Abramson, Barry, Land, Obioma, Setterfield | Barbara's Picks, January 2019

Abramson, Jill. The Merchants of Truth: The Business of Facts and the Future of News. S. & S. Jan. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9781501123207. $30. BUSINESS/MEDIA The former executive editor of the New York Times has a lot to share about the current state of the news business, and she does so by tracking two legacy publications (the Times and the Washington Post) and two shiny new venues (BuzzFeed and VICE) as they navigate economic burdens, the new technology, and the constant demands of maintaining their audiences in a tumultuous world. Barry, Jessica. Freefall. Harper. Jan. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780062874832. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062874856. THRILLER In a booming new debut from a pseudonymous American in London, Allison Carpenter survives the crash of her fiancé’s private plane in the Rockies and struggles through the wilderness, knowing she’s hiding a secret that could get her killed. Back in Maine, her estranged mother, Maggie, hoping against hope that her daughter is still alive, begins seeking the truth about Allison’s life. Highlighted at LJ’s Day of Dialog; with a 200,000-copy first printing. Land, Stephanie. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will To Survive. Hachette. Jan. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780316505116. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316505109. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316421003. CD/downloadable. MEMOIR In this BookExpo Buzz book, Land lets us into the lives of America’s overburdened, underpaid domestic workers, relating what it’s like to put in long hours scrubbing toilets and cleaning up the messes of well-to-do children while struggling as a single mother to support her own daughter. Then there’s the sticky red tape of government assistance. With a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich; a 75,000-copy first printing. Obioma, Chigozie. An Orchestra of Minorities. Little, Brown. Jan. 2019. 464p. ISBN 9780316412391. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316412414. Downloadable. LITERARY FICTION Man Booker Prize short-listed for his dazzling debut, The Fishermen, Obioma again overlays contemporary concerns with a mythopoetic framework—in this case, Homer’s Odyssey, though the narrator is an ancient chi, or guardian spirit. In Nigeria, poultry farmer Chinonso stops a young woman from jumping off a bridge by sacrificing two prize chickens to the waters (that awful splat!), then falls in love with her and seeks to prove his worth, starting with a quest for education in which he’s tricked, then sidelined and left penniless in a heartless world. With 50,000-copy first printing. Setterfield, Diane. Once Upon a River. Emily Bestler: Atria. Jan. 2019. 480p. ISBN 9780743298070. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501190230. CD. LITERARY The brilliant, carefully paced Setterfield debuted in 2006 with the New York Times best-selling The Thirteenth Tale and followed in 2013 with the darkly sparkling Bellman & Black, a No. 1 LibraryReads pick and a personal favorite. Here, villagers puzzle over the identity of a little girl pulled from the icy river: is she a kidnap victim finally returned home? The daughter of a local couple’s estranged son? Or associated with the mysterious Quietly, whose appearance in the village always signals change?

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