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May 31, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
By Robert A. Caro
Release date: May 1
List price: $35
Book four of The Years of Lyndon Johnson series has finally arrived. The Library Journal starred it as “A major event in biography, history, even publishing itself.” Spanning the period between 1958 and 1964, The Passage of Power documents and analyzes Johnson’s career as a Texas senator, his presidency, and his push for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.NPR contends that no other historian comes closer than Robert A. Caro “to explaining the famously complex LBJ.”
In One Person: A Novel
By John Irving
Release date: May 8
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
List price: $28.00
Author of such notable titles as The Cider House Rules (1985) and A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989), John Irving is back to deliver what Vanity Fair calls “His most daringly political, sexually transgressive, and moving novel in well over a decade.” In One Person follows the life of Billy Abbott, the bisexual narrator in his seventies, recalling his exploration of sexual and gender identity as a bra-wearing teen.
By Richard Ford
Release date: May 22
Publisher: Ecco Press
List price: $27.99
In this novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford, the lives of the Parsons twins are turned upside-down when their parents burglarize a bank. Parting ways, female twin Berner leaves behind her life in Montana while Dell, her brother, is smuggled into Canada by a family friend. In his new life, Dell struggles to regain a sense of normalcy as he’s confronted with murders committed by the man who takes him in.
By Gillian Flynn
Release date: June 5
List price: $25
On her fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Dunne disappears from the rented house she shares with her husband, Nick. Except for his twin sister, Margo, everyone including the police, the media and Amy’s parents suspects he is to blame.
Nick is incessantly dishonest and bitterly defiant, which makes it difficult to believe he’s innocent. But is he really the reason Amy is missing? Tana French, author of 2010’s Faithful Place, hails Gone Girl as “one of the best and most frightening portraits of psychopathy I’ve ever read.”
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel
By Rachel Joyce
Release date: July 24
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
List price: $25
Recently retired Harold Fry’s life is as mundane as it gets. But it’s about to change when he receives a farewell letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old colleague now in hospice care, from whom he hasn’t heard in 20 years.
Leaving his nagging wife behind, Harold embarks on a 600-mile pilgrimage — on foot — to hand deliver his reply to Queenie. Determined to save her life, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will stay alive.
Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Novel
By Carol Rifka Brunt
Release date: June 19
Publisher: The Dial Press
List price: $25
June Elbus is a shy 14-year-old whose best friend is her uncle, renowned painter Finn Weiss. Finn dies far before his time, and June must find a way to heal. Days after the funeral, she receives a package from a stranger named Toby. After they meet and begin to spend time together, June realizes she and this mysterious man might have something in common.
Rebecca Makkai, author of 2011’s The Borrower, describes Tell the Wolves I’m Home as “a tale as charming and magnetic as the missing character at its heart. It’s a love story of the most unusual kind.”
Heading Out to Wonderful
By Robert Goolrick
Release date: June 12
Publisher: Algonquin Books
List price: $24.95
It’s 1948. Charlie Beale is back from war and adopts scarcely populated Brownsburg, Va., as his new home. Landing a job at a butcher shop, Charlie meets the locals, but one in particular catches his eye: Sylvan Glass, a beautiful teenage girl who is already married to the wealthiest man in town. But Charlie didn’t come to Virginia without money of his own.
Charlie’s attraction to Sylvan develops into an extramarital affair that leaves a lasting mark on the town and Sam, the butcher shop owner’s son who narrates the story as an adult.
The Red House
By Mark Haddon
Release date: June 12
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
List price: $25.95
In The Red House, international best-selling author Mark Haddon exposes the complexities of family and relationships.
A weeklong holiday in the English countryside leads a wealthy doctor and his estranged sister’s family to discover not scenic pastures but years of ill feelings toward one another, forcing them to confront old grudges and failed dreams.
Told simultaneously from each family member’s vantage point, the novel is praised for its narrative approach that reveals the best and worst in every character. Thinking of going on that family vacation? Think again.
Shadow of Night
(All Souls Trilogy #2)
By Deborah Harkness
Release date: July 10
Publisher: Viking Adult
List price: $28.95
One of the most anticipated fantasy books of summer, this second installment of the All Souls Trilogy picks up where book one, 2011’s A Discovery of Witches, left off.
The quest to find the enchanted manuscript Ashmole 782 continues as Diana Bishop, an Oxford scholar and witch, and Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist and vampire, find themselves in Elizabethan London.
Challenges that lead to self-discovery lie ahead for both of the characters.
The Young Folks reviewers praised Shadow of Night as “a stunning piece of historical fiction.”