By Samantha Hunt
"The Seas took me back to how I felt as a kid, when you're newly falling in love with literature, newly shocked by its capacity to cast a spell..." Maggie Nelson"[It] blew me away because of the beauty of the language . . . I found myself highlighting about 85% of the book for the language. It is so beautifully written" Jodi PicoultMoored in a coastal fishing town so far north that the highways only run south, the unnamed narrator of The Seas is a misfit. She's often the subject of cruel local gossip. Her father, a sailor, walked into the ocean eleven years earlier and never returned, leaving his wife and daughter to keep a forlorn vigil. Surrounded by water and beckoned by the sea, she clings to what her father once told her: that she is a mermaid.True to myth, she finds herself in hard love with a land-bound man, an Iraq War veteran thirteen years her senior. The mesmerizing, fevered coming-of-age tale that follows will land her in jail. Her otherworldly escape will become the stuff of legend. With the inventive brilliance and psychological insight that have earned her international acclaim, Samantha Hunt pulls readers into an undertow of impossible love and intoxication, blurring the lines between reality and fairy tale, hope and delusion, sanity and madness.
By Catherynne M. Valente
IN SPACE EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU SINGA century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented-something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for Galactivision - part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny - they must sing.A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers and roadies from London - Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes - have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.
Savages 2: The Spectre
By Sabri Louatah
In an already tense crowd on election night, France's first Arab presidential candidate Chaouch is shot at close range by the young and naïve Krim Nerrouche. As shock pulses through the nation, Paris is put on high alert, because although Krim's finger pulled the trigger, it becomes clear he was not the mastermind behind the attack. Now, he must survive endless interrogations with the anti-terrorist police without revealing the location of the cousin he is fiercely protecting.As investigations get underway, Chaouch is transferred to intensive care, hovering between life and death with his heartbroken family at his side. Later that evening, it is announced that he received the most votes in the election, but he might not ever wake up to this news. Meanwhile his daughter is facing the fact that not only is her father in a critical condition, she may not be allowed to see her boyfriend again - for he is a member of the sprawling Nerrouche family, who are currently all being treated as suspects by the authorities. Savages 2: The Spectre takes us on an electrifying journey behind the scenes of power and into the heart of a state undermined by the most unprecedented attack in recent history. A family is torn apart and riots are breaking out in the housing projects of the Nerrouche family's home in Saint Etienne, as relations become fraught with tension. Louatah builds the pace in this gripping sequel that will keep you turning its pages to the end to discover the future of a family and the destiny of a nation on the verge of a dangerously explosive moment in time.*** 'This is not the first time that the scenario of a French Arab president has been in a French-language novel - this was also the conceit of Michel Houellebecq's Submission . . . Savages is, however, a far superior book, having more in common with the complex and crafted plotting of The Sopranos or The Wire than the arch, sarcasm of Houellebecq's dystopia. [Louatah] promises no happy ending to the tensions that still plague France , but the book manages to thrill and entertain, while never losing the sharp political edge that also makes it important' The Observer
By Ace Atkins
The Pritchards had never been worth a damn--an evil, greedy family who made their living dealing drugs and committing mayhem. Years ago, Colson's late uncle had put the clan's patriarch in prison, but now he's getting out, with revenge, power, and family business on his mind. To make matters worse, a shady trucking firm with possible ties to the Gulf Coast syndicate has moved into Tibbehah, and they have their own methods of intimidation.With his longtime deputy Lillie Virgil now working up in Memphis, Quinn Colson finds himself having to fall back on some brand-new deputies to help him out, but with Old West-style violence breaking out, and his own wedding on the horizon, this is without doubt Colson's most trying times as sheriff. Cracks are opening up all over the county, and shadowy figures are crawling out through them - and they're all heading directly for him.
Searching For Stars on an Island in Maine
By Alan Lightman
As a physicist, Alan Lightman has always held a purely scientific view of the world. Even as a teenager, experimenting in his own laboratory, he was impressed by the logic and materiality of the universe, which is governed by a small number of disembodied forces and laws. Those laws decree that all things in the world are material and impermanent. But one summer evening, while looking at the stars from a small boat at sea, Lightman was overcome by the overwhelming sensation that he was merging with something larger than himself - a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute and immaterial.Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine is the result of these seemingly contradictory impulses, written as an extended meditation on an island in Maine, where Lightman and his wife spend their summers. Framing the dialogue between religion and science as a contrast between absolutes and relatives, Lightman explores our human quest for truth and meaning and the different methods of religion and science in that quest. Along the way, he draws from sources ranging from St. Augustine's conception of absolute truth to Einstein's relativity, from a belief in the divine and eternal nature of stars to their discovered materiality and mortality, from the unity of the once indivisible atom to the multiplicity of subatomic particles and the recent notion of multiple universes. What emerges is not only an understanding of the encounter between science and religion but also a profound exploration of the complexity of human existence.
The Shadow in the Garden
By James Atlas
The biographer - so often in the shadows, kibbitzing, casting doubt, proving facts - here comes to the stage.James Atlas takes us back to his childhood in suburban Chicago, where he fell in love with literature and, early on, found in himself the impulse to study writers' lives. We meet Richard Ellmann, the great biographer of James Joyce and Atlas's professor during a transformative year at Oxford. We get to know the author's first subject, the "self-doomed" poet Delmore Schwartz; a bygone cast of intellectuals such as Edmund Wilson and Dwight Macdonald (the "tall trees," as Mary McCarthy described them, cut down now, Atlas writes, by the "merciless pruning of mortality"); and, of course, the elusive Bellow, "a metaphysician of the ordinary." Atlas revisits the lives and work of the classical biographers: the Renaissance writers of what were then called "lives," Samuel Johnson and the "meshugenah" Boswell, among them. In what amounts to a pocket history of his own literary generation, Atlas celebrates the luminaries of contemporary literature and the labor of those who hope to catch a glimpse of one of them - "as fleeting as a familiar face swallowed up in a crowd."
Splinter in the Blood
By Ashley Dyer
'A taut and compelling thriller, as sharp as the thorns that feature in the plot' Ann Cleeves'One of the boldest, most inventive serial-killer thrillers since The Silence of the Lambs' AJ FinnDeceit, betrayal and tension abound in this chilling police procedural from dazzling new voice Ashley Dyer. Sergeant Ruth Lake and DCI Greg Carver are on the hunt for a serial killer who carefully poses his victims and covers every inch of their bodies in intricate, cryptic tattoos. Dubbed the 'Thorn Killer', by the media, the killer uses a primitive and excruciatingly painful thorn method to etch his victims. After many months, a breakthrough feels imminent. Then the killer gets personal: the latest victim - a student found only a week earlier - is staged to look like Carver's wife. Pushed over the edge, Carver spirals into a self-destructive cycle of booze and risky sex. Now he lies near death, and the unreadable Lake stands over him with a gun. Did she shoot her boss? If not, why is she removing evidence from his apartment, faking the scene?Ruth, too, is convinced that Carver is holding back; that he remembers more than he admits. Why is he lying? Does he know what she did? How can she hope to unravel the half-truths, hidden meanings, secrets and lies at the centre of this investigation when she herself has lied and lied?Intrigued, the Thorn Killer watches their every move - all the while plotting the next. Can Carver and Lake pull together to catch him before he strikes again? Or will they be held captive by their own web of lies?Utterly gripping, with a twisting plot that keeps you guessing until the end, SPLINTER IN THE BLOOD is an unforgettable read that will get under your skin.
By Andrew Martin
'An enticing and clever book, inside and out' Book Of The Month - The TimesYork, 1799. In August, an artist is found murdered in his home - stabbed with a pair of scissors. Matthew Harvey's death is much discussed in the city. The scissors are among the tools of his trade - for Harvey is a renowned cutter and painter of shades, or silhouettes, the latest fashion in portraiture. It soon becomes clear that the murderer must be one of the artist's last sitters, and the people depicted in the final six shades made by him become the key suspects. But who are they? And where are they to be found?Later, in November, a clever but impoverished young gentleman called Fletcher Rigge languishes in the debtor's prison, until a letter arrives containing a bizarre proposition from the son of the murdered man. Rigge is to be released for one month, but in that time, he must find the killer. If he fails, he will be incarcerated again, possibly for life.And so, with everything at stake, and equipped only with copies of the distinctive silhouettes, Fletcher Rigge begins his search across the snow-covered city, and enters a world of shadows...
Savages: The Wedding
By Sabri Louatah
A Saturday in May. Paris.It's the eve of the French presidential elections - 'The Election of the Century' say the newspaper headlines - and Chaouch, the nation's first Arab candidate, has victory in his sights. It has been a long campaign, and with his wife Esther and daughter Jasmine by his side, he spends the remaining hours with close advisors in a hotel in Nimes. Much of the dinner table chatter revolves around Jasmine's boyfriend; Fouad Nerrouche, a well-known actor with the same Algerian origins as her father, who has just publicly endorsed Chaouch's candidacy. However shallow it may seem, it's difficult to ignore the influence of celebrity support in this complex and unpredictable race . . . The same day. Saint-Etienne.The Nerrouche family is frantically preparing for a grand wedding, and Fouad himself is there to help out. But younger cousin Krim - who has recently lost his job - is becoming increasingly agitated, and no one knows why. As the day goes on, it becomes clear that the cousin's problems go far deeper than unemployment. Krim has been stealing from a local gang leader and after being discovered, found himself indebted to his powerful cousin, Nazir - Fouad's brother. Nazir is a very shady figure, and is heavily involved in a dark underworld of crime. Together, their plans will cause Fouad's two very different worlds to meet in a way no one would have dared to imagine. Within a few hours, the threads start to unravel, and the collision between the destiny of a family and the hopes of a country becomes inevitable.With the pacing of a thriller, Louatah melds the tense atmosphere of a family saga with the gripping suspense of a political drama into one breathtaking read.
By JT LeRoy
Sarah never admits that she's his mother, but the beautiful boy has watched her survive as a "lot lizard": a prostitute working the West Virginia truck stops. Desperate to win her love, he decides to surpass her as the best and most famous lot lizard ever. With his own leather mini-skirt and a makeup bag that closes with Velcro, the young "Cherry Vanilla" embarks on a journey through the Appalachian wilds, dining on transcendental cuisine, supplicating to the mystical Jackalope, encountering the most terrifying of pimps, walking on water, being venerated as an innocent girl saint-and then being denounced as the devil.By turns exhilarating and shocking, magical and realistic, Sarah brings urgency, wit, and imagination to an unknown and unforgettable world.
By Viet Thanh Nguyen
*** WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016***WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL 2016WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION 2016'A fierce novel written in a refreshingly high style and charged with intelligent rage' Financial TimesIt is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.'A bold, artful and globally minded reimagining of the Vietnam war . . . The Sympathizer is an excellent literary novel, and one that ends, with unsettling present-day resonance, in a refugee boat where opposing ideas about intentions, actions and their consequences take stark and resilient human form' the Guardian'Beautifully written and meaty'Claire Messud'[A] remarkable debut novel . . . In its final chapters, The Sympathizer becomes an absurdist tour de force that might have been written by a Kafka or Genet'New York Times'This debut is a page-turner (read: everybody will finish) that makes you reconsider the Vietnam War ... Nguyen's darkly comic novel offers a point of view about American culture that we've rarely seen'Oprah.com (Oprah's Book Club Suggestions)
By Kate Bolick
'Whom to marry and when will it happen - these two questions define every woman's existence.' So begins Spinster, a revelatory look at the pleasures, problems and possibilities of living independently in the 21st century, reconsidering what it means - what it could mean - for women to 'have it all'.'I wish I could give this wise and subtle book to my thirty-year-old self; she would have taken heart . . . Bold and intelligent' Rebecca Mead, author of My Life in Middlemarch'A triumph' Malcolm Gladwell'Women of the world listen here: drop whatever you're doing and read Kate Bolick's marvelous meditation on what it means to be female at the dawn of the 21st century' Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year'Moving, insightful and important' Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed
The Silver Witch
By Paula Brackston
My mind is like the willow; it flexes and springs. My heart is a knot of oak. Let them try to wound me. Let them try.One year after artist Tilda Forwells loses her husband, she is finally ready to move into the secluded Welsh cottage they were meant to be sharing together.In the valley below her mountain home is a mystical lake which inspires a strange energy in her. She starts to experience potent dreams, visions, presentiments which all lead her to Seren, the witch and shaman who legend has it lived on this lakeshore in Celtic times.As Tilda explores the lake's powers and her own, her connection to Seren grows stronger. And when she comes under grave threat, she must rely on Seren and this ancient magic to save her.
By Tina Connolly
18 years later...Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Having finished University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers - to disguise herself as a boy.While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist - and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn't spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey. She can't bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her.The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their newfound love survive?
By Dale Brown
With the death of his heroic father, bomber and space warfare veteran Patrick McLanahan, Bradley McLanahan must now fly solo, leading a team of young engineers designing Starfire, the world's first orbiting solar power plant. Starfire will not only deliver unlimited and inexpensive electricity anywhere on planet Earth, it can also transmit power to the moon, and even to spacecraft and asteroids. It's a crucial first step in the exploration of the solar system, and Bradley and his team are on the cutting edge. But US president Kenneth Phoenix's plans to militarize and industrialize Earth's orbit sparks an arms race in space that eclipses the darkest and most terrifying days of the Cold War. Before he can prevent it, Bradley and his team are caught at the center of a battle that threatens to become an all-out global conflict for control of space.
By Michael Crummey
For twelve generations, the inhabitants of a remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement. They have each been offered a generous compensation package to leave the island for good. There's just one proviso: everyone must go.Gradually, all of the residents surrender to the inevitable. All of the residents, that is, but one: old Moses Sweetland.Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses resists the coercion of family and friends in order to hold onto the only place he's ever called home. As his options dwindle, Moses Sweetland concocts a scheme to remain the island's only living resident.Cut off from the outside world, with the food supply diminishing and weather shredding away the last evidence of human habitation, Sweetland finds himself, finally, in the company of ghosts . . .Written with incomparable emotional power and depth, Sweetland is a story about loyalty and courage, about the human will to persist even when all hope seems lost.
The Stall of Second Chances
By Dana Bate
Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food.Not just with eating it - though she loves that too - but with writing about it as an aspiring cookery reporter. But food journalism jobs are more coveted than cupcakes, and so Sydney is stuck working for one of TV's biggest egomaniacs - until she's left scrambling for shifts at the local farmers' market.Selling muffins at the Wild Yeast Bakery is hardly going to make her the next Nigella. But soon Sydney is writing the market's weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of being left on the shelf, she's even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot atthe story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a cinder - along with her relationship and her reputation.
By Brigid Kemmerer
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can't. Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he's not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own...
By Ira Levin
Kay Norris, a successful book editor, moves into the affluent Carnegie Hill district of Manhattan, into an apartment in a slender high-rise. A man watches her. He watches her unpack, watches her make her bed. He owns the building: a shocking secret is concealed within the walls.Sliver is a sinuous, erotic thriller that explores the menacing evil behind the glittering façade of Manhattan's skyscrapers; a hypnotic story of obsession and the temptation of ultimate power.
Son Of Rosemary
By Ira Levin
Ira Levin returns to the horror of his 1967 groundbreaking novel Rosemary's Baby with this sequel set at the dawn of the new millennium. Thirty-three years ago, Rosemary gave birth to the Devil's child while under the control of a coven of witches. Now the year is 1999, and humanity dreads the approaching twenty-first century, desperately in search of a saviour for this troubled world. In New York City, Rosemary's son Andy is believed to be that saviour. But is he the force of good his followers accept him to be? Or is he his father's son? As the war between good and evil rages on unabated, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, in this shocking and darkly comic novel from the modern master of suspense.