My Education - Susan Choi

In Susan Choi’s fourth work of fiction, Regina recounts the lessons she learned outside of class. My Education (Penguin, $16) starts with the twenty-one-year-old graduate student enrolling in a course taught by the magnetic, roguish, English Professor, Nicholas Brodeur, whose non-academic reputation precedes him. Hoping to learn more about him, Regina soon manages to become his graduate assistant. Choi lays the ground for a classic naïve student/older professor affair, but Regina instead falls in love with Brodeuer’s wife, Martha.  The women embark on a reckless, passionate relationship that threatens to overtake not only Regina’s education, but her very life and sense of self. Yet as Regina gets more obsessed with Martha—a process Choi evokes with vivid and steamy detail—she loses perspective of what love means. It ‘s not until fifteen years later, when she looks back to tell the story, that Regina fully understands what she experienced—and learned—with Martha.

My Education: A Novel By Susan Choi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143125570
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2014

The Blood of Heaven - Kent Wascom

The protagonist of Kent Wascom’s impressive debut historical novel The Blood of Heaven (Grove, $16) is Angel Woolsack, orphan son of a roving “preacher-father” who believes sucking on coals is the only proper penance for one’s transgressions. As Angel grows up he discovers—along with his brothers-in-crime Samuel and Reuben—that he has as much talent for raising hell as he does for proselytizing against it. Together they attempt to carve out their own chunk of West Florida territory much as a butcher carves meat. Forget what your history books taught you—Wascom’s anarchic vision of America’s tumultuous adolescence is one of Manifest Destiny by any means necessary, be it genocide, enslavement, pillage, or preaching. The Blood of Heaven contains all the energy of a tent revival, the suspense of a midnight raid, and the heady, intoxicating speechifying of a poet on pay-day for a thrilling read that puts us face-to-face with our early outlaw past.

The Blood of Heaven By Kent Wascom Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802121196
Availability: Backordered
Published: Grove Press - June 10th, 2014

The Whispering Muse - Sjón

Guiding you through this slim modern saga is Valdimar Haraldsson, the eccentric, pompous author of Fisk og Kultur, a seventeen-volume work on the link between fish consumption and the superiority of the Nordic race (set in 1949, the book is suggestive, but never explicitly moralistic). From Valdimar’s self-important and sometimes oblivious perspective, we follow a Danish merchant ship across the Black Sea.  During the voyage, second mate Caeneus regales the passengers with tales from his time with Jason on the quest for the Golden Fleece.  Caeneus weaves his increasingly fantastic stories into the daily life of the current expedition, blurring the boundary between myth and truth. The Whispering Muse (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $12), the third novel(la) by the Icelandic writer Sjon, succeeds at both the surface level of a quirky, satirical story and a deeper, darker exploration of cultures and peoples.

The Whispering Muse: A Novel By Sjón, Victoria Cribb (Translated by) Cover Image
By Sjón, Victoria Cribb (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780374534769
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 6th, 2014