Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
The beloved star of Friends takes us behind the scenes of the hit sitcom and his struggles with addiction in this candid, funny, and revelatory memoir that delivers a powerful message of hope and persistence.
In an extraordinary story that only he could tell―and in the heartfelt, hilarious, and warmly familiar way only he could tell it―Matthew Perry lays bare the fractured family that raised him (and also left him to his own devices), the desire for recognition that drove him to fame, and the void inside him that could not be filled even by his greatest dreams coming true. But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the ubiquity of Friends, sharing stories about his castmates and other stars he met along the way. Frank, self-aware, and with his trademark humor, Perry vividly depicts his lifelong battle with addiction and what fueled it despite seemingly having it all.
Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning
In a voice spiked with sly humor, Sylvie Pelletier recounts leaving her family’s snowbound mountain cabin to work in a manor house for the Padgetts, owners of the marble-mining company that employs her father and dominates the town. Sharp-eyed Sylvie is awed by the luxury around her; fascinated by her employer, the charming “Countess” Inge, and confused by the erratic affections of Jasper, the bookish heir to the family fortune. Her fairy-tale ideas of romance take a dark turn when she realizes the Padgetts’ lofty philosophical talk is at odds with the unfair labor practices that have enriched them. Their servants, the Gradys, formerly enslaved people, have long known this to be true and are making plans to form a utopian community on the Colorado prairie.
Outside the manor walls, the town of Moonstone is roiling with discontent. A handsome union organizer, along with labor leader Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, is stirring up the quarry workers. The editor of the local newspaper—a bold woman who takes Sylvie on as an apprentice—is publishing unflattering accounts of the Padgett Company. Sylvie navigates vastly different worlds and struggles to find her way amid conflicting loyalties. When the harsh winter brings tragedy, Sylvie must choose between silence and revenge.
The Cloisters by Katy Hays
When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.
Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.
A Restless Truth by Freya Marske
In the sequel to A Marvellous Light, Maud Blyth has always longed for adventure. She expected plenty of it when she volunteered to serve as an old lady’s companion on an ocean liner, in order to help her beloved older brother unravel a magical conspiracy that began generations ago.
What she didn’t expect was for the old lady in question to turn up dead on the first day of the voyage. Now she has to deal with a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and the lovely, dangerously outrageous Violet Debenham, who’s also returning home to England. Violet is everything that Maud has been trained to distrust yet can’t help but desire: a magician, an actress, and a magnet for scandal.
Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell
Rich socialite, inveterate flirt, and walking disaster Tennalhin Halkana can read minds. Tennal, like all neuromodified “readers,” is a security threat on his own. But when controlled, readers are a rare asset. Not only can they read minds, but they can navigate chaotic space, the maelstroms surrounding the gateway to the wider universe.
Conscripted into the military under dubious circumstances, Tennal is placed into the care of Lieutenant Surit Yeni, a duty-bound soldier, principled leader, and the son of a notorious traitor general. Whereas Tennal can read minds, Surit can influence them. Like all other neuromodified “architects,” he can impose his will onto others, and he’s under orders to control Tennal by merging their minds.
Small Game by Blair Braverman
Four strangers and six weeks: this is all that separates Mara from one life-changing payday. She was surprised when reality TV producers came knocking at Primal Instinct—the survival school where she teaches rich clients not to die during a night outdoors—and even more shocked to be cast in their new show, Civilization. Now she just has to live off the land with her fellow survivors for long enough to get the prize money.
Whisked by helicopter to an undisclosed location, Mara meets her teammates: The grizzled outdoorsman. The Eagle Scout. The white-collar professional. And Ashley, the beautiful but inexperienced one who just wants to be famous. Mara’s unusual, rugged childhood has prepared her for the discomforts and hard work ahead. But trusting her fellow survivors? Not part of Mara’s skill set.
When the cast wakes one morning to find something has gone horribly wrong, fear ripples through the group. Are the producers giving them an extra challenge? Or are they wrapped up in something more dangerous? Soon Mara and the others face terrifying decisions as “survival” becomes more than a game.
Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm
With toiletries, hairbands, and notebooks in her bag, and at her mother’s instruction, a nineteen-year-old girl leaves her parents’ home and the seaside town she grew up in. Out the train window, Rafa sees the lit-up mountains and perfect trees—and the Olympic Hotel waiting for her perched above the small village of Strega. There, she and eight other girls receive the stiff black uniforms of seasonal workers and move into their shared dorm. But while they toil constantly to perform their role and prepare the hotel for guests, none arrive. Instead, they contort themselves daily to the expectations of their strict, matronly bosses without clear purpose and, in their spare moments, escape to the herb garden, confide in each other, and quickly find solace together. Finally, the hotel is filled with people for a wild and raucous party, only for one of the girls to disappear. What follows are deeper revelations about the myths we teach young women, what we raise them to expect from the world, and whether a gentler, more beautiful life is possible.
The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson
When Maggie Banks arrives in Bell River to run her best friend’s struggling bookstore, she expects to sell bestsellers to her small-town clientele. But running a bookstore in a town with a famously bookish history isn’t easy. Bell River’s literary society insists on keeping the bookstore stuck in the past, and Maggie is banned from selling anything written this century. So, when a series of mishaps suddenly tip the bookstore toward ruin, Maggie will have to get creative to keep the shop afloat.
To help save the store, Maggie starts an underground book club, running a series of events celebrating the books readers actually love. But keeping the club quiet, selling forbidden books, and dodging the literary society is nearly impossible. Especially when Maggie unearths a town secret that could upend everything.
To Fill a Yellow House by Sussie Anie
When Kwasi’s family moves abruptly from one side of London to the other, Kwasi is both excited by the change—the new house is so big—and unsettled by his new school and the pressures placed upon him by his parents and many aunties. One place Kwasi finds refuge and inspiration is the Chest of Small Wonders, an eclectic and run-down charity shop on the high street.
Rupert has run the Chest for decades, but since his wife’s death several years before, he has struggled to keep their dreams for the shop alive. These days, fewer people shop second-hand, the Chest has become a depository for unwanted possessions, and Rupert is indulging more and more in herbal and perhaps-not-so-legal teas.
As Kwasi spends time in the Chest, an unexpected friendship develops between man and boy, a relationship that gives each a new sense of belonging. But the community and high street are changing, and when local politics threaten to engulf the Chest, both Kwasi and Rupert must decide who their allies are and where their futures lie.
Toad by Katherine Dunn
Sally Gunnar has been in love, has been mad, has been an agent of destruction, has been spurned; and now she has retreated from the world. She lives in isolation in her small house, where her only companions are a vase of goldfish, a garden toad, and the door-to-door salesman who sells her cleaning supplies once a month. From her comfortable perch, she broods over her deepest regrets: her wayward, weed-hazy college days; her blighted romance with a scornful poet; a tragically comic accident involving a paper cutter; a suicide attempt; and her decision to ultimately relinquish a conventional life.
White Horse by Erika T. Wurth
Kari James, Urban Native, is a fan of heavy metal, ripped jeans, Stephen King novels, and dive bars. She spends most of her time at her favorite spot in Denver, the White Horse. When her cousin Debby finds an old family bracelet that once belonged to Kari’s mother, it inadvertently calls up both her mother’s ghost and a monstrous entity, and her willful ignorance about her past is no longer sustainable…
Haunted by visions of her mother and hunted by this mysterious creature, Kari must search for what happened to her mother all those years ago. Her father, permanently disabled from a car crash, can’t help her. Her Auntie Squeaker seems to know something but isn’t eager to give it all up at once. Debby’s anxious to help, but her controlling husband keeps getting in the way. Kari’s journey toward a truth long denied by both her family and law enforcement forces her to confront her dysfunctional relationships, thoughts about a friend she lost in childhood, and her desire for the one thing she’s always wanted but could never have.