Our latest selection of anticipated reads goes from the deepest oceans back to dry land.
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The Blue Wonder by Frauke Bagusche
In The Blue Wonder, marine biologist and diver Frauke Bagusche brings readers on a fascinating and beautiful deep-sea dive into the ocean. Drawing on scientific discoveries and her own research, she uses photographs and playful prose to reveal: deep-sea reefs that glitter like glass; fish that converse with each other; an octopus that imitates more than fifteen other animals; weddings that happen amongst the coral; and underwater “drugstores.”
Humans know more about the moon’s surface than we do about the ocean. There is so much to be discovered, under the sea. With the heart of a poet and the mind of a scientist, Frauke Bagusche re-awakens our love for the sea and ignites a desire to protect this vital habitat.
Due June 8
The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
Joe Tournier has a bad case of amnesia. His first memory is of stepping off a train in the nineteenth-century French colony of England. The only clue Joe has about his identity is a century-old postcard of a Scottish lighthouse that arrives in London the same month he does. Written in illegal English-instead of French-the postcard is signed only with the letter M,” but Joe is certain whoever wrote it knows him far better than he currently knows himself, and he’s determined to find the writer. The search for M, though, will drive Joe from French-ruled London to rebel-owned Scotland and finally onto the battle ships of a lost empire’s Royal Navy. In the process, Joe will remake history, and himself.
Due May 25
Doom by Niall Ferguson
Disasters are inherently hard to predict. Pandemics, like earthquakes, wildfires, financial crises. and wars, are not normally distributed; there is no cycle of history to help us anticipate the next catastrophe. But when disaster strikes, we ought to be better prepared than the Romans were when Vesuvius erupted, or medieval Italians when the Black Death struck. We have science on our side, after all.
Drawing from multiple disciplines, including economics, cliodynamics, and network science, Doom offers not just a history but a general theory of disasters, showing why our ever more bureaucratic and complex systems are getting worse at handing them.
Due May 4
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
What if the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant?
What would you do to get it back?
Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At fifty-one years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty.
But when Dot dies suddenly, threats start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother’s secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.
Due May 18
NISHGA by Jordan Abel
As a Nisga’a writer, Jordan Abel often finds himself in a position where he is asked to explain his relationship to Nisga’a language, Nisga’a community, and Nisga’a cultural knowledge. However, as an intergenerational survivor of residential school–both of his grandparents attended the same residential school–his relationship to his own Indigenous identity is complicated to say the least.
NISHGA explores those complications and is invested in understanding how the colonial violence originating at the Coqualeetza Indian Residential School impacted his grandparents’ generation, then his father’s generation, and ultimately his own. The project is rooted in a desire to illuminate the realities of intergenerational survivors of residential school, but sheds light on Indigenous experiences that may not seem to be immediately (or inherently) Indigenous.
Due May 18
A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ni Ghriofa
On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who has narrowly avoided her own fatal tragedy. When she realizes that the literature dedicated to the poem reduces Eibhlín Dubh’s life to flimsy sketches, she wants more: the details of the poet’s girlhood and old age; her unique rages, joys, sorrows, and desires; the shape of her days and site of her final place of rest. What follows is an adventure in which Doireann Ní Ghríofa sets out to discover Eibhlín Dubh’s erased life—and in doing so, discovers her own.
Moving fluidly between past and present, quest and elegy, poetry and those who make it, A Ghost in the Throat is a shapeshifting book: a record of literary obsession; a narrative about the erasure of a people, of a language, of women; a meditation on motherhood and on translation; and an unforgettable story about finding your voice by freeing another’s.
Due June 1
Erase and Rewind by Meghan Bell
An assault survivor realizes she can rewind time and relives the experience in order to erase it. A teen athlete wonders why she isn’t more afraid of death when the plane carrying her team catches fire. The daughter of a superhero ruminates on how her father neglected his children to pursue his heroics. Two shut-in depressives form a bond on Twitter while a deadly virus wipes out most of the population of North America.
The stories in Erase and Rewind probe the complexities of living as a woman in a skewed society. Told from the perspective of various female protagonists, they pick at rape culture, sexism in the workplace, uneven romantic and platonic relationships, and the impact of trauma under late-stage capitalism. Quirky, intelligent and darkly comic, Meghan Bell’s debut collection is a highwire balance of levity and gravity, finding the extraordinary in common experiences.
Due May 18
Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon
Vern—seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised—flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.
But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.
To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future—outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it.
Due May 4
An Atlas of Extinct Countries by Gideon DeFoe
Countries die. Sometimes it’s murder, sometimes it’s by accident, and sometimes it’s because they were so ludicrous they didn’t deserve to exist in the first place. Occasionally they explode violently. A few slip away almost unnoticed. Often the cause of death is either ‘got too greedy’ or ‘Napoleon turned up’. Now and then they just hold a referendum and vote themselves out of existence.
This is an atlas of 48 nations that fell off the map. The polite way of writing an obituary is: dwell on the good bits, gloss over the embarrassing stuff. This book refuses to do so, because these dead nations are so full of schemers, racists, and con men that it’s impossible to skip the embarrassing stuff.
Due June 18
The Great Mistake by Jonathan Lee
Andrew Haswell Green is dead, shot at the venerable age of eighty-three, when he thought life could hold no more surprises. The killing–on Park Avenue, in broad daylight, on Friday the thirteenth–shook the city. Green was born to a poor farmer, yet without him there would be no Central Park, no Metropolitan Museum of Art, no Museum of Natural History, no New York Public Library. And Green had a secret, a life locked within him that now, in the hour of his death–alone, misunderstood–is set to break free. As the detective assigned to Green’s case chases his ghost across the city, we meet a wealthy courtesan, a brokenhearted man in a bowler hat, and a lawyer turned politician whose decades-long friendship with Green is the source of both his troubles and his joys. A work of tremendous depth and piercing emotion, The Great Mistake is the story of a city transformed, a murder that made a private man infamous, and a portrait of a singular individual who found the world closed off to him–yet enlarged it.
Due June 15