From Kennedys to (Rat) Kings: 7 New Releases with a Twist

This week’s list of new releases is one of the most diverse book suggestions we’ve given so far— full of bold writing and interesting topics.  Some of these are new to print and others are re-issues, re-tellings and new translations. MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews returns with a new book on Bobby Kennedy; Wicked author Gregory Macguire invites readers to explore another twist on an old tale; Kate White’s beloved Bailey Weggins reappears; and the first novel from Madagascar has been translated into English. Grab a handful of Halloween candy and treat yourself to one of these new reads.

Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit, Chris Matthews

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The Kennedys have been in the news recently, with the last of the files on the assassination of JFK being released to the public. Bobby Kennedy served as Attorney General, and New York State Senator. A presidential candidate in 1968, he was also assassinated, five years after his brother. Often considered the underdog of his family, Bobby Kennedy is re-examined in this new and revealing biography by Chris Matthews, who previously wrote Jack Kennedyproving him to be a central authority on the Kennedy dynasty. This one brings Bobby Kennedy to life in a way the public has never seen him before.

Beyond the Rice Fields, Naivo, tr. by Allison M. Charlotte

This is the first Malagasy novel to be translated into English, and it’s absolutely stunning. Set in Madagascar during the change and upheaval of the 19th Century, Beyond the Rice Fields follows the stories of Tsito, a slave, and Fara, the daughter of his master. Friends and companions since Fara’s father purchased Tsito, Tsito is looking forward to the freedom and future that he sees for himself, while Fara is looking to the past, at her family history. But violence erupts around the country with the arrival of Christian missionaries and French industrialists. Powerful and moving, this debut is unlike any other.

In the Midst of Winter, Isabel Allende

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The world-wide best-selling author is back with another novel that is guaranteed to enthrall us from first page to the last. In the middle of a snowstorm that shuts down all of Brooklyn, Richard Bowmaster, a 60 year old academic, rear ends the car of Evelyn Ortega, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala. When she shows up one night to ask for his help, Richard turns to his tenant Lucia Maraz, an older Chilean writer, under the guise of asking for translation help, when secretly, he desires her presence. The three gather, and one by one, their stories come to life. Moving and brilliant, this has everything you’ve come to expect from Allende, and even a little bit more.

Even If It Kills Her (A Bailey Weggins Mystery), Kate White

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Bailey Weggins has finally seem to have found her calling as a true crime journalist. But when her old college friend Jillian turns up, asking for help in solving the murder of her entire family sixteen years ago, Bailey has no choice but to take the case on. Thrilling to the very end, Even If It Kills Her is full of twists you’ll never see coming, and though it’s been five years since the last book, it’s only gotten better. We guarantee that you won’t be able to put this one down once you pick it up; and be sure to check out our interview with best-selling author Kate White!

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future NutcrackerGregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire became one of our favorite authors with his 2015 novel, After Alice, and The Wicked Years, the revised trilogy based on the L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Ozwhich resulted in long-running Broadway musical Wicked. Maguire is back this time, with a revised take on the famous ballet, The Nutcracker, revealing the backstory behind not only Godfather Drosselmeier, but the famous Nutcracker as well, and how he came to Clara. The Nutcracker is no longer just for children and fans of the ballet – dark, mysterious, this book takes its rightful place in fairy-tale history and legend.

Pretty Fun: Creating and Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition, Kate Hudson

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The second book by award-winning actress Kate Hudson, (the first being 2016’s Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body), Pretty Fun is all about tips to plan events, recipes for delicious dishes and drinks, her philosophy in life to being present, gathering together, and creating moments that are unforgettable. More than just a how-to event guide, this book reminds us of the power of surrounding ourselves with family and friends in a good atmosphere. With the holiday season right around the corner, this one is a must-buy.

Touch of Red (Tracers series), Laura Griffin

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Laura Griffin’s Tracers series always has something new in store for us, and Touch of Red is no different. CSI Brooke Porter is shocked at the crime scene of a murdered woman – not just by the brutal violence that took place, but also that a witness may have managed to escape. With Brooke swearing to do everything she can to get the witness out of harm’s way, Homicide Detective Sean Byrne, who’s been attracted to Brooke for years, is there with her, promising to help with her case – especially when Brooke becomes next on the killer’s list. Griffin’s writing is effortlessly talented, and it’s clear she knows what she’s doing – pick this one up, and be warned that you’ll be probably be reading it in one go.

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