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Books & Authors

Titles to Watch For: Fall 2015

As colder weather begins to greet us, so do a variety of brand new book titles for the fall season. Here are some top picks to look for in the following months.



The Secret Chord by  The Secret Chord by Geraldine BrooksGeraldine Brooks

Brooks does it again, in this fascinating and richly detailed fictionalized account of the life and times of King David. We see David as he might actually have been: a charismatic leader of men, both brutal and conflicted. This is perfect for historical fiction readers who enjoy lots of detail and believable characters. It transports you to the times and places inhabited by David. --Marilee Cogswell for LibraryReads.

 The Japanese Lover by Isabel AllendeThe Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

A multi-generational epic by the New York Times best-selling author of The House of the Spirits follows the impossible romance between a World War II escapee from the Nazis and a Japanese gardener's son, whose story is discovered decades later by a care worker who would come to terms with her past.


 Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill CleggDid You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Clegg's devastatingly beautiful fiction debut is the portrait of a community in the aftermath of a tragedy. June Reid, the broken woman at the epicenter of the novel, is struggling with a loss so profound that she is unable to see beyond her grief, unaware that it has touched many people. Clegg tells their stories with heartbreaking sensitivity and insight. -- Mary Coe for LibraryReads.

 Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph FinkWelcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink

From the creators of the popular podcast about a nameless town where the supernatural and strange are commonplace comes a new mystery novel. “This is classic Night Vale in written form. It’s an absolute must for Night Vale fans, and will possibly provide an introduction for those who haven’t found this snarky little podcast yet. -- Debra Franklin for LibraryReads.


 Fates and Furies by Lauren GroffFates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies is a modern portrait of marriage. Lotto Satterwhite is the center, the hub around which all the characters revolve in the first half of the book. In the second half of the book, the lens turns to Lotto’s wife Mathilde, and her side of the lopsided partnership gives us a totally different view. Groff is a master of language. It’s not a gentle read. But it’s magnificent. -- Kelly Currie for LibraryReads.

 The Wake by Paul KingsnorthThe Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

Buccmaster, a proud landowner bearing witness to the end of his world after the Norman Invasion of 1066, and a band of like-minded men embark on a dangerous mission of revenge on the invaders across the scorched English landscape.


 The Story of My Teeth by Valeria LuiselliThe Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli

A lively, loopy experimental novel rich with musings on language, art, and, yes, teeth. Each section of the second novel by Mexican author Luiselli (Faces in the Crowd, 2014) opens with an epigram about the disconnect between the signifier and signified. The narrator, Gustavo, has decided late in life to become an auctioneer, a job he thrives at in part by skillfully overhyping the values of the objects on offer. Not that he's immune to being oversold himself: did the new set ofteeth he buys at auction really once belong to Marilyn Monroe? The skeletal plot focuses on Gustavo's hosting an auction to benefit a church outside Mexico City, his hoard of prized objects, and his reunion with his son.--Kirkus Reviews, July 2015

 A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan PamukA Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk

Selling Turkish spirits on the street and dreaming of becoming rich in a rapidly developing Istanbul, street youth Melvut Karatas elopes with the wrong woman and builds a family over decades marked by a series of dead-end jobs and an enduring sense of his unique destiny.




 Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari BermanGive Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman

The adoption of the landmark Voting Rights Act in 1965 enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. And yet fifty years later we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power--over the right to vote, the central pillar of our democracy. Give Us the Ballot tells the story of what happened after the act was passed. Through meticulous archival research, fresh interviews with the leading participants in the ongoing struggle, and incisive on-the-ground reporting, Ari Berman chronicles the transformative impact the act had on American democracy and investigates how the fight over the right to vote has continued in the decades since.

 Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie BrownsteinHunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

The guitarist and vocalist of feminist punk trio Sleater-Kinney presents a candid and deeply personal assessment of life in the rock-and-roll industry that reveals her struggles with rock's double standards and her co-development of the comedy "Portlandia.".


 Sinatra by James KaplanSinatra by James Kaplan

This new biography resents a behind-the-scenes examination of the life and career of the legendary performer Frank Sinatra that offers insight into his prolific accomplishments, multidimensional character, and complex relationships.


 Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel by Russell MooreOnward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore

Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, offers a smart, well-argued manifesto for a new kind of Christian cultural activism that he calls engaged alienation. This stance doesn't buy in to secular American culture, and instead upholds the Christian mission to demonstrate distinct beliefs about Jesus. Moore rightly notes the decline of the Bible Belt; the kind of gospel-centered Christianity he advocates will never motivate a Moral Majority, but it will animate a prophetic minority. Moore's criticism of the "traditional family values" formula and the rhetorical excesses it encouraged will startle some religious conservatives. But the values he promotes—human dignity, religious liberty, family stability—are familiar to his audience, and he articulates them with nuanced language.

 The Givenness of Things: Essays by Marilynne RobinsonThe Givenness of Things: Essays by Marilynne Robinson

This probing, provocative collection by Pulitzer winner Robinson (Gilead) argues for the recovery of humanism as a response to the problems of our historical moment. Robinson's is a "humanism articulated in the terms of Christian metaphysics," based on a deep reading of the Bible and her self-declared Calvinism. She is as impressively erudite and incisive in dealing with Shakespeare's "theological seriousness" and the literariness of the Reformation as in examining the current American allegiance to science over wonder, competitiveness over generosity, technology over art. The essays demonstrate an engaging humility, a quiet voice pure of accusation or bombast, and insight touched with humor.

 Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family by Anne-Marie SlaughterUnfinished Business: Women Men Work Family by Anne-Marie Slaughter

A book on work-life balance and gender equality offers readers a path forward to the future of the American workplace and lifestyle.



 The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humbolt's New World by Andrea WulfThe Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf

A portrait of the German naturalist reveals his ongoing influence on humanity's relationship with the natural world today, discussing such topics as his views on climate change, conservation, and nature as a resource for all life.



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