“Margaret Atwood has penned a collection of smart and entertaining fictional essays, in the genre of her popular books Good Bones and Murder in the Dark, punctuated with wonderful illustrations by the author. Chilling and witty, prescient and personal, delectable and tart, these highly imaginative, vintage Atwoodian mini-fictions speak on a broad range of subjects, reflecting the times we live in with deadly accuracy and knife-edge precision.
In pieces ranging in length from a mere paragraph to several pages, Atwood gives a sly pep talk to the ambitious young; writes about the disconcerting experience of looking at old photos of ourselves; gives us Horatio’s real views on Hamlet; and examines the boons and banes of orphanhood. Bring Back Mom: An Invocation explores what life was really like for the perfect homemakers of days gone by, and in The Animals Reject Their Names, she runs history backward, with surprising results."
Donna Morrissey - Sylvanus Now
Sylvanus Now is a young fisherman of great charm and strength. His youthful desires are simple: He wants a suit to lure a girl—the fine-boned beauty Adelaide. Adelaide, however, has other dreams. Set against the love story of Addie and Sylvanus is the sea on the cusp of cataclysmic change. Caught between his desire to please his wife and his strongly independent nature, Sylvanus must decide what path his future will take.
Douglas Coupland - Generation X
Andy, Dag and Claire have been handed a society beyond their means. Twenty-somethings, brought up with divorce, Watergate and Three Mile Island, and scarred by the 80s fallout of yuppies, recession, crack and Ronald Reagan, they represent the new generation - Generation X. Fiercely suspicious of being lumped together as an advertiser's target market, they have quit dreary careers and cut themselves adrift in the California desert. Unsure of their futures, they immerse themselves in a regime of heavy drinking and working in no future McJobs in the service industry. Underemployed, overeducated and intensely private and unpredicatable, they have nowhere to direct their anger, no one to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie. So they tell stories: disturbingly funny tales that reveal their barricaded inner world. A world populated with dead TV shows, 'Elvis moments' and semi-disposible Swedish furniture.
Yann Martel - Life of Pi
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy.The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
Margaret Atwood - Cat's Eye
Herself the daughter of a Canadian forest entomologist, Atwood writes in an autobiographical vein about Elaine Risley, a middle-aged Canadian painter (and daughter of a forest entomologist) who is thrust into an extended reconsideration of her past while attending a retrospective show of her work in Toronto, a city she had fled years earlier in order to leave behind painful memories. Most pointedly, Risley reflects on the strangeness of her long relations with Cordelia, a childhood friend whose cruelties, dealt lavishly to Risley, helped hone her awareness of our inveterate appetite for destruction even while we love, and are understood as characteristically femininea betrayal of other women that masks a ferocious betrayal of oneself. Atwood's portrayal of the friendship gives the novel its fraught and mysterious center, but her critical assessment of Cordelia and the "whole world of girls and their doings" also takes the measure of a coercive, conformist society (not quite as extreme as in the futuristic The Handmaid's Tale ). Emerging "the stronger" for her latecoming understanding of herself, Risley in the final pages rises above the ties that bound her, transcendently alive to the possibilities of "light, shining out in the midst of nothing." (From Publisher's Weekly)
Alice Munro - Too Much Happiness
Short-story collections continue to be the bane of the publishing world - as Alice Munro herself puts it in a story here, they seem to 'diminish the book's authority, making the author seem like somebody who is just hanging on to the gates of literature, rather than safely settled inside'. Well, the septuangenarian Munro is undoubtedly safely inside; widely considered among the best in the business, earlier this year she won the International Man Booker prize. This latest collection is, as you might expect from the mocking tenor of the title, largely concerned with the elusive nature of happiness, a state of mind that, amid the chaotic everyday inhabited by Munro's characters, is impossible to fathom or control. It starts horrifically, with a woman in therapy following the murder of her three children by her demented husband. Just when you think there can be no possible relief, Munro throws in a deft, final redemptive sentence that's the equivalent of opening a window on a stifling, locked-up-room. Many stories reverberate with the aftershock of some grotesque or traumatic childhood event, from the son who falls down a ravine in Deep-Holes and the consequences this has for his mother, to the woman in Child's Play who is forced to acknowledge the guilt she has refused to bear for the death of a fellow pupil at summer camp. Munro's prose is surprisingly rangy, almost giving the impression of artlessness, yet there's nothing remotely careless about these effortless composition that run so dangerously close to real life and which, like touching an electric fence, jolt you violently alive. (Claire Allfree)
Alice Munro - Runaway
In Alice Munro's new collection, we find stories about women of all ages and circumstances, their lives made palpable by the subtlety and empathy of this incomparable writer." The runaway of the title story is a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband. In "Passion," a country girl emerging into the larger world via a job in a resort hotel discovers in a single moment of stunning insight the limits and lies of that mysterious emotion. Three stories are about a woman named Juliet - in the first, she escapes from teaching at a girls' school into a wild and irresistible love match; in the second she returns with her child to the home of her parents, whose life and marriage she finally begins to examine; and in the last, her child, caught, she mistakenly thinks, in the grip of a religious cult, vanishes into an unexplained and profound silence. In the final story, "Powers," a young woman with the ability to read the future sets off a chain of events that involves her husband-to-be and a friend in a lifelong pursuit of what such a gift really means, and who really has it.
Nyrae Dawn - Charade
Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection. Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too. Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real. Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.
Shayla Black - Jenna Jacob - Isabella LaPearl - One Dom To Love
Raine Kendall has been in love with her boss, Macen Hammerman, for years. Determined to make the man notice that she’s a grown woman with desires and needs, she pours out her heart and offers her body to him—only to be crushingly rejected. But when his friend, very single, very sexy Liam O’Neill watches the other Dom refuse to act on his obvious feelings for Raine, he resolves to step in and do whatever it takes to help Hammer find happiness again, even rousing his friend’s possessive instincts by making the girl a proposition too tempting to refuse. But he never imagines that he’ll end up falling for her himself. Hammer has buried his lust for Raine for years. After rescuing the budding runaway from an alley behind his exclusive BDSM Dungeon, he has come to covet the pretty submissive. But tragedy has taught him that he can never be what she needs. So he watches over her while struggling to keep his distance. Liam’s crafty plan blindsides Hammer, especially when he sees how determined his friend is to possess Raine for his own. Hammer isn’t ready to give the lovely submissive over to any other Dom, but can he heal from his past and fight for her? Or will he lose Raine if she truly gives herself—heart, body, and soul—to Liam?
Robin Hobb - Dragon Haven
Return to the world of the Liveships Traders and journey along the Rain Wild River in the second instalment of high adventure from the author of the internationally acclaimed Farseer trilogy.The dragon keepers and the fledgling dragons are forging a passage up the treacherous Rain Wild River. They are in search of the mythical Elderling city of Kelsingra, and are accompanied by the liveship Tarman, its captain, Leftrin, and a group of hunters who must search the forests for game with which to keep the dragons fed. With them are Alise, who has escaped her cold marriage to the cruel libertine Hest Finbok in order to continue her study of dragons, and Hest's amanuensis, Bingtown dandy, Sedric.Rivalries and romances are already threatening to disrupt the band of explorers: but external forces may prove to be even more dangerous. Chalcedean merchants are keen to lay hands on dragon blood and organs to turn them to medicines and profit. Their traitor has infiltrated the expeditionand will stop at nothing to obtain the coveted body parts. And then there are the Rain Wilds themselves: mysterious, unstable and ever perilous, its mighty river running with acid, its jungle impenetrable and its waterways uncharted.Will the expedition reach their destination unscathed? Does the city of Kelsingra even exist? Only one thing is certain: the journey will leave none of the dragons nor their human companions unchanged by the experience.
Robin Hobb - Blood of Dragons
The final volume in Robin Hobb's popular Rain Wilds fantasy series, Blood of Dragons completes the story of the dragons, their keepers, and their quest to find the lost city of Kelsingra—and the mythical silver wells that the dragons need to survive. Can Tintaglia and the Elderlings unlock the secrets of the ancient city? Or are they doomed to extinction? The world of Robin Hobb’s Rain Wilds series has been praised by Booklist as "one of the most gripping settings in modern fantasy," and Publishers Weekly called the Rain Wilds books "a meticulously realized fantasy tale" and "a welcome addition to contemporary dragon lore."
Robin Hobb - Shaman's Crossing
The first book in a brand new trilogy from the author of the Farseer, Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies. When the two-hundred year war between the kingdoms of Vania and Landsing ended the Landsingers were left in triumphant possession of Vania's rich coal and coast territories. When young King Troven assumed the throne of Vania thirty years later, he was determined to restore her greatness, not through waging another assault upon their traditional enemies, but by looking in the opposite direction and colonising the wild plains and steppes to their east. Over the next twenty years, cavalry forces manage to subdue the rolling plains formerly wasted on nomadic herders and tribesmen.Troven's campaign restores the pride of the Varnian military and to reward them, Troven creates a new nobility that is extremely loyal to their monarch. Beyond the grasslands lies the current frontier of Varnia, the heavily forested Barrier Mountains, home to enigmatic Specks: a dappled, forest dwelling people, unable to tolerate the heat and full sunlight of the plains. The new settlers find the Specks slightly dim-witted and overly placid, and yet strangely difficult to control. There are tales that they are 'blood-drinkers' and their nature worship of ancestral trees has presented difficulties for those who wish to harvest the forest's exotic timber. They also harbour strange diseases, ones that cause the Specks little more than a week or two of discomfort but which frequently kills those settlers and soldiers who fall victim to it. For that reason, prolonged contact, and especially intimate contact with the Specks is judged both fool-hardy and disgusting. Nevare Gerar is the second son of one of King Troven's new lords. Following in his father's footsteps, a commission as a cavalry officer at the frontier and an advantageous marriage await him, once he has completed his training at the King's Cavalry Academy.
Robin Hobb - Forest Mage
This is the second book in the brand new trilogy from the author of the "Tawny Man" trilogy, following on from the bestselling Shaman's "Crossing". The King's Cavalla Academy has been ravaged by the Speck plague. Hundreds of cadets and instructors have been lost to the disease, and even the survivors may never fully recover. Many have been forced to relinquish their military ambitions and return to their families to face lives of dependency and disappointment. As the Academy infirmary empties, Cadet Nevare Burvelle also prepares to journey home, to attend his brother Rosse's wedding. Far from being a broken man, Nevare is hale and hearty after his convalescence. Instead of growing rake - thin like the other plague victims, Nevare has put on weight. In fact, he just can't stop putting on weight, no matter how much he exercises or how little he eats. To make matters worse, his nights are haunted by dreams of the voluptuous Tree Woman, dreams in which his Speck self betrays everything he holds dear in his waking life. Has the plague infected him in ways far more mysterious than the merely physical? Despite his fears, Nevare will journey back to Widevale in high spirits, in full expectation of a jubilant homecoming and a tender reunion with his young and beautiful fiancee, Carsina. But his life is about to take a dramatic, unexpected and shocking turn; and soon he may be forced to choose sides, between civilized Gernia, his ancestry and upbringing and the magical, sensual world of the Specks.
Julie Berry - All the Truth That's In Me
Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember - even if he doesn’t know it - her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.
Kami Garcia - Margaret Stohl - Dangerous Dream
The New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series continues in this brand-new digital-exclusive story. Catch up with Ethan, Lena, and Link as they finally graduate from high school and get ready to leave the small Southern town of Gatlin. But when Dark Caster Ridley makes an appearance, the sometime bad girl can't resist picking a fight with her sometime boyfriend, Link. Angry and rebellious as ever, Ridley ends up alone in New York City and becomes entangled in the dangerous underground Caster club scene, where the stakes are high and losers pay the ultimate price. Where's a Linkubus when you need him?
K. A. Tucker - Ten Tiny Breaths
Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D. Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair. But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.
Helen Oyeyemi - White is for Witching
___ In a vast, mysterious house on the cliffs near Dover, the Silver family is reeling from the hole punched into its heart. Lily is gone and her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband, the gentle Luc, mourn her absence with unspoken intensity. All is not well with the house, either, which creaks and grumbles and malignly confuses visitors in its mazy rooms, forcing winter apples in the garden when the branches should be bare. Generations of women inhabit its walls. And Miranda, with her new appetite for chalk and her keen sense for spirits, is more attuned to them than she is to her brother and father. She is leaving them slowly, slipping away from them. When one dark night she vanishes entirely, the survivors are left to tell her story. _Miri_ _I_ _conjure_ _you_... This is a spine-tingling tale that has Gothic roots but an utterly modern sensibility. Told by a quartet of crystalline voices, it is electrifying in its expression of myth and memory, loss and magic, fear and love.
Jennifer Probst - The Marriage Bargain
A marriage in name only... To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend's older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart. Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he’s offers Alexa a bold proposition. A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right? Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…
Robin Hobb - The Mad Ship
The magic and mayhem continue in this thrilling second instalment of Hobb's new series. Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, but she lives only to reclaim the Vivacia as her rightful inheritance. However, the Vivacia has been captured by the pirate, 'King' Kennit, and is acquiring a keen bloodlust. Meanwhile in Bingtown, the fading fortunes of the Vestrit family lead Malta deeper into the magical secrets of the mysterious Rain Wilds Traders. And just outside Bingtown, Amber dreams of relaunching the Paragon, The Mad Ship... The second volume in this superb trilogy from the author of THE FARSEER TRILOGY continues the dramatic tale of piracy, serpents, love and magic.
Robin Hobb - Fool's Fate
The triumphant conclusion to our three thrilling fantasy series, from the author of the bestselling Farseer and Liveship traders trilogies. The only hopes for an end to war and insurrection in the Six Duchies rests in the hands of the small party that are embarked on a desperate quest to the frozen island of Aslevjal. Here, so legend says, lies the sleeping form of the legendary great black dragon, Icefyre. The beast is of holy significance to the people of the OutIslands, a powerful talisman, but it is this dragon that their Narcheska has challenged Prince Dutiful to kill. All he has to help him in this in the company of his small coterie: the mercurial old assassin, Chade, the gifted but slow-witted servant boy, Thick, and their Skillmaster, Fitz. The other member of the group has been left behind in Buckkeep, but the Fool will do everything in his power to be with them on the island - he has seen that this is his final destiny. When the ship finally reaches the desolate island it seems out of the question that anything could exist on this wasteland, yet the discoveries that Dutiful and his friends make will not only put the quest and their lives in jeopardy, it will also shape the future of the whole world. The Tawny Man Book 3 brings not only this trilogy but also the Farseer trilogy begun with ASSASSIN'S APPRENTICE in 1996 to a spectacular conclusion. Filled with breathtaking drama and powerful character-led story-telling, Robin Hobb's writing is in a class of its own.
Robin Hobb - City of Dragons
Return to the world of the Liveships Traders and journey along the Rain Wild River in the third instalment of high adventure from the author of the internationally acclaimed Farseer trilogy. Kelsingra awaits for those brave enough to enter… The dragons and their keepers have discovered Kelsingra but so far only Heeby has succeeded in flying over the river to enter the fabled city. The other dragons, with their deformed wings and feeble muscles, are afraid to risk failure and humiliation. But wondrous things await in Kelsingra, a city built for dragons and their Elderling keepers. Alise, overwhelmed by the treasures she finds there, records her finds for posterity. Once the rest of the world knows about the riches the city contains, nothing will ever be the same again. Already, rumours of the city’s discovery have floated down the Rain Wild River and reached envious ears in Bingtown and beyond. Adventurers, pirates and fortune hunters are coming in droves to pillage what they can from the city. As is Hest Finbok, Alise’s husband… Meanwhile, Selden Vestrit finds himself a prisoner of the ailing Duke of Chalced, who believes him to be some sort of dragon-man whose flesh and blood may work miracle cures. Where is Tintaglia, the great sapphire-blue dragon, when all have such need of her? Has she really abandoned her beloved Selden and the fledgling dragons forever? Or will she too return to seek the wonders of Kelsingra?