Fiction

Girl in the Walls | ,

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A mesmerizing and suspenseful coming-of-age novel about an orphan hiding within the walls of her former family home—and about what it means to be truly seen after becoming lost in life Eventually, every hidden thing is found. Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her, before they were taken from her in a car crash. And home is where you stay, no matter what. Eddie is a teenager trying to forget about the girl he sometimes sees out of the corner of his eye. But when his hotheaded older brother senses her, too, they are faced with the question of how to get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists. And as they try to cast her out, they unwittingly bring an unexpected and far more real threat to their doorstep. Written with grace and enormous heart, Girl in the Walls is a novel about carrying on through grief, forging unconventional friendships, and realizing, little by little, that we don’t need to fear what we do not understand..

True Crime

The Haunting of Alma Fielding | Kate Summerscale

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Shortlisted for the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize “Prepare not to see much broad daylight, literal or metaphorical, for days if you read this.... The atmosphere evoked is something I will never forget.”—The Times (London) London, 1938. In the suburbs of the city, a young housewife has become the eye in a storm of chaos. In Alma Fielding’s modest home, china flies off the shelves and eggs fly through the air; stolen jewelry appears on her fingers, white mice crawl out of her handbag, beetles appear from under her gloves; in the middle of a car journey, a turtle materializes on her lap. The culprit is incorporeal. As Alma cannot call the police, she calls the papers instead. After the sensational story headlines the news, Nandor Fodor, a Hungarian ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical Research, arrives to investigate the poltergeist. But when he embarks on his scrupulous investigation, he discovers that the case is even stranger than it seems. By unravelling Alma’s peculiar history, Fodor finds a different and darker type of haunting, a tale of trauma, alienation, loss and revenge. He comes to believe that Alma’s past has bled into her present, her mind into her body. There are no words for processing her experience, so it comes to possess her. As the threat of a world war looms, and as Fodor’s obsession with the case deepens, Alma becomes ever more disturbed. With characteristic rigor and insight, Kate Summerscale brilliantly captures the rich atmosphere of a haunting that transforms into a very modern battle between the supernatural and the subconscious..

Political Science

Our Malady | Timothy Snyder

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller On Tyranny comes an impassioned condemnation of America's pandemic response and an urgent call to rethink health and freedom. On December 29, 2019, historian Timothy Snyder fell gravely ill. Unable to stand, barely able to think, he waited for hours in an emergency room before being correctly diagnosed and rushed into surgery. Over the next few days, as he clung to life and the first light of a new year came through his window, he found himself reflecting on the fragility of health, not recognized in America as a human right but without which all rights and freedoms have no meaning. And that was before the pandemic. We have since watched American hospitals, long understaffed and undersupplied, buckling under waves of ill patients. The federal government made matters worse through willful ignorance, misinformation, and profiteering. Our system of commercial medicine failed the ultimate test, and thousands of Americans died. In this eye-opening cri de coeur, Snyder traces the societal forces that led us here and outlines the lessons we must learn to survive. In examining some of the darkest moments of recent history and of his own life, Snyder finds glimmers of hope and principles that could lead us out of our current malaise. Only by enshrining healthcare as a human right, elevating the authority of doctors and medical knowledge, and planning for our children’s future can we create an America where everyone is truly free..

Performing Arts

Not Since Carrie | Ken Mandelbaum

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Not Since Carrie is Ken Mandelbaum's brilliant survey of Broadway's biggest flops. This highly readable and entertaining book highlights almost 200 musicals created between 1950 and 1990, framed around the notorious musical adaptation of Carrie, and examines the reasons for their failure. "Essential and hilarious," raves The New Yorker, and The New York Times calls the book "A must-read.".

Fiction

Wonderful Town | David Remnick

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New York City is not only The New Yorker magazine's place of origin and its sensibility's lifeblood, it is the heart of American literary culture. Wonderful Town, an anthology of superb short fiction by many of the magazine's most accomplished contributors, celebrates the seventy-five-year marriage between a preeminent publication and its preeminent context with this collection of forty-four of its best stories from (so to speak) home. East Side? Philip Roth's chronically tormented alter ego Nathan Zuckerman has just moved there, in "Smart Money." West Side? Isaac Bashevis Singer's narrator mingles with the customers in "The Cafeteria" (who debate politics and culture in four or five different languages) and becomes embroiled in an obsessional romance. And downtown, John Updike's Maples have begun their courtship of marital disaster, in "Snowing in Greenwich Village." Wonderful Town touches on some of the city's famous places and stops at some of its more obscure corners, but the real guidebook in and between its lines is to the hearts and the minds of those who populate the metropolis built by its pages. Like all good fiction, these stories take particular places, particular people, and particular events and turn them into dramas of universal enlightenment and emotional impact. Each life in it, and each life in Wonderful Town, is the life of us all. Including these stories from the magazine's most iconic writers: “The Five-Fourty-Eight” by John Cheever “Distant Music” by Ann Beattle “Sailor off the Bremen” by Irwin Shaw “Physics” by Tama Janowitz “The Whore of Mensa” by Woody Allen “What it was Like, Seeing Chris” by Deborah Eisenberg “Drawing Room B” by John O’Hara “A Sentimental Journey” by Peter Taylor “The Balloon” by Donald Barthelme “Another Marvellous Thing” by Laurie Colwin “The Failure” by Jonathan Franzen “Apartment Hotel” by Sally Benson “Midair” by Frank Conroy “The Catbird Seat” by James Thurber “I See You, Bianca” by Maeve Brennan “You’re Ugly, Too” by Lorrie Moore “Signs and Symbols” by Vladimir Nabokov “Poor Visitor” by Jamaica Kincaid “In Greenwich, There Are Many Gravelled Walks” by Hortense Calisher “Some Nights When Nothing Happens Are the Best Nights in this Place” by John McNulty “Slight Rebellion Off Madison” by J. D. Salinger “Brownstone” by Renata Adler “Partners” by Veronica Geng “The Evolution of Knowledge” by Niccolo Tucci “The Way We Live Now” by Susan Sontag “Do the Windows Open?” by Julie Hecht “The Mentocrats” by Edward Newhouse “The Treatment” by Daniel Menaker “Arrangement in Black and White” by Dorothy Parker “Carlyle Tries Polygamy” by William Melvin Kelley “Children Are Bored on Sunday” by Jean Stafford “Notes from a Bottle” by James Stevenson “Man in the Middle of the Ocean” by Daniel Fuchs “Me Spoulets of the Splendide” by Ludwig Bemelmans “Over by the River” by William Maxwell “Baster” by Jeffrey Eugenides “The Second Tree from the Corner” by E. B. White “Rembrandt’s Hat” by Bernard Malamud “Shot: A New York Story” by Elizabeth Hardwick “A Father-To-Be” by Saul Bellow “Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer” by S. J. Perelman “Water Child” by Edwidge Danticat “The Smoker” by David Schickler.

Juvenile Fiction

Oh Look, a Cake! | J.C. McKee

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A subversively hilarious picture book about a sloth, a lemur, a giant cake, and what happens when you don’t share, for fans of Jon Klassen and Mo Willems. When Sloth and Lemur come across a giant, mouth-watering cake, they can’t believe their luck. Sloth wonders if they should tell the others, but Lemur is pretty sure they shouldn't. As Sloth lists each friend one by one, Lemur is ready with excuse after excuse as to why it’s better to keep the cake to themselves. In the end, that’s just what they do . . . but then the true owner of the cake comes along. With impeccable comedic timing, ample visual humor, and a subversively hilarious ending, this highly entertaining story, complete with a memorable reminder about the importance of sharing, will have readers young and old giggling at every page turn..

Poetry

Water / Music | Peter Filkins

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Exploring the space between nature and culture, the poems of Water / Music anchor themselves in the timely and the timeless. Rich and diverse in their formal intricacy, they move with ease from narrative to meditation, from close physical observation to the haunts of memory, and from lyric sorrow to the pleasure of living in the world. Water / Music embraces and celebrates life's mystery and the soul's repose amid "talismans at twilight, the whir of birds.".

Fiction

U UP? | Catie Disabato

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In the follow up to her smart debut, The Ghost Network, Catie Disabato creates a vivid portrait of a young woman investigating her best friend's disappearance while navigating codependent friendships, toxic exes, and witchy rituals Eve has a carefully curated online life, works occasionally, and texts constantly with her best friend, Ezra. Basically, she is an archetypal L.A. millennial. She has also been carrying on a year-long conversation with her deceased friend Miggy over text. But when Ezra goes missing on the anniversary weekend of Miggy's death, Eve feels like her world is shattering. Over a frantic weekend Eve investigates Ezra's disappearance, scouring social media for clues, while drowning her anger and anxiety in drinks, drugs, and spiritual cleansing. Eve starts to spiral as her friends try to convince her that she's overreacting, and ghosts--both real and metaphorical--continue to haunt her. When she uncovers clues to a life Ezra kept hidden, Eve starts to question how much she really knows about her best friend...and herself. In U UP? Catie Disabato holds a mirror to the ways the phantom selves we create online permeate our emotional lives and hide our worst traits from everyone, including ourselves..

Fiction

At Play in the Fields of the Lord | Peter Matthiessen

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In a malarial outpost in the South American rain forest, two misplaced gringos converge and clash in this novel from the National Book Award-winning author. Martin Quarrier has come to convert the elusive Niaruna Indians to his brand of Christianity. Lewis Moon, a stateless mercenary who is himself part Indian, has come to kill them on the behalf of the local comandante. Out of this struggle Peter Matthiessen creates an electrifying moral thriller—adapted into a movie starring John Lithgow, Kathy Bates, and Tom Waits. A novel of Conradian richness, At Play in the Fields of the Lord explores both the varieties of spiritual experience and the politics of cultural genocide..

Juvenile Fiction

Bedtime for Bad Kitty | Nick Bruel

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It's bedtime in the Bad Kitty household but Kitty does not want to go to bed. She doesn't want to brush her teeth. She doesn't want to put on her bunny pajamas. She doesn't want to use the potty. What she wants to do is: SING SING SING SING SING PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN Finally, when she runs out of ideas (and energy) and is promised a perfect bedtime story, Kitty gives in...but can she stay awake for the ending? This new picture book in the bestselling series is sure to be a bedtime favorite, complete with a paper doll activity kit!.

Fiction

The Last Samurai | Helen DeWitt

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Called “remarkable” (The Wall Street Journal) and “an ambitious, colossal debut novel” (Publishers Weekly), Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai is back in print at last Helen DeWitt’s 2000 debut, The Last Samurai, was “destined to become a cult classic” (Miramax). The enterprising publisher sold the rights in twenty countries, so “Why not just, ‘destined to become a classic?’” (Garth Risk Hallberg) And why must cultists tell the uninitiated it has nothing to do with Tom Cruise? Sibylla, an American-at-Oxford turned loose on London, finds herself trapped as a single mother after a misguided one-night stand. High-minded principles of child-rearing work disastrously well. J. S. Mill (taught Greek at three) and Yo Yo Ma (Bach at two) claimed the methods would work with any child; when these succeed with the boy Ludo, he causes havoc at school and is home again in a month. (Is he a prodigy, a genius? Readers looking over Ludo’s shoulder find themselves easily reading Greek and more.) Lacking male role models for a fatherless boy, Sibylla turns to endless replays of Kurosawa’s masterpiece Seven Samurai. But Ludo is obsessed with the one thing he wants and doesn’t know: his father’s name. At eleven, inspired by his own take on the classic film, he sets out on a secret quest for the father he never knew. He’ll be punched, sliced, and threatened with retribution. He may not live to see twelve. Or he may find a real samurai and save a mother who thinks boredom a fate worse than death..

Fiction

The Wasties | Frederick Reuss

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Michael “Caruso” Taylor is a man with a problem. He can’t speak. In fact, he can't do much of anything the way he once used to. A successful English professor, he can hardly compose a coherent sentence, or remember much of anything he once knew. On top of this, he is slowly regressing toward infancy. He calls it "The Wasties," a condition with no known cause and no known cure. He throws his sippy cup. He bites his nurse. He tries to wall himself into his bedroom. He tries to run away. But as Caruso slips further and further away from sanity and adulthood, his mental life begins to soar. Distinctive, funny and deeply affecting, The Wasties presents a unique vision that offers insights into madness, aging, notions of success, and the desire to abdicate from the responsibilities of adulthood..

Fiction

Visible Spirits | Steve Yarbrough

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In 1902, in a small community deep in the Mississippi Delta, nearly a generation after the end of slavery, events obscured by time but impossible to forgive or forget echo in the lives of blacks and whites alike. As bound together by history as they are separated by mutual distrust, the citizens of Loring face present tensions as they look toward an uncertain future. Into this charged atmosphere rides Tandy Payne–prodigal son of a prominent planter and brother of the current mayor, and a dissolute gambler looking to reclaim the family estate. When he takes advantage of a perceived slight from the town’s black postmistress, the ensuing clash with his principled brother results in a harrowing confrontation. Fueled by dark and brutal memories, their familial dispute quickly spreads through the countryside. Steve Yarbrough confronts character with morality, reason with blood, in this moving novel that explores the farthest boundaries of human nature..

Poetry

Now We're Getting Somewhere: Poems | Kim Addonizio

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A dark, no-holds-barred, and often hilarious collection from a prize-winning poet, veering between the poles of self and world. Kim Addonizio’s sharp and irreverent eighth volume, Now We’re Getting Somewhere, is an essential companion to your practice of the Finnish art of kalsarikännit—drinking at home, alone in your underwear, with no intention of going out. Imbued with the poet’s characteristic precision and passion, the collection charts a hazardous course through heartache, climate change, dental work, Outlander, semiotics, and more. Combatting existential gloom with a wicked, seductive energy, Addonizio investigates desire, loss, and the madness of contemporary life. She calls out to Walt Whitman and John Keats, echoes Dorothy Parker, and finds sisterhood with Virginia Woolf. Sometimes confessional, sometimes philosophical, these poems weave from desolation to drollery and clamor with raucous imagery: an insect in high heels, a wolf at an uncomfortable party, a glowing and self-serious guitar. A poet whose “voice lifts from the page, alive and biting” (Sky Sanchez, San Francisco Book Review), Addonizio reminds her reader, "if you think nothing & / no one can / listen I love you joy is coming.".

Biography & Autobiography

My Life in the Purple Kingdom | BrownMark

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From the young Black teenager who built a bass guitar in woodshop to the musician building a solo career with Motown Records—Prince’s bassist BrownMark on growing up in Minneapolis, joining Prince and The Revolution, and his life in the purple kingdom In the summer of 1981, Mark Brown was a teenager working at a 7-11 store when he wasn’t rehearsing with his high school band, Phantasy. Come fall, Brown, now called BrownMark, was onstage with Prince at the Los Angeles Coliseum, opening for the Rolling Stones in front of 90,000 people. My Life in the Purple Kingdom is BrownMark’s memoir of coming of age in the musical orbit of one of the most visionary artists of his generation. Raw, wry, real, this book takes us from his musical awakening as a boy in Minneapolis to the cold call from Prince at nineteen, from touring the world with The Revolution and performing in Purple Rain to inking his own contract with Motown. BrownMark’s story is that of a hometown kid, living for sunny days when his transistor would pick up KUXL, a solar-powered, shut-down-at-sundown station that was the only one that played R&B music in Minneapolis in 1968. But once he took up the bass guitar—and never looked back—he entered a whole new realm, and, literally at the right hand of Twin Cities musical royalty, he joined the funk revolution that integrated the Minneapolis music scene and catapulted him onto the international stage. BrownMark describes how his funky stylings earned him a reputation (leading to Prince’s call) and how he and Prince first played together at that night’s sudden audition—and never really stopped. He takes us behind the scenes as few can, into the confusing emotional and professional life among the denizens of Paisley Park, and offers a rare, intimate look into music at the heady heights that his childhood self could never have imagined. An inspiring memoir of making it against stacked odds, experiencing extreme highs and lows of success and pain, and breaking racial barriers, My Life in the Purple Kingdom is also the story of a young man learning his craft and honing his skill like any musician, but in a world like no other and in a way that only BrownMark could tell it..

Biography & Autobiography

Filthy Beasts | Kirkland Hamill

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Running with Scissors meets Grey Gardens in this “vivid tragicomedy” (People), a riveting riches-to-rags tale of a wealthy family who lost it all and the unforgettable journey of a man coming to terms with his family’s deep flaws and his own hidden secrets. “Wake up, you filthy beasts!” Wendy Hamill would shout to her children in the mornings before school. Startled from their dreams, Kirk and his two brothers couldn’t help but wonder—would they find enough food in the house for breakfast? Following a hostile exit from New York’s upper-class society, newly divorced Wendy and her three sons are exiled from the East Coast elite circle. Wendy’s middle son, Kirk, is eight when she moves the family to her native Bermuda, leaving the three young boys to fend for themselves as she chases after the highs of her old life: alcohol, a wealthy new suitor, and other indulgences. After eventually leaving his mother’s dysfunctional orbit for college in New Orleans, Kirk begins to realize how different his family and upbringing is from that of his friends and peers. Split between rich privilege—early years living in luxury on his family’s private compound—and bare survival—rationing food and water during the height of his mother’s alcoholism—Kirk is used to keeping up appearances and burying his inconvenient truths from the world, until he’s eighteen and falls in love for the first time. A keenly observed, fascinating window into the life of extreme privilege and a powerful story of self-acceptance, Filthy Beasts is “a stunning, deeply satisfying story about how we outlive our upbringings” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)..

Juvenile Fiction

Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn | Shannon Hale

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From bestselling superstar duo Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham comes a delightful kitty and unicorn story that celebrates the magic of friendship—and being exactly who you want to be! Kitty thinks she might be a unicorn. She feels so perfectly unicorn-y! “Neigh!” says Kitty. But when Unicorn clop clop clops over, sweeping his magnificent tail and neighing a mighty neigh, Kitty feels no bigger than a ball of lint. Can this unlikely pair embrace who they are, and truly see one another? In their first picture book together, the magical, bestselling team of Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham put their horns together for the most heart-bursting, tail-twitching, fuzzy-feeling, perfectly unicorn-y story imaginable..