Books Discovered BEA

Books I Discovered at BEA 2016

Yesterday I shared a bit about BEA itself, but I know this is what you’re really looking for: the books. Before leaving, I talked about the big, buzzy books I hoped to collide with and, thankfully, many of them were there waiting for me on the showroom floor. This time around I’m focused on the books I discovered while in Chicago. Some have already been published and just flew under my radar, while others have a few months before they hit the shelves. Either way, each one made me perk up my ears and listen a little closer.


Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights by Sherry F. Colb & Michael C. Dorf (March 8th, 2016)

“By probing the connections between debates about abortion and animal rights, Beating Hearts uses each highly contested set of questions to shed light on the other. The authors maintain that sentience, or the ability to have subjective experiences, grounds a being’s entitlement to moral concern. These ethical explorations lead to a wider discussion of the strategies deployed by the anti-abortion and animal-rights movements. How can someone who condemns hunting, animal farming, and animal experimentation also favor legal abortion, the deliberate destruction of a human fetus? The authors of Beating Hearts aim to reconcile this apparent conflict and examine the surprisingly similar strategic and tactical questions faced by activists in the pro-life and animal-rights movements.”


Sergio Y. by Alexandre Vidal Porto (May 3rd, 2016)

“Armando is one of the most renowned therapists in São Paulo. One of his patients, a 17-year-old boy by the name of Sergio, abruptly interrupts his course of therapy after a trip to New York. Sergio’s cursory explanation to Armando is that he has finally found his path to happiness and must pursue it. For years, without any further news of Sergio, Armando wonders what happened to his patient. He subsequently learns that Sergio is living a happy life in New York and that he is now a woman, Sandra. Not long after this startling discovery, however, Armando is shocked to read about Sandra’s unexpected death. In an attempt to discover the truth about Sergio and Sandra’s life, Armando starts investigating on his own.”


The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan (May 3rd, 2016)

“Hellsmouth, an indomitable Thoroughbred with the blood of Triple Crown winners in her veins, runs for the glory of the Forge family, one of Kentucky’s oldest and most powerful dynasties. Henry Forge has partnered with his daughter, Henrietta, in an endeavor of raw obsession: to breed the next superhorse, the next Secretariat. But when Allmon Shaughnessy, an ambitious young black man, comes to work on their farm, the violence of the Forges’ history and the exigencies of appetite are brought starkly into view. Entangled in fear, prejudice, and lust, the three tether their personal dreams of glory to the speed and grace of Hellsmouth.”


Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity by Jay Pitter & John Lorinc (June 14th, 2016)

“How do we build cities where we aren’t just living within the same urban space, but living together? Using Toronto as a case study, Subdivided asks how cities would function if decision-makers genuinely accounted for race, ethnicity, and class when confronting issues such as housing, policing, labor markets, and public space. With essays contributed by an array of city-builders, it proposes solutions for fully inclusive communities that respond to the complexities of a global city.”


Christodora by Tim Murphy (August 2nd, 2016)

“As the junkies and protestors of the 1980s give way to the hipsters of the 2000s and they, in turn, to the wealthy residents of the crowded, glass-towered city of the 2020s, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly and Jared and the constellation of people around them. Moving kaleidoscopically from the Tompkins Square Riots and attempts by activists to galvanize a true response to the AIDS epidemic, to the New York City of the future, Christodora recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, illustrates the allure and destructive power of hard drugs, and brings to life the ever-changing city itself.”


War Porn by Roy Scranton (August 2nd, 2016)

“In War Porn three lives fit inside one another like nesting dolls: a restless young woman at an end-of-summer barbecue in Utah; an American soldier in occupied Baghdad; and Qasim al-Zabadi, an Iraqi math professor, who faces the US invasion of his country with fear, denial, and perseverance. As War Porn cuts from America to Iraq and back again, as home and hell merge, we come to see America through the eyes of the occupied, even as we see Qasim become a prisoner of the occupation. Through the looking glass of War Porn, Scranton reveals the fragile humanity that connects Americans and Iraqis, torturers and the tortured, victors and their victims.”


Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here by Angela Palm (August 16, 2016)

“Though she did escape, as an adult Palm finds herself drawn back, like the river, to her origins. But this means more than just recalling vibrant, complicated memories of the place that shaped her, or trying to understand the family that raised her. It means visiting the prison where the boy that she loved is serving a life sentence for a brutal murder. It means trying to chart, through the mesmerizing, interconnected essays of Riverine, what happens when a single event forces the path of her life off course.”


The Carousel of Desire by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt (September 20th, 2016)

“An innocent love note is delivered anonymously to each inhabitant of Piazza Guy d’Arezzo in Brussels one morning, triggering a series of adventures and misadventures that, over 600 pages, develop into a sumptuous comedy of manners that is sexy, sensual, affecting, encyclopedic, and unlike anything written previously by Schmitt. Employing a roving camera technique that recalls both the stylish cinematic tradition of French New Wave and the voluptuous films of directors like Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Felini, The Carousel of Desire is a sexual and romantic saga told with a master storyteller’s feel for character and plot, and a philosopher’s abiding preoccupation with what makes life truly worthwhile.”