The Line That Held Us by David Joy

From critically acclaimed author David Joy comes a remarkable novel about the cover-up of an accidental death, and the dark consequences that reverberate through the lives of four people who will never be the same again.

When Darl Moody went hunting after a monster buck he’s chased for years, he never expected he’d accidentally shoot a man digging ginseng. Worse yet, he’s killed a Brewer, a family notorious for vengeance and violence. With nowhere to turn, Darl calls on the help of the only man he knows will answer, his best friend, Calvin Hooper. But when Dwayne Brewer comes looking for his missing brother and stumbles onto a blood trail leading straight back to Darl and Calvin, a nightmare of revenge rips apart their world. The Line That Held Us is a story of friendship and family, a tale balanced between destruction and redemption, where the only hope is to hold on tight, clenching to those you love. What will you do for the people who mean the most, and what will you grasp to when all that you have is gone? The only certainty in a place so shredded is that no one will get away unscathed.

The Financial Lives of the Poets: A Novel by Jess Walter

The protagonist of Walter’s first novel since the National Book Award finalist “The Zero” is a former financial journalist turned proprietor of poetfolio.com, an ill-conceived Web site featuring investment advice written in verse. Having gambled everything on this quixotic idea, he finds himself hobbled by debt and six days from losing his family home to a mortgage company. The only way out of his predicament, he decides, is to start dealing pot. The novel riffs (often in blank verse) on everything from balloon mortgages to thong-wearing suburban moms. Despite its unlikely conceit, the novel has warmth, and its protagonist emerges as a bourgeois Everyman of the downturn. Looking up at his “angular, two-story 1917 Tudor” house, he reflects, “I actually allowed myself to believe that a person could own a piece of the world when the truth is that anything you try to own ends up owning you.”

The Financial Lives of the Poets is a comic and heartfelt novel from National Book Award nominee Jess Walter, author of Citizen Vince and The Zero, about how we get to the edge of ruin—and how we begin to make our way back.

Walter tells the story of Matt Prior, who’s losing his job, his wife, his house, and his mind—until, all of a sudden, he discovers a way that he might just possibly be able to save it all…. and have a pretty damn great time doing it.

Swift Vengeance by T Jefferson Parker

In this incendiary new thriller from three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker, Roland Ford is hunting down a mysterious killer, jockeying for position with the FBI, and risking everything to save a friend in terrible jeopardy.

Returning hero and private investigator Roland Ford is on the trail of a mysterious killer who is beheading CIA drone operators and leaving puzzling clues at each crime scene. His troubled friend Lindsay Rakes is afraid for her own life and the life of her son after a fellow flight crew member is killed in brutal fashion. Even more terrifying is the odd note the killer left behind: “Welcome to Caliphornia. This is not the last.” Ford strikes an uneasy alliance with San Diego-based FBI agent Joan Taucher, who is tough as nails but haunted by what sees as the Bureau’s failure to catch the 9/11 terrorists, many of whom spent their last days in her city. As the killer strikes again, Ford and Taucher dash into the fray, each desperate for their own reasons–each ready to risk it all to stop the killer from doing far more damage.

You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir by Parker Posey

Have you ever wondered what it would be like talk to Parker Posey? On an airplane, with Parker as your seat companion, perhaps? Parker’s irreverent, hilarious, and enchanting memoir gives you the incredible opportunity. Full of personal stories, whimsical how-tos, recipes, and beautiful handmade collages created by the author herself, You’re On an Airplane is a delight in every way.

In her first book, actress and star of movies such as Dazed and Confused, Party Girl, You’ve Got Mail, The House of Yes, and so many more, Posey opens up about the art of acting, life on the set, and the realities of its accompanying fame. A funny and colorful southern childhood prepared Posey for a life of creating and entertaining, which not only extends to acting but to the craft of pottery, sewing, collage, yoga, and cooking, all of which readers will find in this whimsical, hilarious, always entertaining book. Parker takes us into her childhood home, behind the scenes of the indie film revolution in the 90s, the delightful absurdity of the big-budget genre thrillers she’s turned into art in a whole new way, and the creativity that will always be part of both her acting and her personal life.

With Posey’s memorable, hilarious, and poignant voice, her book gives the reader a feeling of traveling through not only a memoir, but an exploration, meditation, and celebration of what it means to be an artist. Buckle up and enjoy the journey.

Jackrabbit Smile (Hap and Leonard) by Joe R Lansdale

Hap and Leonard are an unlikely pair-Hap, a self-proclaimed white trash rebel, and Leonard, a tough-as-nails black gay Vietnam vet and Republican-but they’re the closest friend either of them has in the world. Hap is celebrating his wedding to his longtime girlfriend, Brett (who is also Hap and Leonard’s boss), when their backyard barbecue is interrupted by a couple of Pentecostal white supremacists. They’re not too happy to see Leonard, and no one is happy to see them, but they have a problem and only Hap and Leonard will take the case.

Judith Mulhaney’s daughter, Jackrabbit, has been missing for five years. Well, she’s been missing from them for five years, but she’s been missing from everybody, including the local no-goods who ran with her, for a few months. Despite their misgivings about Judith and her son, Hap and Leonard take the case. It isn’t long until they find themselves mixed up in a revivalist cult that believes Jesus will return flanked by an army of lizard-men– solving a murder to boot.

With Lansdale’s trademark humor, whip-smart dialogue, and plenty of ass-kicking adventures to be had, you won’t want to miss Hap and Leonard’s latest.

 

Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters: What Harper Lee’s Book and the Iconic American Film Mean to Us Today by Tom Santopietro

Tom Santopietro, an author well-known for his writing about American popular culture, delves into the heart of the beloved classic and shows readers why To Kill a Mockingbird matters more today than ever before.

With 40 million copies sold, To Kill a Mockingbird’s poignant but clear eyed examination of human nature has cemented its status as a global classic. Tom Santopietro’s new book, Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters, takes a 360 degree look at the Mockingbird phenomenon both on page and screen.

Santopietro traces the writing of To Kill a Mockingbird, the impact of the Pulitzer Prize, and investigates the claims that Lee’s book is actually racist. Here for the first time is the full behind the scenes story regarding the creation of the 1962 film, one which entered the American consciousness in a way that few other films ever have. From the earliest casting sessions to the Oscars and the 50th Anniversary screening at the White House, Santopietro examines exactly what makes the movie and Gregory Peck’s unforgettable performance as Atticus Finch so captivating.

As Americans yearn for an end to divisiveness, there is no better time to look at the significance of Harper Lee’s book, the film, and all that came after.

The Sinners (A Quinn Colson Novel) by Ace Atkins

In the new novel from New York Times-bestselling crime master Ace Atkins, violence comes in many forms…and this time it may be more than Quinn Colson can handle.

The Pritchards had never been worth a damn–an evil, greedy family who made their living dealing drugs and committing mayhem. Years ago, Colson’s late uncle had put the clan’s patriarch in prison, but now he’s getting out, with revenge, power, and family business on his mind. To make matters worse, a shady trucking firm with possible ties to the Gulf Coast syndicate has moved into Tibbehah, and they have their own methods of intimidation.

With his longtime deputy Lillie Virgil now working up in Memphis, Quinn Colson finds himself having to fall back on some brand-new deputies to help him out, but with Old West-style violence breaking out, and his own wedding on the horizon, this is without a doubt Colson’s most trying time as sheriff. Cracks are opening up all over the county, and shadowy figures are crawling out through them–and they’re all heading directly for him.

Calypso by David Sedaris

David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.

If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet–and it just might be his very best.

Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn

A publishing event from music legend Paul Simon: an intimate, candid, and definitive biography written with Simon’s full participation—but without his editorial control—by acclaimed biographer and music writer Robert Hilburn.

For more than fifty years, Paul Simon has spoken to us in songs about alienation, doubt, resilience, and empathy in ways that have established him as one of the most beloved artists in American pop music history. Songs like “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” and “Graceland” have moved beyond the sales charts and into our cultural consciousness. But Simon is a deeply private person who has resisted speaking to us outside of his music. He has said he will not write an autobiography or memoir, and he has refused to talk to previous biographers.

Finally, Simon has opened up—for more than one hundred hours of interviews—to Robert Hilburn, whose biography of Johnny Cash was named by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times as one of her ten favorite books of 2013. The result is a landmark book that will take its place as the defining biography of one of America’s greatest artists.

It begins in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, where, raised by a bandleader father and schoolteacher mother, Simon grew up with the twin passions of baseball and music. The latter took over at age twelve when he and schoolboy chum Art Garfunkel became infatuated with the alluring harmonies of doo-wop. Together, they became international icons, and then Simon went on to even greater artistic heights on his own. But beneath the surface of his storied five-decade career is a roller coaster of tumultuous personal and professional ups and downs. From his remarkable early success with Garfunkel to their painfully acrimonious split; from his massive early hits as a solo artist to the wrenching commercial failures of One-Trick Pony and Hearts and Bones; from the historic comeback success of Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints to the star-crossed foray into theater with The Capeman and a late-career creative resurgence—his is a musical life unlike any other.

Over the past three years, Hilburn has conducted in-depth interviews with scores of Paul Simon’s friends, family, colleagues, and others—including ex-wives Carrie Fisher and Peggy Harper, who spoke for the first time—and even penetrated the inner circle of Simon’s long-reclusive muse, Kathy Chitty. The result is a deeply human account of the challenges and sacrifices of a life in music at the highest level. In the process, Hilburn documents Simon’s search for artistry and his constant struggle to protect that artistry against distractions—fame, marriage, divorce, drugs, record company interference, rejection, and insecurity—that have derailed so many great pop figures.

Paul Simon is an intimate and inspiring narrative that helps us finally understand Paul Simon the person and the artist. “With train-wreck moments and tender interludes alike, it delivers a sharply detailed Kodachrome of a brilliant musician” (Kirkus Reviews).

 

Robert B. Parker’s Old Black Magic (Spenser) – by Ace Atkins

Iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser delves into the black market art scene to investigate a decades-long unsolved crime of dangerous proportions.

The heist was legendary, still talked about twenty years after the priceless paintings disappeared from one of Boston’s premier art museums. Most thought the art was lost forever, buried deep, sold off overseas, or, worse, destroyed as incriminating evidence. But when paint chips from the most valuable piece stolen, Gentlemen in Black by a Spanish master, arrives at the desk of a Boston journalist, the museum finds hope and enlists Spenser’s help.

Soon the cold art case thrusts Spenser into the shady world of black market art dealers, aged Mafia bosses, and old vendettas. A five-million-dollar-reward by the museum’s top benefactor, an aged, unlikable Boston socialite, sets Spenser and pals Vinnie Morris and Hawk onto a trail of hidden secrets, jailhouse confessions, and decades-old murders.

Set against the high-society art scene and the low-life back alleys of Boston, this is classic Spenser doing what he does best.