A New Year, a new Five Book Friday, in which we introduce you to some of the new books that have found their way on to our shelves this week. Because the end of December and the first week in January is so flat-out insane, the book publishing industry as a whole takes a wee bit of a break during this time…however, they compensate by bringing out a whole slew of new books in January and February, so we are all looking forward to some of the super-terrific books slated to arrive shortly. If you’re interested in seeing some, here is a list to get you in the bookish spirit, courtesy of the lovely Lady Pole!
And now, without further ado, we present our first Five Book Friday of 2016 for you to, ahem, devour…
The Match of the Century: Cathy Maxwell is one of the stars of historical romance, and this new series opener has been garnered rave reviews from fans and critics alike. Some may think Elin Morris lucky because she doesn’t have to hunt for a husband–she’s been engaged since she was born–but Elin knows differently. Because she’s in love with her fiance’s brother, Ben. Even though duty and loyalty state that Ben must forget the woman who stole his heart so many years ago, he can’t seem to drive Elin, or his memories of her, away. And when Elin finds herself in danger, Ben resolves to do anything to keep her safe–even if it means losing her forever. RT Book Reviews said of this new release, “Maxwell infuses the first of her new series with great depth of emotion. Readers will experience her characters’ anger, frustration, sadness and joy, and they’ll sigh with satisfaction at this master storyteller’s ability to create a delightful, emotional read.”
2016 Pushcart Prize XL : Best of the Small Presses: The Pushcart Prize has become an institution in American literature, celebrating small presses and the authors who keep them running, and this 40th Anniversary Collection, with 65 essays, poems, and stories from around the country, is being hailed as their best collection to date. Editor Bill Henderson (who created the Pushcart Prize, and still keeps it running today) and over 200 contributing editors are to thank, and, of the contents, Booklist has declared it, ““One of the zestiest and most impressive installments in Pushcart’s proud reign as the most bountiful and exciting of literary harvests.”
My Brilliant Friend: Elena Ferrente’s Neapolitan Novels have been hailed as the some of the best books of the year–collectively and individually, with each book being hailed as a triumph. This book begins the tale of two friends, Elena and Lila, focusing on their childhood and adolescence in 1950’s Naples. With nothing to reuly on but each other, Elena and Lila begin to develop into brilliant, complex women, at once dependent on each other, and wholly independent spirits. The New York Times Book Review has declared, “Elena Ferrante is one of the great novelists of our time . . . In these bold, gorgeous, relentless novels, Ferrante traces the deep connections between the political and the domestic. This is a new version of the way we live now — one we need, one told brilliantly, by a woman.” Thankfully, we now have each of the four novels in this much-celebrated series for your enjoyment.
Forty Thieves: Thomas Perry’s latest stand-alone novel features the husband and wife detective team of Sid and Ronnie Abel, both retired from the LAPD, who are teamed up with another husband and wife–of trained assassins, however. Together, they are ordered to do damage control on the murder of a local research scientist, whose death may be a cover for some shocking and deadly secrets. This book certainly looks wholly original, and Booklist gave it a star review, saying “Along the way to a knockout finale . . . Perry offers a master class in narrative sleight of hand . . . . Perry’s books, whether series or stand-alone, absolutely resist easy categorization, thoroughly melding character and plot, light and dark, and totally immersing the reader in the irresistible narrative.”
City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp: The makeshift city of Dadaab, in the hostile desert of northern Kenya, is a place where building are made of mud and plastic, the inhabitants live on rations and luck, since nothing will grow there but thorns, and where whole lives are lived entirely in limbo. Human Rights Watch researcher Ben Rawlence spent four years getting to know the refugees at Dadaab, from former child soldiers to peddlers, to schoolchildren, and tells their life stories in this heart-wrenching, and vitally necessary book. Writers and readers around the world are hailing this book as a tour de force of journalistic writing, and Booklist praises, “That Rawlence has managed to capture so much of this unlikely city’s chaos and confusion in a narrative that is very nearly impossible to put down is an achievement in reportage that few have matched. Dadaab’s half a million residents could not have asked for a better champion…and while the facts and figures he shares are stunning, it is the nine individuals whose stories he focuses on who give the book its hearT.”
Until next week, beloved patrons–Happy Reading!