David Maraniss didn’t set out to write a ghost story, but Once in a Great City, his glimmering portrait of Detroit, has a lingering, melancholy quality that will leave the reader thoroughly haunted.
The most common advice to aspiring authors is “Write what you know.” Clearly Elisabeth Egan took this advice to heart when penning her debut novel, A Window Opens, a literary anthem for 21st-century working mothers.
Phillip has a problem with his imaginary friend Brock. It’s quite an unusual problem, even for an imaginary friend. At the end of an exhausting trip to the Big Fair, Phillip falls asleep, and upon waking up at home, he realizes something has gone very wrong: Brock isn’t in the car! After frantically searching the house and not finding Brock, Phillip has a full-fledged meltdown, screaming, “We forgot Brock!”
Never heard of Jacob Fugger? That’s probably because he was born in Augsburg in 1459, the grandson of a Swabian peasant. But by the time he died in 1525, Fugger had become, according to author Greg Steinmetz (who compared the net worth of wealthy people with the size of the economy in which they operated), the richest man who ever lived.
Atmospheric, moody and evocative—these words describe Alice Hoffman’s latest achievement, The Marriage of Opposites. And that is no accident, because they also accurately describe the 19th-century artistic movement known as Impressionism, founded by Camille Pissarro, the third son Rachel Pomié bore to her second husband, Frédérick.
August 29 marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history and the storm that delivered a near-mortal blow to the city of New Orleans. An estimated 250 billion gallons of water inundated the Big Easy when its levee system failed, damaging four out of every five homes in the city.
When Barton Swaim read a column by his state’s governor, he promptly sat down and wrote him, “I know how to write, and you need a writer.” He got the job, but his writing skills went to waste as the governor insisted on a “voice” that bore only a slight resemblance to proper English.
Graphic novels are all the rage with young readers these days, but this fact can be frustrating for adults who are trying to encourage kids to read more complex material. Thank goodness veteran comic-book creators Robert Venditti and Dusty Higgins have created a hybrid sure to satisfy both camps in Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: Attack of the Alien Horde. Sixty-five of the 304 pages are comic panels drawn by Higgins, while the rest is prose written by Venditti.
In Ruby on the Outside, Nora Raleigh Baskin gives readers a serious, relatable look into the criminal justice system and its ripple effects. The story of Ruby, her aunt and her mother contributes to the growing body of children’s literature highlighting nontraditional family structures.
Seventeen-year-old Abe Sora wants to fit in—play baseball, complain about homework, worry about college. Unfortunately, he’s dying. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, but dying nonetheless. In The Last Leaves Falling, a debut novel set in Japan and written by Sarah Benwell, Abe has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and is slowing losing control of his body.