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Your Shelf Life

5 Books for the Nightstand

When the Killing’s Done

A new novel from prolific California novelist T.C. Boyle, author of The Tortilla Curtain and World’s End. In the Channel Islands, a National Park Service biologist wants to save the endangered native animals from invasive species like rats and feral pigs. But her plan raises the ire of local animal rights activists. Boyle raises serious questions about our relationship to the natural world. us.penguingroup.com.

Dayglo

The landscape of San Diego permeates James Meetze's poetry collection, rich with sun, light, sand, waves, eucalyptus and chaparral. National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes, who selected Dayglo as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, writes, “Think of Thoreau inhabiting a city like San Diego, perhaps on a beach where ‘when brightness becomes your halo / it’s just sun / and nothing holy,’ and you will have a sense of the wonders of this collection.” ahsahtapress.boisestate.edu.

Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover

Album art may be a quaint artifact in the digital age, but during its heyday, the master of the form was Alex Steinweiss. This beautifully designed book features thousands of original artworks by Steinweiss for classical, jazz and pop record covers. It also includes Steinweiss-designed logos, labels and examples of his typeface, the “Steinweiss Scrawl.” A must-have for music lovers and graphic design geeks. taschen.com.

The Fates Will Find Their Way

Hannah Pittard’s short stories have won acclaim from the likes of McSweeney’s and Salman Rushdie, and her debut novel, The Fates Will Find Their Way, is already generating buzz in literary circles. It tells the story of a teenaged girl gone missing and the circle of boys she grew up with who can’t forget her, long into adulthood. Comparisons to The Virgin Suicides are natural as Pittard explores the nature of teenage crushes and their legacy. harpercollins.com.

A Box of Darkness: The Story of a Marriage

Sally Ryder Brady’s memoir reveals her 46-year marriage to a dashing man who not only introduced her to famous writers (as editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Monthly Press) but danced like Fred Astaire. When he dies unexpectedly, Brady’s grief is overwhelming. When she learns her husband was harboring secrets, she must come to terms with unanswered questions about his identity and commitment to their long marriage. Box reads like a mystery but is a meditation on marriage and grief. ­us.­macmillan.com/­aboxofdarkness.

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