In the Margins. On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing by Elena Ferrante
In 2020, Claire Luchette in O, The Oprah Magazine described the beloved Italian novelist Elena Ferrante as “an oracle among authors.” Here, in these four crisp essays, Ferrante offers a rare look at the origins of her literary powers. She writes about her influences, her struggles, and her formation as both a reader and a writer; she describes the perils of “bad language” and suggests ways in which it has long excluded women’s truth; she proposes a choral fusion of feminine talent as she brilliantly discourses on the work of Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Ingeborg Bachmann, and many others.
Here is a subtle yet candid book by “one of the great novelists of our time” about adventures in literature, both in and out of the margins.
Nine Lives by Peter Swanson
Nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. Nothing else, just a list of names on a single sheet of paper. None of the nine people know or have ever met the others on the list. They dismiss it as junk mail, a fluke—until very, very bad things begin happening to people on the list.
First, a well-liked old man is drowned on a beach in the small town of Kennewick, Maine. Then, a father is shot in the back while running through his quiet neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. A frightening pattern is emerging, but what do these nine people have in common? Their professions range from oncology nurse to aspiring actor, and they’re located all over the country. So why are they all on the list, and who sent it?
A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande
The life of Ximena, a gifted Mexican healer, is tragically upended in the spring of 1846 when the United States Army marches south to the Río Grande, provoking an unjust war with México. After her husband is killed by Texas Rangers, Ximena leaves her beloved ranch to serve her country’s cause, traveling as an army nurse from battlefield to battlefield.
Meanwhile, John Riley, an Irish immigrant in the US Army, has grown disillusioned by the brutal treatment of his fellow Irishmen at the hands of nativist officers. Risking death for desertion, he swims across the Río Grande to join the Mexican Army and lead the Saint Patrick’s Battalion, a company of American deserters determined to defend México against the northern invaders.
As the war intensifies, Ximena and John are drawn inexorably to each other but face an uncertain future together. Reyna Grande’s spellbinding tale, peopled by bold unforgettable characters and inspired by actual events, explores the conflicting meanings of courage, love and loyalty, while illuminating an unsung moment in history that continues to impact the US-México border to this day.
Memory’s Legion: The Complete Expanse Story Collection by James S. A. Corey
For the first time, all of the short fiction set in James S. A. Corey’s New York Times bestselling Expanse series is available in this collection — including a brand new novella.
Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu
It is 1938 in China and, as a young wife, Meilin’s future is bright. But with the Japanese army approaching, Meilin and her four year old son, Renshu, are forced to flee their home. Relying on little but their wits and a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables that offer solace and wisdom, they must travel through a ravaged country, seeking refuge.
Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down? Yet how can Lily learn who she is if she can never know her family’s story?
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field, and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.
But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable, and also exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence… because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.
But why? To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret, and discover the true power that lies in maps.
When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
In the old house on a hill, where the city meets the rainforest, Yejide’s mother is dying. She is leaving behind a legacy that now passes to Yejide: one St Bernard woman in every generation has the power to shepherd the city’s souls into the afterlife. But after years of suffering her mother’s neglect and bitterness, Yejide is looking for a way out.
Raised in the countryside by a devout Rastafarian mother, Darwin has always abided by the religious commandment not to interact with death. He has never been to a funeral, much less seen a dead body. But when the only job he can find is grave digging, he must betray the life his mother built for him in order to provide for them both. Newly shorn of his dreadlocks and his past, and determined to prove himself, Darwin finds himself adrift in a city electric with possibility and danger.
Drowning Practice by Mike Meginnis
One night, everyone on Earth has the same dream—a dream of being guided to a watery death by a loved one on November 1. When they wake up, most people agree: after Halloween, the world will end.
In the wake of this haunting dream and saddled with its uncertainty, Lyd and her daughter, Mott, navigate a changed world, wrestling with how to make choices when you really don’t know what comes next. Embarking on a quixotic road trip filled with a collection of unexpected and memorable characters, Lyd and Mott are determined to live out what could be their final months as fully as possible. But how can Lyd protect Mott and help her achieve her ambitions in a world where inhibitions, desires, and motivations have become unpredictable, and where Mott’s dangerous and conniving father has his own ideas about how his estranged family should spend their last days?
Fencing with the King by Diana Abu-Jaber
Amani is hooked on a mystery―a poem on airmail paper that slips out of one of her father’s books. It seems to have been written by her grandmother, a refugee who arrived in Jordan during the First World War. Soon the perfect occasion to investigate arises: her Uncle Hafez, an advisor to the King of Jordan, invites her father to celebrate the king’s sixtieth birthday―and to fence with the king, as in their youth. Her father has avoided returning to his homeland for decades, but Amani persuades him to come with her. Uncle Hafez will make their time in Jordan complicated―and dangerous―after Amani discovers a missing relative and is launched into a journey of loss, history, and, eventually, a fight for her own life.
How to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring Supervillain by Ryan North
Taking over the world is a lot of work. Any supervillain is bound to have questions: What’s the perfect location for a floating secret base? What zany heist will fund my immoral plans? How do I control the weather, destroy the internet, and never, ever die?
In How to Take Over the World, bestselling author and award-winning comics writer Ryan North details a number of outlandish villainous schemes, drawing on known science and real-world technologies. Picking up where How to Invent Everything left off, his explanations are as fun and informative as they are completely absurd.
I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin
Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields; they earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.
Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.
But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.
Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?
Riding with Evil: Taking Down the Notorious Pagan Motorcycle Gang by Dave Wedge and Ken Croke
Longtime ATF agent Ken Croke had earned the right to coast to the end of a storied career, having routinely gone undercover to apprehend white supremacists, gun runners, and gang members. But after a chance encounter with an associate of the Pagan Motorcycle Gang created an opening, he transformed himself into “Slam,” a monstrous, axe-handle wielding enforcer whose duty was to protect the leadership “mother club” at all costs. He befriended the club’s most violent and criminally insane members and lived among them for two years, covertly building a case that would eventually take down the top members of the gang in a massive federal prosecution, even as he risked his marriage, his sanity, and his life. With today’s law enforcement largely moving toward the comparative safety of cyber operations, it became one of the last of its kind, a masterclass in old school tactics that marked Croke as a dying breed of undercover agent and became legendary in law enforcement.
Now for the first time, Croke tells the story of his terrifying undercover life in the Pagans—the unspeakable violence, extremism, drugs, and disgusting rituals. Written with bestselling crime writer Dave Wedge and utilizing the exclusive cooperation of those who lived the case with him, as well as thousands of pages of court files and hours of surveillance tapes and photos, Croke delivers a frightening, nail-biting account of the secretive and brutal biker underworld.
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect—a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.
Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases—a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.
They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?
The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization.” Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.
What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm and human-free world. They’re the universe’s largest and most dangerous panda and they’re in trouble.
The League of Gentlewomen Witches by India Holten
Miss Charlotte Pettifer belongs to a secret league of women skilled in the subtle arts. That is to say—although it must never be said—witchcraft. The League of Gentlewomen Witches strives to improve the world in small ways. Using magic, they tidy, correct, and manipulate according to their notions of what is proper, entirely unlike those reprobates in the Wisteria Society.
When the long lost amulet of Black Beryl is discovered, it is up to Charlotte, as the future leader of the League, to make sure the powerful talisman does not fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, it is most unfortunate when she crosses paths with Alex O’Riley, a pirate who is no Mr. Darcy. With all the world scrambling after the amulet, Alex and Charlotte join forces to steal it together. If only they could keep their pickpocketing hands to themselves! If Alex’s not careful, he might just steal something else—such as Charlotte’s heart.