Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Now In Paperback: Asheville, The Mughal Empire, & The Monkey King in Heaven

Waiting for the paperback? Here are a few titles for which you need to wait no longer.

Time Is A River, by Mary Alice Monroe. This South Carolina author has developed a growing audience through novels such as Sweetgrass and The Beach House, and her children's book, Turtle Summer. In her latest novel, set in the Asheville area, a woman recovering from illness finds healing and strength when she discovers the diary of a legendary and scandalous figure from the 1920's. Available in both trade and mass market paperback.

People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks. A rare book expert has been given a job to work with a priceless Haggadah, and we discover the volume's remarkable history, from Seville in the 1480's to Sarajevo during World War II. Brooks' previous novel, March, won the Pulitzer Prize.

The Translator, by Daoud Hari. I wrote a blog entry last August about this compelling Darfur memoir. It's now available in paperback.

The Enchantress of Florence, by Salman Rushdie. The Mughal Empire and Renaissance Florence are connected through the adventures of an intrepid traveler and a mysterious woman. Another audacious, captivating and magical work from the remarkable Rushdie.

The Great Awakening, by Jim Wallis. Wallis is a leading figure in the Christian evangelical community, and his earlier book, God's Politics, became a central work in the recent debate over the place of religion in American society. This new book moves the issues forward as Wallis proposes seven commitments people of faith can make to help create a more just world.

Long Time Leaving, by Roy Blount, Jr. Possibly no other contemporary writer has more easily -- or more hilariously -- crossed the Mason-Dixon divide than this master essayist. If you only know Blount from his radio work, pick up this anthology of his recent writings to discover what a national treasure he is.

American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang. At Accent on Books we don't carry a large number of graphic novels, but this one is a breakthrough: it was a finalist for a National Book Award, and it was the first graphic novel to win the Printz award, which can be considered the "young adult Newbery." In it, the experiences of a Chinese-American boy trying to fit in at his new school are compared to the efforts of the Monkey King trying to join the immortals in heaven. Fascinating and innovative.

Speaking of the Newbery Award, the two most recent winners are now in paperback: Susan Patron's 2006 novel The Higher Power of Lucky; and, from 2007, Good Masters, Sweet Ladies, poetic portraits of medieval life by Laura Amy Schlitz.

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