Hot Off the Press: October 20, 2015 Releases

Just one featured book for today’s releases, but man, does it sound good.

The hours count: A Novel by jillian cantor

This is one of those releases that I don’t have memorized, but every time I read the description I am thrilled by the potential. The book is based on Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, executed as spies 51NS9OqDDfL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_during the Cold War. However, it takes an interesting approach:

The day Ethel was first arrested in 1950, she left her two young sons with a neighbor, and she never came home to them again. Brilliantly melding fact and fiction, Jillian Cantor reimagines the life of that neighbor, and the life of Ethel and Julius, an ordinary-seeming Jewish couple who became the only Americans put to death for spying during the Cold War.

I’m fascinated by the Cold War, especially military history and the nuclear age, and I appreciate unique historical fiction that gives “side” figures an imagined voice. I’m excited to see how Cantor balances the narratives.

I’m sure there are plenty of other books being published today, so don’t forget to post your favorite ones in the comments!

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Hot Off the Press: October 13, 2015 Releases

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There are only a couple of books coming out today that hit my radar. Beware, they promise to be on the darker side.

she walks in shadows by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles (Editors)

I heard about this collection over the summer and knew it would be my jam: reimagining classic Lovecraftian tales with a female focus. All of the contributing authors in the anthology are women, too! I mean, I’m a sucker for something described as “defiant, destructive, terrifying, and harrowing.”

City on Fire: A novel by Garth Risk Hallberg

An aside: the author’s middle name may as well be “Danger.” Also, in my defense, I’m not sure this book will be as dark theme-wise as SWIS, but it does prominently feature the 1977 NYC blackout, so there’s at least some literal darkness. Also, a murder occurs on New Year’s Eve. For some people (like my husband), a murder automatically sets a book to “dark.” But as we’ve established, I have Stephen King-level thresholds and just think this wide variety of characters in 1970s New York will be an interesting read.

I’m sure there are plenty of other books being published today, so don’t forget to post your favorite ones in the comments!

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Hot Off the Press: October 6, 2015 Releases

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A bit of a mixed bag for the first Tuesday in October…

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

I’ve been excited about this book for the last few months, and it’s finally out today! This YA pick follows Mikey, who isn’t the Chosen One and just wants to get through high school. If the tone is anything like the title, it should be a fun ride.

Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger

I get scared very easily, but I love horror. I’ve enjoyed ghost stories since childhood, though it was less the creepy Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and more a chilling audio cassette my best friends’ mom found at the library, featuring mostly local/regional stories. This illustrated edition promises to delight the “classic and contemporary ghost story aficionado.”

Death by Water by Kenzaburo Oe

I normally wouldn’t select this type of book, but it hooked me with promises that “storytelling can mend political, social, and familial rifts.” I’m not familiar with this author (who’s been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, no less), but the way he connects life and myth have me intrigued. He’s also Japanese, and I’ve committed myself to reading more about this beautiful country I visited earlier this year.

The Secret Chord: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks

Oh, Geraldine Brooks. For some reason, I keep going back. I haven’t loved the books of hers I’ve read, but with Biblical figure David…well, I’m coming back, aren’t I? I find Biblical narratives compelling when done well (for a time, The Red Tent was my hands-down favorite book), so I’m interested to see how Brooks crafts her story.

I’m sure there are plenty of other books being published today, so don’t forget to post your favorite ones in the comments!

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Hot Off the Press: September 29, 2015 Releases

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I can’t determine if I’ve got a theme with the four books I’m excited about today. Fraught relationships, perhaps?

gold fame citrus by claire vay watkins

My biggest question is ‘will this book stand up to the hype surrounding it for the last few months’? Seems like everyone who’s gotten a galley loves this book, which charts a couple’s journey from drought-ravaged SoCal east to a water diviner.

me, my hair, and i: twenty-seven woman untangle an obsession by elizabeth benedict

My non-fiction pick of the week, which focuses on, yep, ladies and their hair. More a sociocultural  approach than a beauty one (I think/hope), I’m interested in how the book is both an intimate reflection and a global one.

not on fire, but burning by greg hrbek

A totally genre-bent book that’s “not exactly a thriller, not exactly sci-fi, not exactly speculative fiction, but rather a brilliant and absorbing adventure.” The story begins when a mysterious object nukes the Golden Gate Bridge, resulting in the death of the protagonist’s sister, religious internment camps, and a grieving family.

the heart goes last: a novel by margaret atwood

Margaret Atwood! Margaret Atwood! Margaret Atwood! That’s basically all I need to know to be interested. If plot’s your thing, though, this one follows a couple’s involvement in the Positron Project, which leads Stan to danger and Charmaine into the arms of another man.

I’m sure there are plenty of other books being published today, so don’t forget to post your favorite ones in the comments!

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Hot Off the Press: September 22, 2015 Releases

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There are four books being released today that pique my interest, and they are wildly different.

The Social Sex: A History of Female Friendship by Marilyn Yalom and Theresa Donovan Brown

A non-fiction book about, you guessed, lady friendships! Being a History and Gender Studies double major, I enjoy a good book that combines gender/sexuality and historical perspectives. This one’s right in my wheelhouse, and I’m excited to read it this year!

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

I honestly don’t know about this book. It’s the one I’ll least likely read, but there are some elements that sound cool and in my wheelhouse: compelling heroine, dangerous travel narrative, somewhat earthy (but unusual) magic, and an interesting concept. Frankly, I’m putting this out there so someone else can read it and tell me if I should invest in another trilogy.

After the Parade: A Novel by Lori Ostlund

A bit of a wild card pick, but I’ve been enjoying slow, intimate narratives more. I get the impression this will remind me of The Art of Fielding, in the best way possible. Described as a “glorious new anthem for the outsider,” I’m excited to read Ostlund’s debut.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

I’ve been looking forward to Okparanta’s novel since I first saw mention of it months ago in 2015 fiction preview post. Set during Nigeria’s civil war and aftermath and inspired by African folkloric traditions, this book explores the costs of being yourself and denying your identity.

I’m sure there are plenty of other books being published today, so don’t forget to post your favorite ones in the comments!

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Hot Off the Press: September 15, 2015 Releases

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I missed the first couple weeks of September, but I’m back in business. Here are two books I want to buy/check out today.

First up, Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. I can’t remember how I found out about this book – probably a preview post over at Book Riot – but man, this book sounds a-freaking-mazing. The protagonist, an overweight Texas teen named, I kid you not, Willowdean Dickson, is a confident young woman with body confidence in spades (“Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.”). Things take a turn when Willowdean discovers that her hunky crush also likes her, and her self-esteem takes a bit of dive. So Willowdean does what any plucky young girl would in her position: compete in pageant to challenge expectations (including her own).  It sounds like the awesomeness of Fat Amy mixed with the aw, shucks of Amber Atkins.

Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies is…different. I’ve seen this one on many lists and it’s been featured pretty heavily in social media – another big win for Riverhead Books, which is killing it this year. Fates and Furies sounds like The Interestings, but quieter and more intimate. The book focuses on one couple’s relationship, as husband and wife and creative partners. It promises to examine the complexities of these relationships over time, revealing secrets and many layers.

I’m sure there are plenty of other books being published today, so don’t forget to post your favorite ones in the comments!

What are you excited to check out today?

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Hot Off the Press: August 2015 Releases

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Making this list is when I discovered how many killer books are coming out August 4th.

august 4th

the night sister BY jennifer mcmahoN

I’m trying to stick with one pick each week, and there are a lot of phenomenal releases dropping August 4th. My top one is Jennifer McMahon’s The Night Sister. I find McMahon a capable, brilliant writer who ramps up suspense and layers in great characters, compelling arcs, and twists I never see coming. Her latest promises to be “an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets.”

 august 11th

katrina: after the flood BY gary rivlin

I haven’t read a lot about Hurricane Katrina, though I do have an audiobook queued up on my Audible app. I’ve read some great early reviews about this book, which will include stories of how a range of New Orleanians have dealt with the aftermath of a natural disaster in a city with strong historical and cultural foundations.

AUGUST 18TH

the incarnations BY susan barker

I like to include some fun selections each month, and this is somewhat of a wild card. It features past lives, a mysterious soulmate, and a taxi driver in Beijing, exploring the “cyclical nature of history as it hints that the past is never truly settled.” Come on, that spooky description’s gotta give you chills!

What are you excited to read this month? Any of these picks making it into your TBR pile?

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