Monday, April 20, 2015

Some Great Titles Releasing in April!

Idgie Says:
My mailbox has been very busy receiving books these days and while I adore each and every one, I don't always have time to read them all before they come out for release.  So in an effort to get the word out about these books in a timely manner, I'm short-cutting a bit and giving shout-out to the following books.  I am not saying I will not have a full review a bit later down the line, but if so, it will be after release date.  Meanwhile, take a few minutes, peruse the books I'm presenting and see if any grab your attention for purchase.  

The first two are from Algonquin and you know how I adore that Press - always fine quality novels from them and I fully intend to read both - as soon as I can come up for reading air.  

The last book is from USC Press, and they too have really moved strongly into pushing different, interesting and quality filled books into reader's hands.  

Below are book descriptions on all and all released in April. 


In her extraordinary debut, Aline Ohanesian has created two remarkable characters — a young man ignorant of his family’s and his country’s past, and an old woman haunted by the toll the past has taken on her life.

When Orhan’s brilliant and eccentric grandfather Kema l— a man who built a dynasty out of making kilim rugs — is found dead, submerged in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. But Kemal’s will raises more questions than it answers. He has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in an Armenian retirement home in Los Angeles. Her existence and secrecy about her past only deepen the mystery of why Orhan’s grandfather willed his home in Turkey to an unknown woman rather than to his own son or grandson.

Left with only Kemal’s ancient sketchbook and intent on righting this injustice, Orhan boards a plane to Los Angeles. There he will not only unearth the story that eighty-seven-year-old Seda so closely guards but discover that Seda’s past now threatens to unravel his future. Her story, if told, has the power to undo the legacy upon which his family has been built.

Moving back and forth in time, between the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, Orhan’s Inheritance is a story of passionate love, unspeakable horrors, incredible resilience, and the hidden stories that can haunt a family for generations.

No. 1 Indie Next Pick for April
Amazon Editors’ Featured Debut for April
A Summer 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection


Author Essay
A multi-faceted, multi-voiced debut novel that is at the same time personal and heartfelt-chronicling a family in flux, trying to find their individual and collective way-and also tells a larger, cultural story, one of our time, of how we live and hope and dream now.

A car accident has left young Anabelle Vincent in a coma-like state-unable to move or speak. Her mother spends her days and nights taking care of her frozen child, but Anabelle’s father has left: unable to cope, broken under the responsibility of having been the car’s driver. Then, one day, a visiting friend experiences what seems like a miracle. She thinks it’s because of Anabelle. Word spreads. There are more visitors. More miracles. But is there a connection? And does it matter? Will Anabelle ever wake up, and if she does, will the miracles cease?

Andrew Roe has crafted an intricate story, told by Anabelle, her parents, and the visitors, who include neighbors, a priest, the affluent and the downtrodden. What becomes clear is that life’s cruelties show no prejudice, but becoming a believer-in something, anything, even if you don’t understand it-can bring salvation.

More than a novel about a family in crisis, The Miracle Girl tells a larger cultural story, of how we live and hope and dream.

book jacket for Off the BooksOff the Books
On Literature and Culture
J. Peder Zane

An exploration of American culture and politics through the literary lens of a book review editor.

Head "off the books" in this collection of newspaper columns, where J. Peder Zane uses classic and contemporary literature to explore American culture and politics. The book review editor for the Raleigh, North Carolina News & Observer from 1996 to 2009, Zane demonstrates that good books are essential for understanding ourselves and the world around us. The columns gathered in Off the Books find that sweet spot where literature's eternal values meet the day's current events. Together they offer a literary overview of the ideas, issues, and events shaping our culture—from 9/11 and the struggle for gay rights to the decline of high culture and the rise of sensationalism and solipsism. As they plumb and draw from the work of leading writers—William Faulkner, Knut Hamsun, Eudora Welty, Don DeLillo, Lydia Millet, and Philip Roth among others—these columns make an argument not just about the pleasure of books, but about their very necessity in our lives and culture.

J. Peder Zane was the book review editor and books columnist for the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, for thirteen years. His writing has won numerous national honors, including the Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Before joining the News & Observer, Zane worked at the New York Times. A former board member of the National Book Critics Circle and current chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, Zane is the editor of and has contributed to Remarkable Reads:34 Writers and Their Adventures in Reading, and The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books and is coauthor of Design in Nature.