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A World Beneath The Sands Toby Wilkinson
October 16, 2020 11:29 AM PDT
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From the decipherment of hieroglyphics in 1822 to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon a hundred years later, the uncovering of Egypt’s ancient past took place in an atmosphere of grand adventure and international rivalry.

In A World Beneath the Sands, acclaimed Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson chronicles the ruthless race between the British, French, Germans, and Americans to lay claim to its mysteries and treasures. He tells riveting stories of the men and women whose obsession with Egypt’s ancient civilization helped to enrich and transform our understanding of the Nile Valley and its people, and left a lasting impression on Egypt, too. Travelers and treasure-hunters, ethnographers and archaeologists: whatever their motives, whatever their methods, a century of adventure and scholarship revealed a lost world, buried for centuries beneath the sands.

White Ivy Susie Yang
October 16, 2020 10:49 AM PDT
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Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.

Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.

Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.

Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.

Filled with surprising twists and a nuanced exploration of class and race, White Ivy is a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.

The Memory Monster. Yishai Sarid
October 07, 2020 08:23 AM PDT
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Written as a report to the chairman of Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, our unnamed narrator recounts his own undoing. Hired as a promising young historian, he soon becomes a leading expert on Nazi methods of extermination at concentration camps in Poland during World War II and guides tours through the sites for students and visiting dignitaries. He hungrily devours every detail of life and death in the camps and takes pride in being able to recreate for his audience the excruciating last moments of the victims’ lives.

The job becomes a mission, and then an obsession. Spending so much time immersed in death, his connections with the living begin to deteriorate. He resents the students lost in their iPhones, singing sentimental songs, not expressing sufficient outrage at the genocide committed by the Nazis. In fact, he even begins to detect, in the students as well as himself, a hint of admiration for the murderers―their efficiency, audacity, and determination. Force is the only way to resist force, he comes to think, and one must be prepared to kill.

With the perspicuity of Kafka’s The Trial and the obsessions of Delillo’s White Noise, The Memory Monster confronts difficult questions that are all too relevant to Israel and the world today: How do we process human brutality? What makes us choose sides in conflict? And how do we honor the memory of horror without becoming consumed by it?

Bestiary. K-Ming Chang
October 07, 2020 08:13 AM PDT
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One evening, Mother tells Daughter a story about a tiger spirit who lived in a woman’s body. She was called Hu Gu Po, and she hungered to eat children, especially their toes. Soon afterward, Daughter awakes with a tiger tail. And more mysterious events follow: Holes in the backyard spit up letters penned by her grandmother; a visiting aunt arrives with snakes in her belly; a brother tests the possibility of flight. All the while, Daughter is falling for Ben, a neighborhood girl with strange powers of her own. As the two young lovers translate the grandmother’s letters, Daughter begins to understand that each woman in her family embodies a myth—and that she will have to bring her family’s secrets to light in order to change their destiny.

With a poetic voice of crackling electricity, K-Ming Chang is an explosive young writer who combines the wit and fabulism of Helen Oyeyemi with the subversive storytelling of Maxine Hong Kingston. Tracing one family’s history from Taiwan to America, from Arkansas to California, Bestiary is a novel of migration, queer lineages, and girlhood.

Missionaries. Phil Klay
October 07, 2020 08:10 AM PDT
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A group of Colombian soldiers prepares to raid a drug lord's safe house on the Venezuelan border. They're watching him with an American-made drone, about to strike using military tactics taught to them by U.S. soldiers who honed their skills to lethal perfection in Iraq. In Missionaries, Phil Klay examines the globalization of violence through the interlocking stories of four characters and the conflicts that define their lives.

For Mason, a U.S. Army Special Forces medic, and Lisette, a foreign correspondent, America's long post-9/11 wars in the Middle East exerted a terrible draw that neither is able to shake. Where can such a person go next? All roads lead to Colombia, where the US has partnered with local government to keep predatory narco gangs at bay. Mason, now a liaison to the Colombian military, is ready for the good war, and Lisette is more than ready to cover it. Juan Pablo, a Colombian officer, must juggle managing the Americans' presence and navigating a viper's nest of factions bidding for power. Meanwhile, Abel, a lieutenant in a local militia, has lost almost everything in the seemingly endless carnage of his home province, where the lines between drug cartels, militias, and the state are semi-permeable.

Drawing on six years of research in America and Colombia into the effects of the modern way of war on regular people, Klay has written a novel of extraordinary suspense infused with geopolitical sophistication and storytelling instincts that are second to none. Missionaries is a window not only into modern war, but into the individual lives that go on long after the drones have left the skies.

Monogamy Sue Miller
September 24, 2020 11:12 AM PDT
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Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. A golden couple, their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances.

Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love.

When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him?

Then, while she is still mourning him intensely, she discovers that Graham had been unfaithful to her; and she spirals into darkness, wondering if she ever truly knew the man who loved her.

Leave It As It Is David Gessner
September 24, 2020 11:01 AM PDT
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“Leave it as it is,” Theodore Roosevelt announced while viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. “The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” Roosevelt’s rallying cry signaled the beginning of an environmental fight that still wages today. To reconnect with the American wilderness and with the president who courageously protected it, acclaimed nature writer and New York Times bestselling author David Gessner embarks on a great American road trip guided by Roosevelt’s crusading environmental legacy.

Gessner travels to the Dakota badlands where Roosevelt awakened as a naturalist; to Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon where Roosevelt escaped during the grind of his reelection tour; and finally, to Bears Ears, Utah, a monument proposed by Native Tribes that is embroiled in a national conservation fight. Along the way, Gessner questions and reimagines Roosevelt’s vision for today.

As Gessner journeys through the grandeur of our public lands, he tells the story of Roosevelt’s life as a pioneering conservationist, offering an arresting history, a powerful call to arms, and a profound meditation on our environmental future.

Set My Heart To Five Simon Stephenson
September 24, 2020 10:55 AM PDT
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Set in a 2054 where humans have locked themselves out of the internet and Elon Musk has incinerated the moon, Set My Heart to Five is the hilarious yet profoundly moving story of one android’s emotional awakening.

One day at a screening of a classic movie, Jared notices a strange sensation around his eyes. Bots are not permitted to have feelings, but as the theater lights come on, Jared discovers he is crying.

Soon overwhelmed by powerful emotions, Jared heads west, determined to find others like himself. But a bot with feelings is a dangerous proposition, and Jared’s new life could come to an end before it truly begins. Unless, that is, he can somehow change the world for himself and all of his kind.

Unlike anything you have ever read before, Set My Heart to Five is a love letter to outsiders everywhere. Plus it comes uniquely guaranteed to make its readers weep a minimum of 29mls of tears.*

*Book must be read in controlled laboratory conditions arranged at reader’s own expense. Other terms and conditions may apply to this offer.

The Motion Of The Body Through Space Lionel Shriver
September 24, 2020 10:52 AM PDT
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After an ignominious early retirement, Remington announces to his wife Serenata that he’s decided to run a marathon. This from a sedentary man in his sixties who’s never done a lick of exercise in his life. His wife can’t help but observe that his ambition is “hopelessly trite.” A loner, Serenata disdains mass group activities of any sort. Besides, his timing is cruel. Serenata has long been the couple’s exercise freak, but by age sixty, her private fitness regimes have destroyed her knees, and she’ll soon face debilitating surgery. Yes, becoming more active would be good for Remington’s heart, but then why not just go for a walk? Without several thousand of your closest friends?

As Remington joins the cult of fitness that increasingly consumes the Western world, her once-modest husband burgeons into an unbearable narcissist. Ignoring all his other obligations, he engages a saucy, sexy personal trainer named Bambi, who treats Serenata with contempt. When Remington sets his sights on the legendarily grueling triathlon, MettleMan, Serenata is sure he’ll end up injured or dead. And even if he does survive, their marriage may not.

The Motion of the Body Through Space is vintage Lionel Shriver written with psychological insight, a rich cast of characters, lots of verve and petulance, an astute reading of contemporary culture, and an emotionally resonant ending.

Private Means Cree LeFavour
September 09, 2020 09:07 AM PDT
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A deliciously compulsive first novel from New York Times Editor’s Choice author of Lights On, Rats Out, Cree LeFavour’s Private Means captures the very essence of summer in a sharply observed, moving meditation on marriage, money, and loss.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and Alice’s beloved dog Maebelle has been lost. Alice stays in New York, desperate to find her dog, while her husband Peter drives north to stay with friends in the Berkshires. Relieved to be alone, Alice isn’t sure if she should remain married to Peter but she’s built a life with him. For his part, Peter is pleased to have time alone―he’s tired of the lost dog drama, of Alice’s coolness, of New York. A psychiatrist, he ponders his patients and one, particularly attractive, woman in particular. As the summer unfolds, tensions rise as Alice and Peter struggle with infidelity, loneliness, and loss. Escaping the heat of New York City to visit wealthy friends in the Hamptons, on Cape Cod and in the Berkshires, each continues to play his or her part in the life they’ve chosen together. By the time Labor Day rolls around, a summer that began with isolation has transformed into something else entirely.

Matching keen observations on human behavior with wry prose, Private Means, with its sexy, page-turning plot, will draw fans of Nora Ephron and Meg Wolitzer. At once dark, funny, sad and suspenseful, LeFavour’s debut is a rare find: a tart literary indulgence with depth and intelligence.

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