Beattie, Gabaldon, Gay, Sullivan, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 3

Beattie, Ann. The Accomplished Guest: Stories. Scribner. Jun. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501111389. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501111402. SHORT STORIES
Since her 1976 publishing debut with the story collection Distortions and the novel Chilly Scenes of Winter, Beattie has worked in both genres, but her gifts really belong to short fiction. Here’s her 11thbeattie story collection, following 2015’s The State We’re In: Maine Stories. Set along the East Coast and dealing (not surprisingly) with friendship, aging, and mortality, the pieces are often occasioned by visits, whether for a birthday, wedding, or reunion, and Beattie will no doubt explore the particular pleasures and travails of being either guest or host with scalpel-like precision.

Black, Cara. Murder in Saint-Germain: An Aimée Leduc Investigation. Soho Crime. Jun. 2017. NAp. ISBN 9781616957704. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616957711. MYSTERY
Next in the New York Times best-selling and recently repackaged series starring indefatigable Aimée Leduc, this work picks up where the penultimate Murder on the Champ de Mars left off. (Last year’s Murder on the Quai was an in-the-spirit prequel.) In 1999 Paris, Aimée is approached by Brigade Criminelle agent Suzanne Lesage, whose team has been working undercover in Yugoslavia to track down war criminals. Suzanne is convinced she’s being stalked by a notorious Serbian warlord her team thought they had killed, and Aimée agrees to investigate, never mind her security work or her baby. A personal-favorite series.

Dave, Laura. Hello, Sunshine. S. & S. Jun. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781476789323. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476789347. WOMEN’S FICTION
In this follow-up to Eight Hundred Grapes, a No. 1 LibraryReads pick, Sunshine Mackenzie is a davelauramedia-savvy cooking and lifestyle authority beloved by millions—a Martha Stewart–like celebrity, only nicer. But she’s hiding her past, and when her secret comes out, she swiftly plummets from grace. Dave’s narrative is less concerned with Sunshine’s reversal of fortune than with how she responds and what that says about the kind of person she really is. With a national tour.

Dionne, Karen. The Marsh King’s Daughter. Putnam. Jun. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780735213005. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735213029. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio.  THRILLER
Though Dionne takes her title from a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that also helps structure the narrative, the story is set in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where Dionne and her family have lived for decades. Heroine Helena Pelletier was raised there by an abusive father who had kidnapped her teenage mother and kept her trapped in a remote cabin. Now that he’s escaped from prison, the adult Helena, who would love to forget her past, is the only person who can hunt him down through the marshes. Lots of bidding on this work and rights sold to 20 countries so far.

Gabaldon, Diana. Seven Stones To Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Fiction. Delacorte. Jun. 2017. 496p. ISBN 9780399593420. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780399593444. FANTASY/HISTORICALgabaldon
Can’t get enough of Gabaldon’s grandly time-traveling Outlander universe? Here are seven stories featuring a range of key characters in the books, from Lord John Grey to a 19-year-old Jamie Fraser hanging out with friend and future brother-in-law Ian Murray. Two of the stories have never been published, and the remaining stories have appeared as ebook originals and in various print anthologies (e.g., 2013’s Dangerous Women) but have never been grouped together.

Gay, Roxane. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Harper. Jun. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780062362599. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062362605. MEMOIR
“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere.” So Gay, who deals fearlessly with our hardest truths in both essays (the New York Times best-selling Bad Feminist) and fiction (An Untamed State, an LJ Best Book), addresses issues of eating, self-image, and learning to address one’s hunger in safe and satisfying ways. She then broadens her meditation on body as she examines violence against women, starting with a terrible incident in her youth that proved transformative. With a 100,000-copy first printing; originally scheduled for May 2016.

King, David. The Trial of Adolf Hitler: The Beer Hall Putsch and the Rise of Nazi Germany. Norton. Jun. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780393241693. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393242645. HISTORY
While Gen. Erich Ludendorff was the lead defendant on trial for treason after the Beer Hall kingdavidputsch, the Nazis’ failed coup attempt in 1923, the trial vaulted Adolf Hitler from semi-obscurity as a minor party leader to demagogue who captured the attention of a nation with his well-aimed Nazi propaganda. King, the New York Times best-selling author of Death in the City of Light, gives a day-by-day account of the trial. With a four-city tour to New York, Washington DC, New Orleans, and Lexington, KY.

Meloy, Maile. Do Not Become Alarmed. Riverhead. Jun. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780735216525; ebk. ISBN 9780735216549. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio.  LITERARY FICTION
Aga Khan and PEN/Malamud Award winner and a Granta Best American Novelists under 35, Meloy is always a writer to anticipate. Her new novel features a vacation cruise gone wildly wrong when children from two families disappear after the cruise ship stops at a Central American port. What follows is a story not just of guilt, blame, and the desperate struggle to retrieve the children but of race, privilege, and parenthood itself. Note that the fall 2016 film Certain Women, starring Kristen Stewart and Michelle Williams, was based on one of Meloy’s story collections.

Pearlman, Wendy. We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria. Custom House: Harper. Jun. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780062654618. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062654458. HISTORY/MIDDLE EAST
To tell the story of ordinary Syrians caught in a terrible civil war, Northwestern professor Pearlman, who speaks fluent Arabic and has spent more than 20 years studying and living in the Arab world, interviewed hundreds of displaced Syrians over four years. Their stories, ranging from a handful of sentences to several pages, should deliver an acute, you-are-there sense of an unimaginable sullivansituation with far-ranging significance. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Sullivan, J. Courtney. Saints for All Occasions. Knopf. ISBN 9780307959577. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307959584. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/WOMEN’S FICTION
A New York Times best-selling author with some best book nods for her three previous titles, The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement, Sullivan returns with a family saga both juicy and deep. Two Irish sisters, responsible Nora and wild-hare Theresa, come to America with big dreams that get shifted when Nora must think up a plan to deal with Theresa’s unexpected pregnancy. Decades later, Nora rules a bustling family while Theresa is a cloistered nun. Look for the popular author on tour in Boston (New England), Chicago, Iowa City, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.