Staff Pick

Rules for Visiting (Penguin Press, $26) is a terrifi cally smart novel about the changing contours of friendship in the digital age, as told through the experiences of May Attaway, a charming, idiosyncratic, and stubborn recluse whose world revolves around the trees and plants she landscapes on the grounds of a local university. Attaway lives in her childhood home with her aging father and suddenly finds herself with unexpected time off from her job. She decides to visit four far-fl ung friends, none of whom she has seen in years. Having never ventured beyond her carefully constructed, solitary existence, she relies on her knowledge of classical literature and a few how-to manuals to guide her into unfamiliar terrain. There are no high dramas or epiphanies during her month-long tour, but with each visit May begins to appreciate that friendships must be cultivated and nurtured just like the plants and trees she tends back home. Author Jessica Francis Kane knows just when to layer in literary and botanical references to enhance the story, leaving the reader to meditate not only about friendship and life’s simple pleasures, but also about the costs of human encroachment on the natural world.

Rules for Visiting: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525559221
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Press - May 14th, 2019

Staff Pick

Mary Beth Keane’s new novel, centered around two New York City cops who meet at the police academy in the early 1970s and later wind up as neighbors in suburbia, explores how unanticipated life events can peel back layers of friendship, test family allegiances, and force a reckoning about once taboo subjects like mental illness. Keane has been compared in style and perspective to Ann Patchett, and like Patchett she uses the ordinary aspects of ordinary people’s lives to expose experiences and truths that likely haunt most families. Her treatment of a main character with mental illness is especially brave and compassionate, and very intense.

 

Ask Again, Yes: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982106980
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Scribner - May 28th, 2019

Staff Pick

A delightfully quirky novel about a gardener at a local university who, in her 40s, lives with her father and much prefers the company of plants and trees to being with people. When she suddenly finds herself with an unexpected allotment of time off from work, she decides to reconnect with four long-lost friends in distant locales. The narrative is not only a lovely contemplation on social isolation and the reviving of friendship, but also a testimonial to the place of nature in our lives and communities and the need to be more attentive as humans to stewardship of our surroundings.

Rules for Visiting: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525559221
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Press - May 14th, 2019

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