Friends, you made it back! This week we’ve got a ton of new titles we think you’re just going to eat up. Below this caption we’ve got one of the season’s most buzzed about books (Hi, Leigh Bardugo), and further down we’ve got plenty of bookseller favorites that’ll help you in a pinch when you begin that holiday shopping (it’s never too early, right??). Plus, our events season is just heating up and you won’t want to miss any of these new releases tied to our Fall programming. Happy Reading!
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Readers rejoice, the brand new Leigh Bardugo title is here! The YA phenom has penned her first adult novel and it is an absolute doozy. It’s an instant bookseller favorite, too, and we can’t wait for you to finally read it.
In Ninth House, Bardugo pens a tale of power, privilege, dark magic, and murder set among the Ivy League elite. We follow Galaxy “Alex” Stern, the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class, commissioned by mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of the campus’ secret societies.
Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.
Don’t miss out on the read our booksellers (too many to count) call, “lavish,” “engaging,” “gritty,” and perfect for “late night flashlight reading.” For a chance to meet Bardugo and get your copy signed, be sure to buy tickets for our event with her on October 15th at 7PM at the Central Presbyterian Church!
Grand Union by Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith blazes back on the scene with a brand new short story collection which combines her power of observation and inimitable voice to mine the fraught and complex experience of life in the modern world.
With ten extraordinary new stories complemented by a selection of her most lauded pieces for The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Granta, Grand Union explores a wide range of subjects, from first loves to cultural despair, as well as the desire to be the subject of your own experience. Nothing is off limits, and everything—when captured by Smith’s brilliant gaze—feels fresh and relevant.
One reader who was absolutely taken by Smith’s stories is longtime fan and bookseller, Raven. She says, “No one writes of the existential crisis quite like Zadie– so little hope mixed with exponential amounts of satirical anecdotes…[her] words are the chorus to a soundtrack impossible to replicate.”
Get your hands on this one today and act fast, we’ve got some signed copies available!
Movies (And Other Things) by Shea Serrano
Oh, happy day! The writing sensation that gave us The Rap Year Book and Basketball (And Other Things) is talking all about movies in his aptly titled Movies (And Other Things). With great humor and that infectious writing style of his, Serrano muses on everything from Mean Girls to the white savior complex exhibited in so many Kevin Costner movies, imagines an Academy Awards ceremony for rom-coms, and even goes so far as to twist his way through an NBA-style draft of the very best and most memorable moments in gangster movies.
This is a collection of short writings that are funny, sad, and always insightful. Uriel’s been rolling on the floor reading through the chapters on Finding Nemo and Selena, saying, “No one writes about sports and movies and life the way Shea Serrano does. His mind works in the most amazing way!”
On the Plain of Snakes by Paul Theroux
On the Plain of Snakes follows legendary travel writer, Paul Theroux, driving the entire length of the US-Mexico border to explore a region key to understanding our current discourse.
As the immigration debate boils around the world, Theroux dives right in, finding finding a place brimming with vitality, yet visibly marked by both the US Border Patrol looming to the north and mounting discord from within. Theroux stops to talk with residents, visits Zapotec mill workers in the highlands, and attends a Zapatista party meeting, communing with people of all stripes who remain south of the border even as their families brave the journey north.
Like he did in Deep South, Theroux employs a humanizing sensibility to an area so misunderstood. Make sure to catch Paul Theroux when he drops by BookPeople on October 15th at 7PM to read from and sign On the Plain of Snakes.
How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
We’re wishing with a very happy book birthday to How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones! This is one of the season’s most buzzed about books and one of our reviews got selected to go alongside it in the October 2019 Indie Next List.
Eugenia said, “How We Fight for Our Lives is raw, difficult, and truthful, and completely stuffed with love.” Ona says, “It is a litany for survival–it will leave you broken, will move you deeply, and it will affirm you.” Raven also loved it and felt intimately affected by “his pain, his desires, his Blackness, his humanity…” This book also comes highly recommended by Molly M, who said, ” He chronicles the isolation, the pushback, the pain, the danger his identity posed while growing up in our culture, with everyone from new college friends to his mom nudging him away from himself. While his writing on selfhood is powerful, he never forgets that we live among other people and it is his writing about the ones in his life that moved me most.”
Grab yours today and see Saeed Jones at this year’s Texas Book Festival later this month!
Where to Begin by Cleo Wade
We loved Heart Talk, Cleo Wade’s first collection of poetry, when it first hit our shelves, and now we’re doubly thrilled to bring you her brand new title, Where to Begin.
Where to Begin is a collection of the ideas, mantras, and poems written by Wade herself for the moments she feels overwhelmed by worry, fear, anxiety, or helplessness. The words in this book are what stop her from walking away from the problems of the world during tough times; stay connected to hope during difficult moments; give her the power to show up and do something, somewhere, in some way. And now they’re compiled in one volume for you.
If this is the kind of “chicken soup” you need for the crazy times we live in, join us in-store on October 16th at 7PM for a reading and signing with Wade herself!
Watershed by Mark Barr
A graduate of Texas State’s MFA program, Mark Barr emerges into the writing scene with a gripping story about two people struggling with ambition and forbidden yearnings in post-Depression Tennessee.
Watershed places us in a small town reckoning with the forces of change all around them as the a new dam is being constructed and an electrical grid is put in place.
At the heart of this story is Nathan, an engineer hiding from his past, and Claire, a housewife struggling to find her footing in this strange new land. As Nathan wrestles with the burdens of a secret guilt and tangled love, Claire struggles to balance motherhood and a newfound freedom that awakens ambitions and a sexuality she hadn’t known she possessed.
In an evocative feat of storytelling in the vein of Kent Haruf’s Plainsong, and Ron Rash’s Serena, Watershed delivers a gripping story of characters whose ambitions and yearnings threaten to overflow the banks of their time and place.
Don’t miss out on Mark Barr’s reading and signing happening Sunday, October 20th at 5PM!
Warrior of Altaii by Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan fans, are you there? They (the mysterious they) have dug up from the archives/vaults/tombs the never-before published first novel from Jordan, Warrior of Altaii.
With gleams of what made The Wheel of Time series an global bestseller, Warrior of Altaii is an epic story of a leader contending with twin queens, warlords, prophets and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future.
This title makes the perfect companion for all of those well-loved copies of The Wheel of Time on your bookshelf. Get yours today and grab a copy for the Robert Jordan lover in your life!
Seventh Flag by Sid Balman, Jr.
A sweeping work of historical fiction, Seventh Flag is a Micheneresque parable that traces the arc of radicalization in modern Western Civilization—reaffirming what it means to be an American in a dangerously divided nation.
Sid Balman, Jr. presents a sobering look at our deeply divided country through the experiences of four generations of an iconic American family and a Syrian Muslim family carving a farming empire out of the unforgiving high desert of Dell City out in West Texas.
These families’ partnership is as unlikely as the idea of a United States, and their powerful friendship can be traced back to a bloody knife fight in a Juarez cantina just after World War II. The bond forged that night between Jack Laws, an Irish American who staked his claim in West Texas after the war, and Ali Zarkan, whose great-grandfather sailed from the Middle East to Texas in the mid-1800s as part of President Franklin Pierce’s attempt to create the US Army Camel Corps, shapes each generation of the families as they come of age and adapt to shifting paradigms of gender, commerce, patriotism, loyalty, religion, and sexuality.
Underlying their experiences is the basic question of what constitutes identity and citizenship in America, or in Texas, a land over which six flags have flown. The seventh flag, ultimately, is not one of a state or a nation, but of a mosaic of cultures, religions, and people from every corner of the world—all struggling to define what it means to be unified under an ambiguous banner.
Stop by BookPeople on November 8th at 7PM to hear Sid Balman, Jr. talk about this epic story and sign your book!
I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson
From Rachel R.: “I love books about the dark and terrifying things that teenage girls are capable of, and I Know You Remember is a spectacular addition to this genre. So invested in Ruthie and Zahra’s friendship and hoping for the best while fearing the worst, I adored the complicated relationships between Ruthie and Zahra’s new friends that developed over the course of the story. The twists and turns took me by surprise in the best of ways, and I want everyone to read this so I can talk about it!!”
Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia
If you’re looking for something to kick off the Halloween season, part-time bookseller Will B. highly recommends Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts.
Tuesday Mooney spends her days searching–it’s her job, you see, to find out as much information about people as possible. And this is fine, maybe she wants a bit more, but things are fine. Until Vincent Pryce, an eccentric billionaire, dies and leaves behind a treasure hunt through the city inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. Maybe finally Tuesday can find what she’s been searching for. Will B. says, “This was a really fun read! Part ghost story, part romance, part mystery, and all adventure. Tuesday is a fun protagonist and a joy to read. I think the author found her voice really strongly and held it unwaveringly throughout.”
A Lush and Seething Hell by John Horner Jacobs
From part-time bookseller, Will B.: “A Lush and Seething Hell is probably going to be the book I force all of my fellow horror fans to read this year–this was a blast to read!
This deals with my absolute favorite type of horror–the slow build of dread (characterized frequently in the works of Lovecraft and Clive Barker). I love the creeping terror of things slowly turning out to be much worse than they seem when, true to form, our protagonists end up delving deeper than humans should and find themselves forever changed by what they find! I don’t want to go into too much detail as I very much want other people to read and experience it fresh–but I will say that this is my favorite horror book that I’ve read this year.”
The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain.
When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair—the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks—Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.
At once a sultry romance and a decadent, thrilling mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet.
Ahdieh will be at this year’s Texas Teen Book Festival on October 12th at Southwestern University in Georgetown, dont’ miss out!
The Goblet of Fire (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling and (illustrated by) Jim Kay
Ahhhhh, it’s finally here! The Illustrated edition of The Goblet of Fire has hit our shelves and it somehow looks prettier than we imagined!
Jim Kay’s inspired reimagining of J.K. Rowling’s classic series has dazzled us again and we’re thrilled to add it to our bookshelf among the other gorgeous editions of previous titles in the Harry Potter series. This stunning, fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire brings more breathtaking scenes and unforgettable characters to life – including Cedric Diggory, Nymphadora Tonks and Mad Eye Moody.
With paint, pencil and pixels, Kay conjures the wizarding world as we have never seen it before. Fizzing with magic and brimming with humor, this full-color edition will captivate fans and new readers alike as Harry, now in his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, finds himself competing in the legendary Triwizard Tournament and facing death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards …
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
From Eugenia: “I mean, I know we’re all aware of this by now, but Jason Reynolds can do it all. This now includes short stories for middle grade readers. Look Both Ways is endearing, funny, smart, and creative, a collection that ties people together yet focuses on the young individuals that make our everyday life, our world, special.” We’re so excited to share this book!
Join us back here next week for a brand spankin’ new lineup of new releases you can’t help but add to your growing TBR pile!