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  1. 17 Funny New Novels for Your Book Club
  2. New Books - January 12222
  3. Signs of Life: A Hilarious Novel of Life and Death

The novel traces the career of a Cinderella-like heroine, who is brought from a poor home to Mansfield Park, the country estate of her relative. She is raised with some of the comforts of her cousins, but her social rank is maintained at a lower level. Despite their strict upbringing, the cousins become involved in marital and extramarital tangles, which bring disasters and near-disasters on the family. But the heroine's upright character guides her through her own relationships with dignity—although sometimes with a chilling disdainfulness open disapproval —and leads to her triumph at the close of the novel.

While some readers may not like the rather priggish following rules of proper behavior to an extreme degree heroine, the reader nonetheless develops a sympathetic understanding of her thoughts and emotions. The reader also learns to value her at least as highly as the more attractive, but less honest, members of Mansfield Park's wealthy family and social circle.

Shortly before Mansfield Park was published, Jane Austen began a new novel, Emma, and published it in Again the heroine does engage the reader's sympathy and understanding. Emma is a girl of high intelligence and vivid imagination who is also marked by egotism and a desire to dominate the lives of others.

She exercises her powers of manipulation on a number of neighbors who are not able to resist her prying. Most of Emma's attempts to control her friends, however, do not have happy effects for her or for them. But influenced by an old boyfriend who is her superior in intelligence and maturity, she realizes how misguided many of her actions are. The novel ends with the decision of a warmer and less headstrong Emma to marry him. There is much evidence to support the argument of some critics that Emma is Austen's most brilliant novel.

Persuasion, begun in and published posthumously in , is Jane Austen's last complete novel and is perhaps most directly expressive of her feelings about her own life. The heroine is a woman growing older with a sense that life has passed her by. Several years earlier she had fallen in love with a suitor but was parted from him because her class-conscious family insisted she make a more appropriate match. But she still loves him, and when he again enters her life, their love deepens and ends in marriage. Austen's satirical treatment of social pretensions and worldly motives is perhaps at its keenest in this novel, especially in her presentation of Anne's family.

The predominant tone of Persuasion, however, is not satirical but romantic. It is, in the end, the most uncomplicated love story that Jane Austen ever wrote and, to some tastes, the most beautiful. The novel Sanditon was unfinished at her death on July 8, She died in Winchester, England, where she had gone to seek medical attention, and was buried there. Myer, Valerie Grosvenor. New York: Arcade Pub.

Nokes, David. Jane Austen: A Life. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, Tomalin, Claire. Your name is Charlie Worthing and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses. You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact born of the sleeping mind. When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it's weird. When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity. But teasing truth from the Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting; ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers, whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food; and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine. Elevation by Stephen King Call Number: Although Scott Carey doesn't look any different, he's been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn't want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King's most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade--but escalating--battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott's lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble.

When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face-including his own--he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott's affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others. From Stephen King, our "most precious renewable resource, like Shakespeare in the malleability of his work" The Guardian , Elevation is an antidote to our divisive culture, as gloriously joyful with a twinge of deep sadness as "It's a Wonderful Life.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish.

Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he's making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense.

And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic Goodreads Choice Award for the best young adult novel of the year! In this sequel to the acclaimed Simon vs. When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat--but real life isn't always so rhythmic.

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She's an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she's bisexual, she hasn't mustered the courage to tell her friends--not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn't know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high.

17 Funny New Novels for Your Book Club

It's hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting--especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. No prison can hold him. No trap can contain him. He is Scott Free, the worldwide celebrity sensation known as Mister Miracle, and he is the greatest escape artist who ever lived. But can he pull off the ultimate trick--and escape death itself? Something has gone horribly wrong with the perfect life that Scott and his wife Big Barda have made for themselves on Earth.

With war raging between their homeworlds of Apokolips and New Genesis, Scott's cruel adoptive father, Darkseid, seems to have finally found the Anti-Life Equation--the weapon that will give him total victory. As the mountains of bodies on both sides grow ever higher, only Mister Miracle can stop the slaughter and restore peace. But the terrible power of the Anti-Life Equation may already be at work in his own mind, warping his reality and shattering the fragile happiness he's found with the woman he loves.

Is death the trap that's been waiting for him all along? Or is it life itself? And what price will Scott Free have to pay to learn the answer? Eisner Award winners Tom King and Mitch Gerads present a bold new vision of one of Jack Kirby's greatest creations with Mister Miracle--powerful, intimate and utterly unique, this modern comics classic will challenge everything you know about super-heroism! Collects the entire issue series. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin may finally get the adventure she has been longing for.

Eleven-year-old houseboy Ren is also on a mission, racing to fulfill his former master's dying wish: that Ren find the man's finger, lost years ago in an accident, and bury it with his body. Ren has 49 days to do so, or his master's soul will wander the earth forever. As the days tick relentlessly by, a series of unexplained deaths racks the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers.

Ji Lin and Ren's increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes. Yangsze Choo's The Night Tiger pulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old superstition and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. But anchoring this dazzling, propulsive novel is the intimate coming-of-age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible.

Astoundingly captivating and striking A transcendent story of courage and connection.

A good friend will bury your body, a best friend will dig you back up. Dino doesn't mind spending time with the dead. His parents own a funeral home, and death is literally the family business. He's just not used to them talking back. Until Dino's ex-best friend July dies suddenly--and then comes back to life. Except not exactly. Somehow July is not quite alive, and not quite dead. As Dino and July attempt to figure out what's happening, they must also confront why and how their friendship ended so badly, and what they have left to understand about themselves, each other, and all those grand mysteries of life.

Critically acclaimed author Shaun Hutchinson delivers another wholly unique novel blending the real and surreal while reminding all of us what it is to love someone through and around our faults. Renegade Atlas [Book 2] by J.

New Books - January 12222

Chaney Call Number: The search for Earth has begun. After barely escaping the Union's grasp, The Renegade Star is off to parts unknown. Every member of its crew is a wanted fugitive. None of them can ever return home. But all is not lost. Thanks to Lex, a strange girl with a remarkable gift, the path to Earth has been revealed. According to ancient myth, Earth holds valuable treasures, lost technology, and endless secrets, ripe for the taking. Jace and his new friends have a chance to discover it all, but only if they can keep Lex out of the Union's grasp. Doing so won't be easy.

With enemies on all sides, the deck is stacked against them, but nothing in this universe comes easy when you're a Renegade. Renegade Moon [Book 3] by J. Chaney Call Number: On Order. A Renegade never surrenders. With the help of Titan, their new base of operations, Jace believes they might just have a chance. That is, if they can outrun the two armies at their backs, and somehow manage to survive a galaxy that wants them dead.

Not exactly a walk in the park. But no one ever said being a Renegade was easy. Experience a sprawling galactic tale in this third entry to The Renegade Star series. If you're a fan of Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, or Leviathan Wakes, you'll love this epic, space opera thriller. Warning: This book contains action, cussing, and general badassery.

Read at your own risk.

Signs of Life: A Hilarious Novel of Life and Death

Renegade Star [Book 1] by J. Jace Hughes is a Renegade. That means taking almost any job that comes his way, no matter the situation. So long as he can keep his ship floating, he's free to live the life he wants. But that all changes when he meets Abigail Pryar, a nun looking for safe passage out of the system. Too bad there's something off about the cargo she's carrying. Jace knows he shouldn't ask too many questions, but when strange sounds start coming from inside the large, metal box, he can't help but check it out.

Big mistake. To make matters worse, he's being pursued by unknown ships--people who want that cargo. Does Jace give up the goods and hand over the nun Experience the beginning of a sprawling galactic tale in this first entry to The Renegade Star series. A book of no small literary skill. An aching, exquisitely told story. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools.

His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he'd become the parent she'd always wanted him to be. Praise for Small Fry "An intimate, richly drawn portrait The reader of this exquisite memoir is left with a loving, forgiving remembrance and the lasting impression of a resilient, kindhearted and wise woman who is at peace with her past. It's a love story for the father that she had, flaws and all A wise, thoughtful, and ultimately loving portrayal of her father.

Have you ever wished you could live in an earlier, more romantic era? Ladies, welcome to the 19thcentury, where arsenic is a face cream, opium is a medicine, and all of your underwear is crotchless. I'll get back to that in a minute. Learn how much laughter is permitted a lady on the street none. Find out what's underneath those elegant ball gowns whalebone corsets, crinoline cages, and crotchless pantalettes - for quick bathroom access under all that hardware. And most importantly, come away with a new appreciation of the fortitude of our great-grandmothers. What began as the chronicle of an imminent and early death became something much more--a powerful exhortation to the living.

Born blind in Vietnam, she narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to flee with her family the political upheaval of her country in the late s. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon at UCLA gave her partial sight. She would go on to become a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, and a life she had once assumed would be impossible. Then, at age thirty-seven, with two little girls at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began.

The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life refracted through the prism of imminent death. When she was first diagnosed, Julie Yip-Williams sought clarity and guidance through the experience and, finding none, began to write her way through it--a chronicle that grew beyond her imagining. Motherhood, marriage, the immigrant experience, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, fortune-tellers, grief, reincarnation, jealousy, comfort, pain, the marvel of the body in full rebellion--this book is as sprawling and majestic as the life it records.

It is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. It is a book of indelible moments, seared deep--an incomparable guide to living vividly by facing hard truths consciously. With humor, bracing honesty, and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie Yip-Williams set the stage for her lasting legacy and one final miracle: the story of her life.

Praise for The Unwinding of the Miracle "Everything worth understanding and holding on to is in this book. A miracle indeed. One of the best books I've read in a while. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist. On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one.

Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want One of Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today--Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it's like to be young and Black in America.

Black is Nic Stone's high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of. Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more--because there are countless ways to be Black enough. Breaking and Entering by Jeremy N. Smith Call Number: This taut, true thriller dives into a dark world that touches us all, as seen through the brilliant, breakneck career of an extraordinary hacker--a woman known only as Alien. Alien's adventures were only just beginning.

After a stint at the storied, secretive Los Alamos National Laboratory, Alien was recruited by a top cybersecurity firm where she deployed her cache of virtual weapons--and the trespassing and social engineering talents she had developed while "hacking" at MIT. Alien now runs a boutique hacking outfit that caters to some of the world's biggest and most vulnerable institutions--banks, retailers, government agencies.

Setterfield is a master storyteller High prose expressed with rare clarity, story for the unashamed sake of story, a kind of moral dreaminess On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger.

In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed. Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens.

The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless. Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son's secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter.

The parson's housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone's. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known. Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.

A New York Times bestseller A Publishers Weekly bestseller From bestselling author Kiersten White comes a brand-new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that introduces a new Slayer as she grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers that she's just beginning to understand. Into every generation a Slayer is born Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It's hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher's Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school.

Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers--girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina's mother is a prominent member of the Watcher's Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina's life changes forever. Thanks to Buffy, the famous and infamous Slayer that Nina's father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One--she's the last Slayer, ever. As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there's plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina's dreams But it's not until bodies start turning up that Nina's new powers will truly be tested--because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard. Afflicted with a chronic debilitating condition, Suzette Jensen knew having children would wreak havoc on her already fragile body. Nevertheless, she brought Hanna into the world, pleased and proud to start a family with her husband Alex. Estranged from her own mother, Suzette is determined to raise her beautiful daughter with the love, care, and support she was denied.

But Hanna proves to be a difficult child. Now seven-years-old, she has yet to utter a word, despite being able to read and write. Defiant and anti-social, she refuses to behave in kindergarten classes, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Resentful of her mother's rules and attentions, Hanna lashes out in anger, becoming more aggressive every day. The only time Hanna is truly happy is when she's with her father. To Alex, she's willful and precocious but otherwise the perfect little girl, doing what she's told.

Suzette knows her clever and manipulative daughter doesn't love her. She can see the hatred and jealousy in her eyes. And as Hanna's subtle acts of cruelty threaten to tear her and Alex apart, Suzette fears her very life may be in grave danger At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world. When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived.

But Rini can't let Reality get in the way of her quest - not when she has an entire world to save! Much more common than one would suppose. If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn't have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away.

Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do. Warning: May contain nuts. Bring Me Back by B. Paris Call Number: He moved on. A whole world of secrets remained--until now. Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They're driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom.

He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone--never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story. It is a serious book that is fun to read and perhaps even a book with an unexplored didactic purpose: try introducing your students to postmodernism and critical thinking through this book and see what happens, I suggest.

The gaudy title and vomit-inducing cover in themselves constitute an affront to the kind of readers that prefer the comforting authority of the academic colon. Why Are Animals Funny? Unlike postmodernism with its self-referential jargon and masturbatory collage techniques the authority of this collection comes from its well-tuned ear, its sensitivity to the rhythms of contemporary history.

The Secret Society of the Illuminati

While Freud, Lacan and Kristeva all make their appearances the appropriation of their ideas outside of the organic heritage of the university enables the group to take their concepts in unexpected directions. The scope of these adventures is impossible to reduce to a simple list of highlights.

For me, though, the cutting criticisms of parliamentary politics, mainly in the form of sporadic assaults on the Westminster Coalition, were particularly enjoyable. The most powerful politician in the country and yet bound by being only able to ask himself the one question: who must we choose to render our party impotent? The EDA collective comes across as young, intelligent, thoughtful and energetic at a time when the university has become exhausted by the reactionary defence of its own suspicious ideals.

More importantly, its intellectual assertions are watertight; it would be hard indeed to view the analysis on offer here as a diluted form of a purer form of philosophy. Together, the authors have captured the joy of performance, the energy of protest and embedded this spirit within a theoretical framework that is admirably deliberative.

There is not a whiff of desperate careerism, not a trace of greed or networking in these pages. It is not often that theory is this fun to read, and less often still that satire is so well versed in the language of its assailants. Have you ever considered the ideological function of standing on a crowded train? Maybe not, because in my experience usually the only thought that comes to mind is how horrible and overpriced the train is and what your plans are upon arriving at your destination.

One of my favourite features about this book is how aware the writers are of the difficulty and complexity of their material, and how they are able to avoid long, winding explanations, giving only the important information and presenting it in such a manner that educational and reading level is all but rendered moot. One of the great successes of the book is its ability to simplify without patronising its readers or losing any of the academic rigour upon which it is founded. While being as entertaining and as enjoyable to read as any mainstream novel or magazine, the book also serves a didactic purpose: it shows lucidly that everything we see and say and do in our lives, every song on the radio, every film in the theatre, every tweet on the Twitter has a wider impact than we might originally think.

All too many reviewers have said about a book that it will change the way you look at the world and now the phrase is tired and meaningless. Featured with 6 other Zero titles on "Publishers in Focus" webpage by Blackwell Oxford "Many publishers struggle to get the exposure that we feel their books deserve.

If you agree, as Lacan said, that psychoanalysis comes closest to being the real deal the funnier it is, then this is the book for you. If, as Adorno said, in psychoanalysis only exaggeration is true, then everyday analysis fits the bill. What a great book.

In the spirit of one of the entries, that on worbining word-combining : a real grook great book. A feminist dissection of women's bodies as the fleshy fulcrum of capitalist cannibalism, whereby women are both consumers and consumed. Exposes the dark heart of contemporary cultural life by examining pornography, consumer capitalism and the ideology of women's work. An examination of why modern art can be easier to appreciate than modern music. An analysis of the dead man working and the way in which capital is now colonizing life itself.

A theoretical investigation into the culture of precarious work, digital consumption and personal flexibility, calling for a counter-discourse of resistance. Argues that the awkwardness of our age is a key to understanding human experience. Argues that our fascination with cold and ruthless television characters reflects a broken social contract.

Examining the recent changes in the labour of an artist and addressing them from the perspective of performance.

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Everyday Analysis - Volume 1 Analysing the signs of everyday life. Meat Market Laurie Penny A feminist dissection of women's bodies as the fleshy fulcrum of capitalist cannibalism, whereby women are both consumers and consumed. One Dimensional Woman Nina Power Exposes the dark heart of contemporary cultural life by examining pornography, consumer capitalism and the ideology of women's work. Fear of Music David Stubbs An examination of why modern art can be easier to appreciate than modern music.

Dead Man Working Carl Cederstrom Peter Fleming An analysis of the dead man working and the way in which capital is now colonizing life itself. Non-Stop Inertia Ivor Southwood A theoretical investigation into the culture of precarious work, digital consumption and personal flexibility, calling for a counter-discourse of resistance. Awkwardness Adam Kotsko Argues that the awkwardness of our age is a key to understanding human experience. Why We Love Sociopaths Adam Kotsko Argues that our fascination with cold and ruthless television characters reflects a broken social contract.

Artist at Work, Proximity of Art and Capitalism Bojana Kunst Examining the recent changes in the labour of an artist and addressing them from the perspective of performance. Anti-Matter Ben Jeffery An interrogation of art's ability to face unpleasant truths.