The latest books to add to your TBR piles—out this week!
BRIGHT, PRECIOUS DAYS by Jay McInerney
Even decades after their arrival, Corrine and Russell Calloway still feel as if they’re living the dream that drew them to New York City in the first place: book parties or art openings, high-society events; jobs they care about; twin children whose birth was truly miraculous; a loft in TriBeCa and summers in the Hamptons. But all of this comes at a fiendish cost. Russell, an independent publisher, has superb cultural credentials yet minimal cash flow. Meanwhile, instead of chasing personal gain in this incredibly wealthy city, Corrine devotes herself to helping feed its hungry poor, and she and her husband soon discover they’re being priced out of the newly fashionable neighborhood they’ve called home for most of their adult lives. Then Corrine’s world is turned upside down when the man with whom she’d had an ill-fated affair in the wake of 9/11 suddenly reappears. As the novel unfolds across a period of stupendous change the Calloways will find themselves and their marriage tested more severely than they could have imagined.
THE SIXTH IDEA by P.J. Tracy
The peaceful Christmas season in Minneapolis is shattered when two friends, Chuck Spencer and Wally Luntz, scheduled to meet in person for the first time, are murdered on the same night, two hours and several miles apart, dramatically concluding winter vacation for homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth. An hour north of Minneapolis, Lydia Ascher comes home to find two dead men in her basement. When Leo and Gino discover her connection to their current cases, they suspect that she is a target, too. Then, after more inexplicable events occur, the detectives dive sixty years into the past to search for answers—and straight to Grace MacBride’s Monkeewrench, a group of eccentric computer geniuses who devote their time and resources to helping the cops solve the unsolvable. What they find is an unimaginable horror—a dormant Armageddon that might be activated at any moment unless Grace and her can find a way to stop it.
SWEET TOMORROWS by Debbie Macomber
Nine months ago, Mark Taylor abruptly left Cedar Cove on a perilous mission to right a wrong from his past. Though Mark finally confessed his love for her, innkeeper Jo Marie Rose is unsure if he’s ever coming back. Determined to move forward, she begins dating again, and finds companionship when she takes on a boarder who is starting a new chapter herself. Recovering from a twice-broken heart, Emily Gaffney, is staying at the inn while she looks for a home of her own. Having given up on marriage, Emily dreams of adopting children someday. She has her eye on one house in particular—with room for kids. Although Emily’s inquiries about the house are rudely rebuffed, her rocky start with the owner eventually blossoms into a friendship. But when the relationship verges on something more, Emily will have to rethink what she truly wants and the chances she’s willing to take. The inn seems to be working its magic again—Emily opening herself up to love, Jo Marie moving on—until Jo Marie receives shocking news.
HARMONY by Carolyn Parkhurst
How far will a mother go to save her family? The Hammond family is living in DC, where everything seems to be going just fine, until it becomes clear that the oldest daughter, Tilly, is developing abnormally–a mix of off-the-charts genius and social incompetence. Once Tilly–whose condition is deemed undiagnosable–is kicked out of the last school in the area, her mother Alexandra is out of ideas. The family turns to Camp Harmony and the wisdom of child behavior guru Scott Bean for a solution. But what they discover in the woods of New Hampshire will push them to the very limit. Told from the alternating perspectives of both Alexandra and her younger daughter Iris (the book’s Nick Carraway), this is a unputdownable story about the strength of love, the bonds of family, and how you survive the unthinkable.
THE HIKE: A Novel by Drew Magary
When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects. On a quest of epic, life-or-death proportions, Ben finds help comes in some of the most unexpected forms, including a profane crustacean and a variety of magical objects, tools, and potions. Desperate to return to his family, Ben is determined to track down the “Producer,” the creator of the world in which he is being held hostage and the only one who can free him from the path. At once bitingly funny and emotionally absorbing, Magary’s novel is a remarkably unique addition to the contemporary fantasy genre, one that draws as easily from the world of classic folk tales as it does from video games.
AMERICAN HEIRESS by Jeffrey Toobin
From New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, the definitive account of the kidnapping and trial that defined an insane era in American history. The saga of Patty Hearst highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. Based on more than a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secret documents, AMERICAN HEIRESS thrillingly recounts the craziness of the times (there were an average of 1,500 terrorist bombings a year in the early 1970s). Toobin portrays the lunacy of the half-baked radicals of the SLA and the toxic mix of sex, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and re-creates her melodramatic trial. AMERICAN HEIRESS examines the life of a young woman who suffered an unimaginable trauma and then made the stunning decision to join her captors’ crusade. Or did she?
I’M SUPPOSED TO PROTECT YOU FROM ALL THIS by Nadja Spiegelman
For a long time, Nadja Spiegelman believed her mother was a fairy. More than her famous father, Maus creator Art Spiegelman, her mother—Françoise Mouly—exerted a force over reality that was both dazzling and daunting. As Nadja’s body changed and “began to whisper to the adults around me in a language I did not understand,” their relationship grew tense. Unwittingly, they were replaying a drama from her mother’s past, a drama Nadja sensed but had never been told. Then, after college, her mother suddenly opened up to her. Françoise recounted her turbulent adolescence caught between a volatile mother and a playboy father. The weight of the difficult stories she told her daughter shifted the balance between them. Nadja made moved to Paris determined to get to know the woman her mother had fled. Her grandmother’s memories contradicted her mother’s at nearly every turn, but beneath them lay a difficult history of her own. Nadja emerged with a deeper understanding of how each generation reshapes the past in order to forge ahead. Every reader will recognize herself and her family in this memoir, which helps us to see why sometimes those who love us best hurt us most.
THE ACCIDENTAL LIFE by Terry McDonell
You might not know Terry McDonell, but you certainly know his work. Among the magazines he has top-edited: Outside, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated. In this revealing memoir, McDonell talks about what really happens when editors and writers work with deadlines ticking (or drinks on the bar). His stories about the people and personalities he’s known are both heartbreaking and bitingly funny—playing “acid golf” with Hunter S. Thompson, practicing brinksmanship with David Carr and Steve Jobs, working the European fashion scene with Liz Tilberis, pitching TV pilots with Richard Price. Here, too, is an expert’s practical advice on how to recruit—and keep—high-profile talent; what makes a compelling lede; how to grow online traffic that translates into dollars; and how, in whatever format, on whatever platform, a good editor really works, and what it takes to write well.
NAVIGATING LIFE by Margaux Bergen
You learn a few useful things at school–the three Rs come in handy, and it’s good to know how to perform under pressure and wait your turn–but most of what matters, what makes you into a functioning human being, able to hold your own in conversation, find your path, know what to avoid in relationships and secure a meaningful job, no teacher will ever tell you. This diamond-sharp, gut-punchingly honest book of hard-earned wisdom is one mother’s effort to equip her daughter for survival in the real world. Wise, heartbreakingly funny, and resonantly true, NAVIGATING LIFE has invaluable lessons for students of life of all ages. It will challenge you to lead a more meaningful life and to tackle the bumps along the way with grace, grit, style, and ingenuity
LAND OF ENCHANTMENT by Leigh Stein
When Leigh Stein received a call from an unknown number in July 2011, she let it go to voice mail, assuming it would be her ex-boyfriend Jason. Instead, the call was from his brother: Jason had been killed in a motorcycle accident. He was twenty-three years old. She had seen him alive just a few weeks earlier. Leigh first met Jason at an audition for a tragic play. He was nineteen and troubled and intensely magnetic, a dead ringer for James Dean. Within months, they had fallen in love and moved to New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment,” a place neither of them had ever been. But what was supposed to be a romantic adventure quickly turned sinister, as Jason’s behavior went from playful and spontaneous to controlling and erratic, eventually escalating to violence. Now New Mexico was marked by isolation and the anxiety of how to leave a man she both loved and feared. Even once Leigh moved on to New York, throwing herself into her work, Jason and their time together haunted her. LAND OF ENCHANTMENT lyrically explores the complexity of why the person hurting you the most can be impossible to leave.
COLLECTED POEMS by Marie Ponsot
Marie Ponsot’s COLLECTED POEMS is the stunning lifework of the prizewinning poet, gathered in one volume: the world she has made of life’s fire for sixty years. The present celebratory volume covers nearly all of her published work, from True Minds (1956), which was number five in the famous City Lights Pocket Poets series, through the 2009 EASY, her most recent collection; it also includes some new work, written in the years since. Here is the lyrical joy, the full range of Ponsot’s gift for constructing the pleasures and pains of a riddle that the music and wit of her language solve just in the nick of time, in the “hand-span skill” that is the poem. In examining the powerful life of women, her poetry is as practical as it is profound.
FIVE CHILDREN ON THE WESTERN FRONT by Kate Saunders
The sand fairy, also known as the Psammead, is merely a creature from stories Lamb and Edith have heard their older brothers and sisters tell . . . until he suddenly reappears. Lamb and Edith are pleased to have something to take their minds off the war, but this time the Psammead’s magic might have a serious purpose. Before their adventure ends, all will be changed, and the Lamb and Edith will have seen the Great War from every possible viewpoint—that of factory workers, soldiers and sailors, and nurses. But most of all, the war’s impact will be felt by those left behind, at the very heart of their family.
THE BOYS IN THE BOAT (YOUNG READERS ADAPTATION) by Daniel James Brown
The #1 New York Times bestseller freshly adapted for the next generation, now with brand new content including an author Q&A and never-before-seen photographs. Out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler. At the center of the tale is Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, whose personal quest captures the spirit of his generation—the generation that would prove in the coming years that the Nazis could not prevail over American determination and optimism.
A MOST MAGICAL GIRL by Karen Foxlee
Annabel Grey is primed for a proper life as a young lady in Victorian England. But when her mother suddenly disappears, she’s put in the care of two eccentric aunts who thrust her into a decidedly un-ladylike life, full of potions and flying broomsticks and wizards who eat nothing but crackers. Magic, indeed! Who ever heard of such a thing? Before Annabel can assess the most ladylike way to respond to her current predicament, she is swept up in an urgent quest. Annabel is pitted against another young witch, Kitty, to rescue the sacred Moreover Wand from the dangerous underworld that exists beneath London. The two girls outsmart trolls, find passage through a wall of faerie bones, and narrowly escape a dragon, but it doesn’t take long for Annabel to see that the most dangerous part of her journey is her decision to trust this wild, magical girl.
A book with bricks that inspires kids to build, play, and learn, LEGO CITY: Build Your Own Adventure combines more than 50 inspirational ideas for building with enthralling story starters from the world of LEGO City. Organized into five chapters structured around different environments from the city world, readers will use their builds to aid a sunken boat in the city’s marina and help control a forest fire in a nearby park. Model ideas will inspire readers of various ages and abilities, with an appropriate mix of easy, medium, and harder models. LEGO CITY: Build Your Own Adventure will get kids inspired to build and play out adventures of their own, and comes with bricks and instructions to build an exclusive LEGO City model to add to their collection.
THE IMAGINATION BOX by Martyn Ford
What if everything you imagined could become real? It all starts when Professor Eisenstone, scientist and inventor, creates a box that’s supposed to turn whatever you imagine into reality. There’s only one problem: he can’t get it to work. Until Tim shows up. An orphan with an especially keen imagination, Tim brings to life Phil, an eloquent finger monkey with a dry sense of humor. Tim and Professor Eisenstone work in secret to make the box more powerful. But when Eisenstone is kidnapped along with his contraption, Tim, Phil, and the professor’s granddaughter, Dee, must find the criminals before they use the box to turn their imagined evil into something all too real. Creating a miniature monkey is all well and good. But in order to rescue his friend, Tim will have to face his darkest fears and unleash the true potential of his own mind.