One of the many – and possibly the best – perks of working in an independent bookstore is having access to the most talked-about books before they’re released! And even though this list could easily be twice as long (we’re all fairly voracious readers) here are some titles that we’re looking forward to for the first half of 2017 and think you’ll enjoy too:
The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden
On Sale: January 10th
“I love the current trend of renewing fairytales–this is covering some of the best ones: Russian Folktales. They’re dark, and I’ve always appreciated that. This book deals heavily with folktales surrounding Russia’s most prominent feature, the Winter, and takes that fear, that darkness, and harnesses it to great effect, with humor and light running through it.I also loved reading about the different Slavic creatures of home and hearth as well as the more dangerous ones of the Forest and River. I would highly recommend this to fans of Uprooted and Neil Gaiman.” – Will
Homesick For Another World – Ottessa Moshfegh
On Sale: January 17th
“First the novel Eileen, and now the collection Homesick for Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh’s fiction cleanses your soul of attachments by salting your brain. These tales are for people who walk the tightrope just this side of sociopathy. These stories have a dark heartbeat–the one you feel pounding deep in your ears when you’re under pressure. And there is no more perfect story to end a collection called Homesick for Another World than ‘A Better Place.'” – Jan
Author Ottessa Moshfegh will be joining us at BookPeople on Tuesday, January 31st at 7pm to discuss and sign copies of Homesick for Another World.
“What is the fundamental nature of reality? Rovelli’s book asks us to take a new look at what we think we know about what reality is. Highlighting the great impact the theory of loop quantum gravity has had since the foundering of superstring theory some years ago, he takes some time to lay a solid foundation from the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus to Newton and Einstein, connecting the quantum mechanics of Bohr and Dirac, before describing the relationship between the various quantum systems that build reality. Some mind blowing observations: that quantum systems only exist because of their reaction with one another and that time and space cease to exist as we know them at the quantum level. But, as Rovelli explains so beautifully, such strange connections are not so far fetched and he provides some definitive ideas about where the experimental branch of physics can use these uncanny ideas to find some observable results. Daring and bold, this is the front line of theoretical physics interpreted for the layman in poetical terms, for there is really no prosaic way of explaining these ideas.” – Raul
All Our Wrong Today – Elan Mastai
On Sale: February 7th
“What a whirlwind! Mastai’s time travel story is smart and funny, with a wry sense of humor that does nothing to detract from the serious consequences that come from mucking around with time. There’s just enough science to keep it believable, but not distracting, and the quick pace makes it irresistible to turn the page. Truly fantastic.” – Demi
Ghachar Ghocar – Vivek Shanbhag
Translated by Srinath Perur
On Sale: February 7th
“Shanbhag’s prose has such economy that it packs quite the punch with so few pages. Under 120 pages, Ghachar Ghochar is the tale of a family’s economic rise and it’s moral decline. Set in Bangalore, India, a family goes from poverty to affluence seemingly overnight. Fragile familial alliances form and all lines of decency begin to blur. This is Vivek Shanbhag’s first work translated into English and English-language readers will certainly find a lot of relatable themes here. Faulkner and Salinger immediately come to mind. Vivek also wonderfully uses visual metaphors. From spilled jars of curry, ants taking over a house, and a knot that is “ghachar ghochar,” each of these visual metaphors illustrates a new low level for the family. Now the title, Ghachar Ghochar is a nonsense term similar to topsy turvy, describing many different scenarios in the novel. It is used with it’s greatest effect, in the novel’s final scene. In fact, it is the novel’s final two words. This final scene is such a monumental punctuation on an already brilliant novel, it left sitting still with my mouth agape for at least ten minutes. Ghachar Ghochar is a brilliant introduction to a modern literary talent, one that acutely portrays the oft disarray of life.” – Gregory
The Good Daughter – Alexandra Burt
On Sale: February 7th
“Alexandra Burt’s sophomore mystery is quite the suspenseful tale. When Dahlia returns to her hometown of Aurora, TX, she intends to get some answers from her tightlipped mother, Memphis. For starters, they only became Memphis and Dahlia when Dahlia turned 13, and Dahlia’s determined to discover who she really is, and what her mother’s been hiding. More’s in store than a little family history for Dahlia – upon her return, she goes jogging only to trip over a comatose woman in the woods, buried alive; the incident triggers her mother’s memories and leads characters on a path to openness, empathy, and understanding – even in the face of atrocious acts.” – Molly O.
And be sure to come by when we host Alexandra Burt on Tuesday, February 21 at 7pm!
Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders
On Sale: February 14th
“I feel like Lincoln in the Bardo is one of those special books you’ll never quite forget, its entirety reflected in the spot-on rhythmic and unusual title. “Bardo” is a Buddhist term for “transitional state”; occupying a position at a boundary or threshold. Such as the space between the past and the future, or the place between life and…something else. The plot of the book passes lyrically, in something of a dream state (nearly fugue-like) interspersed with historical citations that keeps you tethered to reality. A reality of sorts – after all, is there anything truly certain about history? (There was definitely a moon that night!) In the hands of a less profound author, this book could have been gimmicky – instead it is a genuine and absorbing submergence into a hundred minds, spanning the gamut of (dark, humorous, heartbreaking, flawed, hopeful) humanity and returning to your own (scathed but sound) full of possibility.” – Tomoko
And join us on Tuesday, March 7th as we will be hosting George Saunders himself to discuss and sign copies of Lincoln in the Bardo.
Exit West – Moshin Hamid
On Sale: March 7th
“There are some terrific books that – when you finish the last page and close the covers – leave you absolutely speechless, emotionally wrecked, or just blown away. Exit West accomplishes these things at the end of nearly every chapter! The prose is simply gorgeous, the plot compelling, and the characters remarkably lucid. Although set against a backdrop of insurgent, urban violence and the precarious lives of the victims fleeing that violence, the heart of the story remains the deep, personal relationship between the two main characters – the highs and lows of their young romance. It’s a familiar tale that could easily resonate if set at any other time period, in any other part of the world, and yet placed within the context of the global migratory experience becomes especially powerful for today’s readers. This novel may well be the best book I read in 2017 and I’m very grateful to the co-workers who literally shoved a copy of it into my hands.” – Matt!
The Night Ocean – Paul La Farge
On Sale: March 7
“The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge is a fantastic Russian nesting doll of a tale. Narratives are within narratives are found within narratives as we read about the lives of real-life authors H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Barlow and fictional character L. C. Spinks. Focusing on early to mid-century science fiction fandom, the book doesn’t require knowledge of the field, all you need to bring to the table is maybe the idea that there is no such thing as identity and that who one is and who one was might just be a construct. William Burroughs steals the book as one of the supporting characters. Already one of my favorite novels of 2017.” – Joe
American War – Omar El Akkad
On Sale: April 4th
“Certainly a daring and moving debut novel that will make you rethink what you think you know about family. Sarat Chestnut comes across as a most sympathetic character, and in her story one gets a lesson on how history designates heroes and monsters in radically similar ways. In the near future, the country is divided by environmental concern; the South wages a new Civil War against the North – the former being the advocates of fossil fuels while the latter promotes the use of cleaner energy. In this new emergency, Sarat Chestnut is a refugee from Louisiana who while living in a camp for displaced persons becomes an insurgent against North after her family suffers tragedy there. In this new life, she becomes a weapon and the consequences of her actions will affect generations to come. A smart and emotive first novel that will appeal to desperate environmentalist in all of us – a work written in such a beautiful way that will also appeal to the reader.” – Raul
The Shadow Land – Elizabeth Kostova
On Sale: April 11th
“Oh my goodness. After seven long years, the wait is over for a new book by Elizabeth Kostova, and it does not disappoint. A haunting, lyrical thriller, full of mystery, The Shadow Land is wonderful. Set in Bulgaria, split between two times, Kostova’s new novel is sharp, poignant, and heartfelt. The same piercing detail that made The Historian so compelling is at the heart of The Shadow Land–I never wanted it to end.” – Demi