Saturday, October 7, 2023

New Releases: October 2023 Edition

Check out these highly anticipated new releases featuring fiction and nonfiction titles. Click on the title to request a copy or get your name on the waitlist. Don’t forget to watch for more featured releases next month!   


Mary and the Birth of Frankenstein by Ann Eekhout 
It may be hard to imagine that one the great classics in world literature was penned by a rebellious teenage girl. Mary Shelley was just eighteen years old, married to poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and grieving the death of her first child, when she and her husband spent the cold and dreary summer of 1816 on the shore of a Swiss lake, sharing a home with a coterie of other writers and artists. One wine-soaked evening the infamous poet, Lord Byron challenged each member of the group to write a ghost story. Mary was reluctant until she began to draw on memories of time spent with an equally imaginative girl, Isabella Burton, several years before. The two had formed an intense friendship, sharing intimacies, confidences, and not least a penchant for the uncanny.  Past experience informed Mary’s creative spirit and the result? Frankenstein’s immortal monster. In this work of fiction, Dutch writer Ann Eekhout has re-imagined the life of what one reviewer called “the queen of all goth girls.”


A Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand 
Hill House is hungry again. For those of us who consider Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House to be the greatest and scariest haunted house story of all time, this is good news indeed. Holly Sherwin is a struggling playwright in need of the perfect place to complete her latest work, when she stumbles across the crumbling, cavernous old house in a small town in upstate New York and invites three friends to join her in residence. The rest is pure Shirley Jackson: slow burn, isolation paranoia, exterior threat, interior vulnerabilities, and the sinister, almost sentient presence of the house, looming over the background. For any who might be tempted to cry plagiarism, it should be noted that the Jackson estate selected the talented Elizabeth Hand, to create an updated interpretation of the author’s classic work. Critics say “spot on.”


Fourteen contestants compete to win $50,000 by enduring one week in a creepy derelict carnival. The only rule? Don’t get caught. When participants begin to disappear it occurs to those remaining that the stakes may be higher than they had ever imagined. What’s not to love? Evidently, someone loved Hide well enough to consider White’s novel, published in 2018, a good candidate for adaptation as a graphic novel. Adapter Scott Peterson’s text is chilling and immersive, but the real star is the stunning, moody, illustrations contributed by Worcester’s own Veronica and Andy Fish. 



Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon by Michael Lewis 
In this upcoming work, acclaimed author, Lewis, has added to the burgeoning collection of books chronicling the lives of brilliant (and sometimes) well-intentioned innovators who rise to meteoric heights and then crash and burn due to a combination of hubris and criminality. Lewis’s subject, Sam Bankman-Fried founded FTX, a crypto currency brokerage firm in 2019 and attracted a host of investors, due to the company’s reputation for stability in the shaky, poorly regulated world of crypto. Overnight, the outwardly unassuming iconoclast became a billionaire. Too good to be true? Of course. In 2022, Bankman-Fried went on trial for fraud and now jurors have to decide. Did he merely make a series of stupid mistakes or is he Bernie Madoff in disguise?

How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair 
Growing up in Jamaica, Safiya and her sisters were taught that the world outside their home was “Babylon” a place of corruption and evil. In order to protect his daughters, Safiya’s father a militant adherent of a strict branch of Rastafari, forbade them almost everything: revealing clothing, makeup, friends, opinions. Obedience was presented as the highest virtue. However, Safiya’s mother, while outwardly compliant gave her children the gift that would ultimately liberate them—books. Now, in shimmering prose, Sinclair, an award-winning poet, illuminates the Rastafari movement that first nourished, and later oppressed her.

The Sisterhood: The Secret History of Women in the CIA by Liza Mundy 
They started as secretaries, clerks, and spouses, but—perhaps due to their very invisibility—rose to become some of the CIAs shrewdest and most successful operatives, transforming spy craft, and playing a pivotal role in the capture of Osama Bin Laden. Author Steve Coll calls The Sisterhood a rip-roaring read, and Booklist says that every page is electric with revelations.