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A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talking—about their destination, their careers, their families. Grievances are aired, family tragedies discussed, marriages and divorces analyzed. An intimacy is established as two strangers contrast their own fictions about their lives.
Rachel Cusk’s OUTLINE is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.
OUTLINE takes a hard look at the things that are hardest to speak about. It brilliantly captures conversations, investigates people’s motivations for storytelling, and questions their ability to ever do so honestly or unselfishly. In doing so it bares the deepest impulses behind the craft of fiction writing. This is Rachel Cusk’s finest work yet, and one of the most startling, brilliant, original novels of recent years.
PRAISE for OUTLINE:
“An expertly crafted portrait that asks readers to look deeply into the text for discovery. Those who accept that challenge will be rewarded for the effort.”–Booklist, starred review
“[B]rilliant novel … These 10 remarkable conversations, told with immense control, focus a sharp eye on how we discuss family and our lives.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This book about love, loss, memory, and the lies we tell ourselves and others exudes a contemplative, melancholy atmosphere tempered by British author Cusk’s wonderfully astute observations of people and the visual impressions created by her exquisitely structured sentences.“–Library Journal, starred review
Based on our stats, your patrons are downloading realistic teen fiction, sci fi, history and mystery!
Here are their top ten picks:
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly
A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penn
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Car
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovic
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Add these titles to your e-shelves today!
If you’re joining us in snowy Chicago for ALA Midwinter, don’t forget to RSVP for our annual Booktalk Breakfast!
AAP /LibraryReads Booktalk Breakfast
McCormick Place West, Room 185BC
YOU MUST RSVP! DETAILS BELOW.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, here is a list of our most popular titles — as downloaded by your librarian pals — from Edelweiss:
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
The Just City by Jo Walton
The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac by Sharma Shields
A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders
Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
It’s #thrillerthursday and we’re reading:
Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline
“Scottoline writes terrific legal fiction with warm, smart characters and lots of humor and heart. Her legion of fans will be happy with this one, and it should find her new readers as well.”–Booklist
A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson
“Fans of the period as well as TV series such as Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs will enjoy Dandy’s latest adventure.”–Library Journal
Wink of an Eye by Lynn Chandler Willis
“Winner of Minotaur’s PWA Best First Private Eye novel competition, this engrossing debut is told with a great eye for the gritty details of life in west Texas. The setting is extremely well done, and the twisty, compelling plot will keep readers hooked.”–Library Journal, starred review
Soul of the Fire by Eliot Pattison
“Pattison’s superlative eighth mystery featuring Shan Tao Yun takes the former Beijing government investigator to Zhongje, a Tibetan community that the Chinese regard as a “showcase for the motherland.” Pattison impressively combines a thrilling plot with a passionate denunciation of the Chinese oppression of the Tibetan people.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review
Want You Dead by Peter James
“Short chapters help make the pages fly, and the suspense builds strongly until the finale.”–Booklist
We’re thrilled to share the news that the National Book Award in the Nonfiction category went to Evan Osnos for AGE OF AMBITION published by FSG.
The book explores China’s ongoing transformation into an economic superpower, and the clash between its economic progress and its authoritarian government’s crackdown on social freedoms.
Congrats to all involved!
Our librarian pal Robin Beerbower applauded our comparison of Phil Hogan’s totally creep-fabulous A PLEASURE AND A CALLING to Patricia Highsmith’s THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY… And now both Publishers Weekly and Booklist gave it starred reviews… My dear librarians, don’t miss the boat on this two-starred gem!
“British writer Hogan’s fourth novel is a gripping psychological thriller that pegs out the creep-o-meter with its chilling, original plot. Hogan’s Mr. Heming is a monumentally diabolical character—the fact that he narrates the story further ups both the stakes and the tension. Readers won’t soon forget this first-rate, white-knuckle suspense novel.”–Publishers Weekly, starred & boxed review
“Delicious and addicting. William Heming joins the ranks of unforgettable, unreliable narrators in this gloriously creepy novel of psychological suspense.”–Booklist starred review
Available on NetGalley. To be pre-approved for an e-galley, please email email@example.com with the subject “A Pleasure and a Calling.”
Amanda Hocking made headlines when her self-published Trylle trilogy sold millions of e-copies. And when St. Martin’s Press re-released the trilogy in print, it spent a combined total of 23 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, reaching as high as #2.
In FROSTFIRE, the first book in Hocking’s magical new YA series, readers meet Bryn Aven — an outcast among the Kanin — the most powerful of the troll tribes.
Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who’s determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royalty. She’s not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden. But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero who she once loved – appears to be up to something dangerous, kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?
“The novel’s lingering questions and the author’s knack for cliffhangers are reason enough to anticipate the next installment.”–Publishers Weekly
Macmillan, oh Macmillan, why must you steal nearly all the spots on Kirkus’ Best Fiction Books of 2014 list?
Good morning lovely librarians! Please help us celebrate an early #bookbday for:
THE PARIS WINTER by Imogen Robertson
A December 2014 IndieNext List Selection!
“With a twisty, well-crafted plot, this novel is rich in historical detail and robust with personality.”–Kirkus (starred review)
“For readers of historical fiction looking for a complex story, this is a sure bet and most likely the next big hit of any book discussion group.”–Library Journal
WHY HOMER MATTERS by Adam Nicolson
“[A] gracefully written and deeply informed book…Nicolson’s spirited exploration illuminates our own indelible past.”–Kirkus (starred review)
“In this passionate, deeply personal book, Nicolson explains why Homer matters—to him, to you, to the world—in a text full of twists, turns, and surprises.”–Publishers Weekly
MEN: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation by Laura Kipnis
“Kipnis’s gifts are on full display in this irresistible collection of essays, in which she weaves together complex and penetrating insights about gender into provocative treatises… Kipnis has given us a necessary, and often witty, book that shows a brilliant, agile mind at work.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)
MANDELA: My Prisoner, My Friend by Christo Brand with Barbara Jones
“[Brand] paints a vivid picture of prison life in South Africa at the time, with its racial discrimination—no bread was given to black prisoners—and the guards’ own isolation from news of the outside world. The central focus of this extraordinary book, however, is a remarkable friendship that bridged age, race, and politics, as Mandela went from prisoner to secret negotiator, and eventually became a revered president.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review & Pick of the Week)