On Sale This Week
On Sale This Week previews a selection of Penguin Random House fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young readers books being published each week. The choices are a mix of titles by both bestselling and emerging authors. We hope this serves as a useful reference for hot new reads hitting shelves everywhere.
THE TRESPASSER: A Novel by Tana French (Viking)
Being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she’s getting close to the breaking point. Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her—except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before.
AMERICAN PASTORAL by Philip Roth (Vintage)
As the American century draws to an uneasy close, Philip Roth gives us a novel of unqualified greatness that is an elegy for all our century’s promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss. Roth’s protagonist is Swede Levov, a legendary athlete at his Newark high school, who grows up in the booming postwar years to marry a former Miss New Jersey, inherit his father’s glove factory, and move into a stone house in the idyllic hamlet of Old Rimrock. And then one day in 1968, Swede’s beautiful American luck deserts him. For Swede’s adored daughter, Merry, has grown from a loving, quick-witted girl into a sullen, fanatical teenager—a teenager capable of an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism. And overnight Swede is wrenched out of the longed-for American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk.
BROKEN TRUST by W.E.B. Griffin (Putnam)
Having investigated his share of gruesome murders, Philadelphia Homicide Sergeant Matt Payne is beginning to think nothing can shock him – until the case of a young socialite’s death lands on his desk. The Camilla Rose Morgan he’d known as a teenager was beautiful and brilliant – how was it possible she’d jumped to her death from her own balcony? Her brother tells Payne she’d tragically been battling a lifetime of mental demons, and there is plenty of evidence of it, but still…something just doesn’t sit right. The more Payne digs, the more complications he discovers. Reputations are on the line here, and lives – and if Payne doesn’t tread carefully, one of them may be his own.
CROSSTALK by Connie Willis (Del Rey)
In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal—to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don’t quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely—in a way far beyond what she signed up for. But that’s only the beginning. As things go from bad to worse, she begins to see the dark side of too much information, and to realize that love—and communication—are far more complicated than she ever imagined.
TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine Books)
Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness. To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain—and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love.
THE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA by Alex Prud’homme (Knopf)
Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew and MY LIFE IN FRANCE coauthor vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America’s first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as MY LIFE IN FRANCE, THE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA uncovers Julia Child beyond her “French chef” persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.
YOU CAN’T TOUCH MY HAIR by Phoebe Robinson (Plume)
A hilarious and timely essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from upcoming comedy superstar and 2 Dope Queenspodcaster Phoebe Robinson. Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she’s been unceremoniously relegated to the role of “the black friend,” as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she’s been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel (“isn’t that . . . white people music?”); she’s been called “uppity” for having an opinion in the workplace; she’s been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she’s ready to take these topics to the page—and she’s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it.
SPACEMAN by Mike Massimino (Crown Archetype)
Mike Massimino’s childhood space dreams were born the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Growing up in a working-class Long Island family, he catapulted himself to Columbia and then MIT, only to flunk his first doctoral exam and be rejected three times by NASA before making it through the final round of astronaut selection. Taking us through the surreal wonder and beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble Telescope—which he and his fellow astronauts were tasked with saving on his final mission—Massimino has written an ode to never giving up and the power of teamwork to make anything possible. SPACEMAN invites us into a rare, wonderful world where science meets the most thrilling adventure,
PICK ME UP by Adam J. Kurtz (TarcherPerigee)
On the heels of his internationally successful first book, 1 PAGE AT A TIME, graphic designer and illustrator Adam J. Kurtz delivers another intimate and engaging journal for anyone who loves to explore ideas, record thoughts and feelings, and capture those fleeting but amazing moments of everyday life. Unlike a linear journal, this book can be opened up to any page, encouraging and engaging readers time and time again through continued use. Rather than simply complete tasks and turn pages, users are encouraged to leave their mark, and if they land on the same page days or weeks later, they can review, reflect, and revise their previous response.
AMERICAN ULYSSES by Ronald C. White (Random House)
In his time, Ulysses S. Grant was routinely grouped with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the “Trinity of Great American Leaders.” But the battlefield commander–turned–commander-in-chief fell out of favor in the twentieth century. In AMERICAN ULYSSES, Ronald C. White argues that we need to once more revise our estimates of him in the twenty-first. Based on seven years of research with primary documents—some of them never examined by previous Grant scholars—this is destined to become the Grant biography of our time. White, a biographer exceptionally skilled at writing momentous history from the inside out, shows Grant to be a generous, curious, introspective man and leader—a willing delegator with a natural gift for managing the rampaging egos of his fellow officers. His wife, Julia Dent Grant, long marginalized in the historic record, emerges in her own right as a spirited and influential partner.
THE RAIN IN PORTUGAL by Billy Collins (Random House)
THE RAIN IN PORTUGAL—a title that admits he’s not much of a rhymer—sheds Collins’s ironic light on such subjects as travel and art, cats and dogs, loneliness and love, beauty and death. His tones range from the whimsical—“the dogs of Minneapolis . . . / have no idea they’re in Minneapolis”—to the elegiac in a reaction to the death of Seamus Heaney. A student of the everyday, here Collins contemplates a weather vane, a still life painting, the calendar, and a child lost at a beach. His imaginative fabrications have Shakespeare flying comfortably in first class and Keith Richards supporting the globe on his head. By turns entertaining, engaging, and enlightening, THE RAIN IN PORTUGAL amounts to another chorus of poems from one of the most respected and familiar voices in the world of American poetry.
HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE by Jennifer Niven (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone. Until he meets Libby.
OUR CHEMICAL HEARTS by Krystal Sutherland (Putnam Books for Young Readers)
Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change. Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again.
WELCOME TO WONDERLAND #1: HOME SWEET MOTEL by Chris Grabenstein (Random House Books for Young Readers)
Eleven-year-old P. T. Wilkie may be the greatest storyteller alive. But he knows one thing for a fact: the Wonderland Motel is the best place a kid could ever live! All-you-can-eat poolside ice cream! A snack machine in the living room! A frog slide! A giant rampaging alligator! (Okay, that last one may or may not be made up.) There’s only one thing the Wonderland doesn’t have, though—customers. And if the Wonderland doesn’t get them soon, P.T. and his friend Gloria may have to say goodbye to their beloved motel forever. They need to think BIG. They need to think BOLD. They need an OUTRAGEOUS plan. Luckily for them, Gloria is a business GENIUS, and OUTRAGEOUS is practically P.T.’s middle name. With Gloria’s smarts and P.T.’s world-famous stories and schemes, there’s got to be a way to save the Wonderland!
EVERYONE WE’VE BEEN by Sarah Everett (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy who keeps disappearing. She’s afraid she’s going crazy, and the worried looks on her family’s and friends’ faces aren’t helping. Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits the Overton Clinic. But there she unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. Flooded with questions about the past, Addison confronts the choices she can’t even remember and wonders if you can possibly know the person you’re becoming if you don’t know the person you’ve been.