Good Night, Irene
This "powerful, uplifting, and deeply personal novel" (Kristin Hannah, #1 NYT bestselling author of The Four Winds), at once "a heart-wrenching wartime drama" (Christina Baker Kline, #1 NYT bestselling author of Orphan Train) and "a moving and graceful tribute to heroic women" (Publishers Weekly, starred review), asks the question: What if a friendship forged on the front lines of war defines a life forever?
In the tradition of The Nightingale and Transcription, this is a searing epic based on the magnificent and true story of courageous Red Cross women.
"Urrea's touch is sure, his exuberance carries you through . . . He is a generous writer, not just in his approach to his craft but in the broader sense of what he feels necessary to capture about life itself." --Financial Times
In 1943, Irene Woodward abandons an abusive fiancé in New York to enlist with the Red Cross and head to Europe. She makes fast friends in training with Dorothy Dunford, a towering Midwesterner with a ferocious wit. Together they are part of an elite group of women, nicknamed Donut Dollies, who command military vehicles called Clubmobiles at the front line, providing camaraderie and a taste of home that may be the only solace before troops head into battle.
After D-Day, these two intrepid friends join the Allied soldiers streaming into France. Their time in Europe will see them embroiled in danger, from the Battle of the Bulge to the liberation of Buchenwald. Through her friendship with Dorothy, and a love affair with a courageous American fighter pilot named Hans, Irene learns to trust again. Her most fervent hope, which becomes more precarious by the day, is for all three of them to survive the war intact.
Taking as inspiration his mother's own Red Cross service, Luis Alberto Urrea has delivered an overlooked story of women's heroism in World War II. With its affecting and uplifting portrait of friendship and valor in harrowing circumstances, Good Night, Irene powerfully demonstrates yet again that Urrea's "gifts as a storyteller are prodigious" (NPR).
A TODAY Show #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick
A Big Chill for our times, celebrating decades-long friendships and promises—especially to ourselves—by the bestselling and beloved author of The Guncle.
It’s been a minute—or five years—since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. Though not for a lack of trying. Over the years they’ve reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living “funerals,” celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living—that their lives mean something, to one another if not to themselves.
But this reunion is different. They’re not gathered as they were to bolster Marielle as her marriage crumbled, to lift Naomi after her parents died, or to intervene when Craig pleaded guilty to art fraud. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact.
A deeply honest tribute to the growing pains of selfhood and the people who keep us going, coupled with Steven Rowley’s signature humor and heart, The Celebrants is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth and the beautiful ways in which friendship helps us celebrate our lives, even amid the deepest challenges of living.
Denied a dog, a baby, and even a faithful fiancé, Cat suddenly craves a snake: a glistening, writhing creature that can be worn like "jewelry, living jewelry" to match her black jeans. But when the budding social media star promptly loses the young "Burmie" she buys from a local pet store, she inadvertently sets in motion a chain of increasingly dire and outrageous events that comes to threaten her very survival.
"Brilliantly imaginative . . . in a terrifying way" (Annie Proulx), Blue Skies follows in the tradition of T. C. Boyle's finest novels, combining high-octane plotting with mordant wit and shrewd social commentary. Here Boyle, one of the most inventive voices in contemporary fiction, transports us to water-logged and heat-ravaged coastal America, where Cat and her hapless, nature-loving family--including her eco-warrior parents, Ottilie and Frank; her brother, Cooper, an entomologist; and her frat-boy-turned-husband, Todd--are struggling to adapt to the "new normal," in which once-in-a-lifetime natural disasters happen once a week and drinking seems to be the only way to cope.
But there's more than meets the eye to this compulsive family drama. Lurking beneath the banal façade of twenty-first-century Californians and Floridians attempting to preserve normalcy in the face of violent weather perturbations is a caricature of materialist American society that doubles as a prophetic warning about our planet's future. From pet bees and cricket-dependent diets to massive species die-off and pummeling hurricanes, Blue Skies deftly explores the often volatile relationships between humans and their habitats, in which "the only truism seems to be that things always get worse."
An eco-thriller with teeth, Boyle's Blue Skies is at once a tragicomic satire and a prescient novel that captures the absurdity and "inexpressible sadness at the heart of everything."
A much-anticipated, hilarious new essay collection from #1 New York Times bestselling unabashed fan-favorite Samantha Irby invites us to share in the gory particulars of her real life, all that festers behind the glitter and glam.
Beloved writer Samantha Irby has returned to the printed page for her much-anticipated, sidesplitting fourth book following her 2020 breakout, Wow, No Thank You, a Vintage Books Original.
The success of Irby’s career has taken her to new heights. She fields calls with job offers from Hollywood and walks the red carpet with the iconic ladies of Sex and the City. Finally, she has made it. But, behind all that new-found glam, Irby is just trying to keep her life together as she always had.
Her teeth are poisoning her from inside her mouth, and her diarrhea is back. She gets turned away from a restaurant for wearing ugly clothes, she goes to therapy and tries out Lexapro, gets healed with RReiki, explores the power of crystals, and becomes addicted to QVC. Making light of herself as she takes us on an outrageously funny tour of all the details that make up a true portrait of her life, Irby is once again the relatable, uproarious tonic we all need.
A VINTAGE ORIGINAL.
The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece
From the Academy Award-winning actor and best-selling author: a novel about the making of a star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film . . . and the humble comic books that inspired it. Funny, touching, and wonderfully thought-provoking, while also capturing the changes in America and American culture since World War II.
Part One of this story takes place in 1947. A troubled soldier, returning from the war, meets his talented five-year-old nephew, leaves an indelible impression, and then disappears for twenty-three years.
Cut to 1970: The nephew, now drawing underground comic books in Oakland, California, reconnects with his uncle and, remembering the comic book he saw when he was five, draws a new version with his uncle as a World War II fighting hero.
Cut to the present day: A commercially successful director discovers the 1970 comic book and decides to turn it into a contemporary superhero movie.
Cue the cast: We meet the film’s extremely difficult male star, his wonderful leading lady, the eccentric writer/director, the producer, the gofer production assistant, and everyone else on both sides of the camera.
Bonus material: Interspersed throughout are three comic books that are featured in the story—all created by Tom Hanks himself—including the comic book that becomes the official tie-in to this novel’s "major motion picture masterpiece."
Chain Gang All Stars
The explosive, hotly-anticipated debut novel from the New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black, about two top women gladiators fighting for their freedom within a depraved private prison system not so far-removed from America’s own. • “A new and necessary American voice.” —Tommy Orange, The New York Times Book Review
Loretta Thurwar and Hamara “Hurricane Staxxx” Stacker are the stars of Chain-Gang All-Stars, the cornerstone of CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment, a highly-popular, highly-controversial, profit-raising program in America’s increasingly dominant private prison industry. It’s the return of the gladiators and prisoners are competing for the ultimate prize: their freedom.
In CAPE, prisoners travel as Links in Chain-Gangs, competing in death-matches for packed arenas with righteous protestors at the gates. Thurwar and Staxxx, both teammates and lovers, are the fan favorites. And if all goes well, Thurwar will be free in just a few matches, a fact she carries as heavily as her lethal hammer. As she prepares to leave her fellow Links, she considers how she might help preserve their humanity, in defiance of these so-called games, but CAPE’s corporate owners will stop at nothing to protect their status quo and the obstacles they lay in Thurwar’s path have devastating consequences.
Moving from the Links in the field to the protestors to the CAPE employees and beyond, Chain-Gang All-Stars is a kaleidoscopic, excoriating look at the American prison system’s unholy alliance of systemic racism, unchecked capitalism, and mass incarceration, and a clear-eyed reckoning with what freedom in this country really means from a “new and necessary American voice” (Tommy Orange, The New York Times Book Review).
"Small Mercies is thought provoking, engaging, enraging, and can't-put-it-down entertainment." -- Stephen King
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling writer returns with a masterpiece to rival Mystic River--an all-consuming tale of revenge, family love, festering hate, and insidious power, set against one of the most tumultuous episodes in Boston's history.
In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessy is trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. Mary Pat has lived her entire life in the housing projects of "Southie," the Irish American enclave that stubbornly adheres to old tradition and stands proudly apart.
One night Mary Pat's teenage daughter Jules stays out late and doesn't come home. That same evening, a young Black man is found dead, struck by a subway train under mysterious circumstances.
The two events seem unconnected. But Mary Pat, propelled by a desperate search for her missing daughter, begins turning over stones best left untouched--asking questions that bother Marty Butler, chieftain of the Irish mob, and the men who work for him, men who don't take kindly to any threat to their business.
Set against the hot, tumultuous months when the city's desegregation of its public schools exploded in violence, Small Mercies is a superb thriller, a brutal depiction of criminality and power, and an unflinching portrait of the dark heart of American racism. It is a mesmerizing and wrenching work that only Dennis Lehane could write.
The Half Moon
Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, BookPage, LitHub and more
“I adored this compelling, touching, exquisitely crafted story about a marriage in crisis.” —Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies
From the bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes, a masterful novel about a couple in a small town who must navigate the complexities of marriage, family, and longing.
Malcolm Gephardt, handsome and gregarious longtime bartender at the Half Moon, has always dreamed of owning a bar. When his boss finally retires, Malcolm stretches to buy the place. He sees unquantifiable magic and potential in the Half Moon and hopes to transform it into a bigger success, but struggles to stay afloat.
His smart and confident wife, Jess, has devoted herself to her law career. After years of trying for a baby, she is facing the idea that motherhood may not be in the cards for her. Like Malcolm, she feels her youth beginning to slip away and wonders how to reshape her future.
Award-winning author Mary Beth Keane’s new novel takes place over the course of one week when Malcolm learns shocking news about Jess, a patron of the bar goes missing, and a blizzard hits the town of Gillam, trapping everyone in place. With a deft eye and generous spirit, Keane explores the disappointments and unexpected consolations of midlife, the many forms forgiveness can take, the complicated intimacy of small-town living, and what it means to be a family.
A Living Remedy
A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 from: Dallas Morning News * Today.com * Good Housekeeping * Time * The Rumpus * The Week * Salon * Seattle Times * Electric Literature * Bookpage * The Millions * Elle.com * Washington Post * Book Riot * Lit Hub * NPR's Here & Now * Ms. Magazine * Town & Country * New York Times * USA Today * Sunset
From the bestselling author of ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW comes a searing memoir of family, class and grief--a daughter's search to understand the lives her adoptive parents led, the life she forged as an adult, and the lives she's lost.
In this country, unless you attain extraordinary wealth, you will likely be unable to help your loved ones in all the ways you'd hoped. You will learn to live with the specific, hollow guilt of those who leave hardship behind, yet are unable to bring anyone else with them.
Nicole Chung couldn't hightail it out of her overwhelmingly white Oregon hometown fast enough. As a scholarship student at a private university on the East Coast, no longer the only Korean she knew, she found community and a path to the life she'd long wanted. But the middle class world she begins to raise a family in - where there are big homes, college funds, nice vacations - looks very different from the middle class world she thought she grew up in, where paychecks have to stretch to the end of the week, health insurance is often lacking, and there are no safety nets.
When her father dies at only sixty-seven, killed by diabetes and kidney disease, Nicole feels deep grief as well as rage, knowing that years of precarity and lack of access to healthcare contributed to his early death. And then the unthinkable happens - less than a year later, her beloved mother is diagnosed with cancer, and the physical distance between them becomes insurmountable as COVID-19 descends upon the world.
Exploring the enduring strength of family bonds in the face of hardship and tragedy, A Living Remedy examines what it takes to reconcile the distance between one life, one home, and another - and sheds needed light on some of the most persistent and grievous inequalities in American society.
Symphony of Secrets
A gripping page-turner from the celebrated author of book club favorite The Violin Conspiracy: Music professor Bern Hendricks discovers a shocking secret about the most famous American composer of all time—his music may have been stolen from a Black Jazz Age prodigy named Josephine Reed. Determined to uncover the truth that a powerful organization wants to keep hidden, Bern will stop at nothing to right history's wrongs and give Josephine the recognition she deserves.
“A maestro of musical mystery ... Slocumb’s writing is invigorating, and the detail in his character work makes the main characters in both time periods easy to root for. . . . Thrilling.” —The New York Times
"At once a celebration of music and also a cautionary tale about legacy, privilege, and creative genius." —Nita Prose, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid
Bern Hendricks has just received the call of a lifetime. As one of the world’s preeminent experts on the famed twentieth-century composer Frederick Delaney, Bern knows everything there is to know about the man behind the music. When Mallory Roberts, a board member of the distinguished Delaney Foundation and direct descendant of the man himself, asks for Bern’s help authenticating a newly discovered piece, which may be his famous lost opera, RED, he jumps at the chance. With the help of his tech-savvy acquaintance Eboni, Bern soon discovers that the truth is far more complicated than history would have them believe.
In 1920s Manhattan, Josephine Reed is living on the streets and frequenting jazz clubs when she meets the struggling musician Fred Delaney. But where young Delaney struggles, Josephine soars. She’s a natural prodigy who hears beautiful music in the sounds of the world around her. With Josephine as his silent partner, Delaney’s career takes off—but who is the real genius here?
In the present day, Bern and Eboni begin to uncover more clues that indicate Delaney may have had help in composing his most successful work. Armed with more questions than answers and caught in the crosshairs of a powerful organization who will stop at nothing to keep their secret hidden, Bern and Eboni will move heaven and earth in their dogged quest to right history’s wrongs.