New Reads (May 19, 2015–)

The Knockoff
by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
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The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app. When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop–hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice–pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

 

War Of The Encyclopaedists
by Christopher Robinson & Gavin Kovite
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In a superb, rare literary collaboration, two major new talents join their voices to tell the story of a generation at a crossroads, and a friendship that stretches over continents and crises-from the liberal arena of Boston academia to the military occupation of Iraq-in this ambitious and electrifying debut novel. On a summer night, in the arty enclave of Capitol Hill, Seattle, best friends Mickey Montauk and Halifax Corderoy throw one last blowout party before their lives part ways. At twenty-three, they had planned to move together to Boston for graduate school, but global events have intervened: Montauk has just learned that his National Guard unit will deploy to Baghdad at the end of the summer. In the confusion of this altered future, Corderoy is faced with a moral dilemma: his girlfriend Mani has just been evicted and he must decide whether or not to abandon her when she needs him most. He turns to Montauk for help. His decision that night, and its harrowing outcome, sets in motion a year that will transform all three of them

 

The Scarlet Gospels
by Clive Barker
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The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker’s most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D’Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Barker devotees have been waiting for The Scarlet Gospels with bated breath for years, and it’s everything they’ve begged for and more. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels . Barker’s horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?

 

Seveneves
by Neal Stephenson
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What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . . Five thousand years later, their progeny–seven distinct races now three billion strong–embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

 

England and other stories
by Graham Swift
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From the Booker Prize{u2013}winning author of Last Orders and Wish You Were Here, his first new book of short fiction in nearly thirty years: beautifully crafted, piercingly observant stories that unite into a richly peopled vision of a country that is both a crucible of history and a maze of contemporary confusions. Meet Dr. Shah who has never been to India, and Mrs. Kaminski, on her way to Poland; meet Holly and Polly, who have come to their own Anglo-Irish understanding, and Charlie and Don, who have seen the docks turn into Docklands; Daisy Baker, who is terrified of Yorkshire; and Johnny Dewhurst, stranded on Exmoor. Graham Swift steers us effortlessly from the seventeenth century to the present day, from world-shaking events to the secret dramas lived out in rooms, workplaces, homes. With these open-eyed, eloquent and often comic stories, Swift charts a human geography that moves us profoundly.

 

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