Elaine and Luisa's Picks: Spring 2020

Spring 2020

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Daughters of Smoke and Fire: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781419743092
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - May 12th, 2020

There are important books that awaken us to the trials and humanity of people far from our shores, the stories of which we have previously been unaware. Daughters of Smoke and Fire is such a book. Leila and her brother Chia are Kurds, growing up in Iran where their existence is cause for suspicion and harassment. Their angry mother and beaten father cannot protect them from the brutality of their daily lives. Luckily there are friends and strangers who heroically show kindness or inspire hope. As her brother grows increasingly political, Leila questions her role in this society that often condemns her for being a woman. She begins to find answers once it becomes clear she must be the voice for those who are now voiceless. Ava Homa’s beautiful storytelling is a testament to the power of such a voice. —Luisa


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All Adults Here: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594634697
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 4th, 2020

No one is better at creating a complicated and flawed group of family and friends that you love to root for than Emma Straub. In the small community of Clapham, NY, the members of the Strick family each have a secret to reveal—secrets which may disturb their carefully constructed façade. One of the first to come clean is matriarch Astrid Strick—shocked by the sudden death of a friend, she decides the time has come to introduce the love of her life to her adult children. But while she worries how they will react, it soon becomes apparent that each of them will view the news through a lens colored by the state of their own lives. Straub deftly turns the trope of the “typical” repressed New England family on its head as her characters explore their sexuality, gender roles, and expectations. As judgement turns to generosity, All Adults Here reminds us of the importance of allowing those we love to evolve. —Luisa


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The Book of V.: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250257017
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 5th, 2020

Stories of women struggling against the constraints imposed by society have been around long before the written word. Anne Solomon’s enthralling new novel, The Book of V., reminds us of one of the earliest tales—that of Vashti and Esther, two Queens of the old Testament, both attempting to challenge the roles they have been cast in. Solomon deftly weaves their story between the tales of Vivian—a Watergate-era senator’s wife, confronted by the brutal sexism of the social circles she has called her home—and Lily—a present day mother, struggling to find herself after motherhood has derailed her dreams of being a writer. Together their stories brilliantly illuminate the questions that face women to this day: when being torn between traditional roles and forging a path of our own, how can we survive and possibly thrive? —Luisa


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Hollywood Park: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250621566
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Celadon Books - May 26th, 2020

When Mikel Jollett and his brother fled the cult they were raised in, they had no idea what the world outside held for them. Unfortunately, his mother’s narcissism and lack of parental supervision often meant a happy childhood would remain out of reach. With an unjaded eye and deft hand, Jollett brings to life his world from the perspective of the child he was. He also tenderly acknowledges the moments of love and encouragement from those who supported him in the only way they knew how as he transformed from a confused little boy into an accomplished musician. Filled with heart, honesty and raw courage, Hollywood Park is not only a memoir of an unusual childhood and troubled path to adulthood, it is also a remarkable tale of the bonds of love and transformative power of acceptance. —Luisa


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Beach Read Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984806734
Availability: Backordered
Published: Berkley - May 19th, 2020

Whose life doesn’t need a little romance? At least that's what romance author January Andrews thought until her father’s death turned her life upside down. Now, stuck in a house that represents her loss of faith and diminishing funds forcing her finish her next book, January finds solace in the most unexpected of friends, the angst-ridden literary novelist next door. A challenge to spend the summer writing in the other’s genre leads them to grow closer and maybe even find a happy ending to their own story. A warm-hearted tale of the healing power of connection, Beach Read is a welcome escape from our current predicament. —Luisa


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The Anthill: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385545891
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - May 12th, 2020

Medellin, Columbia—a city of scars, torn apart by a turbulent past, patched back together by hardened survivors and well-meaning volunteers. Lina spent the first eight years of her life here, before tragedy struck and she was sent to school in England. Finding herself the perpetual outsider, she has returned to her homeland and one true friend, Matty, to see if she can figure out who she truly is. But Matty and Medellin have changed and the refuge she was looking for may actually need her help to survive. Lena soon learns her dark secret did not disappear during her absence and now demands to be heard. Julianne Pachico’s brilliant prose brings to life both the surreal visions and naked truths revealed in this haunting story of redemption. —Luisa


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The Paris Hours: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250307187
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - May 5th, 2020

The City of Light shimmers in Alex George’s beautiful and propulsive novel of Paris between the wars. Here among the more famous citizens such as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and Josephine Baker, we meet four more common individuals that are no less remarkable. Each are burdened by secrets and seeking resolution to missteps of their past. As their stories converge, we see the true mastery of George’s craft, illuminating the threads that connect them on the path to redemption. Filled with the art, music, and intrigue that has made Paris a source of inspiration for generations of artists and intellectuals, The Paris Hours transports you to a fascinating time in the one of the most beautiful cities in the world. —Luisa


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Afterlife Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781643750255
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - April 7th, 2020

A beautiful book about the connections that bind us all, Afterlife is a balm for these times of discord. It is a story about Antonia, a woman simmering in grief who recognizes her own limitations and the need to push past them and apply love where she is able. But even though she would prefer to hide away, her sisters’ calls, her dead husband’s memory, and the urgent need to help those near and far reel her back into the world. Julia Alvarez’s tender depictions of her characters allows this book to feel both intimate and universal, perfect for a book about reaching beyond ourselves in order to heal. —Luisa


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Valentine: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062913265
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - March 31st, 2020

Few books make you feel changed for having read them and Valentine should be added to the list. Here is the story of a small town in the aftermath of a brutal rape and the inhabitants who are forced to confront the realities of their existence. And while for some this means retreating into defensiveness and bigotry, others are awakened to an inner strength that allows them to take hold of the narrative of their lives and defend those without a voice. Brilliant and heartbreakng, Elizabeth Wetmore's searing debut reminds us of the true cost of hate and the tenacity of hope. —Luisa


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The Mountains Sing Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616208189
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - March 17th, 2020

Beautiful in its details and profound in its cultural significance, The Mountains Sing is a heartbreaking and poetic story of Vietnam in the 20th century as told through the stories of one family. Tran Dieu Lan and her granddaughter Huong have each experienced tragedy at the hands of foreign invaders and their fellow countrymen, but they are aware of generosity and love that survives in the midst of tragedy. Recounting the stories of their lives, the poetry of their language, and the emotions of their song brings to life the complicated beauty of this land and these people so often scarred by tragedy. By telling the story of this one family, Nguyen Phan Que Mai shares the history of Vietnam in this moving epic. —Luisa


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We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524748098
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - March 3rd, 2020

Who hasn’t flirted with the notion of making a deal with the devil in order to win? And if the devil is hidden behind the cherubic face of heartthrob Emilio Estevez, no teenage girl in the '80s would think twice. When the 1989 Danvers, MA high school field hockey team discovers the secret to turning their losing streak around might be turning to the dark art, they do just that. With big hair and a rebellious spirit, they terrorize the town and their opponents in equal measure. A field hockey Heathers, Barry’s hilarious take of late '80s and her striking examination of youthful female power will have you cheering for all the women who have been brave enough to be witches. —Luisa


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Kept Animals: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501188589
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - April 21st, 2020

Set in the dramatic hillsides of Topanga Canyon in the '90s, where estates cling to drought savaged land and rich and poor politely cross paths, three teenagers are forever changed by a tragic event. Rory was a stable hand whose budding friendship with June and Vivian allows her to start imagining herself beyond the example her mother has provided. Up until now her deepest connections have been with the horses in her care, but on the precipice of discovering love, she is confronted by anger and hate. Alternating with her story is the present-day tale of Charlie, Rory’s daughter, now living on a horse ranch in Wyoming, lonely and desperate to understand her mother’s story. Beautifully examining the often unfair ramifications of class, sex, and sexual orientation, Kate Milliken has crafted a moving tale of discovery and redemption. —Luisa


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The Adventurer's Son: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062876607
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - February 18th, 2020

When Roman Dial receives an email from his son, Cody, saying that he was solo hiking into the Costa Rican wilderness, he trusted that his son would safely return. But when Cody goes missing, his disappearance becomes embroiled in the politics of Costa Rica, and Roman begins to wonder what role his parenting has played in Cody’s misadventure. This memoir often reads like a thriller, and it is a testimonial to a son’s adventurous spirit as well as a moving tribute to all parents who share their passions with their children. —Luisa


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The Animals at Lockwood Manor Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780358106401
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 10th, 2020

This gothic WWII-era mystery will thrill any reader looking for a dark and evocative read. As German bombings loom over London, a taxidermist removes a highly regarded museum collection to the relative safety of a countryside manor—but the manor comes with its own threats. An overbearing Lord, his somewhat strange daughter, and things that go bump in the night seem intent on exacting a price of their own. —Luisa


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Deacon King Kong: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735216723
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2020

It’s 1969 and 19-year-old drug dealer Deems Clemens is lounging with his “associates” at a Brooklyn public housing project. Along comes 71-year-old Sportcoat, aka Deacon King Kong, who pulls out an ancient gun and shoots him. Turns out Sportcoat coached Deems and is furious that Deems chose drug dealing over what could be a stellar baseball career. Now, everyone in the project knows that Deem’s drug bosses will kill Sportcoat, but what everyone doesn’t know is that there’s an undercover cop who witnesses the shooting. McBride brings us a fast-paced—at times laugh-out-loud—gem of a novel that covers serious issues of race, poverty, and corruption. —Elaine


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Writers & Lovers Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802148537
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 3rd, 2020

In Writers & Lovers, Lily King has written her most personal story yet, that of a young woman finds writing as her lifeline to emotional equilibrium. As she struggles over the manuscript, she is torn between lovers and still processing the death of her mother. This is a novel about the journey many face when all seems lost. King is the author of the highly acclaimed Euphoria. —Luisa


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Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781328866745
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 3rd, 2020

Did you know about Rose Pastor Stokes? I didn’t, but I should have. She was born in 1879 in the Russian Empire, but by age eleven, she was supporting her mother and siblings by working in a cigar factory in Cleveland. Her letter about the horrific conditions of the workers led to a job with the Jewish Daily. She fell in love with the scion of a wealthy family, and they became two of the leading activists of their day. Because she passed out birth control information, she had the honor of being called “one of the most dangerous influences of the country” by President Woodrow Wilson. I’ll let one of the great writers of history, Adam Hochschild, finish the story. —Elaine


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Apeirogon: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781400069606
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 25th, 2020

Israeli Rami Elhanan’s daughter, Smadar, was shopping when she was mortally wounded by a suicide bomb. Palestinian Bassam Aramin's daughter, Abir, was mortally wounded when an Israeli soldier fired rubber bullets into a crowd. Colum McCann didn’t make this up—the novel is based on a Palestinian and an Israeli man who would be expected to hate each other. Instead, they meet every day to talk about their daughters, their land, their pain, and the senseless killings. Together, they become committed peace activists. The title, Apeirogon, refers to the imaginary polygon with an infinite number of sides, and McCann’s multi-faceted novel soars as he immerses us in a collage of memory, fact, politics, photos, music, regret, and determination. —Elaine


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The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780385348713
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - February 25th, 2020

Do you think you already know more than enough about Churchill? I thought that too, but Erik Larson changed my mind. Accessing recently declassified intelligence reports and newly available diaries, Larson brings us an illuminating portrait of the period May 1940-May 1941. We are with Churchill as he works to bring Roosevelt along and to unite Great Britain in the midst of daily bombings. Through these many diaries, we get to see what they were seeing during this crucial year. —Elaine


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The Yellow Bird Sings: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250179760
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - March 3rd, 2020

A woman and her young daughter are the only Jewish people left in their small Polish town during WW II. They hide in a neighbor’s barn, until they are forced to change their plans. Throughout their ordeal, she quietly tells her music-loving daughter stories of a magical place and the bird that sings for her there. This moving novel is a testament to the power of imagination and love that can survive in the darkest times. —Luisa


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Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374272081
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: MCD - March 3rd, 2020

This debut novel combines Hawaiian myths and history with the story of an unusual family. Augie and Malia are trying to make enough profit from their small Hawaiian plantation to support their 3 children. In 1995 their 7 year old, Noa, falls into the ocean and is rescued by a school of benevolent sharks. From that time on, the dynamics change in the family. Noa exhibits healing powers that come and go. Washburn’s lush depiction of this working class Hawaiian family is mystical, terrifying, funny, and riveting. —Elaine


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Oona Out of Order: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250236609
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - February 25th, 2020

In this challenging tale, 19-year-old Oona awakens on New Years Day to discover she’s now inhabiting the life and the body of a 51-year-old version of herself. The story deftly weaves together many decades, past and present, as Oona tries to navigate a life that is out of sync with the world around her. This delightful debut novel reminds us of the importance of embracing life as we live it and love as we find it. —Luisa