The Great Booksellers Fall Preview

Because Booksellers Will Never Lie About the Books They Love

August 27, 2015  By Literary Hub
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Summer beach reads now dispensed with, all evidence of sand and flip-flop summarily destroyed, it is soon time to return to real life (the lateness of Labor Day notwithstanding)—this means reading even more books. With this daunting task in mind we asked our bookseller partners across the country to weigh in about the forthcoming titles they are most excited about this fall: from tiny press to giant publishing house, they’ve come up with a list of 75 books, from YA to experimental, history to thriller. Because booksellers will never lie about the books they love.

clegg

Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg

Bill Clegg’s previous memoirs, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and Ninety Days, chronicle his descent into crack addiction and his struggles with recovery that were near impossible for me to put down. Seven years in the making, Did You Ever Have a Family is his eagerly awaited debut novel about a woman who loses her entire family in a devastating accident, her journey to salvage what she can from the wreckage of her life, and the community that sprouts up in the aftermath. I’m excited to spend an afternoon immersed in what promises to be one of the most compelling novels of the year.

–John Cleary, Papercuts J.P. 

House of twenty thousand books

The House of Twenty Thousand Books, Sasha Abramsky

(9/1, New York Review of Books)

A narrative that tells the tale of the 20th century: communists, zionists, fascists, fetishists, secularists and a great scene of academic intrigue. Chimen Abramsky is a worthy subject: his unorthodox intellectual approach and his awe-inspiring collection of books are both marvels to behold. While Abramsky’s grandson writes the story of his life with subtlety and affection, he also evokes the culture of the time in all its foolishness, grandeur, earnestness and ideological disappointment.

–Jeff Deutsch, Seminary Co-op Bookstore

meno

Marvel and a Wonder, Joe Meno

(9/1, Akashic)

I’ve long adored Joe Meno’s novels, which seamlessly blend magical realism with the grittiest elements of reality, and I expect his latest work to be nothing short of wonderful. Set in the Midwest, Marvel and a Wonder is the story of a grandfather and his teenage grandson who bond over a racehorse they receive under mysterious circumstances. When a couple of meth dealers see an opportunity to make some quick money and steal the horse, the grandfather and grandson set out to find the horse and mend their strained relationship. If you like novels that are both moving and exciting, then don’t miss this one.

–John Cleary, Papercuts J.P. 

purity, franzen

 Purity, Jonathan Franzen

(9/1, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

With The Corrections and Freedom, Jonathan Franzen established himself as the king of the super-serious literary blockbuster (previously a contradiction in terms). In his new novel Purity he’s not only smart and timely, he’s funny as well. Watch for Purity to be the most talked about book of the year.

–Ann Patchett, Parnassus Books

 

This was my first experience reading a Franzen novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it, ripping through this fast-paced 600 page novel. Reading this book sooner than later is a must due to its topical placement in the world of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden-type figures in current global politics. It’s not hard to keep track of the slew of characters as each one of them is written so memorably. I will be starting the highly praised previous novels The Corrections and Freedom immediately.

–Kalani Kapahua, Third Place Books

The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth


(9/1, Graywolf)

This linguistically ambitious novel uses an invented dialect that borrows from the vocabulary, spelling and syntax of Old English to recreate the world of Anglo-Saxon Britain in the bloody period following the Norman invasion. The story of guerrilla rebels in early medieval Lincolnshire is thrilling enough, but learning to read it is an experience in itself.

–Stephen Crowe, Third Place Books

 Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

Girl Waits With Gun, Amy Stewart

(9/1, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

I’m elated for Amy Stewart’s first novel—inspired by the true story of one of the country’s first female deputy sheriffs and badass extraordinaire, Constance Kopp. I’m always looking for books with witty and wise female protagonists and Kopp is it—she packs a pistol and isn’t afraid to use it, too. This book is gaining momentum perhaps due to Stewart’s renowned nonfiction title, The Drunken Botanist. She researched the hell out of the historical events for this novel and making it fiction allows for character depth and nuance to fill in the missing pieces to make it a truly irresistible read.

–Kate Layte, Papercuts J.P.

the gates of evangeline, young

The Gates of Evangeline, Hester Young 

(9/1, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

A keep-the-lights-on debut novel in the vein of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, only spookier, The Gates of Evangeline tells of Charlie Cates, a New York journalist, who finds that her dreams have a way of coming true. After the death of her young son, this psychic “gift” takes her to a Louisiana estate to document a 30-year-old missing child case. The steamy, moss-covered setting practically becomes one of the characters as Charlie and readers sink deeper into the wealthy but deceitful Deveau family’s sordid history of betrayal and—possibly—murder.

Mary Grey James, Parnassus Books

above the waterfall, rash

Above the Waterfall, Ron Rash

(9/8, Ecco)

Ron Rash is one author who gets a lot of recognition regionally but I firmly believe should be regarded as a national treasure. In Above the Waterfall he transitions between two narrators, Les and Becky, to tell the story of a small Appalachian town in the last days of Les’s time as sheriff with depth and thought-provoking candor. Rash writes with such a dark beauty that I want everyone to experience his way with language and descriptions of the power of the land over its inhabitants.

Catherine Bock, Parnassus Books

 beauty is a wound, kurniawan

Beauty Is a Wound, Eka Kurniawan

(9/8, New Directions; trans. by Annie Tucker)

The first novel to appear in English from Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan, Beauty Is a Wound has one hell of a first sentence: “One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years.” And it doesn’t let up from there. Spanning the Indonesian 20th century—from the Dutch colonial period and the Japanese occupation to the brutal mass murder of Communists in the 1960s and the tyrannical decades that followed—Kurniawan’s epic is filled with magic and murder, by turns political and fabulist, and has drawn comparisons to Marquez, Gogol, and Melville. But Kurniawan’s vision is wholly unique, exploding the absurdity and grotesque of recent Indonesian history into a fever-pitched narrative about family, love, and adventure in a time of unbelievable tragedy. For readers who thought One Hundred Years of Solitude too precious, too pat, and left wanting more.

Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore

 

I can’t think of another instance in which a writer debuted in English translation by being simultaneously published by two esteemed houses. Such is the case with Eka Kurniawan, an Indonesian novelist of remarkable prowess who seems destined to join the ranks of our great storytellers like Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books

honey from the lion, matthew null

Honey from the Lion, Matthew Neill Null

(9/8, Lookout Books)

Lookout Books publishes just one or two books a year, so it’s always interesting to see what they choose to put their faith in next. Matthew Neill Null’s debut novel Honey from the Lion demands your attention from the first page and keeps it until the last, with beautiful prose conjuring an atmosphere that’s rugged and desperate. I could see this being turned into a dark HBO miniseries.

Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books

margo jefferson

Negroland, Margo Jefferson

(9/8, Pantheon)

Jefferson is an amazing writer; I’m always impressed by her beautiful use of language in conjunction with her sharp criticism. Negroland, a memoir, is a brave and awesome commentary on race, class, and gender in mid-20th-century America told through this fascinating woman’s eye. I think we’ve been waiting on a book like this one, and that the conversations that come out of America reading Negroland will be stimulating and important ones.

Katie Eelman, Papercuts J.P.

culinary cyclist, brones

The Culinary Cyclist, Anna Brones

9/8, Elly Blue Publishing

Brilliant! The whole foods recipes are great, even if you are an improv cook, there are new vegetarian and gluten-free thoughts to try. The biking tips and commentary offer a refreshing view on simplicity and suggest that in a world of cars and buses, it is possible to live by bike. This is my new book obsession, not to mention the quintessential Seattle book.

Emily Mclean, Third Place Books

 the visitng privilege, Williams

The Visiting Privilege, Joy Williams

(9/8, Knopf)

A book from Joy Williams is a rare event, like a comet coming into orbit once every 15 years. So the publication of The Visiting Privilege, her new and collected stories, is cause for celebration. Williams is a legend for a reason and this collection gives us a chance to remind everyone that without Joy a whole school of American fiction may never have come into existence.

Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books

 

In the event that you missed out on Joy Williams’s steady and stealthy domination of the short story genre over the past decade, allow this to be your conversion. Williams wastes no time or words getting to the soft, gross, gooey heart of each of her stories. This collection is ruthless, and it is all the more gorgeous for it.

Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books

 

Joy Williams has been adored by critics and ignored by readers for decades. As one of the few American writers working today for whom it can be said they have a singular voice, it is of phenomenal excitement to me to have juggernaut, definitive collection of her work. If this world has any justice left in its tank, Random House will give Williams the full reprint renaissance treatment.

Wesley Minter, Third Place Books

 

As if I expected anything less from master Joy Williams, I was in awe of each story in The Visiting Privilege. Every sentence penned by Williams is a perfect one. I love reading her dark humor and her nuanced and dimensional characters—each story is a slip into a world as bizarre and real as the next. With 13 new stories and many of her best from other collections, this one is not to be missed.

Katie Eelman, Papercuts J.P.

tram83_cover_rgb

Tram 83Fiston Mwanza Mujila

(9/15, Deep Vellum; trans. by Roland Glasser)

An indescribably maniacal tale from a blistering new talent out of the Republic of the Congo. Like a postcolonial Tropic of Cancer or a free jazz riff on Naked Lunch, Fiston Mwanza Mujila portrays a wasteland society drowning in its own greed and perversity. And at the heart of it all: the monolithic nightclub, Tram 83. Filled with poetry, debauchery, corruption, and lamentations for love sacrificed on the altar of lust, this is an intense, acrobatic feat of prose unlike anything to come before it in either African, French or indeed all of literature. Simply tremendous.    

–Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore

Dumplin, murphy

Dumplin, Julie Murphy

(9/15, Balzer & Bray)

This is the story of the incomparable Willowdean Dickson and her quest to enter and win the Miss Clover City beauty pageant, with a heart as big as the Texas sky. This is the book I wish I could go back in time and give to my teenaged self. If you are a person with a body, you need to read this book.

–Stephanie Appell, Parnassus Books

el paso twilight, demarinis marx

El Paso Twilight, Rick DeMarinis

(9/15, Bangtail Press)

Luther Penrose, a drug-dependent novelist with marital problems, has called upon his friend J.P. Morgan, an insurance-fraud investigator, to help him sort out the bloody mess that passes for his life. The first sentence: Luther Penrose begins all his novels with a weather report from the dark side of Disneyland.” Might suggest some of the tone and debauchery. Kudos to Bangtail Press in Livingston, MT, for bringing the wry humor of Rick DeMarinis back for another round of readers.

–Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction Bookstore

Fates and Furies Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff

(9/15, Riverhead)

Fates and Furies, though filled with surprises and mysteries, is, at its center, the beautiful unwrapping of a marriage. Told first from the husband’s perspective (the fated romance), and then the wife’s (the repressed fury, consumed by evolving and growing love), Lauren Groff’s newest novel is ripe with colorful and curious characters, gritty Southern and crisp Northern landscapes, and language both beautiful and chaotic. Readers experience each success and devastation as though characters in the story themselves, friends of Lancelot (Lotto) and Mathilde—invested in their happiness and fascinated by their histories.

–Lauren Korn, Fact & Fiction Bookstore

 

Lotto and Mathilde have just gotten married in the first pages of this novel, but that is far from the beginning or end to their story. Groff jumps through time seamlessly and we are able to see them develop in their relationship and as individuals—and how different those developments are from each other. I love with how Groff lingers in both Lotto and Mathilde’s minds and how she reveals them to us.

–Catherine Block, Parnassus Books

 Half an Inch of Water, Everett

Half an Inch of Water, Percival Everett

(9/15, Graywolf)

With this new collection, Mr. Everett provides a warm tapestry of happenings set in the West. As with his last story collection, he paints the human condition with a gentle brush, always reflective and controlled, never pat. He writes characters of color neutrally. It is something I religiously strive for in my writing. His characters are everyday people thrust into situations that require more of themselves than they ever thought possible.

–Dante Bostic, Greenlight Bookstore

scrapper

Scrapper, Matt Bell

(9/1, SoHo Press)

Set during the apocalypse of now, in a slowly decaying Detroit, Matt Bell’s latest novel is a vertiginous plummet into the darkest heart of man. A “scrapper” who makes his living selling off the remnants of America piece by piece stumbles upon a kidnapped child in an abandoned house, driving him into a disturbing quest for justice and redemption. Yet, what he uncovers threatens to unearth the secrets of his own inescapable past. Complex, troubling and written with a flowing lyricism that belies its harrowing story, you will not easily forget this book.

–Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore

the blue guitar, banville nuns

The Blue Guitar, John Banville

(9/15, Knopf)

John Banville is one of those writers who I had long ago filed away as one to get to. Knowing almost nothing of his prior 15 efforts, the titular Wallace Stevens reference caught my eye. It seems like Banville is treading on the territory laid out by Stevens’s poem, but in novel form. If so, this is something I can’t wait to get my hands on. Sorry, Colum McCann.

–John Kilbane, Community Bookstore

the story of my teeth, luiselli

Story of My Teeth, Valeria Luiselli

(9/15, Coffee House Press; trans. by Christina MacSweeney)

The Story of My Teeth is a delightful and melancholy foray into the life of one Gustavo “Highway” Sánchez Sánchez, an auctioneer whose collection pushes the very boundaries of the believable. Luiselli, a darling of independent booksellers everywhere, is an exuberant writer and Sánchez is one of the singular literary creations of our time. I fucking love this book.

–Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books

 

Written in collaboration with the workers at a Mexican juice factory, featuring a delightfully delusional auctioneer, bending styles, playing with references, and challenging the idea of translation, The Story of My Teeth is unlike anything you’ve ever read. With this brilliant, weird, zany second novel, Luiselli has solidified her place as one of the most interesting and imaginative minds putting words on paper today.

–Josh Cook, Porter Square Books

 

The story of The Story of My Teeth fascinates me: an emerging writer collaborates anonymously with a group of juice factory workers to write a story about art, identity, and who can own either. Wonderful and strange, The Story of My Teeth transgresses against straightforward storytelling by witnessing and remixing to make something so fresh and new that it defies easy description. Just know that it dazzles on every page. I love this book.

–Jeremy Ellis, Brazos Bookstore

The Conquering Tide toll

Conquering Tide, Ian Toll 

(9/21, W. W. Norton & Company)

The Conquering Tide is the second volume in what his likely to be the definitive history of the war in the Pacific. Toll writes with depth, scope, clarity, and nuance and is quickly becoming one of our great historians.

–Josh Cook and Gary, Porter Square Books

Furiously Happy, Lawson

Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson

(9/22, Flatiron Books)

The Bloggess strikes again! Her signature zany wit is in full force, tempered here with serious talk about her struggles with mental illness. A sublimely ridiculous but thoughtful look at how we address mental illness.

–Emily Adams, Third Place Books

 

Who doesn’t love Jenny Lawson? Serious, boring people—that’s who. You know going in that Furiously Happy, like Lawson’s last book (the #1 New York Times bestselling Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) is going to be a jumble of inner monologues, mini-essays, and candid personal writing about her struggles with anxiety and mental health issues. So place it on your nightstand where you can pick it up, put it down, and have a good laugh whenever you feel like it.

–Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books

Symphony for the City of the Dead , Anderson

Symphony for the City of the Dead, M.T. Anderson

(9/22, Candlewick)

M.T. Anderson reveals just how much the life of Dmitri Shostakovich was defined by controversy and drama. Was he a lock-step Communist and Stalin supporter? Or was he a courageous and brilliant composer rallying an entire country during decades of suppression? After all, his life spanned a period of history in which evasion and untruths were often the way Russians stayed alive. That makes a well-researched, meticulously documented work such as this a valuable resource, as well as a page-turning story of one of the 20th century’s great artists. (Note: This book is intended for older teens; however, a reader of any age will learn what Russia endured during the last century and experience the power of music as it enables a country to survive while contributing to the world’s canon of great compositions.)

–Mary Grey James, Parnassus Books

 This Monstrous Thing, Lee

This Monstrous Thing, Mackenzi Lee

(9/22, HarperCollins)

A pensive, at times brooding, young adult take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and another debut novel from a PSB bookseller.

–Josh Cook, Porter Square Books

the thing about jellyfish, benjamin

The Thing About Jellyfish, Ali Benjamin

(9/22, Little, Brown and Company)

Suzy “Zu” Swanson’s best friend, Franny, drowned over summer vacation, after the girls had spent most of the school year drifting apart. Zu’s grief expresses itself in silence—a refusal to say things that aren’t important—and she becomes obsessed with proving that her friend’s death was the result of an extremely rare and fatal jellyfish sting. As silent as Zu is to those around her, her voice leaps off the page for the reader, smart and odd and funny and in so much pain, so weighed down by guilt and confusion at her friend’s death. Benjamin’s narrative is masterfully constructed, but it’s Zu’s voice that makes this sing.

–Stephanie Appell, Parnassus Books

 

Beautifully written! It is a treasure to find such a book that portrays raw, honest emotion over verbal silence and loss. Zu is filled with remorse after an ex-best friend dies and she searches for understanding in the unknown science of jellyfish. Seems absurd, right? Through Zu’s eyes she nearly had me convinced until her plan came to a crashing end.

–Emily Mclean, Third Place Books

Hotel by Joanna Walsh

Hotel Joanna Walsh


(9/24, Bloomsbury Academic)

Joanna Walsh’s first book of short stories, Fractals, was an impressive combination of stylistic invention and dry wit, frequently written with an acute awareness of space and place. So I’m very much looking forward to this book which combines a memoir of her time as a hotel reviewer with an exploration of the nature and purpose of hotels.

–Stephen Crowe, Third Place Books

gold fame citrus, watkins

Gold Fame Citrus, Claire Vaye Watkins

9/29, Riverhead

I was hypnotized by Watkins’ story collection, Battle Born. Her sense of place is astounding. Her ability to write the American desert, to capture it perfectly, is unmatched. There is something electric in those stories, but at the same time I feel sure—absolutely certain that she has something more in her. Of course, she’s already a tremendous talent, but it’s going to be a thing to behold when she finally unleashes her true power. I’m hoping she does that with Gold Fame Citrus.

–Erin Ball, Third Place Books

 

Just when I thought I’d read every kind of apocalypse there is—pandemic, economic, government conspiracy, black hole eats Florida, memory loss, death-by-fire, etc—here comes Claire Vaye Watkins with drought apocalypse. The genius of Gold Fame Citrus comes from Wakins’s extensive research on the history of California and the way she seamlessly integrates it into the barren future. Watkins has created a novel that is equal parts beautiful and devastating.

–Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books

the heart goes last, atwood

The Heart Goes Last, Margaret Atwood

(9/29, Deckle Edge)

Margaret Atwood has a genius for re-imagining the world. In The Heart Goes Last she transports us to a future where society is falling apart, and Stan and Charmaine’s marriage might soon follow. That is, until the mysterious Positron Project enters their lives, making this novel a true literary page-turner.

–Ann Patchett, Parnassus Books

the violet bakery cookbook, ptak

The Violet Bakery Cookbook, Claire Ptak

(9/29, Ten Speed)

The Lemon Drizzle Cake is the tastiest lemon dessert I’ve ever encountered. The Molasses Ginger Cake is a ginger-lover’s dream come true. Both are even more delicious after a day of rest, so no worries about cleaning up right before your guests arrive. Excuse me, I think I hear my oven calling…

–Emily Adams, Third Place Books

Don't Suck, Don't Die , Hersh

Don’t Suck, Don’t Die, Kristin Hersh  

(10/1, University of Texas Press)

This is an amazing memoir from the bestselling author of Rat Girl and founder of the band Throwing Muses. It paints a beautiful portrait of musician Vic Chesnutt, his unique friendship with the author, and the sorrowful broken darkness they each deal with. The language is warm, intimate and poetic; it’s like On the Road and Sylvia Plath had a baby. It’s so gorgeous it actually hurts to read. I have not been so moved by a piece of art, any art, in years. Even with the inevitable tragic ending, Hersh keeps you hanging on with her delicate and sublime prose. You know you are circling a vortex but the water is so perfect you don’t care. This story aches, laughs, stuns, and pulls you into it like a siren song. You will put it down and want more of both Chesnutt and Hersh, and feel all the more brokenhearted at the enormity of the loss.

–Bosco Farr, BookPeople

new and improved romie futch, elliott

The New and Improved Romie Futch, Julia Elliott

(10/1, Tin House Books)

Romie, a down and out taxidermist, whose wife has left him needs to win her back. He signs up for a medical study. His brain is enhanced and he’s so much smarter than he was a couple of weeks earlier. He returns home to discover a wild boar, nicknamed Hogzilla, is terrorizing the town. He will capture Hogzilla, work his taxidermy magic, and win his wife back. But Romie gets these weird headaches, hears voices, and blacks out. With Elliott’s cast of unforgettable characters, you’ll be rooting for the underdog.

–Jess Pane, Greenlight Bookstore

Oh man, I’m so sick of this kind of novel—you know, your standard story about a down-on-his-luck Southern taxidermist who gives himself over to a scientific experiment, getting the entirety of the humanities uploaded into his brain, and then using that new knowledge to track a giant, evil boar, Ahab-like, through the woods. Haven’t we seen enough books like this? Okay, okay, I’m joking. But a year from now, when you’re fed up with the trend of taxidermy, scientific experiments, and evil hogs in contemporary fiction, remember that Julia Elliott’s stunning, original novel started it all.

–Benjamin Rybeck, Brazos Bookstore

The Song Machine  Inside the Hit Factory, Seabrook

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory, John Seabrook

(10/5, W. W. Norton & Company)

From Ace of Base through Backstreet Boys to Rihanna and Katy Perry, The Song Machine chronicles the story of how a bunch of Swedish DJs and musicians conquered the American and world charts for 20 years. It’s an utterly compelling and fascinating read that opens the door and shines a spotlight upon how hits are written and the anonymous people who write them.

–Joe Turner, BookPeople

Bats of the Republic , Thomas

Bats of the Republic, Zachary Thomas Dodson 

(10/6, Doubleday)

A most imaginative book—ambitious in design and presentation! Dodson’s literary creation is a fantastic amalgam of historical, mystery and science fiction that is enhanced by illustrations to forward a story about a taut political struggle in the far future that is uncannily linked to events in the past. In 1843 in Texas, Zadock Thomas falls in love with the daughter of his employer; while an unsuitable suitor for his daughter, Joseph Gray engages Zadock on a quest to deliver a secret letter to a rogue Texan general somewhere in the Republic of Texas. Three hundred years in the future Republic of Texas, Zeke Thomas must fill the Senate seat left empty after the death of his grandfather, but he is held back by the appearance of an unknown secret letter that may devastate his bloodline. Dodson includes a fictional book in his story—a book about the Gray family and their uncanny connection to a secretive group of women who dream about the future (that they appear in the Texas of the future with more unearthly powers is a credit to the author’s creative genius). Fans of David Mitchell and Mark Z. Danielewski will rejoice at this wondrous work of imaginative fiction!

–Raul Chapa, BookPeople

carry on, rowell

Carry On, Rainbow Rowell

(10/6, St. Martin’s Griffin)

How can I not be excited about a new Rainbow Rowell book? No, really, I can’t even keep my head when I think about reading her new book! I’m very much looking forward to continuing on with Simon and Baz’s story, the snapshots Rowell teased us with in Fangirl were not nearly enough. Having read everything else by Rowell, I wonder what her fantasy will be like. Wonderful, I have no doubt, but also engaging, richly detailed, and full of the same life she’s imbued in all of her other novels!

–Annie Carl, Third Place Books

changing the subject, birkerts

Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age by Sven Birkerts

(10/6, Graywolf)

After On Immunity and The Empathy Exams, I have officially dedicated myself to every piece of nonfiction that Graywolf lays a hand on. And this collection of essays speaks to something close to any bookseller’s heart. What happens to art in a world consumed with technology? How do we prevent the collective atrophy of imagination in the face of instant access and lost curiosity? I want to know; hopefully this book will tell me.

–Erin Ball, Third Place Books

little elliot

Little Elliot, Big Family, Mike Curato

(10/6, Henry Holt)

Not everyone has a blood-family, but families built over time and through friendship are irreplaceable and more valuable. Little Elliot has no formal family of his own, but his adopted family loves him all the more—despite their many differences. This book is perfect for blended families or families made up of friends because that’s where life has brought them.

–Emily Mclean, Third Place Books

M Train Patti Smith

M Train, Patti Smith

(10/6, Deckle Edge)

Patti Smith’s newest literary creation is not Just Kids, and you don’t want it to be. Instead, M Train stands alone, separate from Just Kids. This new memoir, which chronologically falls in line after the events of her National Book Award winner, is written with Smith’s bold and confident voice and in the poetic prose fans will recognize and grasp tightly. The ways in which Smith navigates these pages—with an organization that isn’t stifling but welcomed, and with imagery that isn’t flowery but generous and lovely—prove, yet again, that the woman is a wonder and a fierce literary and artistic talent, that she is an ever-evolving stylist and a natural storyteller. M Train has earned its place on your bookshelf next to Just Kids and your other favorite memoirs.

–Lauren Korn, Fact & Fiction Bookstore

magnus chase, riordan

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Rick Riordan

(10/6, Disney Hyperion)

Sometimes you do not have to see or read an advance copy for certain books. Rick Riordan turns to Norse mythology, what’s not to celebrate?

–Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction Bookstore

 

Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle

Reclaiming Conversation, Sherry Turkle

(10/6, Penguin Press)

Turkle is a professor at MIT who has spent the last 30 years researching the psychology of our relationships with technology. She makes a clear argument and presents piles of evidence that the casualty in our connected internet age is genuine human interaction. With the structure taken from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden “I had three chairs in my house: one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society,” Turkle introduces a fourth—interacting with computers. She asks, “Who do we become when we talk to machines?” There is something uncanny about speaking to a machine that Turkle reveals and it’s the outsourcing of empathy that leaves us always wanting more. What that more is, is real human conversations. Read this and talk about it with each other. For humanity’s sake.

–Kate Layte, Papercuts J.P.

 supplication john wieners

Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners, John Wieners

(10/6, Wave Books)

Even if you’ve never read John Wieners, you have felt his influence, because he’s a one-man Velvet Underground of 20th-century American poetry—a secret current that feeds into the vaster rivers of so many things we love. With ties to Black Mountain College, the Beat-era San Francisco Renaissance, as well as the early Gay Rights movement, his poems are also descendant of the hermetic New English transcendentalism he absorbed through his Boston upbringing. Suffice to say, John Wieners may have been our great unknown poet of supreme holy love and terror. Wave Books’ Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners is more than a rediscovery—it’s a major poetic event that we should, all of us, be grateful for.

–Jarrod Annis, Greenlight Bookstore

The Clasp, Sloane Crosley

(10/6, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The deepening of Crosley’s emotional scope between her first two essay collections was remarkable, her well-mannered snark traded in for a more melancholic brevity (though still employing a great deal of humor).

–Wesley Minter, Third Place Books

Anyone who remembers I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number knows that Crosley’s got a biting tongue and a killer sense of humor. Her debut novel The Clasp is a fun and hilarious adventure with characters it felt like I’d known for years. Friends who reunite after years of separation go on a strange goose chase that makes for a very wild ride.

–Katie Eelman, Papercuts J.P.

The Secret Chord, Brooks

The Secret Chord, Geraldine Brooks

(10/6, Viking)

The novels of Geraldine Brooks have transported readers from England and the plague in Year of Wonders to the American Civil War in her Pulitzer-winning March. Her newest work, The Secret Chord, tells the story of King David, who is equal parts hero and despot, and, in Brooks’s hands, completely riveting.

–Ann Patchett, Parnassus Books

 city on fire, garth

City on Fire, Garth Risk Hallberg

(10/13, Knopf)

City on Fire is a novel drenched in nostalgia and coated with grit and a surprising and welcomed amount of generosity: Hallberg has crafted an intricate story of human connection and condition, of complicated and fragile relationships. He has captured the unbelievable random and colliding nature(s) of many characters intertwined so intricately with a city and with a culture—1970s New York City—and the result (over 900 pages) is not a weighty burden but a joy. After you’ve finished City on Fire, you will want to gift it (again and again, along with a thoughtful mixtape—think Billy Joel and Television) to your favorite music- and book-lovers. Truly a wonder.

–Lauren Korn, Fact & Fiction Bookstore

 

From the late 1970s punk scene to the penthouses of Park Avenue, City on Fire tells the story of one death and how it affects all the people connected to it. It flows through the inner lives of these complex and somewhat damaged characters, slowly and methodically revealing how they all will, eventually, intersect with one another. It’s hard to imagine a setting more rich than that of New York in the 70s. But the way Hallberg tells it, the landscape of these people’s lives is just as compelling, and as intricately linked to the city in which they live as they are to each other.

–Sarah Holdgrafer, BookPeople

felicity, oliver

Felicity: Poems, Mary Oliver

(10/13, Penguin Press)

Sometimes you do not have to see or read an advance copy for certain books. Mary Oliver is beloved among our customers and we are always thankful that she has not slowed down in her mediations on love and nature.

–Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction Bookstore

midnight jesus, blaine

Midnight Jesus, Jamie Blaine

(10/13, Thomas Nelson)

Mr. Jamie Blaine is going to break through all the noise and be known overnight for his honest, raw to the root portrayal of what being a midnight psych guy is like, where faith loses all the sparkle of a Sunday morning and crashes into the late night heartbreak of Saturday night. Fortunately, for the reader, Mr. Blaine doesn’t come up sappy or maudlin. Nor does he wax fake poetic with religious diatribes about how faith can cure all ills and make the pain disappear with a snap of a pill bottle or preacher in a pulpit.

(Booksellers should not be deceived by the fact that this book rolls out in October from a Christian publishing house. They might be expecting something a lot sweeter than the stories they’ll find on these back-alleys and bridges, bars and basements. There is nothing whitewashed, kid-gloved, or sugar-coated in these stories from a man wading through humanity at its darkest hour while and hanging onto a white-hot belief in the Divine magic in every broken soul.)

–River Jordan, Parnassus Books

rules for werewolves, lynn

Rules for Werewolves, Kirk Lynn

(10/13, Melville House)

This novel is funny, dark, weird and addictive. I love the way the group dialogue merges the characters’ voices and becomes a chorus; the rhythm in these sections in particular is spot on. I thought this was a unique, engaging way to tell a story and a fresh way of looking at American culture, youth and class. At turns I was reminded of Christopher Moore and Chuck Palahniuk, but really, Kirk’s voice is all his own.

–Julie Wernersbach, BookPeople

darling

She Came From Beyond!, Nadine Darling

(10/13, Overlook Press)

This wild romp of a novel follows a spit-takingly funny, irreverent, and internet savvy 29-year-old small-time actress, Easy Hardwick, star in a MST3K spinoff show, who reenacts the female leading roles in campy movies while robots make bad jokes. She’s about to get replaced by a 21-year-old au pair. Uh-oh. Instead, her fans get outraged at the decision and demand Hardwick back—the Syfy channel picks it up and the novel propels. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this novel so far and Nadine Darling’s style is something fresh, original, and so much fun.

–Kate Layte, Papercuts J.P.

The Immortal heights, thomas

The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas

(10/13, Harper)

I loved Thomas’s The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea and this is the final volume in her Elemental Trilogy. I cannot wait to sink into it the way I did with the first two books, which were entirely astounding. Titus and Iolanthe have outrun the forces of Atlantis by a hair’s breadth, but the Bane will not be deterred. To stop this terrifying tyrant, Iolanthe and Titus must go into the very pit of evil—Atlantis itself.

–Annie Carl, Third Place Books

unfaithful music, costello

Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, Elvis Costello

(10/13, Blue Rider Press)

Elvis Costello has been telling us since 1983 that he was going to write this book, and now the world will finally get to read it. Costello joins a growing roster of musicians who pen their own memoirs as he spins an entertaining retrospective on his 40 years of making music.

–Andy Brennan, Parnassus Books

A Strangeness in My Mind, Pamuk

A Strangeness in My Mind, Orhan Pamuk

(10/20, Knopf; trans. by Ekin Oklap)

It’s been six long years since The Museum of Innocence, Orhan Pamuk’s last novel. But from the look of things, it was six years well spent for Turkey’s nobel laureate, whose big new book, A Strangeness in My Mind, comes out in October. Pamuk works in several different historical registers, from the Ottoman empire of My Name Is Red to the present-day Turkey of Snow. A Strangeness in My Mind skews to the latter, taking up the past 50 years of Istanbul as seen through the eyes of Mevlut, a poor street vendor who wanders the city at night as if in a dream. It’s Pamuk doing a picaresque, the narrator stumbling through the adventure of his life, bad luck at every turn, all the while taking in the sights and sounds of his ever-changing home. And by my reading, it’s also as funny and beautiful and large-hearted as any of the author’s best work.

–Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore

hemingway

Hemingway in Love: His Own Story, A.E. Hotchner

(10/20, St. Martin’s Press)

A heartbreaking and humanizing portrait of a towering literary legend hounded by remorse and personal demons that would ultimately lead to his undoing, this book is essential reading for anyone who cares to better understand the inimitable Ernest Hemingway. Recounted mostly in Papa’s own words, his long-time friend and biographer, AE Hotchner, reveals the man behind the myth. From the late-in-life psychiatric confinements and torturous rounds of ECTs, to the autobiographical origins of his most famous works, and the love affair that would forever haunt him, this is a potent, eye-opening memoir. For while Hotchner eviscerates the legend, he brings us closer to the man. And it has made me love Hemingway all the more.   

–Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore

home is burning, marshall

Home Is Burning, Dan Marshall

(10/20, Flatiron Books)

Dan Marshall is brutally honest about his family’s experience when his dad is diagnosed with ALS. But he is also humorous and introspective, which is no small feat in a memoir that deals with such a heavy topic. The Marshall family is hilariously flawed and at times I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or throw my hands up in exasperation and usually ended up doing all three at the same time. I encourage you to get to know them so you can too.

–Catherine Block, Parnassus Books

 submission, houellebecq

Submission, Michel Houellebecq

(10/20, Farrar, Straus and Giroux; trans. by Lorin Stein)

Say what you will about Houellebecq (plenty have and will), but there are few writers capable of turning a novel about a J.K. Huysmans scholar and French politics into a page-turner. Full of his by now infamous wit and occasionally cringe-worthy satire, Submission treads into controversial territory with one intention: to unsettle its readers. It succeeds.

–Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books

No stranger to controversy, in Submission Houellebecq imagines a near-future France in which the Muslim party wins the general election and in a move embraced by the French intellectuals, the country abandons its Western ways and converts to Islam. While it’s been attacked as Islamophobic, critics have pointed out that the sharpest barbs are flung at the intellectuals who justify and welcome the new authoritarian rule.

–John Cleary, Papercuts J.P.

Welcome to Night Vale Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Welcome to Night Vale, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

(10/20, Common Place Books)

Do you ever find yourself reading a mystery novel and think to yourself: “This is fun, but I sure wish there were more shapeshifters, angels named Erica, and subliminal references to Twin Peaks“? Me too. Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor have you covered—Welcome to Night Vale is weird and delightful.

–Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books

robinson

The Givenness of Things, Marilynne Robinson

(10/27, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

As if it weren’t enough to be one of the greatest living novelists, Marilynne Robinson is also a uniquely insightful thinker, whose humane and erudite essays on society, philosophy and religion defy easy categories. I’ll read anything she writes, so this new essay collection has to go on my list.

–Stephen Crowe, Third Place Books

After the huge success of LILA, one might expect Marilynne Robinson to take a break from writing amazing things. But alas, here is a series of essays exploring the foundations of our society and our nature as human beings. Citing literature and great thinkers in 17 standalone pieces, this book is a fascinating examination of cultural, moral, and spiritual issues, and though Robinson’s perspective is Christian, the words and ideas are universal.

Katie Eelman, Papercuts J.P.

Pacific, Winchester

Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers, Simon Winchester

(10/27, Harper)

The subtitle says it all. Winchester’s style and skill illuminate an incredible sweep of history, all anchored in one vast ocean. Known for offering unique perspectives, this time Winchester gives us ten diverse views into the past and future of the Pacific.

–Andy Brennan, Parnassus Books

 slade house, mitchell

Slade House, David Mitchell

(10/27, Random House)

Turn of the Screw was one of those Very Important Books that I just never got into—I now realize that it’s just because David Mitchell didn’t write it. But not to fear, Mitchell has treated the world to a ghost story in the form of Slade House. With all the bizarre wit and inventive narratives we know and love from Mitchell, Slade House is sure to please fans old and new.

–Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books

the familliar

The Familiar Vol 2: Into the Forest, Mark Danielewski

(10/27, Pantheon)

Danielewski is one of my favorite authors and I really enjoyed The Familiar Vol 1. Given the scope and ambition of this project there is a ton of pressure on Vol 2 to convince readers to come along for the entire ride. I know I’m rooting for him to succeed, but we won’t know until October if he does.

–Josh Cook, Porter Square Books

Thunder Lightning Weather Past, Present, future, redniss

Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future, Lauren Redniss

(10/27, Random House)

I read this strange and beautiful book in one sitting, lured in by the art and entranced by the stories. A hodgepodge of facts and stories about weather paired with sometimes eerie illustrations (the section on fog in particular comes to mind), this will make a great gift for anyone who appreciates creative nonfiction, art, or science.

–Emily Adams, Third Place Books

american copper, ray

American Copper, Shann Ray

(11/3, Unbridled Books)

American Copper is an important book for anyone interested in Montana history and the relationships among the peoples of the early Northwest Territory. Evelynne, Zion and William Black Kettle reflect the fierce, independent, determined entanglements that were The West. There three names will be remembered long after finishing the book

–Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction Bookstore

avenue of mysteries, irving, boob

Avenue of Mysteries, John Irving

(11/3, Simon & Schuster)

Luckily my decades of reading and bookselling have paralleled John Irving’s writing. I have not yet finished reading Avenue of Mysteries. The jacket copy mentions the words: epic, extraordinary, controversial and sexually brave—elements in all of Irving’s work. Juan Diego lives in the past and the present. He was raised in the slums of Mexico and is on a journey to the Philippines. So far I have encountered: Lupe, his mind-reading sister; Brother Pepe and Señor Eduardo, from the Jesuit school and orphanage for “Lost Children”; and Dorothy and Miriam, a mother/daughter team unlike any other. It’s far too hard to leave the pages, but work beckons.

–Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction Bookstore

Lies About Truth, stevens

The Lies About Truth, Courtney C. Stevens

(11/3, HarperTeen)

At the levels of sentence, character, story, and soul, Courtney C. Stevens’s sophomore effort, The Lies About Truth, is staggeringly good. Sadie Kingston is struggling to heal after a tragic accident claimed her boyfriend’s life and left her irreparably scarred. With help from some unexpected places, she’s finally beginning to put the pieces of her life—and her heart—back together. This one is quietly wonderful.

–Stephanie Appell, Parnassus Books

on benefits, seneca

Letters on Ethics, Lucius Annaeus Seneca

(11/5, University of Chicago Press; trans. by Margaret Graver and A. A. Long)

The latest volume in The University of Chicago Press’ exceptional Seneca collection translates the incomparable letters to Lucilius. The most accessible and timeless of Seneca’s works, the Letters on Ethics is filled with practical wisdom and philosophical insight. No, we don’t just die at once, he tells us, we are dying every day, and yes, that is a great liberation and an urgent call to action. Wisdom for the ages.

–Jeff Deutsch, Seminary Co-op Bookstore

Destiny and Power The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, mencham

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, Jon Meacham

(11/10, Random House)

I have to admit, this is one biography I may have passed over were it not in the capable hands of Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham, who always produces illuminating and compelling reads. Meacham had incredible access to the Bush family while researching this book, and he uses it here to tell the story of a complex man who was a WWII hero, successful oilman, US Congressman, UN Ambassador, CIA Director, and the 41st President of the United States.

–Andy Brennan, Parnassus Books

Dodge Rose, cox

Dodge Rose, by Jack Cox

(11/10, Dalkey Archive)

Back in 2013, word started circulating about a novel called Dodge Rose, written by the unknown Jack Cox and picked out of the slush at the Dalkey Archive only to wear their dreaded “forthcoming” tag. In The Quarterly Conversation, Daniel Medin put it at the top of his favorite reads, calling it “the most singular work of fiction written in English… this year.” But Medin read it in samizdat, and time went by and the book never launched. So here we are two years later, with Cox’s debut finally set to appear on shelves in November, accompanied by little fanfare, overshadowed by the fall’s towering monuments to massive advances, this little Australian novel about inheritance, tax law, and ownership, bearing comparison to Beckett and Joyce and Gaddis, with word on the street that it’s as good as any of them. Let’s not let this one go down without a fight.

–Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore

our spoons came from woolworths, Comyns

Our Spoons Came from Woolworths, Barbara Comyns

(11/10, New York Review of Books)

I could and would, if time allowed, read everything NYRB releases. NYRB has branded the rediscovery of long-forgotten authors, and nowhere is that service more important than their female authors. I am always anxious to see what women they will be publishing, and having read nothing more than blurbs, I still find it difficult to contain my anticipation for this “maudlin, optimistic, charming, and surprisingly funny novel” about art, poverty, and a faltering marriage. Sounds hilarious. Introduction by Emily Gould.

–Erin Ball, Third Place Books

War, So Much War by Merce Rodoreda

War, So Much War, Mercè Rodoreda

(11/10, Open Letter Books; trans. by Martha Tennent and Maruxa Relaño)

The great Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda has a new book in translation from Open Letter. War, So Much War is an incredibly beautiful and disturbing novel. Although the language is accessible and inviting, the story is by turns surreal and dreamlike. Adrià, a young boy, wanders the Spanish countryside during an unnamed war. In a backdrop of revolution, Adrià finds himself in myriad misadventures meeting strange and colorful characters. Episodic in style, the language is breathtaking and transportive, ultimately showing the reader the universal beauty and injustice of fate. The translation by Maruxa Relaño and Martha Tennent is stunning. An incredibly original work and not to be missed.

–Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore

trace, savoy

Trace, Lauret Savoy

(11/10, Counterpoint)

Lauret Savoy’s Trace may be the most relevant book published this fall. This lyrical and sweeping essay on race, memory, and the American landscape covers ground sadly neglected in much nature writing. Its ethical argument—that the way we treat the environment is inextricable from how we treat our fellow human beings (and vice versa)—is one we should all pay close attention to, now more than ever.

–Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books

winter, meyer

Winter, Marissa Meyer

(11/10, Feiwel & Friends)

Finally, FINALLY, we get to find out what happens in Meyer’s completely stupendous Lunar Chronicles series. I have adored each new novel that’s appeared, though each leaves me in the throes of wanting more. Upon finishing Cress I immediately began to hatch crazy plots to get my hands on a copy of Winter. The entire series is not to be missed, full of dazzling heroines and complicated villains. I highly encourage anyone interested in science fiction, fairy tales, and engaging stories to pick up a copy of the first book, Cinder, and dive in.

–Annie Carl, Third Place Books

 not dark yet, ellingsen

Not Dark Yet, Berit Ellingsen

(11/11, Two Dollar Radio)

I’ve been loving the books put out by the small press Two Dollar Radio, so my expectations are high for this new release by debut novelist Berit Ellingsen (a Korean-Norwegian writer and former bookseller). Not Dark Yet (also the title of a great later-period Bob Dylan song), follows a man as he leaves his boyfriend in the city for life in the mountains. The Southern Reach Trilogy author, Jeff VanderMeer, has already given high praise for Ellingsen’s book.

–Kalani Kapahua, Third Place Books

Bohemian Gospel, Carpenter

Bohemian Gospel, Dana Carpenter

(11/15, Pegasus Books)

What could be sexier and more captivating than this debut novel set in 13th-century Bohemia with a dying king, and a mouse of a girl with a healing touch like magic. I love the rich tapestry of this novel for the elegance of the prose, and the dark river of a story that carries us forward on every page so full of story that we can feel our feet on cold stones centuries old. Readers who embrace the power of legend, quote Tolkien, and breathe King Arthur are going to eat this up with a silver spoon.

–River Jordan, Parnassus Books

The Knack of Doing, Davies

The Knack of Doing, Jeremy M. Davies

(11/17, Godine/Black Sparrow)

For the last decade, Jeremy M. Davies has championed some of the most formally challenging and fascinating work of the international avant-garde. As the former senior editor at the Dalkey Archive, he was responsible for bringing Édouard Levé, Gerald Murnane, and Stig Saeterbakken to American readers. Then there’s Jeremy M. Davies the writer, whose work stands, I would argue, shoulder to shoulder with these groundbreaking artists. His first novel, Rose Alley, took up the apocryphal making of a low-budget blue film about 18th-century erotic poet John Wilmot, told through a series of behind-the-scenes biographies of the principles. Then came last years Fancy, a brilliant, bizarre monologue about cat-sitting, issued from an elderly shut-in to a young couple, which I can’t even begin to describe. And this November comes The Knack of Doing, Davies first story collection, which promises angry mobs, spider farmers, and an executioner who raises mice (told in “a style of scrupulous plainness!”).

–Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore

stoned, AJA RADEN

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, And How Desire Shapes The World, Aja Raden

(12/1, Ecco)

You might not think that curling up with a book about the history of emeralds would fascinate one to the point of wanting to stay awake and turn another page but that is exactly what occurred when I began reading Stoned. This one line from the cover copy conveys exactly why mesmerizing knows no genre. “What moves the world is what moves each of us: desire.” I’m expecting this to be a surprising favorite with readers from all corners and recommending it as a rare jewel of a Christmas gift.

–River Jordan, Parnassus Books

Year of the Goose, Carly J. Hallman

(12/8, Unnamed Press)

Sometimes too much pineapple turns your tongue into a caterpillar, all that acid seeping through. Between a government-sanctioned fat camp meant to “rehabilitate” China’s morbidly obese children and the brutal assassination of China’s richest man—Papa Hui, CEO of China’s most profitable corporation, Bashful Goose Snack Company—Carly Hallman’s The Year of the Goose contains that same tart. Snarky and sinister, this debut novel will make you cackle and cringe.

–Annalia Linnan, Brazos Bookstore

this raging light

This Raging Light, Estelle Laure

(12/22, Harcourt Brace & Co)

Lucy’s mom said she’d be back in a week, but that was two weeks ago. Lucy and her sister have eaten all the food in the house, and Lucy’s pretty sure none of the bills have been paid. This is a survival story—not the kind where the protagonist wanders in the wilderness and fends off snakes and bears and wolves and relies on their wits and a pocket knife to survive. This is a survival story about ordinary life, as Lucy must find within herself what she needs to keep waking up every morning, caring for her little sister, and not falling apart in the face of overwhelming obstacles. It’s a luminous debut, with characters who will stay in your heart long after you turn the last page.

–Stephanie Appell, Parnassus Books

finding them gone, pine

Finding Them Gone: Visiting China’s Poets of the Past, Red Pine

(12/29, Copper Canyon Press)

Having enjoyed James Lenfestey’s Seeking the Cave chronicling a pilgrimage to Hanshan’s (Cold Mountain) cave led by Bill Porter (Red Pine) last year, I’m looking forward to Red Pine’s own travelogue of his visits to sites associated with China’s greatest poets.

–Dale, Porter Square Books

The Lightkeepers, Geni

The Lightkeepers, Abby Geni 

(1/12, Counterpoint)

I’m typically a little disappointed when I admire a short story collection greatly and the author’s subsequent effort’s jacket copy reads as though it will be of similar tone or theme. As a reader, a scorched earth policy is the best policy. I’m willing to (hopefully) eat a little crow with Geni’s debut novel, though, as The Last Animal was a favorite of 2013 and a collection I have recommended to anyone who’ll stand still.

–Wesley Minter, Third Place Books

stiletto, omalley

Stiletto, Daniel O’Malley 

(1/26, Little, Brown and Company)

Highly anticipated sequel to 2012’s sleeper hit, The Rook. A cult is developing around this series with its own website, The Rook Files. It’s a clever, exciting and accessible fantasy series likely to appeal to Terry Prachett and/or grown up Harry Potter fans.

–Susanna, Porter Square Books

 









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