November 6, 2021
Compassionate short stories; tested loyalties; fiction and nonfiction explorations of two great writers; and the pairing of two devoted friends and treasured Americans, who changed the face of our culture. These books take both microscopic and panoptic views of their subjects, offering exhilarating reading experiences for all tastes.
Buyer, The Center for Fiction Bookstore
Five Tuesdays in Winter
By Lily King
Published by GROVE PRESS
Lily King’s books (Euphoria, Writers & Lovers) make me think of goodness. Her characters, even if they are difficult, always feel so authentic and beloved by the author. In her first collection of stories one can see how this fine novelist can also boil a full story down to its essence in the short form. There is an old man faced with his granddaughter’s horrible condition after an accident; a middle-aged man reuniting with the college roommate he lusted after before admitting to himself he was gay; a divorced bookseller’s tender desire for an employee; and more. Many are nimbly narrated by men. All are empathetic gems.
We Are Not Like Them
By CHRISTINE PRIDE & JO PIAZZA
Published by ATRIA BOOKS
Pride (an acclaimed publishing editor) and Piazza (a seasoned journalist and bestselling writer) have collaborated on a compelling new novel that delves into the timely subject of race and police shootings with an unusual twist—told from two different perspectives of women friends. And like the authors, one protagonist is white, the other black. The propelling incident upends their lives and tests the bonds of a friendship forged in childhood, in a much different cultural climate. Over the years the authors have worked closely together as editor and writer. Their dynamic helps make this volatile novel even more fascinating..
By PAUL AUSTER
Published by HENRY HOLT
From the beautiful portrait of the subject on the book’s cover through the 800 pages of compelling prose, Auster presents a definitive account of this important American writer, a father of modernism admired by Henry James and Joseph Conrad. Beyond the classic 1895 Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage, and his brilliant stories including “The Open Boat,” Stephen Crane lived a short, tragic but prolific life until he was felled by tuberculosis before the age of thirty in 1900. Auster seems the perfect biographer, combining a life story full of dramatic adventures with astute criticism of the work Crane left behind. An awards-deserving accomplishment that joins two passionate writers.
By ALISON MACLEOD
Published by BLOOMSBURY
Another writer’s life examined, this one reimagined. Revisiting D.H. Lawrence’s 1928 novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover (the banned story of a sexually frustrated wife) we look back at 20th century censorship and the ensuing 30-year obscenity battle for publication. Macleod considers the period at the end of the author’s life when he was in exile on the Mediterranean coast via an unexpected supporter—a pre-White House Jackie Kennedy. Tenderness has all the elements of great historically based fiction, from vivid characters to resonant contemporary concerns, and it succeeds in delivering a powerful story beautifully told. Look for the forthcoming film adaptation of Lady Chatterley starring Emma Corrin of The Crown..
Renegades: Born in the USA
By BARACK OBAMA & BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Published by CROWN PUBLISHING GROUP
The gift books of the season have started pouring in—and this one is a particular triumph. Who isn’t a fan of these two extraordinary men: Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen? It seems perfect that they share a close friendship and mutual admiration. This beautifully illustrated book, including archival and original material, extends their conversations from the Higher Ground podcasts which are part of the series created by Barack and Michelle. The two legends discuss fatherhood, race, musical memories and the American Dream. A truly inspirational book.