Just out of the Box
Hard to keep up with the new stuff coming in lately. Here’s a sampling:
“Going missing was the only interesting thing my brother had ever done.” Smart and nerdy, 16-year-old Lydia Pasternak is overshadowed by her popular jock brother even before her brother disappears and her family threatens to disintegrate. Described as gripping and funny, The Local News explores the complicated relationship between a sister and brother, as well as the nightmare of high school as a misfit.
Starting with a search for his final manuscript in the days following his sudden death, The Last Dickens turns into a murder mystery when the clerk sent to collect the manuscript turns up dead.
A British author and former columnist, Heller is mainly mainly known in the States for writing the Man Booker Prize winner Notes on a Scandal, which became the acclaimed film starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench. The Believers is told from multiple viewpoints within a family; all of the characters experience some sort of crisis of faith. The Barnes & Noble review says Heller “explores big ideas with a light touch, delivering a tragic, comic family story as unsparing as it is filled with compassion.”
Set in 1950s England, this first novel centers on a teenaged boy who was, at age 10, the only witness to his mother’s death. This trauma starts his slide downhill, which includes a stretch in prison, and the novel follows his struggle to fit back into society. The Outcast was shortlisted for last year’s Orange Prize, and is a nominee for this year’s LA Times Book Prize.
The Unforgiving Minute is a memoir by West Point grad, Rhodes scholar, and Army Ranger Craig Mullaney, who served in Afghanistan. Currently he teaches history to future Navy and Marine officers at the Naval Academy. Janet Maslin of the New York Times calls it a “…brisk, candid memoir…the inner journey of a man who is at first eager to learn as much as he can from service and scholarship. Later on he learns from his mistakes.” Click here to watch Jon Stewart interview him on the Daily Show.
author photos, from top:
Patricia Wall/The New York Times