Margaret Atwood, Tana French, & Maria Semple | Audio in Advance October 2016 | Fiction

hag_seed_5_17__1470856165_84198Atwood, Margaret. Hag-Seed. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735286597. Reader TBA.
In Atwood’s retelling of The Tempest, Felix is at the top of his game as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he’s staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds. Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. And also brewing revenge. After 12 years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him. But will it remake Felix as his enemies fall?

Benedict, Marie. The Other Einstein. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735209251. Read by Mozhan Marno.
Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most 20 year olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

Bennett, Brit. The Mothers. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735288270. Read by Adenrele Ojo.
It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is 21, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her pious best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? 

Chang, Jade. The Wangs vs. the World. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501932014. Reader TBA.
Charles Wang is mad at America. A brash, lovable immigrant businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, he’s just been ruined by the financial crisis. Now all Charles wants is to get his kids safely stowed away so that he can go to China and attempt to reclaim his family’s ancestral lands—and his pride. Charles pulls Andrew, his aspiring comedian son, and Grace, his style-obsessed daughter, out of schools he can no longer afford. Together with their stepmother, Barbra, they embark on a cross-country road trip from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the upstate New York hideout of the eldest daughter, disgraced art world it-girl Saina. But Charles may have to choose between the old world and the new, between keeping his family intact and finally fulfilling his dream of starting anew in China.

Donohue, Keith. The Motion of Puppets. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504746670. Read by Bronson Pinchot.
In the Old City of Québec, Kay Harper is spending her summer working as an acrobat with the cirque while her husband, Theo, is translating a biography. Late one night, Kay fears someone is following her home. Surprised to see that the lights of the toy shop are on and the door is open, she takes shelter inside. The next morning Theo wakes up to discover his wife is missing. Frantic about her disappearance, he obsessively searches the streets of the Old City. Meanwhile, Kay has been transformed into a puppet and is now a prisoner of the back room of the Quatre Mains The only way she can return to the human world is if Theo can find her and recognize her in her new form. So begins a dual odyssey of a husband determined to find his wife and of a woman trapped in a magical world where her life is not her own.

51XRTsqiuCL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200___1470856248_50884French, Tana. The Trespasser. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735288706. Reader TBA.
Being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her—except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before. Other detectives are trying to push Antoinette and Steve into arresting Aislinn’s boyfriend, fast. Aislinn’s friend is hinting that she knew Aislinn was in danger. And everything they find out about Aislinn takes her further from the glossy, passive doll she seemed to be. Is this case another step in the campaign to force her off the squad, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface?

Frost, Mark. The Secret History of Twin Peaks. Macmillan Audio. ISBN 9781427270672. Reader TBA.
The co-creator of the the television show reveals what’s happened to the people of that iconic fictional town since we last saw them 25 years ago and offers a glimpse into the mystery that was only touched on by the original series.

Gangi, Stephanie. The Next. Macmillan Audio. ISBN 9781427280169. Reader TBA.
Joanna DeAngelis dies wrong. Consumed by breast cancer, betrayals, disappointments and a badly broken heart, she turns away from her devoted daughters and dog on her deathbed, and finds herself alone in a darkness of her own making. With no light to guide her to death’s promised land of peace, the ghost Joanna plots a course for revenge on her much-younger ex, Ned McGowan, the man who abandoned her to take up with another woman. Joanna’s desperate needs—when she was alive, and now, while she’s trying to die properly—inspire a deep descent into the seat of the soul, an unflinching look at choices and consequences, and the wisdom to know how to go.

Lethem, Jonathan. A Gambler’s Anatomy. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780147520814. Reader TBA.
Bruno Alexander travels the world winning large sums of money playing backgammon. Fronted by his pasty, vampiric manager, Edgar Falk, Bruno arrives in Berlin after a troubling run of bad luck in Singapore. Perhaps it was the chance encounter with his crass childhood acquaintance Keith Stolarsky and Keith’s smoldering girlfriend Tira Harpaz. Or perhaps it was the emergence of a blot that distorts his vision so he has to look at the board sideways. Things don’t go much better in Berlin. The game at the unsettling Herr Kohler’s mansion goes awry as his blot grows worse; he passes out and is sent to the local hospital, where he is given an extremely depressing diagnosis. Having run through Falk’s money, Bruno turns to Stolarsky, who, for reasons of his own, agrees to fly Bruno to Berkeley, and to pay for the experimental surgery that might save his life.

Picoult, Jodi. Small Great Things. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780735210196. Reader TBA.
Ruth Jefferson is an experienced labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. 

thumbnail_finalapproved_semple_todaywillbedifferent_revisemjp_1__1470856295_28207Semple, Maria. Today Will Be Different. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781478927624. Read by Kathleen Wilhoite.
Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to pretend he’s sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office—but not Eleanor—that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

Smith, Ali. Public Library and Other Stories. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524723170. Reader TBA.
The stories in Smith’s new collection are about what we do with books and what they do with us: how they travel with us; how they shock us, change us, challenge us, banish time while making us older, wiser and ageless all at once; how they remind us to pay attention to the world we make. Woven between the stories are conversations with writers and readers reflecting on the essential role that libraries have played in their lives. 

Willis, Connie. Crosstalk. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781470387570. Reader TBA.
In a not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure that has been promised to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. So when Briddey Flannigan’s fiance proposes that he and Briddey undergo the procedure, she is delighted! Only.the results aren’t quite as expected. Instead of gaining an increased empathetic link with her fiance, Briddey finds herself hearing the actual thoughts of one of the nerdiest techs in her office. And that’s the least of her problems.

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Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (sklose@mediasourceinc.com, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.