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February 2016
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From Catherine Weller
New Year, New Books

The first months of the year can be a sleepy time in new books as the publishing houses prepare for the big releases of spring and summer. Not so this year. January got off to a strong start with several notable and interesting titles; the next two months are going to be just as good. Here are just a few of the February releases I am highly anticipating:

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Noted short-story writer and essayist Saunders first novel is a doozy. It's set in a Washington D.C. cemetery and takes place in one night - the night a grieving Abraham Lincoln visits the crypt in which his son's body has just been interred. Saunders plumbs the depths of grief, love, and acceptance. Narrated by conversations between the dead and snippets of historical documents (some imagined), the book will delight Saunders fans and intrigue those new to him.

The One Inside by Sam Shepard. Another first novel by a writer with a considerable body of work! Playwright Sam Shepard's book opens early in the morning in an isolated house somewhere in the West as an actor relives significant times in his life. This book's narrative is also not linear, jumping between times, places, and people. Acting, directing, and the landscape of the American West are particularly evocative in this story of memory and its power over each of us.

Novels I wish I had time and space to describe, but fervently hope you investigate are: The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen, A Separation by Katie Kitamura, Universal Harvester by John Darnielle, and A Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates.

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett. Oh Daniel Dennett! He's one of the heavy hitters of cognitive studies and not without controversy. His books, though accessible, are not easy reading. That said, stay with me here, Dennett is always worth reading. This book argues that the human brain developed in both a top-down and bottom-up fashion, that the Cartesian mind/body duality is false, and the human mind is what distinguishes us from other animals. Throw in goodies like feral neurons, and you have a dense, tasty book that straddles philosophy and science.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. A significant part of my genetic heritage is from the Norsemen so I admit the combination of Gaiman and Asgard is catnip to me. Gaiman is no stranger to Norse mythology: it runs through the Sandman books and American Gods. But this book promises to be a novelistic retelling of the nine Norse worlds. I have to admit I haven't seen this book yet, so I am truly anticipating it with the rest of you. The bits I have seen look great.

Other non-fiction titles I hope you'll check out are: South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion, Convergence: The Idea at the Heart of Science by Peter Watson, and Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt.
From Tony Weller 
Picasso Books
It is possible that no modern artist is more broadly known than Pablo Picasso. His art evolved constantly throughout his life, and his prescient experimentations often became prototypes for emergent trends. Thousands of books have treated his life and art. He was extremely prolific and legendarily private. Pierre Daix was Picasso's friend and his biographer. We have for sale two nearly-perfect scarce Picasso titles by Daix in first printings.
Picasso: The Cubist Years 1907 - 1916: A Catalogue RaisonnĂ© of the Paintings and Related Works. This Thames and Hudson was published in small folio format in 1979. $150

The Private Picasso is a photographic study containing over 20 years of candid photographs of Picasso in his studio and at private moments. The remarkable achievement is that of photographer Edward Quinn, who stayed just far enough back to maintain Picasso's favor from the 1950s until the 1970s. Text is by Daix. This large octavo volume was published by The New York Graphic Society in 1987. $150
Read & Watch Bookclub with KUED 
For the February Read & Watch we are reading  Phenomenal Woman  by Maya Angelou, a beautiful gift edition with paintings by Paul Gauguin throughout. The book is paired with the first feature documentary about the incomparable author, poet, and civil rights activist. 

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise will be screened at the City Library, where we will also be selling the book, on Friday, February 17, at 7 pm. If you miss it, pick up the book in the store, and watch the documentary on KUED on Tuesday, February 21, at 7 pm.
Author Events 
Saturday, February 11, 2 pm immortal writers 
Jill Bowers reads and signs Immortal Writers. Young author Liz McKinnen comes home from her first book tour, only to be kidnapped and told by her captors that she has to defeat her book's antagonist. L iz is quickly initiated into the Immortal Writers group, whose prose is so powerful that it's brought stories to life. As she meets authors such as Shakespeare, Tolkien, and Austen, Liz has to learn how to control magic, fight dragons, and face her own troubled past before her own villain takes over the world.  
Friday, February 17, 7 pm  
Mikel Parry presents his thriller Fathom in the store, with a reading and signing. Detective Demo Ward has the unique ability to solve cases by assimilating the criminal mindset, using little to no evidence. But a top secret invention, Fathom, now allows him to enter a psychotic killer's mind directly. Because within the realms of Fathom anything the mind can create becomes a reality, Demo is forced to face his own demons in a race to solve the unbreakable case.
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