New Fiction Roundup, May 2019

With a trio of new releases by local authors (Chiang, McGuire, Bauermeister), a selection of contemporary romances, several short story collections, and the long awaited latest from Thomas Harris, May should have a little something for every reader.

5/7: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – Khai Diep, on the autism spectrum, is mortified when his mother plays matchmaker and returns from a visit to Vietnam with Esme, a potential bride. A romance from the author of The Kiss Quotient. A Peak Pick!

5/7: Exhalation by Ted Chiang – Chiang’s long awaited second short story collection gathers together nine stories that examine what it means to be human, and the ways that meaning is complicated and enhanced by our experiences with ever advancing technology. A Peak Pick!

5/7: The Farm by Joanne Ramos – With luxurious amenities and large financial rewards, The Farm recruits women to produce perfect babies for others. The catch: for the duration of their pregnancy, a woman can’t leave. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, agrees to go to the Farm but can’t stop worrying about her family on the outside. Will she try to leave?

5/7: Light from Other Stars by Erika Swyler – As a child, Nedda dreamed of being an astronaut. Her father, a former NASA scientist, was fixated on discovering a life-extending technology. Decades later Nedda is in space, but a crisis forces her to reckon with her father’s work.

5/7: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire – Roger, gifted in language, and Dodger, gifted in math, are twins separated at birth but who together might combine for an alchemical control of the world.

5/7: The Paris Diversion by Chris Pavone – American Kate Moore lives a normal life with her family in Paris, and also a deep-cover life as a CIA agent. When a terrorist threatens to blow up the Louvre, she’s in a race to figure out who’s behind it – and the danger may come from closer than she suspects.

5/7: The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames – Growing up in a small Italian village, Stella has many near-fatal accidents, leading those around her to believe she is cursed. When her family moves to the United States at the beginning of World War II, Stella learns that survival is worthless without independence.

5/14: Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang – 12 stories capture the voices of a new generation of Chinese youth across the world, from the pressures felt by a pair of synchronized divers at the Beijing Olympics to a first generation Chinese American family.

5/14: Orange World by Karen Russell – Russell returns with nine darkly funny, incisive, sometimes bizarre stories that tip reality on its head. A Peak Pick! At the Central Library 7pm Wednesday, May 22.

5/14: Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales in this romantic comedy.

5/14: Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane – University gardener May Attaway is more comfortable with plants than people. When she gets some unexpected time off, she decides to reconnect with four once-close friends, one-by-one.

5/21: Biloxi by Mary Miller – Left by his wife, reeling from his dad’s death, and recently retired, Louis is having a rough time. Passing a sign for free dogs on the side of the highway, Louis adopts an overweight mixed breed dog named Layla, and finds that life has more surprises in store for him.

5/21: Cari Mora by Thomas Harris – The author of The Silence of the Lambs returns with a novel of evil, greed, and dark obsession. 25 million dollars in cartel gold lies hidden beneath a mansion in Miami; Cari Mora is the caretaker of the house, but she doesn’t know that ruthless Hans-Peter is on his way to claim the treasure; and Hans-Peter doesn’t know how resourceful Cari Mora is.

5/21: Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins – A servant and former slave is accused of murdering her employer and his wife, but can’t remember the night in question, resulting in a trial that roils 1820s London.

5/21: The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister – Emmeline lives an enchanted, isolated life on a remote island with her father, a scent keeper who gathers and catalogs scents. Curious about her mother, she leaves the island and finds an unexpectedly wide world and clues to her past. A Peak Pick!

5/28: Lent by Jo Walton – In 15th century Florence, Girolamo has the miraculous ability to see demons and cast them out with the force of his will. As his skills grow, so too does his following, until he’s controlling Florence and inciting the wrath of the Pope. But that’s only the beginning, because Girolamo is not who – or what – he thinks he is.

~ posted by Andrea G.

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