Readerly Top Picks In Paperback – June 2015

Many of wonderful titles we’ve loved and recommended are now out in paperback. Enjoy!

a deadly wandering

A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel (Willam Morrow Paperbacks) A groundbreaking legal case and the latest scientific research on the brain and attention combine in this compulsively readable page­turner about a devastating accident affecting several families and the perils of multitasking in today’s digital world. There are no villains in Pulitzer­ Prize winning author Richtel’s moving story of tragedy and redemption.—Ann Walters  

Empire of Sin by Gary KristEmpire of Sin by Gary Krist (Broadway Books) At the end of the 19th century, New Orleans was perhaps the most integrated city in the South. Empire of Sin recounts the story of the culture war between New Orleans’s underworld of vice and its elite that resulted in a city segregated like any other Southern town. Krist tells this history by weaving together the stories of a number of individuals, structured in such a way that all of the stories are easy – and fascinating – to follow and all illuminate each other.—Nicole Bonia

evergreenEvergreen by Rebecca Rasmussen (Vintage) Set in the wilderness of Minnesota, this sophomore novel follows three generations of family, each beset with incidents that challenge their resolve and dedication. Beginning with a young bride moving to the wilderness to join her husband, followed by two generations of women struggling to understand why they were abandoned by their mothers, this eloquently ­written novel captures the bonds between mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, and the love that binds us all together. —Jenn Lawrence

how to tell toldeoHow to tell Toldeo From The Night Sky by Lydia Netzer (St. Martin’s Griffin) George Dermont knows his soul mate is a brown­haired astronomer who also happens to be a dreamer, but he doesn’t know how he knows, or why he sees ancient gods. How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky is a wonderfully weird blend of science, love and fate set against the trials of family and friendship.—Shannon Nemer

Sisters of Treasonsisters of treason by Elizabeth Fremantle (Simon & Schuster) Critically acclaimed historical fiction author Elizabeth Fremantle returns with Sisters of Treason, a dazzling account of Catherine and Mary Grey, the sisters of England’s famous nine day queen Lady Jane Grey, who find themselves precariously close to the crown following their sister’s execution in 1554. Fremantle presents a captivating portrait of two young women whose Tudor blood led only to anguish and misery in this finely­tuned novel.—Michele Jacobsen

station elevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Vintage) Mandel’s fourth novel is a gripping journey through the present and into the future. It’s easy to become absorbed in her tale of a pandemic that devastates the world, but it’s the vivid characters and their mysterious and complex linked stories that will hold you for the entirety of the novel and beyond.—Swapna Krishna

the bone clocksThe Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Random House Trade Paperbacks) In The Bone Clocks, readers meet Holly Sykes, a fifteen year old runaway who finds herself on the threshold of a centuries ­long war. Over one weekend, events transpire which have consequences for all who encounter Holly, as the countless threads connecting them produces a ripple effect that transcends time and space. Mitchell’s latest novel is both epic and ambitious, containing a fearful, awe ­inspiring world that is both distinct and unforgettable.—Jenn Lawrence

the map thiefThe Map Thief by Michael Blanding (Gotham) In 2005, the small world of antiquarian map collectors was shocked to learn one of their own had been stealing maps from libraries around the world. This book illuminates the true story behind this high­risk crime and, along the way, engagingly explores the complicated history of cartography, where maps have served as tools for navigation, props for political propaganda and, more recently, been coveted as works of art.—Kim Ukura

the tale of the duelingThe Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean (Back Bay Books) Dueling neurosurgeons, schizophrenic assassins, LSD, and art all play a role in how neuroscience got its start. Kean ties these seemingly disconnected dots together to give readers an engaging and fascinating read. Those familiar with Kean’s writing won’t be disappointed in his newest nonfiction read, while new readers will want to flock to his earlier books.—Natasha Vasillis

us nicolUs by David Nicholls (Harper Paperbacks) When his wife announces that she will leave him after their son leaves for college, a devoted but emotionally inept husband is desperate for a reprieve. By turns hilarious and thoughtful, Us is the poignant examination of the joys and heartbreak of marriage as one man tries to save his relationship on what could be his family’s last holiday.—Nicole Bonia

working stiffWorking Stiff by Judy Melinek, MD, T.J. Mitchell (Scribner) Melinek spent two years in training to become a medical examiner, and Working Stiff is her story. Spanning everything from her very first autopsy, which failed to yield any conclusive cause of death, to the mass death that Melinek witnessed after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, Melinek’s account of her years training in forensic pathology is one part science, one part story, and one part medical history–and all parts fascinating.—Kerry McHugh

dark aemiliaDark Aemilia by Sally O’Reilly (Picador) Set in the early 1600s in Elizabeth’s glittering court, O’Reilly’s debut is a sensual, earthy, and bold novel that imagines a real woman at the heart of William Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Lady’ sonnets.  Poet Aemilia Lanyer, famed beauty and wit, struggles to keep love in her life, her son safe, and publish her verse amidst tragedy and tribulation.  Supernatural elements, exquisite ambiance, feminist themes, and unique narrative voice make this a gripping read.—Audra Friend