Ever wonder what goes on at the Penguin headquarters in New York? Every other Friday, one of the three of us will give you the inside scoop – photos, tours, and sneak-peeks from our office. We’ll introduce you to Penguin employees, show off our books, photograph author signings, and much, much more.

attheoffice

Lindsay Jacobsen: Is the Senior Online Content Coordinator. When she isn’t reading or binging on Netflix, she can be found attending concerts and comedy clubs.

 

 

 

Amy

Amy Brinker: Is the Consumer Engagement Coordinator. She lives in Brooklyn where she makes pie and puns. She loves classic novels and terrible movies.

 

 

 

Shelby

Shelby Hearn: Is the Consumer Marketing Assistant. She is fighting a debilitating caffeine addiction and sipping a large cup of coffee (no milk) as we speak.

 

 

 

 


insanecityWhen the snow is falling and the wind howls, there’s nothing I’d rather do than curl up by the fire with a book.  I always look forward to winter because there’s something so satisfying about feeling safe and cozy indoors while I lose myself in someone else’s story.

I adore a white Christmas and always look forward to the brilliant blue skies in January, made even brighter by the mounds of fresh white powder, as far as the eye can see.  I live in the Midwest specifically because I relish all four seasons and can’t imagine ever seeing in the New Year clad in shorts and a pair of flip flops.

My point is, I love winter.  I really do.

But as I gaze out my window and see the fluffy piles I love so much still banked four feet high on either side of my front walkway, I sort of want to kick a lung out of someone.  I find myself repeating, “Go home, winter.  You’re drunk,” every time I have to layer up to leave the house or pay a gas bill.

Fortunately, there’s no better escape from the winter doldrums than a great book, so I’m delighted to share my Spring Is Coming (Because It Has To, Eventually) book picks!

My first recommendation for a great escape is Dave Barry’s Insane City.  For almost a quarter of a century, Barry was on the scene for the Miami Herald, documenting the truly bizarre, the outrageous, and most importantly, the hilariously true stories in his weekly diatribes.  Deemed The Funniest Man in America by the New York Times, Barry’s always been at his best when employing his catchphrase, “I am not making this up.”

Yet he’s equally as skilled when he does, indeed, make it up.

His novel Insane City, neatly answers the question, “What if a Pulitzer Prize winner interpreted The Hangover in book form?”  We open with hapless Seth Weinstein on his way to his wedding in Miami with his Groom Posse, three men who are “connected by the bond of college, as well as the bond of being unsuccessful at everything they had tried since.”

After an airport kerfuffle, the Posse arrives in South Florida and things quickly go awry.  Wedding rings (and pants) are lost, replaced by a Haitian refugee family, a large jewel-encrusted-bikini wearing stripper named LaDawne, and an eleven foot albino python.

Complicating matters are Seth’s affianced bridezilla, an amorous orangutan named Trevor in possession of said lost ring, and an entire wedding party who inadvertently get stoned to the bejesus due to a misplaced batch of pot brownies.  But it’s not until billionaire guest Wendell Corliss discovers the one thing his money never bought was fun that the action truly begins.

The laughs generated from Insane City will absolutely shake the chill from your bones.

tfiosNext up is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  Do yourself a favor and read this book before the movie comes out, because no matter how fine the film may be, it won’t hold a candle to the magic and nuance that is Green’s writing.  The way he’s able to capture and articulate his characters’ thoughts and feelings is nothing short of masterful and this book is destined to become an American classic.

I had the privilege of meeting the author a few years ago and I had to ask him, “At what point in your life were you a fifteen year old girl with cancer?  Because clearly this book is too real for you not to have personally lived this.”  Green attempted to convince me that he was, in fact, never a fifteen year old girl, but I was having none of it.  At no point did I ever consider the fact that characters Hazel and Augustus weren’t living human beings; Green has breathed so much life into them that they simply can’t not exist.

One of the myriad reasons that this book moved me so much is because Green possesses a rare gift and that’s the ability to take the teenage experience and make it relatable to those of any age.  (Please don’t be dissuaded by the Young Adult label!)  Filmmaker John Hughes had this gift, too – the ability to look at teenagers and take their hopes, thoughts, and dreams and translate them to a broader audience, without mocking or minimizing the experience.

I recommend The Fault in Our Stars as a spring pick-me-up because even though there are so many heart-breaking moments in the tale of two cancer-surviving teens finding love, it’s one of the most uplifting novels I’ve ever read and it will warm you to your core.

bungalowMy final pick is Sarah Jio’s The Bungalow.  Although this wasn’t her first novel, it’s the one that introduced me to her work and now she’s one of my all-time favorite authors.

I’ll be honest – I grabbed this particular book because I was attracted to the cover.

I know, I know.

In my defense, I was in the middle of another bitter Chicago winter and when I saw the ocean backdrop and thatched hut, all I could think was, “I want to be there.”  So I opened the book for the cover, but Jio’s writing captured me instantly, brilliantly weaving a tropical tale of the past and present into a powerful narrative.  Jio’s work embodies everything I love about contemporary women’s fiction.  I’m not sure I can do the story justice, so here’s the description in her own words:

A sweeping saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting… In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world–until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war. A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne’s determination to discover the truth about the twin losses–of life and, and of love–that have haunted her for seventy years.

As I read, I could practically taste the salt in the air, with the trade winds gently mussing my hair.  Granted, the salt was likely from my icy walkway and the wind from a faulty fireplace damper, but for the time I spent reading this book, I had completely and utterly escaped the clutches of winter.  And for that moment in the snow and the slush of 2012, it was enough.

So, even though Mother Nature may not have had the last word yet, we’ve definitely broken the back of winter.

Spring is coming, and with the help of a good book, likely sooner than you think.

Jetwistedsistersn Lancaster is a New York Times bestselling author. Read an Excerpt from her latest novel: Twisted Sisters.


Good_Morning,_Mr._MandelaAs an editor, I am drawn to books that recreate a time and a turning point in history, and especially to witnesses that take us deep inside the moment. The world watched – and changed — when Nelson Mandela walked out of prison, and Zelda la Grange takes us back to that turbulent time in South Africa, and helps us understand how it looked from inside a frightened white community. “I was fearful of so much twenty years ago—of  life, of black people, of this black man and the future of South Africa-and I now was no longer persuaded or influenced by mainstream fears. He not only liberated the black man but the white  man too…“Prior to the elections we expected black people to take over the country. We expected revenge. But we all woke up the next morning, went back to work and the normal way of life. Nothing was there to indicate that soon the very foundations of my life, my ignorance, my beliefs, my values were to be shaken up and tested. Little did I know that I would emerge from that paranoid, white cocoon of fear and denial and that the man who would lead me out of that – gently holding my hand – would be Nelson Mandela.”

There is probably no one figure on the global scene in the last twenty years who was more admired, more treasured, and more recognizable than Nelson Mandela. And yet for all the thousands of pages that have been published about him, very few who have written about him were personally close to the great man, or can testify to what he was like off stage, when the cameras were turned off. Zelda la Grange is that witness for us; she was his personal assistant and aide-de-camp for almost two decades. She traveled with him, managed his office after he stepped down from the presidency, and came to regard him as family.

But what is startling about this story, and one of the things that drew us at Viking to take on this book, is that Zelda herself is a white Afrikaner, who grew up in a conservative family in South Africa and who was taught as a child to think of Mandela as the enemy. Her journey from prejudice to acceptance, from fear to love, makes her new book, Good Morning, Mr. Mandela, both unexpected and moving.

She then gives us a wonderfully rich and warm portrait of the man she came to call “Khulu” – grandfather. He is wise, moral, and direct, but with a teasing sense of humor and personal quirks – in other words, an actual human being.

Penguin imprints around the world are going to be publishing this book all together at the end of June, and it’s exciting to be involved in such a special global project together.


KenFollettI’ve enjoyed immersing myself in the Middle Ages, and I know readers have been intrigued too, but it’s not the only fascinating period of history. I wanted to give readers a similar experience with an era that their own grandparents and great-grandparents lived through. In a way, Fall of Giants is about understanding ourselves and where we all come from.

Several real historical characters appear in these pages, and readers sometimes ask how I draw the line between history and fiction. It’s a fair question, and here’s the answer.  In some cases, for example when Sir Edward Grey addresses the House of Commons, my fictional characters are witnessing an event that really happened. What Sir Edward says in this novel corresponds to the parliamentary record, except that I have shortened his speech, without, I hope, losing anything important.

Sometimes a real person goes to a fictional location, as when Winston Churchill visits Tŷ Gwyn. In that case, I have made sure that it was not unusual for him to visit country houses, and that he could well have done so at around that date.

When real people have conversations with my fictional characters, they are usually saying things they really did say at some point. Lloyd George’s explanation to Fitz of why he does not want to deport Lev Kamenev is based on what Lloyd George wrote in a memo quoted in Peter Rowland’s biography.

My rule is either the scene did happen, or it might have; either these words were used, or they might have been. And if I find some reason why the scene could not have taken place in real life, or why the words would not really have been said—if, for example, the character was in another country at the time—I leave it out.

Early in Ken’s career, he was known primarily as a thriller writer, but made the transition to historical fiction with The Pillars of the Earth, which became his most popular novel of all and his own personal favorite. With the Fall of Giants, the first book in his Century Trilogy, he moved into modern history.

Edge of Eternity publishes September 16, 2014.


Anna

Anna lives in New York City in a tiny studio crammed full of books. Someday, she might even own a couch to read them on.

 

 

 

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith:

It’s hard to describe the glory that is Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle, but I’ll try: it’s a clever, brilliant coming-of-age novel best described as “Vonnegut-esque” with all the fun and excitement of high-concept B-movie, in which a teenage boy in rural Iowa unleashes an unstoppable horde of six-foot-tall preying mantises that only want to eat and, well…you’ll see.

 

 

 

 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers:

One of the funniest picture books I’ve ever read, and a favorite among the kids in my life, who are notorious for abusing their crayons. What happens when the crayons just can’t take it anymore? They revolt, of course, and because they’re writing implements, they all send letters of resignation (complete with a laundry list of complaints) to their unsuspecting owner. Hilarious, with a sweet ending, The Day the Crayons Quit is perfect for the child in your life who hates staying within the lines.

 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins:

I’m not just saying this because the main character and I share a name—I love this book! Set in Paris, with a great cast of a characters and a delicious, irresistible love interest, Anna is ultimately a book about friendship, becoming who you are, and the triumphs and tribulations of falling in love…with your best friend. And did I mention it was set in Paris?

 

 

 

 

Bloodlines, by Richelle Mead

The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead:

Maybe this is cheating, but I really want to recommend the entire Bloodlines series (which is still being published—there are two books to come!), especially book 4, The Fiery Heart. Richelle’s previous series, Vampire Academy, is so awesome and incredibly beloved by me and millions of other fans, and Richelle brings it to the next level in Bloodlines, which has a slow burning but ultimately boiling romance, lots of action, and a great cast of characters you can’t help but love.

 

 

 

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Ruben and Daniel Salmieri

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Ruben and Daniel Salmieri:

I love tacos. You love tacos. Who doesn’t love tacos? It turns out dragons love tacos as much—maybe more—as anybody else, so if you want dragons to come to your party, you’d best serve them. Just keep them away from the salsa. With fun, colorful art and a hilarious story, Dragons Love Tacos is as much a gift for the parent as it is for a child.

 

 

If I Stay by Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman;

OK, OK, cheating again, but these books (which are a duet, although they can both be read separately) are some of my favorite YA novels of all time—favorite novels, period, in fact. Without giving too much away about either one, I will say that they are emotional, beautiful, and incredibly romantic. A punch to the gut and a balm to the heart. Read them ASAP.

Find more books on the Young Readers Category page!


Julie

Julie works with romance and women’s fiction at the Berkley imprint of Penguin Random House. She lives in Brooklyn and is a big fan of MTV True Life and thunderstorms.

 

 

 

True, by Erin McCarthy

True by Erin McCarthy

I love a great good girl/bad boy story, and this one is set on a college campus, with really smart, believable protagonists. The university details make me nostalgic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hundred Summers, by Beatriz Williams

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

I give this one the title of “My Favorite Beach Read.” It’s got an impossible love story, family drama, great New England historical detail, and an impending hurricane, which gives the whole thing an ominous, atmospheric feel.

 

 

 

 

 

V!RG!N, by Radhika Sanghani

V!RG!N by Radhika Sanghani

This book made me laugh embarrassingly loud on the subway. It’s like Bridget Jones for the 20-something set – so accurate and so so funny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander

The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander

I’m a TINY bit biased because I’m the editor of this book, but I personally think it’s historical romance at its best; strong heroine, dashing hero, and just the right amount of suspense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While They Were Watching Downtown Abbey by Wendy Wax

While They Were Watching Downtown Abbey by Wendy Wax

Although there’s lots of romance to be found here, to me the heart of this novel is all about the power, strength, and love behind female friendships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Hemingway is one of my favorite classic authors, and this book made me feel like I was living in Depression-era Key West right alongside him and his conflicted (fictional) love interest, Mariella.

 

 

 

 

 

Deception Cove by Jayne Castle

Deception Cove by Jayne Castle

Jayne Ann Krentz (writing here as Jayne Castle) always gets it just right in her books, but I think she’s at her most fun in this futuristic series set on paranormal-tinged Rainshadow Island. The heroine of this one, Alice, is super witty and badass.

 

 

 

 

 

Find more books on the Romance Category Page!


Christopher

Christopher Nelson’s first job out of college was as an assistant in the Putnam and Riverhead Marketing Department, and he’s been there ever since, now serving as Associate Director. He lives with his wife on Long Island in a house that is quickly running out of room for all the books they keep acquiring.  That’s what happens when someone in publishing marries an English teacher. When he doesn’t have his eyes glued to a book or some electronic device to monitor his fantasy sports teams, he tries to find time for marathon baking sessions that produce pounds and pounds of baked good to share with his co-workers (and occasionally his wife.)

Stone Cold, by C.J. Box

Stone Cold by C. J. Box

There are a number of great parts of working in publishing, but two of the most exciting are publishing the first book by a brand new author that I feel is destined for great success and the first time an author hits the New York Times bestseller list. I count myself lucky that I’ve been involved with both of those milestones with C.J. Box, and it’s been a pleasure to work on every one of his Joe Pickett books. He delivers a fast-paced, suspense-filled book with a great plot and unique twist every time, and his latest, Stone Cold, is no exception.

 

 

 

The Devil's Workshop, by Alex Grecian

The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian

I really thought it was going to be impossible for Alex Grecian to top his first book, The Yard, which was one of my favorite debuts, in any genre, of the last ten years. Fortunately, when I read The Devil’s Workshop, I was happily proven wrong. He once again captures the grittiness of Victorian London, and the members of the Scotland Yard Murder Squad and their associates are a fascinating cast of characters, but this time he dials things up a notch with one of the most notorious villains of all time—Jack the Ripper!

 

 

 

Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft

Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft

I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be part of the Ludlow family, who are at the center of Thoft’s debut mystery Loyalty (as well as the upcoming Identity), but they definitely make for fun reading. PI Fina Ludlow, the black sheep of the group, isn’t above doing whatever she needs in order to solve a case, and that makes her one of the more interesting characters I’ve come across in quite some time. Thoft does an expert job of building suspense throughout the book and delivers a twist at the end that sets this mystery apart from so many others.

 

 

 

The Professionals, by Owen Laukkanen

The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen

Minnesota state investigator Kirk Stevens and FBI Special Agent Carla Windermere may be the protagonists of Owen Laukkanen’s well-crafted thrillers, but the real “stars” of each one are the criminals that the duo finds themselves pursuing. Laukkanen does such an incredible job of crafting intriguing villains that I sometimes find myself rooting for them, even when they’re doing wrong. This is certainly the case in his debut thriller, The Professionals, which features four friends who, faced with seemingly no way to make ends meet, turn kidnapping into a lucrative career—until they kidnap the wrong guy and everything starts going quickly downhill.

 

 

Monkeewrench, by P. J. Tracy

Monkeewrench by P. J. Tracy

I’m a sucker for a cast of quirky characters, so the Monkeewrench crew from mother-daughter writing team P.J. Tracy is right up my alley. A group of eccentric software developers, each with somewhat of a sordid past, finds itself in quite a conundrum when a killer starts mimicking the murders in a game they’ve developed even though it hasn’t been widely released to the public. I find the phrase “page turner” often overused, but that’s exactly what this book is; I found myself racing through it at breakneck speed. Each subsequent book from P.J. Tracy has been great, and it’s always fun to see the Monkeewrench crew in action, but this first book stands out as my favorite of the series.

 

 

The Muse Asylum, by David Czuchlewski

The Muse Asylum by David Czuchlewski

Maybe it’s because of my job, but I’ve developed an affinity for works of fiction that deal with the powerful draw of writers and books, and it all started with The Muse Asylum. The mystery at the heart of the book is the true identity of a reclusive author and his motives for staying out of the public eye. Watching how the search for the truth affected the lives of the three characters seeking it was a fascinating examination of motivation and consequences, and the book has stuck with me even though it’s been more than a decade since I first read it.

 

 

 

Find more books on the Suspense & Mystery Category Page!


Kristine

Kristine Swartz is an editorial assistant at The Berkley Publishing Group, where she deals primarily (and happily) with all sorts of romance and paranormal books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omens, by Kelley Armstrong

Omens, by Kelley Armstrong

You can never go wrong with Kelley Armstrong. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I started reading her Otherworld series back in high school. Omens in particular is a compelling, atmospheric read. Just take a peek at the Prologue, and you’ll see exactly what I mean! This is a series to watch.

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Duke, by Meljean Brook

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

This was one of the first steampunk romances I ever read, and it is still a favorite of mine. Meljean expertly balances complex world-building with authentic romance and adventure. The fourth book in this series, The Kraken King, is coming out as a serial in April, and I, like all her other fans, will be anxiously awaiting each installment!

 

 

 

 

Heart of Obsidian, by Nalini Singh

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

Nalini is a mastermind at plotting! Each Psy/Changeling book builds on the last one in such an intricate and immensely satisfying way. Even though I have access to galleys of Shield of Winter, the next in the series, I’m waiting until the hardcovers arrive so I can take a copy home and keep it forever! (I get a little protective over these books).

 

 

 

 

Lover At Last, by J.R. Ward

Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

I was so happy when I heard whose book this would be—J.R. Ward sowed the seeds for this novel years ago! I became really attached to Blay and Qhuinn when they were secondary characters, so it made reading their book even more special. I’m all for two hot guys falling in love!

 

 

 

 

 

Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

The first book in this series, Written in Blood, was so unique that I just had to read the sequel as soon as it was available. You won’t find characters like these in another book, or a world quite like this. If you’re in the mood for something that is a little dark and different, then try this series!

 

 

 

 

 

Bitter Spirits, by Jenn Bennett

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

What an intoxicating read (pun intended)! Jenn Bennett weaves together a story filled with all of my favorite things: speakeasies, spirits and sexy bootleggers! This is a new series that I will be closely following. Luckily I know the editor and have already called dibs on a copy of the sequel, Grim Shadows, when the book releases in June.

 

 

 

 

Generation V, by M.L. Brennan

Generation V by M.L. Brennan

Generation V straddles the line between being paranormal and urban fantasy, but I love it so it’s on my list of favorites! The main character is probably the least excited vampire-to-be that every existed, but he handles his plight with so much charm and quirk that I can’t help but root for him. Although I’m still undecided on whether or not I want him to become a vampire or remain (mostly) human.

 

 

 

 

Find more books on the Paranormal Category page!


Colleen

Colleen is Associate Director of Marketing, Social Media & Reader Experience for Penguin’s Berkley and NAL Publishing Groups. She has been a professional nerd since 1984.

 

 

 

Daughter of the Sword, Steve Bein

Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein:

Daughter of the Sword is a debut novel that doesn’t fit neatly into any category, but it’s exactly that originality that made this one of my favorite novels of last year. A skillful blend of Japanese historical fantasy, urban fantasy, and contemporary police procedural, and Bein’s protagonist Mariko Oshiro – the only female detective in Tokyo’s most elite police unit – is a wonderful addition to the ranks of urban fantasy heroes.

 

 

 

 

Neuromancer, by William Gibson

Neuromancer by William S. Gibson:

Neuromancer is a classic science fiction title now celebrating its 30th anniversary. It won the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Philip K. Dick Award, and was nominated for the British Science Fiction Award the same year. Gibson invented an entire genre with Neuromancer; its influence still reverberates throughout current pop culture. I read this when it first came out (yes, I’m that old!) and have never been able to get Gibson’s vision of the future out of my head.

 

 

 

Among Thieves by Doug Hulick

Among Thieves by Doug Hulick:

I read this just a few weeks ago, while prepping for a panel I’ll be moderating with the author next month, and I absolutely loved it! Imagine a town very much like Shakespeare’s Verona, run by a hierarchy of thieves, spies, rogues, and assassins, throw in some magic with sensible rules, a little ribald good humor, a quest for a forbidden object, and a lot of excellent swordplay, and, well, basically you’ve got Among Thieves. Hulick is a wonderful world-builder and his characters will stay with you long after you finish the book. Enjoy!

 

 

 

The Thousand Names, by Django Wexler

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler:

An utterly compelling military-themed epic fantasy with characters that become more complex and more believable the deeper you delve into the novel. Wexler sets his story in Khandar, an arid land reminiscent of nineteenth-century Sudan, where unrest is brewing against the foreigners who long-ago colonized their country, and the desolate Colonial soldiers left behind to police the citizens. Wexler brilliantly melds the horror of combat with the politics of colonialism, giving the reader reasons to care for characters on both sides of the conflict. An exceptional debut novel!

 

 

Skinwalker, by Faith Hunter

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter:

I love urban fantasy, and Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series is one of my favorites in this genre. Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker of Cherokee descent, and the last of her kind. Jane shares her body with the soul of a mountain lion she calls Beast, and the conversations between Jane and Beast – conversations that take place inside Jane’s head! – are some of the best and most human parts of these books. There’s also a cast of vampires, weres, and bad-boy love interests, but the true heart of these books is the relationship between Jane and Beast. Start with Skinwalker and work your way through the whole series. Just trust me on this!

 

 

Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris:

Charlaine Harris leaves Bon Temps and Sookie Stackhouse behind in Midnight Crossroad, the first in a brand-new series set in the town of Midnight, Texas.  At its heart, Midnight Crossroad is a murder mystery, and Harris draws heavily on her roots as a mystery writer here, mixing small-town eccentricities with darker paranormal elements to create a quirky town where most of the residents have something to hide. I confess to tearing through this book in about a day, missing several subway stops on the way to work (sorry boss!) to read the last chapter. I can’t wait to see what the fine folks of Midnight get up to next!

Watch the exciting book trailer here!

 

Find more books on the Scifi/Fantasy Category page! 


Ben

Ben Platt is an Associate Editor at The Penguin Press, where he began his career in 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

 

 

 

Detroit, by Charlie LeDuff

Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

The only book you will ever need about the Motor City, the American Dream, and the unforgettable LeDuff–who spends these exhilarating pages generally raising hell and asking The Powers That Be all the tough questions how the country’s richest city became the capital of foreclosures, unemployment, and much else. Muckraking like we need, gonzo journalism at its best.

 

 

 

 

Command and Control by Eric Schlosser

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, by Eric Schlosser

Reading this terrific book, one quickly realizes that America’s nuclear arsenal is less DR. STRANGELOVE and more Marx Brothers. Launch levels are accidently pulled, bombs mistakenly dropped on American soil, missiles secured by little more than high-school combination locks. But by centering on one terrible accident–a fire in a nuclear missile silo, in 1980 Arkansas–Schlosser takes what could be a litany of woe and turns it into a page-turning, unforgettable read.

 

 

 

The Good Food Revolution By Will Allen with Charles Wilson

The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities, by Will Allen with Charles Wilson

Urban farming at its most extreme. Using old-school community activism and revolutionary aquaponics–a technology that grows plants and fish simultaneously, the life cycle of one feeding the other–Will Allen and his organization GROWING POWER are changing the way cities will feed themselves in the future. Based around Allen’s extraordinary life story–son of a sharecropper, star  in professional basketball, successful businessman, and finally farming entrepreneur–The Good Food Revolution is good stuff.

 

 

Thinking the Twentieth Century, by Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder

Thinking the Twentieth Century, by Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder

One of the last books of Tony Judt–the author of another personal favorite, Postwar–along with Timothy Snyder–the historian behind the harrowing Blood LandsThinking the Twentieth Century is truly a gift. Arranged as a free-wheeling dialogue between these two unorthodox experts of recent history, the book has all the makings of a masters-course-in-one-volume but reads as easy as can be. A wonderful experience.

 

 

 

Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution edited by Layla Al-Zubaidi & Matthew Cassel

Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus, edited by Layla Al-Zubaidi & Matthew Cassel

Finally, the story of the Arab Spring has lived and witnessed by its actual participants. Drawing on short accounts from different actors across the Middle East, Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution breaks many of our easy certainties and offers up many hard truths about this pivotal series of events, and reveals the true cost of making change today. It won’t give anything away to say that the book’s last line is, “And the demonstrations go on, into the unknown.”

 

 

 

Find more books on the History & Current Events category page!