June Picks - Fiction

The Garden of Small Beginnings Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399583582
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Books - May 2nd, 2017

Not since Good Grief has a book about a young widow been so poignant, funny, original, and utterly believable. A compelling debut novel about loss.

Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years—ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing.

At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks—like the gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally.

After recruiting her two girls and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles Botanical Garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover—with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners—is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…


The Book of Summer Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250070623
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - May 9th, 2017

Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family’s Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Though she’s purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home’s definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess’s grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never contemplated.


Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735220683
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - May 9th, 2017

Smart, warm, uplifting, the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open her heart

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever—if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.


Saints for All Occasions Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780307959577
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 9th, 2017

“I hope to read another novel as strong and wise and beautiful and heartbreaking as J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions this year, but I’m not sure I will.” Richard Russo

A sweeping, unforgettable novel from The New York Times bestselling author of Maine, about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters and the secret that drives them apart.


Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she’s shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn’t sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, quietly preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora’s favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago. A graceful, supremely moving novel from one of our most beloved writers, Saints for All Occasions explores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.


Commonwealth Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062491831
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 2nd, 2017

The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives

“Reading Commonwealth is a transporting experience… It feels like Patchett’s most intimate novel and is without doubt one of her best.” —Los Angeles Times

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows among them.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.


White Fur Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780451497925
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth Press - May 30th, 2017

A vivid, hypnotic story of a star-crossed couple, set among the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City

Elise and Jamey are destined to be together, against all reason and circumstance. Elise grew up without a father, unsure of her true racial identity but always aware of her class: she is poor, she doesn’t deserve to aspire, people like her live paycheck-to-paycheck, wondering where the next meal will come from. Jamey is the son of a high-profile lawyer and fading Hollywood actress. His future has been laid out before him once he graduates from Yale—including a socialite bride, the requisite couple of kids, and a job he will inevitably hate.

When Jamey meets Elise, his attraction is instant and unavoidable, and what begins as a physical connection soon leads to something far deeper. His love for her is wholly unfamiliar, but worth throwing everything away for, alienating himself from the only life and society he’s known. But the consequences for the two young lovers are dangerous, and the age-old question remains: Will their love be enough?

A searing, unforgettable novel that captures the ferocity of young love with the intensity of Fates and Furies, the vibrant edge of New York City as in City on Fire, and the feverish romantic spark of A Sport and a PastimeWhite Fur will captivate readers from its first page to its most intense last.
 


Sycamore Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062661098
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - May 9th, 2017

“In this masterful performance, Bryn Chancellor explores the loss around which an entire community has calcified with humanity and wisdom. Chancellor digs deep in these pages, unearthing broken hearts, secrets, betrayals, passion and—most impressively—grace. What a joy to find a book that is both propulsive and perfectly composed.” —Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest

An award-winning writer hailed as "amazing, sensitive, and thoughtful” by Kevin Wilson makes her debut with this mesmerizing page-turner in the spirit of Everything I Never Told You and Olive Kitteridge: a coming of age story, a mystery, and a moving exploration of the elemental forces that drive human nature—desire, loneliness, grief, love, forgiveness, and hope—witnessed through the lives of one small Arizona town

Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives. 

Skillfully interweaving multiple points of view, Bryn Chancellor knowingly maps the bloodlines of a community and the indelible characters at its heart—most notably Jess Winters, a thoughtful, promising adolescent poised on the threshold of adulthood. Evocative and atmospheric, Sycamore is a coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a moving exploration of the elemental forces that drive human nature—desire, loneliness, grief, love, forgiveness, and hope—as witnessed through the inhabitants of one small Arizona town.


Mother Land Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780618839322
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 9th, 2017

A richly detailed, darkly hilarious novel of a family held together and torn apart by its narcissistic matriarch.

To those in her Cape Cod town, Mother is an exemplar of piety, frugality, and hard work. To her husband and seven children, she is the selfish, petty tyrant of Mother Land. She excels at playing her offspring against each other. Her favorite, Angela, died in childbirth; only Angela really understands her, she tells the others. The others include the officious lawyer, Fred; the uproarious professor, Floyd; a pair of inseparable sisters whose devotion to Mother has consumed their lives; and JP, the narrator, a successful writer whose work she disparages. As she lives well past the age of 100, her brood struggles with and among themselves to shed her viselike hold on them. 

Mother Land is a piercing portrait of how a parent’s narcissism impacts a family. While the particulars of this tale are unique, Theroux encapsulates with acute clarity and wisdom a circumstance that is familiar to legions of readers. And beyond offering the shock and comfort of recognition, Mother Land presents for everyone an engrossing, heartbreaking, and often funny saga of a vast family that bickers, colludes, connives, and ultimately overcomes the painful ties that bind them.


Before We Sleep Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781620404997
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 2nd, 2017

The sweeping, intergenerational story of a Vermont family, from WWII to the dawning of the ’60s—the most magisterial and moving novel of acclaimed author Jeffrey Lent’s career.

Katey Snow, seventeen, slips the pickup into neutral and rolls silently out of the driveway of her Vermont home, her parents, Oliver and Ruth, still asleep. She isn’t running away, but on a journey of discovery. With her is a packet of letters addressed to her mother from her father’s old army buddy. Having learned that Oliver, who she adores, isn’t her biological father, she’s hoping the sender of the letters will be able to answer her many questions.


Before We Sleep moves gracefully between Katey’s perspective on the road and her mother, Ruth’s. We learn of Ruth’s courtship with Oliver, their marriage on the eve of war, and his return as a changed man; Oliver had always been dreamy, but became more remote, finding solace mostly in repairing fiddles. After accommodations and sacrifices, the family had found its rhythm, and happiness. Now Katey’s journey threatens to rearrange that.


Set in a lovingly realized Vermont setting, tracking the changes that come with the turning of the seasons—and decades—and signaling the dawning of Katey’s freedom, Before We Sleep is a novel about family, about family secrets, and the love that holds families together. It is also about the Greatest Generation as it moves into the very different era of the 1960s, and the trauma of war that so profoundly weighed on both generations. It is Jeffrey Lent’s most accomplished novel.


Salt Houses Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780544912588
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 2nd, 2017

On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. 

Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia’s brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can’t escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia’s children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities. 

Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand—one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can’t go home again.


The Scribe of Siena Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781501152252
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone Books - May 16th, 2017

Equal parts transporting love story and gripping historical conspiracy, debut author Melodie Winawer takes readers deep into medieval Italy, where the past and present blur and a twenty-first century woman will discover a plot to destroy Siena.

Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother’s affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined—a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city.

After uncovering the journal and paintings of Gabriele Accorsi, the fourteenth-century artist at the heart of the plot, Beatrice finds a startling image of her own face and is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague.

Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love—not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life. As the Plague and the ruthless hands behind its trajectory threaten not only her survival but also Siena’s very existence, Beatrice must decide in which century she belongs.


Men Without Women: Stories Cover Image
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator), Ted Goossen (Translator)
$25.95
ISBN: 9780451494627
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 9th, 2017

A dazzling new collection of short stories—the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 bestselling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic.