April 4th, 2014 By: Nora Rawlinson
These titles and several more arriving next week are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet with full ordering information and alternate formats.
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, Marina Keegan, S&S/Scribner; Tantor Audio
Who wouldn’t tear up, reading this from a student as she faces graduation, “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” Those words becomes even more poignant when you learn that their talented writer, Marina Keegan, died in a car accident just before she was set to begin a dream job at the New Yorker. Her final column for the Yale Daily News, became an internet hit after her death. It and several other writings that Keegan left behind are brought together in this book, featured as the lead review in People magazine, with 3.5 of 4 stars.
Family Life, Akhil Sharma, Norton
This LibraryReads pick is featured on the cover of NYT Book Review this week. Also on Entertainment Weekly‘s “must list,” it is described as an “autobiographic novel about an immigrant family derailed by an accident. It’s beautifully evocative and — tragedy notwithstanding — surprisingly funny.” It will be featured on NBC’s Weekend Today Show.
Love Life, Rob Lowe, S&S; S&S Audio
Lowe already proved himself an entertaining memoirist with Stories I Only Tell My Friends. This follow up gets a nod from Entertainment Weekly, which says Lowe, “Goes out of his way not to tread the same ground he did in hits first memoir … this book is just as breezily enjoyable as its predecessor.”
Astonish Me, Maggie Shipstead, RH/Knopf; RH Audio
The author’s debut, Seating Arrangements, was a favorite among librarians and booksellers and her new title is an Indie Next pick. The Huffington Post also picks it as “The Book We’re Taling About” this week (even though they are not completely taken with this “leaping departure” from the author’s previous title). Jen Dayton at Darien Public Library, who was the first to alert us to Seating Arrangements, long before it become a best seller, reviews it on Edelweiss, saying it is, “a fascinating look into the lives of professional dancers and the damage that secrets can do. Book groups could have a field day with this one.”
In Paradise, Peter Matthiessen, Penguin/Riverhead
Matthiessen is known as a nonfiction writer, but considers himself a novelist who “writes other things,” as a long profile of his fascinating life in Sunday’s NYT Magazine details (unfortunately for Matthiessen, the author of the profile is not taken with his fiction). Wendy Bartlett, Cuyahoga Public Library, recommends In Paradise to librarians, saying this “book about a professor of Holocaust history who joins a spiritual retreat at Auschwitz and what he discovers about himself as he confronts a history he believes he already understands, is universal and personal at the same time … Matthiessen also explores how the Holocaust resonates for various countries and cultures by peopling the retreat with characters from all parts of the world. It’s a masterful and incredibly thought provoking construct” making it one to get “for your smart book discussion members.”