Friday Reads (3/7/14 Edition)

Friday Reads (3/7/14 Edition)

Today's #FridayReads are two fabulous new debuts we're loving:

Talia is totally impressed with THE HOLLOW GROUND by Natalie S. Harnett

Hollow Ground jacket“We walk on fire or air, so Daddy liked to say. Basement floors too hot to touch. Steaming green lawns in the dead of winter. Sinkholes, quick and sudden, plunging open at your feet.”

Inspired by real-life events in now-infamous Centralia and the equally devastated town of Carbondale, PA, THE HOLLOW GROUND tells the coming-of-age story of Brigid Howley, a young girl struggling to keep her family together as underground mine fires force her family to move around—not to mention the family "curse" laid upon them generations earlier. When Brigid makes a grisly discovery in a long-abandoned bootleg mine shaft, secrets from decades past threaten to prove just as dangerous to the Howleys as the burning, hollow ground beneath their feet.

“This cursed Irish-American clan will grab you by the brisket and not let go.” — Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY

DRC button - Hollow Ground 
E-galley available for download

Anne is still enraptured after reading THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE by Wayne Harrison

Spark and the DriveHarrison is an award-winning writer of short fiction, who also worked for six years as an auto mechanic—an experience that's clear in his devastatingly powerful first novel of hero-worship, first love, and betrayal.

Justin Bailey is an out of place seventeen-year-old when he finds comfort and companionship in the shop of legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell and Nick's home with his captivating wife Mary Ann. But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s own world is upended. Suddenly Nick, once celebrated for his mechanical genius, has lost his touch. Mary Ann, once tender and compassionate to her husband, has turned distant. As Justin tries to prop up his suffering mentor, he finds himself drawn toward the man’s grieving wife. Torn apart by feelings of betrayal, Justin must choose between the man he admires more than his own father and the woman he loves.

“There's nothing I enjoy more than entering a fictional world over which an author demonstrates complete mastery. That's exactly what Wayne Harrison offers his lucky readers in THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE.” — Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of EMPIRE FALLS

“This novel vividly renders the cult-like world of muscle car enthusiasts, but the author's ultimate concerns are the sparks and misfires of the human heart. Wayne Harrison is an exciting new voice in American fiction.” — Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of THE COVE

 
E-galley available for download

What are you reading this week? Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib

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Friday Reads – Minotaur Stars Edition

Friday Reads – Minotaur Stars Edition

TGIF! Today's #FridayReads are two Minotaur mysteries that are raking in the starred pre-publication reviews! 

Talia is avoiding the wilderness after reading

Destroyer Angel

DESTROYER ANGEL by Nevada Barr
In the next book in Barr's New York Times bestselling Anna Pigeon series, a camping trip in Minnesota goes harrowingly wrong when Anna's friends are taken hostage by armed thugs. 

"Once again, Barr lays down a riveting mystery and permeates the pages with scrupulous descriptions of Anna's struggle with the cold, with the night, and with the terror and fear of not rescuing her friends." Library Journal, starred review

"Gripping... Barr's gift for depicting breathtaking scenery elevates the story, as does Anna's complex, ever-evolving personality." Publishers Weekly, starred review  

"Anna Pigeon’s eighteenth adventure is equal parts psychological thriller and wilderness-survival tale sure to please series followers with a darker, no-holds-barred look at the emotional impact of Anna’s survival instinct, while beckoning newcomers with top-tier white-knuckle suspense." Booklist  


Anne is reconsidering her vacation plans after reading

Cairo AffairTHE CAIRO AFFAIR by Olen Steinhauer
International politics are at play as an Egyptian agent, an American analyst, a CIA agent, and a bereaved wife all converge on Cairo to find out why a diplomat was assassinated.

"THE CAIRO AFFAIR is an elegant, elaborate clockwork of mystery and deception that should draw readers in and keep them on tenterhooks as they try to figure out what is really making it all tick." Publishers Weekly, boxed signature review

"It has become de rigeur to compare Steinhauer to le Carré, but it’s nearly time to pass the torch: for the next generation, it’s Steinhauer who will become the standard by which others are measured." — Booklist, starred review

"In narrative arcs that vault between a 1991 honeymoon trip to Serbia and a few days in 2011, Steinhauer once again displays his mastery of complex and twisty storytelling. Readers yearning for a fiendishly complex plot, penetrating characterizations, and a new warrior in the ancient struggle between anomie and truth will welcome Sophie and her brash courage." Library Journal

What are you reading this Friday? Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib. [...]

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Friday Reads (1/31/14 Edition)

Friday Reads (1/31/14 Edition)

TGIF friends! Hopefully those of you who attended ALA Midwinter made it home safely and are nominating books like crazy for LibraryReads (the deadline for the March list is today so hurry!).

Already done? Then why not share your Friday Reads with us!

Talia and Anne are treating themselves like royalty with pedicures and these historical novels:

GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN by Marci Jefferson
This solid debut novel about the beautiful and captivating Royalist exile Frances Stuart, who must walk a fine line between pleasing kings and protecting her family's secret is perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory. "Jefferson's intoxicating first novel superbly draws readers into the mischief and maneuverings, loyalties and treacheries, and lust and hostility of powerful 17th century kings and scheming court sycophants." – Publishers Weekly, starred review  

SEDITION by Katharine Grant
British author Grant turns away from YA for a decidedly adult first novel set in late eighteenth-century London. In this "...witty, dark, and sophisticated tale" (Publishers Weekly, starred review), four nouveau rich fathers make their five marriageable daughters learn to play the piano in an effort to attract men and marry well. However, the girls' lascivious (and French) piano teacher has an education beyond music in his plans... "[A] fun, lascivious gambol through the lives of women and men with decidedly carnal appetites... Suggest to fans of Sarah Dunant and Sarah Waters." – Booklist  

What are you reading this Friday? Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib

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Friday Reads (1/17/14 Edition)

Friday Reads (1/17/14 Edition)

TGIF! We're celebrating the start of a long weekend with these #FridayReads:
Talia's in a sailing mood thanks to 

THE PLOVER by Brian Doyle
When Declan O Donnell flees his troubled life on land by setting out on the Pacific Ocean in his boat, the Plover, he discovers something much more interesting than the solitude he sought. "Doyle (editor, Portland Magazine) has written a novel in the adventurous style of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson but with a gentle mocking of their valorization of the individual as absolute. Readers will enjoy this bracing and euphoric ode to the vastness of the ocean and the unexpectedness of life." — Library Journal, starred review 

Anne's gearing up to meet one of her favorite writers at ALA Midwinter with

KEEP QUIET by Lisa Scottoline
Jake Whitmore is enjoying a rare bonding moment with his sixteen-year-old son, Ryan, when they get in a terrible car accident that threatens to derail Ryan’s future. Jake makes a split-second decision that saves his son from formal punishment, but plunges them both into a world of guilt, lies, and secrecy. When a malevolent outsider comes forward with the power to expose them, Jake must do anything he can to prevent the further unraveling of his family.

What are you reading this Friday? Share your thoughts with us @MacmillanLib with the hashtag #FridayReads.

In the meantime, we'll be loading up our e-readers and getting ready to hit the road for Philly. We're off for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, but will be posting content when we can leading up to the opening of ALA Midwinter. We hope to see you there (and by there, we mean Booth #622)! 

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Three stars for THE TASTEMAKER

Three stars for THE TASTEMAKER

TGIF, friends! Our first #FridayReads of the year is THE TASTEMAKER: Carl Van Vechten and the Birth of Modern America by Edward White.

New York City in the early twentieth century was a hotbed of vice and creativity, and the critic, novelist, and photographer Carl Van Vechten was at the center of it all. This juicy biography has already racked up an impressive three starred pre-publication reviews:

“In his immensely entertaining and vivid first book, White tackles the life and times of Carl Van Vechten, one of the most influential figures in American culture in the early 20th century. White’s biography offers absorbing anecdotes and insights into New York society and culture as seen through the life of an ‘archetypal American modernist.’” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In orderly chapters, White tackles this complicated, multifaceted, tremendously fascinating and contradictory subject: a married gay man, an alcoholic and always a ‘catalyst for outrage and argument.’ A vigorous, fully fleshed biography of an important contributor to American culture.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“White’s engaging biography adeptly depicts America as a burgeoning cultural powerhouse, one that Van Vechten helped build. A marvelously written, masterful portrait of an exceptionally complex person.” — Booklist, starred review

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Three stars for STRANGE BODIES

Three stars for STRANGE BODIES

Whatever this is, it started when Nicholas Slopen came back from the dead.

Today's #FridayReads is STRANGE BODIES by the National Book Award finalist Marcel Theroux, a weird and wonderful novel that poses questions about identity, authenticity, and what it means to be truly human. It's received three starred pre-publication reviews: 

“A strange, satisfying novel about possession featuring a literary scholar, a music mogul, assorted East European thugs, and the long dead but still articulate Dr. Samuel Johnson... A thought-provoking and engaging fusion of comedy and horror.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Truly enthralling... An intense and nuanced examination of the plight of being... Philip K. Dick’s THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER meets Stephanie Meyer’s THE HOST in this very highly recommended work.” — Library Journal, starred review

A labyrinthine exploration of identity and mortality, filled with big ideas....” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Get whitelisted and download your review copy. Let us know what you're reading @MacmillanLib for #FridayReads. And if you haven't been sharing your top 10 favorite books of 2013 via the #libfaves13 hashtag, there's still time! (running now through Dec. 10)

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Friday Reads (10/4/13 Edition)

Friday Reads (10/4/13 Edition)

We're so happy it's October! Talia’s already in Halloween mode and Anne is getting caught up on a gem in today's #FridayReads:

Talia "the terror" Sherer is sinking her teeth into:

WHERE MONSTERS DWELL by Jørgen Brekke
The corpse of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum curator in Virginia is found flayed in his office by the cleaning staff; the corpse of an archivist at the library in Trondheim, Norway is found inside a locked vault used to store delicate and rare books. Richmond homicide detective Felicia Stone and Trondheim police inspector Odd Singsaker find themselves working on similar murder cases, committed the same way, but half a world away. And both murders are somehow connected to a sixteenth century palimpsest book—The Book of John—which appears to be a journal of a serial murderer back in 1529 Norway, a book bound in human skin. A runaway bestseller in Norway that's been sold to over fourteen countries, WHERE MONSTERS DWELL is one of the most anticipated English language crime fiction debuts in years.


Anne’s getting nosy with her neighbors with:

THE AFFAIRS OF OTHERS by Amy Grace Loyd
Loyd’s mesmerizing debut novel about a young widow who rediscovers passion when she’s drawn into the lives of her Brooklyn apartment building’s tenants was a September Indie Next pick and received rave reviews from Entertainment Weekly (A-), O Magazine (“forceful”), and Redbook (“stunningly rendered” and a Sept. book club pick). Library Journal’s Barbara Hoffert named it one of her “Don’t Miss” debuts in the October 1 issue so you know it’s a standout.

Let us know what you're reading this weekend. Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib. Happy weekend and happy reading!

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#FridayReads: Banned Book Week Edition!

#FridayReads: Banned Book Week Edition!

Happy Friday friends! We hope you've had a great week celebrating Banned Books.
For today's #FridayReads Talia and Anne have chosen their favorite banned books:

Talia is glad she's not in the crazy house after re-reading 

RUNNING WITH SCISSORS by Augusten Burroughs
Burrough's story of growing up under the most extraordinary circumstances is "hilarious, freaky-deaky, berserk, controlled, transcendent, touching, affectionate, vengeful, all-embracing.... It makes a good run at blowing every other [memoir] out of the water." (The Washington Post)

Anne is re-living high school English after re-reading 

THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Long before desire was all Shades of Grey it was Scarlet Red. Nathaniel Hawthorne's greatest work tells the story of Hester Prynne's adulterous affair and the struggle to create a new life with dignity and repentance in Puritanical times. 

Cat & banned books

Who would want to censor this adorable fellow?! Not us. Enjoy your weekend!

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Our #FridayReads (9/6/13 Edition)

Our #FridayReads (9/6/13 Edition)

Happy Friday, friends! We're looking forward to lovely fall weather and a good book to curl up with this weekend.
It all starts with today's #FridayReads:

Talia is currently captivated by 

WHERE THE MOON ISN'T by Nathan Filer

Nathan Filer's experience as a psychiatric nurse is woven into his debut novel about two brothers: one who goes missing and the other who doesn't quite come back. Booklist said WHERE THE MOON ISN'T is a “deeply affecting and insightful in its account of mental illness" and Kirkus Reviews called it “A haunting story about how to mourn when the source of your grief will never go away.” Library Journal gave it a starred review: "VERDICT: In this very assured debut, performance poet and mental-health nurse Filer shows that he knows what he's writing about. It should prove catnip to book group participants (especially those who loved Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and will appeal to anyone looking for a serious (but not ponderous) story that's impossible to put down." Available from St. Martin's Press on November 5. 

UPDATE: Talia clearly has excellent taste because WHERE THE MOON ISN'T was just named a November Indie Next selection

Anne is getting a lesson in military politics from

BREACH OF TRUST by Andrew Bacevich

Bestselling author Bacevich examines the growing divide between America’s soldiers and the society that sends them off to war, arguing that national defense has become morally and financially unsustainable. Publishers Weekly gave BREACH OF TRUST a starred review and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow praised the book's argument in the Sept. 8 New York Times Book Review: "Bacevich dismantles the warrior myth we civilians and politicians so enjoy worshipping from afar, and replaces that idol with flesh and blood, vulnerable humans, who deserve better than the profligate, wasteful way in which we treat them." Available from Metropolitan Books on September 10.  

We want to know what you're reading. Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib. Happy reading and have a lovely weekend! [...]

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