New Books

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

From Amazon.com:

I wish I could give this one more than five stars. The Blind Assassin is a fantastic, fabulous novel and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Margaret Atwoood has written a terrific story told in such a way that the reader will always be kept guessing as to what the true “truth” is. It is a mystery, with a death, but it is not a “mystery novel” as we come to expect. The Blind Assassin is the story of two sisters: Laura and Iris Chase. Laura died in what may or may not have been a suicidal car crash in 1945. Iris tells the story of her family and the events leading up to Laura’s death, reflecting in the present on the events of the past. What is so fascinating about The Blind Assassin is that things are not always what they seem, but there are layers upon layers of story, of truth.

We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. An international hit, this bold seafaring epic spans 100 years in the lives of the men and women from a small town on an island off the Danish coast. Starting with the war between Germany and Denmark in 1848 and continuing through WWII, the men of Marstal sail, fight, trade, and die at sea while the women raise their children and wait for their husbands’ and sons’ uncertain return. The story loosely follows one family, the Madsens, beginning with the legendary Laurids Madsen, “best known for having single-handedly started a war,” and then his son, Albert, and a boy named Knud Erik, whom Albert takes under his wing. From adventures on the storm-ravaged seas and in exotic lands, to battles in town over the shipping industry and family life, dozens of stories coalesce into an odyssey taut with action and drama and suffused with enough heart to satisfy readers who want more than the breakneck thrills of ships battling the elements. By the time readers turn the final page, they will have come to intimately know this town and its sailors who tear out across an unforgiving sea.

Ed King by David Guterson

Seattle Times Best Book of the Year

In Seattle of 1962, Walter Cousins, a mild-mannered actuary takes a risk of his own and makes the biggest error of his life: He sleeps with Diane Burroughs, the sexy, not-quite-legal British au pair who’s taking care of his children for the summer. When Diane becomes pregnant and leaves their baby on a doorstep, it sets in motion a tragedy of epic proportions. The orphaned child, adopted by an adoring family and named Edward Aaron King, grows up to become a billionaire Internet tycoon and an international celebrity—the “King of Search”—who unknowingly, but inexorably, hurtles through life toward a fate he may have no way of reversing.

Sweeping, propulsive, and darkly humorous, Ed King re-imagines one of the world’s greatest tragedies—Oedipus Rex—for our own era, bringing contemporary urgency to a tale that still has the power to shock and inform.  Amazon.com review

Monkey Business by Wallace Edwards

From Publishers Weekly

As he did in Alphabeasts, Wallace pairs deadpan text with multilayered illustrations that are at once humorous and absurd, likely to elicit grins from both adults and children. His latest title focuses on idioms (a definition of the term appears on the first page), with a cast of anthropomorphic animals set in bizarre situations. All the scenes make jokes that should have easy kid appeal. Owen, the literal “bull in a china shop,” unconsciously manages to entwine his horns, tail and cane around several ceramic pieces (“Not again,” he sighs). A walrus who “had no intention of sharing his cupcake” sports a candy cane in place of a tusk (a “real sweet tooth”). Attentive readers can also spot a monkey hidden in each scene—these visual tricks and other hide and seek-type games echo Graeme Base’s works.

Far From Shore by Sophie Webb

“Another fascinating expedition:.the you-are-there immediacy of the narrative-and the clear and colorful watercolor-and-gouache landscapes and drawings of the birds form an appealing travelogue that is as exciting as it is informative.” –School Library Journal, starred review

Once Upon a Starry Night by Jacqueline Mitton & Christina Balit

“Take an illuminating ride through the starry night sky, and learn how the heavens pay tribute to the gods of Greek and Roman mythology. Once Upon a Starry Night explains the ten ancient figures whose legends are written large across the universe. Every page shines with Christina Balit’s vibrant art, studded with shiny stars, and provides the perfect backdrop to Jacqueline Mitton’s poetic text” – Amazon.com

There’s a Frog in My Throat! by Loreen Leedy & Pat Street

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 2-5. This book is just ducky! It’s the cat’s pajamas! In fact, it’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys! These enthusiastic endorsements are among the many animal expressions defined in this unusual collection that maximizes the humor of sayings that are common to English usage but nonsensical if taken literally. And take them literally Leedy does in her hilarious art. A “social butterfly” wears a party hat and has a balloon; a “clotheshorse” is a handsome stallion, in a top hat and men’s shoes, shown tying a tie. Even the page numbers are part of the fun; the number for page 24 appears in a 24-karat gold egg lying beneath the goose that laid it. This same bird is pictured with a thought bubble in which she imagines herself served on a silver platter: “My goose is cooked.” The illustrations continuously work together in this way–up, down, and across the double-page spreads, which are loosely arranged by themes according to their animal subjects, from house pets to farm stock to wild critters. To round things out, each boldface figure of speech or phase is accompanied by a succinct explanation, making the book useful for classroom enrichment as well as great fun for personal enjoyment. Even children older than the target audience will agree that this is, indeed, a volume to crow about! Ellen Mandel

How Many Kisses Do you Want Tonight? by Varsha Bajaj

“As nighttime falls, each precious, little animal nestles into its own cozy place and waits for good-night kisses” – book jacket

Robert B. Parker’s Blackjack by Robert Knott

“Fans of the late Robert B. Parker’s best-selling novels about territorial marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch will be delighted to discover a new adventure written by famed author Robert Knott.” —Cowboys & Indians Magazine – Amazon.com

Saving Grace by Jane Green

Powerful and riveting, Jane Green’s Saving Grace will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow Grace on her harrowing journey to rock bottom and back. – Amazon.com