New books to read in February


January 31, 2024

Notable new releases

compiled by Sally Brewster

The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes

If, like Kane, you’re a Denied Access Area spy for the CIA, then boundaries have no meaning. Your function is to go in, do whatever is required, and get out again — by whatever means necessary. You know when to run, when to hide — and when to shoot. But some places don’t play by the rules. Some places are too dangerous. The badlands where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet are such a place — a place where violence is the only way to survive. Kane travels there to exfiltrate a man with vital information for the safety of the West — but instead he meets an adversary who will take the world to the brink of extinction. A frightening, clever, vicious man with blood on his hands and vengeance in his heart. 

The Women by Kristin Hannah

Women can be heroes, too. When 20-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these words, it is a revelation. Raised in the sun-drenched, idyllic world of Southern California and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing. But in 1965, the world is changing, and she suddenly dares to imagine a different future for herself. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path. The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on all women who put themselves in harm’s way and whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has too often been forgotten. 

The Book of Love by Kelly Link

Late one night, Laura, Daniel and Mo find themselves beneath the fluorescent lights of a high school classroom, almost a year after disappearing from the small seaside community of Lovesend, Mass., having long been presumed dead — which, in fact, they are. With them in the room is their previously unremarkable high school music teacher, who seems to know something about their disappearance — and what has brought them back again. Desperate to reclaim their lives, the three agree to the terms of the bargain their music teacher proposes. They will be given a series of magical tasks; while they undertake them, they may return to their families and friends. In the end, there will be winners and losers. But their resurrection has attracted the notice of other supernatural figures, all with their own agendas. As these mysterious others begin to arrive, engulfing their community in danger and chaos, it becomes imperative that the teens solve the mystery of their deaths to avert a looming disaster. 

End of Story by A.J. Finn

“I’ll be dead in three months. Come tell my story.” So writes Sebastian Trapp, reclusive mystery novelist, to his longtime correspondent Nicky Hunter, an expert in detective fiction. With mere months to live, Trapp invites Nicky to his spectacular San Francisco mansion to help draft his life story… while living alongside his beautiful second wife, Diana; his wayward nephew, Freddy; and his protective daughter, Madeleine. Soon Nicky finds herself caught in an irresistible case of real-life “detective-fever.” Twenty years earlier, on New Year’s Eve 1999, Sebastian’s first wife and teenage son vanished from different locations, never to be seen again. Did the perfect crime writer commit the perfect crime? And why has he emerged from seclusion, two decades later, to allow a stranger to dig into his past? When a corpse appears in the family’s koi pond, both women are shocked to find that the past isn’t gone — it’s just waiting.

Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg

Come inside a jury room as one juror leads a starkly divided room to consensus. Join a young CIA officer as he recruits a reluctant foreign agent. And sit with an accomplished surgeon as he tries, and fails, to convince yet another cancer patient to opt for the less risky course of treatment. In Supercommunicators, Charles Duhigg blends deep research and his trademark storytelling skills to show how we can all learn to identify and leverage the hidden layers that lurk beneath every conversation. Communication is a superpower, and the best communicators understand that whenever we speak, we’re actually participating in one of three conversations: practical, emotional or social. If you don’t know what kind of conversation you’re having, you’re unlikely to connect. Duhigg shows readers how to recognize these three conversations — and teaches us the tips and skills we need to navigate them more successfully.  SP

Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books. 4139 Park Rd.


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