New Fiction Roundup, February 2019

February may be a short month, but it packs in a lot of new fiction releases. From quirky family sagas, to stories of immigrants at home and abroad, to some powerhouse fantasy novels, it’s a great month to find something you know you’ll love or to branch out in new directions.

2/5: The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi Laskar – Moving from Atlanta to its wealthy suburbs, Mother discovers that not much has changed since her childhood in a small Southern town: people still ask “Where are you from” and don’t believe the answer “Here.” Told over the course of a single morning, Mother reflects on the life that brought her to that moment.

2/5: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James – Hired to find a boy who disappeared three years earlier, mercenary Tracker joins a search party that is quickly targeted by deadly creatures in this novel combining myth, fantasy, and history. Appearing at the Central Library Feb. 16, 7pm.

2/5: Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken – Three generations of an unconventional New England family who own and operate a candlepin bowling alley, and reckon with scandal, battles over inheritance, and dysfunctional family dynamics.

2/5: Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman – When Daphne Maritch inherits a heavily annotated 1969 yearbook from her mother, one woman’s trash becomes another woman’s treasure with deliriously entertaining results.

2/5: The Hundred Wells of Salaga by Ayesha Harruna Attah – Based on true events, this story of courage, forgiveness, love and freedom in precolonial Ghana is told through two women born to vastly different fates.

2/5: The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin – Asked about the inspiration behind an iconic poem, Fiona Skinner recounts the lives of her four siblings beginning the summer their father unexpectedly died. A PEAK PICK!

2/5: The Lost Man by Jane Harper – In a remote part of Australia, brothers Nathan and Bub Bright meet at the fence line separating their cattle ranches, their third brother Cameron lying dead at their feet. As they go to Cameron’s ranch, suspicion at the cause of his death eats away at them. A PEAK PICK!

2/5: Tonic and Balm by Stephanie Allen – In 1919, traveling medicine shows play to audiences eager to buy miracle “cures.” Doc Bell’s Miracles and Mirth Medicine Show, featuring both Black and white performers, travels through Pennsylvania struggling to stay afloat.

2/5: Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li – Written after losing a child to suicide, Li imagining a conversation between a mother and child in a timeless world and portrays the love and complexity of the parent-child bond.

2/12: American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson – In 1986, FBI intelligence officer Marie Mitchell is recruited to be part of a task force to take down a revolutionary communist African president, despite being conflicted about the good work he is doing and her personal feelings towards him.

2/12: The Cassandra by Sharma Shields – Mildred Groves has the gift – and the curse – of being able to see the future. Taking a job at the Hanford Research Center in eastern Washington in the early 1940s, she begins to have prophetic dreams about what will come of humankind if the research is successful.

2/12: The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders – Reluctant revolutionary Sophie has been exiled into the frozen half of a dying planet, saved only by forming an unusual bond with the beasts who roam the ice. Joining with a ragtag group of smugglers, her path will lead her closer to the truth of her entire world.

2/12: Elsewhere, Home by Leila Aboulela – In this short story collection, Aboulela presents a rich tableau of life as an immigrant abroad, and the challenges of navigating assimilation and difference.

2/12: Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli – A family sets out on a summer road trip from New York to Arizona. As they near their destination, they become embroiled in a migrant crisis of massive scale at the border. From the author of Tell Me How It Ends.

2/12: Early Riser by Jasper Fforde – Each winter the human population hibernates, while the Winter Consuls ensure the safety of the sleeping masses. When an outbreak of viral dreams begins to kill people, new Consul Charlie Worthing must tease out the truth.

2/12: The Heavens by Sandra Newman – This novel of love and dreams moves between a reimagined New York City and Elizabethan England, and asks how our world came to be.

2/19: Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad – A house in Bangkok reflects the confluence of lives shaped by upheaval, memory, and the lure of home from the 19th century to the present.

2/19: The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray – Sisters Althea, Viola and Lillian must confront their family’s long-buried secrets when Althea and her husband are arrested. A PEAK PICK!

2/19: The White Book by Han Kang – In this meditation on personal grief through the prism of the color white, a nameless narrator at a writer’s residency wanders the twin white worlds of the blank page and snowy Warsaw.

2/26: The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie – Fresh off her highly lauded science fiction Imperial Radch series, Leckie turns to fantasy in this novel where gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods, and a pretender must be cast down from the throne.

~ posted by Andrea G.

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