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This hugely-successful comic/graphic novel combines humor, darkness, distinct characters, cartoonish and not-so-cartoonish artwork with a great story to make something that is both appropriate and fun for young adults but engaging and clever enough for adult readers, as well.
Bone #1: Out from Boneville (Tribute Edition) by Jeff Smith (Graphix), recommended by Frank at Fountain Bookstore Richmond VA.
This is a book for Readers with a capital R! Will Schwalbe delights and details the pleasure and necessity of reading. Every chapter features a different book and something that the author got from reading it--Slowing Down, Choosing Kindness, Recharging, Losing, Mastering the Art of Reading (of which I personally underline most of the chapter) and so many more. In fact the only times I put this book down was to write down my own feelings on what I had just read. A perfect book for any bookworm, and one that I'll be sharing with my book club friends!
Books for Living by Will Schwalbe ($25.95, Knopf), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA
If you have listened to Springsteen’s music over the years, you know this man has a way with words. His memoir proves that this is also true on the printed page. But if you find that you miss his voice, don’t worry: he reads the audio.
Born to Run (audio book) by Bruce Springsteen ($29.99, Simon & Schuster Audio), recommended by Karen, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.
Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy led us on a gradual descent into creeping sci-fi horror. His new standalone novel Borne plunges you straight-off into a post-apocalyptic cityscape picked over by scavengers, failed biotech, and a Godzilla-sized flying bear called Mord. The world VanderMeer describes is terrifying and ingeniously conceived, but it's the relationship between a scavenger, Rachel, and the squid-like biotech creature she names Borne that is the book's most remarkable feat. He was born, but I had borne him.
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer ($26.00, MCD), recommended by Travis, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.
Part historical novel and part fantasy, Boxers & Saints are companion graphic novels re-imagining the Boxer Rebellion. Yang's art style is cartoonishly simple and colorful, in deliberate contrast to the messy, multifaceted events he recounts. Recommended for teen readers and up.
Boxers & Saints Boxed Set By Gene Luen Yang ($34.99, First Second), recommended by Rachel, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.
In 1953, Boy Novak runs away from her home on the Lower East Side of New York and ends up in a small town in Massachusetts.
She marries Arturo Whitman, a widower with an adored daughter named Snow, and the three live happily until the birth of Bird, whose dark skin exposes the Whitmans as African-Americans passing for white.
Oyeyemi is a stunning talent who examines the disparity in how we perceive ourselves and how we allow others to perceive us. Boy, Snow, Bird is a bewitching and beguiling tale with unforgettable characters.
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi ($27.95, Riverhead Books), recommended by Amanda, Inkwood Books Tampa, FL.
Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, this collection moves from contemporary L.A. to the dorm rooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, re-imagined scenes from history, and ridiculous overreactions.
Existential food critics. Awkward romances. These and more await in the debut novel by actor Jesse Eisenberg, who manages to create a brilliant snapshot of life in the digital age in this collection of short stories.
Witty and amusingly gloomy, Eisenberg introduces the reader to an eclectic variety of characters and situations you won’t soon forget, especially the chapter on postmodern dating.
Bream Gives Me Hiccups by Jesse Eisenberg (Grove Press) Recommended by Andrew at Square Books Oxford MS
From the onset, it is clear that Broken River is a novel that will have you dreading what lies on the next page but leave you no choice other than to keep reading. A family of three, seeking a fresh start after the father's infidelity, has just moved from the city to a house in upstate New York that's been left dormant for years after its previous tenants were murdered in an unsolved crime. At the expense of their own familial bonds, each member of the family finds their own way of coping with the change in scenery, and both mother and daughter find themselves drawn to the unsolved crime that took the lives of the home's previous occupants. Meanwhile, other individuals who may be linked to the murders are doing some sleuthing of their own. Lennon's characters are among the most believable and terrifying that I've encountered, and an always tangible and at times bordering-on-the-supernatural sense of foreboding casts its shadow over the character's choices and pushes them towards their inevitable convergence.
Broken River by J. Robert Lennon ($16.00, Graywolf Press), recommended by Lane, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.
Brother Grace is 17 when he learns that he has a twin. In his efforts to locate him, Brother finds disturbing family secrets mixed in with local political power. Carmichael, a Carrboro resident, writes movingly of Brother's struggle to understand his real family and thus more about himself. For ages 12 and up.
Brother, Brother by Clay Carmichael (Roaring Brook Press), recommended by Carol, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC.
Every now and then, a book comes along that you love and know that you MUST share. Jacquline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming is one of those. We here at the Booksellers know that books have the power to change lives. We also believe that sharing books like this one fosters empathy, while empowering readers young and old to tell their stories, and listen to -- and learn from -- each other. We invite you to read Brown Girl Dreaming with us this October, and hope that this book moves you same way it has moved us.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson ($17.99, Nancy Paulsen Books), recommended by The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis TN.
Margaret Dardess skillfully brings to life one of the most terrifying realities of our time while blending it inside a fantastic thriller. The characters were drawn expertly by being relatable, flawed, and and unexpectedly evil. Our main character is a a strong intelligent woman who was kidnapped while on vacation in Mexico and forced in a life of sex trafficking. She is deftly able to escape, returning home to her country club upbringing and job leading a clinic. This experience changes her dramatically and she puts up a valiant fight when she becomes a target.
The pace of the book made it a highly recommended page turner. I love learning about different topics while being led through a fast-paced mystery and this doesn't disappoint.
Brutal Silence by Margaret Dardess ($13.95*), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.
This reads like The Godfather if it took place in the mountains of Northern Georgia. An ATF agent with a chip on his shoulder tries to take down a crime family that has been operating for generations. Moonshiners, gun fights and a sheriff who has to decide between family or the law. Goes well with a Waylon Jennings record and a glass of bourbon.
Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich ($16.00*, G.P. Putnam's Sons), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.
A 2016 Southern Book Prize Winner
Orwell draws on his years of experience in India to tell this story of the waning days of British imperialism. A handful of Englishmen living in a settlement in Burma congregate in the European Club, drink whiskey, and argue over an impending order to admit a token Asian. Definitely my favorite work of fiction! Great historical context, wonderful writing and the best ending to any book ever!
Burmese Days: A Novel by George Orwell ($14.95, Harvest Books), recommended by John, Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, LA.
Burning Glass will take you to a world that feels like old Russia. It is full of political tension, especially between two brothers, but it’s Sonya’s job to navigate these tense situations and find a way to protect herself and her country.
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie ($17.99, Katherine Tegen Books), recommended by Erica, Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS.
But I do know I can’t stop thinking--and as my family and co-workers can attest, talking--about the ideas Klosterman ponders here. Whether reflecting on Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions or the internet’s reaction to the death of Dusty Rhodes, Klosterman has a breadth and depth of knowledge to cover a lot of cultural ground here.
A most rewarding read!
But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking about the Present as If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman (Blue Rider Press) Recommended by Frank at A Cappella Books Atlanta GA
By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review by Pamela Paul, Scott Turow
Compiled here by Pamela Paul, editor of the Book Review, are 65 author interviews (uncut and in their original format) all about writing habits, favorite authors and books and - one of my favorites - books they'd wish the president would read.
The authors range from Michael Chabon and Khaled Hosseini to Anne Lamott and Hilary Mantel, making this a delectable treat for any book lover.
By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review by Pamela Paul, Scott Turow (Henry Holt and Co.) Recommended by Amanda at Inkwood Books Tampa FL