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.
SWING TIME by Zadie Smith (Penguin Press)
An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of WHITE TEETH and ON BEAUTY. Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either. Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.
TURBO TWENTY-THREE by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)
Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body—frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans. As fate would have it, Stephanie’s mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who’s putting their employees on ice and sabotaging the business. It’s going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream, and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger.
ODESSA SEA by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (Putnam)
Dirk Pitt, the director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, is on the Black Sea, helping to locate a lost Ottoman shipwreck, when he responds to an urgent Mayday—“Under attack!”—from a nearby freighter. But when he and his colleague Al Giordino arrive, there is nobody there. Just dead bodies and a smell of sulfur in the air. As Pitt and Giordino explore, a blast from the stern scuttles the ship swiftly, almost taking them with it. Filled with breathtaking suspense and remarkable imagination, ODESSA SEA is further proof that when it comes to adventure writing, nobody beats Clive Cussler.
CATALYST (STAR WARS) by James Luceno (Del Rey)
War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key. Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt.
BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah (Spiegel & Grau)
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.
I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Working with the Legendary Actresses of Hollywood by Robert Wagner with Scott Eyman (Viking)
In a career that has spanned more than sixty years Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both media. During that time he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with the remarkable women who were the greatest screen personalities of their day. I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES is his intimate and revealing account of the charisma of these women on film, why they became stars, and how their specific emotional and dramatic chemistries affected the choices they made as actresses as well as the choices they made as women.
TESTIMONY by Robbie Robertson (Crown Archetype)
On the 40th anniversary of The Band’s legendary The Last Waltz concert, Robbie Robertson finally tells his own spellbinding story of the band that changed music history, his extraordinary personal journey, and his creative friendships with some of the greatest artists of the last half-century. Robbie Robertson’s singular contributions to popular music have made him one of the most beloved songwriters and guitarists of his time. With songs like “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and “Up on Cripple Creek,” he and his partners in The Band fashioned a music that has endured for decades, influencing countless musicians.
WONDERLAND: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson (Riverhead)
This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused. Johnson’s storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey from simple concepts to complex modern systems. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows.
GENDER OUTLAW by Kate Bornstein (Vintage)
On one level, GENDER OUTLAW details Bornstein’s transformation from heterosexual male to lesbian woman, from a one-time IBM salesperson to a playwright and performance artist. But this particular coming-of-age story is also a provocative investigation into our notions of male and female, from a self-described nonbinary transfeminine diesel femme dyke who never stops questioning our cultural assumptions. GENDER OUTLAW was decades ahead of its time when it was first published in 1994. Now, some twenty-odd years later, this book stands as both a classic and a still-revolutionary work—one that continues to push us gently but profoundly to the furthest borders of the gender frontier.
LUCKY BASTARD: My Life, My Dad, And The Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV by Joe Buck (Dutton)
Sports fans see Joe Buck everywhere: broadcasting one of the biggest games in the NFL every week, calling the World Series every year, announcing the Super Bowl every three years. They know his father, Jack Buck, is a broadcasting legend and that he was beloved in his adopted hometown of St. Louis. Yet they have no idea who Joe really is. Or how he got here. They don’t know how he almost blew his career. They haven’t read his funniest and most embarrassing stories or heard about his interactions with the biggest sports stars of this era.
FOREVER WORDS by Johnny Cash, with Foreword by John Carter Cash and introduced by Paul Muldoon (Blue Rider Press)
A collection of never-before-published poems by Johnny Cash, edited and introduced by Pulitzer-prize winning poet Paul Muldoon with a foreword by John Carter Cash. Illustrated with facsimile reproductions of Cash’s own handwritten pages. Since his first recordings in 1955, Johnny Cash was an icon in the music world. In this collection of poems and song lyrics that have never been published before, we see the world through his eyes and view his reflection on his own interior reality, his frailties and his strengths alike. FOREVER WORDS confirms Johnny Cash as a brilliant and singular American literary figure.
THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE by Alexandra Monir (Delacorte Press)
One dead body, one photograph, one compromising secret. Nicole Morgan has been labeled many things—the geeky music girl, the shy sidekick of Miss Popularity, and the girl with the scar. Now only one name haunts her through the halls of Oyster Bay Prep. The girl in the picture. After heartthrob Chace Porter is found dead in the woods near the school, the police search for the girl snuggled up next to him in a picture discovered among his personal effects. A girl no one knew was even close to him—and whose best friend, Lana Rivera, was his girlfriend. Nicole is that girl, and now she’s the primary suspect in his murder. In alternating points of view—that of suspect Nicole Morgan and that of Lana Rivera—and weaving between present-day, flashbacks, and the characters’ surreal subconscious, THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE is a unique tale of teen friendship, romance, and deadly secrets.
INTO THE LION’S DEN by Linda Fairstein (Dial Books for Young Readers)
Someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page—an old map—possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.
THE CAT FROM HUNGER MOUNTAIN by Ed Young (Philomel Books)
Caldecott Medalist Ed Young delivers a visually stunning, poignant story about humility, wastefulness, and appreciating what one has. In a place called Hunger Mountain there lives a lord who has everything imaginable yet never has enough. To satisfy his every desire, he hires builders to design the tallest pagoda; a world-famous tailor to make his clothing from silk and gold threads; and a renowned chef to cook him lavish meals with rice from the lord’s own fields. What more could he possibly want? Yet when drought plagues the land, Lord Cat is faced with his first taste of deep loss, he ventures down the mountain and what he discovers will change his life forever.
THE TURNCOAT’S GAMBIT by Andrea Cremer (Philomel Books)
Charlotte has spent her whole life fighting the British Empire, following in the footsteps of her parents and their group of rebels. But when her reunion with her mother laid bare horrible truths about the rebellion, Charlotte knew she had to escape. Now she is on the run, with no idea who the enemy is–or which of her compatriots is truly on her side. In this action-packed conclusion to the Inventor’s Secret trilogy, full of swashbuckling pirates and young ladies who can hold their own against them, Charlotte will need to fight for her life and for her beliefs — whatever they might be.