The Lazarus Project - Aleksandar Hemon

Aleksandar Hemon’s compelling dual narrative, The Lazarus Project (Riverhead, $16)  focuses on the killing of Lazarus Averbuch by Chicago police in 1908, and on the efforts of a Bosnian émigré to tell Averbuch’s story a century later. Can Brik raise this Lazarus from the dead? Should he even try, or is life already too preoccupied with death? With death, violence, and paranoia, that is. The 1908 murder was part of a response to the anarchist threat (“anarchist” defined largely by a foreign accent and poverty), and parallels the post-9/11 terrorist alert. Brik’s struggle with these issues takes him to Ukraine, Averbuch’s birthplace, and, finally, to his own home, Sarajevo, a city both strange and familiar, where he feels like a ghost. Hemon is a powerful writer, and his novel is laced with wit, satire, anger, and moments of lyric grace. 

The Lazarus Project By Aleksandar Hemon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594483752
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 5th, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

There has not been a more charming and witty book released in the past year than The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (Dial, $14), by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  In this epistolary novel, a published London author begins a correspondence with a book group shortly after the end of the Second World War.  As letters are exchanged, she discovers how much she admires the bravery, wisdom, and perseverance of the residents of the isle of Guernsey, and she learns a great deal about the difficult circumstances they overcame during the Nazi occupation of their island.  One is reminded of Jane Austen in the depiction of eccentric, endearing, affectionately-rendered characters and the society they inhabit.  Ultimately, the book is a celebration of love, community, and a passion for literature, and is supremely pleasurable.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385341004
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 5th, 2009

City of Thieves - David Benioff

Imagine Michael Chabon sitting down to write Crime and Punishment and you’ll get an idea of the tone of this darkly comic, Russian adventure.  City Of Thieves (Plume, $15) follows two young men as they struggle through besieged Leningrad trying to find a dozen eggs for a wedding cake.   Lev is a brooding teenager based on author David Benioff’s grandfather, and Kolya is a freewheeling soldier who considers himself a writer. In a world where even the glue in book bindings might provide sustenance, our heroes set out on a fool’s errand, indeed, one that turns into an incredibly perilous crusade as the pair encounters starving butchers, beautiful partisans, and brutal Germans.  You’ll want to read it all in one sitting.

City of Thieves: A Novel By David Benioff Cover Image
ISBN: 9780452295292
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - March 31st, 2009