One of my favorite parts of a book coming out in paperback is that it gets sexy, new cover art. It’s like a face lift without the swelling or recovery period. I also love how the book becomes suddenly portable. We might as well attach handles or wings. You don’t even know you’re carrying it around! This means that, instead of one hardback book, I can take two or three paperbacks on a flight with me, just in case my mood changes mid-air. I‘m boarding a flight tomorrow, in fact, and I’ll be packing all four of our new-in-paperback books!
1. Far Bright Star by Robert Olmstead
The year is 1916. The enemy, Pancho Villa, is elusive. The terrain is unforgiving. Through the mountains and across the long dry stretches of Mexico, Napoleon Childs, an aging cavalryman, leads an expedition of inexperienced horse soldiers on seemingly fruitless searches. After witnessing the demise of his troops, Napoleon is left by his captors to die in the desert. Through him we enter the conflicted mind of a warrior as he tries to survive against all odds, as he seeks to make sense of a lifetime of senseless wars and to reckon with the reasons a man would choose a life on the battlefield.
2. A Son of the Game by James Dodson
James Dodson, author of the bestseller Final Rounds, returns to the world of golf and to the famous courses at Pinehurst, North Carolina, where he began his love affair with the game. Having reached the crossroads commonly known as the midlife crisis, Dodson goes back to the place where his father introduced him to the game that shaped his life and career with the hope of regaining the fire that had motivated him, drawing inspiration from the touchstones of his youth, and kindling the same enthusiasm in his teenage son. A masterful raconteur, he weaves the history of golf in the Sandhills into his own story.
3. Lucky Girl by Mei-Ling Hopgood
Mei-Ling Hopgood was an all-American girl. She grew up in the Midwest, was a high school pom pom girl, went to college, and became a reporter for a Michigan newspaper. She wasn’t really curious about her Asian roots, though she knew she was adopted. Then one day, when she’s in her 20s, her birth family from Taiwan comes calling, literally, on the phone, on the computer, by fax—in a language she doesn’t understand. They want to meet her; they want her to return to them. Hers is a tale of love and loss, frustration, hilarity, deep sadness and great discovery that helps her understand the meaning of family.
4. Peep Show by Joshua Braff
Peep Show is the story of a young man torn between a mother trying to erase her past and a father struggling to maintain his dignity in a less-than-savory business. As David peeps through the spaces in the screen that divides the men and the women in Hasidic homes, we can’t help but think of his father’s Imperial Theatre, where other men are looking at other women through the peep holes. As entertaining as it is moving, Peep Show looks at the elaborate ensembles and rituals, assumed names, and fierce loyalties of two secret worlds, pulling away the curtains of both.
This new novel from Josh Braff just got a four-star review in the current issue of People magazine: “Braff skillfully illuminates the failures and charms of a broken family . . . Haunts long after the final page.”