New Books and News
The Paper Palace : a novel
"A story of summer, secrets, love and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision that has been brewing for decades. Set against the summer backwoods and beaches of Cape Cod, The Paper Palace unfolds over 24 hours and across 50 years, as decades of family legacy, love, lies, secrets, and one unspeakable childhood tragedy lead wife and mother Elle Bishop to the precipice of a life-changing decision. With its transporting setting and propulsive pace, the story draws on the sweet promise of young love, as well as the heartbreaking damage incurred by too many secrets. It's a compulsively readable story about the tensions between the romantic childhood ideals we grow up with, and the family responsibilities that carry us into adulthood. Must our life choices remain irrevocable if the conditions are changed? It is a perfect July morning, and Elle, a fifty-year-old happily married mother of three, awakens at "The Paper Palace"-- the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. But this morning is different, because last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex with each other for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside. Now, over the next 24 hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her genuinely beloved husband, Peter, and the life she always imagined she would have had with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn't forever changed the course of their lives. As Heller colors in the experiences that have led Elle to this day, we arrive at her ultimate decision with all its complexity. Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace considers the tensions between desire and dignity; the legacies of abuse; and the crimes and misdemeanors of families."-- Provided by publisher.
When we cease to understand the world
"A fictional examination of the lives of real-life scientists and thinkers whose discoveries resulted in moral consequences beyond their imagining. When We Cease to Understand the World is a book about the complicated links between scientific and mathematical discovery, madness, and destruction. Fritz Haber, Alexander Grothendieck, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrodinger: these are some of the luminaries into whose troubled lives Labatut's book thrusts the reader, showing us how they grappled with the most profound questions of existence. They have strokes of unparalleled genius, alienate friends and lovers, descend into isolation and insanity. Some of their discoveries reshape human life to the better; others pave the way to chaos and unimaginable suffering. The lines are never clear. At a breakneck pace and with a wealth of disturbing detail, Benjamin Labatut uses the imaginative resources of fiction to tell the stories of scientists and mathematicians who expanded our notions of the possible."-- Provided by publisher.
A most clever girl : a novel of an American spy
"A thrilling tale of love, loyalty, and espionage, based on the incredible true story of Elizabeth Bentley, a Cold War double agent spying for the Russians and the United States, from USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Marie Thornton. 1963: Reeling from the death of her mother and President Kennedy's assassination, Catherine Gray shows up on Elizabeth Bentley's doorstep demanding answers to the shocking mystery just uncovered about her family. What she doesn't expect is for Bentley to ensnare her in her own story of becoming a controversial World War II spy and Cold War informer... Recruited by the American Communist Party to spy on fascists at the outbreak of World War II, a young Bentley-code name Clever Girl-finds she has an unexpected gift for espionage. But after falling desperately in love with her handler, Jacob Golos, Elizabeth makes another unexpected discovery when she learns her lover is actually a Russian spy. Together, they will build the largest Soviet spy network in America and Elizabeth will become its uncrowned Red Spy Queen. However, once the war ends and the U.S. and U.S.S.R. become embroiled in the Cold War, it is Elizabeth who will dangerously clash with the NKVD, the brutal Soviet espionage agency. As Catherine listens to Elizabeth's harrowing tale, she empathizes with her, that is, until she uncovers startling revelations that link the two women's lives in shocking ways. Faced with the idea that her entire existence is based on a lie, Catherine realizes there can be many sides to the truth. And only Elizabeth Bentley can tell her what that truth really is."-- Provided by publisher.
Her heart for a compass : a novel
Queen Victoria's close friend, the Scottish Duke of Buccleuch, Lady Margaret Montagu Scott is expected to make an advantageous marriage. But Margaret is an impulsive and outspoken girl in a repressive society where women are, quite literally, caged in corsets and required to conform. When Lady Margaret's parents arrange a society marriage for her, she tries to reconcile herself to the match. But shortly before her betrothal is announced, Margaret flees, leaving her parents to explain her sudden absence to an opulent ballroom stuffed with two hundred distinguished guests. Banished from polite society, Margaret throws herself into charitable work and finds strength in a circle of female friends like herself--women intent on breaking the mold, including Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise. Margaret resolves to follow her heart--a journey of self-discovery that will take her to Ireland, America, and then back to Britain where she finds the life she was always meant to lead.
Among thieves : a novel
In just over a year's time, Ryia Cautella has already earned herself a reputation as the quickest, deadliest blade in the dockside city of Carrowwick--not to mention the sharpest tongue. But Ryia Cautella is not her real name. For the past six years, a deadly secret has kept her in hiding, running from town to town, doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the formidable Guildmaster--the sovereign ruler of the five kingdoms of Thamorr. No matter how far or fast she travels, his servants never fail to track her down...but even the most powerful men can be defeated. Ryia's path now leads directly into the heart of the Guildmaster's stronghold, and against every instinct she has, it's not a path she can walk alone. Forced to team up with a crew of assorted miscreants, smugglers, and thieves, Ryia must plan her next moves very carefully. If she succeeds, her freedom is won once and for all...but unfortunately for Ryia, her new allies are nearly as selfish as she is, and they all have plans of their own.
The actual star : a novel
"Braided together are the stories of a pair of teenage twins who ascend the throne of a Maya kingdom ; a young American woman on a trip of self-discovery in Belize ; and two dangerous charismatics vying for the leadership of a new religion and racing toward a confrontation that will determine the fate of the few humans left on Earth after massive climate change. In each era, a reincarnated trinity of souls navigates the entanglements of tradition and progress, sister and stranger, and love and hate -- until all of their age-old questions about the nature of existence converge deep underground, where only in complete darkness can they truly see."-- Amazon.
Talk to me : a novel
Becoming the assistant to animal behaviorist Guy Schermerhorn and his juvenile chimp, Aimee Villard finds herself in an interspecies love triangle that pushes hard at the boundaries of consciousness and the question of what we know and how we know it.
"Taryn Moore is young, beautiful, and brilliant, so why would she kill herself? When Detective Frankie Loomis arrives on the scene ... she knows in her gut there's more to the story ... To English professor Jack Dorian, Taryn was the ultimate fantasy: intelligent, adoring, and completely off limits. But there was also a dark side to Taryn, a dangerous streak that threatened those she turned her affections to, including Jack. And now that she's dead, his problems are just beginning."-- Provided by publisher.
Vile spirits : a mystery
"An exhilarating page-turner set in 1920s Vancouver post prohibition, when liquor was the fuel driving big business, big government--and major crime. In this spellbinding follow-up to his mystery The White Angel, John MacLachlan Gray captures the spirit of Vancouver in those gritty, gin-soaked days, as the city was remaking itself between wars. Alcohol is once again legal in Vancouver after the failed experiment of prohibition, but pro-temperance sentiments remain strong. Politicians like Attorney General Gordon Cunning attempt appeasement by establishing the Liquor Control Board, which oversees supply, from the lofty circles of power down to bleak public drinking factories called "beer parlours." But when Cunning is found deceased, an empty martini glass at his side, quickly followed by Mrs. Harlan Crombie, the wife of a prominent bureaucrat, who falls dead after an afternoon book club meeting, suspicions are raised. Is it pure coincidence that the deceased were both drinking the same brand of "tonic"? Or is it a spillover from American prohibition, where deliberately tainted booze is killing thousands? Fans of The White Angel will be delighted by the return of straight-shooting constable Calvin Hook, frustrated poet-cum-reporter Ed McCurdy and unpredictable, eavesdropping telephone operator Mildred Wickstram, as they pool their skills in order to get to the truth. The result is a clash between temperance activists, the Ku Klux Klan, the Liquor Control Board and global events on the mean streets of Vancouver--a rough little city on the edge of empire."-- Provided by publisher.
Friends and traitors
London, 1958. Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy of Scotland Yard, newly promoted after good service during Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Britain, is not looking forward to a Continental trip with his older brother, Rod. Rod was too vain to celebrate being fifty so instead takes his entire family on "the Grand Tour" for his fifty-first birthday: Paris, Siena, Florence, Vienna, Amsterdam. Restaurants, galleries and concert halls. But Frederick Troy never gets to Amsterdam. After a concert in Vienna he is approached by an old friend whom he has not seen for years--Guy Burgess, a spy for the Soviets, who says something extraordinary: "I want to come home." Troy dumps the problem on MI5 who send an agent to de-brief Burgess--but the man is gunned down only yards from the embassy, and after that, the whole plan unravels with alarming speed and Troy finds himself a suspect. As he fights to prove his innocence, Troy finds that Burgess is not the only ghost who returns to haunt him.
Bewilderment : a novel
"The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He's also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin's emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother's brain..."-- Provided by publisher.
The dark remains
Lawyer Bobby Carter did a lot of work for the wrong type of people. Now he's dead and it was no accident. Besides a distraught family and a heap of powerful friends, Carter's left behind his share of enemies. So, who dealt the fatal blow? DC Jack Laidlaw's reputation precedes him. He's not a team player, but he's got a sixth sense for what's happening on the streets. His boss chalks the violence up to the usual rivalries, but is it that simple? As two Glasgow gangs go to war, Laidlaw needs to find out who got Carter before the whole city explodes. William McIlvanney's Laidlaw books changed the face of crime fiction. When he died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw's first case. Now, Ian Rankin is back to finish what McIlvanney started. In The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and Laidlaw's relentless quest for truth.
One night, while lying in bed next to her husband, Claire Devon suddenly hears a low hum. This innocuous sound, which no one else in the house can hear, has no obvious source or medical cause, but it begins to upset the balance of Claire's life. When she discovers that one of her students can also hear the hum, the two strike up an unlikely and intimate friendship. Finding themselves increasingly isolated from their families and colleagues, they fall in with a disparate group of people who also perceive the sound. What starts out as a kind of neighbourhood self-help group gradually transforms into something much more extreme, with far-reaching, devastating consequences.
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