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Week of May 13, 2019

New in Paperback

Week of May 13, 2019

Paperback releases for the week of May 13th include James Patterson’s TARGET: ALEX CROSS, which finds Alex Cross leading an investigation into a series of assassinations that runs so long and deep that a constitutional crisis occurs; AN UNWANTED GUEST, a twisty psychological thriller from Shari Lapena about a weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge that is supposed to be the perfect getaway...but when a storm hits, no one is getting away; ROBIN, New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff's definitive biography of Robin Williams --- a compelling portrait of one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood entertainers; and THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS by John Connolly, in which Private Investigator Charlie Parker is hired to track down the identity of a dead woman --- who apparently died in childbirth --- and her missing child.

Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York by Stacy Horn - History

May 14, 2019

Conceived as the most modern, humane incarceration facility the world had ever seen, New York’s Blackwell’s Island, site of a lunatic asylum, two prisons, an almshouse and a number of hospitals, quickly became, in the words of a visiting Charles Dickens, "a lounging, listless madhouse." Digging through city records, newspaper articles and archival reports, Stacy Horn tells a gripping narrative through the voices of the island’s inhabitants. We also hear from the era’s officials, reformers and journalists, including the celebrated undercover reporter Nellie Bly. DAMNATION ISLAND shows how far we’ve come in caring for the least fortunate among us --- and reminds us how much work still remains.

The Desert Sky Before Us by Anne Valente - Fiction

May 14, 2019

When Billie is released from a correctional facility in Decatur, her sister Rhiannon is there to meet her. Painful secrets and numerous unspoken betrayals linger between them --- but most agonizing is the sudden passing of their mother, a renowned paleontologist. Rhiannon and Billie must overcome their differences as they set off on a road trip west, following the breadcrumb-trail of their late mother’s scavenger hunt, a sort of second funeral she planned in her final days. The sisters know the trail will end in Utah at the famous Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry, where their mother spent her career researching dinosaur fossils. But the seemingly endless days on the road soon take their toll, forcing Rhiannon and Billie to confront their hostilities and revisit old memories --- both good and bad.

Figures in a Landscape: People and Places by Paul Theroux - Travel/Essays

May 14, 2019

Paul Theroux’s latest collection of essays leads the reader through a dazzling array of sights, characters and experiences, as Theroux applies his signature searching curiosity to a life lived as much in reading as on the road. Travel essays take us to Ecuador, Zimbabwe and Hawaii, to name a few. Gems of literary criticism reveal fascinating depth in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad and Hunter Thompson. And in a series of breathtakingly personal profiles, we take a helicopter ride with Elizabeth Taylor, go surfing with Oliver Sacks, eavesdrop on the day-to-day life of a Manhattan dominatrix, and explore New York with Robin Williams.

Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding - Psychological Thriller

May 14, 2019

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat. A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before. Until she meets Kate Randolph. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart. Because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.

The High Season by Judy Blundell - Fiction

May 14, 2019

In a beach town overrun with vacationers and newly colonized by socialites, Ruthie Beamish will go to extreme lengths when the life she loves is upended. Ruthie's house is her nest egg, recently renovated and located by the sea in a quiet village two ferry rides from the glitzier Hamptons. But to afford the house, she must rent it during the summer --- and this year to Adeline Clay, who is elegant, connected and accompanied by a “gorgeous satellite” stepson. Adeline forces herself into Ruthie's life, and when she's on the verge of losing everything, Ruthie discovers a new talent for pushing back. Nothing will be the same.

Life of David Hockney written by Catherine Cusset, translated by Teresa Fagan - Fiction

May 14, 2019

Born in 1937 in a small town in the north of England, David Hockney had to fight to become an artist. After leaving his home in Bradford for the Royal College of Art in London, his career flourished, but he continued to struggle with a sense of not belonging, because of his homosexuality, which had yet to be decriminalized, and his inclination for a figurative style of art not sufficiently “contemporary” to be valued. Trips to New York and California --- where he would live for many years and paint his iconic swimming pools --- introduced him to new scenes and new loves, beginning a journey that would take him through the fraught years of the AIDS epidemic.

Limelight by Amy Poeppel - Fiction/Humor

May 14, 2019

Allison Brinkley discovers that a carefully weighed decision to pack up and move her family from suburban Dallas to the glittery chaos of Manhattan may have been more complicated than she and her husband initially thought. After a humiliating call from the principal’s office and the loss of the job she was counting on, Allison begins to accept that New York may not suit her after all. When Allison has a fender-bender, she is led to the penthouse apartment of a luxurious Central Park West building and encounters Carter Reid, a famous pop star who has been cast in a new Broadway musical. Through this brush with stardom, Allison embraces a unique and unexpected opportunity that helps her find her way in the heart of Manhattan.

Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life by Amanda Stern - Memoir

May 14, 2019

Growing up in the 1970s and ’80s in New York, Amanda Stern experiences the magic and madness of life through the filter of unrelenting panic. Plagued with fear that her friends and family will be taken from her if she's not watching, Amanda treats every parting as her last. Shuttled between a barefoot bohemian life with her mother in Greenwich Village, and a sanitized, stricter world of affluence uptown with her father, Amanda has little she can depend on. And when Etan Patz disappears down the block from their MacDougal Street home, she can't help but believe that all her worst fears are about to come true.

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding by Wendy Wax - Fiction

May 14, 2019

Prized and stored away for safekeeping, the timeless ivory wedding dress sits gently folded in its box. To Kendra, Brianna and Lauren, it’s a reminder of what could have been. Once closer than sisters, Lauren and Bree have grown up and grown apart. A successful author, Lauren returns home to the Outer Banks, fiancé in tow, to claim the dress she never thought she’d wear. Bree, a bookstore owner, grapples with the realities of life after you marry the handsome prince. Now on the eve of her daughter Lauren’s wedding, Kendra struggles with a secret she’s kept for far too long. And vows to make sure the dress will finally bring Lauren and Bree back together --- knowing they'll need each other to survive the coming storm.

Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax - Science Fiction

May 14, 2019

In 2029, Angelica Navarro, a Filipina nurse, works as caretaker for Sayoko Itou, who is about to turn 100 years old. One day, Sayoko receives a cutting-edge robot “friend” that will teach itself to anticipate Sayoko’s every need. Angelica wonders if she is about to be forced out of her much-needed job by an inanimate object --- one with a preternatural ability to uncover the most deeply buried secrets of the humans around it. The old woman has been hiding secrets of her own for almost a century. What she reveals is a hundred-year saga of forbidden love, hidden identities, and the horrific legacy of WWII and Japanese colonialism --- a confession that will tear apart her own life and Angelica’s.

Robin by Dave Itzkoff - Biography

May 14, 2019

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in “Mork & Mindy” and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations --- all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed. But as Dave Itzkoff shows in this revelatory biography, Williams’ comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt.

Target: Alex Cross by James Patterson - Thriller

May 14, 2019

A leader has fallen, and Alex Cross joins the procession of mourners from Capitol Hill to the White House. Then a sniper's bullet strikes a target in the heart of DC. Alex Cross' wife, Bree Stone, newly elevated chief of DC detectives, must solve the case or lose her position. The Secret Service and the FBI deploy as well in the race to find the shooter. Alex is tasked by the new President to lead an investigation unprecedented in scale and scope. But is the sniper's strike only the beginning of a larger attack on the nation?

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena - Psychological Thriller

May 14, 2019

It's winter in the Catskills, and Mitchell's Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing weekend away. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity --- and all contact with the outside world --- the guests settle in for the long haul. Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead --- it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic. Within the snowed-in paradise, something --- or someone --- is picking off the guests one by one. And there's nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm --- and one another.

Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard - Historical Fiction

May 14, 2019

On a humid summer day, the phones begin to ring: disaster has struck. Chateau de Sully, a Boeing 707 chartered to ferry home more than 100 of Atlanta’s most prominent citizens from a European jaunt, crashed in Paris shortly after takeoff. Overnight, the city of Atlanta changes. Left behind are children, spouses, lovers and friends faced with renegotiating their lives --- the hedonism of the ’60s and the urgency of the civil rights movement at the city’s doorstep.

We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed - Fiction

May 14, 2019

Sol and Liz are a couple on the cusp. He’s a professional cyclist in the Tour de France, a workhorse but not yet a star. She’s a geneticist on the brink of a major discovery, either that or a loss of funding. They’ve just welcomed their first child into the world, and their bright future lies just before them --- if only they can reach out and grab it. But as Liz’s research slows, as Sol starts doping, their dreams grow murkier and the risks graver. Over the whirlwind course of the Tour, they enter the orbit of an extraordinary cast of conmen and aspirants, who draw the young family ineluctably into the depths of an illegal drug smuggling operation.

West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express by Jim DeFelice - History

May 14, 2019

On the eve of the Civil War, three American businessmen launched an audacious plan to create a financial empire by transforming communications across the hostile territory between the nation’s two coasts. In the process, they created one of the most enduring icons of the American West: the Pony Express. Daring young men galloped over a vast and unforgiving landscape, etching an irresistible tale that passed into myth almost instantly. Equally an improbable success and a business disaster, the Pony Express came and went in just 18 months, but not before uniting and captivating a nation on the brink of being torn apart. WEST LIKE LIGHTNING is the first major history of the Pony Express to put its birth, life and legacy into the full context of the American story.

The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly - Mystery/Thriller

May 14, 2019

In the beautiful Maine woods, a partly preserved body is discovered. Investigators realize that the dead young woman gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby. Private detective Charlie Parker is hired by a lawyer to shadow the police investigation and find the infant, but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in much more than a missing child…someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake. And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring and a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.

You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks - Psychological Thriller

May 14, 2019

Merry, Sam and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores the domestic life. Sam, formerly an academic, is pursuing a new career as a filmmaker. When Merry's childhood friend Frank visits their Swedish paradise, she immediately becomes part of the family. She befriends the neighbors, and even finds herself embracing the domesticity she's always seemed to scorn. All their lives, Frank and Merry have been more like sisters than best friends. And that's why Frank soon sees the things others might miss --- treacherous things, which are almost impossible to believe when looking at this perfect family. But Frank, of all people, knows that the truth is rarely what you want the world to see.