Here’s what’s new in bookstores this week:
by Amy Bloom (Random House, $26) — It has been seven years since the author’s last novel, the acclaimed bestsellerAway
. This one — an Indie Next Pick for August — follows half-sisters Eva (our narrator) and Iris on their wild road trip through 1940s America. The pursuit of their dreams takes them from Ohio to Hollywood to New York and beyond as they chance upon a memorable cast of characters. Bloom will read from her book at 7 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Listen UP Summer Author Series at the University Park Public Library, 8383 Preston Center Plaza; 214-363-9095.
•The Magician’s Land,
by Lev Grossman (Viking, $27.95) — The bestselling author brings his “Magicians” modern fantasy trilogy (2009’sThe Magicians
, 2011’sThe Magician King
) to a conclusion. Our protagonist, Quentin Coldwater, has grown up in these books. He is now nearly 30 and facing some hard facts of life. “When you’re a magician, and there’s no ultimate evil to defeat, when you’re not a kid anymore, what is magic for?” Grossman said in press materials. Look for familiar characters — friends and enemies — some new faces and a final farewell to Fillory.
•Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered,
by Dianne Hales (Simon & Schuster, $28) — The author earned a knighthood from the president of Italy for her bestsellerLa Bella Lingua
about the Italian language. Now, thanks to meticulous research, Hales’ biography-memoir-history lesson brings to life Lisa Gherardini (1479-1542), the unforgettable face behind Leonardo da Vinci’sMona Lisa
. For this kind of insight, Hales made repeated trips to Florence, walking the same streets, exploring neighborhoods and talking to descendants as she pieced together the information about Lisa’s life.
— Celeste Williams