15 May 2015

Imprint Friday: 6 Picks from Picador

Imprint Friday on www.BethFishReads.comWelcome to a special edition of Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint Picador. It's been a while since I wrote an imprint feature, but I'd like to revive my habit of introducing you to great reads from some of my favorite publishers.

The Picador logo means quality, whether you find it on the spine of a hardcover original or paperback reprint. They publish across the genres, as you'll see from the half dozen books I'm writing about today.

Put these excellent books on your wish list or pick them up at your favorite store or library. Read them in print or on your eReader. Just read them!

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed, edited by Meghan DaumSelfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed edited by Meghan Daum. One of my most anticipated books of this spring, this collection of sixteen essays focuses on what it means to be purposely childless. The pieces present a variety of perspectives, but all make the case that having children is not necessarily the primary road to personal happiness, despite the pressures from modern society. It doesn't matter where you are on the parent spectrum--are one, hope to be one, aren't sure yet, or can't even imagine such a thing--Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed will give you much to think about and may even help you understand yourself or your childless friends. There are a world of reasons to not reproduce, and believe it or not, it's really no one's business except the person making the choice. Many of the writers in this collection mentioned how many times people asked them why they didn't have kids. Their answers are enlightening and varied. (March 2015; ISBN: 9781250052933)

The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn WomackThe Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack. If you love books that are difficult to categorize, you'll love Womack's debut. Bryan Pierce is an artist who has been plagued by nightmares that are set in ancient times: Rome, Egypt, Persia, and so on. He uses his dreams as fodder for his world-famous paintings. Linz Jacobs is a neurogeneticist who has specialized in the biology of memory. When she recognizes, in vivid detail, one of her own dreams in one of Bryan's paintings, she is startled enough to seek him out; their meeting sets off a series of events tied to mysterious deaths, history, dreams, memory, and even romance. A little bit thriller and maybe a whole lot love story, The Memory Painter offers great escape reading for fans of historical fiction, reincarnation, and mystery. (April 2015; ISBN: 9781250053039)

The Domino Diaries by Brin-Jonathan ButlerThe Domino Diaries by Brin-Jonathan Butler. Most of us are familiar with the many great Cuban athletes who have found fame in professional sports. Often these men and women leave Cuba to train and live with their teammates, but some decide to stay put. Butler's memoir focuses on the ten years he spent immersed in the boxing world and in Castro's Cuba. Part sports memoir and part ethnography, The Domino Diaries examines island culture and traditions as much as it does the boxers themselves. One of Butler's primary questions is why some athletes defect and others choose to stay, basking in the love of their fans but lacking the money and resources of those who left home. This memoir is particularly timely, with the renewal of U.S.-Cuban relations and the continued popularity of boxing, as demonstrated by the recent Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. You can embrace this book with an eye toward its cultural commentary or you can focus on the sport of boxing. Either way, there's plenty to learn. (June, 2015; ISBN: 9781250043702)

A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil HoganA Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan. You might be glad you didn't read this novel in the dark days of winter; the creep factor is strong enough that you'll welcome the comfort of daylight and sunshine. Mr. Heming has had a troubled past but is happy in the small English town he calls home. He sells houses and knows each one inside and out . . . but not just when they're empty. You see, he has kept the keys for each house he has sold over the last seventeen years. He's curious about his neighbors, learning what they do in public and what they do when they think they're safe at home. When his normal routines are upset by a single woman and a married man, Heming decides to take control. This psychological thriller has garnered several starred reviews. Read it if you dare. (January 2015; ISBN: 9781250060631)

On the Run by Alice GoffmanOn the Run by Alice Goffman. We've all heard it, America is supposedly waging a war on crime. Unfortunately, this so-called war has resulted in racial profiling, crowded prisons, and no real halt in the trafficking of street drugs. As the publisher's summary for On the Run puts it: "Goffman spent six years in one Philadelphia neighborhood, documenting the routine stops, searches, raids, and beatings that young men navigate as they come of age." This is a heart-breaking and very real look at what goes in the neighborhoods most of us see only on the news or in movies. If you've been sickened by recent run-ins and violence between police and black citizens living in urban neighborhoods, you need to read this book. Goffman outlines just how difficult it is for decent people to stay decent and to stay out of harm's way. Combining thorough research, personal experience, and excellent journalism, Goffman has created a gripping true story of our times. Whether or not you agree with Goffman's methods and conclusions, On the Run has a place in this important debate. (April 2015 ISBN: 9781250065667)

The Last Pilot by Benjamin JohncockThe Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock. Americans have always been in love with the space program, especially in its early days. Johncock's debut novel focuses on U.S. Air Force test pilot Jim Harrison and tracks his progress from an isolated military base in the Mojave Desert in the 1940s through the 1960s and the race for the moon. Balancing family life with career ambitions isn't easy; the lure of the young NASA organization is strong. Although Harrison initially does what's right for his wife, fate doesn't treat him well. The Last Pilot is a sharp look at a man torn by personal loss and a desire to reach for the stars. The period details, well-drawn characters, and emotional depth make this the perfect summer read, as we come up on the forty-sixth anniversary of the first moon landing. (July 2015; ISBN: 9781250066640)


rhapsodyinbooks 5/15/15, 6:24 AM  

Definitely agree about Picador and quality!

JoAnn 5/15/15, 7:20 AM  

Picador always has excellent offerings! On the Run sounds very timely.

Jackie McGuinness 5/15/15, 9:44 AM  

Added A Pleasure and On the Run to my TBR list.

Kay 5/15/15, 3:45 PM  

I already have A Pleasure and A Calling but I've not read it yet. Story of my life. LOL

Looking forward to it and yes, I dare. :-)

Victoria 5/15/15, 5:40 PM  

I just finished The Memory Painter this morning. I loved it! A Pleasure and a Calling is one I'm adding to my TBR list right now :-)

rhonda 5/15/15, 7:04 PM  

Picador is a fantastic publisher I have a few of the books including On The Run which I just started &a Pleasure and A Calling it sounds chilling,

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 5/17/15, 2:02 AM  

I just finished listening to The Memory Painter - it was fantastic! I'll have to check out the others. The Last Pilot sounds like one I'd enjoy.

Daryl 5/18/15, 12:19 PM  

The Memory Painter synopsis made me think of Connie Willis' Passage .. adding it to my list along with A Pleasure and A Calling .. thanks!

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