12 May 2016

BEA Preview: Must-Read Books from HarperCollins 2016 (Part 2)

I hope you took note of the excellent books I featured on Monday. I also hope you didn't put your wallet away yet, because you're going to want so many of the books I talk about today. There's a reason HarperCollins is one of my favorite publishers: the variety of quality books they release each season is impressive.

I'm going to follow the same format I did on Monday: For each imprint, I've listed all the presented titles (with my own description). For my top pick, I've shown book cover and publisher's summary. You have a lot of good reading ahead!

Harper Perennial

  • Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan: A psychological thriller involving an English teacher who moonlights as an advice columnist. When a teen goes missing and a clue is sent to the newspaper, the teacher becomes involved in the rescue attempt.
  • The Infinite by Nicholas Mainieri: A coming-of-age story set in post-Katrina NOLA and the wilds of northern Mexico. Both a love story and a look at the violence of the drug cartels.
  • Not Just Jane by Shelley DeWees: The lives of seven woman authors from the early 1800s who, despite success, have faded from our collective memories. Biography.
  • The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky: Set in Haifa over the course of a single day, a young physician attempts to reconcile her inner and outer selves and her family's past and present while the city prepares for a possible terrorist attack.
Maranifesto by Caitlin MoranMaranifesto by Caitlin Moran: Although I loved the other books from this imprint, I just had to go with Moran for my top pick.
When Caitlin Moran sat down to choose her favorite pieces for her new book, she realized that they all shared a common theme—the same old problems and the same old ass-hats. Then she thought of the word ‘Moranifesto’, and she knew what she had to do…

Introducing every piece and weaving her writing together into a brilliant, seamless narrative—just as she did in Moranthology—Caitlin combines the best of her recent columns with lots of new writing unique to this book as she offers a characteristically fun and witty look at the news, celebrity culture, and society. Featuring strong and important pieces on poverty, the media, and class, Moranifesto also focuses on how socially engaged we’ve become as a society.

And of course, Caitlin is never afraid to address the big issues, such as Benedict Cumberbatch and duffel coats. Who else but Caitlin Moran—a true modern Renaissance woman—could deal with topics as pressing and diverse as the beauty of musicals, affordable housing, Daft Punk, and why the Internet is like a drunken toddler?

Covering everything from Hillary Clinton to UTIs, Caitlin’s manifesto is an engaging and mischievous rallying call for our times. 
Harper 360
  • After Anna by Alex Lake: A psychological thriller about a kidnapped girl and a custody battle between her parents. Sounds pretty gripping.
  • Who's That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane: Romantic comedy about a young woman who kissed the wrong guy and now must move past the social media attention.
Six Days in Leningrad by Paullina SimonsSix Days in Leningrad by Paullina Simons: this memoir calls to me for several reasons, not least of which is that my grandfather escaped Russia during the revolution.
The never-before-told story of the journey behind Paullina Simons’ most beloved novel, The Bronze Horseman, now in print for the first time.

From the author of the celebrated, internationally bestselling Bronze Horseman saga comes a glimpse into the private life of its much loved creator, and the real story behind the epic novels. Paullina Simons gives us a work of non-fiction as captivating and heart-wrenching as the lives of Tatiana and Alexander. Only a few chapters into writing her first story set in Russia, her mother country, Paullina Simons traveled to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) with her beloved Papa. What began as a research trip turned into six days that forever changed her life, the course of her family, and the novel that became The Bronze Horseman. After a quarter-century away from her native land, Paullina and her father found a world trapped in yesteryear, with crumbling stucco buildings, entire families living in seven-square-meter communal apartments, and barren fields bombed so badly that nothing would grow there even fifty years later. And yet there were the spectacular white nights, the warm hospitality of family friends and, of course, the pelmeni and caviar. At times poignant, at times inspiring and funny, this is both a fascinating glimpse into the inspiration behind the epic saga, and a touching story of a family’s history, a father and a daughter, and the fate of a nation.
Dey Street
  • The Fortress by Danielle Trussioni: This is a memoir that reads like a psychological thriller. The author writes about her marriage to a possessive man.
  • The Hostage's Daughter by Salome Anderson: The daughter of Terry Anderson, the journalist who was held hostage by Hezbollah for six years, talks about his return, her meeting him for the first time, and the complex after affects of his ordeal.
  • It's Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort: A memoir of a love story cut short by illness. Grab a box of tissues and explore survival, grief, and finding the humor.
  • Sex Object by Jessica Valenti: This collection of essays focuses on feminism and what it means to be a woman in the twenty-first century.
The World According to Star Wars by Cass R. SunsteinThe World According to Star Wars by Cass R. Sunstein: I think this is going to be a must-have for all Star Wars fans everywhere.
A deeply original celebration of George Lucas’s masterpiece as it relates to history, presidential politics, law, economics, fatherhood, and culture by Harvard legal scholar and former White House advisor

There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, The Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting with down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’ score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.

In rich detail, Sunstein tells story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and what it has to say about why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about the freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines new light on the most beloved story of our time.
William Morrow Paperbacks
  • The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore: Set in Ireland about a hundred years ago, it's the story of three women who grow up on a family estate in happiness until The Troubles come to their door. First in a trilogy.
  • Girl Unbroken by Regina Calcattera: A second memoir for the author. This one focuses on her rescuing her younger sister from their alcoholic and abusive mother.
  • Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman: This is about a single mother who unexpectedly inherits a house--and its elderly inhabitant. Contemporary fiction with themes of made families, Alzheimer's, and women's friendships.
  • The Perfect Girl by Gilly McMillan: A psychological thriller involving a mother and daughter working on a second family but living with a secret, until one fateful day the secret is a revealed and someone is murdered. Takes place in twenty-four hours.
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny ColganThe Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan: Who can resist a story about a book matchmaker? Plus I enjoy Colgan's writing.
Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
William Morrow Hardcover
  • The Bitch Is Back edited by Cathi Hanauer: This collection of essays by some of today's leading woman authors look at the varied experiences of being a woman in the modern world.
  • Forty Autumns by Nina Willner: The true story of a family divided by the Iron Curtain/Berlin Wall. How each side coped and their joyous reunion all those years later.
  • Monticello by Sally Cabot Gunning: Well-researched historical fiction about Thomas Jefferson's daughter Martha and her relationship with both her father and their plantation.
Hidden Figures by Margo Lee ShetterlyHidden Figures by Margo Lee Shetterly: The true story of the African American women who were critical for the success of our country's space program. Why is it that we've (I've) never heard of these smart, capable women before?
Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as “Human Computers,” calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws, these “colored computers,” as they were known, used slide rules, adding machines, and pencil and paper to support America’s fledgling aeronautics industry, and helped write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Drawing on the oral histories of scores of these “computers,” personal recollections, interviews with NASA executives and engineers, archival documents, correspondence, and reporting from the era, Hidden Figures recalls America’s greatest adventure and NASA’s groundbreaking successes through the experiences of five spunky, courageous, intelligent, determined, and patriotic women: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.

Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of scientific achievement and technological innovation with the intimate stories of five women whose work forever changed the world—and whose lives show how out of one of America’s most painful histories came one of its proudest moments.  
Note: Up next week are features of the books I discovered at BEA.


Vicki 5/12/16, 8:26 AM  

You're right, I see a quite a few that I like.

Kailana 5/13/16, 3:33 PM  

Oh. I have to get the Paullina Simons!! I loved The Bronze Horseman but never clicked with most of her other fiction, but non-fiction about this time period probably would be really good. There are others on here, I want, too... There are always lots of books I want. lol

Iliana 5/15/16, 12:01 PM  

This is a publisher with some fabulous books. I am looking forward to the new Mhairi McFarlane book. I just discovered her last year and really enjoyed her writing.

Elizabeth 5/16/16, 7:25 PM  

Nice post.

Are these the books that were featured in the Harper Collins Fall 2016 Blogger Preview Event?

I want a lot of these books. :)

Thanks for sharing.


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