In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, the 23-year-old son of then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared along the coast of southwest New Guinea.
The recent Harvard grad was on a trip collecting art from Asmat tribes—mostly elaborate woodcarvings—when his catamaran capsized. After he and a companion waited overnight for rescue, Rockefeller tied two empty gasoline cans around his waist, and headed for shore, never to be seen again.
The official records state that he was drowned at sea, but author Carl Hoffman has been possessed by the mystery for years, and in his new book Savage Harvest, he aims to settle the question of Rockefeller's fate. Through visiting the same village, interviewing Asmat kinsmen, studying the tense political climate of the time and combing through archives of official documents along with Rockefeller's personal correspondence, Hoffman comes to the grim conclusion that he was cannibalized. Whether Hoffman's evidence is substantial enough is for the reader to decide, but it is a tense and riveting read nonetheless.
Watch Hoffman narrate the documentary-style trailer below:
What do you think, readers? Are you interested in new insight into this historical mystery?
Today is Trailer Tuesday x2! Author Gwendolyn Heasley (Where I Belong, A Long Way from You) will publish her third young adult novel with HarperTeen this April, and BookPage has the pleasure of presenting the first look at the plucky heroine at the heart of Don't Call Me Baby.
It's a cute and charming story about teenager Imogene, the daughter of a popular Mommy Blogger. The "Mommylicious" blog is incredibly embarrassing for Imogene (imagine having all your private puberty stories published online!). Then Imogene must start her own blog for school, and there's no better time to define herself in her own words—and to turn the tables on Mommylicious.
Check out the trailer:
Vibrant, rhythmic prose and inspired illustrations make Patricia Hruby Powell's new picture book, Josephine a fun and fitting tribute to one of America's greatest performers, Josephine Baker.
Powell's story spans Baker's full history: from her early childhood on the streets of St. Louis to her rise to fame, her civil rights activism and even her WWII espionage for France.
Watch the animated trailer from Chronicle books and get jazzed (pun definitely intended) to pick up a copy for a little one, or just for yourself.
And if you're as captivated by Christian Robinson's illustrations as I am, head on over to our reviewer, Julie Danielson's blog for Robinson's guest post featuring tons of extra artwork, storyboards and more!
Diane Setterfield returns this month with Bellman & Black, an irresistible Gothic and ghostly read that is absolutely perfect for these dark winter months. William Bellman makes a grave mistake as a child when he thoughtlessly kills a rook with his stone catapult. He goes on to build a successful and enviable life, until a mysterious stranger appears and threatens to rip away everything he holds dear.
Our reviewer Matthew Jackson calls it "a slow-burning, creepily realistic tale, woven together with practical but often magically transformative prose." Although the suspense is often center stage, Setterfield also includes some breathtaking meditations on nature, mortality and love that make this a very well-crafted novel indeed.
Watch the short and spooky trailer below:
What do you think, readers? Are you in the mood for some post-Halloween creepiness?
Jhumpa Lahiri is back with her second novel, The Lowland. Her debut, The Namesake, earned her plenty of critical praise, and expectations for The Lowland have been quite high. Lahiri has more than met those with this "intricately plotted, melancholy family drama" that has since been shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.
The novel follows two brothers, Subhash and Udayan Mitra, as they grow to lead two very different lives and encounter conflict that drives a wedge between them. A story spanning decades and two continents, The Lowland explores the power of family and memory with Lahiri's "elegant, gently understated prose."
Watch the trailer below and learn more about this Top Pick for October!
Have you checked out The Lowland yet?
Kate DiCamillo, author of Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux, brings us a new comic book-inspired adventure with Flora & Ulysses.
Flora Belle Buckman is a very observant 10-year-old who is also a bit of a cynic, but her life is drastically changed when her neighbor accidentally sucks up a squirrel in her fancy new vacuum. After Flora gives the poor squirrel CPR, he somehow wakes up with superpowers—he’s strong, he can fly and he can even write poetry. Flora names him Ulysses, and they form a fast friendship while getting into all sorts of silly hijinks.
Flora & Ulysses is a heartfelt story for young readers that finds a perfect balance between fun and sophistication. K.G. Campbell’s black and white pencil illustrations are just a fantastic accompaniment, and the comic-book style action sequences couldn’t be a better fit. This story is sure to melt the heart of anyone's inner cynic.
Watch the fun trailer below:
Holy Bagumba, readers! Are you reading this highly anticipated Children's Top Pick yet? (If not, you can enter this week's book giveaway to win a copy!)
Australian author Graeme Simsion’s debut novel, The Rosie Project, is an endearing, unconventional love story filled with off-kilter humor. Don Tillman is a 39-year-old genetics professor and scientist obsessed with life’s little details. All meals are pre-planned and perfectly portioned, each day is precisely scheduled and logic always comes first.
When he decides it’s time to start looking for “the one,” he draws up a hilariously rigid 16-page questionnaire and sets off to find his most compatible match. Instead, he meets Rosie Jarman, a beautiful bartender who chain smokes and never seems to arrive anywhere on time. She needs to find her biological father, and when Don agrees to help, he suddenly finds himself breaking his own rules and developing a very illogical attraction.
Watch the quirky trailer here:
What do you think readers? Will you be picking up a copy of The Rosie Project?
Rainbow Rowell's new YA book, Fangirl, follows 18-year-old Cath Avery—a socially anxious, yet quick-witted college freshman who just happens to moonlight as an Internet-famous fan fiction writer.
Cath struggles to find the balance between devoting her attention to the real world—her family, college classes, living on her own (and separate from her party-girl twin sister, Wren), an unexpected romance and finding that elusive campus cafeteria—and disappearing into the comforting, fictional world of her own stories.
Though some of the premise may sound familiar, readers shouldn’t be too hasty to write this off as a typical coming-of-age story. Rowell’s characters are written with the utmost care and are imbued with refreshingly realistic qualities. Cath is quirky and lovable while also being frustratingly stand-offish, and Levi, Cath’s sweet and charming crush, has a receding hairline instead of leading-man looks.
Fangirl is a relatable, yet original take on that first year of bumbling adult independence that fanfic fanatics will especially enjoy.
Check out the book trailer for Fangirl:
The first in an anticipated seven book series, The Bone Season is a fast-paced, suspenseful novel set in a divergent future where the struggles of one teen could affect the survival of her world.
It's 2059, and the major British cities are under the control of the Scion. Paige Mahoney works in Scion London, and because she is a clairvoyant, also known as a voyeur, her every breath is an act of treason. Paige is captured and imprisoned by an otherworldly race which abuses the power of voyeurs for their army. In a world unlike our own, Paige will have to learn to control her powers in order to escape.
Be sure to read our full review here and check out the book trailer below from Bloomsbury.
Will you be reading The Bone Season?
As her trilogy concludes, Margaret Atwood takes readers through the months after the Waterless Flood. Gene splicing has resulted in new animal species, while humans have become nearly extinct. The characters from Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood are struggling among themselves and others as war threatens. In a world full of danger, MaddAddam is a dystopian story of community and love.
Ten years after Oryx and Crake began the MaddAddam trilogy, readers will finally have answers. With characters revealing truths and coming together as never before, Atwood builds a creative world with MaddAddam.
Be sure to read our full review and watch the book trailer from Knopf Doubleday below.
Are you ready for the end? Will you find answers in MaddAddam?