Pre-Pub Pick: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Expected publication: June 4, 2019 by Penguin Press)
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is the new, authentic American novel that lifts the veil of the life of young man on the outside. Little Dog, a Vietnamese first generation American, writes a pensive letter to his mother. This letter is a lyrical, stream-of-consciousness personal history that illustrates the conflicting societal narratives, issues and experiences of adults who came of age in the late 90's and early 2000's- particularly for Asian Americans and other minorities. Anyone who grew up in America in the past 30 years has known or loved someone who has overdosed- and Little Dog wistfully recounts the heartbreak, anger and shame felt by those left behind.
Little Dog's searing truths about his family secrets, sexual awakening, and the poverty and addiction that have surrounded him are, to him, a private release- his mother cannot read- but the catharsis leaves the reader with much to mull over. Vuong's raw descriptions reflect of the realities of how race, class, family, sexual orientation and immigration status- all these labels- are all parts on a often conflicting, American identity. Highly recommended for all.
Place a hold on On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by clicking here!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Press for providing me an advanced e-galley of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Pre-Pub Pick: Haunting Paris by Mamta Chaudhry (Expected publication: June 18, 2019 by Nan A. Talese)
Paris, 1989: Sylvie, a middle aged musician and piano teacher, is deeply grieving the loss of her older lover, Julian. Though unable to divorce his wife, Sylvie and Julian's love for eachother transcends death, as Julian watches over Sylvie. Perhaps sensing his presence, it seems Sylvie will never escape her all consuming sorrow- until she finds a strange note in Julian's desk that sets forwards a series of questions that Sylvie is unwilling to leave unanswered.
An authentic and original story about love, grief, and learning to move forward, even when your heart is stuck in the past. With multiple narrators (including one supernatural being) Chaudhry gracefully portrays the varying points-of-view in a compelling and relevant style that propels the entire story. Haunting Paris is a romantic, literary mystery that leaves the reader wholly satisfied.
Place a hold on Haunting Paris by clicking here!
Many thanks to Edelweiss and Nan A. Talese for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Pre-Pub Pick: Biloxi by Mary Miller (Expected publication: May 21, 2019 by Liveright).
Sixty-three-year-old Louis McDonald, Jr. has seen better days. His wife, Ellen, has left him after 30 years of a cheerless marriage. He has recently retired, and his remaining family, including his ex-brother-in-law and Louis's daughter, Maxine, and her young family, all but exasperate him. But when Louis comes across a free dog named Layla, life begins to speed up. Suddenly Louis is meeting women, dodging enemies and actually feeling all the highs and lows that life thrusts upon us all. With Layla by his side, Louis begins to open both his mind and his heart to all the possibilities he long thought past.
Miller's honest novel perfectly details the loneliness and isolation felt by millions, particularly seniors, with humor, compassion, and hope. Biloxi is the American A Man Called Ove. Dog lovers, southern fiction fans, and those needing a jolt of optimism- so basically everyone- should pick this up.
Many thanks to Edelweiss and Liveright for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Pre-Pub Pick: The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green by Erica Boyce (Expected publication: April 2, 2019 by Sourcebooks)
A lighthearted debut from Westwood resident, Erica Boyce, that combines a small-town Vermont, a road trip and of course, crop circles. A story of dreams realized and the power of family and reconciliation. The perfect, feel good story that you didn't know you needed.
Don't miss Erica Boyce discussing and signing TFWODG at the Main Library on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:00 PM! Books will be available for purchase from Haley Booksellers.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Pre-Pub Pick: Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick (Expected publication: April 2, 2019 by Penguin Press).
Lights All Night Long follows Ilya, a 15-year-old boy growing up in a former gulag community in northwestern Russia, and his journey in becoming an exchange student to America as his brother, Vladimir, is arrested for murder. As Ilya attempts to integrate into his new community, he also begins to investigate and piece together the crimes that Vladimir has, and has not, committed.
A story of love, addiction, corruption, and guilt, Lights All Night Long expertly illustrates how siblings inevitably shape our lives. Highly recommended, especially those interested in Russian settings, though Fitzpatrick's depiction of siblings is universal.