Power couple Toni and Gretchen have been together for nearly two years when they leave for separate colleges. Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, finds a place at Harvard with a group of transgender upperclassmen who offer a new sense of belonging and an expanded language for discussing gender and nonbinary identities. Meanwhile at NYU, Gretchen struggles to understand their evolving long-distance relationship.
What We Left Behind is the second novel from Robin Talley, after her emotionally wrenching Lies We Tell Ourselves. We spoke with Talley about LGBTQIA+ literature, the college setting and much more.
“His name was Salvador and he arrived with bloody feet.” From the opening sentence of Jonathan Franklin’s 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea, this riveting adventure has us in its grip, spellbound and eager to know more about the mysterious Salvador Alvarenga.
Roger Angell, now 94, has had an extraordinary life. A longtime fiction editor of The New Yorker and one of the best-ever writers on baseball, he is the only writer elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Baseball Hall of Fame. His wonderful new collection, This Old Man: All in Pieces, is, he says, a grab bag, a portrait of his brain at this point in his life. The title piece, a moving and personal account of aging, received the 2014 prize for best essay from the American Society of Magazine Editors.
Determining what's real and what's imagined is just part of 17-year-old Calvin’s everyday life. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Calvin believes his world is intrinsically linked with that of Bill Watterson’s iconic comic strip Calvin and Hobbes—he was, after all, born on the last day the strip was published. As he communicates daily with tiger Hobbes—knowing he must be a delusion—Calvin feels the only way he’ll ever be normal is to travel to meet Watterson and have him draw just one more comic.
As executive editor of Penguin Books, Meg Leder serves as the U.S. editor for acclaimed British artist Johanna Basford, whose coloring books for adults have become wildly popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Basford’s latest book, Lost Ocean, has just been published in time for gift-giving season, and her contract with Penguin calls for...
Enter the glamorous (and not-so-glamorous) world of life in a band through Charlotte Huang's debut YA novel, For the Record. High school student Chelsea has just become the lead singer of the popular band Melbourne, and she's dealing with being on a bus tour with three guys, attracting the attention of heartthrob Lucas Rivers and coping with the sink-or-swim music industry. Huang shares the backstory of For the Record and explains how her music agent husband helped structure the story and provide authentic details of life on tour.
In 1952, Barcelona trembles beneath the oppressive, tyrannical regime of Franco’s fascist party. Ana Marti, a young journalist sick of detailing debutantes’ fashions and high-society scandals, gets her big break when socialite Mariona Sobrerroca is brutally murdered in the exclusive upper part of the city. Ana’s shocked to be assigned such an important case, but she holds her ground while working with Barcelona’s finest detective, Isidro Castro, despite his misogynistic grumblings about working with a woman.
Jack London lived during America’s first Gilded Age from the late 1800s through the early 1900s. Readers of his very popular books (he was the first U.S. author to make more than a million dollars) were entertained by stories about dogs and wolves and gold miners and ships and cannibals. At the same time, London was educating the public about serious societal problems that required fundamental reform.
Several years ago, after researching his true crime book The Serial Killer’s Apprentice, James Renner was diagnosed with PTSD. It’s not uncommon for journalists to suffer such effects after witnessing trauma for a story, and Renner’s 10 years of hunting serial killers and writing about unsolved murders caught up with him. Fiction provided an unexpected safe haven, and his genre-bending time-travel thriller, The Man from Primrose Lane (2012), was a crime he could finally solve. His latest thriller, The Great Forgetting, digs at a much larger mystery, one with more questions, no generic answers and therefore plenty of room for an imaginative author to play. The result is a mix of conspiracy theorist paranoia, alternate history and cross-country adventure.
As senior year draws to a close and college looms, Andrew finds himself very much alone. He’s lost his two best friends to a car crash, and his parents are more distracted than ever following his football star brother’s return. Andrew is left with nothing but his obsessive crush on Laura, the prettiest girl in school. But as he begins spending more time with Laura and her fundamentalist Christian youth group, he starts to question everything he’d once held true.