Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What We're Recommending - 6/26

Our staff rec shelves in-store are populated with a variety of titles - new and old - and while they're best experienced in person, they can also be browsed online. There's been a wave of new releases landing this week, and in previous weeks, that we're excited about. Here's a round-up of the latest in bookseller recs (excluding upcoming events, which we'll round up in another post).

$25.95, hardcover

Tallula Rising by Glen Duncan
"In this much anticipated sequel to The Last Werewolf, Glen Duncan takes us on a quick and dirty trip through the supernatural world where Talulla has been left alone, mourning her lover Jake, and pregnant with his offspring. Talulla is a mother searching for her lost child, but she also has the unfortunate habit of turning into an animal when the moon is full. A vicious, bloodthirsty, killing machine, when she is not ripping out throats, Talulla is delightfully human-- cunning, sarcastic, quick thinking, and alternatively mourning her dead lover, Jake, and cursing him for leaving her. I am looking forward to the third and final book in the series."

$26, hardcover; $12.99 eBook

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
"A young girl wakes up one Saturday morning to news reports that the Earth's rotation is slowing down. As the initial panic subsides, days and nights stretch ever longer, and humanity struggles to adapt, eleven-year-old Julia narrates the story of her adolescence in a California suburb. The Age of Miracles is a striking debut novel that examines the yearning, despair, and hope of coming of age during an uncertain time."

“The end of the world does not come with a bang but with a whisper in Walker’s wonderful debut novel. Earth’s rotation is slowing, the days are becoming longer, gravity mutates, radiation spikes, but still, life must go on. The narrator is 12-year-old Julia, and she chronicles everything she sees happening in the world around her, from shock and panic to people desperate to maintain normal routines. This is not a flashy, bombastic, apocalyptic novel, but rather the story of how a family manages through unimaginable circumstances.”

$15.99, paperback; $12.99 eBook

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
"The strength of Livesey's writing is how seamlessly the 19th-century classic Jane Eyre is ramped up into a mid-20th century modern tale of Gemma Hardy. Both are women seeking independence, yet a century apart...same story, different clothes! Read as homage to a classic or as variation on theme. And cherish the stunning use of nature imagery!"

$27, hardcover; $13.99 eBook

Superman!: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye
"There really isn't anything new one can say about the man of steel, but it's how Tye says it that makes this book so fun. A vigorously written culture study sure to please the history/comic book fan!"

$14.95, paperback

Inukshuk by Gregory Spatz
"Thomas believes his family is descended from the Franklins of the Franklin expedition, and he is constantly imagining a movie. His father also disconnects in other more adult ways. A powerful tale of a father and son struggling through despair and loss."

$25, hardcover; $12.99 eBook

The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
"At an American military outpost in Kandahar Province, a group of men (and one woman) are being held hostage--by their individual experiences, beliefs, prejudices, and philosophies. For all their best intentions, what they face is unprecedented--not only the woman who waits outside their gates, refusing to leave--but also the harsh realities of a war that even the most seasoned veteran doesn't quite understand. What happens over the course of only a few days is brought forth through the shifting realities and dreams of these young men. When strong winds stir up Afghan sands, it can be impossible to see what is right in front of you. And, when the dust has settled, what has been laid to waste will be your own heart."

$25, hardcover; $12.99 eBook

Amped by Daniel Wilson
"In the not-so-distant future, debilitating mental problems have been cured by electronic implants. When implanted individuals - called Amps - start becoming stronger and smarter than normal people, however, legislation comes down on them. Now legally second-class citizens, things quickly spiral out of control. Smart, sleek, and every enjoyable. A Crichton-esque thrill ride!"

$26.99, hardcover; $13.99 eBook

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum
"We've all come to think of the internet as being an amorphous place, best represented by the cloud so popular in current marketing. But Andrew Blum, a correspondent for Wired magazine, shows that it a very physical place indeed. Traveling to the switching stations, data centers, and fiber optic cables that traverse the globe, he shows the incremental changes that built upon television and cable TV wiring, but go back further, using the routes of trains and freighters to determine pathways. And of course it all combines with computer science, physics, and half a dozen disciplines I don't understand, but fortunately, that didn't get in the way of my reading. Blum's journey even docks in Milwaukee, on a side visit a regional switching center (unlike things like data centers, these were often unplanned) in an old office building on Wisconsin Avenue while ostensibly here to see a giant printing press on the northwest side print out maps of the internet that are sold for several hundred dollars apiece. A fascinating look at an industry that deals in trust, despite a natural inclination for obsessive secrecy."

$14.95, paperback

Understories by Tim Horvath
"Horvath's stories simultaneously stimulate the intellect while being fantastically imaginative. Contemporary urban life is examined through the looking glass, twisted slightly but still entirely recognizable and relatable. His images imprint, linger and the characters balance on the fine edge of what is real and what is imagined. This is memorable stuff."

$18.99, hardcover

Bike Tribes: A Field Guide to North American Cyclists by Mike Magnuson
"Most of us may only know the roadies (pg. 113) or the hipsters (pg.183), but there's so much more to the biking world than spandex and skinny tires, or fixies and messenger bags. Magnuson introduces the uninitiated and the cogged alike to a fascinating cast of biking characters in varying degrees, from Rando, to three different types of commuters, to the small shop owner (Ed!). Far from just a field guide, Magnuson crafts narratives for each character, interweaving many of the storylines. Wait until you see what happens when the Occasionally Dirty meet up the Weekend Mountain Biker on the trail!"

$27.95, hardcover

Against Wind and Tide: Letters and Journals, 1947-1986 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
"When her early journals were published years ago, I read them all and loved them. This collection from her life after WWII is fascinating as well. What an amazing and complicated life she had!"