New Books! 3/24/15

 

HARDCOVER FICTION

 

harlan_cobenThe Stranger by Harlan Coben

(Event 3/26/15)

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.
Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.
Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.

 

dan_simmonsThe Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons

“Simmons is a master storyteller and I love the research he does to create such compelling and detailed work. In this book, Henry James, the author of Portrait of a Lady, travels to America with the world’s most famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, who is investigating the suicide or murder of James’s friend Clover Adams seven years ago. Yes, sounds very speculative, but the hook Simmons uses has Sherlock Holmes doing his own investigation into whether or not he is real or a fictional character! Simmons also utilizes the friendships and relationships James has with famous Americans to move the story; Henry Adams, Samuel Clemens, John Hay, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. all play parts in this historical thriller dealing with Professor Moriarty’s plot to use anarchistic fervor to assassinate the President of the United States, Grover Cleveland.” –Raul

 

fatima_bhuttoThe Shadow of the Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto

Fatima Bhutto’s stunning debut novel chronicles the lives of five young people trying to live and love in a world on fire. Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border.
Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. Sikandar is exhausted by Mina’s instability and by the pall of grief that has enveloped his family. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined.
In this beautifully observed novel, individuals are pushed to make terrible choices. And as the events of this single morning unfold, one woman is at the center of it all.

 

fyodor_dostoevskyNotes from A Dead House by Fyodor Dostoevsky

From the acclaimed translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky comes a new translation of the first great prison memoir: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s fictionalized account of his life-changing penal servitude in Siberia.
Notes from a Dead House (sometimes translated as The House of the Dead) is filled with vivid details of brutal punishments, shocking conditions, feuds and betrayals, and the psychological effects of the loss of freedom, but it also describes moments of comedy and acts of kindness. There are grotesque bathhouse and hospital scenes that seem to have come straight from Dante’s Inferno, alongside daring escape attempts, doomed acts of defiance, and a theatrical Christmas celebration that draws the entire community together in a temporary suspension of their grim reality.

mickey_spillaneMike Hammer: Kill Me, Darling by Mickey Spillane, Max Allan Collins

The course of true love never did run smooth for PI Mike Hammer. His secretary and partner Velda has walked out on him without explanation, and Mike is just surfacing from a four-month bender. But then an old cop turns up murdered, an old cop who once worked with Velda on the NYPD Vice Squad. What’s more, Mike’s pal Captain Pat Chambers has discovered that Velda is in Florida, the moll of gangster and drug runner Nolly Quinn.
Hammer hits the road and drives to Miami, where he enlists the help of a horse-faced newspaperman and a local police detective. But can they find Velda in time? And what is the connection between the murdered vice cop in Manhattan, and Mike’s ex turning gun moll in Florida?

 

randy_whiteCuba Straits by Randy Wayne White

Doc Ford’s old friend, General Juan Garcia, has gone into the lucrative business of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S. He is also feasting on profits made by buying historical treasures for pennies on the dollar. He prefers what dealers call HPC items—high-profile collectibles—but when he manages to obtain a collection of letters written by Fidel Castro between 1960–62 to a secret girlfriend, it’s not a matter of money anymore. Garcia has stumbled way out of his depth.
First Garcia disappears, and then the man to whom he sold the letters. When Doc Ford begins to investigate, he soon becomes convinced that those letters contain a secret that someone, or some powerful agency, cannot allow to be made public.
A lot happened between Cuba and the United States from 1960–62. Many men died. A few more will hardly be noticed.

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

steve_jobsBecoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli

Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?
Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs’s astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling game-changing products.
A rich and revealing account that will change the way we view Jobs, Becoming Steve Jobs shows us how one of the most colorful and compelling figures of our times was able to combine his unchanging, relentless passion with a more mature management style to create one of the most valuable and beloved companies on the planet.

 

huan_hsuThe Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China by Huan Hsu

In 1938, when the Japanese arrived in Huan Hsu’s great-great-grandfather Liu’s Yangtze River hometown of Xingang, Liu was forced to bury his valuables, including a vast collection of prized antique porcelain, and undertake a decades-long trek that would splinter the family over thousands of miles. Many years and upheavals later, Hsu, raised in Salt Lake City and armed only with curiosity, moves to China to work in his uncle’s semiconductor chip business. Once there, a conversation with his grandmother, his last living link to dynastic China, ignites a desire to learn more about not only his lost ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself. Mastering the language enough to venture into the countryside, Hsu sets out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have obscured both China and his heritage and finally complete his family’s long march back home.
Melding memoir, travelogue, and social and political history, The Porcelain Thief offers an intimate and unforgettable way to understand the complicated events that have defined China over the past two hundred years and provides a revealing, lively perspective on contemporary Chinese society from the point of view of a Chinese American coming to terms with his hyphenated identity.

 

cyrus_copelandOff the Radar: A Father’s Secret, a Mother’s Heroism, a Son’s Quest by Cyrus Copeland

As a young boy living in Tehran in 1979, Cyrus Copeland—child of an American father and Iranian mother—never dreamed that his dad, an employee of Westinghouse, would be in danger for his life. That is, until the moment his father was arrested on espionage charges and put on trial in a Revolutionary Court. Almost simultaneously, more than fifty other Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy by Islamist militants, an event that has recently captivated the world again with the success of the book and film Argo. With the hostage crisis receiving most of the attention from the media and White House, it was largely left to Copeland’s mother and family to negotiate his father’s reprieve from the firing squad. Now, more than thirty years later, Copeland sets out to find the truth about his father and his role in the Iranian hostage crisis. Was he in fact an intelligence operative—a weapons-system expert—caught red-handed by the Iranian regime, or was he innocent all along? Part mystery, part reportage, and part detective work, Copeland’s brilliantly original family epic is a powerful memoir and adventure.

PAPERBACK FICTION

giffinThe One & Only by Emily Giffin

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.
But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.
Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

 

daryl_gregoryAfterparty by Daryl Gregory

“The exhilarating thing about Gregory’s new book is how he draws you effortlessly into a story that engages the reader and plays on some powerful themes. The underlying idea of what people seek in religion is exactly what makes this story so powerful: is God real or just a thought in our heads? Using parables to highlight the background of the characters enhances the religiosity – that the Godhead is perceived by them with the use of a drug named Numinous suggests the best of Huxley and Dick. Afterparty will make you puzzle and probe your own beliefs, whatever they are, and even the staunch atheist will find things to ponder on a philosophical basis. A truly mind-bending novel by an intelligent and creative novelist – one that will break down boundaries in the science fiction genre.” –Raul

 

jason_millerDown Don’t Bother Me by Jason Miller

In the depths of the Knight Hawk, one of the last working collieries in downstate Illinois, the body of a reporter is found, his mini-recorder tied around his neck and a notepad stuffed in his mouth.
The Knight Hawk’s owner, Matthew Luster, isn’t happy. He wants answers–and he doesn’t want the cops or any more press poking into his business. To protect himself and the operation, he turns to Slim, a mine employee with a reputation for “bloodhounding”–finding lost souls when the police can’t or won’t. Luster needs Slim to locate a missing photographer named Beckett, a close associate of the victim . . . and who just happens to be his son-in-law.
Down Don’t Bother Me marks the debut of a wildly assured mystery novelist.

 

PAPERBACK NONFICTION

 

meili_cadySmoke: How a Small-Town Girl Accidentally Wound Up Smuggling 7,000 Pounds of Marijuana with the Pot Princess of Beverly Hills by Meili Cady

Aspiring actress Meili Cady left small-town Washington State for the glamorous lure of Los Angeles. Young and alone, she was struggling to make her big break. Then she met Lisette Lee. Calling herself the “Korean Paris Hilton,” Lisette claimed she was a model and a Korean pop star, lived in a $1.2-million-dollar apartment in West Hollywood, owned a fleet of luxury cars, and flitted from one red-carpet event to the next.
The connection was instant. Meili was enchanted by her friend’s extravagant lifestyle, while Lee claimed Meili was the real thing in a town full of phonies. Soon, the financially strapped Meili became her friend’s personal assistant–and found herself sucked into an audacious criminal enterprise. But when Meili finally realized what she was a part of it was too late–she was in too deep, caught in a terrifying relationship with a manipulative and abrasive con artist smuggling millions of dollars worth of pot into the Midwest.
Trapped in a precarious criminal world of money, drugs, and dangerous secrets, Meili struggled to understand the line between truth and lie, a once-naive girl who fell down the rabbit hole. Smoke is her story–an electrifying tale of vice, corruption, hubris, and lost innocence.

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