Female rage. Texas myths. Quirky historical fiction. An East Texas thriller. Plenty of bookseller favorites. This is what you can expect to see on shelves today! Don’t miss out. We have too many favorites to count!
Animal: A Novel by Lisa Taddeo
“Vicious and sexually raw, Animal may be my favorite debut novel of the year. The complex history and connection of Taddeo’s characters are revealed through masterful storytelling that is confident and propulsive. The usually unspoken complications and intimacies of female relationships are fully displayed in a way that is unapologetically honest, traumatic and uncomfortable. Driven by rage, Animal illustrates how much abuse a woman can take before going from prey to predator.”
— Charley R.
“Taddeo confronts her readers in a way that asks us why we consider certain traits in characters (and women in particular) unlikeable. Animal is unsettling, beautiful, and page-turning fiction at its best..”
— Consuelo W.
River, Sing Out: A Novel by James Wade
Attempting to escape his abusive father and generations of cyclical poverty, young Jonah Hargrove joins the mysterious River—a teenage girl carrying thousands of dollars in stolen meth—and embarks on a southern gothic odyssey through the East Texas river bottoms.
They are pursued by local drug kingpin John Curtis and his murderous enforcer, Dakota Cade, with whom River was romantically involved. But Cade and Curtis have their own enemies, as their relationship with the cartel controlling their meth supply begins to sour.
Keeping tabs on everyone is the Thin Man, a silent assassin who values consequence over mercy.
Each person is keeping secrets from the others–deadly secrets that will be exposed in savage fashion as their final paths collide and all are forced to come to terms with their choices, their circumstances, and their own definition of God.
With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into a sinister and sanguinary world, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self.
Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford
Three noted Texan writers combine forces to tell the real story of the Alamo, dispelling the myths, exploring why they had their day for so long, and explaining why the ugly fight about its meaning is now coming to a head.
Every nation needs its creation myth, and since Texas was a nation before it was a state, it’s no surprise that its myths bite deep. There’s no piece of history more important to Texans than the Battle of the Alamo, when Davy Crockett and a band of rebels went down in a blaze of glory fighting for independence from Mexico, losing the battle but setting Texas up to win the war. However, that version of events, as Forget the Alamo definitively shows, owes more to fantasy than reality. Just as the site of the Alamo was left in ruins for decades, its story was forgotten and twisted over time, with the contributions of Tejanos–Texans of Mexican origin, who fought alongside the Anglo rebels–scrubbed from the record, and the origin of the conflict over Mexico’s push to abolish slavery papered over. Forget the Alamo provocatively explains the true story of the battle against the backdrop of Texas’s struggle for independence, then shows how the sausage of myth got made in the Jim Crow South of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As uncomfortable as it may be to hear, celebrating the Alamo has long had an echo of celebrating whiteness.
In the past forty-some years, waves of revisionists have come at this topic, and at times have made real progress toward a more nuanced and inclusive story that doesn’t alienate anyone. But we are not living in one of those times; the fight over the Alamo’s meaning has become more pitched than ever in the past few years, even violent, as Texas’s future begins to look more and more different from its past. It’s the perfect time for a wise and generous-spirited book that shines the bright light of the truth into a place that’s gotten awfully dark.
¡Hola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer
“I read ¡Hola, Papi! in one sitting—something that hasn’t happened to me in A WHILE, especially during lockdown when I can’t seem to focus on anything for more than a few pages at a time. I found myself completely drawn in and enveloped in John Paul Brammer’s voice. Part advice column, part memoir, ¡Hola, Papi! is warm, smart, insightful, emotional, at times sad, but mostly laugh-out-loud funny and touching. I think readers will love this book, whether they’re familiar with Brammer’s work or not, and find a good friend in its pages, reaching out and reminding them they’re not alone.”
— Eugenia V.
The Plague Year: America In the Time of COVID by Lawrence Wright
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Looming Tower: an unprecedented, momentous account of Covid-19—its origins, its wide-ranging repercussions, and the ongoing global fight to contain it
From the fateful first moments of the outbreak in China to the storming of the U.S. Capitol to the extraordinary vaccine rollout, Lawrence Wright’s The Plague Year tells the story of Covid-19 in authoritative, galvanizing detail and with the full drama of events on both a global and intimate scale, illuminating the medical, economic, political, and social ramifications of the pandemic.
Wright takes us inside the CDC, where a first round of faulty test kits lost America precious time…inside the halls of the White House, where Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger’s early alarm about the virus was met with confounding and drastically costly skepticism…into a Covid ward in a Charlottesville hospital, with an idealistic young woman doctor from the town of Little Africa, South Carolina…into the precincts of prediction specialists at Goldman Sachs…into Broadway’s darkened theaters and Austin’s struggling music venues… inside the human body, diving deep into the science of how the virus and vaccines function—with an eye-opening detour into the history of vaccination and of the modern anti-vaccination movement. And in this full accounting, Wright makes clear that the medical professionals around the country who’ve risked their lives to fight the virus reveal and embody an America in all its vulnerability, courage, and potential.
In turns steely-eyed, sympathetic, infuriated, unexpectedly comical, and always precise, Lawrence Wright is a formidable guide, slicing through the dense fog of misinformation to give us a 360-degree portrait of the catastrophe we thought we knew as we lived through it.
Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch: A Novel by Rivka Galchen
The startling, witty, highly anticipated second novel from the critically acclaimed author of Atmospheric Disturbances.
The story begins in 1618, in the German duchy of Württemberg. Plague is spreading. The Thirty Years’ War has begun, and fear and suspicion are in the air throughout the Holy Roman Empire. In the small town of Leonberg, Katharina Kepler is accused of being a witch.
Katharina is an illiterate widow, known by her neighbors for her herbal remedies and the success of her children, including her eldest, Johannes, who is the Imperial Mathematician and renowned author of the laws of planetary motion. It’s enough to make anyone jealous, and Katharina has done herself no favors by being out and about and in everyone’s business.
So when the deranged and insipid Ursula Reinbold (or as Katharina calls her, the Werewolf) accuses Katharina of offering her a bitter, witchy drink that has made her ill, Katharina is in trouble. Her scientist son must turn his attention from the music of the spheres to the job of defending his mother. Facing the threat of financial ruin, torture, and even execution, Katharina tells her side of the story to her friend and next-door neighbor Simon, a reclusive widower imperiled by his own secrets.
Drawing on real historical documents but infused with the intensity of imagination, sly humor, and intellectual fire for which Rivka Galchen is known, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch will both provoke and entertain. The story of how a community becomes implicated in collective aggression and hysterical fear is a tale for our time. Galchen’s bold new novel touchingly illuminates a society and a family undone by superstition, the state, and the mortal convulsions of history.
Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy by Anne Sebba
“‘This seemed a very masculine story when I started work.” Anne Sebba writes this in the epilogue, and it is an underlying theme in her nuanced exploration of Ethel Rosenberg, executed in 1953, along with her husband, Julius, both accused of espionage against the US. Spying, after all, is men’s activity; even fifty years after WWII and the beginning of the Cold War, it seems we approach Ethel’s actions from that viewpoint. Sebba takes new evidence—Ethel’s prison letters and grand jury transcripts—and flips that viewpoint as she scrutinizes it alongside previous sources and testimony. Her straightforward prose shows Ethel as a “exceptional woman” betrayed by family, surrounded by misogyny on all levels, and abused by paranoid government officials. We need books like this to remind us of the dangers of rampant fear, on a cultural level and an individual level. I can’t recommend Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy enough.”
New in Paperback
Luster: A Novel by Raven Leilani
Our Time is Now: Power, Purspose, and the Fight for a Fair America by Stacey Abrams
Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez
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