Reviews and Publicity

Friday Reads: Romance

We’re swooning over these romantic #FridayReads:

THE MAP THAT LEADS TO YOU by J.P. Monninger
College graduate Heather is traveling around Europe with her two best friends, enjoying her last summer of freedom, when she meets Jack, an enigmatic Vermonter who is following his grandfather’s journal to various cities around Europe. As forces are bringing Jack and Heather together, life and duty are pushing them apart. And Jack has a secret that is going to change absolutely everything. “Monninger’s debut novel will strike a chord with fans of Nicholas Sparks’ sweeping and sentimental tales.” — Booklist

THE IDEA OF YOU by Robinne Lee
When Solène Marchand takes her 12-year-old daughter to a concert by the hottest boy band on the planet, she doesn’t expect to fall in love with one of the singers. “Actress Lee, who appeared in Fifty Shades Darker, debuts with a beautifully written novel that explores sex, love, romance, and fantasy in moving, insightful ways while also examining a woman’s struggle with aging and sexism, with a nod at the tension between celebrity and privacy. A fascinating, thought-provoking, genre-bending romantic read.” — Kirkus Reviews readmoreremove

Tracy K. Smith Named New Poet Laureate

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith has been appointed the new Poet Laureate of the United States, with her tenure beginning this September.

 

LIFE ON MARS
Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
 9781555975845

 

DUENDE
Winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets
9781555974756

 

THE BODY’S QUESTION
Winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize
9781555973919

 

COMING IN WINTER 2018
WADE IN THE WATER
First new book since NBA Finalist memoir, Ordinary Light
 9781555978136

Thriller Thursday (6/15/17 Edition)

Summer’s heating up with these new mysteries:

THE FORGOTTEN GIRL by Rio Youers
Two starred reviews! “Canadian author Youers makes his U.S. debut with a paranormal thriller distinguished by subtle characterizations and emotionally evocative prose. Harvey’s compelling, moving search for Sally and the truth offers everything that fans of intelligent suspense could wish for.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK by Kristen Lepionka
Two starred reviews! Kinsey Millhone meets Serial in this debut about an allegedly closed case and a tenacious, troubled private investigator who doesn’t know when to quit. “This is a remarkably accomplished debut mystery, with sensitive character development and a heart-stopping denouement. Let’s hope there are more Roxane Weary novels on the way.” — Booklist, starred review

KNIFE CREEK by Paul Doiron
In this new edge-of-your-seat thriller from Edgar finalist and LibraryReads author Paul Doiron, Mike Bowditch delves into a long buried investigation to uncover a dangerous secret. “This solid eighth entry in the Mike Bowditch series, following WIDOWMAKER, is full of strong characters, great dialogue, and Doiron’s signature command of the rugged and natural Maine setting.” — Booklist

THE MENTOR by Lee Matthew Goldberg
Cape Fear meets Wonder Boys in this story of a book editor and his mentor as past secrets and a depraved manuscript dangerously entangle their lives. “Goldberg’s novel is…gripping. Like the Bret Easton Ellis novel it resembles, it succeeds as sharp and bitter satire—in this case, of the publishing industry and the sensationalism and barbarity that consumers crave.” — Kirkus Reviews readmoreremove

June 2017 Nonfiction Stars

Check out these *stellar* nonfiction titles joining your library shelves soon:

JANE AUSTEN AT HOME: A Biography by Lucy Worsley
“Worsley gives sharply drawn pictures of domesticity in the many homes that Austen inhabited, including her family’s rented houses in Bath and residences where she, her widowed mother, and sister visited as guests before they settled in Chawton, a site of pilgrimage for Janeites. A charming, well-researched journey to ‘Austen-land.’” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Her book is a lovely excavation of Austen’s home life, in which she provides readers access into places such as Pemberley without ever giving too much of herself away. This volume is sure to delight Austen fans, while Worsley’s examination of manuscripts will make new material accessible to scholars unable to visit the British Library, Hampshire Archives, Kent History and Library Centre, or the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Record Office.” Library Journal, starred review

THE ART OF DEATH: Writing the Final Story by Edwidge Danticat
“From ‘The Art of’ series, this emotional, brave work interrogates and bears witness to the ultimate unknown. Will appeal to readers looking for warmth and insight—whatever their personal circumstance.” — Library Journal, starred review

“National Book Critics Circle Award winner Danticat…takes on an unpleasant topic with sensitivity and passion.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Happy #BookBday (6/13/17 Edition)

Oh what a lovely day for a #BookBday!

DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES by Seanan McGuire
A June 2017 LibraryReads pick with three starred reviews! The second urban fantasy book in the Wayward Children series, following EVERY HEART A DOORWAY, explores what happened to Jack and Jill before they tumbled into Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. “McGuire’s exquisitely written fairy tale is about the choices that can alter the course of a life forever, lost innocence, and what it is to love and be loved.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE CITY ALWAYS WINS by Omar Robert Hamilton
A Library Journal Debut Novels pick, a Barnes & Noble Summer 2017 Discover Great New Writers pick, and one of Buzzfeed’s “Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer!” A vivid, powerful portrait of Egypt’s failed revolution in 2011 shown through the eyes of Mariam and Khalil, two young people fighting at the front lines of the revolution in the streets of Cairo and its political underground. “Cofounder of the Palestine Festival of Literature, Hamilton turns in a relentlessly readable work that both informs and humbles.” — Library Journal, starred review

SO MUCH BLUE by Percival Everett
A June 2017 Indie Next pick and one of Buzzfeed’s “Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer!” “An artist ponders a painting he wants to keep private along with the back stories that inspired it, the secrets that continue to haunt him. Everett continues to wrestle with issues such as artistic identity and inspiration, the relation between artists and their art, the notions of what a narrator reveals and conceals, but rarely have the results been as engrossing as this.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review readmoreremove

Sneak Peek: July 2017 Indie Next List

The July 2017 Indie Next list includes three Macmillan titles!

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. Paris
A Library Journal Spring 2017 Editors’ Pick with three starred reviews! A woman who believes she was a witness to a crime obsesses over whether she could have prevented a death, while fearing for her sanity. “This psychological thriller is even harder to put down than Paris’ 2016 best-seller debut [and LibraryReads pick] BEHIND CLOSED DOORS; schedule reading time accordingly. With two in a row, Paris moves directly to the thriller A-list.” — Booklist, starred review

GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel Khong
One of Buzzfeed’s “Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer!” Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again to care for her parents in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice. “In her tender, well-paced debut novel, which spans Ruth’s year at home, Khong writes heartbreaking family drama with charm, perfect prose, and deadpan humor.” — Booklist, starred review readmoreremove

Stars for Louise Penny’s GLASS HOUSES

Wonderful news: #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny’s new Chief Inspector Gamache novel, GLASS HOUSES, has two starred reviews!

A Library Journal Summer Fiction pick!

“A meticulously built mystery that follows a careful ascent toward a breaking point that will leave you breathless. It’s Three Pines as you have never seen it before.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Penny has a permanent spot on that enviable short list of writers who combine unwavering quality with mega-sales.” — Booklist, starred review readmoreremove

New York Times Summer Reading Recommendations

The gray lady recently revealed several Summer 2017 reading lists in mystery, horror, graphic novels, and more, including these 10 Macmillan titles:
True Crime (full list)

In his lively literary biography ARTHUR AND SHERLOCK: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, Michael Sims traces the real-life inspiration for the first “scientific detective” to the renowned Dr. Joseph Bell, a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh celebrated for his uncanny diagnostic observational skills. His methods were “quite easy, gentlemen,” Dr. Bell would assure his students. “If you will only observe and put two and two together,” you, too, could deduce a man’s profession, family history and social status from the way he buttons his waistcoat.

Grace Humiston was an advocate for an earlier generation of lost and forgotten women, and her inspiring story demands a hearing. In MRS. SHERLOCK HOLMES: The True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation, Brad Ricca makes a heroic case for Humiston, a lawyer and United States district attorney who forged a career of defending powerless women and immigrants. For her dogged work on the 1917 case of a missing girl that the police had given up on, the newspapers called her “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.”

Authors of true crime books have made a cottage industry out of analyzing what makes killers tick. Michael Cannell gives credit where credit is due in INCENDIARY: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber, and the Invention of Criminal Profiling by profiling one of the pioneers, Dr. James A. Brussel, a New York psychiatrist who specialized in the criminal mind. After 28 attacks, Dr. Brussel, a Freudian psychiatrist who ministered to patients at Creedmoor state mental hospital, used “reverse psychology,” a precursor of criminal profiling, to identify features of the bomber — his “sexuality, race, appearance, work history and personality type.” Aside from an unseemly fight over the $26,000 reward money, the case was a genuine groundbreaker in criminal forensics.

Horror (full list)

Some horror novels, though, feel timeless whenever you happen to read them, and Kit Reed’s wondrous new ghost story MORMAMA seems to me one of those. It’s a haunted-house tale, set in Jacksonville, Fla., in which three elderly sisters, a young single mother, her 12-year-old son and an amnesiac drifter who might be related to them all, attempt to fend off the uneasy spirits also resident in the crumbling mansion they live in. Reed, who has been writing fiction of all kinds for nearly 60 years, certainly knows how to construct a traditional spooky tale, and she does that expertly in MORMAMA, alternating different voices (some living, some not), laying out complex family relationships over several generations, managing a complicated plot and then drawing everything together in a spectacular, and unexpectedly moving, conclusion.

Graphic Novels (full list)

Most of Guy Delisle’s longer graphic novels to date, like PYONGYANG and BURMA CHRONICLES, have been memoirs of his travels. HOSTAGE is neither about the Canadian cartoonist’s own experiences nor grounded in his canny observations of place: It’s the story of Christophe André, who spent almost four months in 1997 as a hostage. Kidnapped from a Doctors Without Borders office in Nazran, Ingushetia, a Russian republic near Chechnya, where he was an administrator, he was taken to Grozny and handcuffed to a radiator next to a mattress in a darkened room. That was all André knew. He didn’t speak his captors’ language, got almost no information of any kind from them, and had no way of knowing when or how he might be freed.

It’s usually a slight to argue that an artist “hasn’t found their voice yet”; in the case of the restlessly versatile Jillian Tamaki, it’s an endorsement. BOUNDLESS collects short stories that are so far apart from one another in tone and technique that they could almost pass for the work of entirely different artists. If Tamaki (the illustrator of the Book Review’s By the Book feature) has a favorite storytelling strategy, it seems to be dreaming up some kind of odd artifact of mass culture and then examining the way people react to it. readmoreremove

June 2017 Fiction Stars

The stars are aligning for these sizzling summer reads:

EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker
“Both twisted and twisty, this smart psychological thriller sets a new standard for unreliable narrators.” — Booklist, starred review

“Walker’s portrayal of the ways in which a narcissistic, self-involved mother can affect her children deepens the plot as it builds to a shocking finale.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE FORGOTTEN GIRL by Rio Youers
“Canadian author Youers makes his U.S. debut with a paranormal thriller distinguished by subtle characterizations and emotionally evocative prose. Harvey’s compelling, moving search for Sally and the truth offers everything that fans of intelligent suspense could wish for.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“How Youers manages to skillfully weave character development into a book filled with edge-of-your-seat action is a testament to his writing skills. This is a smart thriller that also explores the power of love and memory. Highly recommended.” — Booklist, starred review

THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc
“The latest from Jemc is a haunted house tale that toys with the hallmarks of ghost stories—a young city couple moving to a small town, a curmudgeonly neighbor, a spooky legend—to create an exhilarating and unsettling literary page-turner. The conclusion is the perfect cap to a story full of genuine frights.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A psychological spook story in the best high literary tradition. Shivery and smart. A book that brings the legacy of Henry James into the modern world with great effect.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review readmoreremove

Thriller Thursday (6/8/17 Edition)

Happy #ThrillerThursday! First, big congrats to our nominees on the 2017 CWA Dagger longlists:

The CWA Gold Dagger
THE DRY by Jane Harper

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
MOSKVA by Jack Grimwood
THE ONE MAN by Andrew Gross
REDEMPTION ROAD by John Hart

The John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger
WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW by JoAnn Chaney
GOOD ME BAD ME by Ali Land

The Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction
ARTHUR AND SHERLOCK: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes by Michael Sims

The CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger
BY GASLIGHT by Steven Price

Now on to this week’s new books!

HE SAID/SHE SAID by Erin Kelly
Two starred reviews! On the eve of a solar eclipse, a couple forced into hiding discovers that they can no longer run from their past in this taut psychological suspense novel. “HE SAID/SHE SAID is a thriller to savor, and should be one of the highlights of the summer.” — Associated Press

WOLF ON A STRING by Benjamin Black
Bestselling author Black turns his eye to sixteenth century Prague and a story of murder, magic and the dark art of wielding extraordinary power. “Black displays his mastery of yet another mystery subgenre in this brooding, atmospheric whodunit set in 16th-century Prague. Superior prose complements the intricate plot.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

YOU BELONG TO ME by Colin Harrison
An elite immigration attorney and obsessive collector of antique New York City maps is drawn into a swiftly escalating series of murders in Harrison’s latest whodunit. “In his latest New York-centered crime thriller, Harrison spins a tightly wound tale of obsession and betrayal. The narrative is as impressively constructed as the maps in Paul’s collection: each section laid out in seamless order to allow for a satisfyingly neat conclusion.” — Publishers Weekly readmoreremove

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