In the Country of Others by Leila Slimani
The award-winning, #1 internationally bestselling new novel by the author of The Perfect Nanny, about a woman in an interracial marriage whose fierce desire for autonomy parallels her adopted country’s fight for independence
The world of men is just like the world of botany. In the end, one species dominates another. One day, the orange will win out over the lemon, or vice versa, and the tree will once again produce fruit that people can eat.
In her first new novel since The Perfect Nanny launched her onto the world stage and won her acclaim for her “devastatingly perceptive character studies” (The New York Times Book Review), Leila Slimani draws on her own family’s inspiring story for the first volume in a planned trilogy about race, resilience, and women’s empowerment.
Mathilde, a spirited young Frenchwoman, falls in love with Amine, a handsome Moroccan soldier in the French army during World War II. After the war, the couple settles in Morocco. While Amine tries to cultivate his family farm’s rocky terrain, Mathilde feels her vitality sapped by the isolation, the harsh climate, the lack of money, and the mistrust she inspires as a foreigner. Left increasingly alone to raise her two children in a world whose rules she does not understand, and with her daughter taunted at school by rich French girls for her secondhand clothes and unruly hair, Mathilde goes from being reduced to a farmer’s wife to defying the country’s chauvinism and repressive social codes by offering medical services to the rural population.
As tensions mount between the Moroccans and the French colonists, Amine finds himself caught in the crossfire: in solidarity with his Moroccan workers yet also a landowner, despised by the French yet married to a Frenchwoman, and proud of his wife’s resolve but ashamed by her refusal to be subjugated. All of them live in the country of others–especially the women, forced to live in the land of men–and with this novel, Leila Slimani issues the first salvo in their emancipation.
Meadowlark by Ethan Hawke, Greg Ruth
From the dream team behind #1 New York Times bestseller Indeh comes a graphic novel following a father and son as they navigate an increasingly catastrophic day.
Set against the quiet and unassuming city of Huntsville, Texas, Jack “Meadowlark” Johnson, and his teenage son, Cooper embark on a journey of epic proportions. Told over the course a single day, this electrifying graphic novel recounts Cooper’s struggle to survive the consequences of his father’s mistakes and the dangers they have brought home to his estranged family. As Cooper and his father desperately navigate cascading threats of violence, they must also grapple with their own combative, dysfunctional, but loving relationship.
Drawing on inspiration from the authors’ childhoods in Texas, their relationships with their own sons and from ancient myths that resonate throughout the ages, this contemporary crime noir is a propulsive coming-of-age tale of the shattering transition into manhood. While both father and son strive to understand their place in the world and each other’s lives, tension and resentment threaten to boil over. As emotionally evocative as it is visually stunning, this captivating graphic novel will appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and Terrence Malick’s Badlands.
The Republic of False Truths by Alaa Al Aswany
A “glorious, humane novel” (The Observer) about the Egyptian revolution, taking us inside the battle raging between those in power and those prepared to lay down their lives in the defense of freedom—this globally-acclaimed narrative from one of the foremost writers in the Arab world is still banned across much of the region.
Cairo, 2011. After decades under a repressive regime, tensions are rising in the city streets. No one is out of reach of the revolution. There is General Alwany, a high-ranking member of the government’s security agency, a pious man who loves his family yet won’t hesitate to torture enemies of the state; Asma, a young teacher who chafes against the brazen corruption at her school; Ashraf, an out-of-work actor who is having an affair with his maid and who gets pulled into Tahrir Square through a chance encounter; Nourhan, a television personality who loyally defends those in power; and many more.
As these lives collide, a new generation finds a voice, love blossoms across class divides, and the revolution gains strength. Even the general finds himself at a crossroads as his own daughter joins the protests. Yet the old regime will not give up without a fight.
With an unforgettably vivid cast of characters and a heart-pounding narrative banned across much of the region, Alaa Al Aswany gives us a deeply human portrait of the Egyptian Revolution, and an impassioned retelling of his country’s turbulent recent history.
The Big Hurt: A Memoir by Erika Schickel
This complex memoir shows what it was like growing up in the shadow of a literary father and a neglectful mother, getting thrown out of boarding school after being seduced by a teacher, and all of the later-life consequences that ensue.
In 1982, Erika Schickel was expelled from her East Coast prep school for sleeping with a teacher. She was that girl–rebellious, precocious, and macking for love. Seduced, caught, and then whisked away in the night to avoid scandal, Schickel’s provocative, searing, and darkly funny memoir, The Big Hurt, explores the question, How did that girl turn out?
Schickel came of age in the 1970s, the progeny of two writers: Richard Schickel, the prominent film critic for TIME magazine, and Julia Whedon, a melancholy mid-list novelist. In the wake of her parents’ ugly divorce, Erika was packed off to a bohemian boarding school in the Berkshires.
The Big Hurt tells two coming-of-age stories: one of a lost girl in a predatory world, and the other of that girl grown up, who in reckoning with her past ends up recreating it with a notorious LA crime novelist, blowing up her marriage and casting herself into the second exile of her life.
The Big Hurt looks at a legacy of shame handed down through a maternal bloodline and the cost of epigenetic trauma. It shines a light on the haute culture of 1970s Manhattan that made girls grow up too fast. It looks at the long shadow cast by great, monstrously self-absorbed literary lives and the ways in which women pin themselves like beautiful butterflies to the spreading board of male ego.
The Most Fun Thing by Kyle Beachy
Perfect for fans of Barbarian Days, this memoir in essays follows one man’s decade-long quest to uncover the hidden meaning of skateboarding, and explores how this search led unexpectedly to insights on marriage, love, loss, American invention, and growing old.
In January 2012, creative writing professor and novelist Kyle Beachy published one of his first essays on skate culture, an exploration of how Nike’s corporate strategy successfully gutted the once-mighty independent skate shoe market. Beachy has since established himself as skate culture’s freshest, most illuminating, at times most controversial voice, writing candidly about the increasingly popular and fast-changing pastime he first picked up as a young boy and has continued to practice well into adulthood.
What is skateboarding? What does it mean to continue skateboarding after the age of forty, four decades after the kickflip was invented? How does one live authentically as an adult while staying true to a passion cemented in childhood? How does skateboarding shape one’s understanding of contemporary American life? Of growing old and getting married?
Contemplating these questions and more, Beachy offers a deep exploration of a pastime—often overlooked, regularly maligned—whose seeming simplicity conceals universal truths. THE MOST FUN THING is both a rich account of a hobby and a collection of the lessons skateboarding has taught Beachy—and what it continues to teach him as he strugglesto find space for it as an adult, a professor, and a husband.
Everything I Have Is Yours by Eleanor Henderson
From New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Henderson comes a turbulent love story meets harrowing medical mystery: the true story of the author’s twenty-year marriage defined by her husband’s chronic illness—and a testament to the endurance of love
Eleanor met Aaron when she was just a teenager and he was working at a local record stored—older, experienced, and irresistibly charming. Escaping the clichés of fleeting young love, their summer romance bloomed into a relationship that survived college and culminated in a marriage and two children. From the outside looking in, their life had all the trappings of what most would consider a success story.
But, as in any marriage, things weren’t always as they seemed. On top of the typical stresses of parenting, money, and work, there were the untended wounds of depression, addiction, and childhood trauma. And then one day, out of nowhere: a rash appeared on Aaron’s arms. Soon, it had morphed into painful lesions covering his body. Eleanor was as baffled as the doctors. There was no obvious diagnosis, let alone a cure. And as years passed and the lesions gave way to Aaron’s increasingly disturbed concerns about the source of his sickness, the husband she loved seemed to unravel before her eyes. A new fissure ruptured in their marriage, and new questions piled onto old ones: Where does physical illness end and mental illness begin? Where does one person end and another begin? And how do we exist alongside someone else’s suffering?
Emotional, intimate, and at times agonizing, Everything I Have Is Yours tells the story of a marriage tested by powerful forces outside both partners’ control. It’s not only a memoir of a wife’s tireless quest to heal her husband, but also one that asks just what it means to accept someone as they are.
The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters by Julie Klam
New York Times–bestselling author Julie Klam’s funny and moving story of the Morris sisters, distant relations with mysterious pasts.
Ever since she was young, Julie Klam has been fascinated by the Morris sisters, cousins of her grandmother. According to family lore, early in the twentieth century the sisters’ parents decided to move the family from Eastern Europe to Los Angeles so their father could become a movie director. On the way, their pregnant mother went into labor in St. Louis, where the baby was born and where their mother died. The father left the children in an orphanage and promised to send for them when he settled in California—a promise he never kept. One of the Morris sisters later became a successful Wall Street trader and advised Franklin Roosevelt. The sisters lived together in New York City, none of them married or had children, and one even had an affair with J. P. Morgan.
The stories of these independent women intrigued Klam, but as she delved into them to learn more, she realized that the tales were almost completely untrue.
The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters is the revealing account of what Klam discovered about her family—and herself—as she dug into the past. The deeper she went into the lives of the Morris sisters, the slipperier their stories became. And the more questions she had about what actually happened to them, the more her opinion of them evolved.
Part memoir and part confessional, and told with the wit and honesty that are hallmarks of Klam’s books, The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters is the fascinating and funny true story of one writer’s journey into her family’s past, the truths she brings to light, and what she learns about herself along the way.
The Arbornaut by Meg Lowman
Nicknamed the “Real-Life Lorax” by National Geographic, the biologist, botanist, and conservationist Meg Lowman—aka “CanopyMeg”—takes us on an adventure into the “eighth continent” of the world’s treetops, along her journey as a tree scientist, and into climate action
Welcome to the eighth continent!
As a graduate student exploring the rain forests of Australia, Meg Lowman realized that she couldn’t monitor her beloved leaves using any of the usual methods. So she put together a climbing kit: she sewed a harness from an old seat belt, gathered hundreds of feet of rope, and found a tool belt for her pencils and rulers. Up she went, into the trees.
Forty years later, Lowman remains one of the world’s foremost arbornauts, known as the “real-life Lorax.” She planned one of the first treetop walkways and helps create more of these bridges through the eighth continent all over the world.
With a voice as infectious in its enthusiasm as it is practical in its optimism, The Arbornaut chronicles Lowman’s irresistible story. From climbing solo hundreds of feet into the air in Australia’s rainforests to measuring tree growth in the northeastern United States, from searching the redwoods of the Pacific coast for new life to studying leaf eaters in Scotland’s Highlands, from conducting a BioBlitz in Malaysia to conservation planning in India and collaborating with priests to save Ethiopia’s last forests, Lowman launches us into the life and work of a field scientist, ecologist, and conservationist. She offers hope, specific plans, and recommendations for action; despite devastation across the world, through trees, we can still make an immediate and lasting impact against climate change.
A blend of memoir and fieldwork account, The Arbornaut gives us the chance to live among scientists and travel the world—even in a hot-air balloon! It is the engrossing, uplifting story of a nerdy tree climber—the only girl at the science fair—who becomes a giant inspiration, a groundbreaking, ground-defying field biologist, and a hero for trees everywhere.
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Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis
Here We Are by Graham Swift
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