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COVER TO COVER

Cover to Cover is a quarterly P&P Staff Pick, the book we’ve all been reading & recommend, cover to cover.

Richard McGuire's Here is a wizardly mix of visual experiment, narrative acrobatics, and an exhibition of the power of the comic medium to tell a story spanning hundreds of millions of years–and yet treats the moment of a lover's caress, a father's comforting words or the simple tragedies of our everyday lives with poetic weight and an elegant storyteller's timing. READ MORE

Here (Hardcover)

$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780375406508
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon, 10/2014

Pat's

Literary

Top 5

  1. Crime Novels & Historical Fiction
  2. Cultural Analysis & Connections
  3. Film History, Analysis & How-To
  4. The Creative Process
  5. Sentiment > Sentimentality

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If Marvin Gaye was asking “What’s Going On” then it was Gil Scott-Heron that answered it emphatically and with great detail. In his inimitable sing-speak, proto-rap jazz-funk on songs such as “The Bottle”, “Lady Day and John Coltrane”, “H20Gate Blues”, “Johannesburg”, “B Movie” “New York is Killing Me” and, of course, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” to name but a few he took the world on, broke it down and crystallized its madness. Though Scott-Heron has written a memoir along with his novels, poetry and albums, this book allows his friends like Stevie Wonder, collaborators like Brian Jackson and admirers like Chuck D to speak about the man, his work and his lasting influence on art, activism and the spoken word.
   Pat
$26.99
ISBN-13: 9781250012784
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press, 11/2014

Music

Hannah's

Literary

Top 5

  1. Mystery
  2. Drama
  3. History
  4. Fantasy/Kids
  5. “Classics”

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When established brands decide to "diversify", the results are usually disastrously insincere. So I greeted Marvel's announcement of their intention to re-launch Ms. Marvel with a Muslim teenage girl as the title hero with some skepticism. But the comic itself has more than won me over. Kamala Khan, a Pakistani- American, has the devoted fandom of a true believer when it comes to The Avengers, especially Captain Marvel. When she decides to be "normal" for a night and defies her family rules she discovers two things: 1. "normal" kids value her as a token trophy instead of a person and 2. that she has inhuman genes allowing her to shape shift. Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 is drawn in bold colors and the lines are sharp but scratchy, like a hand had something to do with the process. The style overall is referential to the late 80s, early 90s comics I grew up on. Ms. Marvel continues to evolve and complicate as Kamala struggles with labels, beliefs, expectations, and her newfound responsibility. Enjoy this current iteration of a classic coming of age comic.

   Hannah
$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780785190226
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Marvel, 3/2015

Graphic Novels & Comics

Alan's

Literary

Top 5

  1. DC-Area Playwrights!
  2. Tony Horwitz
  3. Bertrand Russell
  4. Sherman Alexie
  5. Orson Scott Card T Cooper

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If Graham Greene were writing his boozy, pointed, and insect-infested thrillers in a post-9/11 world, they would be like The Laughing Monsters (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25). The novel tells the story of a veteran spy with fluid affiliations and fickle loyalties attempting to monetize instability in Central Africa. Operating in a socio-political atmosphere defined by sectarian interests and a War on Terror, Denis Johnson’s spy must navigate both this new paradigm and his feelings for his partner/target/fixer’s fiancée. As in his previous work, notably Tree of Smoke and Train Dreams, Johnson demonstrates lyricism and emotional agility, coupling his elegant prose with a plot soaked in grimy realism. The Laughing Monsters provokes as it entertains; this is a literary journey not to be missed.
Alan
$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780374280598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 11/2014

 
2014 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Overseas

Laurie's

Literary

Top 5

  1. Poetry
  2. Genre-defying books
  3. NYRB Classics
  4. Art Exhibit Catalogs
  5. Remainders

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Mockett, Japanese-American, considers herself Western, but she turned to her Eastern roots for a way to lay her father’s ghost to rest. Concerned that she still hadn’t “let go” three years after his death, Mockett undertook a spiritual pilgrimage that turned into repeated, extended stays in Japan. Her writing vividly evokes landscapes, but Mockett is no tourist; rather than travelogue, or even memoir, her engaging book might be subtitled “why spiritual practice matters,” as Mockett participates in Japan’s many rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations relating to the dead. Whether visiting temples, burial grounds, crematoria, or even Mount Doom—and especially in her rich discussions with monks, priests, and pilgrims—Mockett gleans insight about the past and present roles of religious observance in Japan. How does all this help her mourn? Particularly in the tsunami-ravaged regions, Mockett sees that she’s never alone in her grief and, more important, she stops striving for closure and learns that there are correct ways and times to say farewell to the dead—until it’s time to greet them again during their annual visits to the living.
Laurie
$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780393063011
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 1/2015

Memoirs

Anton's

Literary

Top 5

  1. science fiction and fantasy
  2. Russia, USSR, and the Cold War
  3. Buddhism and meditation
  4. learning live, dead, or simply unconscious languages
  5. bacon! (the presence of an exclamation mark can either mean I am excited about bacon, or it can indicate that this is the factorial function of bacon—you decide).

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If you're feeling nostalgic for adventure stories, pick up A Darkling Sea. This first contact novel is set on a Europa-esque watery moon and populated with amazing alien species. It's a fantastic mix of political shenanigans, cultural miscommunication, scientific exploration, imbued with a sense of curiosity and wonder.
Anton

A Darkling Sea (Paperback)

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780765336286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books, 2/2015

Science Fiction

Mark L's

Literary

Top 5

  1. Books complex or confounding enough to spur discussion
  2. Literary fiction, whatever that means
  3. Cookbooks and foodie books
  4. Discovering new voices—poetry and prose—fiction and non
  5. Denis Johnson, Barry Hannah and other mad scientists

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In addition to her Cromwell novels, both of which focus on the same protagonist, Hilary Mantel’s work shows off a range of styles and a rich diversity of subjects. Consistent throughout, however, is a commitment to quality. Her new collection of short fiction, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (Holt, $27), is as dazzling as her previous work. The opening story, “Sorry to Disturb,” is a complex sketch of an English woman living in Saudi Arabia. She is frustrated and bored by the strictures of Saudi customs and the complications that arise when simple courtesy encourages unwanted advances. The story “How Shall I Know You?” recounts the overnight adventure of an author who agrees to speak before a neighborhood literary society; Mantel describes how expectations crash into reality with very funny results. These fictions are rich in predicament and flawless in execution.
Mark L.
$27.00
ISBN-13: 9781627792103
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co., 9/2014

2014 Holiday Newsletter, Electrifying Short Fiction, Fiction