Lucky Us - Amy Bloom

Amy Bloom is very much at the height of her storytelling powers with her latest novel, Lucky Us (Random House, $26). Bloom deftly spins the tale of two half-sisters, Eva and Iris, in the 1940s who are introduced to each other in less-than-ideal circumstances. After her mother drops her off on her father’s doorstep like a package, the thirteen-going-on-thirty Eva meets her older sister, Iris, who takes one look at her and sets out to make the most of an unwanted younger sibling. When Iris decides it’s time to leave their less-than-moral father behind, she and Eva embark on a series of misadventures that take them from Hollywood to London. With clean, clear prose, Bloom unfolds the sisters’ off-kilter bond and conveys a deep empathy for these two determined and complicated young ladies, who continually redefine what family could and should be. It’s a delightful read that goes by far too fast

Lucky Us: A Novel By Amy Bloom Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812978940
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 7th, 2015

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

With her fourth novel, Emily St. John Mandel turns her craft to a post-plague future in which a wandering troupe of Shakespearean actors and musicians, the Traveling Symphony, preserves the cultural knowledge of civilization while scavenging for relics in abandoned towns and providing a link among disparate surviving communities. Station Eleven (Knopf, $24.95) portrays their daily effort to protect what is good and valuable in the midst of hostility, despotism, and insanity. The book asks how our origins determine our course and purpose in life and whether force, coercion, and fear—or art, imagination, and human decency—will save us. This is masterful and life-affirming fiction.

Station Eleven: A novel By Emily St. John Mandel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385353304
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - September 9th, 2014

Station Eleven By Emily St. John Mandel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804172448
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2015

The Complete Cosmicomics - Italo Calvino, William Weaver, Tim Parks

In this comprehensive collection of Italo Calvino’s hybrid series, The Complete Cosmicomics (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24), the happy-go-lucky narrator is present at the creation of the universe, survives the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period, and spends the better part of cosmic history gambling on the outcomes of random events. And his name is unpronounceable: Qfwfq. Short punchy sections front-load this collection, with “Distance from the Moon,” “A Sign in Space,” and especially “Without Colours”; these stories lead off with an exuberance that filters through the volume, even as Calvino’s writing and storytelling matures into more elaborate conceptual prose (one story takes place on the cellular level, and another unfolds in a single instant of time). Consistent first to last, however, are the comical, naive personas that, in a way, undercut the scientific and cosmic themes. Almost everything is personified, and almost nothing lacks an engaging, slightly bumbling nature, evoking the randomness with which cosmic events take place. As a whole, Calvino’s cosmology is creative and wondrous, unlike anything else you’ll read.