Greenblatt, Palahniuk, & Newcomer Gabel | Barbara’s Picks, May 2018

Gabel, Aja. The Ensemble. Riverhead. May 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780735214767. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735214781. Downloadable. WOMEN’S FICTION
Steely first violinist Jana. Beautiful second violinist Brit. Self-confident violist Henry, ever the prodigy. And cellist Daniel, prickly and horny and troublesome. They’ve come together as the Van Ness Quartet, and they go on to great success in a fiercely competitive world, sticking together through personal and professional high notes and lows. Big in-house excitement about this debut novel; bravissimo for this look at lives of classical musicians.

Greenblatt, Stephen. Tyrant. Norton. May 2018. 208p. ISBN 9780393635751. $21.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393635768. LITERARY CRITICISM
If the time seems ripe for investigating off-the-rails leaders, profiting with demagogic glee from social upheaval, who better to turn to than William Shakespeare, unparalleled portraitist of raging Lear, dangerous Macbeth, and real-life kings like Henry VI and Richard III? And who better to reveal Shakespeare’s understanding of power’s lure than Pulitzer Prize winner Greenblatt, one of our great Shakespeare scholars? Wisdom for all.

Palahniuk, Chuck. Adjustment Day. Norton. May 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780393652598. $27.95. ebk. ISBN 9780393652604. CD/downloadable. LITERARY
Perhaps best known for Fight Club, Palahniuk goes to the edge with a satire built on today’s air of drowned expectations. As gray-haired politicians preeningly plot to entrap the growing young male population, the working class considers trampling the elite, and professors remind students of their hopeless futures, the populace turns to an odd little blue-black book preparing everyone for Adjustment Day. Grimly funny, with something to upset everyone. An author tour to Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston.


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.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  4. Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media, per our Terms of Use.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind