I can’t imagine a kid on the last day of school who isn’t eager for what summer will bring. For most kids, it’ll bring a week or two of vacation or family visits. For a lucky few, there’s the whole summer spent someplace special. For Benji in Colson Whitehead’s very funny new novel, that place is Sag Harbor (Doubleday, $24.95), the enclave where the families of New York’s black professionals go. Benji and his younger brother arrive and seek out their friends. The two are thought of as a single entity, but during this summer of 1985, 15-year-old Benji states that he’s now Ben. Yet as much as he wants to declare his independence, he also wants to connect with his friends. As one of the few black kids at a Manhattan prep school, he decides it’s time to learn the latest slang, the hand jive, the newest dances. None of this is easy for Ben because he’s a geek more comfortable with playing Dungeons and Dragons than getting down. Whitehead’s great at showing how Benji navigates through the summer, from his explanation of the newest slang to his realization that the haircuts his dad has given him and his brother are lame, to his job at the waffle shop where he’s covered in more batter than his co-workers are. This is a great book for reminiscing and for laughing out loud! Happy summer!

For a lucky few kids, summer means going someplace special. For Benji in Colson Whitehead’s very funny novel, that place is Sag Harbor (Anchor, $15.95), the enclave where the families of New York’s black professionals go. Benji and his younger brother are treated as a single entity by their friends, but during this summer of 1985, 15-year-old Benji states that he’s now Ben. Yet as much as he wants to declare his independence, he also wants to connect with his friends. As one of the few black kids at a Manhattan prep school, he decides it’s time to learn the latest slang, the hand jive, the newest dances. None of this is easy for Ben because he’s a geek more comfortable with playing Dungeons and Dragons than with getting down. Whitehead shows how Benji navigates through the summer with his pals and his job at the waffle shop, where he’s always covered in more batter than his co-workers are.

Sag Harbor Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307455161
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Anchor - June 15th, 2010

An exciting debut, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24), by Wells Tower, signals the arrival of a major literary talent. These nine stories display psychological insight, compassion, wit, and unforgettable characters.  In the title piece a group of Viking marauders, tired of pillaging, longs for the comforts of home.  In another, two estranged brothers reunite at the older one’s half-built cabin, only to discover that their family bond is equally untenable.  Most of the stories here tackle the subject of middle-aged-male disillusionment, and they succeed because they are honest, sometimes funny, and always compelling.

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned: Stories Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780312429294
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - February 2nd, 2010

Putting faith in Paul Auster, the master of inventive perspectives and refracted truths, is a dangerously exhilarating proposition.  His story of innocence lost takes you around the world, across four decades, alongside all the players—and you’re still not sure whose side you’re on when it’s over.  The three rules to navigating Auster’s Invisible (Holt, $25) are: 1) don’t trust the narrator or any other characters; 2) don’t hope for a particular ending because that will ensure it won’t happen; 3) don’t believe in one Truth because everybody has his or her own version. Once you start this powerful mix of humanity and sexuality, you’re going where Auster wants to take you, and, as should be expected, it’s a dark, twisted place.  Have fun, and don’t forget the rules.

Invisible: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780312429829
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - June 22nd, 2010

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