In River of Stars (Roc, $26.95) Guy Gavriel Kay returns to Kitai, a country like China, which was the setting for his earlier novel, Under Heaven. But now this grand empire is in trouble. Trade roads are closed off, civil unrest is on the rise, invaders are at the gates, and the former capital is in ruins. The fates of two characters, Ren Daiyan, a warrior, and Lin Shan, a songwriter and calligrapher, are inextricably bound with that of the empire. River of Stars is a magnificent exploration of destiny and the ability of a single individual to change the course of history. Kay once again proves himself a master of subtle dialogue and delicate phrasing, handling multiple characters and a complex plot with grace. This sweeping epic from the best fantasist in the genre reads like a poem.

River of Stars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451464972
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Ace - April 2nd, 2013

River of Stars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451416094
Availability: Backordered
Published: Berkley - April 1st, 2014

As you read Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, you start to wonder: is it a novel, a primer on Japanese pop culture, or an introduction to Zen Buddhism? A novelist on a beach in British Columbia finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox that contains a diary, letters, and an old watch. The diary is written by a suicidal girl in Tokyo who is writing about being bullied at school and about her family, in particular her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun. A Tale for the Time Being is a book of many layers. It is both a fictional narrative and a meditation on the nature of time, death, and what it means to call a place home. If you enjoy your fiction with a sprinkling of magical realism, history, philosophy, or quantum physics (and maybe a few footnotes here and there!), A Tale for the Time Being should definitely end up in your to-read stack.

A Tale for the Time Being Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670026630
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - March 12th, 2013

A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143124870
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

This is George R. R. Martin before he became famous for Game of Thrones. Journalist Sandy Blair investigates a brutal murder of a former manager of a 60s band called the Nazgûl, while another man is trying to reunite the Nazgûl for a disturbing and dark purpose. It is part supernatural mystery, part ode to the 60s and its counterculture. Most novels about music fail miserably, because it is so hard to put sound down on paper. But Martin does this beautifully, and you can almost hear the music in your head. If you’ve only read Martin’s Game of Thrones series, definitely pick up Armageddon Rag. It is one of Martin’s more unusual novels, and it truly shows how versatile a writer he is.
The Armageddon Rag: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553383072
Availability: Backordered
Published: Bantam - January 30th, 2007