New Books! 6/23/15

New in Hardcover

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola (In our store this Friday, 6/26! 7PM)

9781455554591“It’s such a savage thing to lose your memory, but the crazy thing is, it doesn’t hurt one bit. A blackout doesn’t sting, or stab, or leave a scar when it robs you. Close your eyes and open them again. That’s what a blackout feels like.” For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was “the gasoline of all adventure.”  She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman. But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, Blackout is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure–the sober life she never wanted.

The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera

9780062356895Casting light on the most serious of problems and at the same time saying not one serious sentence; being fascinated by the reality of the contemporary world and at the same time completely avoiding realism, that’s The Festival of Insignificance, which readers can easily view as a summation of Kundera’s work. A strange sort of summation. Strange sort of epilogue. Strange sort of laughter. What more can we say? Nothing. Just read.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

9781250054807Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off years ago with a traveling carnival. One day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned–always on July 24, which is only weeks away. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola?

Death and Mr. Pickwick: A Novel by Stephen Jarvis

9780374139667This book, based on the extraordinary events surrounding the creation of Charles Dicken’s first novel, The Pickwick Papers, departs, at certain points from the accepted origin of Pickwick, as put forward by Dickens and his publisher. It does so for a good reason: the accepted origin is a lie. Death and Mr. Pickwick is a vast, richly imagined, Dickensian work about the rough-and-tumble world that produced an author who defined an age. Like Charles Dickens did in his immortal novels, Stephen Jarvis has spun a tale full of preposterous characters, shaggy-dog stories, improbable reversals, skulduggery, betrayal, and valor-all true, and all brilliantly brought to life in his unputdownable book. “Beguiling, entertaining novel of Dickensian England, cramming most of the island and its most interesting characters into 800 teeming pages.” -Kirkus starred review

The Cartel by Don Winslow (MysteryPeople Pick of the Month!)

9781101874998It s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs in a blood feud against the head of the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered his partner. Finally putting him away cost Keller the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, and the life he wants to lead. When the kingpin escapes, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down, but is his obsession with justice, or is it revenge? From the internationally best-selling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog comes The Cartel, a gripping, true-to-life, ripped-from-the-headlines epic story of power, corruption, revenge, and justice spanning the past decade of the Mexican-American drug wars.

New in Paperback

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown (Old classic, new cover.)

9781101965122A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country’s most distinctive voices, Rubyfruit Jungle remains a transformative work more than forty years after its original publication. In bawdy, moving prose, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.

Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal (at BookPeople Wednesday, 6/24!)

9780670014736When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets. For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.

Unprocessed by Megan Kimble (in our store Wednesday, 6/8!)

9780062382467Megan Kimble knew that she cared about where her food came from, how it was made, and what it did to her body so she decided to go an entire year without eating processed foods. Unprocessed is the narrative of Megan’s extraordinary year, in which she milled wheat, extracted salt from the sea, milked a goat, slaughtered a sheep, and more all while she was a busy and broke. What makes a food processed? The answer to that question went far beyond cutting out snacks and sodas, and led to a fascinating journey through America’s food system, past and present. Megan learned how wheat became white, how fresh produce was globalized, and how animals were industrialized. But she also discovered that in daily life conjuring meals while balancing a job, social life, and even dating our edible futures are inextricably tied to gender and economy, politics and money, work and play.

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