This week’s new releases are major! Our wares include MysteryPeople’s top pick of the month, titles by author’s we’ll be hosting virtually throughout the month, and yet another much talked-about memoir about you know who. Plus, check out all the shiny new releases with a brand new paperback look—all of them favorites when they first came out in back in 2019! Read on for more!
Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby
** MYSTERYPEOPLE PICK OF THE MONTH **
Blacktop Wasteland is a gritty, voice-driven thriller about a former getaway driver, who, thinking he had escaped the criminal life, is pulled back in by race, poverty, and his own former life of crime. And as mentioned above, this one’s also MysteryPeople’s top read of July 2020. Read what Scott and Meike had to say about it below:
Meike A.: This will definitely be in my top 10 of the year if not the decade–believe the hype on this one, it’s not to be missed! Featuring bad men and fast cars, it’s the story of a former getaway driver who has tried to carve out a better life for himself and his family–but circumstances both beyond and within his control drag him back to a life of crime that threatens to destroy the people that mean the most to him.
Scott M.: For years I’d been wanting to read a rural noir from an African American perspective, but this is so much more. This is an announcement of a great new voice in the genre that promises only to get better. Shawn A. Cosby delivers all the tropes we love, roaring through it’s tight plot like the Duster of its hero. His action is visceral and clean, dialogue sharp and believable, and characters utterly human.
Grab yours now!
A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
In these hilarious essays, the Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor learns how to take a beating.
If there’s one trait that makes someone well suited to comedy, it’s being able to take a punch—metaphorically and, occasionally, physically.
From growing up in a family of firefighters on Staten Island to commuting three hours a day to high school and “seeing the sights” (like watching a Russian woman throw a stroller off the back of a ferry), to attending Harvard while Facebook was created, Colin Jost shares how he has navigated the world like a slightly smarter Forrest Gump.
You’ll also discover things about Jost that will surprise and confuse you, like how Jimmy Buffett saved his life, how Czech teenagers attacked him with potato salad, how an insect laid eggs inside his legs, and how he competed in a twenty-five-man match at WrestleMania (and almost won). You’ll go behind the scenes at SNL (where he’s written some of the most memorable sketches and characters of the past fifteen years) and Weekend Update. And you’ll experience the life of a touring stand-up comedian—from performing in rural college cafeterias at noon to opening for Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall.
For every accomplishment (hosting the Emmys), there is a setback (hosting the Emmys). And for every absurd moment (watching paramedics give CPR to a raccoon), there is an honest, emotional one (recounting his mother’s experience on the scene of the Twin Towers’ collapse on 9/11). Told with a healthy dose of self-deprecation, A Very Punchable Face reveals the brilliant mind behind some of the dumbest sketches on television, and lays bare the heart and humor of a hardworking guy—with a face you can’t help but want to punch.
Don’t miss your chance to hear more about A Very Punchable Face and meet Colin (and John Grisham, too!) virtually on Zoom when he joins us for an event on Thursday, July 16th at 5:30PM CDT! Tickets are available now—don’t hesitate!
The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune
This new release and bookseller favorite is being described as Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer’s Renegades. The Extraordinaries presents a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.
Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But he is the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom.
After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).
Eugenia V. calls The Extraordinaries, “a breath of fresh air! TJ Klune has created a relatable, funny, and heartfelt coming-of-age story that will introduce you to your new favorite literary superheroes. A great queer rom-com (with real life superheroes, okay?!) for readers looking for escape, joy, and LOTS of laughter.”
Sounds great, huh? Do yourself a favor and grab this book today, because when you do you’re automatically registered to join us virtually for a conversation with TJ Klune and Mason Deaver on Tuesday, July 14th at 6PM CDT. They’ll be talking all things The Extraordinaries and taking all of your questions. C’mon, you know you wanna be there!
F*ckface by Leah Hampton
A brassy, bighearted debut collection of twelve short stories about rurality, corpses, honeybee collapse, and illicit sex in post-coal Appalachia
The twelve stories in this knockout collection—some comedic, some tragic, many both at once—examine the interdependence between rural denizens and their environment. A young girl, desperate for a way out of her small town, finds support in an unlikely place. A ranger working along the Blue Ridge Parkway realizes that the dark side of the job, the all too frequent discovery of dead bodies, has taken its toll on her. Haunted by his past, and his future, a tech sergeant reluctantly spends a night with his estranged parents before being deployed to Afghanistan. Nearing fifty and facing new medical problems, a woman wonders if her short stint at the local chemical plant is to blame. A woman takes her husband’s research partner on a day trip to her favorite place on earth, Dollywood, and briefly imagines a different life.
In the vein of Bonnie Jo Campbell and Lee Smith, Hampton writes poignantly and honestly about a legendary place that’s rapidly changing. She takes us deep inside the lives of the women and men of Appalachia while navigating the realities of modern life with wit, bite, and heart.
We’re inviting you to log on and tune in to our virtual event with Leah Hampton on Friday, July 17th at 7PM CDT. The Michener Center-graduate is joined by mentor and fellow author, Edward Carey, for a stirring discussion on F*ckface. Tickets are free—register here!
Never Ask Me by Jeff Abbott
Each of us has a question we dread. And when the simple community of Lakehaven is shaken by a violent crime, doubts begin to arise among the locals about whom they can trust.
Here’s what MysteryPeople contributor, Meike A., had to say about this new one from local author, Jeff Abbott:
Meike: “Abbott just keeps getting better and better! This latest standalone is set in the fictional wealthy Austin suburb of Lakehaven where the outward appearances of privilege and beauty belie the dark goings on in the residents’ personal lives. When a beloved member of the community–an adoption specialist who’s helped numerous residents complete their families–is brutally murdered, some very dark secrets are exposed.”
Want more? Register now to attend our virtual event with Jeff Abbott on Monday, July 27th at 7PM CDT. Meg Gardiner joins Abbott on the virtual BookPeople stage for a discussion on Never Ask Me with an audience Q&A to follow!
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
A tale of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.
Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
The new David Mitchell is finally out and it’s everything you’d expect (and wouldn’t) from the Cloud Atlas author. See what Jonathan Dee of The New Yorker had to say about it and read more here!
Utopia Avenue is the strangest British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss and guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet, Utopia Avenue embarked on a meteoric journey from the seedy clubs of Soho, a TV debut on Top of the Pops, the cusp of chart success, glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome and a fateful American sojourn in the Chelsea Hotel, Laurel Canyon and San Francisco during the autumn of ’68.
David Mitchell’s kaleidoscopic novel tells the unexpurgated story of Utopia Avenue’s turbulent life and times; of fame’s Faustian pact and stardom’s wobbly ladder; of the families we choose and the ones we don’t; of voices in the head, and the truths and lies they whisper; of music, madness and idealism. Can we really change the world, or does the world change us?
The Safe Place by Anna Downes
From MysteryPeople’s Meike A.: Emily is desperate–she’s lost her job, her agent, and her apartment all in one day. So when successful CEO Scott Denny offers her a job as housekeeper on his remote French estate, it seems all her problems are solved. But she soon realizes her problems may have only just begun when she learns that Scott and his lovely wife Nina may be hiding some very dark secrets–and that Emily must play along or risk the consequences. Fans of Ruth Ware will particularly enjoy this one!
Wonderland by Zoje Stage
“Shirley Jackson meets The Shining“?—We’re in! Get into this richly atmospheric and thrillingly tense new novel from the acclaimed author of the “deliciously creepy” debut Baby Teeth (New York Post).
One mother’s love may be all that stands between her family, an enigmatic presence–and madness.
After years of city life, Orla and Shaw Bennett are ready for the quiet of New York’s Adirondack mountains–or at least, they think they are. Settling into the perfect farmhouse with their two children, they are both charmed and unsettled by the expanse of their land, the privacy of their individual bedrooms, and the isolation of life a mile from any neighbor.
But none of the Bennetts could expect what lies waiting in the woods, where secrets run dark and deep. When something begins to call to the family-from under the earth, beneath the trees, and within their minds-Orla realizes she might be the only one who can save them . . . if she can find out what this force wants before it’s too late.
With an ending inescapable and deeply satisfying, Wonderland brilliantly blends horror and suspense to probe the boundaries of family, loyalty, love, and the natural world.
Running by Natalia Sylvester
You’ll want to get your hands on the YA debut from local author—timely in so many ways!
When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, Mari starts to see him with new eyes. A novel about waking up and standing up, and what happens when you stop seeing your dad as your hero—while the whole country is watching.
In this authentic, humorous, and gorgeously written debut novel about privacy, waking up, and speaking up, Senator Anthony Ruiz is running for president. Throughout his successful political career he has always had his daughter’s vote, but a presidential campaign brings a whole new level of scrutiny to sheltered fifteen-year-old Mariana and the rest of her Cuban American family, from a 60 Minutes–style tour of their house to tabloids doctoring photos and inventing scandals. As tensions rise within the Ruiz family, Mari begins to learn about the details of her father’s political positions, and she realizes that her father is not the man she thought he was.
But how do you find your voice when everyone’s watching? When it means disagreeing with your father—publicly? What do you do when your dad stops being your hero? Will Mari get a chance to confront her father? If she does, will she have the courage to seize it?
Survival Instincts by Jen Waite
From MysteryPeople’s Meike A.: Three generations of women take a trip to the White Mountains of Vermont, hoping the time away will give them all a chance to reconnect. But when a man drags them at gunpoint to an abandoned cabin deep in the woods, their peaceful weekend
turns into a fight for survival and the women are forced to examine what lengths they’ll go to in order to get out alive.
Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
We know you can’t get away from it and the publication day’s been pushed up a few weeks, too! Here for you now is Too Much and Never Enough!
In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.
Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, New York, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.
A firsthand witness to countless holiday meals and interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.
Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.
Now in Paperback
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
Molly M. described Trick Mirror as “funny, whipsmart, digitally native…hyper, hyperreal, hyperintelligent…[Jia Tolentino] is a pioneering thinker.” Get in on the fun now!
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Our booksellers had so much fun with this one, and in case you haven’t, Gideon‘s coming to you in paperback just in time for the sequel (Harrow the Ninth) out later next month!
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
A perennial favorite in the romance section, we’re tickled pink to have this gorgeous paperback on our shelves today!
Raised in Captivity by Chuck Klosterman
One of our favorite author events last year was the über-cool conversation between Chuck Klosterman and Basketball (and Other Things) author, Shea Serrano. Check out their talk here and get the glossy Raised in Captivity paperback today!
The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter
MysteryPeople couldn’t get enough of Karin Slaughter’s The Last Widow. Read her interview with Scott Butki on the MysteryPeople blog and grab the paperback today!
The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories edited by Jay Rubin, Introduction by Haruki Murakami
This is the perfect volume for anyone looking to get a glimpse at the development of the short story form in Japan and it’s much-lauded practitioners. It features some of our favorites and some greats that are a bit lesser known in the states.
These titles and more are available to order from BookPeople today.