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The Southern Reach trilogy is Awesome!

Yup. It’s totally 100% true. Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy is totally awesome. Imagine if J.J. Abrams, Margaret Atwood, and Alan Weisman collaborated on a novel…the books are futuristic supernatural thrillers, part science fiction, part dystopian, part horror, all amazing.

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Stephen King is a big fan and the New York Times Book Review recently gave AUTHORITY a rave review. Even Entertainment Weekly got in on the action by dedicating a full page in its Books section to showing off book covers for the international editions of the trilogy!

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In ANNIHILATION, the first book in the trilogy, readers were introduced to Area X and the twelfth team of researchers that traveled into the dangerous area; the story then followed “the biologist” as she seemingly became the only survivor to actually understand what was happening.

The second book, AUTHORITY, focuses the action on the government agency overseeing the expedition, and particularly on the new Control director whose gradual discovery of the agency’s secrets parallels the journey of the biologist in the first book.

The final book in the series, ACCEPTANCE, follows a new team as they embark on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. The mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound—or terrifying.

Check out the Southern Reach website where you can read excerpts from available books in the series and explore an interactive map of Area X!

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Calling all Crafty Crafting Librarians!

Jump start your homemade holiday gifts with these 3 titles:

100 COLORFUL RIPPLE STITCHES TO CROCHET: 50 Original Stitches & 50 Fabulous Colorways for Blankets and Throws by Leonie Morgan
In this wonderfully illustrated and easy-to-use guide with simple to advanced patterns, making and using ripple stitches in delightful and inspiring colors and textures has never been easier. Perfect for blankets, throws, and accessories or anything you want to put a zig-zag, ripple, and/or wave on.

50 RIBBON ROSETTES & BOWS TO MAKE: For Perfectly Wrapped Gifts, Gorgeous Hair Clips, Beautiful Corsages, and Decorative Fun! by Deanna Csomo McCool
Ribbons… they’re not just for dancing! With detailed instructions for beginners to advanced crafters and stunning photos for projects such as decorative bows, jewelry, and super hair accessories, McCool’s book also explains the different types of ribbon and the tools needed for your project.

THE SEWING MACHINE EMBROIDERER’S BIBLE: Get the Most from Your Machine with Embroidery Designs and Inbuilt Decorative Stitches by Liz Keegan
Sewing machines can seem really complicated—what is that stitch even for? Thankfully Keegan deciphers the mystery of the embroidery function on your machine and shares details about the types and formats of available embroidery designs, how to stabilize your fabric, which threads and needles to use to get the best results, and how to use the patterns creatively for stunning results.
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Focus on FRIENDSHIP

Before Lena Dunham and Girls, Emily Books founder and blogger Emily Gould was the one talking about young women trying to find their bearings in life.

Now, Gould’s debut novel, FRIENDSHIP, about two girlfriends dragged, kicking and screaming into real adulthood is getting major media attention and landing on Summer Reading Lists from Glamour to the New York Post to the Boston Globe to Huffington Post and more.

Both Elle Magazine and the New York Times ran profiles of Emily Gould—the latter as the front page feature in the Sunday Styles section.

A New York Times Book Review coming this weekend (July 20) joins the glowing praise already in for FRIENDSHIP:

Fans of Lena Dunham’s Girls should appreciate this funny first novel about two tech-savvy 30ish pals navigating work and what passes for love in modern-day New York City.” — People Magazine (July 14 issue)

“Bev and Amy are totally frustrating—they’re like Hannah and Marnie from Girls with a few more years of resentment between them. But the specificity of their struggles (peanut butter soup for dinner, anyone?) and Gould’s hyperaware voice lend the story of their friendship poignance and shades of relatability. A-” — Entertainment Weekly (July 1 issue)

“Whereas the blogs tended to create a self-portrait of the author as human word processor (automatically slicing, dicing and churning experience into prose), FRIENDSHIP isn’t the simple spewing (or venting or whining or knee-jerk reacting) of an obsessive oversharer. Rather, at its best, it points to Ms. Gould’s abilities as a keen-eyed noticer and her knack for nailing down her ravenous observations with energy and flair.” — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times (June 30)

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Friday Reads: Indie Next Edition

Congratulations! You made it to another weekend!
We know what we’re doing—settling in with a bowl of ice cream and two great books that also happen to be August Indie Next picks:


SMALL BLESSINGS
by Martha Woodroof

Readers who loved MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND will adore this inspiring debut of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at a bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had.
“What could have become a sappy tale in less capable hands is a warm, caring, and thoroughly entertaining debut that reads remarkably well. NPR pro Woodroof is no novice writer, and her first novel will have readers eager for more.” — Library Journal, starred review

A COLDER WAR by Charles Cumming
New York Times bestselling author Cumming’s masterful follow-up to A FOREIGN COUNTRY is an espionage tale that two starred reviews rank on par with John le Carré and Olen Steinhauer.
“Cumming has established himself, along with Olen Steinhauer, as one of the best of today’s old-school espionage novelists…. Superb espionage fiction in the grand tradition.” — Booklist, starred review

“This fast-paced thriller is full of twists, turns, and surprises. With well-developed, complex characters and plenty of details about spycraft, it’s a perfect summer read for fans of Stella Rimington and John le Carré.” — Library Journal, starred review

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Thriller Thursday Bonus: Crime in the City!

#THRILLERTHURSDAY BONUS! Two of our favorite female Minotaur authors were recently featured on NPR’s Crime in the City and we simply couldn’t let you get away without hearing about them:

Julia Keller spoke with NPR’s Noah Adams about her mystery series set in West Virginia (based on her hometown of Guyandotte) and starring prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins.

“One of the things I wanted to do with having a female protagonist is to allow her to have her anger. If we let women have a little more of their anger and to speak their minds, we’d have a very different kind of world,” Keller said.

Listen to the full Julia Keller interview here.

Available in the Bell Elkins series:
A KILLING IN THE HILLS (Book 1)
BITTER RIVER (Book 2)
SUMMER OF THE DEAD (Book 3) – available August 26

 

Meanwhile, NPR’s Ari Shapiro traveled with Ann Cleeves to the Shetland Islands, where Cleeves sets her highly acclaimed series featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez.

“I love the idea of long, low horizons with secrets hidden underneath,” Cleeves said. The author has been making regular trips to the Scottish islands for 40 years and her books are so popular that a tourism agency has put out a map showing where key scenes in the novels take place. Even the BBC has turned the books into a hit TV series titled “Shetland,” with a U.S. adaptation to come in the future.

Listen to the full Ann Cleeves interview here.

Available in the Shetland Island series:
RAVEN BLACK (Book 1)
WHITE NIGHTS (Book 2)
RED BONES (Book 3)
BLUE LIGHTNING (Book 4)
DEAD WATER (Book 5)

 

Thriller Thursday (7/17/14 Edition)

Today’s #ThrillerThursday roundup has something for every mystery reader, whether you like cozies, police procedurals, or historical mysteries:

THE BONE ORCHARD by Paul Doiron
In Doiron’s “excellent fifth series installment” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), Mike Bowditch retired from his Maine Game Warden position, but is drawn back in when his mentor Sgt. Kathy Frost is shot. “THE BONE ORCHARD [is] both a rich exploration of character and a satisfying mystery story.” Associated Press

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE EMUS by Donna Andrews
In bestseller Andrews’s 17th(!) side-splitting Meg Langslow mystery, Meg must help her long-lost grandfather find her grandmother Cordelia—who may have been murdered. “Andrews’s readers, who have come to expect a little silliness, fun-loving characters, and endings that are tough to predict won’t be disappointed.” — Publishers Weekly

EVERYONE LIES by A.D. Garrett
Under the Garrett pseudonym, crime writer Margaret Murphy and forensic scientist Dave Barclay take an unflinching look at two people rebuilding their lives, and at the underworld of Manchester, England, in this outstanding collaborative debut, which balances the intricacies of forensics with the cerebral instincts of crime investigation. The brisk plot never strays with its complex exploration of prostitutes and crime lords and its affecting look at Kate and Nick’s complicated relationship.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

BLADE OF THE SAMURAI by Susan Spann
Set amidst the backdrop of feudal 16th Century Japan, a ninja detective and his Jesuit priest sidekick investigate a murder and a plan to assassinate the Shogun. “After her exciting historical mystery debut, CLAWS OF THE CAT, Spann proves she has the touch in her sophomore entry. The deceptively simple prose educates readers about 16th-century Japan, while the well-plotted story moves at ninja speed. The endearing characters fight to defend honor and truth, giving this strong YA appeal.” — Library Journal

What are you reading this #ThrillerThursday? Share your picks with us @MacmillanLib.

Top eBook Lends for Libraries (as of 7/16/14)

Hey you! Whatcha reading? More importantly, what are your patrons reading? Read on to find out:

Here are the top 10 Macmillan e-lending titles* for May 2014:

ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card
ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE by Robin Sloan
KILLING LINCOLN by Bill O’Reilly
KILLING KENNEDY by Bill O’Reilly
“A” IS FOR ALIBI by Sue Grafton
SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD by Orson Scott Card
THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY by Louise Penny
WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel
WICKED APPETITE by Janet Evanovich

Here are the top Macmillan e-lending titles* to date:

ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card
THINKING, FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahneman
MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE by Robin Sloan
WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel
KILLING LINCOLN by Bill O’Reilly
ONLY TIME WILL TELL by Jeffrey Archer
SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD by Orson Scott Card
KILLING KENNEDY by Bill O’Reilly
THE WAY OF KINGS by Brandon Sanderson
“A” IS FOR ALIBI by Sue Grafton
THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY by Louise Penny
STILL LIFE by Louise Penny
THE HUSBAND LIST by Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly
WICKED APPETITE by Janet Evanovich
SINS OF THE FATHER by Jeffrey Archer
MISTBORN by Brandon Sanderson
XENOCIDE by Orson Scott Card
THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK by Matthew Quick
THE EYE OF THE WORLD by Robert Jordan
A TRICK OF THE LIGHT by Louise Penny
THE EMPATHY EXAMS by Leslie Jamison

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Spotlight: ON IMMUNITY

If you love fascinating non-fiction, have we got a timely story for you: ON IMMUNITY, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Eula Biss’s investigation about why we fear vaccines.

As a new mother, Biss grew fearful of the government and medicine, ultimately realizing that she cannot immunize her child, or herself, from the world. In order to take control, she investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and how it impacts both individuals and society at large, both historically and in the present moment.

New York Public Library/Bookops’s Charlene Rue selected it as a BEA “Shout ‘n Share” pick and it just received a starred review from Publishers Weekly:

“Biss advocates eloquently for childhood immunization, making her case as an anxious new mother intent on protecting her son—and understanding the consequences. Biss’s study ranges from the beginnings of vaccination—a ‘precursor to modern medicine’—in the 1700s, through Andrew Wakefield’s disastrous, and later retracted, 1998 study that proposed the MMR vaccine might be linked to autism. Protecting her baby set off an ‘intuitive toxicology,’ Biss writes, but grew to understand that we harbor ‘more microorganisms in our guts than we have cells in our bodies.’ Biss frankly and optimistically looks at our ‘unkempt’ world and our shared mission to protect one another.”

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Happy #BookBday (7/15/14 Edition)

Today we wish a Happy #BookBday to two very different but well-reviewed books:

THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE by Wayne Harrison
Anne loved this “strikingly original” (Booklist) debut coming-of-age story about a young man torn between his loyalty to Nick, his auto mechanic boss and the woman he loves—Nick’s wife.

“Harrison’s debut novel crackles with life, immersing the reader in the world of muscle cars while weaving a complex narrative that oscillates between the familiar and the unusual. A smart, insightful read.” — Publishers Weekly

“Debut author Harrison mines his own background as an auto mechanic to deliver a gritty, authentic tale of a complicated marriage threatened by a first love. Harrison writes cleanly and vividly about the world of auto garages, producing an elegiac novel about working-class dreams dashed by reality, a Bruce Springsteen song set to prose.” — Library Journal

THE HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS by Adam Nevill
If the creepy cover hasn’t totally given it away, THE HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS is a horror story about a young woman with past psychological issues who is hired to catalog a cache of antique dolls and puppets belonging to a wildly eccentric late millionaire in the English countryside. It’s received two starred reviews, including this full-page rave in the current issue of Booklist (7/14/14)!

“Unease escalates to stark terror in Nevill’s intricately plotted, character-driven shadow show of numinous ritual and madness. Nevill strengthens traditional gothic atmosphere and the haunted house motif with probing literary sensibility, eschewing simplistic scares for awe and lingering ambiguity. This emotionally intense, intellectually challenging supernatural novel explores secret geographies of conscience while raising hackles, and is addictively readable.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

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LOCK IN lands on the August 2014 LibraryReads list!

FANTASTIC NEWS! LOCK IN by John Scalzi is #4 on the August 2014 LibraryReads list!

In Hugo Award-winning author Scalzi’s latest sci-fi novel, a meningitis-like virus known as “Haden’s syndrome” has swept the globe, leaving nearly 5 million people “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. Locked-in Haden’s survivors can interact with the real world via humanoid robots known as “threeps,” and a select group of Haden survivors can function as “Integrators,” allowing their bodies to be controlled by others. In this new world, rookie FBI agent and Haden’s poster boy Chris Shane and veteran agent Leslie Vann must investigate a Haden-related murder that may have much larger implications in this new society.

It’s received three outstanding starred reviews:

“Hugo-winner Scalzi successfully shifts away from space opera with this smart, thoughtful near-future thriller resonant with the themes of freedom, ethics, and corporate greed. Scalzi’s characters possess tangible motivations and inhabit a thoroughly believable world, and the growing partnership between Shane and Vann is a pleasure to watch unfold. This powerful novel will intrigue and entertain both fans and newcomers.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[T]he novel—which contains plenty of action, great character development, vivid and believable worldbuilding and a thought-provoking examination of disability culture and politics—is definitely worth the ride. This SF thriller provides yet more evidence that Scalzi is a master at creating appealing commercial fiction.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Tightly plotted, highly imaginative… Another brilliant novel from a writer who has quickly become one of the genre’s most successful and intriguing practitioners.”
Booklist, starred review

So many of you loved it, too!

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See the complete list at LibraryReads.org.

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