Notable new releases
compiled by Sally Brewster
Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
Weir, the bestselling author of The Martian, delivers a suspenseful portrait of human ingenuity and resilience in this powerful story of a desperate effort to save Earth when astronomers discover the sun is losing heat. Ryland Grace awakens from a coma with no memories of his identity or how he came to be alone on a spaceship. Weir creates instant engagement by toggling between Grace’s efforts to make sense of his present circumstances and flashbacks that gradually paint an unsettling picture of his life before as a high-school science teacher. An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship.
Olympus, Texas, by Stacey Swann
A powerful family in a small Texas town is wracked by miseries of its own making. Peter Briscoe, a real-estate baron, has been chronically unfaithful, resulting in at least three illegitimate children by at least two women other than his wife, June. Two of the kids, twins Arlo and Artie, were raised by their mother, Lee, in a house across town from the Briscoe acreage yet were supported by Peter and treated as siblings of his three children with June: Thea, Hap, and March. Once the kids grew up, a couple of them intentionally put many miles between themselves and Olympus, but the remaining group more than managed to keep the scandals, betrayals, fistfights, and other fireworks going strong. Swann’s debut is rich in Texas flavor and full of nods to classical mythology — quotes from Ovid, twins human and canine, and the kind of relentless bad luck that usually means you’ve offended a deity. A page-turning debut novel.
Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II, by Daniel James Brown
From the author of The Boys in the Boat, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism and courage: the special Japanese-American Army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe; their families, incarcerated in camps back home; and a young man who refused to surrender his constitutional rights, even if it meant imprisonment. They came from across the continent and Hawaii, and their parents taught them to embrace both their Japanese heritage and the ways of their American homeland. They faced bigotry, yet they believed in their bright futures as American citizens. But within days of Pearl Harbor, the FBI was ransacking their houses and locking up their fathers. Within months, many would themselves be living in internment camps. Based on Brown’s extensive interviews with the families of the soldiers as well as deep archival research, the book portrays the journey of four Japanese-American families and their sons who volunteered for 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible.
Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
An addictive, fast-paced story of a group of celebrity siblings in Malibu, Calif., by the author of Daisy Jones & The Six. There’s model Nina Riva, professional surfer Jay, photographer Hudson, and Kit, an aspiring pro surfer. The Rivas’ absentee philandering father, Mick, won over their mother, June, with a sultry singing voice that propelled him to fame in the 1950s. The setup brings together these two storylines: Mick and June’s love story and tragic unraveling, and the narrative of what happens on the day of the Riva siblings’ legendary annual party in summer 1983. Everyone who’s anyone attends, the rule being, “If you were cool enough to know about the party, you were cool enough to come to the party.” This page-turning indulgence is perfect for the beginning of summer reading. SP
Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road. parkroadbooks.com.