Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

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Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

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The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

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Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

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Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.

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Secret Lives of the Tsars

Michael Farquhar moves from the scandals of Great Britain's royal history to the thrillingly excessive  story of Russia's Romanov dynasty.  From Peter the Great through Catherine II (and yes, her lovers) to Rasputin and the fate of Nicholas and Alexandra, this is history as pure diversion.

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Invisible Love

Throughout the admirably sentimental short stories of France's Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, the keyword is amour. Schmitt's beaus and belles adore kidnapped children, unrequited lovers, and loyal hounds, in stories which touch the heart and rouse the spirit.

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Crystal Eaters

In a village where the number of crystals one is born with determines lifespan, a family forages for the stones (and fortitude) they need to stay alive. Shane Jones' surreal modern fantasy recalls the work of Neil Gaiman or Mercedes Lackey, recast in a land of trailer parks and urban sprawl.

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Things That Are

Amy Leach's pristine essays tackle bodies big and small. From the universe's great celestial constellations to the modest lives of donkeys and sea cucumbers, each chapter's subject comes to life via Leach's inquisitive, inspiring curiosity.

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Three Light-Years

This translation from Italian of Andrea Canobbio's delicate, mature romance between two doctors (and longtime friends) who fall in love despite impossible circumstances sails on delicate, entrancing prose. Call it an episode of Gray's Anatomy directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.

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The Rhesus Chart

And now for something completely different: the next tale in Charles Stross' acclaimed Laundry Files series (in which a covert office protects Britain from paranormal danger) finds the team battling zombie leeches that have inhabited the staff of a local bank. Bloodsucking parasites working in high finance? Stranger things have happened.

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Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness

Once upon a time, the creator of "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Princess and the Pea" came of age in Denmark before changing Europe and soon the world with his wondrous and elaborate fairy tales. Paul Binding here tells us a story of spritely imagination with scholarly skill.

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The Interior Circuit

Francisco Goldman roams his deceased wife's hometown of Mexico City in search of closure, and finds a capital brimming with dirty politics, drug cartel empires, and inspiring student protests.  The eyewitness tour through Distrito Federal packs the vigor of a young Norman Mailer or Joan Didion.

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The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing

An Indian-American photographer returns home to New Mexico, to care for her ailing father and absolve sins and specters of the past. This pungently funny Discover Great New Writers selection squares a candid, observant lens on family ties.

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Let's Go and Go On and On

Indie rocker Tim Kinsella's sophomore novel is a lively study of character actress Laurie Bird, whose memorable turns in the films of Woody Allen and Monte Hellman are unforgettable to fans, and a revelation to newcomers.

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The Albertine Workout

Revered, iconoclastic poet Anne Carson turns in a pamphlet-sized labyrinth on a curious subject (Marcel Proust's long-time love "Albertine"), sprawling in a mere fifty-two pages of rewarding lists and appendixes.

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Short Century

Fans of Vladimir Nabokov and Philip Roth, take note: this tale of a disgraced neo-con journalist trying to clear his name – everywhere from Iraq to the Ivy League - smolders with delicious fury. Debuting author David Burr Gerrard here proves a newcomer to watch.

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The People in the Trees

Now in paperback (and PEN Award-nominated): Hanya Yanagihara's voyage into the forests of Micronesia unearths a tribe of immortals, whose fountain of youth is shipped to America with deadly, fantastical results. A tale of magic, culture clash, and "delicious secrets... dark oily pockets of mystery."

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The Zhivago Affair

When Boris Pasternak published his famed novel Doctor Zhivago, it was banned in his native Soviet Union and made the Pasternak family into targeted enemies of the KGB. Peter Finn and Petra Couvee's cat-and-mouse Cold War history carries the volatile suspense of Pasternak's prose, and a reminder of the risks some must take to print their personal truths.

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Some Desperate Glory

Max Egremont's explosive history of "The World War I the Poets Knew" finds the likes of writer-soldiers Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, and Siegfried Sassoon on the frontlines, in the hopes of understanding how the battlefield sacrifices they made translated to the rich verse which made them legends.

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The Antiquarian

Peruvian journalist Faverón Patriau's debut novel confirms what we've long suspected: booksellers are secretly trafficking human organs in an underground marketplace. This dark fable recalls the works of Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolano in its pairing of macabre mystery with ardor for literature and its creators.

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Things I Don't Want to Know

Few essayists have the courage and talent to go head-to-head with George Orwell. Deborah Levy's response to Orwell's iconic piece "Why I Write" is at once a feminist call to arms, a touching memoir of small moments, and a guide to writing fiction from one of literature's bravest rulebreakers. 

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The Corsican Caper

Francis and Oleg covet each other's homes on the Riviera, but who called in the local mafioso as their cavalry? Peter Mayle's prose sparkles with champagne and vigor, in this charming gambol of clever twists through la bonne vie.

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The Fever

Megan Abbott took her genius for modern noir to the cheerleading squad with Dare Me, but her latest novel ventures into even more psychologically compelling territory, as a mysterious wave of seizures among teenage girls sweeps through an unsuspecting town.

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The Last Magazine

This posthumous novel from award-winning journalist Michael Hastings is poignant evidence of a great fiction career cut off by his untimely death.  A scathing, funny, rollicking look at the end of an era for print reporters, drawing on the author's own improbable adventures in the field.

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Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret

When U.S.S.R forces arrive to build monuments on Angola's beaches, the locals (including Dr. KnockKnock, a ghost, and a pet alligator) rush to save their grandmothers' waterfront homes. Mononymous author Ondjaki delivers playful magical realism with delightful defiance.

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What is Visible

A novel narrated by Laura Bridgman, the first documented blind and deaf person to learn language, contains exceptionally lyrical prose from author Kimberly Elkins, and winning cameos from Bridgman's true-life cohorts Charles Dickens and Helen Keller.

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Fortunes of War: The Levant Trilogy

Discover why Anthony Burgess called Olivia Manning's expansive novel of a young ex-pat couple evading the Nazi Party "The finest fictional record of the war produced by a British writer." A surprising - often poignantly joyful - look at Europe's last pre-WWII hurrahs.

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Midnight in Europe

Hemingway meets Le Carre as an eclectic array of freedom fighters try to outwit Fascists in the heat of the Spanish Civil War. Espionage virtuoso Alan Furst winds up the suspense in his taut, intercontinental spy story.

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The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar

An ailing war historian seeking companionship buys a tawny owl named Mumble. So begins Martin Windrow's soaring memoir of fifteen years with his gentle, shoelace-chewing, touchingly loyal pet. Think "My Dog Tulip" or "Ring of Bright Water" (with feathers).

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July 27: The American novelist and critic Elizabeth Hardwick was born on this day in 1916.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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