“Park These Brand New Books Right In This Little Book Shelf,” OR Mid-September New Releases

Happy mid-September! Time sure is flying this month, but our new releases are keeping us grounded. Explore the fantastical fiction capers, brilliant histories, and sobering narratives packing our shelves this week—you may just find your next favorite read!


9781635575637_a23c4Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller’s CircePiranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.

 

9780593083628_f5affConscious Leadership by John Mackey

***Virtual Event 9/21 at 7PM CDT***

From Whole Foods cofounder John Mackey, the much-anticipated followup to groundbreaking bestseller Conscious Capitalism—focusing on what it takes to be a values-driven leader.

Forty years ago Whole Foods CEO John Mackey started a movement by bringing natural, organic food to the masses. Then he brought those values to the business world with Conscious Capitalism, a Wall Street Journal bestseller that taught the power of “the heroic spirit of business.” Now, drawing from his own experience, Mackey wants to inspire entrepreneurs and trailblazers to step up—to grow as conscious leaders who see beyond the bottom line.

Conscious Leadership shows how Mackey shepherded Whole Foods through four decades of incredible growth and innovation, including its recent sale to Amazon, without losing sight of his core values. Weaving in case studies and anecdotes from other conscious organizations with time-tested insights, it is a motivating call to action for both current and aspiring leaders, challenging readers not to rest on their innate skills but step up to a much higher level of integrity and responsibility. Offering innovative self-development techniques and principles for an entirely new paradigm, Conscious Leadership not only changes the narrative about business, but aims to evolve the behavior of business—through tens of thousands more conscious leaders.

John Mackey joins BookPeople live on Zoom for a virtual event on Monday, September 21st at 7PM CDT, discussing Conscious Leadership and answering audience questions after. Tickets for this engagement are available now!

 

9780316496421_65380Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

A “profound and provocative” new work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced and American Dervish: an immigrant father and his son search for belonging — in post-Trump America, and with each other (Kirkus Reviews).

“Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable.” — Salman Rushdie

A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.

Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation’s unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one — least of all himself — in the process.

 

9780802149565_153d8The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosely

A masterful collection of stories that showcases one of the country’s most beloved and acclaimed writers—award-winning author, Walter Mosley

Bestselling author Walter Mosley has proven himself a master of narrative tension, both with his extraordinary fiction and gripping writing for television. The Awkward Black Man collects seventeen of Mosley’s most accomplished short stories to showcase the full range of his remarkable talent.

Mosley presents distinct characters as they struggle to move through the world in each of these stories—heroes who are awkward, nerdy, self-defeating, self-involved, and, on the whole, odd. He overturns the stereotypes that corral black male characters and paints a subtle, powerful portrait of each of these unique individuals. In “The Good News Is,” a man’s insecurity about his weight gives way to a serious illness and the intense loneliness that accompanies it. Deeply vulnerable, he allows himself to be taken advantage of in return for a little human comfort in a raw display of true need. “Pet Fly,” previously published in the New Yorker, follows a man working as a mailroom clerk for a big company—a solitary job for which he is overqualified—and the unforeseen repercussions he endures when he attempts to forge a connection beyond the one he has with the fly buzzing around his apartment. And “Almost Alyce” chronicles failed loves, family loss, alcoholism, and a Zen approach to the art of begging that proves surprisingly effective.

Touching and contemplative, each of these unexpected stories offers the best of one of our most gifted writers.

 

9781631496103_26e24If Then by Jill Lepore

A revelatory account of the Cold War origins of the data-mad, algorithmic twenty-first century, from the author of the acclaimed international bestseller These Truths.

The Simulmatics Corporation, launched during the Cold War, mined data, targeted voters, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge—decades before Facebook, Google, and Cambridge Analytica. Jill Lepore, best-selling author of These Truths, came across the company’s papers in MIT’s archives and set out to tell this forgotten history, the long-lost backstory to the methods, and the arrogance, of Silicon Valley.

Founded in 1959 by some of the nation’s leading social scientists—“the best and the brightest, fatally brilliant, Icaruses with wings of feathers and wax, flying to the sun”—Simulmatics proposed to predict and manipulate the future by way of the computer simulation of human behavior. In summers, with their wives and children in tow, the company’s scientists met on the beach in Long Island under a geodesic, honeycombed dome, where they built a “People Machine” that aimed to model everything from buying a dishwasher to counterinsurgency to casting a vote. Deploying their “People Machine” from New York, Washington, Cambridge, and even Saigon, Simulmatics’ clients included the John F. Kennedy presidential campaign, the New York Times, the Department of Defense, and dozens of major manufacturers: Simulmatics had a hand in everything from political races to the Vietnam War to the Johnson administration’s ill-fated attempt to predict race riots. The company’s collapse was almost as rapid as its ascent, a collapse that involved failed marriages, a suspicious death, and bankruptcy. Exposed for false claims, and even accused of war crimes, it closed its doors in 1970 and all but vanished. Until Lepore came across the records of its remains.

The scientists of Simulmatics believed they had invented “the A-bomb of the social sciences.” They did not predict that it would take decades to detonate, like a long-buried grenade. But, in the early years of the twenty-first century, that bomb did detonate, creating a world in which corporations collect data and model behavior and target messages about the most ordinary of decisions, leaving people all over the world, long before the global pandemic, crushed by feelings of helplessness. This history has a past; If Then is its cautionary tale.

 

9781335016508_97a8aMade Men: The Story of Goodfellas by Glenn Kenny

For the 30th anniversary of its premiere – the vivid and immersive history behind Martin Scorsese’s signature film Goodfellas, hailed by critics as the greatest mob movie ever made.

When Goodfellas first hit the theatres in 1990, a classic was born. Few could anticipate the unparalleled influence it would have on pop culture, one that would inspire future generations of filmmakers and redefine the gangster picture as we know it today. From the rush of grotesque violence in the opening scene to the iconic hilarity of Joe Pesci’s endlessly quoted “Funny how?” shtick, it’s little wonder the film is widely regarded as a mainstay in contemporary cinema.

In the first ever behind-the-scenes story of Goodfellas, film critic Glenn Kenny chronicles the making and afterlife of the film that introduced America to the real modern gangster – brutal, ruthless, yet darkly appealing, the villain we can’t get enough of. Featuring interviews with the film’s major players such as Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci, Made Men shines a light on the lives and stories wrapped up in the Goodfellas universe, and why its enduring legacy is still essential to charting the trajectory of American culture thirty years later.

 

9781568588735_3f6b8Stakes Is High by Mychal Denzel Smith

Brave, clear-eyed, and passionate, Stakes Is High is the book we need to guide us past crisis mode and through an uncertain future.

 

The events of the past decade have forced us to reckon with who we are and who we want to be. We have been invested in a set of beliefs about our American identity: our exceptionalism, the inevitable rightness of our path, the promise that hard work and determination will carry us to freedom. But in Stakes Is High, Mychal Denzel Smith confronts the shortcomings of these stories–and with the American Dream itself–and calls on us to live up to the principles we profess but fail to realize.

 
In a series of incisive essays, Smith exposes the stark contradictions at the heart of American life, holding all of us, individually and as a nation, to account. We’ve gotten used to looking away, but the fissures and casual violence of institutional oppression are ever-present.
 
There is a future that is not as grim as our past. In this profound work, Smith helps us envision it with care, honesty, and imagination.

 

9781616209117_ee64cA Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son by Michael Ian Black

A poignant look at boyhood, in the form of a heartfelt letter from comedian Michael Ian Black (featured author at this year’s Texas Book Festival!!) to his teenage son before he leaves for college, and a radical plea for rethinking masculinity and teaching young men to give and receive love.

In a world in which the word masculinity now often goes hand in hand with toxic, comedian, actor, and father Michael Ian Black offers up a way forward for boys, men, and anyone who loves them. Part memoir, part advice book, and written as a heartfelt letter to his college-bound son, A Better Man reveals Black’s own complicated relationship with his father, explores the damage and rising violence caused by the expectations placed on boys to “man up,” and searches for the best way to help young men be part of the solution, not the problem. “If we cannot allow ourselves vulnerability,” he writes, “how are we supposed to experience wonder, fear, tenderness?”

Honest, funny, and hopeful, Black skillfully navigates the complex gender issues of our time and delivers a poignant answer to an urgent question: How can we be, and raise, better men?

 

9781594206436_508e0The New Map by Daniel Yergin

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin offers a revelatory new account of how energy revolutions, climate battles, and geopolitics are mapping our future

The world is being shaken by the collision of energy, climate change, and the clashing power of nations in a time of global crisis. The “shale revolution” in oil and gas—made possible by fracking technology, but not without controversy—has transformed the American economy, ending the “era of shortage”, but introducing a turbulent new era. Almost overnight, the United States has become the world’s number one energy powerhouse—and, during the coronavirus crisis, brokered a tense truce between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Yet concern about energy’s role in climate change is challenging our economy and way of life, accelerating a second energy revolution in the search for a low carbon future. All of this has been made starker and urgent by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic Dark Age that it has wrought.

The chessboard of world politics has been upended. A new cold war is emerging with China; and rivalries grow more dangerous with Russia, which is pivoting east toward Beijing. Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping are converging both on energy and on challenging American leadership, as China projects its power and influence in all directions. The South China Sea, claimed by China and the world’s most critical trade route, could become the arena where the United States and China collide directly. The map of the Middle East, which was laid down after World War I, is being challenged by jihadists, revolutionary Iran, ethnic and religious clashes, and restive populations. But the region has also been shocked by the two recent oil price collapses—one from the rise of shale, the other the coronavirus—and by the very question of oil’s future in the rest of this century.

A master storyteller and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin takes the reader on an utterly riveting and timely journey across the world’s “new map”. He illuminates the great energy and geopolitical questions on the eve of the historic 2020 Presidential election and the profound challenges that lie ahead.

 

9781951213091_3eb94Like a Bird by Fariha Róisín

A revolutionary story of empowerment and redemption, Like a Bird is the highly anticipated debut novel from Fariha Róisín, author of the poetry collection How to Cure A Ghost
One of Vogue‘s Most Anticipated Books of the Fall

Taylia Chatterjee has never known love, and certainly has never felt it for herself. Growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, with her older sister Alyssa, their parents were both overbearing and emotionally distant, and despite idyllic summers in the Catskills, and gatherings with glamorous family friends, there is a sadness that emanates from the Chatterjee residence, a deep well of sorrow stemming from the racism of American society.
After a violent sexual assault, Taylia is disowned by her parents and suddenly forced to move out. As Taylia looks to the city, the ghost of her Indian grandmother dadi-ma is always one step ahead, while another more troubling ghost chases after her. Determined to have the courage to confront the pain that her family can’t face, Taylia finds work at a neighborhood café owned by single mother and spiritualist, Kat. Taylia quickly builds a constellation of friends and lovers on her own, daring herself to be open to new experiences, even as they call into question what she thought she knew about the past.
Taylia’s story is about survival, coming to terms with her past and looking forward to a future she never felt she was allowed to claim. Writing this for eighteen years, poet and activist Fariha Róisín’s debut novel is an intense, provocative, and emotionally profound portrait of an inner life in turmoil and the redemptive power of community and love.

 

9781982131739_465a8Rage by Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, is an unprecedented and intimate tour de force of new reporting on the Trump presidency facing a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest.

Woodward, the #1 international bestselling author of Fear: Trump in the White House, has uncovered the precise moment the president was warned that the COVID-19 epidemic would be the biggest national security threat to his presidency. In dramatic detail, Woodward takes readers into the Oval Office as Trump’s head pops up when he is told in January 2020 that the pandemic could reach the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 675,000 Americans.

In 17 on-the-record interviews with Woodward over seven volatile months—an utterly vivid window into Trump’s mind—the president provides a self-portrait that is part denial and part combative interchange mixed with surprising moments of doubt as he glimpses the perils in the presidency and what he calls the “dynamite behind every door.”

At key decision points, Rage shows how Trump’s responses to the crises of 2020 were rooted in the instincts, habits and style he developed during his first three years as president.

Revisiting the earliest days of the Trump presidency, Rage reveals how Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats struggled to keep the country safe as the president dismantled any semblance of collegial national security decision making.

Rage draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand witnesses as well as participants’ notes, emails, diaries, calendars and confidential documents.

Woodward obtained 25 never-seen personal letters exchanged between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a “fantasy film.”

Trump insists to Woodward he will triumph over COVID-19 and the economic calamity. “Don’t worry about it, Bob. Okay?” Trump told the author in July. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get to do another book. You’ll find I was right.”

 

9781948226523_f3e6cHigh As The Waters Rise by Anja Kampmann

German poet Anja Kampmann’s award-winning debut novel is the dazzling, heart-rending story of an oil rig worker whose closest friend goes missing, plunging him into isolation and forcing him to confront his past

One night aboard an oil drilling platform in the Atlantic, Waclaw returns to his cabin to find that his bunkmate and companion, Mátyás, has gone missing. A search of the rig confirms his fear that Mátyás has fallen into the sea.

Grief-stricken, he embarks on an epic emotional and physical journey that takes him to Morocco, to Budapest and Mátyás’s hometown in Hungary, to Malta, Italy, and finally to the mining town of his childhood in Germany. Waclaw’s encounters along the way with other lost and yearning souls – Mátyás’s angry, grieving half-sister; lonely rig workers on shore leave; a truck driver who watches the world change from his driver’s seat – bring us closer to his origins while also revealing the problems of a globalized economy dependent on waning natural resources. High as the Waters Rise is a stirring exploration of male intimacy, the nature of memory and grief, and the cost of freedom – the story of a man who stands at the margins of a society from which he has profited little, though its functioning depends on his labor.

Now in Paperback


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