New Reads (April 14, 2015)–

Voices In The Night: Stories by Steven Millhauser
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From the Pulitzer and Story Prize winner: sixteen new stories–provocative, funny, disturbing, enchanting–that delve into the secret lives and desires of ordinary people, alongside retellings of myths and legends that highlight the aspirations of the human spirit.

Heightened by magic, the divine, and the uncanny, shot through with sly and winning humor, Voices in the Night seamlessly combines the whimsy and surprise of the familiar with intoxicating fantasies that take us beyond our daily lives, all done with the hallmark sleight of hand and astonishing virtuosity of one of our greatest contemporary storytellers.

Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker
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The first in a suspenseful new trilogy by the internationally bestselling author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, this gripping story follows a retired expat journalist in contemporary China who tries to crack a murder case as he battles his own personal demons.

American expat Paul Leibovitz was once an ambitious advisor, dedicated father, and loving husband. But after living for nearly thirty years in Hong Kong, personal tragedy strikes and Paul’s marriage unravels in the fallout.

Now Paul is living as a recluse on an outlying island of Hong Kong. When he makes a fleeting connection with Elizabeth, a distressed American woman on the verge of collapse, his life is thrown into turmoil. Less than twenty-four hours later, Elizabeth’s son is found dead in Shenzhen, and Paul, invigorated by a newfound purpose, sets out to investigate the murder on his own.

 

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg
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Paris in the nineteenth century comes vividly alive, illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society. At the beginning of this powerful novel, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family’s estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she gives herself a new name–George Sand–and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle.

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg has written a lush historical novel based on the sensuous Parisian life of the nineteenth-century writer George Sand–which is perfect for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.

 

Aunt Dimity & the Summer King by Nancy Atherton
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Cozy mystery lovers’ favorite paranormal sleuth is back with her twentieth otherworldly adventure

It’s June, the roses are in bloom, and the small English village of Finch may be in big trouble.  Two cottages are for sale, but something–or someone–is driving buyers away.  Has a developer targeted Finch?  Will property values skyrocket?  Will a wave of wealthy weekenders drive out the longtime locals?

With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help–and her new baby girl in her arms–Lori mounts a crusade to save her village from the Summer King’s scorching greed.

 

The Brothers: The Road To An American Tragedy by Masha Gessen
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An important story for our era: How the American Dream went wrong for two immigrants, and the nightmare that resulted.

On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 264 others. In the ensuing manhunt, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured and ultimately charged on thirty federal counts. Yet long after the bombings and the terror they sowed, after all the testimony and debate, what we still haven’t learned is why. Why did the American Dream go so wrong for two immigrants? How did such a nightmare come to pass?

 

Dark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn

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Amber Tamblyn is both an award-winning film and television actress and an acclaimed poet. As such she is deeply fascinated–and intimately familiar–with the toll exacted from young women whose lives are offered in sacrifice as starlets. The stories of these actresses, both famous and obscure-tragic stories of suicide, murder, obscurity, and other forms of death–inspired this empathic and emotionally charged collection of new poetic work.

Featuring subjects from Marilyn Monroe and Frances Farmer to Dana Plato and Brittany Murphy–and paired with original artwork commissioned for the book by luminaries including David Lynch, Adrian Tome, Marilyn Manson, and Marcel Dzama–Dark Sparkler is a surprising and provocative collection from a young artist of wide-ranging talent, culminating in an extended, confessional epilogue of astonishing candor and poetic command.

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