2015 Guardian Prize

Caitlin's picture

Last week Andrew McMillan became the first poet to win the Guardian’s book prize (worth approximately $15,000) with his debut collection, Physical, about the anxieties and tensions of modern masculinity.

While Physical is currently unavailable in the United States, four of the other books nominated for the Guardian prize are available to request now, including:

  • Diane Cook’s Man v Nature, an “absurd and funny” collection of short stories;
  • Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen, a Cain-and-Abel-esque novel of family and madness;
  • Peter Pomerantsev’s Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, a “dizzying” look into the “glittering, surreal heart” of modern Russia;
  • Sara Taylor’s The Shore, a collection of short stories spanning more than a century of mystery and family drama in a group of islands on the Chesapeake Bay.

The Expats

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Kate Moore and her husband decide to accept a job offer in Luxemburg.   While her husband begins his new job and Kate spends more time with her children she must learn how to adjust to the daily life in a new country.  Kate begins to notice her husband’s suspicious behavior and also becomes suspicious of another American couple they have befriended.   As she begins to investigate she becomes nervous they are connected to her past.   Mystery lovers will enjoy this novel which keeps them guessing until the very end.

American Craftsmen, Tom Doyle

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American Craftsmen is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined Seal Team Six. Magic workers have operated in America since its founding, sworn to protect and defend the United States as part of secret military units. Army Captain Dale Morton is one of these elite soldier-magicians—until a Persian sorcerer curses him to madness. Now, convinced that an evil from his family’s past has corrupted the highest echelons of military magic, he must hunt down the traitors that placed him in harm’s way—while protecting the innocent woman he loves and avoiding a fellow Craftsman with a family axe to grind. Fast-paced and engrossing, American Craftsmen will appeal to readers of military thrillers and urban fantasy alike.

2015 Historical Christmas Mysteries

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Mystery and historical novel fans, get in the Christmas spirit with these new books:

The Fruitcake Murders, Ace Collins: A detective in 1946 Chicago must find out who is killing people with twenty-year-old fruitcake tins while dodging a persistent (and annoying) reporter.

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue, Victoria Thompson: When a friend’s daughter is found with her murdered husband in her arms, Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt become an innocent woman’s only hope in turn-of-the-century New York.

Away in a Manger, Rhys Bowen: Molly Murphy Sullivan investigates the disappearance of a young girl’s mother in 1905 New York.

Two Bronze Pennies, Tom Harper: DI Tom Harper must use unorthodox methods to track down the killer of a man found dead in Leeds, England’s Jewish district.

The Hanged Man, P.N. Elrod: On Christmas Eve in 1879, a London psychic reader called to the scene of a suicide discovers it’s actually a magic-influenced murder.

The Humbug Murders, L.J. Oliver: When Ebenezer Scrooge is framed for the death of Fezziwig, his former boss, he’ll need the help of the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Pickwick, and other Dickens characters—including the author himself—to clear his name.

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

Jen's picture

If you're looking for something to brighten your dreary winter day, pick up Pancol's first English-translated novel. The plot revolves around two sisters - Iris, a glamorous, rich attorney's wife and her plain Jane, bookish sister Jo. The story begins when Jo's husband empties their joint savings account and leaves her for his manicurist, who he runs off to farm crocodiles with in Kenya. Jo is left to pick up the pieces of her life and raise her two daughters, Zoe and Hortense, on the meager salary she makes as a 12th century scholar. Iris and Jo hatch the perfect scheme - Jo will write a medieval historical novel that Iris will take the credit for, thus giving Jo the money she needs and Iris the fame she craves. As in life, things don't go quite as planned and hilarity ensues. It's chick lit done up en Francais; humorous, quite charming and perfect to curl up on the couch with and escape to bright, sunny Paris, if only for a few hundred pages.  

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper

Catie's picture

No one is more surprised than Judd Foxman when his father passes away.  Not so much by the death, but by the nonreligious patriarch’s last wish to have the family sit Shiva, a Jewish tradition that requires his mother and siblings to spend an entire week together under one roof.  This wouldn’t be so bad if Judd’s family wasn’t so dysfunctional.  As this group of unique characters are forced to spend time together old wounds are brought to surface and they are made to deal with issues they would have rather continued to ignore.  The only family member not present is Judd’s wife who has been openly having an affair.  As Judd unwillingly reconnects with his family and struggles to deal with the reality of his deteriorating marriage what results is a novel full of biting, albeit slightly dark humor with realizations about family life and love.  

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are coming!

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The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were first awarded in 1980, with the idea of honoring literary excellence and celebrating the community of readers in Los Angeles. Now in its 36th year, the Prizes have expanded from four categories to ten. According to the LA Times, the book prizes “remind us of the power of books to move and enlighten us, to connect us to the best that we as human beings have to offer, to illuminate us through the written word.” The winners in all ten categories will be announced during the LA Times Festival of Books on April 9th. Reserve one of the fiction nominees now, or see all the nominees at

High-Rise by JG Ballard

Caitlin's picture

In a gleaming new high-rise building on the outskirts of London, the inhabitants have everything they need to live comfortable, pampered lives: two indoor pools, an elegant restaurant, a grocery store, a beauty parlor, a bank, even a rooftop park and a school. But violence lurks beneath the polished surface: when minor construction problems send a floor into darkness, riots erupt—leaving a dead dog floating in the swimming pool. In the weeks that follow, chaos rules, as the lower floors send raiding parties to assault the penthouse, and warring groups seize control of the elevators. A dark (and darkly funny) exploration of the animal passions that lie beneath the most civilized facades, this 1975 novel is being adapted into a 2015 movie directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, and Luke Evans.

Tenacity, J.S. Law

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Lieutenant Danielle “Dan” Lewis is the Royal Navy’s most tenacious investigator, but when she’s assigned to investigate the suicide of a submariner, she finds herself deep into hostile territory. At sea in a nuclear submarine led by a power-mad captain, with a killer hiding among the hostile crew, she’ll have her hands full just keeping herself alive—much less solving a murder. Tense, dark, and authentic, this debut novel by a British submariner will have you turning pages long past your bedtime.


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