As 2013 draws to a close, the annual "Best Of" lists are coming out (more on that next week), and we were struck by how many times we saw THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. by Adelle Waldman, a debut novel about a rising literary star and his search for happiness.
**Economist Best Books of 2013
**Washington Post’s Notable Fiction of 2013
**Bookpage Best of 2013 Editors’ Picks
**Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Holiday Books 2013
**NPR’s Guide to 2013’s Great Reads
“Of all the novels I've reviewed in 2013, this is the one that everyone — from my middle-aged friends to my hip graduate student TAs — wants to borrow.” — Maureen Corrigan, NPR
**A Guardian Best Book of 2013 (selected by Blake Morrison)
“Adelle Waldman’s first novel THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. is memorable for its Austen-like wit, humour, social astuteness and scarily accurate insights into men.” — Blake Morrison
**An Irish Times Best Book of 2013 (selected by Maggie O’Farrell)
“THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P.…has the same verve and poise as another New York debut novel, BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY.”— Maggie O’Farrell
“An interesting thing I did lately was read Adelle Waldman’s first novel. I think she’s a writer to watch. It’s a more deeply clever book than you might think as you start reading it.” — Jonathan Franzen, on WNYC.ORG
Today's #FridayReads is STRANGE BODIES by the National Book Award finalist Marcel Theroux, a weird and wonderful novel that poses questions about identity, authenticity, and what it means to be truly human. It's received three starred pre-publication reviews:
“A strange, satisfying novel about possession featuring a literary scholar, a music mogul, assorted East European thugs, and the long dead but still articulate Dr. Samuel Johnson... A thought-provoking and engaging fusion of comedy and horror.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Truly enthralling... An intense and nuanced examination of the plight of being... Philip K. Dick’s THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER meets Stephanie Meyer’s THE HOST in this very highly recommended work.” — Library Journal, starred review
“A labyrinthine exploration of identity and mortality, filled with big ideas....” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Get whitelisted and download your review copy. Let us know what you're reading @MacmillanLib for #FridayReads. And if you haven't been sharing your top 10 favorite books of 2013 via the #libfaves13 hashtag, there's still time! (running now through Dec. 10)Read more
Here are some of our recent #ThrillerThursday favorites to add to your reading wish list:
GOING DARK by James W. Hall
Thorn’s newly discovered son, Flynn, has naively fallen in with a group of extreme environmental activists who want to shut down a nuclear plant. When Thorn learns that some of the activists have far more violent intentions, he must intervene to try to save his son's life.
"Hall shifts among the skillfully drawn characters, each uncertain of which ends justify extreme means, as the action races toward a literally explosive climax at the nuclear plant. The result is both thoughtful and white-knuckle tense." – Publishers Weekly, starred review
SHOOT THE WOMAN FIRST by Wallace Stroby
In the third book in the Crissa Stone series, the professional thief has stolen a drug lord's money and is on a mission to deliver part of the take to the needy family of one of her slain partners. Hot on Crissa's heels are the drug kingpin’s lethal lieutenants and a former Detroit cop with his own deadly agenda.
"Crissa Stone is emerging as one of the more compelling female criminals in mystery fiction. Stroby nails this taut, gripping contest between well-matched opponents." – Publishers Weekly, starred review
THE SPOOK LIGHTS AFFAIR by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
MWA Grand Masters Muller and Pronzini return to San Francisco in 1865 with new cases for John Concannon and Sabina Carpenter. Sabina investigates a disappearance of a debutante one foggy night, while John looks for the robber who stole $35,000 from Wells Fargo.
"Historical mystery readers will enjoy this well-researched story from a pair of always reliable genre veterans." – Booklist
ONCE UPON A LIE by Maggie Barbieri
In a dramatic departure from her Murder 101 series, Maggie Barbieri has written a gripping novel about one burnt out mother's desperate determination to protect her family's future by facing down her past. What starts out as a standard suburban mystery evolves into an unexpectedly riveting tale of ordinary cruelty and complicated heroism.
"...Barbieri skillfully avoids tipping her hand until the last possible moment, leaving readers both breathless and unnerved by the novel’s conclusion." – Publishers Weekly, starred & boxed review
More seriously though, whether set on distant planets or in fantasy lands, here are our favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy titles that have already received terrific early praise:
THE EMPEROR’S BLADES by Brian Staveley
“In this epic fantasy debut, Staveley has created a complex and richly detailed world filled with elite soldier-assassins, mystic warrior monks, serpentine politics, and ancient secrets. Readers of Sara Douglass's Wayfarer novels and George R.R. Martin's 'Song of Ice and Fire' series should enjoy this opener.” – Library Journal, starred review and Debut of the Month selection
YEAR’S BEST SF 18 edited by David G. Hartwell
“One of the best collections of the year, without a weak tale in its list, this is highly recommended for fans of the short story and of SF in general.” – Library Journal, starred review
“Almost uniformly excellent—but then when was an anthology from Hartwell ever less?” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
FIDDLEHEAD by Cherie Priest
“This is a compelling finale to a fantastic series. The good guys are complex and sympathetic; the villains are suitably clever and malign. The action rattles along at breakneck speed, and the reader can't resist coming along for the wild ride, which includes a climactic battle featuring a wheelchair-bound Abe Lincoln and a temporarily sober Ulysses S. Grant. Highly recommended for all readers of fantasy and steampunk.” – Library Journal, starred review
A DARKLING SEA by James Cambias (THREE starred reviews!)
“An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Like [Robert] Silverberg, who developed fully realized alien societies in such novels as Downward to the Earth…Cambias makes the Sholen and Ilmataran people and cultures as real as the more familiar human component. Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should.” – Booklist, starred review
“Cambias writes with a light touch and occasional flashes of humor, and the science supporting his novel is sound and unobtrusive. This is an impressive debut by a gifted writer.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
Today we want to tell you about a little gem that might not be on your radar: BITTER EDEN by Tatamkhulu Afrika, one of South Africa’s most revered poets. Based on the author’s own capture in North Africa and his experiences as a prisoner-of-war in World War II in Italy and Germany, this frank and beautifully wrought novel deals with three men who must negotiate the emotions that are brought to the surface by the physical closeness of survival in the male-only camps.
“Afrika explores these relationships in depth, creating a remarkably honest and moving book. Originally published shortly after the author’s death in 2002 and based on his experiences as a POW in WWII, BITTER EDEN is a beautifully crafted, absorbing read, a careful examination of human relationships, and a rare glimpse into the complexities of life in wartime.” — Booklist
“Such a powerful, melodic, urgent and honest story of suffering, love and survival I have never quite encountered before. This is a jewel of a tale—a vital and raw piece of the true human experience—and it needs to never be forgotten. I am honored to have read it, and will pass it along to many others.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times-bestselling author of THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS and EAT PRAY LOVE
BITTER EDEN is available on NetGalley. Email email@example.com (subject line: BITTER EDEN) to get pre-approved for an e-galley. Even though BITTER EDEN is not available on Edelweiss, you can still nominate it for LibraryReads. Read our LibraryReads FAQ for more information.
Welcome back, friends! We hope you had a nice Thanksgiving break like we did. We're more than happy to shake off the tryptophan coma with some great news:
“Lee’s precise detailing of technology and medical science recalls the best of Tom Clancy and Robin Cook, while his believable hero adds a Jack Reacher vibe.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Tension mounts right from the start in this nonstop action-packed narrative and seldom flags….All in all, it’s a high-tech thriller that’s hard to put down.” — Library Journal, starred review
“Thriller fans, especially those drawn to conspiracies and espionage, will enjoy the cutting-edge weapons development, the anxiety-ridden showdown between cunning and technology, and the compellingly connected characters.” — Booklist, starred review
"Readers who pick up Lee’s latest should be prepared to miss their favorite television shows, since they won’t put this book down long enough to watch them.” — Kirkus Reviews
RUNNER is the first in a new series starring retired special forces operative Sam Dryden. It's sold international rights in seven countries and the film rights were optioned by Warner Brothers with director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) attached. It's one of Anne's personal favorites of the season and if you've heard her talk about it recently at book buzzes, then you know she's very vocal about her casting suggestion (Channing Tatum).Read more
NOVEMBER 22, 1963 edited by Laura Hansen, compiled by Jodie Elliott Hansen
This extensive collection of intimate accounts from average citizens and celebrities about where they were when they heard that the President had been shot is a stunning and poignant time capsule.
THE KENNEDY HALF-CENTURY by Larry J. Sabato
Acclaimed political analyst Sabato examines John F. Kennedy's lasting influence on the media, the general public, and on each of his nine presidential successors.
THE LETTERS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY by Martin W. Sandler
The first ever collection of correspondence with John F. Kennedy, including letters to and from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., John Wayne, Albert Schweitzer, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nikita Khrushchev, Harry Truman, as well as letters from ordinary citizens, schoolchildren, and concerned Americans.
DEAR MRS. KENNEDY by Jay Mulvaney and Paul De Angelis
A collection of condolence letters to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy from political luminaries (Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr.), Hollywood stars (Vivian Leigh, Gene Kelly), foreign dignitaries (Queen Elizabeth II, Prince of Monaco), and celebrities (Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes).
KILLING KENNEDY by Bill O'Reilly
The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.
A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT by Philip Shenon
Based on hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to the surviving Warren Commission staffers and other key players, Shenon's book is a groundbreaking account that will change the way we think about the controversial murder investigation.
CAPTURING CAMELOT by Kitty Kelley
Accompanied by an insightful, heartwarming essay from Kitty Kelley photojournalist Stanley Tretick's close friend about the relationship between Tretick and JFK, this stunning photo book includes some of the most memorable images of America's Camelot and brings to life the uniquely hopeful historical era from which it emerged.
PS: If you're at NCTE, stop by booth #811-813 and say hello to Anne.
“The tortured relationship between literary lions and their liquor illuminates the obscure terrain of psychology and art in this searching biographical meditation…. Laing explores this rich topic through an unusual mix of biographical research, astute literary interpretation, and wonderfully atmospheric travelogue... The result is a fine study of a human frailty through the eyes of its most perceptive victims.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A funny, tragic, and insightful journey for anyone who has read F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, or John Berryman; prepare to be smitten with this fresh offering. Those unfamiliar with these writers will want to read their works.” – Library Journal, starred review
"Intently observant, curious, and empathetic, Laing, with shimmering detail and arresting insights, presents a beautifully elucidating and moving group portrait of writers enslaved by drink and redeemed by 'the capacity of literature to somehow...make one feel less flinchingly alone.'” – Booklist, starred review
"A provocative, evocative blend of memoir, literary history and lyrical travel writing." – Kirkus Reviews
Get whitelisted and download your review copy on Edelweiss.
ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell (a top ten pick!)
FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
IF YOU FIND ME by Emily Murdoch
The Tayshas Reading List is a recommended reading list developed by public and school librarians from the Young Adult Round Table (YART). The purpose of the list is to encourage students in grades 9-12 to explore a variety of current books for recreational reading. Click here to view the full Tayshas list (downloadable PDF available).Read more