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STAFF PICKS

Fiction

Inland

By Téa Obreht

In this stunning second novel, Obreht alternates two narratives to tell the story of a time of drought in 19th-century Arizona. Nora waits at home for her sons and husband to return with water but passes the time talking with her dead daughter and trying to keep her grief and guilt at bay. Lurie is evading the law while traveling with the Army Camel Corp and talks to plenty of entities that are and aren’t there. The book is hyper-focused on the raw and harsh country that has an awful effect on people’s lives while also clouded with spirits and pent-up emotions. It is an epic adventure in a new world and a study of the meaning of home, both as a place and a concept. And there’s camels! –Sydne, Atlanta

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Non Fiction

Underland: A Deep Time Journey

By Robert MacFarlane

In the beginning, Macfarlane sets the stage for his journey with a pastoral landscape description: "This upper world is very beautiful." Descending through a passage into the earth, "Down between roots to a passage of stone that deepens steeply into the earth. Colour depletes to greys, browns, black. Cold air pushes past." Counterintuitively then, Underland is full of color. Its exploration of the spaces below ground, their natural and cultural history and the intersection of the two, is stunningly gorgeous and mesmerizing. Covering territory that is epic in philosophical and physical scope, yet microscopically focused with the sensibility and skills of both a scientist and a poet, this is truly a masterpiece. –Sara, Atlanta

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Young Adult

Furyborn (Empirium Trilogy #1)

By Claire Legrand

Furyborn is the story of two strong heroines living 1000 years apart. Rielle is just starting to learn to control her power over the 7 types of elemental magic when an angel’s whispers begin turning her down a dark path. Eliana, a bounty hunter for the evil Emperor, is forced to make hard choices when her mother is stolen away from her in the night and the only one who can help her is her enemy. Claire Legrand does a wonderful job weaving these two stories together as Rielle and Eliana choose their paths, step by step. Magic, angels, familial bonds, and self-discovery are only a few of the threads connecting them. A story that comes together like the pieces of a puzzle, Furyborn is an enjoyable read from start to finish. I’m looking forward to the next installment! –Rebecca, Atlanta

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Children

The Nest

By Kenneth Oppel

The publisher synopsis of celebrated author Kenneth Oppel's new book The Nest states that it is an eerie masterpiece, and eerie seems like the best word to describe it. It is not scary necessarily (unless you have a phobia about insects), but it does leave an impression and Jon Klassen's illustrations highlight the loneliness & grief of Steve's family's struggle to cope with the serious illness of their newborn baby. –Anne, Atlanta

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5 QUESTIONS

WITH ELAN MASTAI

Our booksellers Jenn & Rebecca got the chance to ask one of their favorite authors five questions. Of course they couldn't stop at just five...
Elan Mastai is the author the book All Our Wrong Todays and has been a screenwriter for the past fifteen years.
   

1. The concept for All Our Wrong Todays  is such an original twist on time travel. How did you come up with it?

 
I built a time machine and made some really bad personal decisions. The novel is basically autobiographical. No, look, I love time travel stories but it always bothered me that they rarely take into consideration that the Earth moves. Like, really fast and really far every single minute of the day. Traveling back in time even a short duration also means traveling in space an immensely far distance. I thought it would be fun to imagine a method of time travel that took actual orbital mechanics into consideration. From that super nerdy technical point the novel’s plot—which thankfully has very little to do with orbital mechanics—grew. I’d also been thinking a lot about how our ideas of utopia and dystopia had evolved since I was a kid and when it occurred to me I could combine both ideas, the novel slid into focus.
   

10 QUESTIONS

WITH DAN BROWN

 
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1. Art history has been crucial to many of your novels, with famous paintings playing key roles. Which Modern Art paintings or artists should readers study to prepare for your new novel?


I’d prefer to preserve the mystery by withholding the names of any specific paintings, but I will tell you that Langdon is a great admirer of Modernists Gaugin and Picasso. In this novel, as he moved into the world of Contemporary Art, Langdon must come down from his ivory tower, set aside his classical predilections, and navigate a landscape of avant-garde works that challenge his very definition of art.

5 QUESTIONS

WITH JOE HILL

Our bookseller Mike got the chance to ask one of his favorite authors five questions. Of course he couldn't stop at just five...
Joe Hill is the author of over a dozen books, including his latest, Strange Weather, and the Locke & Key comic series.
 
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1. You have been successful in many forms of entertainment including Graphic Novels, Short Stories, Novellas, Films and Novels. Do you have a preference among them, and if so what was your favorite project to work on?


    Probably the new book, Strange Weather, has been my favorite. It's a collection of four short novels, stories about guns and the grotesque, the impossible and the unstoppable. I wrote them longhand over the course of the last five years, jotting them down in between more demanding projects. You could argue that the novella is the best of all literary forms. You get all the depth of characterization to be found in a full length novel, and all the pedal-to-the-floor energy of a short story. Most of all... they're fun to write.

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