The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Staff Pick

Danny Conroy grew up in The Dutch House (Harper, $27.99), the unusual, majestic mansion in the Philly suburbs that is the true main character of Ann Patchett’s elegant and moving novel. Part of the baby boom generation, Danny and his sister Maeve were abandoned by their mother when they were young and endured a difficult childhood with their father’s second wife who, interested only in the house, bore more than a passing resemblance to the storied evil stepmother. Richly evoking the different relationships—of the siblings, of their parents, of mothers and sons—and showing how they were both formed and warped by the house, Patchett’s deeply compelling narrative follows Danny as he matures, leaves the house and his father, but remains close to Maeve and their shared memories. Beautifully written with complex and fascinating characters, this novel is as intimate as it is panoramic.

The Dutch House: A Read with Jenna Pick By Ann Patchett Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062963673
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 24th, 2019

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Staff Pick

If you need a gift for the book lover that tends to fall head over heels into the fantastical and magical worlds of literature and stories, then The Starless Sea (Doubleday, $28.95) by Erin Morgenstern, author of the bestselling Night Circus, is the perfect pick. The intrigue begins when Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a mysterious book in his college library. It seems to contain a series of clues, which lead him to an underground society dedicated to the protection of the stories of the world. An epic tale of love and adventure, the narrative has everything bibliophiles crave: underground hidden libraries, pirates and sword fights, secret assassins, cats and owls, and lots of sweet honey. Bouncing back and forth between chapters in the found book and the action of the present day, The Starless Sea pays homage to the stories of our lives, and demonstrates how our destinies come to mirror those of the plot lines we read over and over.

The Starless Sea: A Novel By Erin Morgenstern Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385541213
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - November 5th, 2019

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner

Staff Pick

Ben Lerner is one of the smartest and most ambitious authors working today. His novel The Topeka School (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27), like his previous 10:04 and Leaving the Atocha Station, is a semiautobiographical, metafictional narrative, this time following Adam Gordon, a senior in a Topeka, Kansas, high school and, like the author, a nationally ranked debater, an aspiring poet, and a young man coming to grips with his role in a society imbued with toxic masculinity. Adam’s father is a psychiatrist specializing in treatments for “lost boys,” and his mother is a famous feminist author. The story is told through the alternating perspectives of this family, as well as that of Darren Eberheart, a violence-prone loner at the high school and one of the father’s “lost boys.” This is another Lerner novel about language; we watch as Adam’s speech evolves through spreading an opponent’s arguments in policy debate, engaging in freestyle rap battles with his classmates, and following the free association of memories that surface in therapy. This is also a look at childhood, and at the heartland of America and how the country has morphed along with the language into the current political atmosphere. Lerner’s latest work is brilliant, poetic, and introspective.

The Topeka School: A Novel By Ben Lerner Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374277789
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 1st, 2019