Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Release Tuesday 6/9

Tuesday means new releases here at the book shop! Check out some of our favorites this week...


NEW IN HARDCOVER:

Fordlandia, by Greg Grandin

In 1927, Henry Ford, the richest man in the world, bought a tract of land twice the size of Delaware in the Brazilian Amazon. His intention was to grow rubber, but the project rapidly evolved into a more ambitious bid to export America itself, along with its golf courses, ice-cream shops, bandstands, indoor plumbing, and Model Ts rolling down broad streets.

Fordlandia, as the settlement was called, quickly became the site of an epic clash. On one side was the car magnate, lean, austere, the man who reduced industrial production to its simplest motions; on the other, the Amazon, lush, extravagant, the most complex ecological system on the planet. Ford's early success in imposing time clocks and square dances on the jungle soon collapsed, as indigenous workers, rejecting his midwestern Puritanism, turned the place into a ribald tropical boomtown. Fordlandia's eventual demise as a rubber plantation foreshadowed the practices that today are laying waste to the rain forest.

More than a parable of one man's arrogant attempt to force his will on the natural world, Fordlandia depicts a desperate quest to salvage the bygone America that the Ford factory system did much to dispatch. As Greg Grandin shows in this gripping and mordantly observed history, Ford's great delusion was not that the Amazon could be tamed but that the forces of capitalism, once released, might yet be contained.

The Actor and the Housewife, by Shannon Hale

Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity hearththrob Felix Callahan. Twelve hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened. It isn't sexual. It isn't even quite love. But a month later Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and before they know what's hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky's husband is pretty cool about it. Her children roll their eyes. Her neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special, something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it? A magical story, The Actor and the Housewife explores what could happen when your not-so-secret celebrity crush walks right into real life and changes everything.

Relentless, by Dean Koontz

New York Times-bestselling master of suspense Koontz delivers a mesmerizing new thriller that explores the razor-thin line between the best and worst of human nature--and the anarchy simmering just beneath society's surface.


“[A] smoothly spun nail-biter.... Koontz still grabs readers as few other thriller scribes can.” ~ Booklist




NEW IN PAPERBACK:

The Opposite of Love, by Julie Buxbaum

When twenty-nine-year-old Manhattan attorney Emily Haxby ends her happy relationship just as her boyfriend is about to propose, she can't explain to even her closest friends why she did it. But somewhere beneath her independent exterior, Emily knows her breakup with Andrew has less to do with him and more to do with herself.

As the holidays loom and Emily contemplates whether she made a huge mistake, the rest of her world begins to unravel. She's assigned to a multimillion-dollar lawsuit where she must defend the very values she detests by a boss who can't keep his hands to himself; her Grandpa Jack, the person she cares most about in the world, is losing it, while her emotionally distant father has left her to cope alone; and underneath it all, memories of her deceased mother remind her that love doesn't last forever.

How this brave young woman finally faces the fears that have long haunted her is the great achievement of this marvelous first novel, written with authority, grace, and wisdom.

The Spies of Warsaw, by Alan Furst

War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, in Warsaw, the new military attache, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of the city. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations. Risking his life, Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal characters, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed.

Beijing Coma, by Ma Jian

Dai Wei, a medical student and protestor in Tiananmen Square in June, 1989, was caught by a soldier's bullet and fell into a deep coma. But as the millennium draws near, he begins to emerge from unconsciousness, and to sense the massive changes in his country. At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, and a seminal story of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is Ma Jian's masterpiece.

"A complex, confrontational, demanding--and ultimately rewarding--work." ~Kirkus Reviews

Irreligion, by John Allen Paulos

Are there any logical reasons to believe in God? The mathematician and bestselling author John Allen Paulos thinks not. In Irreligion he presents the case for his own worldview, organizing his book into twelve chapters that refute the twelve arguments most often put forward for believing in God's existence. Interspersed among these counterarguments are remarks on a variety of irreligious themes, ranging from the nature of miracles and creationist probability to cognitive illusions and prudential wagers. Despite the strong influence of his day job, Paulos says, there isn't a single mathematical formula in the book.

Petite Anglaise, by Catherine Sanderson

Stuck in a relationship quickly losing its heat, overwhelmed by the burdens of motherhood, and restless in a dead-end job, Catherine reads an article about starting an online diary, and on a slow day at work--voila--Petite Anglaise is born. But what begins as a lighthearted diversion, a place to muse on the fish-out-of-water challenges of expat life, soon gives way to a raw forum where Catherine shares intimate details about her relationship, her discontents, and her most impulsive desires. When one of her readers--a charming Englishman--tries to get close to the girl behind the blog, Catherine's real and virtual personas collide, forcing her to choose between life as she knows it and the possibility of more.

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