Articles tagged "short stories"

Friday Reads: Gerald Murnane

Happy Friday! We’ve got a double-dose of Gerald Murnane for our #FridayReads:

BORDER DISTRICTS by Gerald Murnane
A bittersweet farewell to the world and the word by the Australian master. “An old man ruminates on landscapes and houses, authors and religion, colored glass and memory in this drifting quasi-fiction. A fascinating, provocative…read; the stylistic tics may grow tiresome but Murnane’s intriguing ideas and oblique angles rarely do.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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Buzzfeed’s “Amazing New Books You Need To Read This Spring” 2018

Poetry, essays, short stories… these Buzzfeed-recommended books will spring off your library’s shelves!

WADE IN THE WATER by Tracy K. Smith
US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith returns with WADE IN THE WATER, a new collection of poems that feels both timely and timeless. In lines that are as lyrical as they are wise (and so poignant you’ll want to write them down immediately), Smith makes connections between the current state of American culture and its history — police brutality, slavery, immigration, the Civil War, the Declaration of Independence (which she turns into an erasure poem). What does it mean to be an American, to be a woman in a society still dominated by men? Smith captures memories, found language, music, and the voices of the past to get to the beating heart of our nation today — and you’ll feel it in every fiber of your being while reading.

A LUCKY MAN by Jamel Brinkley
The nine stories in Jamel Brinkley’s collection A LUCKY MAN are about black men grappling with their place in the world, their pasts, their friendships, and their families — boys coming of age and encountering firsthand how privilege is tied to race and class, brothers navigating strained relationships, parents and children disappointing each other. Brinkley shows both the great beauty and ugliness of humanity — but always with empathy — and captures the ways in which our world is defined and divided by power. A LUCKY MAN so real and alive, much like its characters, that you’ll be eager to read whatever Brinkley writes next.

EYE LEVEL by Jenny Xie
US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Hererra chose Jenny Xie as the winner of the Academy of American Poets’ 2017 Walt Whitman Award, and it’s easy to see why in her debut collection EYE LEVEL. Xie’s poems take us on a journey to new places (Vietnam, Cambodia, even a Greek island) in such vivid detail that you’ll feel as if you really traveled, as well as to new questions about immigration, identity, and loneliness. How do we really find home? What do we lose when we leave? Reading EYE LEVEL feels like taking a trip with someone who truly sees you, and the world, as it is. readmoreremove

Our #LibFaves17 Picks

We enjoyed seeing so many of you participate in #LibFaves17 (thanks for making Jane Harper’s THE DRY an official 2017 Top Ten pick!).

Now here are OUR #LibFaves17 picks (aka our 2017 “Recommended Reads” from the newsletter):

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THE MAP THAT LEADS TO YOU by J.P. Monninger
Also available in audio
Finally, a book version of that romantic trilogy of films that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy collaborated on… And most especially reminiscent of BEFORE SUNRISE. I’m also fondly reminded of the first boy that I ever fell in love with, his name was Lenny Grant, we were both sixteen and attending a summer writing program in Boston. It may as well have been Europe…

THE STANDARD GRAND by Jay Baron Nicorvo
THE STANDARD GRAND is reminiscent of Frank Bill’s CRIMES IN SOUTHERN INDIANA in terms of its grittiness and the ragtag group of misfit anti-heroes trying to survive in the wilderness. And I’ve always loved reading novels that were written in a sort of rushed exuberance—as if the author just had to share his or her story…

KNIFE CREEK by Paul Doiron
Also available in audio
Paul Doiron’s Mike Bowditch (my favorite bad-ass—does everything on his own terms—Maine game warden) is back for more! In KNIFE CREEK, Mike and his girlfriend Stacy (a bit of a rogue operator herself) are hunting wild rampaging boars that are destroying their beautiful town and surrounding environs. During the hunt, the couple discovers a dead infant in a shallow grave. Mike is a game warden but he’s got the instincts of a seasoned detective and must find out who committed such a gruesome deed. He just can’t help himself. And I love him for that. A home explosion that nearly kills him, an encounter with two very strange “sisters” wearing matching red wigs—one of whom may or may not be a long-dead co-ed (or was she kidnapped?), and a small town that’s full of suspects… Mike’s clearly on to something here, but what?

FRESH COMPLAINT by Jeffrey Eugenides
Also available in audio
I’ve always loved short story collections (see Shobha Rao’s AN UNRESTORED WOMAN, Tom Perrotta’s NINE INCHES, David Bezmozgis’ NATASHA, Helen Ellis’ AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, Lauren Holmes’ BARBARA THE SLUT, James Franco’s PALO ALTO). The intensity of dipping into a life, briefly, and popping right out of it again… Of meeting someone at a particularly vulnerable and strangely fascinating moment in their lives… Of sharing that moment with them but never fully knowing when it began or where it ends is particularly exciting to me. And in Jeffrey Eugenides’ new short story collection FRESH COMPLAINT, meditations abound on life at every stage and at its most banally bizarre moments. Readers are thrown into a period of post-college idealism (and dysentery), mid-life pregnancies (and an ensuing tragicomedy), rebuilding after failure, sex studies in the jungle (and leaving one’s inhibitions behind), the worshiping of a musical instrument, a green card marriage and finally death. And we are treated to it all with a healthy dose of slightly off-beat characters.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Also available in audio
There’s a marketing specialist at Macmillan whose taste in books I trust completely. I will not name names, because she is my secret “book Santa” and I refuse to share her. Since 2004, she has very occasionally sent me manuscripts to read. She has always chosen a book that I end up loving, hating deeply, or at the very least ends up inciting an incredibly visceral reaction. I won’t list the favorites she’s sent, because her identity will most certainly be revealed. And now let’s talk about her latest manuscript, THE WIFE BETWEEN US. There is no train. There is no girl. There is drinking (all good stories need alcohol, right?). There is an unreliable narrator (but those are the most intriguing, aren’t they?). There is a handsome husband (marriages are always fascinating to dissect, good or bad!). There is “another” woman (a thriller always needs a mysterious “other,” right?). And that’s all I can tell you. Read it. And let’s talk about that ending.

INDECENT by Corinne Sullivan
An insecure shy teacher’s apprentice barely out of college at an all boys boarding school is tempted by the popular boy… He’s brash, he’s arrogant, he’s the leader of the pack… But, will she do what’s right? I can’t help but think of the only younger man that I ever dated. During the summer before I went off to college I dated a rising senior. He wore Polo cologne, had long hair and we spent most of that summer in hidden corners and behind closed doors. But it’s not the same, is it? readmoreremove

NYTBR’s 10 Best Books of 2017 & Editor’s Picks

HOORAY! Two nonfiction titles made the New York Times Book Review‘s “10 Best Books of 2017” list and five more (plus two honorable mentions) are New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2017!

LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
A former public defender in Washington, Forman has written a masterly account of how a generation of black officials, beginning in the 1970s, wrestled with recurring crises of violence and drug use in the nation’s capital. What started out as an effort to assert the value of black lives turned into an embrace of tough-on-crime policies — with devastating consequences for the very communities those officials had promised to represent. Forman argues that dismantling the American system of mass incarceration will require a new understanding of justice, one that emphasizes accountability instead of vengeance.

PRAIRIE FIRES: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
Fraser’s biography of the author of “Little House on the Prairie” and other beloved books about her childhood during the era of westward migration captures the details of a life — and an improbable, iconic literary career — that has been expertly veiled by fiction. Exhaustively researched and passionately written, this book refreshes and revitalizes our understanding of Western American history, giving space to the stories of Native Americans displaced from the tribal lands by white settlers like the Ingalls family as well as to the travails of homesteaders, farmers and everyone else who rushed to the West to extract its often elusive riches. Ending with a savvy analysis of the 20th-century turn toward right-wing politics taken by Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, Fraser offers a remarkably wide-angle view of how national myths are shaped.

Dwight Garner

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Library Journal’s Best Books of 2017

Library Journal’s Best Books of 2017 lists include 12 Macmillan titles:

Top Ten Books of 2017 (full list)
THE NINTH HOUR by Alice McDermott

Mystery (full list)
GLASS HOUSES by Louise Penny

SF/Fantasy (full list)
DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES by Seanan McGuire
AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz

Thrillers (full list)
THE LOST ORDER by Steve Berry
THE SABOTEUR by Andrew Gross readmoreremove

Winter/Spring 2018 Indies Introduce & Kids’ Indie Next List Titles

The American Booksellers Association announced their Winter/Spring 2018 Indies Introduce selections (honoring the top upcoming debuts publishing between January and June 2018) and the Winter 2017–2018 Kids’ Indie Next List, including:

Winter/Spring 2018 Indies Introduce Fiction
A LUCKY MAN: Stories by Jamel Brinkley
Available May 1, 2018
In the nine expansive, searching stories of A LUCKY MAN, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members and confront mistakes made in the past.

Winter/Spring 2018 Indies Introduce Nonfiction
MOTHERS OF SPARTA: A Memoir in Pieces by Dawn Davies
Available January 30, 2018
Discovered by Michael Ondaatje, Davies’ dazzling literary memoir has shades of Mary Karr, Anne Lamott, and Jenny Lawson as she examines motherhood and what it’s like to be a woman trying to carve a place for herself in the world, no matter how unyielding the rock can be.

Winter/Spring 2018 Indies Introduce Young Adult AND Winter 2017–2018 Kids’ Indie Next List
THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert
Available January 30, 2018
FOUR STARRED REVIEWS!!! “A ferocious young woman is drawn into her grandmother’s sinister fairy-tale realm in this pitch-black fantasy debut. Not everybody lives, and certainly not ‘happily ever after’—but within all the grisly darkness, Alice’s fierce integrity and hard-won self-knowledge shine unquenched.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review readmoreremove

Kirkus Best Books of 2017 – Fiction

Kirkus Reviews announced their Best of 2017 Fiction lists which include 19 Macmillan titles:

Best Fiction (full list)
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
THE FIFTH ELEMENT by Jorgen Brekke
MARLENA by Julie Buntin
DUKE WITH BENEFITS by Manda Collins
WALKAWAY by Cory Doctorow
FRESH COMPLAINT by Jeffrey Eugenides
A CAST OF VULTURES by Judith Flanders
TRAIL OF ECHOES by Rachel Howzell Hall
THE DARK DARK by Samantha Hunt
THE ANSWERS by Catherine Lacey
HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES by Carmen Maria Machado (a finalist for the 2017 Kirkus Prize in Fiction)
THE NINTH HOUR by Alice McDermott (a finalist for the 2017 Kirkus Prize in Fiction)
RECLUCE TALES: Stories from the World of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz
A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab
EXPOSED by Lisa Scottoline
WAIT TILL YOU SEE ME DANCE by Deb Olin Unferth
BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
THE RESURRECTION OF JOAN ASHBY by Cherise Wolas

Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2017 (full list)
EXPOSED by Lisa Scottoline
THE FIFTH ELEMENT by Jorgen Brekke
A CAST OF VULTURES by Judith Flanders

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017 (full list)
BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
RECLUCE TALES: Stories from the World of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz
A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab
WALKAWAY by Cory Doctorow

Best Literary Fiction of 2017 (full list)
HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES by Carmen Maria Machado
THE NINTH HOUR by Alice McDermott

Best Romance Novels of 2017 (full list)
DUKE WITH BENEFITS by Manda Collins

Best Historical Fiction of 2017 (full list)
THE NINTH HOUR by Alice McDermott

Best Fiction of 2017 To Get Your Book Club Talking (full list)
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster readmoreremove

Happy #BookBday (11/14/17 Edition)

SMILE! It’s your #BookBday!

PROMISE ME, DAD: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden
The vice president pens a deeply moving memoir about the most challenging professional and personal year in which he lost his son to brain cancer. “The book is a backstage drama, honest, raw and rich in detail. People who have lost someone will genuinely take comfort from what he has to say….” — New York Times

AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD by Jonathan L. Howard
Howard’s “wonderful”* sequel to CARTER & LOVECRAFT, featuring bookseller Emily Lovecraft and detective Daniel Carter “reboots the heck out of the series” (*Booklist, starred review). “This is an entertaining and meticulously crafted mix of speculative history, suspense, sardonic humor, and cosmic horror.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

AMERICAN DRIFTER by Chad Michael Murray & Heather Graham
RWA Lifetime Achievement Award and ITW ThrillerMaster Award recipient Heather Graham teams up with celebrated actor and celebrity icon Chad Michael Murray to weave a tale of passion and danger as a young US Army veteran suffering from PTSD drifts around Brazil and falls in love with a gangster’s mistress. “A pretty, airy fairy tale for a modern time—though the end briefly acknowledges that perfection can only ever be an illusion.” — Kirkus Reviews

DEBRIEFING: Collected Stories by Susan Sontag, edited by Benjamin Taylor
A collection of one of our most powerful intellectual’s short fiction works. “Sontag’s stories are freshly provocative and incisive as well as remarkably prescient. The time for these tales is now.” — Booklist

BEASTS OF EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCE by Ruth Emmie Lang
Through the story of Weylyn Grey, Lang weaves a mystical tale about life, love, and the ability each of us has to change our own story. “Original and imaginative, especially in its multifaceted exploration of one extraordinary person, Lang’s novel is a lovely and fascinating feat of magical realism. This bildungsroman will likely engage young fantasy fans who struggle to fit in.” — Booklist readmoreremove

Happy #BookBday (11/7/17 Edition)

Today we wish a happy #BookBday to:

A SELFIE AS BIG AS THE RITZ by Lara Williams
Pushcart Prize-nominated Lara Williams’ debut story collection is a candid, wry, and deeply moving examination of young women navigating the road map to contemporary adulthood and middle age. “A cleverly written, bracing, and so-readable navigation of modern matters of the heart.” — Booklist

CATALINA by Liska Jacobs
A magnetic, provocative debut novel chronicling a young woman’s downward spiral following the end of an affair. “Propulsive, feminist psychological fiction from an author to watch.” — Booklist

ALL THOSE EXPLOSIONS WERE SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT by James Alan Gardner
“Science spectacularly collides with superhero tales and magic to form the background of Gardner’s often hilarious exploration of friendship, stereotypes, and gender identity. The themes of identity and self-discovery are strong but not overwhelming, and Gardner elevates this enjoyable urban fantasy with an appealing cast and well-crafted prose.” — Publishers Weekly readmoreremove

Happy Halloween 2017!

Happy Halloween everyone! No tricks here, just bookish treats:

WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ by David Wong
“Wong’s wildly mind-bending third installment (after THIS BOOK IS FULL OF SPIDERS) of the adventures of protagonist David Wong is filled with the humorous horror readers have come to expect. While the story gleefully wallows in absurdity, thoughtful themes of addiction, perception, and the drive to do the right thing quickly emerge beneath the vivid and convoluted imagery. The plot’s rapid pace holds the reader’s attention to the truly bitter end.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

TWIN PEAKS: THE FINAL DOSSIER by Mark Frost
The crucial sequel to the New York Times bestselling THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS, this novel bridges the two series, and takes readers deeper into the mysteries raised by the new series. “Devotees of the cult TV series Twin Peaks, due for a revival in 2017 on Showtime, will welcome this inventive jigsaw puzzle of a book from one of the show’s creators.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review on THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS

AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD by Jonathan L. Howard
Howard’s richly complex sequel to CARTER & LOVECRAFT, featuring bookseller Emily Lovecraft and detective Daniel Carter. “This is an entertaining and meticulously crafted mix of speculative history, suspense, sardonic humor, and cosmic horror.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE TROUBLE WITH TWELFTH GRAVE by Darynda Jones
“It’s bad enough that Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is busy protecting a newbie PI venture, handling the Vatican’s inquiries about her daughter, and covering up a murder. But now her beloved but now unrecognizable Reyes, the Son of Satan, is determined to destroy the world, and when someone starts attacking humans attuned to the supernatural world, Charley can’t help but suspect him. And you thought you were having a hard day. Twelfth (obviously) in the New York Times and USA Today best-selling series.” — Library Journal, pre-pub alert readmoreremove

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