Ready for a some new must-reads? Our books editor has found these gems you won't want to put down.
Frog Music By Emma Donoghue
Hachette Book Group
From the best-selling author of "Room" comes this unexpectedly gripping and dark crime novel set in San Francisco in 1876. Told in episodic flashbacks, this is an investigation into the real-life, unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet during one sweltering summer in a city beset by swindlers, millionaires, bohemians, and the small pox epidemic. Donoghue sets a striking tone in Gilded Age San Francisco and elevates what could be a simple who-done-it into a marvelous literary treasure.Buy it now.
Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery and a Masquerade By Walter Kirn
is Hitchcockian psychological thriller is so bone-chillingly delicious you will not believe it’s true. Fans of Patricia Highsmith’s "The Talented Mr. Ripley" will devour this compulsive story of a writer unknowingly caught in the wake of a psychopath masquerading as a gentleman. Referred to as an "In Cold Blood" for our time, this is a masterful true crime narrative that is destined to be a classic. I could not put this one down!Buy it now.
I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You By Courtney Maum
Barnes and Noble
Fans of "Where’d You Go Bernadette" will adore this fresh, funny, clever novel that asks the question: Is it possible to fall back in love? This is the question 34-year-old British artist, Richard Haddon, struggles to answer as he attempts to win back his French wife while mourning the loss of his American mistress. This is an unusual love story packed with wit and emotional bite. The enchanting European setting is an added bonus.Buy it now.
An Unnecessary Woman By Rahih Alameddine
“I can’t remember the last time I was so gripped simply by a novel’s voice. Alameddine makes it clear that a sheltered life is not necessarily a shuttered one. Aaliya is thoughtful, she’s complex, she’s humorous and critical.”—NPR.com
Best-selling author of "The Hakawati" returns with this sparkling story about Aaliya Alammedine, a 72-year-old, book-obsessed recluse who has spent her life in Beirut, privately translating her favorite literary fiction into Arabic. An outcast to her family and society at large, Aaliya manages to live the life she wants, one of independence, intellectual curiosity, and philosophical musings. Though she lives an interior life, Aaliya is a wry observer of the exterior world. Devotees of Barbara Pym and Stewart O’Nan will adore this literary gem. Buy it now.
The Goldfinch By Donna Tartt
"The Secret History" (1992) by Donna Tartt is one of my favorite contemporary novels. So, it was with some trepidation that I picked up this 700 plus-page book about 13-year-old Theo Decker, the accident that killed his beloved mother, and his unlikely possession and loss of a famous Dutch masterwork, The Goldfinch. If the first chapter isn’t enough to blow your socks off, Theo’s journey from teenage delinquent to antiques dealer to well intentioned criminal mind will have you up all night turning the pages.Buy it now.
The Divorce Papers By Susan Rieger
Fans of the epistolary style will relish this delicious debut novel told through e-mails, letters, legal briefs, and newspaper articles. This hilarious story, set in 1999, follows Sophie Diehl, a young criminal lawyer who is coerced into taking on a very high-profile divorce case (rather than a criminal one) all the while balancing inter-office politics, dysfunctional family dynamics, and her own muddled romantic life. Buy it now.
The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames By Kai Bird
Well reported, even-handed, compelling reading—one of the best books ever written about the CIA.”?
- Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author of "Los Alamos" and "The Good German."Pulitzer prize winning biographer Kai Bird recreates the life of C.I.A. superspy Robert Ames, an operative with a skill for understanding the complexities of Mideast politics. What set Ames apart from his peers was his ability to sidestep subterfuge and form meaningful relationships with key Arab intelligence figures. The story of Ames’ political skills, and the blow-by-blow narration of the bomb that exploded outside the American Embassy in Beirut in 1983, killing 63 people, including Ames, is as gripping as anything le Carre or Ian Fleming might have dreamed up in their wildest fictional fantasies. Well researched, tightly written and entirely gripping, this is a must-read for any historian or CIA enthusiast.Buy it now.
The Quick By Lauren Owen
Named one of the "Top Ten Literary Fiction Books" of the season by Publisher’s Weekly, "The Quick" is a gloriously gossamer debut novel set in 1892. James Norbury, a shy, young poet from Oxford, finds lodging with a charismatic aristocrat in London. Their friendship leads him into the exclusive drawing rooms of high society. And then he disappears. His sister Charlotte sets out to find out what happened and finds herself in a sinister city filled with Dickensian characters and seemingly impossible mysteries. Victorian London has never been so magical.Buy it now.
Bark: Stories By Lorrie Moore
Fans of Lorrie Moore will delight in this extraordinary collection of eight short stories by a true master of the genre. Marked by the same brand of offbeat humor and eerily familiar characters, Moore proves that humor is a fierce opponent for tragedy and that just beneath the atrocity of the human condition is the ever-present hope that something better is on its way. Though some stories fall a bit flat, “Debarking,” “Wings” and “Thank You For Having Me” are well worth the price of admission. Buy it now.
The Good Luck of Right Now By Mathew Quick
Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother for 38 years. Sheltered from life and afflicted with certain mental and physical limitations, Neil is more than lost when his mother dies. He explores his feelings in a series of letters to his mother’s favorite actor, Richard Gere. Weird? Yes. Wonderful? Yes. This quirky novel, from the author of "Silver Linings Playbook," is about a middle-aged man who comes to discover that there is a place for all of us in this world, even those who don’t quite fit in. Buy it now.
Little Failure By Gary Shteyngart
Lovers of Gary Shteyngart will delight in this raw, funny, and tender tale of exile, coming of age, and family love. Little Failure rates among the funniest and most heart-wrenching memoirs I’ve ever read. This is an immigration story that nobody but Shteyngart could have written. Highly recommended. You’ll never look at Publisher’s Clearinghouse or "Gilligan’s Island" the same way.Buy it now.