Sweetbitter meets The Nightingale in this page-turning novel about a woman who returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II.
David Hedges is having an unusual midlife crisis. His boyfriend, Soren, has left him for an older man, albeit a successful surgeon. His job—helping the spoiled children of San Francisco’s elite get into college—is exasperating. As his life reaches new lows, his weight reaches new highs. The only good thing he has is his under-market-value apartment that has a view so stunning he is the envy of all of San Francisco. But when the landlord finally decides to sell—to Soren and the surgeon courtesy of his supposed realtor friend—David hits rock bottom. Across the country, Julie Fiske isn’t having a much better time herself. Carol, the woman (younger, of course) that Henry, her second husband, left her for, is downright likable—more likeable than Henry was. The bills that she files by throwing into the back seat of her car keep piling up—so much so that she has turned her rambling home into an illegal B&B in the seaside tourist town where she lives. Her sullen teen daughter adamantly refused to apply to college (as David says, “I’m always drawn to sadness in teenagers, which I take to be a sign of intelligence. What teenager with half a brain looking at the condition of the planet they would inherit wouldn’t be sad?”). And Julie can’t seem to quit smoking weed (Why should she? It’s the one good thing she has). Henry lays down an ultimatum—if Mandy doesn’t start applying to college, she’s going to come live with him and Carol. And then Mandy surprises Henry, and stuns Julie, by saying she’s been working with David Hedges, Mom’s first husband from long ago. It’s a lie, but a good one, and, Julie thinks, not a bad idea. So when Julie calls David up out of the blue and asks if he’ll help Mandy, he says of course. And when Mandy tells David he should come visit them and stay in one of their B&B rooms, he surprises everyone, including himself, by accepting. Soon David and Julie are living together and in many ways pick up exactly where they left off. But while the chemistry between them is still there, and they can finish each other’s sentences, there’s one conversation they never finished that is unavoidable.
Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in a remote village in southern China, where his father runs a family-owned shoe factory. Lost and searching, Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, absorbing the generations-old secrets of the trade from his loving but neurotic father. As Alex explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines he comes to a grim realization: employers are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in payoffs and bribes to protect the bottom line. Then he meets a seamstress named Ivy. As Alex and Ivy grow close, Alex’s sympathies begin to shift to the Chinese workers, who labor under brutal conditions, stitching, sewing and cobbling shoes for American companies. But when Ivy’s past resurfaces, her broader goals become apparent. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow laborers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?
A young man’s moving story of love, war, and hope in which he recounts his harrowing escape from fanaticism and a brutal civil war in Yemen with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of interfaith activists in the West.
From Eugenia Bone, the critically acclaimed author of Mycophilia, comes an approachable, highly personal look at our complex relationship with the microbial world.
While researching her book about mushrooms, Eugenia Bone became fascinated with microbes–those life forms that are too small to see without a microscope. Specifically, she wanted to understand the microbes that lived inside other living organisms like plants and people. But as she began reading books, scholarly articles, blogs, and even attending an online course in an attempt to grasp the microbiology, she quickly realized she couldn’t do it alone.
That’s why she enrolled at Columbia University to study Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology. Her stories about being a middle-aged mom embedded in undergrad college life are spot-on and hilarious. But more profoundly, when Bone went back to school she learned that biology is a vast conspiracy of microbes. Microbes invented living and as a result they are implicated in every aspect of every living thing. This popular science book takes the layman on a broad survey of the role of microbes in nature and illustrates their importance to the existence of everything: atmosphere, soil, plants, and us.
Turns out, one lesson applies to living through illness, keeping the show on the road, letting go of the person you love most, and eating fire: The trick is there is no trick. You eat fire by eating fire.
Two journeys—a daughter’s and a mother’s—bear witness to this lesson in The Electric Woman.
For three years Tessa Fontaine lived in a constant state of emergency as her mother battled stroke after stroke. But hospitals, wheelchairs, and loss of language couldn’t hold back such a woman; she and her husband would see Italy together, come what may. Thus Fontaine became free to follow her own piper, a literal giant inviting her to “come play” in the World of Wonders, America’s last traveling sideshow. How could she resist?
Transformed into an escape artist, a snake charmer, and a high-voltage Electra, Fontaine witnessed the marvels of carnival life: intense camaraderie and heartbreak, the guilty thrill of hard-earned cash exchanged for a peek into the impossible, and, most marvelous of all, the stories carnival folks tell about themselves. Through these, Fontaine trained her body to ignore fear and learned how to keep her heart open in the face of loss.
A story for anyone who has ever imagined running away with the circus, wanted to be someone else, or wanted a loved one to live forever, The Electric Woman is ultimately about death-defying acts of all kinds, especially that ever constant: good old-fashioned unconditional love.
In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island as a schoolgirl from the margins of high society. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda’s catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister—all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion—is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society. But beneath the island’s patrician surface, there are really two clans: the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. In summer, Joseph helps his father in the lobster boats, but in the autumn he returns to Brown University, where he’s determined to make something of himself. Since childhood, Joseph’s enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and as the summer winds to its end, Miranda’s caught in a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the island for nearly two decades. Now, in the landmark summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. The formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for the murder of Miranda’s stepfather eighteen years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naïve teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice for the man she once loved . . . even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island.
Rob Coates feels like he’s won the lottery of life. There is Anna, his incredible wife, their London town house and, most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. But when a devastating illness befalls his family, Rob’s world begins to unravel. Suddenly finding himself alone, Rob seeks solace in photographing the skyscrapers and clifftops he and his son Jack used to visit. And just when it seems that all hope is lost, Rob embarks on the most unforgettable of journeys to find his way back to life, and forgiveness. We Own the Sky is a tender, heartrending, but ultimately life-affirming novel that will resonate deeply with anyone who has suffered loss or experienced great love. With stunning eloquence and acumen, Luke Allnutt has penned a soaring debut and a true testament to the power of love, showing how even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.
Grace bears a strange gift that is also a burden, something we might call acute intuition, but which her small town at the tail end of the 1960’s sees as a kind of witchcraft and her father, an Evangelical pastor, deems a sacrilege. Grace calls it The Knowing. Her uncanny abilities are impossible for those around her to reconcile with their black-and-white views of the good and evil forces in the world. As the era of small-town American innocence comes to a close, it’s the darker forces that seem to push Grace’s mother into postpartum depression and permeate the town with a wider sense of loss when one of its young girls go missing.
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?