Staff Pick

Two years after the magical Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights, set in Fairyland, Salman Rushdie is back with another, much more realistic novel. The Golden House (Random House, $28.99) begins on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, when an uncrowned seventy- something king, who calls himself Nero Golden, arrives in New York from a faraway country. With his three motherless sons, Nero takes possession of the palace he would call his home. Having arrived under mysterious circumstances, the family also assumes new identities. They take Roman names, trying to reinvent themselves and keep their past hidden, all the while battling their own demons. The youngest son, D, is conflicted over his sexual identity; Apu longs to go back home; and Petya develops agoraphobia. The Goldens’ story is told by their neighbor, René, who becomes fascinated with the family and the various goings-on surrounding them. He gets pulled into their life of mystery, money, intrigue, drama, and crime. Then it all abruptly ends eight years later with the election of “The Joker” as president. Exploring the nature of good and evil and our capacity to change and adapt, Rushdie has loaded this novel with parallels between our world and the one the Goldens live in. “Clowns become kings, old crowns lie in the gutter. Things change. It’s the way of the world.”

The Golden House: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399592805
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Random House - September 5th, 2017

Staff Pick

Golden Hill (Scribner, $26), winner of the Costa Award, is the first novel by Francis Spufford, author of I May Be Some Time and other acclaimed narrative nonfictions. The year is 1746. Mr. Smith, a young, charming, and mysterious stranger from England, arrives at Lovell’s house on New York’s Golden Hill with a bill of exchange for the breathtaking sum of 1,000 pounds. That alone, aside from Smith’s refusal to disclose anything about himself—where he’s come from and what he’s planning to do with that kind of money in the colonies—creates an aura of mystery and intrigue. As rumors begin to circulate, you’re pulled into the story, eager for answers, along with Manhattan’s social elite. Finding an ally and a friend in the marvelous Septimus Oakeshott, secretary to the governor, Mr. Smith inveigles his way into that elite, attending their dinner parties and becoming a part of their lives. He even develops an interest in one of Lovell’s daughters, the quick-witted and sharp-tongued Tabatha. But then things start to fall apart, and he finds himself in trouble. Quick paced, with extraordinary dialog and well-crafted characters, Spufford’s brilliant historical novel will make you turn the pages fast to find out what Mr. Smith is up to. The beauty of this novel is that you won’t find out until the very final pages.

Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501163876
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 27th, 2017

Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501163883
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Scribner - February 6th, 2018

Staff Pick

Do you ever find yourself looking at the starry sky and wondering how it all came to be, asking what is a universe and what is our place in it? Do you wish you knew more but are just too busy with your everyday life to start exploring and looking for answers? Well, then, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new book, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (W.W. Norton, $18.95), is just what you need. And even though Tyson starts with the premise that “the universe is under no obligation to make sense to you,” he will try to explain. There’s no reason to feel intimidated; I’m sure you remember learning about Einstein’s E=mc² and Sir Isaac Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation, and that’s all you need to start reading this book. How it all begun, the Big Bang and the expansion of the cosmos, dark matter and black holes, everything is explained in clear and understandable language with short chapters that you can read whenever you find a spare minute. You will learn that the observable universe may contain a hundred billion galaxies, bright and beautiful and packed with stars, and that “we are stardust brought to life then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.”

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393609394
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 2nd, 2017