Presenting our 2017 Summer Newsletter
The sun is shining, the mercury rising… it must be summertime! To help you make those tough decisions about what to bring on that beach getaway, check out these novels now available as weight limit-friendly paperbacks. You’ll find these and more recommended in our new Summer Newsletter, featuring 56 titles chosen by the staff of P&P. Grab your copy in-store today!
We all know the summer-in-the-city clichés. Open fire hydrants, ice cream trucks, the sexy kind of sweat. There’s a bit of that in Another Brooklyn, sure, but the true heat in this book is emotional. Jacqueline Woodson writes friendship better than just about anyone. It only takes her a second to show how much her characters adore each other, how loyal to each other they are. Woodson is a poet as well as a prose writer, and she knows how to make a few words pack a punch. You’ll want to linger over each scene, and when the book is done, you’ll be tempted to go right back to the beginning. And why not? It’s the start of summer, and there’s something about Another Brooklyn that makes you feel like you’ve got all the time in the world.
In Thorpe’s well-paced and enjoyable novel, Lucas and his 17-year old daughter Vera take a trip to Vilnius, Lithuania in the summer before her senior year of high school. Vera was diagnosed with bipolar illness the previous year and is floundering due to the side effects of her medications. On the trip Lucas hopes to learn more about his grandmother’s past — she fought with the partisans against the Nazis before later emigrating to the U.S. — while lifting his daughter’s spirits. The historically contested ground of Vilnius provides a unique backdrop for this tale of the complicated ties that bind us to our families, and the difficulties faced by teenagers suffering from mental illness.
The title of Manyika’s warm, glowing novel sounds like a Nigerian folk saying, but it comes from Mary Ruefle’s poem, “Donkey On,” which ends with the speaker getting from the Lord a “private year.” Her “only question is how to spend it,” and as she puts off the decision, the gift, like all time, melts away. For Manyika’s aging protagonist, time may well be running out, but Morayo Da Silva, a retired Nigerian English professor about to turn 75, is as indomitable, mischievous, and utterly charming. If you aren’t smitten with this character on the first page, you will be by the second, as she surveys her tribe of books and her “magnifique” view of San Francisco. Morayo delights in everything around her: colors, neighbors, flowers, the past — and the future. Her world is vivid and sensuous. Just getting dressed, she savors “the smell of Lagos markets” woven into the cotton, inhaling “diesel fumes, hot palm oil, burning firewood.” She arranges her books according to which ones “should talk to each other.” She endows her beloved car — her freedom — with the nickname her mother gave her as a child. Then she falls. Her broken hip still doesn’t stop her, nor does the racism and sexism she encounters. She is truly one of a kind, wise and compassionate, with an expansive, infectious spirit that dances across every page of this beautiful book.
Reading Fuminori Nakamura’s crime fiction is like having your face blasted repeatedly with ice water, as shocking as it is cleansing. In this episode, a woman masquerades as a high-end sex worker to provide blackmail fodder to a mysterious employer, who is himself hunted by an even more shadowy and ominous underworld figure. As she moves closer to the heart of economic, political, and sexual darkness, her attempts to extricate herself from this life become a harrowing search for desire and individuality free from corruption. This is suspense writing at its tautest and most philosophical.
Engel’s new novel is set in south Florida and begins with a disquieting series of events revolving around the murder of a child and the emotional and psychological impact the crime has on successive generations of a working-class Latino family. The story evolves into an exploration of the poignancy of love — familial and romantic — with powerful subtexts about the criminal justice system, immigration, environmental degradation, and even the rights of marine mammals held in captivity. This lushly-written novel brims with emotion and explains why Engel is a rising and much needed voice in American literary fiction.
If this has piqued your interest, come on in and grab a copy of our newsletter or peruse the web version. We hope this will help you get your read on!