Take a look at some of the latest additions to our New and Featured Fiction collections! We check in new books nearly every day—check out the First Floor's LibraryThing account where we log all of our newest arrivals!
New Fiction - June 2013
Summerset Abbey: A Bloom in Winter
Prudence has seen both sides of life, upstairs and down. But once the truth about her parentage was revealed, Prudence forged a new life for herself, married to a penniless veterinary student. Living in poverty in a shabby London flat, she wonders if she's made a terrible mistake—and there's no turning back...
From the Kitchen of Half Truth
Imaginative and free-spirited, Meg's mother created a life out of stories. Outlandish stories, really, the kind you can't possibly believe—unless your mother won't tell you anything else about your past. After all, how do you argue with someone who tells you that a spaghetti plant sprouted on your first birthday, that you used to take hot dogs for a walk, or that your father died in a tragic pastry-mixing accident? But as charming as those stories are, they aren't enough for Meg anymore. When her mother becomes ill, Meg decides she has to know the truth. As the two spend one last summer together, Meg can't convince her mother to reveal a thing about who they used to be—or who they are now.
An elegant and haunting novel of love and family, The Tell demands that we reconsider our notions of marriage—duty, compromise, betrayal, and the choice to stand by or leave the ones we love.
A Chain of Thunder: A Novel of the Siege of Vicksburg Continuing the series that began with A Blaze of Glory, New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara returns to chronicle another decisive chapter in America's long and bloody Civil War.
It is the Arab Spring and the fate of the Christians of the Middle East is uncertain. The many Christians of Lebanon walk a knife edge, their very survival in this ancestral refuge in doubt. When Hezbollah flex their muscles in a takeover of west Beirut, amid the old shell-scarred sandstone villas, the echoing gunfire, a young Christian wandering the emptied streets is entrapped in an act of violence that will awaken monsters from the civil war and beyond. Anti Lebanon is a cross-genre political thriller and horror story embedded within recent events, featuring a multiethnic Christian family living out the lingering after-effects of Lebanon’s war, as it struggles to deal with its phantoms, its ghosts, and its vampires.
The Perfume Collector
Grace Monroe, a newlywed raised in the studious world of Oxford and bland English food, is completely uncomfortable with the glamorous parties and socializing her new life demands. When a mysterious French benefactor leaves Grace a surprising sum in her will, she jumps at the chance to leave her overbearing husband and London's glittering social scene behind. What she finds in Paris, however, changes everything she knew about her past and has the power to change everything about her future.
New Science Fiction and Fantasy - June 2013
The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince
Diving into the deep mythology of the Elderlings, bestselling fantasy author Hobb offers a worm's-eye view of an event that shaped the realm. Felicity, the unfortunate Princess Caution's servant and confidante, narrates the birth, rise, and fall of Prince Charger, the legendary Piebald Prince, who was the bastard son of a stablemaster and blessed with Wit, the power to speak to animals. Charger is, alas, less skilled at navigating human politics, and his failures give rise to a centuries-long prejudice against the Witted, laying the groundwork for Hobb's Farseer trilogy. Felicity's story is as interesting as Charger's, as her self-interest and weakness lead inevitably to tragedy even as she declares her innocence of all but the purest motives. Hobb (a pen name for fantasist Megan Lindholm) pulls off the difficult trick of telling multiple tales simultaneously and well, adding depth to her fictional world without sacrificing a human connection to it.
Prophet of Bones
Paul Carlson, a brilliant young scientist, is summoned from his laboratory job to the remote Indonesian island of Flores to collect DNA samples from the ancient bones of a strange, new species of tool user unearthed by an archaeological dig. The questions the find raises seem to cast doubt on the very foundations of modern science, but before Paul can fully grapple with the implications of his find, the dig is violently shut down by paramilitaries. Paul flees with two of his friends, but within days one has vanished and the other is murdered in an attack that costs Paul an eye, and very nearly his life. Apprehended by Indonesian authorities and deported back to America, Paul tries to resume the comfortable life he left behind, but he can't cast the questions raised by the skeletons on Flores from his mind. Searching for answers, Paul begins to piece together a puzzle which seems to threaten the very fabric of society, but the status quo, in the form of the world's governments and Martial Johnston, the eccentric billionaire who financed Paul's dig, will stop at nothing to silence him.
The Human Division
Following the events of The Last Colony, Scalzi tells the story of the fight to maintain the unity of the human race. The people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has kept them ignorant of the dangerous universe around them and now alien races threaten.
New Mysteries - June 2013
English cop Jim Grant is in Boston on a temporary assignment, and his instructions are simple: keep out of trouble. But for Jim Grant, keeping out of trouble is not an option, even if he doesnt carry a gun. First thing Jim Grant does when he lands in Boston is buy a map. Second thing is get laid. Third?
Brush with Death
Multiple problems plague innkeeper Natalie Barnes of Cranberry Island, Maine, in MacInerney's engaging third Gray Whale Inn mystery (after 2010's Berried to the Hilt). A lawyer disappears with the money slated for Natalie's mortgage, mutilated dolls turn up on her property, and an allergic reaction to her heirloom engagement ring bodes ill for her dealings with her fiancé and her future mother-in-law.
The Night Detectives
There's something unsettling about the man who hires the newly formed Phoenix PI firm of former sheriff Mike Peralta and his former deputy, historian David Mapstone. That feeling is confirmed when the client is shot point-blank as he drives away from the meeting. Mapstone's seventh outing (after South Phoenix Rules, 2010) features tight prose and plotting and a pair of complex and fallible protagonists whose character development continues in a series that just keeps getting better.
From critically acclaimed, Edgar-nominated author Ulfelder—Conway Sax is back in a thrilling and heart-wrenching story of how far a father will go to save his son. When a brutal triple-murder takes place in a halfway house, Conway suspects a new resident was the intended victim.
New Horror - June 2013
The Voice of the Night
No one could understand why Colin and Roy were best friends. Colin was so Roy was so popular. Colin was nervous around girls; Roy was a ladies' man. Colin was fascinated by Roy—and Roy was fascinated with death. Then one day Roy asked his timid friend, "You ever killed anything?" And from that moment on, the two were bound together in a game too terrifying to imagine…and too irresistible to stop.
They live among us. They are our neighbors, our mothers, our lovers. They change. When government agents kick down Claire Forrester's front door and murder her parents, Claire realizes just how different she is. Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and hours later stepped off it, the only passenger left alive, a hero. Chase Williams has sworn to protect the people of the United States from the menace in their midst, but he is becoming the very thing he has promised to destroy. So far, the threat has been controlled by laws and violence and drugs. But the night of the red moon is coming, when an unrecognizable world will emerge...and the battle for humanity will begin.
New World Fiction - June 2013
The Square of Revenge
The beautiful medieval architecture of Bruges belies the dark longings of her residents. When the wealthy and powerful Ludovic Degroof's jewelry store is broken into, nothing is stolen, but the jewels have been dissolved in jars of aqua regia, an acid so strong it can even melt gold. In the empty safe is a scrap of paper on which a strange square has been drawn. At first, Inspector Van In pays little attention to the paper, focusing on the bizarre nature of the burglary. But when Degroof's offspring also receive letters with this same square, Van In and the beautiful new DA Hannelore Martens find themselves unraveling a complex web of enigmatic Latin phrase and a baroness' fallen family and Degroof's relationship with a hostage grandchild, ransomed for a priceless collection of art.
The Tuner of Silences
Mwanito has been living in a former big-game park for eight years. The only people he knows are his father, his brother, an uncle, and a servant. He’s been told that the rest of the world is dead, that all roads are sad, that they wait for an apology from God. In the place his father calls Jezoosalem, Mwanito has been told that crying and praying are the same thing. Both, it seems, are forbidden.
In a rundown Los Angeles apartment building—the titular Starlite Terrace—Patrick Roth unfurls the tragic linked stories of Rex, Moss, Gary and June, four neighbors, in a sort of burlesque of the Hollywood modern. In each of their singular collisions with fame, Roth's dark prose presages a universal and mythical fate of desperation. In "The Man at Noah's Window," Rex shares the story of his father, a supposed hand double for Gary Cooper in High Noon . In "Eclipse of the Sun," Moss, who lives in fear of the next holocaust, awaits a visit from the long-lost daughter he has tracked down. In "Rider on the Storm," Gary, a rock drummer and born-again Christian, who "almost played" on the Turtles' 60s-hit "Happy Together," strives to find escape from his personal guilt. And in "The Woman in the Sea of Stars," June, a former Hollywood studio secretary whose husband once cheated on her with Marilyn Monroe, makes the best of a disconnected life until she emerges reborn through ashes strewn in the illuminated swimming pool of the Starlite Terrace. In each of these four tales of wanna-bes and almost-weres, Roth's L.A. portraits unfold in rare style, and, in Krishna Winston's masterful translation, the hopeless, loveless perversion of an Ed Ruscha-inspired California becomes a compelling pageant of all-American grotesques that is not to be missed.
New GLBT Fiction - June 2013
Survived by Her Longtime Companion
Hired to work on a biography of a deceased film star, Bailey Hampton arrives to conduct an interview with Eleanor Burnett, the star's "longtime companion." To Bailey's dismay, she learns Eleanor has set up a co-interview with Bailey's ex-partner, Chelsea Parker. Once Eleanor discovers that Bailey and Chelsea are ex-partners, the diary readings take on a new meaning for her. Can they learn from the mistakes she and Daphne made as young lovers?
Desire: Tales of New Orleans
Walker presents a collection of short stories involving gay men in pre-Katrina New Orleans.
Assassin, Bronwynne St. Just has a knack for finding trouble, usually in the form of a beautiful woman. After fulfilling a haunting contract on her sister's childhood friend and former employee, she takes off for the Caribbean and business as usual; but danger waits for her in the most unexpected places. With an endless appetite for luscious variety, Wynne courts danger and pleasure from all corners of the globe. But she must wrestle with her own demons as she trades kisses and blows with some of the deadliest women in the business. She's been lucky in all her years in the game but will a young woman bent on revenge become her Achilles heel?
New African-American Fiction - June 2013
The Roving Tree
The Roving Tree illuminates how imperfectly assimilated adoptees struggle to remember their original voices and recapture their personal histories and cultural legacy. Set between two worlds—suburban America and Haiti under Papa Docs repressive regime—the novel offers a unique literary glimpse into the deeply entrenched class discrimination and political repression of Haiti during the Duvalier era, along with the subtle but nonetheless dangerous effects of American racism.
The Woman He Loved Before
Libby has a nice life with a great job, a gorgeous husband and a big home by the sea. But she's becoming more unsure of Jack's feelings for her - and if he is over the mysterious death of Eve, his first wife. When fate intervenes in their relationship, Libby decides to find out all she can about the man she hastily married and the seemingly perfect Eve. Eventually Libby stumbles across some startling truths about Eve. As she begins to unearth more and more devastating secrets, Libby becomes frightened that she too will end up like the first woman Jack loved. . .
When Walter Mosley burst onto the literary scene in 1990 with his first Easy Rawlins mystery, Devil in a Blue Dress—a combustible mixture of Raymond Chandler and Richard Wright—he captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers (including future president Bill Clinton). Eleven books later, Easy Rawlins is one of the few private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called iconic and immortal. In the incendiary and fast-paced Little Green, he returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of L.A.s 1960s hippie haven, the Sunset Strip.
Her Own Place
Her Own Place traces the life and times of Mae Lee Barnes, an African American woman from rural South Carolina. The novel begins with Mae Lee's life as a teenager in the 1940s and follows her eventual marriage to her boyfriend, Jeff Barnes, who proposes before going off to fight in World War II. While Jeff is in the army, Mae Lee works rotating shifts at a local munitions plant and saves every penny she can to purchase a small farm. When Jeff returns from the war, he alternates between spending time on the farm and going to find work in the city, and eventually the family decides to start a new life in the city together. The day their new life is to begin, Jeff abandons Mae Lee and their five children, and the story traces Mae Lee's struggles and triumphs after Jeff leaves, including her challenges as a single parent on a working farm, her life after her children are grown, the realities of racial integration in the South, and the realization that her memory is slipping away.
New Historical Fiction - June 2013
Perle Besserman's Kabuki Boy is a novel of Japan set in and around the capital city of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) during the waning decades of the Tokugawa Era (1600-1868). Broadening the often narrowly focused literary and cinematic portrayals of samurai resistance to their declining social status, Besserman's vivid narrative conveys that tumultuous period through the eyes of its peasants, priests, politicians, revolutionaries, mountebanks, geisha, and actors using the Kabuki theatre as a backdrop. Its nineteenth-century framework nested in a post-modern narrative by its fictional twentieth-century "editor," a cultural historian and abbot of a Zen monastery one hundred miles from Tokyo, the book is comprised of memoirs, theatrical and monastery records, personal letters and journals, all centering on the life of a Kabuki boy actor whose brief but illustrious career reflects not only the "golden age of Kabuki Theatre," but the most dramatic spiritual, political, and artistic events characterizing Japan's violent emergence into the modern world.
Rejected by her publisher in 1937, poet Rukeyser's newly discovered autobiographical novel is both an absorbing read and an important contribution to 20th-century history. Rukeyser had already won the coveted Yale Younger Poets award when she traveled to Spain in 1936 as a journalist, to cover the ill-fated People's Olympiad, a protest against the Olympics in Nazi-era Berlin. Her firsthand observations of the cataclysmic start of Spain's Civil War, as seen through the eyes of her protagonist, a journalist named Helen, reflect the chaos, privation, and horror of the conflict's early days with authentic detail.
Temple of a Thousand Faces
In his international bestseller Beneath a Marble Sky, John Shors wrote about the ancient passion, beauty, and brilliance that inspired the building of the Taj Mahal. Now with Temple of a Thousand Faces, he brings to life the legendary temple of Angkor Wat, an unrivaled marvel of ornately carved towers and stone statues. There, in a story set nearly a thousand years ago, an empire is lost, a royal love is tested, and heroism is reborn. When his land is taken by force, Prince Jayavar of the Khmer people narrowly escapes death at the hands of the conquering Cham king, Indravarman. Exiled from their homeland, he and his mystical wife Ajadevi set up a secret camp in the jungle with the intention of amassing an army bold enough to reclaim their kingdom and free their people. Meanwhile, Indravarman rules with an iron fist, pitting even his most trusted men against each other and quashing any hint of rebellion. Moving from a poor fisherman's family whose sons find the courage to take up arms against their oppressors, to a beautiful bride who becomes a prize of war, to an ambitious warrior whose allegiance is torn— Temple of a Thousand Faces is an unforgettable saga of love, betrayal, and survival at any cost.
The Golem and the Jinni
Helene Weckers dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures.
New Short Stories - June 2013
Between My Father and the King: New and Uncollected Stories
This brand new collection of 28 short stories spans the length of Frame's career and contains some of the best she wrote. None of these stories have been published in a collection before, and more than half are published for the first time in Between My Father and the King.
When is it wise to be a fool for something? What makes people want to be better than they are? From New York to India to Paris, from the Catholic Worker movement to Occupy Wall Street, the characters in Joan Silber's dazzling new story cycle tackle this question head-on.
Half As Happy
A grieving couple rents a desperate landlord's house in an effort to recover lost intimacy. Twins are irrevocably separated by events both beyond and within their control. A nighttime prank and its gruesome aftermath forge human connections no one could have anticipated. The eight stories in Half as Happy reveal with startling clarity their characters' secrets, losses, and desires. Each with the depth of a novel, these insightful portraits of the darkness and light within us reverberate long after they've ended, like beautiful and disturbing dreams.
One Small Step: An Anthology of Discoveries
A doomed family reimagining their lives as a fairy tale and a refugee giant embracing Internet dating are just some of the memorable characters in this collection of fantasy and science fiction from female Australian authors both new and known.
New Romance - June 2013
A Perfect Proposal
In this delicious romantic comedy, a young Englishwoman gets an unexpected proposal from a dashing American. With all the warmth and wit that have made Fforde's novels huge bestsellers in the UK, this "is an irresistible tale of love and literature and the quest for a happy ending." (The New York Times Book Review).
In 1901, a ship sinks off the coast of Lighthouse Bay in Australia. The only survivor is Isabella Winterbourne—escaping her loveless marriage and the devastating loss of her son—who clutches a priceless gift meant for the Australian Parliament. Suddenly, this gift could be her ticket to a new life, free from the bonds of her husband and his overbearing family. One hundred years later, Libby Slater leaves her life in Paris to return to her hometown of Lighthouse Bay. Living in the cottage that was purchased by her recently passed lover, she hopes to heal her broken heart and reconcile with her sister, Juliet. Libby did something so unforgivable twenty years ago, Juliet is unsure if she can ever trust her sister again. In this adventurous love story spanning centuries, both Isabella and Libby must learn that letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future.
New Inspirational Fiction - June 2013
A man's lifeless body is found in the fresh soil of San Diego's botanical garden. Cause of death is asphyxiation, an easy call for the medical examiner. More mysterious, however, are the tiny drops of blood on the victim's skin, resulting from hundreds of punctures. A rabbi leaving his house for work expects a regular day at the synagogue. That quickly changes when he discovers a dead man on his front lawn, clearly beaten to death. Motorcycle riders racing along the empty streets of an abandoned military base stumble across another man's corpse, its skin revealing long, red-purple marks of a thrashing given with wood dowels. The numbers mount. Each week another victim and another mysterious clue in a game of mass murder the police don't want to lose. The solution rests with Dr. Ellis Poe, a religious professor who only wishes to be left alone with his books and classes. But evil must be faced, and the choice is no longer his own.
Dark waters are rising. Who will stay afloat? Architect Vance Nolan has crafted a marvel—shining apartments floating in the peaceful cove of a winding river. The project is partially occupied and about to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way. Torrential rains quickly flood the cove, leaving a handful of builders, investors, and residents cut off from the rest of the world. The motley group is bitterly divided over how to survive. Vance insists they wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single-mom Danielle Clement, obligated to each man and desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, isn't sure which one is wiser. Power failure, an unnatural daytime darkness, explosions, and a murder expose hidden intentions and dark histories. Then Simeon spots something strange under water—beautiful, shifting lights in the dark depths. In this watery world, everyone's secrets will eventually come to light. And deliverance may mean more than just getting out alive. Another stunning exploration of the human spirit and supernatural possibilities from best-selling author Erin Healy.
In this stunning debut, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From "The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death," an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to "Winter Elders," in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human. The concluding triptych tackles the legends and legacy of Mormonism head-on, culminating in "Diviner," a seriocomic portrait of the young Joseph Smith, back when he was not yet the founder of a religion but a man hired to find buried treasure. Godforsaken Idaho is an indelible collection by the writer you need to read next.