New Releases for the Week of
November 23, 2021
These Precious Days: Essays
by Ann Patchett (Harper, $26.99)
The beloved New York Times bestselling author reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in this deeply personal collection of essays.
“Any story that starts will also end.” As a writer, Ann Patchett knows what the outcome of her fiction will be. Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming. Patchett ponders this truth in these wise essays that afford a fresh and intimate look into her mind and heart.
At the center of These Precious Days is the title essay, a surprising and moving meditation on an unexpected friendship that explores “what it means to be seen, to find someone with whom you can be your best and most complete self.” When Patchett chose an early galley of actor and producer Tom Hanks’ short story collection to read one night before bed, she had no idea that this single choice would be life changing. It would introduce her to a remarkable woman—Tom’s brilliant assistant Sooki—with whom she would form a profound bond that held monumental consequences for them both.
A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer’s eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be.
From the enchantments of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s books (author of the upcoming The Beatryce Prophecy) to youthful memories of Paris; the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schultz’s Snoopy; the expansive vision of Eudora Welty to the importance of knitting, Patchett connects life and art as she illuminates what matters most. Infused with the author’s grace, wit, and warmth, the pieces in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark—and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.
Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love
by Haruki Murakami (Knopf, $25)
The international literary icon opens his eclectic closet: Here are photographs of Murakami’s extensive and personal T-shirt collection, accompanied by essays that reveal a side of the writer rarely seen by the public.
Many of Haruki Murakami’s fans know about his massive vinyl record collection (10,000 albums!) and his obsession with running, but few have heard about a more intimate passion: his T-shirt collecting.
In Murakami T, the famously reclusive novelist shows us his T-shirts—from concert shirts to never-worn whiskey-themed Ts, and from beloved bookstore swag to the shirt that inspired the iconic short story “Tony Takitani.” These photographs are paired with short, frank essays that include Murakami’s musings on the joy of drinking Guinness in local pubs across Ireland, the pleasure of eating a burger upon arrival in the United States, and Hawaiian surf culture in the 1980s.
Together, these photographs and reflections reveal much about Murakami’s multifaceted and wonderfully eccentric persona.
by Mario Vargas Llosa (FSG, $28)
The true story of Guatemala’s political turmoil of the 1950s as only a master of fiction can tell it
Guatemala, 1954. The military coup perpetrated by Carlos Castillo Armas and supported by the CIA topples the government of Jacobo Árbenz. Behind this violent act is a lie passed off as truth, which forever changes the development of Latin America: the accusation by the Eisenhower administration that Árbenz encouraged the spread of Soviet Communism in the Americas. Harsh Times is a story of international conspiracies and conflicting interests in the time of the Cold War, the echoes of which are still felt today.
In this thrilling novel, Mario Vargas Llosa fuses reality with two fictions: that of the narrator, who freely re-creates characters and situations, and the one designed by those who would control the politics and the economy of a continent by manipulating its history.
Harsh Times is a gripping, revealing novel that directly confronts recent history. No one is better suited to tell this riveting story than Vargas Llosa, and there is no form better for it than his deeply textured fiction. Not since The Feast of the Goat, his classic novel of the downfall of Trujillo’s regime in the Dominican Republic, has Vargas Llosa combined politics, characters, and suspense so unforgettably.
Tell the Bees That I Am Gone: A Novel
by Diana Gabaldon (Delacorte Press, $36)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon returns with the newest novel in the epic Outlander series.
The past may seem the safest place to be . . . but it is the most dangerous time to be alive. . . .
Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1746, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same.
It is 1779 and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser’s Ridge. Having the family together is a dream the Frasers had thought impossible.
Yet even in the North Carolina backcountry, the effects of war are being felt. Tensions in the Colonies are great and local feelings run hot enough to boil Hell’s teakettle. Jamie knows loyalties among his tenants are split and it won’t be long until the war is on his doorstep.
Brianna and Roger have their own worry: that the dangers that provoked their escape from the twentieth century might catch up to them. Sometimes they question whether risking the perils of the 1700s—among them disease, starvation, and an impending war—was indeed the safer choice for their family.
Not so far away, young William Ransom is still coming to terms with the discovery of his true father’s identity—and thus his own—and Lord John Grey has reconciliations to make, and dangers to meet . . . on his son’s behalf, and his own.
Meanwhile, the Revolutionary War creeps ever closer to Fraser’s Ridge. And with the family finally together, Jamie and Claire have more at stake than ever before.
Vegan, at Times: 120+ Recipes for Every Day or Every So Often
by Jessica Seinfeld (Gallery Books, $29.99)
An all-new collection of more than 120 recipes that are so delicious and easy to make, you might forget they’re vegan, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Deceptively Delicious, Double Delicious, The Can’t Cook Book, and Food Swings.
Jessica Seinfeld isn’t a committed vegan. Her husband and her children aren’t, either. Instead of convincing you to become vegan or shaming you for eating meat, she simply wants to show you how easy it is to be a vegan, at times, by cooking flavorful, affordable, and robust plant-based meals whenever you want—whether that’s every day, once a week, or just once in a while.
With her reassuring and accessible style, Jessica shows you step-by-step recipes for sweet and savory breakfasts, comforting and healthy meals for lunch and dinner, delicious snacks that can be whipped together quickly, and essential sauces and dressings—all tailored to home cooks. She also demonstrates how to create a basic vegan pantry filled with the essential items to keep in stock, explains what kitchen equipment you’ll want to have on hand, gives sample menus for combining recipes, and tells relatable stories from her adventures in vegan cooking with her family.
Simple, affordable, and comforting, and infused with Jessica’s “encouraging attitude” (Publishers Weekly), Vegan, at Times is the perfect gateway to a healthier and more balanced you.
Fear No Evil: An Alex Cross Thriller
by James Patterson (Harper, $29.99)
Alex Cross enters the final battle with the all-knowing genius who has stalked him and his family for years.
Dr. Alex Cross and Detective John Sampson venture into the rugged Montana wilderness—where they will be the prey.
They’re not on the job, but on a personal mission.
Until they’re attacked by two rival teams of assassins, controlled by the same mastermind who has stalked Alex and his family for years.
Darkness falls. The river churns into rapids. Shots ring out through the forest.
No backup. No way out. Fear no evil.
African Artists: From 1882 – Now
(Phaidon Press, $69.95)
A groundbreaking A-Z survey of the work of over 300 modern and contemporary artists born or based in Africa
Modern and Contemporary African art is at the forefront of the current curatorial and collector movement in today’s art scene. This groundbreaking new book, created in collaboration with a prestigious global advisory board, represents the most substantial appraisal of contemporary artists born or based in Africa available. Features the work of more than 300 artists, including El Anatsui, Marlene Dumas, David Goldblatt, Lubaina Himid, William Kentridge, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, and Robin Rhode, as well as lesser-known names from across Africa, with stunning and surprising examples of their art paired with insightful texts that demonstrate their contribution to the painting, sculpture, installation, photography, moving image, and performance art.
Advisory Panel: Alayo Akinkugbe, Kavita Chellaram, Raphael Chikukwa, Julie Crooks, Tandazani Dhlakama, Oumy Diaw, Janine Gaëlle Dieudji, Ekow Eshun, Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba, Joseph Gergel, Danda Jaroljmek, Omar Kholeif, Rose Jepkorir Kiptum, Alicia Knock, Nkule Mabaso, Lucy MacGarry, Owen Martin, Aude Christel Mgba, Bongani Mkhonza, Riason Naidoo, Paula Nascimento, Simon Njami, Robert Njathika, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Hannah O’Leary, Sean O’Toole, John Owoo, Brenda Schmahmann, Mark Sealy, Yasmeen Siddiqui, and Joseph L. Underwood
Annie Leibovitz: Wonderland
By Annie Leibovitz (Phaidon Press, $89.95)
“[A] gorgeous anthology of fashion images … Leibovitz is nothing less than America’s greatest living photographic portraitist … she has changed fashion photography forever.” – Anna Wintour
Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz’s surprising account of her encounters with fashion over five decades
‘Looking back at my work, I see that fashion has always been there,’ Annie Leibovitz observes in the preface to Wonderland. ‘Fashion plays a part in the scheme of everything, but photography always comes first for me. The photograph is the most important part. And photography is so big that it can encompass journalism, portraiture, reportage, family photographs, fashion … My work for Vogue fueled the fire for a kind of photography that I might not otherwise have explored.’
Includes 350 extraordinary images (many of them previously unpublished) featuring a wide and diverse range of subjects: Nicole Kidman, Serena Williams, Pina Bausch, RuPaul, Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga, Matthew Barney, Kate Moss, Natalia Vodianova, Rihanna, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Karl Lagerfeld, Nancy Pelosi. With a foreword by Anna Wintour.
As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic: Selections from the Wedge Collection
As We Rise presents an exciting compilation of photographs from African diasporic culture. With over one hundred works by Black artists from Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, the United States, South America, as well as throughout the African continent, this volume provides a timely exploration of Black identity on both sides of the Atlantic.
As Teju Cole describes in his preface, “Too often in the larger culture, we see images of Black people in attitudes of despair, pain, or brutal isolation. As We Rise gently refuses that. It is not that people are always in an attitude of celebration–no, that would be a reverse but corresponding falsehood–but rather that they are present as human beings, credible, fully engaged in their world.” Drawn from Dr. Kenneth Montague’s Wedge Collection in Toronto–a Black-owned collection dedicated to artists of African descent–As We Rise looks at the multifaceted ideas of Black life through the lenses of community, identity, and power. Artists such as Stan Douglas, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Barkley L. Hendricks, Texas Isaiah, Liz Johnson Artur, Seydou Ke ta, Deana Lawson, Jamel Shabazz, and Carrie Mae Weems, touch on themes of agency, beauty, joy, belonging, subjectivity, and self-representation. Writings by Isolde Brielmaier, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Mark Sealy, Teka Selman, and Deborah Willis among others provide insight and commentary on this monumental collection.