1. Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan (Gotham Books)
Description: Two best friends document their post-college lives through emails in this hilarious, relatable, and powerfully honest memoir.
Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in-depth—and brutally honest—weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess packs up everything she owns and moves to Beijing on a whim, while Rachel heads to New York to work for an art gallery and to figure out her love life. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages from around the world, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns.
Reminiscent of Sloan Crosley’s essays and Lena Dunham’s Girls, Graduates in Wonderland is an intimate, no-holds-barred portrait of two young women as they embark upon adulthood.
On sale 5/6.
2. Run, Don't Walk by Adele Levine (Avery)
Description: M*A*S*H meets Scrubs in a sharply observant, darkly funny, and totally unique debut memoir from physical therapist Adele Levine.
In her six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Adele Levine rehabilitated soldiers admitted in worse and worse shape. As body armor and advanced trauma care helped save the lives—if not the limbs—of American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Walter Reed quickly became the world leader in amputee rehabilitation. But no matter the injury, physical therapy began the moment the soldiers emerged from surgery.
Days at Walter Reed were intense, chaotic, consuming, and heartbreaking, but they were also filled with camaraderie and humor. Working in a glassed-in fishbowl gymnasium, Levine, her colleagues, and their combat-injured patients were on display at every moment to tour groups, politicians, and celebrities. Some would shudder openly at the sight—but inside the glass and out of earshot, the PTs and the patients cracked jokes, played pranks, and compared stumps.
With dazzling storytelling, Run, Don't Walk introduces a motley array of oddball characters including: Jim, a retired lieutenant-colonel who stays up late at night baking cake after cake, and the militant dietitian who is always after him; a surgeon who only speaks in farm analogies; a therapy dog gone rogue; —and Levine’s toughest patient, the wild, defiant Cosmo, who comes in with one leg amputated and his other leg shattered.
Entertaining, engrossing, and ultimately inspiring, Run, Don't Walk is a fascinating look into a hidden world.
On sale 4/10
3. The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight (Altaire Productions&Publications)
Description: An intensely personal invocation of the ancient Greek tragedy, The Antigone Poems was created in the 1970s while writer Marie Slaight and artist Terrence Tasker were living in Montreal and Toronto. A bold retelling of the ancient tale of defiance and justice, its poetry and images capture the anguish and despair of the original tale in an unembellished modernized rendition.
On sale 5/15
4. The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger (Crown Publishing)
Description: Witty and wonderful, sparkling and sophisticated, this debut romantic comedy brilliantly tells the story of one very messy, very high-profile divorce, and the endearingly cynical young lawyer dragooned into handling it.
Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client. After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. She is locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane—and she also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. As she so disarmingly puts it: It’s her first divorce, too.
Debut novelist Susan Rieger doesn’t leave a word out of place in this hilarious and expertly crafted debut that shines with the power and pleasure of storytelling. Told through personal correspondence, office memos, emails, articles, and legal papers, this playful reinvention of the epistolary form races along with humor and heartache, exploring the complicated family dynamic that results when marriage fails. For Sophie, the whole affair sparks a hard look at her own relationships—not only with her parents, but with colleagues, friends, lovers, and most importantly, herself. Much like Where’d You Go, Bernadette, The Divorce Papers will have you laughing aloud and thanking the literature gods for this incredible, fresh new voice in fiction.
On sale 3/18
5. No Book But The World by Leah Hager Cohen (Riverhead Books)
Description: As children, Ava and her brother Fred were raised in a “free” environment. Their parents, progressive educators and followers of the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, believed children developed best without formal instruction or societal contraints. This, despite the fact that Fred was a child who clearly might have benefited from some kind of intervention.
When the book opens, Ava, 32, has learned that her brother, 30, is being held in a county jail in upstate New York, alleged to have abducted a young boy and taken him into the woods. After several days’ search, the boy is found dead.
Fred has always been different. If he’d ever been clinically evaluated, he might well have been given a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, but his parents didn’t believe in labeling or pathologizing human behavior, and never took him to a specialist. Now Ava feels impelled to try to piece together the story of what actually happened between the boy and Fred, convinced that she, and she alone, will be able to explain her brother in a way that allows the rest of the world to regard him with sympathy.
No Book but the World is about fathoming the unfathomable. It asks what obligation we have to reach out to someone who is difficult to love, or to try to understand the motivations behind another’s actions, and what means we have for doing so. It asks whether freedom is always desirable. And it challenges the idea that facts are our best tools for comprehending one another, proposing our emotions and imaginations might take us further.
On sale 4/3
6. Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston (Random House)
Description: Incisive, haunting, and beautifully written, Bret Anthony Johnston’s debut novel lays bare a family’s hope and heartbreak in the aftermath of a devastating crime. Remember Me Like This explores the nature of love and forgiveness when a kidnapped son is returned home.
Advance praise for Remember Me Like This
“It is as a writer that I admire the architecture of Remember Me Like This, the novel’s flawless storytelling. It is as the father of three sons that I vouch for the psychological authenticity of this depiction of any parent’s worst fears. Emotionally, I am with this family as they try to move ahead—embracing ‘the half-known and desperate history’ that they share. I love this novel.”—John Irving
“In this deeply nuanced portrait of an American family, Bret Anthony Johnston fearlessly explores the truth behind a mythic happy ending. He presents an incisive dismantling of an all-too-comforting fallacy: that in being found we are no longer lost.”—Alice Sebold
On sale 5/13
7. There Goes Gravity by Lisa Robinson (Riverhead Books)
Description: Lisa Robinson has interviewed everyone from John Lennon to Bono to Mick Jagger, Led Zeppelin, Patti Smith, Eminem, and Jay-Z and Beyonce. She’s talked nail polish with a 12-year-old Michael Jackson, hosted The Clash at Studio 54, and watched David Bowie and Lou Reed slow dance at a gay club in London. She had total access to the punk scene at CBGBs, sat at Andy Warhol’s fabled table at Max’s Kansas City, was on a private plane with the Rolling Stones that almost crashed in a lightning storm, and with Led Zeppelin when their tour manager whipped out a gun. She introduced David Bowie to Lou Reed and got Elvis Costello and the Clash their record deals. The story of rock and roll is Lisa Robinson’s story and she has lived and breathed music – the sound, the scene, the personalities – for decades.
Unlike all of the other women ever allowed on tour, Lisa was never a groupie; she never parties with the musicians, she instead asked all the right (and wrong) questions, earning their respect and trust, capturing hours of the authentic, often hidden side of rock’s most public persona’s. Lisa was the only female music journalist to break into an elite boys club, tour with the Stones on their “Tour of the Americas” and accompany Led Zeppelin on five tours in the ‘70s. She’s been on the side of the stage, backstage, in dressing rooms, hotel rooms, seedy motel rooms, tour buses, recording studios, and private homes of the biggest stars and the most obscure ones and has seen the sex, the drugs, and, of course, the rock and roll.
From rock to punk to hip hop, Lisa has over four decades of unparalleled access to anyone and everyone and she’s sharing her stories for the first time here.
On sale 4/17
8. The Club at Eddy's Bar by Zoltán Böszörményi (Phaeton Publishing)
Description: A murder story like no other, with a startling plot twist.
In the last years of the Cold War, the club at Eddy's Bar is a meeting place for the élite of an Eastern European city, especially those with more adventurous sexual tastes, which includes the apparently happily married mayor, several prominent lawyers and a city administrator of ambiguous gender. When a young barber, who frequented the club and was involved with several of its members, is found brutally murdered and mutilated at the Hotel Odéon, many people have reason to be afraid.
A young journalist discovers the truth and is forced to leave his family and flee to Canada as a refugee, where he struggles to start a new life. He keeps the notebook in which he wrote his account of the crime, hoping to publish it if his family are ever allowed to join him. However, he finds that the people he meets in the new country are concealing as many dark secrets and lies as those in the old.
The Club at Eddy's Bar is both a gripping murder mystery and an intricate and involving tale of power, hypocrisy, love, and betrayal.
The author Zoltán Böszörményi was born in the Hungarian community of Arad in Transylvania. While still a student, he published two books of Hungarian-language poetry. The second of these resulted in his arrest and interrogation by Romanian security officers. He fled across two borders and spent seven months in a refugee camp in Austria. He was admitted to Canada, where he learned English and graduated from York University in Toronto. After the opening up of Eastern Europe in the 90s, he returned and set up a successful lighting company in Romania. Now retired from manufacturing, he is Editor-in-Chief of a Hungarian-language daily journal and a monthly journal based in Arad. He has residences in Canada, Arad, and Monaco. In 2009 he received the Gundel Arts Award for the Hungarian version of The Club at Eddy's Bar, and in 2012 he received the József Attila Award for Hungarian literature. He is the author of two previous bestselling novels published in Hungary.
On sale 3/25
9. William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher (Quirk Books)
Description: Hot on the heels of the New York Times best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars comes the next two installments of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return.
Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter.
Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes!
IAN DOESCHER the author of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars®: Verily, a New Hope. He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.
On sale 3/25
10. Imagine There's No Heaven: How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World by Mitchell Stephens (Palgrave Macmillan)
Description: The historical achievements of religious belief have been large and well chronicled. But what about the accomplishments of those who have challenged religion? Traveling from classical Greece to twenty-first century America, Imagine There’s No Heaven explores the role of disbelief in shaping Western civilization. At each juncture common themes emerge: by questioning the role of gods in the heavens or the role of a God in creating man on earth, nonbelievers help move science forward. By challenging the divine right of monarchs and the strictures of holy books, nonbelievers, including Jean- Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot, help expand human liberties, and influence the early founding of the United States. Revolutions in science, in politics, in philosophy, in art, and in psychology have been led, on multiple occasions, by those who are free of the constraints of religious life. Mitchell Stephens tells the often-courageous tales of history’s most important atheists— like Denis Diderot and Salman Rushdie. Stephens makes a strong and original case for their importance not only to today’s New Atheist movement but to the way many of us—believers and nonbelievers—now think and live.
On sale 2/25
11. Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly by Lee and Fennelly, Beth Ann Gutkind (In Fact Books)
Description: In the steamy South, temptation is a wild and plentiful as kudzu.
Whether the sin in question is skinny-dipping or becoming an unlikely porn star, running rum or renting out a room to a pair of exhibitionistic adulterers, in these true stories women defy tradition and forge their own paths through life—often learning unexpected lessons from the experience.
As Dorothy Allison writes in her introduction, “The most dangerous stories are the true ones, the ones we hesitate to tell, the adventures laden with fear or shame or the relentless pull of regret. Some of those are about things that we are secretly deeply proud to have done.”
A diverse array of contributors—mothers, daughters, sisters, best friends, fiancées, divorcees, professors, poets, lifeguards-in-training, lapsed Baptists, tipsy debutantes, middle-aged lesbians—lend their voices to this collection. Introspective and abashed, joyous and triumphant (but almost never apologetic), they remind us that sin, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
On sale 3/10
12. Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover by Marion Zimmer Bradley (BookViewCafe)
This book is an eBook, not a physical book.
Description: Format: Open, non-DRM file. Winners will be sent the URL of a webpage where they can download the eBook in ePub or Kindle format.
A collection of Darkover short stories by Marion Zimmer Bradley
...an incredible blending of fantasy and science fiction.
Eventually the Terrans rediscover their long-lost — and now alien — colony: Darkover.
Things are different there.
While adolescent male homosexuality is generally tolerated on Darkover, men are expected to outgrow it. When Dyan Ardais takes lovers young enough to be his sons, he risks not just his reputation, but his life.
Life in a Tower as a Keeper, the chaste virgin who holds a circle together, is grueling. Few succeed in the long, painful years of training. The ones who do have power greater than any queen, but what happens to the ones who don't?
Darkovan technology is based on matrix stones that amplify psychic gifts, and people with those gifts work in the Tower circles. But duty to family outweighs everything else, and anyone can be called home from the Tower to marry as her family dictates. A Comyn lady can have lands, wealth, family...everything but freedom.
Women can become Free Amazons, but that life has its own set of challenges. Before a candidate's trial period ends, she must decide if she is truly meant to cope with everything being a Free Amazon entails.
On sale 2/25