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eBook Update - December 5, 2017


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

| Archived Newsletter View | Insider

The Best of the Year

The close of the year is a good time to take stock of what pleasures the previous year has offered.  Many media outlets celebrate the year in books by publishing what they consider to be the best works to have come to their reviewers' attentions.  Here are a few picks from readers at the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and other review sources to close out this year's Ebook Insider.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

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Mrs. Osmond
by John Banville

Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James’s immortal 1881 novel The Portrait of a Lady, learned too late that the man she married, Gilbert Osmond, was deceitful and cruel, and far too intimate with a certain Madame Merle. Offered the chance to free herself from her marriage, James’s novel closes with Isabel returning to her husband in Italy. Banville picks up Isabel’s story from there, as she arrives in Italy—along with someone else!—and offers a compelling, fresh take on James’s captivating, independent minded heroine.  A New York Times 2017 Notable Book

Bluebird, Bluebird
by Attica Locke

When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules—a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders—a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman—have stirred up a hornet's nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes—and save himself in the process—before Lark's long-simmering racial fault lines erupt. A Washington Post Best Thrillers and Mysteries of 2017, Kirkus Best Mysteries of 2017, New York Times Best Crime Fiction 2017

An Unkindness of Ghosts
by Rivers Solomon

Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda , a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot--if she's willing to sow the seeds of civil war. A Publisher’s Weekly Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017 selection, Library Journal Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017

Six Four
by Hideo Yokoyama

For five days, the family of a seven-year-old Japanese schoolgirl agonized over the demands of their daughter’s kidnapper. They met his demands—but never saw their child alive again. Fourteen years later, the botched investigation of the case—forever known as ‘Six Four’ in the minds of the nation and the police who failed to apprehend the killer—comes back to haunt Yoshinobu Mikami, a former detective assigned to the case and now serving as the department’s press officer. Mikami doesn’t intend to solve the case, but when he spots an anomaly in the case files, he uncovers secrets that reveal that could shake the police—and an entire culture—to its very core. A Washington Post Best Mystery of 2017 and a New York Times Notable Book of 2017.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
by Caitlin Doughty

Mortician Caitlin Doughty, author of bestseller Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, set out to discover how other cultures care for their dead. She witnesses a kotsuage ceremony in Japan, where relatives pluck loved-ones bones from cremation ashes, learns about the Zoroastrian practice of sky burials, and watches as an Indonesian man cleans and dresses his grandfather’s mummified body, residing in the family home for two years. Through it all, she considers if the American way of death, with it particular (and perhaps peculiar) practice of embalming and burial might be fostering a fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn, and what death with dignity really means. A New York Times Notable Book of 2017.

The Power
by Naomi Alderman

In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power—they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. A New York Times 2017 Notable Book, Kirkus Best Fiction of 2017, Washington Post Best Books of 2017, Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2017, Winner of the 2017 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction

The Locals
by Jonathan Dee

Mark Firth is a contractor and home restorer in small town Howland, Massachusetts newly struggling to support his family after being swindled by a financial advisor. Philip Hadi leaves post 9/11 New York to turn his Howland home into a ‘secure location’ from which he can manage other people’s billions. Inspired by Hadi, Firth discovers a sure-fire investment—the mid-decade housing boom—and Hadi works his way into local politics, exerting his influence to make lasting impact on Howland—and eventually harsh realities for Mark and his family. Capturing the drama of early twenty-first America with rising inequality and working class decline, The Locals powerfully captures American life at the fraught moment in time. Publishers Weekly Best Fiction of 2017, a Washington Post 2017 Notable Book

An Extraordinary Union
by Alyssa Cole

Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army. Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton's Secret Service facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia. Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy's favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . . Kirkus Best Romance Novel of 2017, Publishers Weekly Best Romance of 2017