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?
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!
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.
Alex Myers cleverly blends his own family history with fiction in his unique debut novel, Revolutionary. We meet Deborah Samson Gannett, Myers' own ancestor, during the American Revolution in 1782. When the 22-year-old servant can no longer bear her oppressive life in Colonial Massachusetts, she makes her break for independence. Disguising herself as "Robert Shurtliff," the tall and strong Gannett joins the Continental Army.
Myers' own experience in coming out as transgender makes Deborah's internal struggle over her newly adopted identity and fears of rejection incredibly palpable. In a special column written for BookPage, Myers explains his writing process:
I wanted to let her character emerge fully, without bearing the imprint of my own. Yet, so often as I wrote, I thought—she would have worried about using the bathroom . . . she would have glowed when someone called her “young man”. . . just like me. There were many times when I felt that point of contact through the page.
Watch this video with author Alex Myers to learn more about the book:
What do you think, readers? Are you interested picking up this historical novel?
Merry Christmas Eve, readers! Now is the time to fully indulge in Christmas themed everything before the big day passes, forcing you to pack up your Santa sweaters and tinsel for another year. Popular novelist Debbie Macomber admits she tends to overdo it a bit with her love of all things Christmas, but her latest book, Starry Night, gets it just right with a blend of romance, adventure and a little touch of Christmas magic. Carrie Slayton, a successful gossip columnist wants more out of her newspaper career, but when she comes upon the scoop of a lifetime in small-town Alaska, she must decide between her career or her heart. Watch Macomber excitedly introduce Starry Night in the trailer below. What are you reading this Christmas?
Looking to gift a great photography book this holiday season? Lonely Planet's Beautiful World, with over 200 large-format images, captures jaw-dropping sights and destinations from all corners of the globe. Spark your spirit of adventure with photos from the lush prairie of Nebraska to the remote Galápagos; this book will have you planning your next getaway in no time. The Lonely Planet editors are no strangers to the wonders of the world, but as they said, "we don’t see them every day and sometimes we need to be reminded that they are there.” Watch the gorgeous trailer below and prepare to be swept away with wanderlust.
Remember the days when "snail mail" was just, well, plain ol' mail? Simon Garfield's new book, To the Letter, is a timely ode to the art of letter writing, which is quickly on its way out of practice, thanks to the advent of all things digital. As Garfield explains it, “It is a book about what we have lost by replacing letters with email—the post, the envelope, a pen, a slower, cerebral whirring, the use of the whole of our hands and not just the tips of our fingers.”
Bookworms and lovers of the written word will especially enjoy Garfield's exploration of letters by authors such as Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll and Virginia Woolf. The book also includes photographs of especially quirky or historically important letters—and yes, even the love letter gets some attention.
Watch the trailer below and get inspired to dig out your stationery:
Do any of you keep up with letter writing? Interested in reading To the Letter?