December 2017 Adult Top 10 Picks

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  1. The Girl in the Tower
    by Katherine Arden
    Del Rey
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Fantasy / Action & Adventure
    Hardcover
    The Girl in the Tower
    by Katherine Arden
    Del Rey
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Fantasy / Action & Adventure
    Hardcover
    A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the backwoods of Russia to the court of Moscow, in the exhilarating sequel to Katherine Arden’s bestselling debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale.

    Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.

    Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.

    But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.

    Praise for The Girl in the Tower

    “[A] magical story set in an alluring Russia.”Paste

    “Arden’s lush, lyrical writing cultivates an intoxicating, visceral atmosphere, and her marvelous sense of pacing carries the novel along at a propulsive clip. A masterfully told story of folklore, history, and magic with a spellbinding heroine at the heart of it all.”Booklist (starred review)

    “[A] sensual, beautifully written, and emotionally stirring fantasy . . . Fairy tales don’t get better than this.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    “[Katherine] Arden once again delivers an engaging fantasy that mixes Russian folklore and history with delightful worldbuilding and lively characters.”Library Journal
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  2. No Time to Spare
    by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Dec 05, 2017
    LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Essays
    Hardcover
    No Time to Spare
    by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Dec 05, 2017
    LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Essays
    Hardcover
    Ursula K. Le Guin on the absurdity of denying your age: “If I’m ninety and believe I’m forty-five, I’m headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub.”

    On cultural perceptions of fantasy: “The direction of escape is toward freedom. So what is ‘escapism’ an accusation of?”

    On breakfast: “Eating an egg from the shell takes not only practice, but resolution, even courage, possibly willingness to commit crime.”


    Ursula K. Le Guin took readers to imaginary worlds for decades. In her last great frontier of life, old age, she explored a new literary territory: the blog, a forum where she shined. The collected best of Ursula’s blog, No Time to Spare presents perfectly crystallized dispatches on what mattered to her late in life, her concerns with the world, and her wonder at it: “How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us.”
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  3. Enchantress of Numbers
    by Jennifer Chiaverini
    Dutton
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Historical / General
    Hardcover
    Enchantress of Numbers
    by Jennifer Chiaverini
    Dutton
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Historical / General
    Hardcover
    New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini illuminates the life of Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace—Lord Byron’s daughter and the world’s first computer programmer.

    The only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the most brilliant, revered, and scandalous of the Romantic poets, Ada was destined for fame long before her birth. But her mathematician mother, estranged from Ada's infamous and destructively passionate father, is determined to save her only child from her perilous Byron heritage. Banishing fairy tales and make-believe from the nursery, Ada’s mother provides her daughter with a rigorous education grounded in mathematics and science. Any troubling spark of imagination—or worse yet, passion or poetry—is promptly extinguished. Or so her mother believes.

    When Ada is introduced into London society as a highly eligible young heiress, she at last discovers the intellectual and social circles she has craved all her life. Little does she realize how her exciting new friendship with Charles Babbage—the brilliant, charming, and occasionally curmudgeonly inventor of an extraordinary machine, the Difference Engine—will define her destiny.

    Enchantress of Numbers unveils the passions, dreams, and insatiable thirst for knowledge of a largely unheralded pioneer in computing—a young woman who stepped out of her father’s shadow to achieve her own laurels and champion the new technology that would shape the future.
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  4. The Vanishing Season
    by Joanna Schaffhausen
    Minotaur Books
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
    Hardcover
    The Vanishing Season
    by Joanna Schaffhausen
    Minotaur Books
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
    Hardcover

    Winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, Joanna Schaffhausen’s accomplished debutThe Vanishing Season will grip readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.

    Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She's an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only one who lived.

    When three people disappear from her town in three years—all around her birthday—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer all those years ago.

    Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he's washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them...with a killer who can't letgo.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  5. Three Daughters of Eve
    by Elif Shafak
    Bloomsbury USA
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    Three Daughters of Eve
    by Elif Shafak
    Bloomsbury USA
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    The stunning, timely new novel from the acclaimed, internationally bestselling author ofThe Architect's Apprentice andThe Bastard of Istanbul.

    Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground--an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past--and a love--Peri had tried desperately to forget.

    Three Daughters of Eve is set over an evening in contemporary Istanbul, as Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Over the course of the dinner, and amidst an opulence that is surely ill-begotten, terrorist attacks occur across the city. Competing in Peri’s mind however are the memories invoked by her almost-lost polaroid, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time, to attend Oxford University. As a young woman there, she had become friends with the charming, adventurous Shirin, a fully assimilated Iranian girl, and Mona, a devout Egyptian-American. Their arguments about Islam and feminism find focus in the charismatic but controversial Professor Azur, who teaches divinity, but in unorthodox ways. As the terrorist attacks come ever closer, Peri is moved to recall the scandal that tore them all apart.

    Elif Shafak is the number one bestselling novelist in her native Turkey, and her work is translated and celebrated around the world.In Three Daughters of Eve, she has given us a rich and moving story that humanizes and personalizes one of the most profound sea changes of the modern world.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  6. Glass Town
    by Steven Savile
    St. Martin's Press
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Fantasy / Contemporary
    Hardcover
    Glass Town
    by Steven Savile
    St. Martin's Press
    Dec 05, 2017
    FICTION / Fantasy / Contemporary
    Hardcover

    Steven Savile is an international sensation, selling over half a million copies of his novels worldwide and writing for cult favorite television shows includingDoctor Who,Torchwood, andStargate. Now, he is finally making his US debut withGlass Town, a brilliantly composed novel revolving around the magic and mystery lurking in London.

    There's always been magic in our world
    We just needed to know where to look for it

    In 1924, two brothers both loved Eleanor Raines, a promising young actress from the East End of London. She disappeared during the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s debut,Number 13, which itself is now lost. It was the crime of the age, capturing the imagination of the city: the beautiful actress never seen again, and the gangster who disappeared the same day.

    Generations have passed. Everyone involved is long dead. But even now their dark, twisted secret threatens to tear the city apart.

    Joshua Raines is about to enter a world of macabre beauty, of glittering celluloid and the silver screen, of illusion and deception, of impossibly old gangsters and the fiendish creatures they command, and most frighteningly of all, of genuine magic.

    He is about to enter Glass Town.

    The generations-old obsession with Eleanor Raines’s unsolved case is about to become his obsession, handed down father-to-son through his bloodline like some unwanted inheritance. But first he needs to bury his grandfather and absorb the implications of the confession in his hand, a letter from one of the brothers, Isaiah, claiming to have seen the missing actress. The woman in the red dress hadn’t aged a day, no matter that it was 1994 and she’d been gone seventy years.

    Long buried secrets cannot stay secrets forever. Hidden places cannot stay hidden forever.

    The magic that destroyed one of the most brutal families in London’s dark history is finally failing, and Joshua Raines is about to discover that everything he dared dream of, everything he has ever feared, is waiting for him in Glass Town.

    View this title on BNC CataList
  7. We'll Sleep When We're Old
    by Pino Corrias
    Atria Books
    Dec 12, 2017
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    We'll Sleep When We're Old
    by Pino Corrias
    Atria Books
    Dec 12, 2017
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    Like Fellini’s classic film and mixed with Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty, a gorgeously wrought novel that explores the complicated life of a controversial Italian film producer who vanishes after a fire destroys his home.

    Rome, present day: an extravagant, opulent world of fashionable parties, fancy cars, and powerful men and women in a constant dance of excess and intrigue. Oscar Martello, president of a film production company, is a self-made man: despite his humble origins, he has managed to achieve unbelievable fame and success. He is also a cutthroat and ruthless visionary. Andrea Serrano, his best friend, is a scriptwriter who explores the themes of love and murder in his work. The beautiful actress Jacaranda Rizzi, Oscar’s muse, has a secret that has been tormenting her for many years. Pulsing with ambition, all three represent the apex of Rome’s complex and privileged network of glamorous yet troubled aristocrats.

    When a fire devastates Oscar’s villa in one of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods and he goes missing, all of Rome is left to wonder about his fate. The evidence points to Jacaranda, but could she have orchestrated something so sinister? More important, could she have done it alone, or has Andrea played some role in the debacle?

    In this archly funny, immersive, and gripping novel, Pino Corrias does for Rome what Elena Ferrante did for Naples, delivering a powerful story about the high stakes world of entertainment in today’s Rome, where celebrity rules all and the grande bellezza of a more gracious age has given way to something much darker.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  8. They Know Not What They Do
    by Jussi Valtonen
    Oneworld Publications
    Dec 15, 2017
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    They Know Not What They Do
    by Jussi Valtonen
    Oneworld Publications
    Dec 15, 2017
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover
    "This hugely ambitious work of contemporary realism offers a dramatic warning about the influence of digital culture."
    -- Booklist

    Joe Chayefski has got what he always wanted: a reputation as one of America's top neuroscientists, a beautiful wife and two perfect daughters. But his carefully created idyll is threatened when his Baltimore neuroscience lab is targeted by animal rights activists. The attack is followed by a phone call from Joe's ex-wife in Finland. Two decades have passed since he abandoned Alina and their young son, Samuel, returning to America to advance his career. Now Samuel is somewhere in the States, and Alina fears he is looking for revenge.

    As Joe struggles to protect his new family from the increasing threat of violence – and to save his eldest daughter from the clutches of an unscrupulous tech company – he is forced to reconsider his priorities and take drastic action to save those he loves.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  9. The Years, Months, Days
    by Yan Lianke
    Grove Press
    Dec 15, 2017
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback
    The Years, Months, Days
    by Yan Lianke
    Grove Press
    Dec 15, 2017
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback
    Yan Lianke—“China’s most feted and most banned author” (Financial Times)—is a master of imaginative satire, and his prize-winning works have been published around the world to the highest honors. Now, his two most acclaimed novellas are collected here in a single volume—masterfully crafted stories that explore the sacrifices made for family, the driving will to survive, and the longing to leave behind a personal legacy.

    Marrow is the haunting tale of a widow who goes to extremes to provide a normal life for her four disabled children. When she discovers that bones—especially those of kin—can cure their illnesses and prevent future generations from the same fate, she feeds them a medicinal soup made from the skeleton of her dead husband. But after running out of soup, she resorts to a measure that only a mother can take.

    In the luminous, moving title story,The Years, Months, Days—a bestselling, classic fable in China, and winner of the prestigious Lu Xun Literary Prize—an elderly man stays behind in his small village after a terrible drought forces everyone to leave. Unable to make the grueling march through the mountains, he becomes the lone inhabitant, along with a blind dog. As he fends off the natural world from overtaking his hometown, every day is a victory over death.

    With touches of the fantastical and with deep humanity, these two magnificent novellas—masterpieces of the short form—reflect the universality of mankind’s will to live, live well, and live with purpose.
    View this title on BNC CataList
  10. Wild and Beautiful is the Night
    by John Miller 'Canada'
    Cormorant Books
    Oct 14, 2018
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback
    Wild and Beautiful is the Night
    by John Miller 'Canada'
    Cormorant Books
    Oct 14, 2018
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback

    Paulette and Danni grew up miles apart — Paulette in Hamilton and Danni in North Toronto — but they might as well have been worlds apart. Paulette's family emigrated from Jamaica. Danni grew up Jewish in an affluent neighbourhood of Toronto. Now both women find themselves on the streets of Toronto, working in the sex trade.

    Paulette is a seasoned prostitute, working to support herself and her addiction. She acts as an unlikely and reluctant mentor and friend to Danni, who is new to the street and whose addiction has set her on a similar path to Paulette. Their paths intersect again and again over the course of a difficult and troubled friendship that sees Paulette begin to pull herself together while Danni manages to survive everything that comes her way. Will her luck run out? Has Paulette learned to make her own luck?

    View this title on BNC CataList

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