|Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler
A lush, thrilling debut–a publishing event already the subject of an article in The New York Times–about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant. “Let’s say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge …” This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the 22-year-old at the heart of this stunning debut. Shot like a bullet from a mundane past, she’s come to New York to escape the provincial, to take on her destiny. After she stumbles into a coveted job at a renowned Union Square restaurant, we spend the year with her as she learns the chaotic, punishing, privileged life of a “backwaiter,” on and off duty. Her appetites are awakened, for food, wine, knowledge and experience; and she’s pulled into the thrall of two other servers–a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman whose connection to both young lovers is murky, sensual, and overpowering. These two will prove to be Tess’s hardest lesson of all. Sweetbitter is a story about discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment.
|Forever and Forever: the Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton, Josi S. Kilpack
Based on the true love story of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Boston socialite Fanny Appleton, this novel chronicles their seven-year courtship through Europe and Boston.
|The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes
1936: Shostakovich, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, shot dead on the spot), he reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children all of those hanging in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for years to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party, and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music. Barnes elegantly guides us through the trajectory of Shostakovich’s career, at the same time illuminating the tumultuous evolution of the Soviet Union. The result is both a stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant meditation on the meaning of art and its place in society.
|Jacky Ha-Ha, James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
Twelve-year-old Jacky “Ha-Ha” Hart is a class clown with a penchant for pranking—and when she’s required to act in the school play to appease her frustrated teachers, she must conquer her stutter.
|Poison is not Polite, Robin Stevens
In 1930s England, schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are at Daisy’s home for the holidays when someone falls seriously, mysteriously ill at a family party, but no one present is what they seem–and everyone has a secret or two–so the Detective Society must do everything they can to reveal the truth … no matter the consequences.
|The Crocodile Tomb, Michelle Paver
Hylas and Pirra arrive in Egypt to search for the powerful dagger, but Telemon and the Crows are there too, and they will stop at nothing to find the dagger first.
|The Thank You Book, Mo Willems
Piggie is determined to thank everyone she knows, but Gerald thinks she will forget someone important.
|Perseus and the Monstrous Medusa, Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Perseus and the Olympians face off against the snake-haired Medusa.
|Babymouse Goes for the Gold, Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Babymouse joins the swim team and, despite her shortcomings as an athlete, gives it her all and tries to win an award.