Fiction Stars 2012: July - December

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.

July

  • Sandcastle Girls
    Author: Bohjalian, Chris
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780385534796 Date: 2012
    starLJ
    Parallel stories of a woman who falls in love with an Armenian soldier during the Armenian Genocide and a modern-day New Yorker prompted to rediscover her Armenian past.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • The Absolutist
    Author: Boyne, John
    $ 17 ISBN: 9781590515525 Date: 2012
    starLJ
    The Absolutist is a masterful tale of passion, jealousy, heroism, and betrayal set in one of the most gruesome trenches of France during World War I. This novel will engage readers until its most extraordinary and unexpected conclusion.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln
    Author: Carter, Stephen L.
    $ 26.95 ISBN: 9780307272638 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    From the author of the bestsellers The Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White, an electrifying, provocative alternative history novel that asks the question: What would have happened had Lincoln not been assassinated?
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Scandal Wears Satin
    Author: Chase, Loretta
    $ 7.99 ISBN: 9780062100313 Date: 2012
    starBooklist starLJ

    From the Journals of Sophia Noirot: "A dress is a weapon. It must dazzle his eye, raise his temperature . . . and empty his purse."

    A blue-eyed innocent on the outside and a shark on the inside, dressmaker Sophy Noirot could sell sand to Bedouins. Selling Maison Noirot's beautiful designs to aristocratic ladies is a little harder, especially since a recent family scandal has made an enemy of one of society's fashion leaders. Turning scandal to the shop's advantage requires every iota of Sophy's skills, leaving her little patience for a big, reckless rake like the Earl of Longmore. The gorgeous lummox can't keep more than one idea in his head at a time, and his idea is taking off all of Sophy's clothes.

    But when Longmore's sister, Noirot's wealthiest, favorite customer, runs away, Sophy can't let him bumble after her on his own. In hot pursuit with the one man who tempts her beyond reason, she finds desire has never slipped on so smoothly . . . - Publisher Marketing

    Updated 7.31.12
  • Gold
    Author: Cleave, Chris
    $ 27 ISBN: 9781451672725 Date: 2012
    starKirkus star PW star LJ
    Building on the tradition of Little Bee, Cleave again writes with elegance, humor, and passion about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption. On the road to Olympic Gold in London, world-class athletes Zoe and Kate must decide what's most important to them.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 5.15.12
  • A Violet Season
    Author: Czepiel, Kathy Leonard
    $ 15 ISBN: 9781451655063 Date: 2012
    starKirkus
    The violet industry is booming in 1898, and a Hudson Valley farm owned by the Fletcher family is turning a generous profit for its two oldest brothers. Ida Fletcher, married to the black sheep youngest brother, makes increasingly great sacrifices for their family's survival, sacrifices that will set them against one another in a lifelong struggle for honesty and forgiveness.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Thief of Shadows
    Author: Hoyt, Elizabeth
    $ 7.99 ISBN: 9781455508327 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he's the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.A DANGEROUS WOMAN . . . Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she's asked to tutor the Home's dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can't help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.A PASSION NEITHER COULD DENY During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel . . . and his life. - publisher marketing
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Infared
    Author: Huston, Nancy
    $ 14 ISBN: 9780802120274 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Award-winning author Huston follows her bestselling novel, "Fault Lines," with an intensely provocative story about a passionate yet emotionally wounded woman's sexual explorations. She fearlessly investigates the links between family intimacies, between destruction and creation.
    Updated 7.8.12
  • Winds of Change
    Author: Jacobs, Anna
    $ 28.95 ISBN: 9780727881601 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    An engrossing tale of new beginnings and second chances from an ever-popular author. "Miranda Fox has devoted much of her life to caring for her elderly father. After his tragic death, she starts to make plans for her future, funded by the inheritance she is sure will be coming her way, but it seems her arrogant and domineering half-brother has very different ideas . . . Then a chance encounter with a man who has been given months to live boosts Miranda's confidence, and as their friendship grows she finally learns to stand up for herself and her dreams. Can Miranda find the happiness that she deserves?
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Mountains of the Moon
    Author: Jay, I.J.
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780670023677 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Told in multilayered, hallucinatory flashbacks, this tale traces the traumatic London youth of Lulu and explores her attempt to transform a broken life into something beautiful in Africa in a dazzling novel from a distinctive new voice.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Antebellum
    Author: Thomas, R. Kayeen
    $ 15 ISBN: 9781593094256 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Suggested Reading: African American Stars
    Updated 7.8.12
  • Office Girl
    Author: Meno, Joe
    $ 23.95 ISBN: 9781617750755 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Joe Meno is back with fantastic new novel about two young people and a visionary, doomed art movement.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Up Jumps the Devil
    Author: Poore, Michael
    $ 14 ISBN: 9780062064417 Date: 2012
    starPW
    John Scratch, the Devil himself, is the protagonist in this stunningly imaginative and funny novel, as he prods America to greatness in the hope of luring his lost love back down to Earth from Heaven. For fans of Chris Moore, Joe Hill, Chuck Palahniuk, and Jim Shepard.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • You & Me
    Author: Powell, Padgett
    $ 24 ISBN: 9780062126139 Date: 2012
    starPW
    The author of the cult hit The Interrogative Mood--a Best Book of the Year selection by GQ, The Believer, Time Out New York and others--returns with a hilarious Southern send-up of Samuel Beckett's classic Waiting for Godot.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Keepsake
    Author: Riggle, Kristina
    $ 14.99 ISBN: 9780062003072 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    When her son gets hurt and Child Protective Services comes calling, Trish's precarious world begins to tip over. The last thing Trish wants is her sister Mary's help. Working together to get Trish's home into liveable shape, the sisters soon uncover more than just junk.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Interventions: A Novella and Three Stories
    Author: Russo, Richard
    $ 40 ISBN: 9781608931859 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    In what many perceive as a coldly relentless digital age, Pulitzer-prize winning author Richard Russo has teamed up with his daughter, artist Kate Russo, to present this tribute to the printed book. This handsome and inventive format four individually bound volumes gathered in a slipcase combines the previously unpublished novella Intervention with three shorter works, two of which have not been published in book form. The four tales inInterventionscrackle with Russo s perceptive wit and unwavering compassion for the human condition. In the title novella, self-obsessed realtor Ray must confront his own mortality and doesn t seem especially interested in winning the battle. A surprising revelation about his father and uncle, however, and his realization of an unlikely friendship lead him to believe he just might like to stick around. Horseman explores the complexities of a young professor s marriage and academic life, and The Whore s Child negotiates the not-always-clear line between fact and fiction. The final piece, High and Dry, is Russo s paean to the heyday of his hometown, Gloversville, New York. Each of the four volumes is paired with a small, full-color print of a painting by Kate Russo. Printed in the United States on the finest sustainably harvested papers, the set is as much a joy to hold in the hand as it is to read. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Ravishing the Heiress
    Author: Thomas, Sherry
    $ 7.99 ISBN: 9780425250877 Date: 2012
    starLJ star PW
    When her arranged marriage to the Earl Fitzhugh leads to a lasting friendship, but nothing more, Millicent, who has fallen head over heels in love with her husband, vows to prove to him that there is something between them that is worth fighting for.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Evel Knievel Days
    Author: Tougonghi, Pauls
    $ 24 ISBN: 9780307382153 Date: 2012
    starKirkus

    From the critically-acclaimed author of "Red Weather" comes a heartwarming, witty story of immigration and belonging, false starts and new beginnings, and finding out what home truly means

    Khosi Saqr has always felt a bit out of place in Butte, Montana, hometown of motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel. Half-Egyptian, full of nervous habits, raised by a single mother, owner of a name that no one can pronounce -- Khosi has never quite managed to fit in. But when a mysterious stranger arrives in town (and Khosi's longtime love uses Butte's annual festival, Evel Knievel Days, as a time to announce her impending marriage to someone else), Khosi takes his first daredevil like risk, and travels to Egypt to find his father -- and a connection to his heritage. 
    What he discovers, in Cairo, is much more startling than he'd imagined it could be. The city is a thrilling mix of contradictions -- and locating his father turns out to be the easy part. Through mistaken identity, delicious food, and near tragedy, Khosi and his parents rediscover what it means to be connected to each other, to a family, and to a culture.
    The timely story of a young man searching for his roots, and along the way finding his identity, "Evel Knievel Days" is Khosi's charming and funny journey to learn where he came from, and who he is. 
    "A funny, heart-warming, compulsively readable novel about the unbreakable bonds of family -- and baklava." 
    --Garth Stein, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Art of Racing in the Rain"

    Updated 7.31.12
  • The Painted Bridge
    Author: Wallace, Wendy
    $ 25 ISBN: 9781451660821 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    An elegant, emotionally suspenseful debut, "The Painted Bridge" is a story of family betrayals, illicit power, and a woman sent to an asylum against her will in Victorian England.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Shadow Show: All New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
    Author: Weller, Sam (edt)
    $ 15.99 ISBN: 9780062122681 Date: 2012
    starBooklist starPW

    "What do you imagine when you hear the name" . . . Bradbury?

    You might see rockets to Mars. Or bizarre circuses where otherworldly acts whirl in the center ring. Perhaps you travel to a dystopian future, where books are set ablaze . . . or to an out-of-the-way sideshow, where animated illustrations crawl across human skin. Or maybe, suddenly, you're returned to a simpler time in small-town America, where summer perfumes the air and life is almost perfect . . . "almost."

    Ray Bradbury--peerless storyteller, poet of the impossible, and one of America's most beloved authors--is a literary giant whose remarkable career has spanned seven decades. Now twenty-six of today's most diverse and celebrated authors offer new short works in honor of the master; stories of heart, intelligence, and dark wonder from a remarkable range of creative artists. - Publisher Marketing

    Updated 7.31.12
  • Alif the Unseen
    Author: Wilson, G. Willow
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780802120205 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. With shades of Neal Stephenson and Neil Gaiman, this tour de force debut is a sophisticated melting pot of philosophy and technology.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • The Bellwether Revivals
    Author: Wood, Benjamin
    $ 26.95 ISBN: 9780670023592 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    A masterful work of psychological suspense and emotional resonance sure to appeal to fans of Donna Tartt and Marisha Pessl, this sophisticated debut novel explores a group of Cambridge friends entangled in a strange and opulent world of music, medicine, and its healing ability.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes
    Author: Woodman, Betsy
    $ 15 ISBN: 9780805093490 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Meet Jana Bibi, a Scottish woman helping to save the small town in India she has grown to call home and the oddball characters she considers family. Hoping to attract tourists with promises of good things to come, she stacks her deck of cards, readies her fine-feathered assistant--and "Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes" is born.
    Updated 5.15.12

August

  • Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling
    Author: Boccacino, Michael
    $ 14.99 ISBN: 9780062122612 Date: 2012
    starPW

    When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, "the place for the Things Above Death," where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.

    However, everything comes with a price, and as Charlotte begins to understand the unspeakable bargain Mrs. Darrow has made for a second chance at motherhood, she uncovers a connection to the sinister occurrences in Blackfield and enters into a deadly game with the master of Darkling--one whose outcome will determine the fate of not just the Darrows but the world itself.

    "Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling" is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love.

    - Publisher MarketingUpdated 7.8.12
  • Hearts of Darkness
    Author: Brady, Kira
    $ 6.99 ISBN: 9781420124569 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Brady makes her debut with the first book in a dazzling new paranormal romantic trilogy set in a grisly version of modern-day Seattle, where one woman's courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war--and an irresistible passion.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • I Own the Night (Night Stalkers)
    Author: Buchman, M.L.
    $ 6.99 ISBN:  9781402258138 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Buchman delivers the latest installment in The Night Stalkers series. 
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Colors of Love, Speed Book 2 (ebook)
    Author: Dee, Jess
    $ 4.50 ISBN: 9781609289300 Date: 2012
    starPW
    One man + one man + one woman = a whole lot of steamy two-way and three-way M/M & M/M/F sex, a hero or two to drool over, and a heroine who recognizes true love when she sees it. - publisher marketing
    Updated 5.15.12
  • The Bartender's Tale
    Author: Doig, Ivan
    $ 27.995 ISBN: 9781594487354 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    From a great American storyteller, a one-of-a-kind father and his precocious son are rocked by a time of change. The pair make an odd kind of family, with the bar their true home, but they manage just fine until the summer of 1960 when two new women enter their lives.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Goodbye for Now
    Author: Frankel, Laurie
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780385536189 Date: 2012
    starLJ star Booklist
    In the spirit of One Day, comes a fresh and warmhearted love story for the 21st century about an internet dating company worker who still can't get a date.
    Updated 7.24.12
  • A Lady Never Lies
    Author: Gray, Juliana
    $ 7.99 ISBN: 9780425250921 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Three English ladies on a holiday escape. Three dashing bachelors competing in a wager to remain chaste. Three scandalous affairs in an enchanted castle. One wildly romantic new series from a brand-new voice in historical fiction. 
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Triburbia
    Author: Greenfeld, Karl Taro
    $ 24.99 ISBN: 9780062132390 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star PW
    The acclaimed author delivers his debut novel, a devastating story of troubled characters wrestling with the dark realities of their lives that is reminiscent of Tom Rachman's "The Imperfectionists" and Jennifer Egan's "A Visit from the Goon Squad."
    Updated 7.31.12
  • The Dog Stars
    Author: Heller, Peter
    $ 24.95 ISBN: 9780307959942 Date: 2012
    starPW starLJ star Booklist
    A pilot survives a flu that kills everyone he knows. When a random transmission beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him. He follows the static voice on the radio, but what he encounters is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 7.8.12
  • The Headmaster's Wager
    Author: Lam, Vincent
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780307986467 Date: 2012
    starLJ star PW
    When Percival Chen's son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Chen faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. Chen finds solace in a beautiful woman and a son born to them, but he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Capitol
    Author: Lanchester, John
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780393082074 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    From the best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure, a sweeping social novel set at the height of the financial crisis.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • This Is How it Ends
    Author: MacMahon, Kathleen
    $ 25 ISBN: 9781455511310 Date: 2012
    starLJ
    An American has come to Ireland to search for his roots, and his world collides with an out-of-work architect recovering from heartbreak.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Silver
    Author: Motion, Andrew
    $ 24 ISBN: 9780307884879 Date: 2012
    starLJ
    A swashbuckling tale of adventure, by a literary legend, that revisits the beloved characters of "Treasure Island."
    Updated 5.15.12
  • On Top of Spoon Mountain
    Author: Nichols, John
    $ 24.95 ISBN: 9780826352705 Date: 2012
    starBooklist

    Jonathan Kepler wants to climb Spoon Mountain with his grown son and daughter on his sixty-fifth birthday in three weeks. The kids, Ben and Miranda, think he's crazy. For starters, Spoon Mountain is almost the tallest alpine peak in New Mexico. Jonathan's health is terrible. Still reeling from his third, nearly fatal, divorce, he has a rotten heart, serious asthma, and a fed-up girlfriend who is about to drop him like a bad habit. Once a celebrated novelist, Hollywood screenwriter, and environmental activist, Jonathan is now tottering at the ragged end of his career and yearning to make amends to his children for his past sins before it's too late.

    Years ago, Spoon Mountain was very special to the Kepler family. They once shared halcyon days in the wilderness. Can they go home again? Does Spoon Mountain offer redemption . . . or annihilation? And why is getting there so laden with pratfalls?

    John Nichols is at his hilarious and poignant best in this rollicking tale of love, anarchy, and the awesome Rocky Mountains. It is drop-dead comedy with an inspiring and beautiful message. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 7.31.12

  • The Forrests
    Author: Perkins, Emily
    $ 15 ISBN: 9781608196777 Date: 2012
    starPW

    Dorothy Forrest is immersed in the sensory world around her; she lives in the flickering moment. From the age of seven, when her odd, disenfranchised family moves from New York City to the wide skies of New Zealand, to the very end of her life, this is her great gift and possible misfortune.

    Through the wilderness of a commune to falling in love to early marriage and motherhood; from the glorious anguish of parenting to the loss of everything worked for and the unexpected return of love, Dorothy is swept along by time. Her family looms and recedes, revelations come to light, death changes everything, but somehow, life remains as potent as it ever was, and the joy in just being won't let her go.

    In a narrative that shifts and moves, growing as wild as the characters, The Forrests is an extraordinary literary achievement. - publisher marketing
    Updated 5.15.12

  • Pyg: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig
    Author: Potter, Russell
    $ 14 ISBN: 9780143121183 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Toby, a truly exceptional pig, lived in late 18th-century England. After winning a blue ribbon, Toby tours the country, wowing circus audiences with his abilities to count, spell, and goes on to study at Oxford. Quirky and endlessly entertaining, this memoir is a sharp and witty delight.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette
    Author: Semple, Maria
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780316204279 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist
    To her Microsoft-guru husband, Bernadette's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to her 15-year-old, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears.
    Updated 7.24.12
  • The Light Between the Oceans
    Author: Stedman, M.L.
    $ 25 ISBN: 9781451681734 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star PW
    A novel set on a remote Australian island, where a childless couple live quietly running a lighthouse, until a boat carrying a baby washes ashore.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • An Echo Through the Snow
    Author: Thalasinos, Andrea
    $ 23.99 ISBN: 9780765330369 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    An inspiring story that takes readers on a gripping, profound, and uplifting dogsled ride to the Iditarod and beyond, on a journey of survival and healing.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Dead Stars: An Entertainment
    Author: Wagner, Bruce
    $ 35 ISBN: 9780399159350 Date: 2012
    starPW
    By a critic favorite and American master has been hailed by John Updike as a wizard and by Michiko Kakutani as dazzling as O'Nan enthralling novel about the world's youngest breast cancer survivor taking on the modern Hollywood system.
    Updated 7.8.12
  • Battleborn
    Author: Watkins, Claire Vaye
    $ 26 ISBN: 9781594488252 Date: 2012
    starPW star LJ
    Like the work of Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Richard Ford, and Annie Proulx, Battleborn represents a near-perfect confluence of sensibility and setting, and the introduction of an exceptionally powerful and original literary voice. In each of these ten unforgettable stories, Claire Vaye Watkins writes her way fearlessly into the mythology of the American West, utterly reimagining it. Her characters orbit around the region's vast spaces, winning redemption despite - and often because of - the hardship and violence they endure. The arrival of a foreigner transforms the exchange of eroticism and emotion at a prostitution ranch. A prospecting hermit discovers the limits of his rugged individualism when he tries to rescue an abused teenager. Decades after she led her best friend into a degrading encounter in a Vegas hotel room, a woman feels the aftershock. Most bravely of all, Watkins takes on - and reinvents - her own troubled legacy in a story that emerges from the mayhem and destruction of Helter Skelter. Arcing from the sweeping and sublime to the minute and personal, from Gold Rush to ghost town to desert to brothel, the collection echoes not only in its title but also in its fierce, undefeated spirit the motto of her home state. - publisher marketing
    Updated 5.15.12

September

  • Seven Houses
    Author: Axtaga, Bernardo
    $ 14 ISBN: 9781555976231 Date: 2012
    starPW
    A brooding novel of colonial intrigue in the Congo, from the author of "The Accordionist's Son "and "Obabakoak 
    "The year is 1903, and the garrison of Yangambi on the banks of the Congo is under the command of Captain Lalande Biran. The captain is also a poet whose ambition is to amass a fortune and return to the literary cafes of Paris. His glamorous wife, Christine, has a further ambition: to own seven houses in France, a house for every year he has been abroad. At Lalande Biran's side are the ex-legionnaire van Thiegel, a brutal womanizer, and the servile, treacherous Donatien, who dreams of running a brothel. The officers spend their days guarding enslaved rubber-tappers and kidnapping young girls, and at their hands the jungle is transformed into a wild circus of human ambition and absurdity. But everything changes with the arrival of a new officer and brilliant marksman: the enigmatic Chrysostome Liege. An outstanding new novel from the critically acclaimed and prizewinning author Bernardo Atxaga, "Seven Houses in France "is a blackly comic tale which reveals the darkest sides of human desire. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 7.8.12
  • Little Sinners, and Other Stories
    Author: Brown, Karen
    $ 17.95 ISBN: 9780803243422 Date: 2012
    starPW

    Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Karen Brown's "Little Sinners, and Other Stories" features a sad, strange mosaic of women and men grappling with the loss and pain of everyday existence, people inhabiting a suburban landscape haunted by ghosts: a mother who leaps from a ridge, a mistress found at the bottom of the Connecticut River, a father who dresses in a pale blue-custom suit--and disappears. The dead leave behind postcards, houses, bottles of sherry, bones. They become local legends, their stories part of the characters' own: an expectant mother in an isolated cottage on Long Island Sound uncovers an unsettling secret in her backyard; a troubled housewife is lured to a dinner party by a teenage girl whose mother has vanished under mysterious circumstances; a woman and her lover swim the pools of their neighborhood under cover of darkness; a young heiress struggles with mortality and the abandonments in her past.

    These stories capture the domestic world in all its blighted promise--a world where women's roles in housekeeping, marriage, childbirth, and sex have been all too well defined, and where the characters fashion, recklessly and passionately, their own methods of escape.

    - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 7.28.12
  • Beautiful Lies
    Author: Clark, Clare
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780151014675 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    From an award-winning novelist, the story of the exotic wife of a Scottish aristocrat who is not what she seems, set against the backdrop of the cultured drawing rooms and emerging tabloid culture of late Victorian London.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • With Blood in Their Eyes
    Author: Cobb, Thomas
    $ 24.95 ISBN: 9780816521104 Date: 2012
    starPW
    homas Cobb introduces the day when the Power brothers engaged the Graham County Sheriff's Department in the bloodiest shootout in Arizona history. Cobb cunningly weaves the story of the Power brothers' escape with flashbacks of the boys' father's life and his struggle to make a living ranching, logging, and mining in the West around the turn of the century. Deftly drawn characters and cleverly concealed motivations work seamlessly to blend a compelling family history with a desperate story of the brothers as they attempt to escape.
    Updated 7.28.12
  • This Is How You Lose Her
    Author: Diaz, Junot
    $ 26.95 ISBN: 9781594487361 Date: 2012
    starPW starLJ star Booklist
    A Pulitzer Prize winner turns his prodigious talent to the haunting, impossible power of love. Hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, these stories lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 7.28.12
  • The Map of Lost Memories
    Author: Fay, Kim
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780345531346 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Suspense and secrets are woven together during a daring expedition to a remote land, where the search for an elusive treasure becomes a journey into the darkest recesses of the mind and heart.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • The Six Granddaughters of Cecil Slaughter
    Author: Hahn, Susan
    $ 22 ISBN: 9780984651009 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Telling the story of a family of Jewish Hungarian immigrants settled in Chicago in the first half of the 20th century, this novel follows their rise from poverty to prosperity as Cecil Slaughter's children--out of equal measures glorified memory and sibling rivalry--name their daughters after him, with subtle variations: Ceci, Cecilia, Cecily, Celine, Celie, and Celeste. Despite--or perhaps because of--this and other familial forces pushing on them, each has a personality and direction of life distinct from her cousins. Celie is the top saleswoman in an upscale dress shop; Cecily is a playwright; Cecilia is a poet; Celine finds her expression in the seduction of men; and Celeste died as an infant. Ceci, the eldest of the Slaughter grandchildren and daughter of the admired and envied family beauty, Rose, died as a young adult and she serves as narrator of the novel from the afterlife. Through reflection, and with the counsel of Lao Tzu, she gradually attains a greater understanding and acceptance of Earthly human weakness, even as the lives of her living cousins lead inexorably to a violent and tragic conclusion. Set in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, this unusual page turner utilizes poetry and a sense of theatrical staging to original and haunting effect, rending a family saga with both distance and intimacy. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 7.31.12
  • May We Be Forgiven
    Author: Homes, A.M.
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780670025480 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Harold has spent a lifetime watching his younger brother acquire success. But Harold knows his brother has a murderous temper, and when he loses control the result is an act of violence so shocking that both brothers are hurled into entirely new lives.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Ugly Duchess
    Author: James, Eloisa
    $ 7.99 ISBN: 9780062021731 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist star LJ
    In this delightful new installment of "New York Times"-bestselling author James' fairytale-inspired series, the Ugly Duchess finds her match. 
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 9.14.12
  • The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
    Author: Jonasson, Jonas
    $ 15.99 ISBN: 9781401324643 Date: 2012
    starPW star Kirkus

    The international publishing sensation--over two million copies sold

    A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over...

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

    It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, " The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" has charmed readers across the world.

    Jonas Jonasson is a former journalist and media consultant. He lives in Sweden. - Publisher Marketing

    Updated 7.28.12
  • Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand
    Author: Kelly, Carla
    $ 8.99 ISBN: 9781462110605 Date: 2012
    starPW
    After her husband's death, Roxanna Drew is left with more beauty than fortune. Now, desperate to escape the perils of her past life, she must learn to trust the dashing Lord Winn---a broken man with a past of his own. This award-winning romance by bestselling author Carla Kelly is a moving and memorable book you won't be able to put down.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Glass Boys
    Author: Lundrigan, Nicole
    $ 18.95 ISBN: 9781553657972 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    With vivid and unflinching prose, Nicole Lundrigan has created a riveting and deeply human saga of the persistence of evil and the depths and limits of love. 
    When Roy Trench is killed in a drunken prank gone wrong, his brother Lewis sees blood on the hands of the man responsible: the abusive alcoholic, Eli Fagan. Though the courts rule the death an accident, the event opens a seam of hate between the two families of Knife's Point, Newfoundland. 
    Desperate to smother the painful past with love, Lewis marries Wilda, and the pleasure he takes in their two children -- Melvin and Toby -- recalls the happier days of his childhood with Roy. But as he watches his small family fracture, the darkness of the past begins to cloud the present, leading Lewis back to Eli Fagan -- and his watchful stepson, Garrett Glass. 
    In the style of Newfoundland literature, established by Michael Crummey and Lisa Moore, "Glass Boys" is the haunting story of an unforgivable crime that brings two families to the brink.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Love's Winning Plays
    Author: Majors, Inman
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780393062809 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    In this fist-bumping, high-fiving, all-out comedic blitz about the sublimely ridiculous world of college football, Southeastern Conference head coach Von Driver will take his motivational magic and his Isosceles Triangle of Success on a Pigskin Cavalcade to the small towns in the state.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • A Winter's Night
    Author: Manfredi, Valerio
    $ 18 ISBN: 9781609450762 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Set during the first half of the twentieth century, this is the story of the Brunis, a family of farmers from the Italian Padan Plain who have worked the land since time immemorial. And it is a story about the homeless multitudes, travelers, and tinkers, roaming Europe during the hardscrabble nineteen-twenties and thirties. In this expansive novel, reminiscent of Bertolucci's masterpiece "1900" in its scope and subject matter, these two worlds meet when the Brunis open their great barn and offer it as a refuge for those in need of a warm, dry, and safe place to sleep and eat. The barn becomes font and inspiration for a series of vivid stories involving sundry strangers, the Bruni parents themselves, and their nine children--seven boys and two girls--who will grow into young men and women during World War I and its aftermath. Told in the tradition of country folktales and framed by the devastating years of strife--two world wars and the years of fascism--these stories will delight readers from the first page to the last. Manfredi's "A Winter's Night" provides a timely reminder that simple values and a sense of solidarity with our fellow human beings remain of vital importance, above all in a world undergoing momentous and rapid change- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Other Half of Me
    Author: McCarthy, Morgan
    $ 15 ISBN: 9781451668230 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star LJ

    What good can the past do the living? What harm?" Growing up in their family's ancestral home in Wales, Jonathan Anthony and his little sister, Theo, are inseparable. Together they explore the wild acres of Evendon, inventing magical worlds and buttressing each other against the loneliness of life with their alcoholic mother, Alicia, and a shifting cast of gossiping cooks and maids. When a family tragedy brings their glamorous grandmother, Eve, home from America, Jonathan and Theo are initially elated by the attention she lavishes on them. But soon it becomes clear that there is more to the Anthony family history than either Eve or Alicia will acknowledge, trapping Jonathan and Theo in a web of dark secrets that have haunted Evendon for generations.

    Written in luminous prose, with richly endearing characters and a profound appreciation for the rustic beauty of the Welsh countryside, "The Other Half of Me "is a darkly wise coming-of-age novel and a masterful portrait of a family and the burdens of the past.- Publisher Marketing


    Updated 10.1.12
  • Sutton
    Author: Moehringer, J.R.
    $ 27.99 ISBN: 9781401323141 Date: 2012
    starBooklist

    Born in the squalid Irish slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the twentieth century, Willie Sutton came of age at a time when banks were out of control. If they weren't taking brazen risks, causing millions to lose their jobs and homes, they were shamelessly seeking bailouts. Trapped in a cycle of bank panics, depressions and soaring unemployment, Sutton saw only one way out, only one way to win the girl of his dreams.

    So began the career of America's most successful bank robber. Over three decades Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, and such a master at breaking out of prisons, police called him one of the most dangerous men in New York, and the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted List.

    But the public rooted for Sutton. He never fired a shot, after all, and his victims were merely those bloodsucking banks. When he was finally caught for good in 1952, crowds surrounded the jail and chanted his name.

    Blending vast research with vivid imagination, Pulitzer Prize-winner J.R. Moehringer brings Willie Sutton blazing back to life. In Moehringer's retelling, it was more than need or rage at society that drove Sutton. It was one unforgettable woman. In all Sutton's crimes and confinements, his first love (and first accomplice) was never far from his thoughts. And when Sutton finally walked free--a surprise pardon on Christmas Eve, 1969--he immediately set out to find her.

    Poignant, comic, fast-paced and fact-studded, "Sutton" tells a story of economic pain that feels eerily modern, while unfolding a story of doomed love, which is forever timeless. - Publisher Marketing

    Updated 7.31.12
  • Man in the Blue Moon
    Author: Morris, Michael
    $ 19.99 ISBN: 9781414373300 Date: 2012
    starPW
    "He's a gambler at best. A con artist at worst," her aunt had said of the handlebar-mustached man who snatched Ella Wallace away from her dreams of studying art in France. Eighteen years later, that man has disappeared, leaving Ella alone and struggling to support her three sons. While the world is embroiled in World War I, Ella fights her own personal battle to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker. When a mysterious man arrives at Ella's door in an unconventional way, he convinces her he can help her avoid foreclosure, and a tenuous trust begins. But as the fight for Ella's land intensifies, it becomes evident that things are not as they appear. Hypocrisy and murder soon shake the coastal town of Apalachicola and jeopardize Ella's family.
    Suggested Reading: Christian Fiction
    Updated 7.28.12
  • John Saturnall's Feast
    Author: Norfolk, Lawrence
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780802120519 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    A beautiful, rich and sensuous historical novel, "John Saturnall's Feast" tells the story of a young orphan who becomes a kitchen boy at a manor house, and rises through the ranks to become the greatest Cook of his generation. It is a story of food, star-crossed lovers, ancient myths and one boy's rise from outcast to hero. 
    Orphaned when his mother dies of starvation, having been cast out of her village as a witch, John is taken in at the kitchens at Buckland Manor, where he quickly rises from kitchen-boy to Cook, and is known for his uniquely keen palate and natural cooking ability. However, he quickly gets on the wrong side of Lady Lucretia, the aristocratic daughter of the Lord of the Manor. In order to inherit the estate, Lucretia must wed, but her fiance is an arrogant buffoon. When Lucretia takes on a vow of hunger until her father calls off her engagement to her insipid husband-to-be, it falls to John to try to cook her delicious foods that might tempt her to break her fast. 
    Reminiscent of "Wolf Hall" and "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," "John Saturnall's Feast" is a brilliant work and a delight for all the senses.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • The Yellow Birds
    Author: Powers, Kevin
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780316129365 Date: 2012
    starLJ star PW
    In Al Tafar, Iraq, 21-year old Private Bartle and 18-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.
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Skagboys
    Author: Welsh, Irvine
    $ 26.95 ISBN: 9780393088731 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Prequel to the bestselling phenomenon "Trainspotting," this exhilarating and moving novel shows how Welsh's colorful miscreants first went wrong.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Panorama City
    Author: Wilson, Antoine
    $ 24 ISBN: 9780547875125 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Heir to "A Confederacy of Dunces" and "Being There," this wildly entertaining and surreptitiously moving novel describes a "slow absorber" who records everything he thinks his unborn son will find useful in becoming a man of the world.
    Updated 7.28.12

October

  • What Happens at Christmas
    Author: Alexander, Victoria
    $ 17 ISBN: 9780758255686 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Camille, Lady Lydingham, wants an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince for Christmas, but her plans go awry when she organizes a party for him to meet her unconventional relatives--and a former love interest also shows up.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories
    Author: Alexie, Sherman
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780802120397 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star PW
    Sherman Alexie's stature as a writer of stories, poems, and novels has soared over the course of his twenty-book, twenty-year career. His wide-ranging, acclaimed stories from the last two decades, from "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" to his most recent PEN/Faulkner award-winning "War Dances," have established him as a star in modern literature. 
    A bold and irreverent observer of life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, the daring, versatile, funny, and outrageous Alexie showcases all his talents in his newest collection, "Blasphemy," where he unites fifteen beloved classics with fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers. 
    Included here are some of his most esteemed tales, including "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," "The Toughest Indian in the World," and "War Dances." Alexie's new stories are fresh and quintessential--about donkey basketball leagues, lethal wind turbines, the reservation, marriage, and all species of contemporary American warriors. 
    An indispensable collection of new and classic stories, "Blasphemy" reminds us, on every thrilling page, why Sherman Alexie is one of our greatest contemporary writers and a true master of the short story.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • The Middlesteins
    Author: Attenberg, Jami
    $ 25 ISBN: 9781455507214 Date: 2012
    starKirkus star PW star Booklist
    For more than 30 years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason: Edie's enormous girth. When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Ancient Light
    Author: Banville, John
    $ 25.95 ISBN: 9780307957054 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    The Man Booker Prize-winning author of "The Sea" gives a brilliant, profoundly moving new novel about an actor in the twilight of his life and his career: a meditation on love and loss, and on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Secrets of a Wedding Night
    Author: Bowman, Valerie
    $ 7.99 ISBN: 9781250008954 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    This compelling novel is a fast-paced reunion story about a woman who is afraid to love, a nobleman who isn't quite what he seems, and two foiled trips to Gretna Green.
    Updated 10.10.12
  • Astray
    Author: Donoghue, Emma
    $ 24.95 ISBN: 9780316206297 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Here are fascinating characters have all gone astray: emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. With rich historical detail, the celebrated author of "Room" goes from puritan Massachusetts to revolutionary New Jersey, antebellum Louisiana to the Toronto highway, lighting up four centuries of wanderings.
    Updated 10.10.12
  • The Round House
    Author: Erdrich, Louise
    $ 26.99 ISBN: 9780062065247 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist starLJ

    One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

    While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.

    Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, "The Round House" is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 7.28.12
  • Borders of the Heart
    Author: Fabry, Chris
    $ 13.99 ISBN: 9781414348629 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Desperate to escape haunting memories, J. D. Jessup travels from Nashville to Tucson and volunteers on an organic farm. The hardened landowner has one prevailing rule: If J. D. sees an "illegal," call the border patrol. But when an early morning ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria, near death in the desert, his heart pulls him in another direction. Longing to atone for the choices that drove him to Tucson, J. D. hides her and unleashes a chain of deadly events he could never have imagined. Soon they are running from a killer and fighting for their lives. As secrets of their pasts emerge, J. D. realizes that saving Maria may be the only way to save himself.
    Suggested Reading: Christian Fiction
    Updated 10.10.12
  • My Brilliant Firend: Childhood, Adolesence
    Author: Ferrante, Elena
    $ 17 ISBN: 9781609450786 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, this rich, intense, and generous-hearted story gives a meticulous portrait of two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Lighthouse Road
    Author: Geye, Peter
    $ 24.95 ISBN: 9781609530846 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Against the wilds of sea and wood, a young immigrant woman settles into life outside Duluth in the 1890s, still shocked at finding herself alone in a new country, abandoned and adrift; in the early 1920s, her orphan son, now grown, falls in love with the one woman he shouldn't and uses his best skills to build them their own small ark to escape. But their pasts travel with them, threatening to capsize even their fragile hope. In this triumphant new novel, Peter Geye has crafted another deeply moving tale of a misbegotten family shaped by the rough landscape in which they live--often at the mercy of wildlife and weather--and by the rough edges of their own breaking hearts.
    Updated 10.10.12
  • Miss Lavagine's Little White Lie
    Author: Grace, Samantha
    $ 6.99 ISBN: 9781402258374 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Captain Daniel Hillary's ship is the only one sailing from New Orleans to England, and Lisette Lavigne is bound and determined to be on it! Desperate to save her brother from being thrown into an asylum and to escape her devious fianc, Lisette offers to pay Daniel any price for safe passageNeven if it means warming his bed. 
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Polish Boxer
    Author: Halfon, Eduardo
    $ ISBN: Date: 2012
    starBooklist

    B- Publisher Marketingetween his studies and filial obligations; a striking young Israeli woman seeks answers in Central America; a university professor yearns for knowledge that he can't find in books and discovers something unexpected at a Mark Twain conference. Drawn to what lies beyond the range of reason, they all reach for the beautiful and fleeting, whether through humor, music, poetry, or unspoken words. Across his encounters with each of them, the narrator--a Guatemalan literature professor and writer named Eduardo Halfon--pursues his most enigmatic subject: himself.

    Mapping the geography of identity in a world scarred by a legacy of violence and exile, The Polish Boxer marks the debut of a major new Latin American voice in English.


    Updated 10.10.12
  • In Sunlight and in Shadow
    Author: Helprin, Mark
    $ 30 ISBN: 9780547819235 Date: 2012
    starKirkus star Booklist
    Home from the war and basking in the bright lights of 1947 New York, wealthy Harry Copeland encounters heiress and aspiring actress Catherine Thomas Hale on the Staten Island ferry, and a great passion is born. Alas, Catherine is engaged to a much older man, but she and Harry pursue a romance against the backdrop of Broadway theaters and Long Island mansions.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Accelerated
    Author: Hruska, Bronwen
    $ 25 ISBN: 9781605983790 Date: 2012
    starLJ
    In a striking debut novel, a single father and his son discover what lies beneath the gilded fa ade of a tony Upper East Side private school: an endemic of over-medicated children.
    Updated 7.31.12
  • Kind One
    Author: Hunt, Laird
    $ 15 ISBN: 9781566893114 Date: 2012
    starKirkus

    "There is always a surprise in the voice and in the heart of Laird Hunt's stories, with its echoes of habit caught in a timeless dialect, so we see the world he gives us as if new. 'You hear something like that and it walks out the door with you.'"--Michael Ondaatje

    "Laird Hunt's "Kind One," about two slave girls who take their white mistress into captivity, is a profound meditation on the sexual and racial subconscious of America. . . . [A] gorgeous and terrifying novel."--Danzy Senna

    As a teenage girl, Ginny marries Linus Lancaster, her mother's second cousin, and moves to his Kentucky pig farm "ninety miles from nowhere." In the shadows of the lush Kentucky landscape, Ginny discovers the empty promises of Linus' "paradise"--a place where the charms of her husband fall away to reveal a troubled man and cruel slave owner. Ginny befriends the young slaves Cleome and Zinnia who work at the farm--until Linus' attentions turn to them, and she finds herself torn between her husband and only companions. The events that follow Linus' death change all three women for life. Haunting, chilling, and suspenseful, "Kind One" is a powerful tale of redemption and human endurance in antebellum America.

    - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Black Flower
    Author: Kim, Young-Ha
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780547691138 Date: 2012
    starPW
    "Black Flower" puts a fictional spin on a little-known moment when thousands of Koreans fled political upheaval and the fall of their empire to seek land and freedom in Mexico, found themselves bonded laborers on its plantations, and eventually started a revolution that led briefly to a "new Korea."
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Lenin's Kisses
    Author: Lianke, Yan
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780802120373 Date: 2012
    starPW
    A mystifying climatic incongruity begins the award-winning novel "Lenin's Kisses"--an absurdist, tragicomic masterpiece set in modern day China. Nestled deep within the Balou mountains, spared from the government's watchful eye, the harmonious people of Liven had enough food and leisure to be fully content. But when their crops and livelihood are obliterated by a seven-day snowstorm in the middle of a sweltering summer, a county official arrives with a lucrative scheme both to raise money for the district and boost his career. The majority of the 197 villagers are disabled, and he convinces them to start a traveling performance troupe highlighting such acts as One-Eye's one-eyed needle threading. With the profits from this extraordinary show, he intends to buy Lenin's embalmed corpse from Russia and install it in a grand mausoleum to attract tourism, in the ultimate marriage of capitalism and communism. However, the success of the Shuanghuai County Special-Skills Performance Troupe comes at a serious price. 
    Yan Lianke, one of China's most distinguished writers--whose works often push the envelope of his country's censorship system--delivers a humorous, daring, and riveting portrait of the trappings and consequences of greed and corruption at the heart of humanity.- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Heart Broke In
    Author: Meek, James
    $ 28 ISBN: 9780374168711 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    From the prizewinning author of the international bestseller "The People's Act of Love," comes a rich and intricate novel about everything that matters: children, celebrity, secrets, the quest for youth, loyalty and betrayal, falls from grace, and the inescapability of family.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Forgiven
    Author: Osborne, Lawrence
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780307889034 Date: 2012
    starPW star LJ
    This stylish, haunting novel explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of Moroccan Muslims and Western visitors who converge on a luxurious desert villa for a decadent weekend-long party.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Silent House
    Author: Pamuk, Orhan
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780307700285 Date: 2012
    starLJ
    Never before published in English, Nobel Laureate Pamuk's second novel is the moving story of a family gathering the summer before the Turkish military coup of 1980. In a crumbling mansion. an old widow awaits the annual summer visit of her grandchildren.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Girl on the Cliff
    Author: Riley, Lucinda
    $ 15 ISBN:9781451655827 Date: 2012
    starBooklist

    From the author of the #1 international bestseller "The Orchid House," the mesmerizing story of two Irish families entangled by a tragic past that seems destined to repeat itself

    To escape a recent heartbreak in New York, Grania Ryan returns to her family home on the rugged, wind-swept coast of Ireland. Here, on the cliff edge in the middle of a storm, she meets a young girl, Aurora Lisle, who will profoundly change her life.

    Despite the warnings Grania receives from her mother to be wary of the Lisle family, Aurora and Grania forge a close friendship. Through a trove of old family letters dating from 1914, Grania begins to learn just how deeply their families' histories are entwined. The horrors of World War I, the fate of a beautiful foundling child, and the irresistible lure of the ballet give rise to a legacy of heartache that leaves its imprint on each new generation. Ultimately, it will be Aurora whose intuition and spirit may be able to unlock the chains of the past.

    Sweeping from Edwardian England to present-day New York, from the majestic Irish coast to the crumbling splendor of a legendary London town house, "The Girl on the Cliff" introduces two remarkable women whose quest to understand their past sends them toward a future where love can triumph over loss.

    - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Invisibles
    Author: Sheehy, Hugh
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780820343297 Date: 2012
    starPW starBooklist
    Though Hugh Sheehy's often tragic, sometimes gruesome stories feature bloodied knives and mysterious disappearances, at the heart of these thoughtful thrillers are finely crafted character studies of people who wrestle with the darker aspects of human nature--grief, violence, loneliness, and the thoughts of crazed minds. 
    Sheehy's stories shine a spotlight on the bleak fringes of America, giving voice to the invisibles who need it most. A dismal assistant teacher spiking her coffee after school is suddenly locked in a basement with a student who has just witnessed his father's murder. A seventeen-year-old girl at a skate rink whose name no one can remember is motherless, friendless, and sure she will be the next to go. The heartbroken victim of a miscarriage dreams of her fetus's voyage through the earth's plumbing. The estranged addict son, certain of his innate goodness, loses himself in a blizzard and fails his family again. Sheehy's characters learn that however invisible they may feel and whatever their intentions, their actions incur a cost both to themselves and those around them. They struggle to tame or come to terms with the forces they meet--the tragedies--that are far larger than their small existences. In this debut, Sheehy illuminates the all-but-silent note of adult loneliness and how we cope with it or, perhaps, just move past it.- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.10.12
  • Betrayal: Kydd Sea Adventure
    Author: Stockwin, Julian
    $ 24 ISBN: 9781590136553 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Cape Colony is proving a tiresome assignment for Thomas Kydd's daring commander-in-chief Commodore Popham: South America's Spanish colonies are in a ferment of popular unrest. Rumors of a treasure hoard of Spanish silver spur him to assemble a makeshift invasion fleet and launch a bold attack on the capital of the Viceroyalty of the River Plate in Buenos Aires.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
    Author: Sloan, Robin
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780374214913 Date: 2012
    starPW
    A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life--mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore 
    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone--and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead "checking out" impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he's embarked on a complex analysis of the customers' behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what's going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore. 
    With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that's rare to the world of literary fiction. "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day.- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Fantastic Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press 2008-2012
    Author: Tan, Cecila (edt)
    $ 20 ISBN: 9781613900444 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Circlet Press celebrates its 20th anniversary with this "best of" anthology of erotic science fiction stories. The leader in the unique literary genre that is erotic science fiction and fantasy, Circlet Press continues to draw the best talents and hottest erotic voices to their fold. This anthology showcases the very best of those authors who have published with the company since the advent of the ebook. The digital publishing world is full of uncurated self-publishers and exotic pioneers, but Circlet Press continues to maintain the quality of literature that has brought them praise from Publishers Weekly, Salon, and many other publications in their 20 years of publishing. With topics ranging from shapeshifters to space travel, FANTASTIC EROTICA contains only the very cream skimmed from the top of all the many anthologies published digitally by the company in the past five years. Harnessing the power of the reader, the top stories were ranked by Internet poll on circlet.com and the final selections from among the top-ranked stories were then made by Circlet's experienced team of editors.- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Story of My Assassins
    Author: Tejpal, Tarun J.
    $ 28 ISBN: 9781612191621 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Based on actual events, this novel tells the story of a journalist who learns that the police have captured five hitmen on their way to kill him. Part thriller and part erotic romance, "The Story of My Assassins" is a piercing literary novel that takes us from the lavish, hedonistic palaces of India's elite to its seediest slums.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Tempting the Bride
    Author: Thomas, Sherry
    $ 7.99 ISBN: 9780425251027 Date: 2012
    starPW
    From the author of "Private Arrangements, " one of "Kirkus Reviews'" Best Books of 2012, comes the third and final book in her fantastic historical romance trilogy. 
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Down the Rabbit Hole
    Author: Villalobos, Juan Pablo
    $ 12 ISBN: 9780374143350 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Tochtli lives in a palace. He loves hats, samurai, guillotines, and more. But Tochtli is a child whose father is a drug baron on the verge of taking over a powerful cartel, and Tochtli is growing up in a luxury hideout. Long-listed for "The Guardian" First Book Award, a masterful and darkly comic first novel chronicling a delirious journey to grant a child's wish.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Care of Wooden Floors
    Author: WIles, Will
    $ 24 ISBN: 9780547953564 Date: 2012
    starPW
    For fans of Nicholson Baker and Tom McCarthy, this British debut novel is brilliant, comically surreal entertainment about a housesitting gig gone terribly, hilariously wrong. Like Edgar Allen Poe scripting "The Odd Couple," or if Kafka's "The Trial" had to do with home repair. Waterstones calls it "a black comedy about death, destruction, and interior decoration."
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Apostle Islands
    Author: Zurhellen, Tommy
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780983208099 Date: 2012
    starPW
    It's not easy for a messiah to grow up in the Badlands of North Dakota. And it's even harder for him to share his message when radical ideas and so-called "miracles" are the surest way to get the FBI breathing down your neck. The sequel to NAZARETH, NORTH DAKOTA, APOSTLE ISLANDS follows Sam Davidson and his group of roughneck followers as they save wedding receptions, cure cancer patients, and boost a flagging fishing season, all while breaking bread and laws and making peace and enemies.On a mission to change one botched up world, Sam knows he will one day be called to make the ultimate sacrifice, and indeed he sees the writing on the shores of Lake Superior when one of his inner circle betrays him. A playful and delightfully irreverent take on the New Testament, APOSTLE ISLANDS reveals what it takes to shake up the status quo while paying the price to save the ones you love.
    - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12

November

  • Hush, Hush: Stories
    Author: Barthleme, Steven
    $ 17 ISBN: 9781612191591 Date: 2012
    starPW
    f you're up $16,000 at the casino and missing dinner with the woman you love, how do you find the strength to drive away? If you give up your career and your beautiful wife and find yourself drinking vodka and fixing cars for a living, is that necessarily a step down? In "Hush Hush," Steven Barthelme gives us a simultaneously twisted, heartbreaking, and hilarious account of learning to quit when you're ahead. 
    The collection, which includes the Pushcart Prize-winning "Claire," exposes the surprising dignity in lying on your belly in the pouring rain, in ringing your ex-girlfriend's doorbell at 4 A.M., in sleeping with your dead wife's best friend. Co-author with his brother Frederick of the brilliant and devastating casino memoir, "Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss," Steven Barthelme seems to cast an eye at his own history and the characters he's known. These are men and women who are down --- but stirringly, not quite out. An unmissable, arresting book from one of the most seminal short story writers of the last twenty years.- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Comanche: A Western Story
    Author: Brand, Max
    $ 26 ISBN: 9781432826093 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Love on the Run
    Author: Day, Zuri
    $ 6.99 ISBN: 9780758275110 Date: 2012
    starPW
    In this sexy page-turning tale of unexpected love, Day introduces the Morgan men, three fine brothers who have it allNexcept wives. As the eldest, it's up to Michael to pave the way. If only he'd stop running from love.
    Suggested Reading: African American Stars
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Shattered
    Author: DuPree, Kia
    $ 15 ISBN: 9780446547772 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Kiki's world is turned upside down when her partially deaf mother loses custody of her children, sending Kiki and her siblings into foster care. After running away, the two girls are held captive for months and their lives are in chaos.
    Suggested Reading: African American Stars
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Life Goes On
    Author: Keilson, Hans
    $ 15 ISBN: 9780374191955 Date: 2012
    starPW
    Published when the author was just 23, an autobiographical novel that paints a dark portrait of Germany between the world wars. It tells the story of Max Seldersen--a Jewish textile merchant modeled on Keilson's father--and the troubles he encounter as the German economy collapses and politics turn rancid.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Trial of Fallen Angels
    Author: Kimmel, James P.
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780399159695 Date: 2012
    starBooklist starLJ
    Brek Cuttler has it all: a husband she loves, a daughter she adores, a successful law practice. And then one day everything she has ever known disappears. Brek finds herself standing on a deserted train platform, covered in blood. As she tries to comprehend what is happening to her, a man from her past approaches and explains that she has been chosen to join the elite team of lawyers charged with prosecuting and defending souls at the Final Judgment.
    As Brek struggles to find her way back to her husband and daughter, she will discover that her first client holds the shocking secret of her fate. That seemingly disparate events during her life have conspired to bring her to a single moment in time that will determine her eternity. And that every act of kindness and cruelty sets in motion things beyond our wildest imaginations.
    Updated 10.10.12
  • Flight Behavior
    Author: Kingsolver, Barbara
    $ 28.99 ISBN: 9780062124265 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist starLJ

    "Flight Behavior" transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman's narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel's inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world, in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.

    "Flight Behavior" takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world. - Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 9.14.12

  • Magnificence
    Author: Millet, Lydia
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780393081701 Date: 2012
    starLJ star PW star Booklist
    Lydia Millet is "one of the most acclaimed novelists of her generation" (Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times). This stunning novel introduces Susan Lindley, a woman adrift after her husband's death. Suddenly gifted her great uncle's Pasadena mansion, Susan decides to restore his extensive collection of preserved animals, tending to "the fur and feathers, the beaks, the bones and shimmering tails." Meanwhile, a menagerie of uniquely damaged humans--including a cheating husband and a chorus of eccentric elderly women--joins her in residence. Millet's "flawlessly beautiful" (Salon) prose creates a setting both humorous and wondrous as Susan defends her inheritance from freeloading relatives and explores the mansion's many mysterious spaces. Funny and heartbreaking, Magnificence is the story of a woman emerging from the sudden dissolution of her family. Millet's trademark themes--evolution and extinction, children and parenthood, loss and wonder--produce a rapturous final act to the critically acclaimed cycle of novels that began with How the Dead Dream.- Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 10.1.12
  • A Royal Pain
    Author: Mulry, Megan
    $ 15 ISBN: 9781402269974 Date: 2012
    starPW

    Bronte Talbott follows all of the exploits of the British royals. After all, they're the world's most preeminent dysfunctional family. And who is she to judge? Bronte's own search for love isn't going all that well, especially after her smooth-talking Texan boyfriend abruptly leaves her in the dust.

    Bronte keeps a lookout for a rebound to help mend her broken heart, and when she meets Max Heyworth, she's certain he's the perfect transition man. But when she discovers he's a duke, she has to decide if she wants to stay with him for the long haul and deal with the opportunities-- and challenges-- of becoming a royal.


    Updated 10.1.12
  • Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version
    Author: Pullman, Philip
    $ 28 ISBN: 9780670024971 Date: 2012
    starPW star LJ star Booklist
    Two centuries ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of "Children's and Household Tales." Now Philip Pullman, one of the most accomplished authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm. 
    Pullman retells his fifty favorites, from much-loved stories like "Cinderella" and "Rumpelstiltskin," "Rapunzel" and "Hansel and Gretel" to lesser-known treasures like "The Three Snake Leaves," "Godfather Death" and "The Girl with No Hands." At the end of each tale he offers a brief personal commentary, opening a window on the sources of the tales, the various forms they've taken over the centuries and their everlasting appeal. 
    Suffused with romance and villainy, danger and wit, the Grimms' fairy tales have inspired Pullman's unique creative vision--and his beguiling retellings will draw you back into a world that has long cast a spell on the Western imagination.- Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Ordinary Truth
    Author: RIchman, Jana
    $ 17 ISBN: 9781937226060 Date: 2012
    starBooklist
    Today's western water wars and one family's secrets divide three generations of women as urban and rural values collide.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Raised from the Ground
    Author: Saramago, Jose
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780151013258 Date: 2012
    starLJ
    A multi-generational family saga that paints a sweeping portrait of modern Portuguese political history.
    Updated 10.1.12
  • The Testament of Mary
    Author: Toibin, Colm
    $ 23 ISBN: 9781451688382 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star Kirkus

    PROVOCATIVE, HAUNTING AND INDELIBLE, Colm Toibin's portrait of Mary presents her as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity.

    In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples.

    Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the Cross until her son died--she fled, to save herself), and her judgment of others is equally harsh. This woman whom we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. Toibin's tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.

    - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12

December

  • The Bridegroom Wore Plaid
    Author: Burrowes, Grace
    $ 7.99 ISBN: 9781402268663 Date: 2012
    starPW
    In an effort to preserve the family estate, Ian MacGregor, the Earl of Balfour, must marry for money. When a promising match emerges in the form of Genie Daniels, a rich English heiress, Ian begins devising a strategy to woo her. When he meets Genie's poor cousin Augusta, he discovers a new avenue to Genie's heart. But after spending time with Augusta and falling for her charms, Ian begins to question whether or not he's willing to forfeit his heart to save the family name...- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See
    Author: Garey, Juliann
    $ 25 ISBN: 9781616951290 Date: 2012
    starLJ
    A studio executive leaves his family and travels the world giving free reign to the bipolar disorder he's been forced to hide for 20 years. 
    "Juliann Garey writes with stark, lucid power about the tumbling journey into madness and the agonizing climb back out."--Brian Yorkey, book and lyrics for "Next to Normal" 
    In her "tour-de-force "first novel, Juliann Garey takes us inside the restless mind, ravaged heart, and anguished soul of Greyson Todd, a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and young daughter and for a decade travels the world giving free reign to the bipolar disorder he's been forced to keep hidden for almost 20 years. The novel intricately weaves together three timelines: the story of Greyson's travels (Rome, Israel, Santiago, Thailand, Uganda); the progressive unraveling of his own father seen through Greyson's eyes as a child; and the intimacies and estrangements of his marriage. The entire narrative unfolds in the time it takes him to undergo twelve 30-second electroshock treatments in a New York psychiatric ward. This is a literary page-turner of the first order, and a brilliant inside look at mental illness.- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12
  • Ru
    Author: Thuy, Kim
    $ 14 ISBN: 9781608198986 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star LJ
    At ten years old, Kim Thuy fled Vietnam on a boat with her family, leaving behind a grand house and the many less tangible riches of their home country: the ponds of lotus blossoms, the songs of soup-vendors.The family arrived in Quebec, where they found clothes at the flea market, and mattresses with actual fleas. Kim learned French and English, and as she grew older, seized what opportunities an immigrant could; she put herself through school picking vegetables and sewing clothes, worked as a lawyer and interpreter, and later as a restaurateur. She was married and a mother when the urge to write struck her, and she found herself scribbling words at every opportunity-pulling out her notebook at stoplights and missing the change to green. The story emerging was one of a Vietnamese emigre on a boat to an unknown future: her own story fictionalized and crafted into a stunning novel.The novel's title, Ru, has meaning in both Kim's native and adoptive languages: in Vietnamese, "ru" is a lullaby; in French, a stream. And it provides the perfect name for this slim yet potent novel. With prose that soothes and sings, Ru weaves through time, flows and transports: a river of sensuous memories gathering power. It's a classic immigrant story told in a breathtaking new way.- Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.1.12

 

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

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