Just like that, May dropped some of the hottest releases in our lap! Not only are we getting a prequel-sequel to our favorite dystopian thriller, but we also get the new Stephanie Danler memoir AND the much-talked about Curtis Sittenfeld novel following the life of Hillary Clinton…had she not married Bill Clinton. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, though! Read on for a rundown of what else this week has in store for you!
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
You won’t want to be left in the dust, be sure to get your copy of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes today and get back into the world of The Hunger Games. NOTE: We have a limited number of Hunger Games patches left, so place your orders folks!
Stray by Stephanie Danler
After selling her first novel—a dream she’d worked long and hard for—Stephanie Danler knew she should be happy. Instead, she found herself driven to face the difficult past she’d left behind a decade ago: a mother disabled by years of alcoholism, further handicapped by a tragic brain aneurysm; a father who abandoned the family when she was three, now a meth addict in and out of recovery. After years in New York City she’s pulled home to Southern California by forces she doesn’t totally understand, haunted by questions of legacy and trauma. Here, she works toward answers, uncovering hard truths about her parents and herself as she explores whether it’s possible to change the course of her history.
Lucid and honest, heart-breaking and full of hope, Stray is an examination of what we inherit and what we don’t have to, of what we have to face in ourselves to move forward, and what it’s like to let go of one’s parents in order to find peace—and a family—of one’s own.
Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld
The new novel by Curtis Sittenfeld poses the question: What if Hillary Rodham hadn’t married Bill Clinton?
In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise. Life magazine covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she’s attending Yale Law School, and she’s on the forefront of student activism and the women’s rights movement. Then she meets a fellow law student named Bill Clinton. A charismatic Southerner, Bill is already laying the groundwork for his political career. In each other, Hillary and Bill find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced.
In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times. Although she turned him down more than once, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton.
But in Curtis Sittenfeld’s powerfully imagined tour de force of fiction, Hillary follows a different path. Listening to her doubts about the prospective marriage, she endures a devastating break-up and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail—one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that crosses paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the trade-offs all of us must make to build a life.
Brilliantly weaving actual historical events into a riveting fictional tale, Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still mostly run by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel.
If you’re not yet convinced, take this nugget from Consuelo with you: “Sittenfeld has created a nuanced character portrait and an explosive page-turner [in Rodham]. This ultimate what-if leads the novelized Hillary down some very surprising paths that you will want to travel with her.” Get it here!
Brown Album by Porochista Khakpour
From the much-acclaimed novelist and essayist, a beautifully rendered, poignant collection of personal essays, chronicling immigrant and Iranian-American life in our contemporary moment.
Novelist Porochista Khakpour’s family moved to Los Angeles after fleeing the Iranian Revolution, giving up their successes only to be greeted by an alienating culture. Growing up as an immigrant in America means that one has to make one’s way through a confusing tangle of conflicting cultures and expectations. And Porochista is pulled between the glitzy culture of Tehrangeles, an enclave of wealthy Iranians and Persians in LA, her own family’s modest life and culture, and becoming an assimilated American. Porochista rebels—she bleaches her hair and flees to the East Coast, where she finds her community: other people writing and thinking at the fringes. But, 9/11 happens and with horror, Porochista watches from her apartment window as the towers fall. Extremism and fear of the Middle East rises in the aftermath and then again with the election of Donald Trump. Porochista is forced to finally grapple with what it means to be Middle-Eastern and Iranian, an immigrant, and a refugee in our country today.
Brown Album is a stirring collection of essays, at times humorous and at times profound, drawn from more than a decade of Porochista’s work and with new material included. Altogether, it reveals the tolls that immigrant life in this country can take on a person and the joys that life can give.
Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson
In this bewitching debut novel, a sensitive teen, newly arrived in Alabama, falls in love, questions his faith, and navigates a strange power. While his German parents don’t know what to make of a South pining for the past, shy Max thrives in the thick heat. Taken in by the football team, he learns how to catch a spiraling ball, how to point a gun, and how to hide his innermost secrets.
Max already expects some of the raucous behavior of his new, American friends—like their insatiable hunger for the fried and cheesy, and their locker room talk about girls. But he doesn’t expect the comradery—or how quickly he would be welcomed into their world of basement beer drinking. In his new canvas pants and thickening muscles, Max feels like he’s “playing dress-up.” That is until he meets Pan, the school “witch,” in Physics class: “Pan in his all black. Pan with his goth choker and the gel that made his hair go straight up.” Suddenly, Max feels seen, and the pair embarks on a consuming relationship: Max tells Pan about his supernatural powers, and Pan tells Max about the snake poison initiations of the local church. The boys, however, aren’t sure whose past is darker, and what is more frightening—their true selves, or staying true in Alabama.
Writing in verdant and visceral prose that builds to a shocking conclusion, Genevieve Hudson “brilliantly reinvents the Southern Gothic, mapping queer love in a land where God, guns, and football are king” (Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks). Boys of Alabama becomes a nuanced portrait of masculinity, religion, immigration, and the adolescent pressures that require total conformity.
Drifts by Kate Zambreno
Haunting and compulsively readable, Drifts is an intimate portrait of reading, writing, and creative obsession. At work on a novel that is overdue, spending long days walking neighborhood streets with her restless terrier, corresponding ardently with fellow writers, the narrator grows obsessed with the challenge of writing the present tense, of capturing time itself. Entranced by the work of Rainer Maria Rilke, Albrecht Dürer, Chantal Akerman, and others, she photographs the residents and strays of her neighborhood, haunts bookstores and galleries, and records her thoughts in a yellow notebook that soon subsumes her work on the novel. As winter closes in, a series of disturbances—the appearances and disappearances of enigmatic figures, the burglary of her apartment—leaves her distracted and uncertain…until an intense and tender disruption changes everything.
A story of artistic ambition, personal crisis, and the possibilities and failures of literature, Drifts is the work of an exhilarating and vital writer.
Power Moves by Lauren McGoodwin
From the founder of the influential website Career Contessa, an invaluable career resource for women feeling stuck or unfulfilled that combines actionable advice, learning tools to make impactful life changes, and an in-depth discussion of how to build a meaningful career on your terms.
With her popular website Career Contessa, Lauren McGoodwin built an audience of ambitious, professional, millennial women who thought they did everything right—they got the degree, the internship, and even the promotion—but still wondered why they felt stuck and unfulfilled. The first site of its kind to focus on the unique, complex aspects of women’s careers, Career Contessa offers women the smart advice they deserve, in a voice that resonates.
Drawing on the insights and lessons developed from Career Contessa, Power Moves is the essential handbook that helps professional women truly feel understood so they can bypass perfection and planning and head straight to evolving. McGoodwin addresses young professionals’ number-one concern: career transitions and growth, and engages them with specific goals, including:
- What is a Power Move and why they matter
- Cutting out comparison, shame, and self-loathing
- How to abandon the elusive “dream job”
- Embracing your inner questioner, your inner quester, and your inner-quitter
- Making money moves and taking control of your financial future
- Tuning out from the noise and tuning into your voice
Power Moves is filled with the information, guidance, advice, and essential tools, (including helpful graphics) that can help women take decisive, bold steps without self-doubt and fear, Power Moves shows women how to build a successful career on their own terms.
To get the very most out of this new release, be sure to get your copy of Power Moves and attend our virtual event with author, Lauren McGoodwin, on Wednesday, May 20th at 7PM! Each purchase automatically registers you for this live Zoom event!
Things You Would Know If You Grew Up Around Here by Nancy Wayson Dinan
We were slated to host Nancy Wayson Dinan this month in-store, but we’d love to get this wonderful, new read in your hands today.
Set during the devastating Memorial Day floods in Texas, a surreal, empathetic novel for readers of Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles.
2015. 18-year-old Boyd Montgomery returns from her grandfather’s wedding to find her friend Isaac missing. Drought-ravaged central Texas has been newly inundated with rain, and flash floods across the state have begun to sweep away people, cars, and entire houses as every river breaks its banks.
In the midst of the rising waters, Boyd sets out across the ravaged back country. She is determined to rescue her missing friend, and she’s not alone in her quest: her neighbor, Carla, spots Boyd’s boot prints leading away from the safety of home and follows in her path. Hours later, her mother returns to find Boyd missing, and she, too, joins the search.
Boyd, Carla, and Lucy Maud know the land well. They’ve lived in central Texas for their entire lives. But they have no way of knowing the fissure the storm has opened along the back roads, no way of knowing what has been erased—and what has resurfaced. As they each travel through the newly unfamiliar landscape, they discover the ghosts of Texas past and present.
Haunting and timely, Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here considers questions of history and empathy and brings a pre-apocalyptic landscape both foreign and familiar to shockingly vivid life.
Be sure to shop these titles and more from BookPeople online today!