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12 books we're excited about this year

5 Books | by CNN

Concrete Rose

Concrete Rose

Books

International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can't just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

A Bright Ray of Darkness

A Bright Ray of Darkness

Books

'Ethan Hawke is a true writer and his duality as an artist is skilfully reflected in A Bright Ray of Darkness. Hawke circles, descends, and crawls into his characters skin. Grimy shadows pass over the footlights, into the bowels of the theatre, where a struggling actor, perhaps mirroring the writer, seeks the vine of redemption, and claws his way into becoming. Bright Ray is a riveting work.' PATTI SMITH'Ethan Hawke, whose acting career has combined celebrity wattage with indie integrity, brings hard-won experience to his latest literary endeavour ... [A] wild ride of a book ... Written with real fire & originality. Not many novels combine scenes of lying semi-conscious by a motel toilet with thoughts on the perfection of the iambic pentameter.' MetroChosen for Best New Fiction Books in the Mail on SundayChosen for NS Recommends in New Statesman _____________________________________________The first novel in nearly twenty years from the acclaimed actor/writer/director, A BRIGHT RAY OF DARKNESS is a book about art and love, fame and heartbreak -- a blistering story of a young man making his Broadway debut just as his marriage implodes. A bracing meditation on fame and celebrity, and the redemptive, healing power of art; a portrait of the ravages of disappointment and divorce; a poignant consideration of the rites of fatherhood and manhood; a novel soaked in rage and sex, longing and despair; and a passionate love letter to the world of theatre, A Bright Ray of Darkness showcases Ethan Hawke's gifts as a novelist as never before. Hawke's narrator is a young man in torment, disgusted with himself after the collapse of his marriage, still half-hoping for a reconciliation that would allow him to forgive himself and move on as he clumsily, and sometimes hilariously, tries to manage the wreckage of his personal life with whisky and sex. What saves him is the theatre: in particular, the challenge of performing Shakespeare in his Broadway debut under the leadership of a brilliant director. Searing, raw, and utterly transfixing, A Bright Ray of Darkness is a novel about shame and beauty and faith, and the moral power of art.________________________'William is the star of this vivid drama from Ethan Hawke ... this is ultimately a book about the transcendent value of great art ... it communicates a real power.' Sunday Times'Hawke has obeyed the adage 'write what you know', bringing the theatrical world, from first rehearsal to final performance, thrillingly to life.' Mail on Sunday

Later

Later

Books

"Part detective tale, part thriller...touching and genuine." --The New York Times #1 bestselling author Stephen King returns with a brand-new novel about the secrets we keep buried and the cost of unearthing them. #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERTHE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER SOMETIMES GROWING UP MEANS FACING YOUR DEMONS The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine - as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave. LATER is Stephen King at his finest, a terrifying and touching story of innocence lost and the trials that test our sense of right and wrong. With echoes of King's classic novel It, LATER is a powerful, haunting, unforgettable exploration of what it takes to stand up to evil in all the faces it wears.

My Year Abroad

My Year Abroad

Books

INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER“A manifesto to happiness—the one found when you stop running from who you are.” –New York Times Book Review  “An extraordinary book, acrobatic on the level of the sentence, symphonic across its many movements—and this is a book that moves…My Year Abroad is a wild ride—a caper, a romance, a bildungsroman, and something of a satire of how to get filthy rich in rising Asia.” – Vogue From the award-winning author of Native Speaker and On Such a Full Sea, an exuberant, provocative story about a young American life transformed by an unusual Asian adventure – and about the human capacities for pleasure, pain, and connection.     Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.    In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.

Of Women and Salt

Of Women and Salt

Books

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK A sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter's fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were bornIn present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia's Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals—personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others—that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story; it is a story of America’s most tangled, honest, human roots.

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