A good dystopian novel is also a cautionary tale. Imagine a not-so-distant future marred by environmental disaster. The country is run by religious extremists. Due to prison overcrowding, criminals are branded for their crimes by being injected with a virus that changes the color of their skin.  This chilling future, created by Hillary Jordan in When She Woke (Algonquin, $24.95) does not seem so far-fetched. Hannah has been made a “red” after committing the crime of having an abortion. In a society of religious intolerance, her crime makes her both an outcast and a target. As Hannah journeys from good girl to criminal to fugitive, she is forced to reevaluate her life, her faith, and what kind of future she wants for herself.

When She Woke: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616201937
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - September 18th, 2012

Nazi Germany remains a deep well of untold stories. With In the Garden of Beasts (Crown, $26), Erik Larson provides a fresh look at pre-war Berlin from the perspective of an “average” American family. The family in question is that of William Dodd, who accepted the post of ambassador to Germany at a time when no one else would take it. Dodd was unlike almost all other ambassadors in that he was neither rich nor from a well-known family; he was a college professor. Dodd and his family went to Germany with a certain bright-eyed naiveté: Dodd thought he could bring American reason to Nazi leaders and Margaret, his daughter, was impressed by the trappings of life in the “New Germany.” Slowly, they came to see Hitler’s Germany for what it really was.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780307408846
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - May 10th, 2011

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307408853
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Broadway Books - May 1st, 2012

Emma Donoghue’s powerful story starts with a mother and son living in an 11 x 11-foot Room (Back Bay, $14.99). Until he’s five, this space is the only world the boy, Jack, knows, and Donoghue lets him narrate what life is like with his Ma and the only other person Jack has ever known, the nocturnal visitor, Old Nick. When Jack and his mother are at last freed from their captivity, Jack’s compelling, unique voice makes the shock of discovery visceral. While Donoghue’s premise is grim, this is a story of love, endurance, and survival that’s by turns scary, insightful, and even funny. Jack is a character you won’t forget.

Room: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316098328
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 18th, 2011

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