Looking for something new to read? Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!
An Admirable Point: A Brief History of the Exclamation Mark! by Florence Hazrat. Few punctuation marks elicit quite as much love or hate as the exclamation mark. It’s bubbly and exuberant, an emotional amplifier whose flamboyantly dramatic gesture lets the reader know: here be feelings! Scott Fitzgerald famously stated exclamation marks are like laughing at your own joke; Terry Pratchett had a character say that multiple !!! are a ‘sure sign of a diseased mind’. So what’s the deal with ! ? Whether you think it’s over-used, or enthusiastically sprinkle your writing with it, ! is inescapable. An Admirable Point recuperates the exclamation mark from its much maligned place at the bottom of the punctuation hierarchy. It explores how ! came about in the first place some six hundred years ago, and uncovers the many ways in which ! has left its mark on art, literature, (pop) culture, and just about any sphere of human activity–from Beowulf to spam emails, ee cummings to neuroscience. You may enjoy this Word Processing podcast interview with the author!
You are Here by Karin Lin-Greenberg. The inhabitants of a small town have long found that their lives intersect at one focal point: the local shopping mall. But business is down, stores are closing, and as the institution breathes its last gasp, the people inside it dream of something different, something more. In its pages, You Are Here brings this diverse group of characters vividly to life–flawed, real, lovable strangers who are wonderful company and prove unforgettable even after the last store has closed. Exploring how the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are inextricably bound to the places we call home, You Are Here is a keenly perceptive and deeply humane portrait of a community in transition, ultimately illuminating the magical connections that can bloom from the ordinary wonder of our everyday lives. You can read reviews in the Asian Review of Books and Publisher’s Weekly.
Death of a Dancing Queen by Kimberly G. Giarratano. A female Jewish P.I finds herself involved in a deadly gang war while looking for a murder suspect in this new own voices crime novel. After her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Billie Levine revamped her grandfather’s private investigation firm and set up shop in the corner booth of her favourite North Jersey deli hoping the free pickles and flexible hours would allow her to take care of her mom and pay the bills. So when Tommy Russo, a rich kid with a nasty drug habit, offers her a stack of cash to find his missing girlfriend, how can she refuse? At first, Billie thinks this will be easy earnings, but then her missing person’s case turns into a murder investigation and Russo is the detective bureau’s number one suspect. Suddenly Billie is embroiled in a deadly gang war that’s connected to the decades-old disappearance of a famous cabaret dancer with ties to both an infamous Jewish mob and a skinhead group. Toss in the reappearance of Billie’s hunky ex-boyfriend with his own rap sheet, and she is regretting every decision that got her to this point. Becoming a P.I. was supposed to solve her problems. But if Billie doesn’t crack this case, the next body the police dredge out of the Hudson River will be hers. Read a review in Foreword or at Crime Fiction Lover.
Number One is Walking: My Life in the Movies and Other Diversions by Steve Martin with drawings by Harry Bliss. An illustrated memoir of Steve Martin’s legendary acting career, with stories from his most popular films and artwork by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss. He has never written about his career in the movies before. In Number One Is Walking , he shares anecdotes from the sets of his beloved films– Father of the Bride, Roxanne, The Jerk, Three Amigos, and many more–bringing readers directly into his world. He shares charming tales of antics, moments of inspiration, and exploits with the likes of Paul McCartney, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams, and Chevy Chase. Martin details his forty years in the movie biz, as well as his stand-up comedy, banjo playing, writing, and cartooning, all with his unparalleled wit.
My Nemesis by Charmaine Craig. Tessa is a successful writer who develops a friendship, first by correspondence and then in person, with Charlie, a ruggedly handsome philosopher and scholar based in Los Angeles. Sparks fly as they exchange ideas about Camus and masculine desire, and their intellectual connection promises more–but there are obstacles to this burgeoning relationship. While Tessa’s husband Milton enjoys Charlie’s company on his visits to the East Coast, Charlie’s wife Wah is a different case, and she proves to be both adversary and conundrum to Tessa. Wah’s traditional femininity and subservience to her husband strike Tessa as weaknesses, and she scoffs at the sacrifices Wah makes as adoptive mother to a Burmese girl, Htet, once homeless on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. But Wah has a kind of power too, especially over Charlie, and the conflict between the two women leads to a martini-fueled declaration by Tessa that Wah is “an insult to womankind.” As Tessa is forced to deal with the consequences of her outburst and considers how much she is limited by her own perceptions, she wonders if Wah is really as weak as she has seemed, or if she might have a different kind of strength altogether. For more details, check out this NYT review and this review in the Boston Globe.