We're highlighting a new batch of the most humorous, unsettling and vibrant short story collections this April, and one of our favorite stars from NBC's "The Office" may surprise you with the strength of his literary muscle.
B.J. Novak is most often recognized for his role as Ryan, the Dundler Mifflin temp, but his first collection, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, is anything but a vanity project. Novak’s Harvard degree in English and Spanish literature combined with his sharp, absurdist style of humor are more than enough to convince us that he’s the real deal.
With 64 pieces that dip into everything from pop culture and celebrity to Mark Twain’s word choices in Huckleberry Finn, Novak delivers a fresh and emotionally astute literary debut.
The hilarious trailer stars Novak himself as he desperately tries to get his chic yet snobby Parisian crush (a fellow "Office" alum) to notice him.
What do you think, readers? Are you planning to read Novak's first collection? Is he giving Gary Shteyngart some competition for most entertaining book trailer?
Author and practicing anesthesiologist Carol Cassella's new medical mystery, Gemini, is hitting shelves today.
An unidentified Jane Doe winds up in a Seattle hospital as the presumed victim of a nasty hit and run in rural Washington. Soon, she slips into a coma on the operating table, and Dr. Charlotte Reese battles to keep her alive while police race to track and identify the driver at fault. Cassella's characters grapple with medicine and morality—is life and family about more than just DNA? Is Charlotte's patient still in her broken, failing body somehwere, or is her conciousness truly lost? Who will make decisions on the unknown patient's behalf in lieu of any known family?
Learn more as Cassella lays out the details in this trailer from Simon and Schuster below:
What do you think, readers? Will you pick up a copy of Gemini?
Is there anything as aesthetically intriguing as swinging 60's London? Pop-culture and music journalist William Shaw transports us into the world of mini-dresses, go-go boots and, of course, The Beatles in his newest mystery, She's Leaving Home.
But it isn't all peace and love and youthful rebellion—Shaw taps into the rampant sexism and xenophobia that colored much of this decade as well.
When the strangled body of a teenage girl is found near Abbey Road Studios, Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen is assigned to the case, along with Helen Tozer, the first woman to join his detective staff. Shaw is on point with his characters, dialogue and period detail, making this first installation in his planned trilogy of cultural thrillers a highly recommended read.
Check out the slick trailer from Mulholland Books below:
Well readers, what do you think? Are you interested in reading She's Leaving Home?
Alice Hoffman, the best-selling author of The Dovekeepers, has delivered another historical novel, brightened by her talent for magical realism, and it's out today. Set in New York City in the 1900s, The Museum of Extraordinary Things presents a city in flux—sidewalks are quickly covering the remaining green space, overcrowded tenements stand in juxtaposition to well-appointed mansions and child labor is all too common in the factories.
Coralie Sarder's father runs The Museum of Extraordinary Things on Coney Island where he displays "freaks and oddities." But when Coralie meets young photographer Eddie Cohen in the aftermath of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, they begin a liberating love affair.
Lovely sephia photographs of New York open a window into Hoffman's dreamlike world in this trailer for The Museum of Extraordinary Things:
What do you think, readers? Will you pick up a copy of this book?
Our Top Pick in fiction this month is Jennifer McMahon's The Winter People, and it's in stores today!
In what our reviewer, Elisabeth Atwood, calls a "marvelously creepy page-turner," McMahon tells the story of two families in the seemingly quiet town of West Hall, Vermont.
Sara Harrison Shea and her husband Martin lost their young daughter Gertie in 1908. Now, more than 100 years later, two sisters move into the Shea's farmhouse with their mother Alice. But when Alice mysteriously disappears, it seems that Sara's old diaries hold all of the answers.
Check out the trailer for this spooky, evocative story from Doubleday:
What do you think, readers? Will you read this mystery-horror crossover?
Author Matthew Quick's 2008 debut, The Silver Linings Playbook became a critically adored bestseller and was later adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 2012. With three YA novels under his belt since then, including 2013's Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Quick finally has a second adult novel hitting shelves next week!
The Good Luck of Right Now is sure to please fans of Quick's writing style: it's witty, candid and a little eccentric, yet it's balanced by the relatable humanity running underneath it all.
Bartholomew Neil is almost 40. He's never really had friends, a girlfriend or lived anywhere other than with his mother. When he loses her to brain cancer, Bartholomew decides to step out of the nest; he sets some life goals and ventures out into the world, befriending another misfit in group therapy and taking in his priest. Told in the form of Bartholomew's letters to Richard Gere and culminating in a big road trip, there is a near-guarantee that this book will bring some refreshing quirk to your TBR stack.
Watch Quick talk about The Good Luck of Right Now in this trailer from Harper.
What do you think, readers? Does this sound like a novel for you?
According to British author Louise Doughty, there comes a point in each woman's life where she finds herself wondering, "What's it all about?" The infamous mid-life crisis is exactly what her latest novel, Apple Tree Yard grapples with.
Accomplished geneticist Yvonne Carmichael meets an alluring stranger in a corridor and begins a sudden affair. But this one attempt to shake up her domestic life evolves into a much broader set of choices with increasingly tumultuous consequences.
Our reviewer, Amy Scribner appreciates how Doughty "perfectly captures the quiet details of domestic life, the erotic charge of a high-stakes affair [and] the crackling drama of a courtroom," while also boldly challenging the way we think about fate.
Watch Doughty play the heck out of a piano and describe the details of her novel, now available in the U.S. for the first time.
Arkady Renko, the iconic and world-weary Moscow detective, returns in Martin Cruz Smith's latest thriller, Tatiana.
Renko is struggling to reconcile personal principles with those of his post-Soviet Union Russia when he hears news of boldly outspoken reporter Tatiana Petrovna's suspicious death. The police are quick to proclaim suicide, but Renko decides to investigate this one personally. Whodunit columnist Bruce Tierney says Smith is "equal to the best writers in the genre, and his latest effort is guaranteed to please his longtime fans and likely to win him many new ones." No arguments here!
Love the graphic book trailer from Simon & Schuster:
What do you think, readers? Are you ready for some juicy Russian intrigue?
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?