Murder, intrigue, owls, creative sparks, hopes, desires and mac + cheese

New Books - Jan 16 (2)

Here are our recent new book arrivals. It’s the perfect kind of day for sneaking a book under a blanket and not coming out until it’s done – the hard part’s deciding which one…

– “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

– “Mistress” by James Patterson
James Patterson’s scariest, sexiest stand-alone thriller since The Quickie.

Ben isn’t like most people. Unable to control his racing thoughts, he’s a man consumed by his obsessions: movies, motorcycles, presidential trivia-and Diana Hotchkiss, a beautiful woman Ben knows he can never have. When Diana is found dead outside her apartment, Ben’s infatuation drives him on a hunt to find out what happened to the love of his life. Ben soon discovers that the woman he pined for was hiding a shocking double life. And now someone is out to stop Ben from uncovering the truth about Diana’s illicit affairs. In his most heart-pumping thriller yet, James Patterson plunges us into the depths of a mind tortured by paranoia and obsession, on an action-packed chase through a world of danger and deceit.

– “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” by David Sedardis (a Backbeat bestseller!)
A guy walks into a bar car and…

From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humor and intelligence and leave you deeply moved.

Sedaris remembers his father’s dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy.

With Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris shows once again why his work has been called “hilarious, elegant, and surprisingly moving” (Washington Post).

– “Change Your Mind: 57 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Self” by Rod Judkins
Everyone wants to be more creative. Being creative makes life more fun and interesting. But many believe the common misconception that creativity is something you are born with and others can only envy. In Change Your Mind, Rod Judkins reveals that ‘creative’ people are no more creative than the rest of us. Rather, their gift is that they believe they are creative, and because of this, they are. Many of these people lack traditional artistic abilities (Francis Bacon couldn’t draw, so he didn’t; Andy Warhol couldn’t paint, so he didn’t) but that doesn’t stop them from thinking of themselves as creative. This self-belief accounts for 90 percent of their success. Creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and benefit from, whether you’re trying to start your own business, write music, come up with new ideas at work or just change your way of looking at the world. Follow theses 57 insider tips, which include nuggets of wisdom such as the importance of focus, why you should never wait for inspiration and how you should always turn a failure into success. With real-life insights into the minds of writers, artists and musicians, from Picasso to Paul McCartney, Change Your Mind will unlock the creative genius you always knew you were.

– “Virginia Wolf” by Kyo Maclear
Vanessa’s sister, Virginia, is in a “wolfish” mood — growling, howling and acting very strange. It’s a funk so fierce, the whole household feels topsy-turvy. Vanessa tries everything she can think of to cheer her up, but nothing seems to work. Then Virginia tells Vanessa about an imaginary, perfect place called Bloomsberry. Armed with an idea, Vanessa begins to paint Bloomsberry on the bedroom walls, transforming them into a beautiful garden complete with a ladder and swing “so that what was down could climb up.” Before long, Virginia, too, has picked up a brush and undergoes a surprising transformation of her own. Loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, Virginia Wolf is an uplifting story for readers of all ages.

– “Come Barbarians” by Todd Babiak
In the south of France, a man trying to leave his past behind is caught in a shadowy web of political ambition and violence.

Christopher Kruse has moved to the south of France with his wife and daughter to become a better man—to escape his past as a high-priced security agent and his guilt over old wrongs. But when death comes crashing into their newly idyllic life, the Kruses find themselves drawn into a web of political gamesmanship and murder. When his wife disappears, Christopher must draw on his old instincts to find her, ahead of the police and two sinister members of a Corsican crime family. As Christopher’s desperate search leads him closer to his wife, it pulls him deeper into the dangerous machinations of the most powerful leaders in the country.

Come Barbarians is a gripping novel of murder, revenge and high stakes, balanced by moments of love, loyalty and loss. Todd Babiak has created a complex, magnetic character forced to confront his bleakest hour and his darkest impulses.

– “The First Bad Man” by Miranda July
From the acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and bestselling author of “No One Belongs Here More Than You,” a spectacular debut novel that is so heartbreaking, so dirty, so tender, so funny–so Miranda July–readers will be blown away.

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women’s self-defense non-profit where she works. She believes they’ve been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one.

When Cheryl’s bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter Clee can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl’s eccentrically-ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee–the selfish, cruel blond bombshell–who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.

Tender, gripping, slyly hilarious, infused with raging sexual fantasies and fierce maternal love, Miranda July’s first novel confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic and important voice today, and a writer for all time. “The First Bad Man” is dazzling, disorienting, and unforgettable.

– “The Mac + Cheese Cookbook: 50 Simple Recipes from Homeroom, America’s Favorite Mac and Cheese Restaurant” by Allison Arevalo & Erin Wade
A fun and playful cookbook featuring retro, decadent, and kid-friendly mac-and-cheese recipes from the popular Oakland restaurant Homeroom.

Think Outside the Box!
Macaroni and cheese is one of America’s favorite comfort foods, beloved by kids and adults alike. But there’s no need to rely on prefab mixes—all you need is a handful of kitchen staples, some tasty cheese, and a little insider advice courtesy of Homeroom restaurant. This perennially popular Oakland, California, eatery—with its entire menu devoted to mac and cheese—now shares its secrets for the best-ever mac recipes.

These inventive dishes offer something for everyone: nostalgic homestyle recipes like Tuna Mac, international varieties like Sriracha Mac, decadent delights like Truffle Mac, and even the logic-defying Vegan Mac. You’ll also find recipes for quick veggie sides like Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and old-school desserts like frozen Peanut Butter Pie. With a basics section on perfecting mac sauce, choosing the best noodles, and customizing add-ins and toppings, plus an emphasis on quality ingredients and simple techniques, this fun, playful cookbook shows cheese-loving readers how to take this comfort-food staple to creative
new heights.

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