Welcome to The Book Buyer's Corner where Adrian Newell (represented here by her cats Jinx and Lucy), the Warwick's book buyer will talk about what's new and upcoming in the world of books.
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central $27 Feb 7, 2017)
A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone.
Profoundly moving and gracefully told, Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life.
So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja's family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
"Eleanor Oliphant is a truly original literary creation: funny, touching, and unpredictable. Her journey out of dark shadows is absolutely gripping." --Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You
"Deft, compassionate and deeply moving--Honeyman's debut will have you rooting for Eleanor with every turning page." --Paula McClain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .The only way to survive is to open your heart.
New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Lost City of Z) burnishes his reputation as a brilliant storyteller in this gripping true-crime narrative, which revisits a baffling, frightening and relatively unknown spree of murders occurring mostly in Oklahoma during the 1920s. From 1921 to 1926, at least two dozen people were murdered by a killer or killers apparently targeting members of the Osage Indian Nation, who at the time were considered the wealthiest people per capita in the world thanks to the discovery of oil beneath their lands. The violent campaign of terror is believed to have begun with the 1921 disappearance of two Osage Indians, Charles Whitehorn and Anna Brown, and the discovery of their corpses soon afterwards, followed by many other murders in the next five years. The outcry over the killings led to the involvement in 1925 of an obscure branch of the Justice Department, J. Edgar Hoover's Bureau of Investigation, which eventually charged some surprising figures with the murders. Grann demonstrates how the Osage Murders inquiry helped Hoover to make the case for a national, more professional, scientifically skilled police force. Grann's own dogged detective work reveals another layer to the case that Hoover's men had never exposed.
When Isabelle Poole meets Dr. Preston Grind, she's fresh out of high school, pregnant with her art teacher's baby, and totally on her own. Izzy knows she can be a good mother but without any money or relatives to help, she's left searching. Dr. Grind, an awkwardly charming child psychologist, has spent his life studying family, even after tragedy struck his own. Now, with the help of an eccentric billionaire, he has the chance to create a perfect little world to study what would happen when ten children are raised collectively, without knowing who their biological parents are. He calls it The Infinite Family Project and he wants Izzy and her son to join. This attempt at a utopian ideal starts off promising, but soon the gentle equilibrium among the families disintegrates: unspoken resentments between the couples begin to fester; the project's funding becomes tenuous; and Izzy's growing feelings for Dr. Grind make her question her participation in this strange experiment in the first place. Written with the same compassion and charm that won over legions of readers with The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson shows us with grace and humor that the best families are the ones we make for ourselves.
For readers of Jon Krakauer and The Lost City of Z, a remarkable tale of survival and solitude--the true story of a man who lived alone in a tent in the Maine woods, never talking to another person and surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins for twenty-seven years. In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even in winter, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water, to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothes, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed, but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of the why and how of his secluded life--as well as the challenges he has faced returning to the world. A riveting story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (Random House $27 January 3, 2017)
From O. Henry Prize winning author Emily Ruskovich comes a stunning debut novel about love and forgiveness, about the violence of memory and the equal violence of its loss. Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged terrain in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband's memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade's first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters. In a story written in exquisite prose and told from multiple perspectives including Ann, Wade, and Jenny, now in prison we gradually learn of the mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny's lives, of the love and compassion that brought Ann and Wade together, and of the memories that reverberate through the lives of every character in Idaho. In a wild emotional and physical landscape, Wade's past becomes the center of Ann's imagination, as Ann becomes determined to understand the family she never knew and to take responsibility for them, reassembling their lives, and her own.
A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle. Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease. Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, The Lost City of the Monkey God is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.
A high stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction. Winifred Allen needs a vacation. Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings. What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare: A freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed. With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, The River at Night is a dark exploration of creatures both friend and foe that you won't soon forget.
This short but powerful novel is historical fiction at its best! Captain Kidd, a 72 year old war veteran and now professional reader, has been tasked with returning Johanna, a ten-year old girl white girl kidnapped by the Kiowa when she was six and recently ransomed, to relatives living near San Antonio.The Captain knows the journey will not be easy but believes it is his duty to do the right thing, despite the dangers that lie ahead.What he doesn't expect is the strength of the bond that develops between them, so powerful that it defines the choice he makes at journey's end.Beautiful descriptive prose drives the narrative through the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the West during the late 1800's.For fans of True Grit, The Son and The Searchers.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett (Riverhead $26.00 Oct 11, 2016)
The Mothers is an engaging, provocative, heartwarming debut!This compelling coming-of-age story celebrates the importance of community, friendship, family, the power of forgiveness and that the choices we make in youth may have consequences that last a lifetime. A perfect book group read.
IQ by Joe Ide (Mulholland Editions $26 Oct 18, 2016)
East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he's forced to take on clients that can pay. This time, it's a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.
Chris Dombrowski was playing a numbers game: two passions, poetry and fly-fishing; two children, one of them in utero; and an income hovering perilously close to zero. Enter, at this particularly challenging moment, a miraculous email: can't go, it's all paid for, just book a flight to Miami.
Thus began a journey that would lead to the Bahamas and to David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide. Bonefish are prized for their elusiveness and their tenacity. And no one was better at hunting them than Pinder, a Bahamian whose accuracy and patience were virtuosic. He knows what the fish think, said one fisherman, before they think it. By the time Dombrowski meets Pinder, however, he has been abandoned by the industry he helped build. With cataracts from a lifetime of staring at the water and a tiny severance package after forty years of service, he watches as the world of his beloved bonefish is degraded by tourists he himself did so much to attract. But as Pinder's stories unfold, Dombrowski discovers a profound integrity and wisdom in the guide's life.
The Next by Stephanie Gangi (St Martins $26.99 Oct 18, 2016)
Read this book—a smart page-turner “ghost story” that you won’t want to put down!
Carousel Courtby Joe McGinniss Jr. (Simon and Schuster $26.00 - August 2, 2016)
Carousel Court is a savage indictment of an American Dream devastated by the crash of 2008 and the harsh realities facing families learning to adjust to the new economy, underwater mortgages, and the loss of choices. It is also a searing portrait of a family and a marriage pushed to the brink by circumstances and bad decisions. Yet despite this bleak backdrop Carousel Court is at its core a tale of redemption that in the end manages to maintain the perfect tension between despair and hope.
So do yourself a favor. Set aside a couple of hours, turn off all the lights, except one to read by, pour a big shot of your favorite bourbon (ok, a bold red wine is allowed) and dig into this dark, brooding page-turner!
Lab Girlby Hope Jahren (Knopf Publishing Group $26.95 - April 5, 2016)
Wow-this girl can write! Lab Girl is Hope’s extraordinary journey through the world of geobiology, geek science, the politics surrounding scientific research funding in a university setting, and what it’s like to be a woman in a male dominated profession. However, more importantly, it’s also an exploration and celebration of her relationship with her brilliant and quirky lab assistant of many years. Even if you think you don’t like memoirs (you know who you are), I highly recommend this informative, inspiring meditation on nature and life. (Chapter 3 can stand alone as a beautiful essay on the value of waiting.) For readers of H is for Hawk.
The Widowby Fiona Barton (New American Library $26.00 - February 16, 2016)
The old adage, “be careful what you wish for” certainly holds true in this psychological page-turning debut! Catherine West seemingly has it all, a loving family, a BFF and a lifestyle funded by a very healthy trust fund. Her wealth provides her with a beautiful home filled with exquisite art and furnishings, a fabulous wardrobe, the ability to dine out at the best restaurants or travel to exotic destinations on a whim. The only thing missing is true love. When she meets William Stockton at an art opening she thinks she’s finally met “the one”. But she soon discovers that William might not be as wonderful as he seems. What secret is he hiding and why? An engaging read that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes.
The Girlsby Emma Cline (Random House $27.00 - June 14, 2016)
Emma Cline captures the essence of the late 60’s and the shock and horror that the Mason clan’s brutal crime spree generated so perfectly. She writes about the loneliness and vulnerability of adolescence, especially the experience of young girls who simple want to be accepted and noticed, with assurance, maturity and an understanding far beyond her years. A stunning, provocative debut!
Before the Fall is a page-turning, character-driven novel that reads like a thriller but is so much more. The story begins with a plane crash that leaves only two survivors, a down-on-his luck painter and a four-year-old boy who is the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media (think tabloids) mogul's family. Alternating between flashbacks that reveal the backstories of the doomed passengers and the present, one question looms large-was the crash the result of a sinister conspiracy or just bad luck?
The Three Year Swim Club is the inspirational untold story of an ordinary schoolteacher whose fierce dedication to a crazy dream—to take a ragtag group of malnourished, poor sugar plantation kids and turn them into Olympians—became a reality.Soichi Sakamoto could barely swim but he was determined to help these kids forge a better future for themselves through swimming. The odds were stacked against them. Most didn’t know how to swim and had only splashed around in the plantation irrigation ditches. But Sakamoto’s tireless commitment to the club combined with his hardcore training methods transformed this unlikely group of “sugar ditch kids” into world-class athletes, some of whom broke world records and swam against the best of the best.This year’s Boys in the Boat! The Three Year Swim Club is the inspirational untold story of an ordinary school teacher whose fierce determination to a crazy dream - to take a ragtag group of malnourished, poor sugar plantation kids and turn them into Olympians - became a reality.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a delicious, heartwarming debut that hits all the right notes—moving, quirky, humorous with characters that are fully developed, complicated, and intriguing. Don't be fooled into thinking that this is a light read—there's depth and darkness as well as love and light... just like real life.
I read The Girl on the Train in one day and absolutely loved it! Such a great read, combining an Agatha Christie (4:50 from Paddington) story line with the psychological tone of Patricia Highsmith. Definitely a page-turner. All in all very well done!
When Lenora Shaw is invited to a weekend hen (bachelorette) party for a former friend, Nora, she wonders why. Once very close, they haven't spoken in years because of an earlier falling out. But against her better judgement she reluctantly agrees to go. The guests arrive at their destination—a modern glass house deep in the woods of rural Northumberland where there’s no reliable cell service and no close neighbors—and, in true Agatha Christie fashion, things immediately start to go downhill. Nobody, except the hostess, seems particularly happy to be there and after a bombshell revelation and a series of sinister events, Lenora wakes up in the hospital with serious injuries and no memory of what happened to her. The details and long kept secrets unfold as her memory returns. Creepy, dark, psychological and compulsively readable—I read this page-turning debut in one sitting!
Freedom's Child by Jax Miller (Penguin Random House $16.00 - March 1, 2016)
This dark modern noir is not for the faint-of-heart but it’s oh, SO good! Freedom Oliver is in witness protection for killing her abusive cop husband and has two children that she put up for adoption but has never forgotten. When her daughter goes missing she risks everything to find her. Freedom is wild and fearless with a hair-trigger temper. But despite her flaws she possesses a capacity for love that surprises even her. One of the best fictional characters I’ve encountered in years.
Everything I Never Told You is a haunting and profoundly moving debut that kept me reading late into the night. Elegant poetic prose tells the story of a mixed race family living in a small Ohio town during the 1970s. When Lydia, the much-loved middle daughter, mysteriously disappears, the ripple effect of this devastating tragedy forces the family to confront long kept secrets and issues of race that threatens to unravel them, both as a family and as individuals. The perfect reading group book!