Articles tagged "memoir"

PW Best Books of Summer 2017

PWSummer2017Publishers Weekly’s editors recently selected their Best Books of Summer 2017, including these seven Macmillan titles:
Staff Picks (full list)

BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
“About that thing on the cover—is it a genetically modified bird-of-paradise? Some cousin of the odoriferous corpse flower? I was intrigued from the moment I saw it, as is Rachel, the postapocalyptic scavenger who finds the improbably sentient and mutable creature—who ‘smelled of beach reeds on lazy summer afternoons and, beneath the sea salt, of passionflowers’—while picking through the fur of the gargantuan flying bear that terrorizes her devastated city. And then things start to get weird.” — Carolyn Juris, features editor

ISADORA by Amelia Gray
“Gray’s most recent book, the story collection GUTSHOT, was weird as hell and as visceral as its title. Whose life would be better for her to fictionalize, then, than that of notorious mother of modern dance Isadora Duncan? An openly bisexual communist and atheist in an era that condemned all three, Duncan was famous for wearing long, flowing scarves even up until her death, when her scarf got caught in one of the axles of the car she was riding in. Flung from the vehicle, Duncan died of a broken neck—a tragic end that will surely make for a riveting finale in Gray’s novel.” — John Maher, assistant news editor

Fiction (full list)

THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING by Grant Ginder
Ginder takes family dysfunction to its hysterical limit in this joyously ribald novel about siblings Alice and Paul begrudgingly attending the lavish wedding of their half-sister, Eloise, in England. Lovesick Alice and Paul—both in doomed relationships—see Eloise as the snotty daughter of a rich dad, and Donna, their mother, as a coldhearted widow who ditched all remnants of their father after his death. During the boozy pre-wedding days, the resentment and secrets come tumbling out in outbursts and hilariously bad decisions. readmoreremove

Maximum Shelf: HAPPINESS

MaxShelf-HappinessToday’s Maximum Shelf Awareness feature is HAPPINESS: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham.

In her debut memoir, award-winning playwright and performance artist Heather Harpham recounts her charming courtship with a New Yorker named Brian, and how it ends, full stop, when Heather becomes pregnant. Heather returns home to California to deliver their daughter alone, buoyed by family and friends. Mere hours after Gracie’s arrival, Heather’s first precious moments of happiness with her newborn are shattered when she learns her daughter has a rare blood condition that places her at high risk for brain damage or death. Brian reappears as Gracie’s condition grows dire; together Heather and Brian have to decide what they are willing to risk to ensure their girl sees adulthood.

“Harpham’s ability to capture an audience’s emotions takes center stage as a memoirist. Her deeply personal yet witty narrative style makes the reader feel instantly connected, as if Harpham is a close friend traveling a familiar ‘crooked little road to semi-ever after.’ Hers is a journey evoking a spectrum of emotions: hope, sadness, anger and, yes, happiness.” — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Heather Harpham on Shelf-Awareness.com.

HAPPINESS will be available from Henry Holt & Company on August 1, 2017.

New Nonfiction – April 2017

Biographies, histories, manifestos and more! Take a look at the new nonfiction books perfect for your patrons this April:

FEAR CITY: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Fein
Two starred reviews! “Phillips-Fein, professor of history at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, makes municipal bonds exciting in this painstakingly researched revisionist account of the 1970s fiscal crisis that shook New York to its core. The book should be required reading for all those interested in the past, present, and future of democratic politics.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.
One of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2017! Yale legal scholar and former public defender James Forman Jr. provides an original and consequential argument about race, crime, and the law, weighing the tragic role that some African Americans themselves play in escalating the war on crime. “The book achieves genuine immediacy, due not only to the topical subject, but also to Forman’s personal experiences within the legal system. Possibly controversial, undoubtedly argumentative, Forman’s survey offers a refreshing breath of fresh air on the crisis in American policing.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

CLIMATE OF HOPE: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet by Michael Bloomberg & Carl Pope
From NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former head of the Sierra Club Carl Pope comes a manifesto on how the benefits of taking action on climate change are concrete, immediate, and immense. “Upbeat, pragmatic, eloquent, and supremely well-informed, Bloomberg and Pope present striking statistics, cogently describe diverse examples of energy reforms and innovations across the U.S. and around the world, and make clear on both personal and social levels why a low-carbon future is possible, necessary, and of great benefit to everyone.” — Booklist, starred review

MANDERLEY FOREVER: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay
The nonfiction debut from beloved international sensation and #1 New York Times bestselling author of SARAH’S KEY: her biography of novelist Daphne du Maurier. “…this outstanding biography will attract du Maurier devotees of all ages.” — Library Journal, starred review

A COLORFUL WAY OF LIVING: How to Be More, Create More, Do More the Vera Bradley Way by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard
From the co-founder of the Vera Bradley empire, an inspirational and practical book that shows women how to reinvent their lives and awaken their full potential, at any age. “This empowering offering is replete with practical strategies for leading a fulfilled life. Baekgaard’s optimistic take on life and values-based leadership style will inspire readers, particularly those already smitten with her company’s colorful goods.” — Publishers Weekly

MY MOTHER’S KITCHEN: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and the Meaning of Life by Peter Gethers
A funny, moving memoir about a son’s discovery that his mother has a genius for understanding the intimate connections between cooking, people and love. “A well-written and engaging memoir, particularly for foodies. Also a great primer on second acts and living (and dying) well.” — Library Journal readmoreremove

Stars for THE FACT OF A BODY!

HUGE NEWS! Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich’s true crime/memoir hybrid, THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir, is one of Buzzfeed’s “31 Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Spring” and has THREE starred reviews!

“In this haunting hybrid of memoir and true crime account, Marzano-Lesnevich describes how a law school internship set her on a collision course with Ricky Langley, a pedophile and murderer, forcing her to contend with past trauma and preexisting prejudice. Her writing is remarkably evocative and taut with suspense, with a level of nuance that sets this effort apart from other true crime accounts.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“She poses a greater philosophical and legal question of one’s past and how that determines cause in an exquisite and thought-provoking comparison study. The writing is superb and gripping and never heavy-handed on the legal jargon, creating a moving must-have for any collection.” — Library Journal, starred review

“As her subtitle implies, true-crime writer and essayist Marzano-Lesnevich here combines two genres, and the result is surprising, suspenseful, and moving. The subject matter is difficult, and the author doesn’t shy away from graphic descriptions, but readers are rewarded with a book that defies both its genres, turning into something wholly different and memorable.” — Booklist, starred review readmoreremove

March 2017 All-Stars

march starsForget roaring in like a lion—March is shining with stars for these new and forthcoming books!

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. Paris
“In the same vein as the author’s acclaimed debut, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, this riveting psychological thriller pulls readers into an engrossing narrative in which every character is suspect. With its well-formed protagonists, snappy, authentic dialog, and clever and twisty plot, this is one not to miss.” — Library Journal, starred review

“This psychological thriller is even harder to put down than Paris’ 2016 best-seller debut BEHIND CLOSED DOORS; schedule reading time accordingly. With two in a row, Paris moves directly to the thriller A-list.” Booklist, starred review

A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab
Flawless prose provides the canvas against which Schwab’s complex characters battle, love, and die, and the bittersweet conclusion is a fitting one for a fantastic, emotionally rich series that redefines epic.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fans will gobble up this final battle, in which the characters they love fight desperately to save everything they hold dear. Schwab has fully delivered on the promise of this inventive and captivating series.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

THE ANSWERS by Catherine Lacey
“Startling and stunning and compulsively strange, Lacey’s sophomore novel is a haunting investigation into the nature of love. With otherworldly precision and subtle wit, Lacey creates a gently surreal dreamscape that’s both intoxicating and profound. A singular novel; as unexpected as it is rich.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Lacey displays an exceptional ability to articulate the elusiveness of knowing others, as well as the desire to find meaning and trust within.” — Publishers Weekly, starred & boxed review

PROVING GROUND by Peter Blauner
“The murder of a liberal lawyer in Brooklyn puts his Iraq War veteran son and two detectives on a collision course in this complex, character-rich tale. A top-notch crime novel that avoids easy resolutions and is all the better for its unanswered questions.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Although it has been 11 years since SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS, Edgar-winner Blauner hasn’t lost his touch, as this page-turner demonstrates. Blauner has crafted two strong and complex leads in Natty and Lourdes and given readers an intricate plot that never feels forced.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

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Buzzfeed’s “31 Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Spring”

BuzzfeedS17Buzzfeed picked seven standout books from Macmillan as part of their “Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Spring” feature:

WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier
Layli Long Soldier’s powerful poetry collection WHEREAS challenges the United States government’s treatment of and relationship with Native American peoples and tribes. Elegant, innovative, and necessary, WHEREAS examines a history of violence and treaties and apologies, and reclaims the legal jargon once used to control Native peoples as a form of resistance.

THE FACT OF A BODY by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Part murder mystery and part memoir, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich’s THE FACT OF A BODY is the haunting story of how one convicted murderer and pedophile’s case forced her to grapple with family secrets and her own past. Working a summer internship at a Louisiana capital murder defense firm, Marzano-Lesnevich digs into one case that begins to feel oddly familiar, and eventually is forced to confront her understanding of justice, forgiveness, and truth.

BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
In Jeff VanderMeer’s BORNE, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a dangerous, ruined city filled with discarded experiments from a biotech firm. When Rachel discovers a strange creature hidden in the fur of a giant bear who terrorizes the city, she decides to name the creature “Borne” and brings him home to the sanctuary where she lives. As Rachel’s attachment to Borne grows, so does he, and his existence eventually begins to threaten the security of her home and the city’s balance of power. Extraordinarily imaginative and wonderfully strange, BORNE will constantly keep you guessing. readmoreremove

Marilyn, Egypt & More: New Nonfiction

What do Marilyn Monroe, Ancient Egypt, an Alaskan pararescue jumper and the word “privilege” have in common? They’re all subjects of new nonfiction titles available now from Macmillan!

MARILYN IN MANHATTAN: Her Year of Joy by Elizabeth Winder
A true love letter to Marilyn, and a joyous portrait of a city bursting with life and art, MARILYN IN MANHATTAN is a lively look at two American treasures: New York and Marilyn Monroe. “Winder is a gifted writer and Monroe a fascinating, complex subject; this book will prove nearly impossible to put down for the actress’s many fans.” — Publishers Weekly

THE HISTORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT VOLUME 2: From the Great Pyramid to the Fall of the Middle Kingdom by John Romer
Drawing on a lifetime of research, archaeologist John Romer chronicles the history of Ancient Egypt from the building of the Great Pyramid through the rise and fall of the Middle Kingdom in the second volume of this expansive history of ancient Egypt. “This engaging recasting of ancient Egyptian civilization will provide an eye-opening text for both specialists and non-specialists who will no doubt eagerly await the next installment of this iconoclastic study.” — Library Journal

NEVER QUIT: From Alaskan Wilderness Rescues to Afghanistan Firefights as an Elite Special Ops PJ by Jimmy Settle & Don Rearden
The epic memoir of Alaskan pararescue jumper, Special Forces Operator, and decorated war hero Jimmy Settle. “This is classic military writing, and Settle’s stories will be readily enjoyed by those seeking to know more about this unusual military force. Older teens interested in the military will find much of value in Settle’s life story.” — Booklist readmoreremove

Booklist’s Best Biographies of 2017

Booklist recently shared their Top 10 Biography reading lists of 2017*, including these five Macmillan titles:
Top 10 Biographies (full list)

BLACK ELK: The Life of an American Visionary by Joe Jackson
Jackson meticulously chronicles the struggle of the Sioux visionary and medicine man Black Elk to help his embattled people preserve their culture and traditions.

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WILDE: Oscar Wilde and His Family by Emer O’Sullivan
O’Sullivan tells the great Irish writer’s story in concert with those of Wilde’s physician, archaeologist, antiquarian, and folklorist father, William; translator, poet, and mythographer mother, Jane; and brother, William, a gifted and troubled society journalist.

MAD ENCHANTMENT: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King
With vivid specificity and poignant insights, King eloquently tells the wondrous story of the great impressionist Monet’s long struggle against war, grief, and fading eyesight to paint his monumental Water Lilies at Giverny.

NOT PRETTY ENOUGH: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown by Gerri Hirshey
Hirshey’s entrancing biography reveals the full and astonishing tale of Helen Gurley Brown, the audacious powerhouse behind Cosmopolitan magazine, who was forever haunted by her hardscrabble Arkansas childhood.

Top 10 Biographies on Audio (full list)

IF AT BIRTH YOU DON’T SUCCEED: My Adventures with Disaster and Destiny by Zach Anner, read by the author
Reality-show winner and YouTube star Anner tells funny, outrageous stories while also admitting his regrets and fears with quiet honesty in his hilarious and heartfelt memoir.

Core Collection: Group Biographies (full list)

ALL WE KNOW: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen
Cohen tells the stories of three singular women who helped shaped modern culture as part of the “close-knit and fractious lesbian networks of New York, London, and Paris”: the brilliant Esther Murphy, feminist writer Mercedes de Acosta, and British fashion star Madge Garland.

AMERICAN RHAPSODY: Writers, Musicians, Movie Stars, and One Great Building by Claudia Roth Pierpont
Pierpont’s scintillating portrait gallery includes such embattled yet influential American artists as Dashiell Hammett, James Baldwin, Katharine Hepburn, and Nina Simone, as well as New York’s incandescent Chrysler Building.

THE FELLOWSHIP: The Literary Lives of the Inklings, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski
The Zaleskis showcase the Oxford fantasists who called themselves the Inklings, focusing on J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield, and delving into how they shared a commitment to a vibrantly Christian creativity.

FLAPPERS: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation by Judith Mackrell
Mackrell chronicles with drama and panache the lives of six intrepid, stylish, trailblazing women artists who exemplify the flapper revolution: actors Lady Diana Cooper and Tallulah Bankhead, performer Josephine Baker, writers Nancy Cunard and Zelda Fitzgerald, and painter Tamara de Lempicka.

THE GLAMOUR OF STRANGENESS: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic by Jamie James
James profiles artists who undertook “transcultural” adventures, from Gauguin in Tahiti to Raden Saleh, who left Indonesia for Holland; Swiss writer Isabelle Eberhardt roaming late-nineteenth-century North Africa dressed as a man; and the avant-garde American filmmaker Maya Deren in Haiti.

GROUP F.64: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and the Community of Artists Who Revolutionized American Photography by Mary Street Alinder
Alinder’s landmark group study brings into sharp focus the California photographers who fought to establish photography as an art form.

IDENTITY UNKNOWN: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists by Donna Seaman
The painters and sculptors under scrutiny here—Gertrude Abercrombie, Joan Brown, Lois Maïlou Jones, Ree Morton, Christina Ramberg, Lenore Tawney, even Louise Nevelson—achieved fame only to be quickly relegated to the shadows.

OF ARMS AND ARTISTS: The American Revolution through Painters’ Eyes by Paul Staiti
Staiti zestfully portrays five artists whose paintings helped forge the new American ethos in the midst of the Revolutionary War: Charles Willson Peale, Benjamin West, John Trumbull, John Singleton Copley, and Gilbert Stuart.

*Titles included were reviewed between June 2016, and February 1, 2017.

For Your Consideration: May 2017 LibraryReads Titles

Download, read, and nominate your favorite titles for the May 2017* LibraryReads list!

*Nominations are due March 20! Click here for the full list of 2017 deadlines.

BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
One of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2017 with THREE starred reviews! “VanderMeer, author of the acclaimed Southern Reach trilogy, has made a career out of eluding genre classifications, and with BORNE he essentially invents a new one. Reading like a dispatch from a world lodged somewhere between science fiction, myth, and a video game, the textures of BORNE shift as freely as those of the titular whatsit.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

NetGalleyLogoAvailable on NetGalley. To be pre-approved for an e-galley, please email library@macmillanusa.com with the subject “Borne.”*

COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts
When Mustang-tough Bodine Longbow’s long-missing aunt returns to the family ranch in Montana 25 years later with a fantastical story of abduction and abuse, Bodine realizes that something really bad is lurking in the mountains. “With its take-no-guff heroine, who understands the importance of family and friends, and a compelling plot peppered with domestic details and composed of equal measures of spine-tingling suspense and sexy romance, this is quintessential Roberts.” — Booklist

download review copy edelweissDownload the e-galley from Edelweiss or request a print ARC by emailing library@macmillanusa.com with the subject “Come Sundown” and your mailing address.*

THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP by Graeme Simsion
From the bestselling author of THE ROSIE PROJECT comes a romantic novel about true love, second chances, and decades of great music. “Sensitive, witty Adam is a terrifically chummy narrator for fan-favorite Simsion’s funny, sexy, and above all musical portrayal of the roles memory and fantasy play in midlife’s yearnings.” — Booklist

download review copy edelweissDownload the e-galley from Edelweiss

THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
“In this haunting hybrid of memoir and true crime account, Marzano-Lesnevich describes how a law school internship set her on a collision course with Ricky Langley, a pedophile and murderer, forcing her to contend with past trauma and preexisting prejudice. Her writing is remarkably evocative and taut with suspense, with a level of nuance that sets this effort apart from other true crime accounts.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

NetGalleyLogoAvailable on NetGalley. To be pre-approved for an e-galley, please email library@macmillanusa.com with the subject “Fact of a Body.”* readmoreremove

PW’s Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2017

These ten Macmillan titles are some of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2017:

Fiction
BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
In a future strewn with the cast-off experiments of an industrial laboratory known only as the Company, a scavenger named Rachel survives alongside her lover, Wick, a dealer of memory-altering beetles with whom she takes shelter from the periodic ravages of a giant mutant bear named Mord. One day, caught in Mord’s fur, Rachel finds the bizarre, shape-shifting creature “like a hybrid of sea anemone and squid” she calls Borne.

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
AMBERLOUGH by Lara Elena Donnelly
Donnelly’s debut, a fast-moving tale of desperate love and intrigue in a created world that recalls Europe on the brink of WWII, is emotionally wrenching and shockingly timely.

Poetry
AFTERLAND by Mai Der Vang
Vang, the 2016 Walt Whitman Award winner, tells the story of Hmong diaspora forced out of Laos and into exile as a result of the U.S.’s secret war. Vang’s unflinching poems address the status of refugees, including her family, and Hmong resilience in exile.

Comics/Graphic Novels
BOUNDLESS by Jillian Tamaki
Tamaki’s last two books—THIS ONE SUMMER and SUPER MUTANT MAGIC ACADEMY—showed she is one of the world’s best cartoonists, and this collection of her evocative short stories will just cement her reputation.

Memoir
THIS CLOSE TO HAPPY: A Reckoning with Depression by Daphne Merkin
A personal account of a life afflicted with depression, from an affluent but neglected childhood to the present day.

Literary Essays/Criticism/Biographies
THE NOVEL OF THE CENTURY: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables by David Bellos
Bellos, a translator of French literature, proves that the story of how Victor Hugo’s classic novel came to life is a complex and engrossing epic all its own.

Politics/Current Events
LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
Former public defender Forman offers a complex look at the part played by African-Americans in shaping criminal justice policy.

Music
RECKLESS DAUGHTER: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe
A biography, with dozens of in-person interviews with Mitchell, reveals the backstory behind the famous songs—from her youth on the Canadian prairie, the child she gave up for adoption, through her albums and love affairs, to the present. readmoreremove

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