Tuesday is New Book Day. We celebrate each week by highlighting titles we’re excited to see arrive in paperback.
We All Wore Stars: Memories of Anne Frank from her Classmates
In 1941, Theo Coster was a student at the Amsterdam Jewish Lyceum, 1 in a class of 28 Jewish children that the Nazis had segregated from the rest of the Dutch population. Among Theo’s fellow students was a young Anne Frank, whose diary would later become one of the most important documents of the Holocaust. In this remarkable group portrait, Coster and five of his fellow classmates gather their personal stories and memories of Anne. The accounts collected here do not just help us to rediscover Anne Frank. They also stand on their own as remarkable stories of ingenuity and survival during the Holocaust—from Albert Gomes de Mesquita, who hid in ten different towns across Europe—to Hannah Goslar, who experienced the horrors of Bergen-Belsen but also made a miraculous reconnection with Anne days before her death.
The Red House
The setup of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister, Angela, and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just remarried and acquired a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. All eight arrive with low expectations for a pleasant holiday. But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but familiar. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt.
Eighteen-year-old Bria wants to be a Global Vagabond. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a tour of Central America-the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. So when Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspoken sister, Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path. Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel through Mayan villages and remote Belizean islands, they discover they're both seeking to leave behind the old versions of themselves. The secret to escaping the past, Rowan's found, is to keep moving forward. But Bria realizes she can't run forever. At some point, you have to look back.
The Beautiful and Damned
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Beautiful and Damned is the story of Anthony Patch and his wife, Gloria. Harvard-educated and an aspiring aesthete, Patch is waiting for his inheritance upon his grandfather's death. His reckless marriage to Gloria is fueled by alcohol and destroyed by greed. The Patches race through a series of alcohol-induced fiascoes--first in hilarity, then in despair. The Beautiful and Damned, a devastating portrait of the nouveaux riches, New York nightlife, reckless ambition, and squandered talent, was published in 1922 on the heels of Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise. It signaled his maturity as a storyteller and confirmed his enormous talent as a novelist.
The Wind Whales of Ishmael
Phillip Jose Famer
Ishmael, lone survivor of the doomed whaling ship Pequod, falls through a rift in time and space to a future Earth - an Earth of blood-sucking vegetation and a blood-red sun, of barren canyons where once the Pacific Ocean roared. Here too there are whales to hunt - but whales that soar through a dark blue sky....
Hugo Award-winner Philip José Farmer spins a fascinating tale of whaling ships and sailors of the sky in a bizarre future world where there are no seas to sail and no safe harbor to call home....
Talulla Demetriou, pregnant, grieving, and on the run, must face her werewolf future without Jake. Pursued by the hunters of WOCOP, she must find a place to give birth to Jake's child in secret. The birth-premature-under a full moon at a remote Alaska lodge, leaves Talulla ravaged. With her newborn son in her arms she believes the worst is over, until the door crashes open and a new nightmare begins. Suddenly, Talulla is now in a race against time to save both herself and to recover her lost child.
Available for the first time, Sucker Portfolio showcases a collection of seven never before published works from Kurt Vonnegut, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Short, sardonic, and dark, these six brief fiction stories and one non-fiction piece are consummate Vonnegut with piercing satire and an eye for life obscene inanity. Also available for the first time is an unfinished science-fiction short story, included in the appendix. These stories trace trivial human lives and mundane desires, which is precisely where Vonnegut inimitable perspective as a humanist shines, illuminating his alternating hopeful and dismal outlook, although undoubtedly focusing on the latter. Here as in his greatest novels, Vonnegut writing takes us to the darkest corners of the human soul and with wit and humor, manages to remind us of our potential to be something greater.
Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar is faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother's body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic, or what she claims to be: a grieving sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites? As she persists, single-minded in her mission, the camp's tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next.
The Watch takes an age-old story-the myth of Antigone-and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan. The result is a gripping, deeply affecting book that brilliantly exposes the realities of war.
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D
Summer vacation on Great Rock Island was supposed to be a time for Kate to recharge. A year earlier, she lost her best friend, Elizabeth, in a sudden accident, and Kate has inherited Elizabeth's lifelong diaries with only one simple direction: start at the beginning.
To her great surprise, the diaries reveal an Elizabeth that Kate never knew existed. The ever-cheerful perfect wife and mother was also a frustrated artist with a troubled childhood, and seemed to have come to marriage and children by default rather than by design. The more Kate reads, the more she learns the complicated truth of who Elizabeth really was, and the more she questions not just their friendship, but her own choices as a wife, mother, and professional. When a mysterious man's name shows up in the diaries, Kate finds her most fundamental beliefs about fidelity and loyalty challenged.
The Prisoner of Heaven
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Barcelona,1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife Bea have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940's and the dark early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a journey fraught with jealousy, suspicion, vengeance, and lies, a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives.
Eight years after they overthrew Churchill and led Britain into a separate peace with Hitler, the upper-crust families of the “Farthing set” are gathered for a weekend retreat. Among them is estranged Farthing scion Lucy Kahn, who can’t understand why her and her husband David’s presence was so forcefully requested. Then the country-house idyll is interrupted when the eminent Sir James Thirkie is found murdered—with a yellow Star of David pinned to his chest.
Lucy begins to realize that her Jewish husband is about to be framed for the crime—an outcome that would be convenient for altogether too many of the various political machinations underway in Parliament in the coming week. But whoever’s behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn’t reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts and underdogs—and prone to look beyond the obvious as a result.
Anne Greenwood Brown
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death. It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love-just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, Heather Wood Rudulph
Feminism can still seem like an abstract idea that is hard to incorporate into our hectic, modern lives, but Jennifer Keishin Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudúlph show how the everyday things really matter. In an age when concern-trolling, slut-shaming, and body-snarking are blogosphere bywords, when reproductive rights are back under political attack, and when women are constantly pressured to "have it all," feminism is more relevant than ever. For many young women the radicalism of the Second Wave is unappealing, and the "do me" and "lipstick" feminism of the Third Wave feels out of date. Enter Sexy Feminism. It's an inclusive, approachable kind of feminism-miniskirts, lip gloss, and waxing permitted.
The Paris Directive
In a Berlin hotel room in the late 1990s, two former French intelligence agents hire Klaus Reiner, a ruthlessly effective hit man, to eliminate an American industrialist vacationing in southwestern France. Reiner easily locates his target in the small village of Taziac, but the hit is compromised when three innocent people are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Enter Inspector Paul Mazarelle, formerly of Paris but now living in Taziac, charged with bringing his experience and record of success in the capital to bear on the gruesome quadruple homicide at the height of tourist season. Both Mazarelle's investigation and Reiner's assignment become complicated when Molly Reece, a New York City district attorney and daughter of two of the victims, arrives to identify the bodies and begins asking questions. All evidence points to Ali Sedak, a local Arab handyman, but Mazarelle and Molly have doubts.