Articles tagged "russia"

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

New Historical Fiction

Happy Monday, friends! We’re kicking off the week with these two new historical novels:

THE TYPEWRITER’S TALE by Michiel Heyns
A novel told from the perspective of Henry James’s fictional typist, Frieda Wroth, who becomes caught up in the friendships and rivalries at James’s house. “Faithfully re-created real-life individuals mix well with authentically drawn fictitious ones.” — Booklist, starred review

THE WHITE RUSSIAN by Vanora Bennett
An enchanting, suspenseful novel of love, art, music, and family secrets set among the Russian émigré community of Paris in 1937. “Bennett offers an intriguing picture of Russian refugees in Paris in the 1930s and a convincing portrayal of Evie’s evolution from naive girl to confident woman.” — Booklist

Seeing Stars

What do these 5 books have in common? They’ve all received more than one starred review!

BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer — 3 stars!
“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

“VanderMeer’s deep talent for worldbuilding takes him into realms more reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD than of the Shire. Superb: a protagonist and a tale sure to please fans of smart, literate fantasy and science fiction.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“VanderMeer marries bildungsroman, domestic drama, love story, and survival thriller into one compelling, intelligent story centered not around the gee-whiz novelty of a flying bear but around complex, vulnerable characters struggling with what it means to be a person. VanderMeer’s talent for immersive world-building and stunning imagery is on display in this weird, challenging, but always heartfelt novel.” — Booklist, starred review

A SINGLE SPY by William Christie
“With detailed historical events, compelling characters, and plenty of heart-grabbing moments, this novel is intensely engaging from the first page. Christie’s fabulous novel of historical espionage will appeal to both World War II fiction buffs and spy novel/thriller aficionados. Extremely well done.” — Library Journal, starred & boxed review

“Part bildungsroman, part history lesson, part political exposé, Christie’s enthralling novel defies expectations while striking all the chords that make spy fiction so enjoyable.” — Kirkus Review, starred review

THE ABOMINABLE MR. SEABROOK by Joe Ollmann
“Comprising 10 years of painstaking research, this graphic biography details the life of obscure writer, occultist, traveler, and bondage fanatic William Seabrook… As both a narrative and a story in pictures, this is an early candidate for the year’s best graphic biography.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Including high adventure, sorrowful drama, and cameos by historical stars such as Man Ray, Aldous Huxley, and Gertrude Stein, this one has all the hallmarks of a classic work of biography and is an early contender for one of the best releases in 2017.” — Library Journal, starred review readmoreremove

New in Nonfiction

Delve into art, history, current events, religion, and more with these new and forthcoming nonfiction titles from Macmillan:

AGE OF ANGER: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra
Two starred reviews! “In an impressively probing and timely work, Mishra, a novelist and cultural critic, illuminates intellectual patterns from the past 200 years that help explain our volatile present. This exploration of global unrest is dense, but it’s so well-written and informative that it manages to be highly engaging.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

CAUGHT IN THE REVOLUTION: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 – A World on the Edge by Helen Rappaport
From the New York Times bestselling author of THE ROMANOV SISTERS comes a gripping portrait of a St. Petersburg (then named Petrograd), at the outbreak of the Russian revolution. “An engaging if challenging look at a country’s collapse with worldwide repercussions. Informed general readers will enjoy this glimpse into history; scholars will declare it a definitive study.” — Library Journal, starred review

CHURCHILL’S MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat by Giles Milton
In the spring of 1939, a top-secret organization was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler’s war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage. “…Milton emphasizes the audacity and eccentricity of (Special Operations Executive) SOE’s leaders, striking the chord that makes the organization so popular with history readers.” — Booklist

GET WELL SOON: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright
A witty, irreverent tour of history’s worst plagues—from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio—and a celebration of the heroes who fought them. “The author’s prose is jaunty, lively, and filled with references to contemporary cultural history, making this work a well-researched page-turner. Readers will get an intense dose of history, written in a not-hard-to-swallow style.” — Library Journal

IDENTITY UNKNOWN: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists by Donna Seaman
An award-winning writer rescues seven first-rate twentieth-century women artists from oblivion—their lives fascinating, their artwork a revelation. “With impressive research, Booklist editor Seaman curates a fine retrospective on the history of women in the male-dominated world of 20th-century art. …A decidedly important and long-overdue showcase.” — Kirkus Reviews readmoreremove

Here & There in History & Travel

Happy Monday! We’ve got a look at U.S. history and a Russian travelogue to kick your week off:

THE TRUE FLAG: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire by Stephen Kinzer
Two starred reviews! “A timely work on the vociferous sides taken over the Spanish-American War of 1898—and how that history relates to the ongoing debate regarding American imperialism. In the last chapter, Kinzer astutely brings the debate from the turn of the century to the present. A tremendously elucidating book that should be required reading for civics courses.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

BEARS IN THE STREETS: Three Journeys Across a Changing Russia by Lisa Dickey
A Russian-speaking writer’s colorful, in-depth look at the Russian people from journeys to Russia in in 1995, 2005 and 2015. “Filled with then-and-now photographs, Dickey’s travelogue is truly heartwarming, drawing strength from the honesty and openness of the people she visits and revisits and opening windows on the opinions of the Russian people on nearly everything, from homosexuality to Putin. Fascinating and a balm to readers enduring the current xenophobic plague.” — Booklist, starred review

Check out our recent nonfiction all-stars, too!

Friday Reads: History

Happy Friday, lovely librarians! Today’s #FridayReads delve into Russian and Iranian history via fiction and fact:

THE IMPERIAL WIFE by Irina Reyn
“The Russians are coming in this ingeniously structured novel that travels between a present-day art specialist handling the biggest sale of her career and the 18th-century court life of the woman who becomes Catherine the Great.” — O Magazine

THE FALL OF HEAVEN: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran by Andrew Scott Cooper
An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran’s glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah’s widow, Empress Farah. “A well-researched and fascinating book for readers interested in the history of Iran and the Middle East, current Iranian affairs, and the history of fundamentalist terrorism.” — Library Journal

Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib. Happy weekend!

Friday Reads: Starred Review Roundup

Happy Friday! Check out these forthcoming books raking in the starred reviews:

OBSESSION FALLS by Christina Dodd (The Virtue Falls series)
“After wowing both mystery and romance readers with VIRTUE FALLS, Dodd delivers another white-knuckle tale of romantic suspense that moves her even closer to the thriller end of the literary spectrum. The plot’s twists and turns are handled with a positively Hitchcockian touch, while the brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor are pure Dodd.” — Booklist, starred review

“Stunning description, startling violence, nonstop action, and an inventive plot drive this riveting Native American lore-infused page-turner. With a gritty, resourceful heroine, a whip-smart, determined hero, and an equally dazzling miscreant, this one is impossible to put down. A remarkable, mesmerizing series.” — Library Journal, starred review

FUTURISTIC VIOLENCE AND FANCY SUITS by David Wong
“The day that barista Zoey Ashe inherits a fortune from her estranged billionaire father, she also earns a high-dollar contract on her head and a prime spot in the middle of a futuristic Mob war. Well-timed humor and explosive thrills, a smart backbone, and witty wordsmithing make this new release by Cracked.com’s pseudonym-wielding Jason Pargin (JOHN DIES AT THE END) as fun as it gets. Steer this one toward readers of SF with a sense of humor, and fans of Max Barry’s satirical futuristic novels.” — Booklist, starred review

“Cracked.com executive editor Wong (THIS BOOK IS FULL OF SPIDERS) unabashedly trolls everyone and lampoons everything in this beautifully outrageous science fiction adventure. Biting humor and blatant digs at modern society overlay a subtly brilliant and thoughtful plot focused on one young woman’s growth and survival against all odds.” Publishers Weekly, starred review readmoreremove

Starred Reviews for Former People

Your Russian history buffs will be delighted to hear that we have an dramatic non-fiction title coming soon on the final days of the Russian aristocracy, FORMER PEOPLE, and it's getting starred reviews!

FORMER PEOPLE is the first book to recount the history of the aristocracy caught up in the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin’s Russia. Filled with chilling tales of looted palaces and burning estates, of desperate flights in the night from marauding peasants and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile, and execution, it is the story of how a centuries’-old elite, famous for its glittering wealth, its service to the Tsar and Empire, and its promotion of the arts and culture, was dispossessed and destroyed along with the rest of old Russia.

"This is an anecdotally rich, highly informative look at decimated, uprooted former upper-class Russians." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Sobering stories about the politics of power—its loss, its gain—and the deep human suffering that inevitably results." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Beware of stampedes! Your patrons will be Russian to get at this one!

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Double Debut: Both Starred!

Do your patrons have a craving for historical mysteries? Great, because two fantastic debuts are heading their way.

The Holy Thief: In Soviet Russia, an investigator must scramble to find the murderer of an American girl. One wrong step means exile in Siberia.

"Ryan re-creates the toxic, terrorized atmosphere by plunging Korolev into a
ghastly web where nothing is what it seems" --Library Journal (starred review)

The Sleepwalkers: When a Jewish detective must investigate a string of heinous crimes during the dawn of Nazi Germany, the hunter becomes the hunted.

"Grossman
powerfully captures the atmosphere of Berlin on the verge of Nazi takeover, the
elegance and cultural brilliance amid the decadence, and the sense of impending
doom." --Library Journal (starred review)

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