Texas, 1868. As nineteen-year-old Benjamin Shreve tends to business in his workshop, he witnesses a stagecoach strand a passenger. When the man persuades Benjamin to help track down the vanished coach—and a mysterious fortune left aboard—he is drawn into a drama whose scope he could never have imagined. The missing coach has a surprise in store: its other passengers include Nell, a pregnant young woman, and her four-year-old son, Tot, who are on the run from Nell’s brutal husband and his murderous brothers. After learning of their plight, Benjamin offers Nell and Tot passage to the distant Gulf of Mexico, where they can escape to safety. This chivalrous act will prove more dangerous than he could have expected, as buried secrets—including a cursed necklace—reveal themselves. Even as Benjamin falls in love with Nell and imagines life as Tot’s father, vengeful pursuers are on their trail. With its vivid characters and expansive canvas, The Madstone calls to mind Larry McMurtry’s American epics. The novel is full of eccentric action, unrelenting peril, and droll humor—a thrilling and beautifully rendered story of three people sharing a hazardous and defining journey that will forever bind them together.
Enter the Aardvark
Early one morning on a hot day in August, millennial Congress-bro Alexander Paine Wilson (R) is planning his reelection campaign when a mysterious FedEx delivery arrives on his doorstep. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark. What does it mean? To find out, this outrageous, edge-of-your-seat novel hurtles between present day Washington, DC, where Wilson tries to get rid of the unsightly beast before it destroys his career, and Victorian England, where we meet the aardvark’s taxidermist and the naturalist who hunted her, and learn the secret that binds them all.
The true story of two African-American brothers who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mother endured a 28-year struggle to get them back. The year was 1899 and the place a sweltering tobacco farm in the Jim Crow South town of Truevine, Virginia. George and Willie Muse were two little boys born to a sharecropper family. One day a white man offered them a piece of candy, setting off events that would take them around the world and change their lives forever. Captured into the circus, the Muse brothers performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. They were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era. But the very root of their success was in the color of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures they were forced to assume: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even “Ambassadors from Mars.” Back home, their mother never accepted that they were “gone” and spent 28 years trying to get them back. Through hundreds of interviews and decades of research, Beth Macy expertly explores a central and difficult question: Where were the brothers better off? On the world stage as stars or in poverty at home? TRUEVINE is a compelling narrative rich in historical detail and rife with implications to race relations today.
Today Will Be Different
A genius novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions when she awakes to a strange, new future unfolding. Today Will Be Different is a hilarious, heart-filled story of reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves before we can really begin living.
The true story of two African-American brothers who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mother endured a 28-year struggle to get them back. Through hundreds of interviews and decades of research, Beth Macy expertly explores a central and difficult question: Where were the brothers better off? On the world stage as stars or in poverty at home? Truevine is a compelling narrative rich in historical detail and rife with implications to race relations today.
Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey. Eva, Benedict, Sylvie and Lucien graduate in 1998, into a world on the brink of the new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and keen to shrug off the socialist politics of her childhood, Eva breaks away to work at a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who’s pined for Eva for years, stays on to do a physics PhD, and siblings Sylvie and Lucien pursue more freewheeling existences—she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partier. But as their dizzying twenties become their thirties, the once close-knit friends, now scattered and struggling to navigate thwarted dreams, lost jobs and broken hearts, find themselves drawn together once again in stunning and unexpected ways. Breathtaking in scope, this is sure to be the book of the summer.
The Yellow Birds
“The war tried to kill us in the spring,” begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger.
Bound together since basic training when their tough-as-nails Sergeant ordered Bart to watch over Murph, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murph becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes impossible actions.
With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel about the costs of war that is destined to become a classic.
In Countdown, Weisman explores the complexity of calculating how many humans this planet can hold without capsizing. He visits an extraordinary range of the world’s cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems to learn what in their beliefs, histories, liturgies, or current circumstances might suggest that sometimes it’s in their own best interest to limit their growth. He asks if we can determine how robust the Earth’s ecosystem must be to assure our continued existence, and whether we can know which other species are essential to our survival. And, he inquires how we might design an economy for a shrinking and finally stable population, to have genuine prosperity without endless growth. The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent, and, ultimately, deeply hopeful.