Katherine Arden, Ursula Le Guin, Andy Weir | Barbara’s Picks, Nov./Dec. 2017

Arden, Katherine. The Girl in the Tower. Del Rey: Ballantine. Dec. 2017, 384p. ISBN 9781101885963. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101885970. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/FANTASY
Following her absorbingly vibrant and highly praised debut, the LibraryReads pick The Bear and the Nightingale, Arden returns with a sequel that continues the story of the brave and impetuous Vasya in a fabulist medieval Russia. Now orphaned, Vasya is thrown out of her home by the villagers, who suspect her of witchery, and faces the grim choice of life in a convent or marriage to a Muscovite prince. Instead, she disguises herself as a boy, leaps on her beloved horse, Solovey, and rides off to glory as she battle bandits and a growing threat to the kingdom that only she has the power to counter.

Le Guin, Ursula K. No Time To Spare: Thinking About What Matters. Houghton Harcourt. Dec. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781328661593. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781328661036. LITERARY/ESSAYS
A legendary writer with a National Book Award, five Hugo Awards, and five Nebula Awards to her name, Le Guin here collects the best essays from her blog, a new medium for her that fits her pointedly glistening writing. In particular, she addresses the frontier of old age, both its hardships (“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”) and rewards (“How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us”). With a 30,000-copy first printing.

Weir, Andy. Artemis. Crown. Nov. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780553448122. $27; ebk. ISBN ISBN 9780553448139. SF/THRILLER
A huge hit at BookExpo delivered to us by the Martian man himself, this November title (I just caught up with it) is set in Artemis, the first and as yet only city on the moon. Jazz Bashara can’t quite get by with the salary she earns as a porter and does the odd bit of smuggling to make ends meet. She can’t resist the chance to haul in some serious cash by committing the perfect crime, but soon there’s trouble: she’s stepped into a hornet’s nest of a conspiracy to control the city itself. With 3.5 million copies of The Martian out there, you know this will be hot.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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.

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