for generations of kids.

    Whose story inspires you?

    The post The Best Biographies & Memoirs of September 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 6:00 pm on 2019/08/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , attica locke, bella ellis, , , heaven my home, , , , land of wolves, mrs. jeffries and the alms of the angel, mycroft and sherlock: the empty birdcage, , nevada barr, , robert b. parker's the bitterest pill, sins of the fathers, the long call, the vanished bride, this tender land, top picks, vendetta in death: an eve dallas novel, what rose forgot,   

    September’s Best New Mysteries 


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    Greetings, gumshoes! Fall is upon us, and great sleuthing weather (or at least what seems like great sleuthing weather) is here at last! Bleak skies, shorter days, and chillier nights make for great mystery reading. Curl up with one of our terrific new picks below and test your armchair detective skills.

    Vendetta in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel (In Death #49), by J. D. Robb
    A vigilante serial killer with the moniker Lady Justice has punished a string of high profile men for bad behavior by murdering them and leaving a grisly calling card in the taut, edge-of-your-seat forty-ninth book in Robb’s epic series. As Eve Dallas and her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, race against the clock to get to the next victim before the killer does, their frantic investigations uncover a wide range of possible suspects, oncluding a suspicious support group, and an ever-expanding web of wronged women. Fans of Robb’s In Death series, which is only getting faster, scarier, and more fun as it continues, will be delighted by this installment.

    This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger
    A beautifully crafted story of four orphaned children—the irrepressible Odie O’Banion and his brother Albert, their friend Mose, and the mysterious Emmy, who escape from a terrible Minnesota institution called the Lincoln School and embark on a journey across the US during the Great Depression. This one manages to feel at once fresh and timeless, and will appeal to fans of Where the Crawdads Sing. B&N’s Exclusive Edition features a bonus essay by the author, along with archival photographs that help bring some of the history behind the novel to life.

    Land of Wolves (Walt Longmire Series #15), by Craig Johnson
    Walt Longmire has hardly recovered from the injuries he sustained during a showdown in Mexico in the previous novel in this winning series (which, as you may be aware, has inspired a popular Netflix show!), when he finds himself entangled in the case of a shepherd’s death by hanging. It might be a suicide—but it also might be a homicide. The situation becomes more complicated when an oversized wolf appears in the Big Horn Mountains, causing trouble and going after sheep. Longmire finds himself becoming more and more sympathetic toward the wolf, hoping to protect it as his case grows stranger and more hazardous.

    Sins of the Fathers (J. P. Beaumont Series #24), by J. A. Jance
    Retirement is actually suiting former Seattle homicide cop J. P. Beaumont, who is enjoying frisbee in the park with his new dog, quiet lunches with his wife, and the occasional crossword puzzle. That is, until an old friend shows up on his doorstep with a missing adult daughter, and a newborn baby in his arms. Nature abhors a vacuum, eh Beaumont? Suddenly, he’s swept up into an investigation that lays bare some of the skeletons he was hoping would stay in his own closet. Will his checkered past derail his calm, enjoyable present?

    Robert B. Parker’s The Bitterest Pill, by Reed Farrel Coleman
    In the masterful 18th novel in the Jesse Stone series, the opioid war has come to Paradise, and it’s already begun claiming young, innocent lives, including that of a popular 17 year old cheerleader, who has died of a suspected heroin overdose. It’s up to intrepid detective Stone, who is still reeling from the event’s of last year’s Colorblind, to track down the deadly supply chain and root out the ruthless dealers and pushers who are enabling the deadly drug to spread. Unfortunately it looks like fighting to protect Paradise High School means going toe-to-toe with some formidable foes: from teachers, to students, to parents to get to the epicenter of this evil—yet lucrative—business.

    What Rose Forgot, by Nevada Barr
    In this riveting standalone mystery from the author of the acclaimed Anna Pigeon series, 68 year old Rose Dennis wakes up in the hospital—and in the middle of her worst nightmare. She’s been committed to a nursing home, in the Alzheimer’s Unit, and she has no memory of how she got there: but she suspects foul play. As Rose tries to piece together what has happened to her, she comes to the chilling conclusion that her only chance for survival means escaping the nursing home by any means possible. Together with the help of her 13 year old granddaughter and her recluse sister, Rose fights to take back her life and ensure her survival—even after an assassination attempt in her own home, which proves beyond a doubt that someone is after her.

    The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves
    Detective Inspector Matthew Venn is standing outside the church where his estranged father’s funeral is taking place when the call comes. A man’s body has been found, stabbed to death, on a nearby beach. The man has a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, and his death’s sudden arrival in the middle of Matthew’s tidy present life connects Matthew to a messy slew of people and places he’d thought he’d left behind forever. This thoughtful, nuanced series starter by the author of the Vera and Shetland series introduces readers to an iconic detective lead, a gorgeous, atmospheric setting, and a masterfully layered mystery. This is a series you’ll want to be on board for from the beginning.

    The Vanished Bride, by Bella Ellis
    The Brontë sisters are reimagined as sleuths in the kickoff to a delightful new historical mystery series, and do you really need to know any more than that? Fine: Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, not yet published novelists, investigate the frightful disappearance of a young wife and mother, who left behind a pool of blood and two small children. Along they way they confront danger, buried secrets, and society’s stifling disapproval of women doing anything the least bit risky and adventurous. With a fine gothic flair, jarring twists and turns, and well-researched and pitch-perfect historical details, Brontë fans (and everyone else) will devour this one.

    Mrs. Jeffries and the Alms of the Angel, by Emily Brightwell
    When wealthy socialite Margaret Starling is found murdered, everyone is shocked! After all, she was an active churchgoer, devoted to helping others, and even served on the board of the London Angel Alms society. Of course, her nextdoor neighbor considered her an incurable gossip, the Reverend of her church despised her, and half the advisory board felt the same way. So, maybe her murder wasn’t a complete surprise to everyone? Regardless, Inspector Gerald Witherspoon is called in to investigate, and of course he relies on the subtle assistance of his housekeeper Mrs. Jeffries to help him crack the case. The cozy 38th installment in the Victorian Mystery series is sure to delight fans.

    Heaven, My Home, by Attica Locke
    Texas Ranger Darren Matthews is not in the greatest place in life. His marriage is on the rocks, and his career is stagnating (he’s currently serving as a desk jockey, analyzing surveillance data on the local Aryan Brotherhood). When the nine year old son of a prominent white supremacist goes missing, the disappearance has links to his previous case, and Darren must race to find him, all the while navigating dangerous racial prejudices, along with ominous threats related to the incoming Trump administration. Edgar Award-winning author Locke has written another sensitive, moving, and mesmerizing novel about a divided country.

    Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
    The third novel in this cunning series that imagines the contentious and fascinating sibling relationship between a young Sherlock Holmes and his older brother just might be its best. A serial killer is terrorizing Great Britain; leaving victims, chosen seemingly at random, unmarked save for an eerie calling card left on the bodies. Sherlock’s interest in the killer quickly blooms into an obsession that leads him on a chase across the country. Meanwhile, Mycroft must contend with the reappearance of an old flame whose fiance is in trouble. This fast-paced installment is filled with rich and intriguing character backstories and period details that Sherlocks fans will love.

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

     
  • Sarah Skilton 3:00 pm on 2019/08/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , lara prescott, , nothing ventured, quichotte, red at the bone, , , , the dutch house, , the secrets we kept, , the water dancer, the world that we knew, top picks   

    September’s Best New Fiction 


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    This month, heavy hitters such as Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Salman Rushdie, Jeffrey Archer, and Jacqueline Woodson are back with highly anticipated, thought-provoking, perfect-for-your-book-club reads. They’re joined by the likes of Ann Patchett, Alice Hoffman, and Ta-Nehisi Coats (in his fiction debut), and if that’s not enough, fans of “meta” fiction will go crazy for Lara Prescott’s The Secrets We Kept, about the real-life spy craft surrounding the creation and dissemination of Doctor Zhivago.

    The Institute, by Stephen King
    With chapter two of It hitting theatres, it’s King’s world this month and the rest of us just live in it. As with It, King’s new book concerns a group of children fighting back against monsters—but this time, the monsters are adults, and the fight takes place not in a creepy small town like Derry but the eminently sinister Institute. Each child at the Institute has been kidnapped; their parents murdered. Each child has paranormal abilities that are being exploited for an unknown purpose. Escape seems impossible, but staying at the Institute, where abuse runs rampant, is not an option either. Grab some popcorn and a big ol’ can of soda so you can stay up all night reading this one.

    The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood
    The long-awaited sequel to Atwood’s groundbreaking 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale promises to answer all the questions readers (and viewers of Hulu’s adaptation) continue to grapple with. Here’s what we know: it’s set fifteen years after the events of the first book, and employs three female narrators from Gilead—the dystopian society formerly known as the USA in which women have been stripped of autonomy—to continue the riveting story.

    The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
    When Maeve Conroy and her little brother Danny are expelled from the enormous, suburban Philadelphia estate in which they’ve been raised, the shared loss and subsequent poverty shapes their entire future. Abandoned by their socially conscious mother—who couldn’t abide the opulence of the so-called Dutch House and fled to India—the siblings couldn’t rely on their chilly, late father for love. Worse, their stepmother proves to be the fairy tale kind, full of resentment and greed. Over the span of 50 years, narrator Danny and his protective sister parse their history, attempting to come to terms with the past. Patchett’s mastery of family drama is on full display here.

    The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    For his first novel, Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power; and Between the World and Me, for which he won the National Book Award) depicts a version of the Underground Railroad never before seen. Readers will be transfixed by the story of Hiram Walker, a slave (known here as “the Tasked”) with a gift for conducting: a power to assist people (including himself) in getting across water. When his initial escape attempt falls apart, he joins the Underground, vowing to rescue his beloved Sophia, who remains in Virginia.

    The World That We Knew, by Alice Hoffman
    Using her trademark magical realism to great effect, Hoffman sets her latest novel during World War Two. Separated from her mother, twelve-year-old Lea flees from Berlin to Paris, accompanied by Ava, a golem brought to life by Ettie, a rabbi’s daughter. The trio of characters are forever linked in the months and years ahead, as Ettie becomes a resistance fighter and Lea and Ava eventually settle in a village atop a mountain, in which 3,000 Jews hope to be saved.

    Nothing Ventured, by Jeffrey Archer
    Archer fans already know Metropolitan Policeman William Warwick from the now-complete, seven-volume Clifton Chronicles. In this fresh, fabulous series opener, we get William’s backstory as a rookie detective knee-deep in art fraud, forgeries, and counterfeit antiques. Having defied his father by joining the police force instead of becoming a lawyer, William has a lot to prove and he’ll quickly get his chance. While investigating a missing Rembrandt, he falls in love with Beth, an enigmatic research assistant at the art gallery where the painting was stolen. He also goes up against a master thief and a seriously shady lawyer.

    The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott
    This powerhouse debut brings together historical spy craft, two sweeping love stories, and the true tale of the CIA’s use of Boris Pasternak’s seminal Doctor Zhivago to win Russian hearts and minds during the Cold War. Two secretaries in the CIA typing pool—experienced Sally Forrester and novice Russian-American Irina Drozdova—team up to retrieve a book from inside the USSR (where it’s unpublishable), get it out of the country, and then disseminate it among Russians attending the Vienna World’s Fair. Toggling between the events in D.C. and those happening to Boris Pasternak and his beloved muse Olga, this looks to be a gripping account of a little-known mission.

    Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson
    Readers are always in good hands with Woodson, whose Brown Girl Dreaming won the National Book Award (among others), and whose Another Brooklyn was a finalist for the same prize. Set in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2001, Red depicts the coming of age ceremony of 16-year-old Melody, while also exploring the reasons why Melody’s own mother, Iris, did not participate in a similar event, despite the fact that Melody’s dress was originally sewn for Iris. Issues of unplanned pregnancy versus ambition, independence versus family ties, and the ways in which those elements inform, expose, and intersect with race, class, and gender, are at the forefront of this moving and beautifully written novel.

    Quichotte, by Salman Rushdie
    Already longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Rushdie’s latest finds its inspiration in the classic Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Set in a surreal, at times horrifying, yet easily recognizable present-day America, this satire ties together the lives of a thriller writer, a pharmaceutical salesman, and a television actress. Not all of them exist, except in the minds of the other characters, but each one brings his or her own humor and pathos to this original reimagining.

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

     
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