Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Fall into Reading
These are some books that people are excited to read this fall. Check one out and see if they live up to the hype!
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. Now things are splintering apart. The big reason seems to be Edie's size. She's obsessed with food, and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live. When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, wants her father to pay for leaving their mother. Benny just wants to smooth things over. And Rachelle is intent on saving her mother-in-law's life, but this task proves even harder than she expected. Through it all, they wonder: do Edie's choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too?
Telegraph Avenue: A Novel by Michael Chabon
FIC CHABON (on audio, too)
As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the world. When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship. Adding another layer of complication to the couples' already tangled lives is the surprise appearance of Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged and the love of fifteen-year-old Julius Jaffe's life.
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
In a continuation of the story started in The Passage, the group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals: the first offensives of the Second Viral War. To do this, they must infiltrate a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral—but whose side, in the end, is she really on?
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness--and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.
Winter of the World by Ken Follett
FIC FOLLETT (on audio, too)
In this second book in the Century Trilogy, the five interrelated families enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
FIC ROWLING (also in Large Print and audio)
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
Joseph Anton: A Memoir by Salman Rushdie
On February 14, 1989, Salman Rushdie received a telephone call from a BBC journalist who told the author that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet, and the Quran.” So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. Rushdie was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and various combinations of their names. Then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for more than nine years? In this memoir, Rushdie tells the story of the crucial battle for freedom of speech.
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
B SCHWALBE (also in audio)
“What are you reading?” That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less. This is the true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on.
Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream by Neil Young
For the first time, legendary singer, songwriter, and guitarist Neil Young offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical creativity. He tells of his childhood in Ontario; his first brush with mortality; struggling to pay rent during his early days with the Squires; traveling the Canadian prairies; leaving Canada on a whim in 1966 to pursue his musical dreams in Los Angeles; the brief but influential life of Buffalo Springfield. He recounts their rapid rise to fame and ultimate break-up; going solo and overcoming his fear of singing alone; forming Crazy Horse and writing “Cinnamon Girl,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” and “Down by the River"; joining Crosby, Stills & Nash, recording the landmark CSNY album, Déjà vu, and writing the song, “Ohio;” falling in love with his wife, Pegi, and the birth of his three children; and finally, finding the contemplative paradise of Hawaii.