Check It Out Category: New Arrivals

Newer Books You Might Enjoy, Part One

Summer is on its way! To help you prepare for your reading-in-the-sunshine endeavors, we have dipped our toes in recent book releases, poured over top new release lists, and examined reviews just to land on stand-out titles that resonated with us that you would enjoy, too. We’ll be back next week for part two!

Cathleen says….

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, new this month, and Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, released in April, are two very different reads that make lasting impressions.

 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine book coverWe love championing a debut, but I’ll be honest: this book pitch practically sells itself. A popular way to describe Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is as A Man Called Ove meets The Rosie Project, which right there tells you almost all you need to know. Eleanor is a prickly, solitary woman who (hilariously) speaks her mind and is just fine with avoiding all human interaction. When in a short time she meets a local musician, needs to call on her work’s IT guy, and helps an elderly gentleman who’s fallen, she finds herself being pulled into a world with other people. Take the time to get to know Eleanor. You’ll be very glad you did.

 

 

Borne book cover

“What did I just read?!?” This was my reaction to Jeff VanderMeer’s stupefying Southern Reach trilogy, so I thought I was prepared for his newest. Borne is something new altogether. We start with the discovery of a fist-sized purple blob caught in the fur of a gigantic flying bear our narrator is using to scavenge for biotech scraps, and it gets weirder from there. The plot may be impossible to summarize in a way that does it justice, but reviewers are comparing to Cormac McCarthy and Margaret Atwood. Smart, literate, and mind-blowing, it’s quite a ride.

 

 

 

Picture of Jenny

Jenny says….

Try What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah, released April 2017, and Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy, releasing in June 2017.

 

What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky book cover
I am obsessed with this story collection right now. Arimah covers a lot of ground as she plays with different genres and explores what it means to be a girl, family dynamics, and the relationships people have with the world around them. With sentences like “[the Mathematicians are] …calculating and subtracting emotions, drawing them from living bodies like poison from a wound,” this short story collection is something to be savored. My favorites ended up being “Light”, “Redemption”, “Wild”, and the title story. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you read them!

 

 

Do Not Become Alarmed book cover

The relaxing cruise trip cousins Liv and Nora have planned for their families takes a dark turn when their children go missing off of the coast of Central America leaving the parents to work out their feelings of guilt, fear and powerlessness. Best read under a hot sticky sun, Do Not Become Alarmed was something I finished in almost one sitting, as it begs you to keep turning the pages to figure out how everything can possibly end okay!

 

New Mystery Spotlight: The Hermit by Thomas Bydahl

The Hermit book coverThomas Bydahl narrows in on the life of Erhard, an older gentleman who left his child and wife to live a life as a hermit on the Spanish island of Fuerteventure. On that island Erhard becomes involved with a murder and is thrown into the technology adapted twenty-first century even though he has completely cut himself off from the modern world since he left his family twenty years ago.

This Danish crime is written in a distant third person narration, which positions readers as if they are sitting in a helicopter over the island, keenly observing Erhard as he slowly wades his way back into life. The Hermit is for the reader that likes an exotic setting, a fully developed character, and a slow burning plot.

New Audio Spotlight: Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley

Charcoal Joe audiobook coverSometimes we’re looking to be dropped into a rich, moody world that doesn’t bear much resemblance to our everyday. A favorite escape is to the dark streets of mid-century Los Angeles, in the company of legendary detective Easy Rawlins. In Charcoal Joe, Rawlins is asked to aid a promising Stanford student charged with the race-related murder of a white man in the late 1960s. Author Walter Mosley, winner of the 2016 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, once again creates a door to history with gritty settings, lifelike characters, and velvet words.

Narrator Michael Boatman knows that the language of a Mosley story is its power, and he emphasizes the swagger and silk of the characters’ dialogue. Descriptions are spun with a cadence that makes them reality, and hard-boiled tension is equally earned. It’s a smooth performance, and one Easy himself would approve.

 

New Arrivals: The Lives of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre  has captured many a heart with its classic heroine’s journey from crushing past to independence and love. We ache with her trials, admire her resilience, and cheer when she defiantly stands up for herself. Jane’s voice has inspired countless new works over the generations, and this season sees the trend in full flourish.

Jane Steele book coverJane Steele: A Confession
by Lyndsay Faye

There are many eerie similarities between Jane Steele’s life and that of her favorite literary character, but her own choices embrace the macabre in this even darker take on the gothic tale: “Reader, I murdered him.”

Reader I Married Him book coverReader, I Married Him
edited by Tracy Chevalier

This collection of 20 original stories by today’s finest women writers — including Tracy Chevalier, Elizabeth McCracken, Audrey Niffenegger, and more — takes inspiration from one of the most famous lines in Charlotte Brontë’s beloved novel.

Madwoman Upstairs book coverThe Madwoman Upstairs
by Catherine Lowell

The last remaining descendant of the Brontës discovers a believed-to-be-destroyed copy of Jane Eyre and embarks on a scavenger hunt for her ancestors’ legacy, one which has ties to events in the authors’ lives and to their classic stories.

 

Still can’t quit Jane? Reach back and try one of last year’s entries into this literary homage trend.

Bronte Plot book coverThe Brontë Plot
by Katherine Reay

More tribute than re-telling, this story centers on a bookseller who, while visiting famous author sites in England, discovers new revelations of truth in the moral dilemmas and relationship wisdom represented in her favorite novels.

Re Jane book coverRe Jane
by Patricia Park

A half-Korean, half-American orphan takes a position as an au pair for two Brooklyn academics and their daughter, but a brief sojourn in Seoul, where she reconnects with family, causes her to wonder if the man she loves is really the man for her.

 

Looking for new nonfiction? Head here for new and forthcoming titles.

New Book Spotlight: Historical Fiction Thrillers

Looking for a page-turner that will bring you back in time? Check out one of the newer releases below!


City of Secrets book coverCity of Secrets
by Stewart O’Nan

A moral thriller about the Jewish underground resistance in Jerusalem after World War II follows the experiences of Brand, a hunted refugee, who assumes a different identity and commits himself to the revolution while accepting increasingly dangerous missions.

The Letter Writer book coverThe Letter Writer
by Dan Fesperman

Taking a job with the NYPD four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a former small-town cop investigates the discovery of a body in the Hudson with the assistance of a mysterious, well-educated man who has uncanny knowledge of the city and its denizens.

High Dive book coverHigh Dive
by Jonathan Lee

A tale inspired by the 1984 Brighton Hotel bombing assassination attempt on the lives of Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet is told from the perspectives of an IRA bomb maker, a former star athlete-turned-hotel manager and the manager’s teenage daughter.

 

Email us as readers@mppl.org for more suggestions.
Head here for new and forthcoming nonfiction titles.
Summaries from Novelist.

New Music Spotlight: Salt as Wolves by Jeffrey Foucalt

Salt as Wolves album coverJeffrey Foucalt intertwines country and blues in his newest album, Salt as Wolves. The twelve songs are all sung by Foucalt and his even-toned voice, which mixed with repetitive lyrics culminates into a soothing exploration of life, death, and relationships. This 2015 album feels like the listener is stepping into a one way conversation, as Foucalt’s songs address various people and moments in his life: his mom in regards to their relationship falling apart, his friend on a death, and even the listener to say, “everything is going to work out.”

New Audio Spotlight: The Best of Pop Culture Happy Hour

Best of Pop Culture Happy Hour audiobook coverAre you craving sparkling conversation about movies, books, music, TV, celebrity, and all things considered? Treat yourself to The Best of Pop Culture Happy Hour, a sampler set of the greatest moments of NPR’s entertainment podcast. Anchored by the smart, informed, articulate, witty people you wish you could hang out with at parties, these roundtable discussions take on fiascos, movie trailers, the art of the mixtape, media depictions of the White House, and (our favorite) public radio voices.

Topics are focused and well-prepped, but there’s no predicting what happens once the give-and-take gets rolling – especially when one host’s mother is present to talk about nudity. Listen in, laugh along, and raise your pop culture quotient. Perhaps you’ll even find topics to impress at the next mixer you attend.

New Book Spotlight: False Positive by Andrew Grant

False Positive book coverLike Craig Johnson or James Lee Burke?
Try Andrew Grant.

Returning from a suspension, detective Cooper Devereaux is starting a new case looking for a missing seven-year-old boy in Alabama. In the process, Devereaux unexpectedly begins learning more about his past, which as an orphan has its own set of mysteries. Filled with surprise after surprise, Andrew Grant’s False Positive is an action-packed thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. This is the first in the Detective Cooper Devereaux series.

New Book Spotlight: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire

Descender_Tin StarsA boy named Tim wakes from a ten-year sleep on a moon mining colony. He is a companion android designed to entertain and protect an assigned human child, but he finds himself alone and under attack. Tin Stars, the first collected volume of the Descender series by Jeff Lemire, begins with shocking galactic catastrophe, but it’s when we meet the earnest young Tim-21 that it truly launches.

A grown-up story of both wonder and action, real fears of technology-run-amok are balanced with complex character and heart. In addition to a plot that excites the mind, the gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Dustin Nguyen evoke a nuanced future both beautiful and terrible. The end result is a fully-realized shared vision, one that transports, provokes, and captivates.

 

New Book Spotlight: American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis

American Housewife book coverContrary to modern opinion, housewife is not a dirty word. It does, however, inspire a different picture than the ladies who populate the tartly incisive new collection of vignettes by Helen Ellis.  In American Housewife, be introduced to the deciphering of Southern lady code, to a most disturbing book club, and to the reality show Dumpster Diving with the Stars. Identify with neighbor battles that veer from passive-aggressive to outright aggressive. Look over the shoulder of a writer whose next novel is sponsored by the good people at Tampax. Delight in stories that are caustically funny but contain the grit of truth, but be on your guard. Just when you find yourself chuckling at the odd practices of the best bra-fitter south of the Mason Dixon line, an entirely different story-behind-the-story is there to prick your heart.

In the mood for a new non-fiction title instead? Try here!