Origin – Dan Brown – What’s Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon up to next? With the felicitous mix of art, religion, science, history, and lots of symbols that made The Da Vinci Code such a craze, he’s investigating the collision of two of humankind’s most pressing questions.
Manhattan beach – Jennifer Egan – The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad goes historical as she recounts the story of Anna Kerrigan, who was barely adolescent when her father forged a secret agreement with the powerful Dexter Styles that she senses saved her family during the Depression. Later, while working as the first female diver repairing ships at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, she encounters Styles and begins to understand the consequences of her now-vanished father’s decision.
Fresh complaint: stories – Jeffery Eugenides – Pulitzer Prize winner Eugenides, whose novels have also been runners-up for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, now comes up with a first collection of stories dealing with confusion, adolescent angst, and identity crisis, as when a poet who feels left out of the financial boom becomes an embezzler.
Grant – Ron Chernow – Having ranged from the National Book Award-winning The House of Morgan to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington: A Life, Chernow takes on the often-maligned Ulysses S. Grant, showing Grant coming into his own as a military leader and staying clean despite corruption around him as president. Grant gets the highest marks for his concern for African Americans; Frederick Douglass called him “the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race.”
Beyond the Messy Truth: how we came apart, how we come together – Van Jones – The CNN political contributor and host presents a deeply impassioned manifesto on how to transform political disputes into peaceful, effective changes, tracing the growth of the nonpartisan LoveArmy, the achievements of today’s less-hailed but important activists and his recommendations for embracing patriotism.
Fairytale – Danielle Steel – After Stanford grad Camille loses her mother to cancer, her father, Christophe, marries a scheming Frenchwoman who has two slacker sons and a plan to take over the family’s Napa Valley winery. Thank goodness for the neighboring vintner’s handsome son, especially with the Harvest Ball coming soon. But will Camille wear glass slippers?
Deep freeze – John Sandford – Having investigated the murderous school board of Trippton, MN, Virgil Flowers isn’t happy to be called back when a woman is found there encased in ice. Her death seems to be connected to the midwinter reunion of the high school class of 20 years past, whose members obviously take old grudges to the extreme. Tenth in the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Virgil Flowers series.
Lilac Lane – Sherryl Woods – In this next in the “Chesapeake Shores” series, Moira O’Brien invites grieving mother Kiera to visit from Dublin, ostensibly to help out with the newborn and at the family’s Irish pub. At first, Kiera and the pub’s handsome but irascible new chef do not hit it off.
The last Mrs. Parrish – Liv Constantine – Ragingly envious of golden couple Daphne and Jackson Parrish, Amber Patterson schemes to get the glamorous life she thinks she deserves by wending her way into Daphne’s good graces. Alas, she’s got secrets (who doesn’t?), which could wreck everything.
The Rooster Bar – John Grisham – Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.
But maybe there’s a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they would first have to quit school. And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right? Well, yes and no . . .
Tell tale: short stories – Jeffery Archer – A highly anticipated next collection of short tales by the acclaimed author of Best Kept Secrets features a series of protagonists reflecting the author’s experiences with the people he has met and the cultures he has visited throughout the past decade.
Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life – Jenna Bush Haggar, Barbara Pierce Bush, Laura Bush – As First Granddaughters and then First Daughters, the authors know what it’s like to be followed around by reporters and shutter-happy paparazzi focused on news flashes. Now they want to set the record straight regarding who they really are.
Two kinds of truth – Michael Connelly – Back after The Wrong Side of Goodbye, on the New York Times best sellers list for 12 weeks after debuting at No. 1, Harry Bosch has been volunteering to work cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department when he’s asked to investigate a pharmacist’s murder. Meanwhile, a jailed baddie is claiming that Harry framed him.
In the midst of winter – Isabel Allende – In this latest from supreme humanist Allende, 60-year-old human rights scholar Richard Bowmaster feels he’s hit the end of the road—and one snow-blown Brooklyn night really does hit the car of Evelyn Ortega. Young, undocumented Guatemalan Evelyn later appears at his house seeking help, which sends him scurrying to his tenant, Chilean lecturer Lucia Maraz, for advice.