New Arrivals · Biographical Fiction

February 6, 2016
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

A friend of Mr. Lincoln

February 5, 2016
Harrigan, Stephen, 1948- author.
©2016
415 pages ; 25 cm
"The novel opens in 1832 in the Black Hawk War, when Micajah (Cage) Weatherby--an imaginary character--and Lincoln meet. Afterwards Cage musters out to Springfield, Illinois, where he becomes part of the group of ambitious young men, which includes Lincoln, in this frontier town on the make. And it is through Cage that we come to know his friend Lincoln in his twenties and early thirties, the Lincoln who is already a circuit-riding lawyer and a member of the state legislature, filled with an almost ungovernable ambition. But to Cage and to others with big dreams in this group--which includes Joshua Speed, Billy Herndon, Ninian Edwards, Stephen Douglas, Jim Reed--he is also a beloved, hypnotic figure, physically powerful, by turns charmingly awkward and mesmerizingly self-possesed, and a supremely gifted story teller, a man of whom they expect big things. Cage, a poet, both admires and clashes with Lincoln, as Lincoln's legal ethics allow him to take a murderer's case, or clients on both sides of the slavery issue. And Cage, himself engaged in a long affair with an independent young widow, charts Lincoln's never easy path, from his high spirits and earthy jokes to his soul-hollowing sadness and bouts with the hypo (depression), from his disastrous courtship of another Mary to finally marriage with beautiful, capricious, politically savvy, Mary Todd, who at the close of the novel in 1847 has presented him one son and some stability, although it leads to conflict with Cage, and sends the two men on very different paths into the future"-- Provided by publisher.

Saint Magnus : the last Viking

February 5, 2016
Peek, Susan, author.
[Place of publication not identified] : Seven Swords Publications, [2015]
233 pages ; 22 cm
Based on the life of St. Magnus.
"Come back in time 900 years, to the fierce and desolate Northern lands, where Norsemen ruled with ax and sword. A dying king, a shocking death-wish, his heirs divided with an oath of blood . . . In this fast-paced new novel by the highly popular Susan Peek, the conflict unfolds between Magnus Erlendson, a heroic young prince aflame with the love of God, and his outlawed cousin Hakon, who blames Magnus for his banishment from their kingdom. What follows is a tale of betrayal and revenge, bravery and forgiveness, as Magnus seeks to restore his father's vanquished kingdom to its rightful hands. Entertaining and inspiring from start to finish, a must-read for all those who thrill to learn the life of a saint we never knew existed!"--Publisher's description.

Platinum doll

February 4, 2016
Girard, Anne, author.
©2016
352 pages ; 21 cm
Includes "Reader's guide.
"A novel about Jean Harlow"--Cover.
Set against the dazzling backdrop of Golden Age Hollywood, novelist Girard tells the story of Jean Harlow, an iconic star in the history of film.

A prisoner in Malta

February 3, 2016
DePoy, Phillip, author.
New York : Minotaur Books, 2016.
310 pages ; 22 cm
"A Christopher Marlowe mysery."
"In 1583, the nineteen-year-old Christopher Marlowe--with a reputation as a brawler, a womanizer, a genius, and a social upstart at Cambridge University--is visited by a man representing Marlowe's benefactors. There are rumors of a growing plot against her majesty Queen Elizabeth I, and the Queen's spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, has charged young Marlowe with tracking down the truth. The path to that truth seems to run through an enigmatic prisoner held in complete seclusion in a heavily guarded dungeon in Malta. Marlowe must use every bit of his wits, his skills, and his daring to unravel one of the greatest mysteries in history and help uncover and unravel scheme of assassination and invasion, one involving the government of Spain, high ranking English nobles, and even Pope himself. Christopher Marlowe--Elizabethan playwright, poet, and spy--is one of the most enigmatic figures in Renaissance England. The son of a shoemaker from Canterbury, he attended Cambridge University on scholarship and, while frequently in trouble, was bailed out through the intercession of Queen Elizabeth I's Privy Council. Long rumored to have been an agent on behalf of the Queen's spymaster, Edgar Award winner Phillip DePoy's new series brings Marlowe and his times to life"-- Provided by publisher.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue : a novel

February 1, 2016
Benjamin, Melanie, 1962-
New York : Delacorte Press, 2016.
xvii, 341 pages ; 22 cm
When Truman Capote gains access to New York high society, he builds an unlikely friendship with socialite Babe Paley.

The stargazer's sister

February 1, 2016
Brown, Carrie, 1959-
New York : Pantheon Books, [2015]
332 pages ; 22 cm
Hanover, 1755-1772. Victory ; Moon ; Night ; Friend ; Mystery -- England, 1772-1776. Storm ; Solitude ; Seeing ; Andromeda ; Winter ; Shadow ; Planet ; Observatory House -- England, 1788-1822. Hooked ; Comet ; Silence -- Lisbon, 1823-1833. Star ; Dark -- Hanover, 1833-1848. Light.
William Herschel rescues his sister Caroline from a life of drudgery in Germany and brings her to England and a world of music making and stargazing. Lina serves as William's assistant and the captain of his exhilaratingly busy household. An obsessive genius whom Lina adores and serves with the fervency of a beloved wife, her world collapses when William suddenly announces that he will be married.

The theoretical foot

January 29, 2016
Fisher, M. F. K. (Mary Frances Kennedy), 1908-1992.
©2015
250 pages ; 24 cm
"When her long-time agent and friend Robert Lescher died in 2012, the manuscript of M.F.K. Fisher's unpublished first novel was discovered packed tidily away in one of Lescher's signature red boxes. Following on the success of Serve It Forth and written when she was in her early 30s, the novel employs Fisher's characteristic sharp-eyed wit to sketch themes so outre; they may have seemed too challenging for a proper woman of her time to attempt. Set in the late 1930s,The Theoretical Foot concerns two expat American couples in Europe, tramping from country to country without sanction of marriage, this during an era when cohabitation - to say nothing of a girl's hitchhiking! -- could ruin a respectable woman's reputation for all time. As fascism spreads and war inevitably approaches, the idyll of a beautiful life of love and freedom from convention is also threatened from within, as the man in one of the couples falls gravely ill with a rare circulatory disease. And indeed, Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher and Dillwyn Parrish had been forced to return to Depression-era California where she was struggling to support them with her writing. Parrish - like the character in the story -- was afflicted with Buerger's disease, for which there was only one effective painkiller, unavailable in the States. Faced with unrelieved agony and the threat of serial amputations, Parrish killed himself in August of 1941. Weeks later the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the entire world was engulfed in war. Why this most autobiographical of stories was never published during Fisher's lifetime we cannot know but it may have been that it concerned itself not only with what was considered at that time to be a scandalous, licentious-seeming lifestyle but with a lost and beloved world, the European continent utterly transformed by war. And it may have been that her continued grief over her loss of the man she'd always later describe as her one great love made the book too painful for her to revisit"-- Provided by publisher.

Winter

January 8, 2016
Nicholson, Christopher, 1956- author.
New York, N.Y. : Europa Editions, 2015.
269 pages ; 21 cm
A fictionalized account of the final years of Thomas Hardy's life sees the premiere of the London theatre production of his acclaimed "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and his obsessive infatuation with the show's star revealed to his reclusive wife.

The conqueror's wife : a novel of Alexander the Great

December 10, 2015
Thornton, Stephanie, 1980-
New York : New American Library, 2015.
498 pages ; 21 cm
"A novel from the acclaimed author of The Tiger Queens, for readers looking for "strong and determined female protagonists" (Historical Novel Society) and "a sprawling historical saga" (Renee Rosen)... We are the women who loved Alexander the Great. We were lovers and murderers, innocents and soldiers. And without us, Alexander would have been only a man. Instead he was a god. 330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his destiny. His spirited younger half-sister, Thessalonike, yearns to join her brother and see the world. Instead, it is Alexander's boyhood companion who rides with him into war while Thessalonike remains behind. Far away, crafty princess Drypetis will not stand idly by as Alexander topples her father from Persia's throne. And after Alexander conquers her tiny kingdom, Roxana, the beautiful and cunning daughter of a minor noble, wins Alexander's heart...and will commit any crime to secure her place at his side. Within a few short years, Alexander controls an empire more vast than the civilized world has ever known. But his victories are tarnished by losses on the battlefield and treachery among his inner circle. And long after Alexander is gone, the women who are his champions, wives, and enemies will fight to claim his legacy... CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED"-- Provided by publisher.

Médicis daughter : a novel of Marguerite de Valois

December 10, 2015
Perinot, Sophie.
New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2015.
374 pages ; 24 cm
"Winter, 1564. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Margot's intimidating mother, Queen Catherine de Médicis, is a powerful force in a country devastated by religious war. Among the crafty nobility of the royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her poisonous family. Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot accepts her role as a marriage pawn, even as she is charmed by the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise. Though Margot's heart belongs to Guise, her hand will be offered to Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic looking to seal a tenuous truce. But the promised peace is a mirage: her mother's schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot's wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, she will be forced to choose between her family and her soul. Médicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history"-- Provided by publisher.

Playing days : a novel

December 8, 2015
Markovits, Benjamin, author.
New York : Harper Perennial, 2015.
323, 15 pages ; 21 cm
"In print for the first time in the United States, acclaimed novelist Benjamin Markovits's Playing Days is a mostly autobiographical narrative concerning the author's season playing minor league professional basketball in Germany and the love affair with another player's estranged wife that ushers him into adulthood.Growing up in Texas, Ben experienced basketball as a mostly solitary pursuit, one he gave up after riding the bench in high school. But as his college classmates prepare for the real world, Ben is seized by an idea. All he needs is a video camera, an empty court, and his mother's German citizenship.Improbably, he lands a roster spot on a lower division pro team in Landshut, forty-five minutes outside of Munich. It's Ben's first taste of competition in years, not to mention his first job. And like most jobs, it's defined by repetition, boredom, and gossip. There's Charlie, the trash-talking mercenary from Chicago; the coach, Herr Henkel, a recently retired player anxious to justify his paycheck; and Karl (based on the author's real life relationship with Dirk Nowitski), a gangly teenage prodigy flashing the raw talent that will make him an NBA star. As a group of men learn how to navigate one another, Ben falls in love with the young mother of a teammate's child, and begins an affair that will change his life.Wry, poignant, and tenderly observed, Playing Days is an evocative meditation on the joys of youth, the triumphs and terrors of post-college life, and one of the best books ever written about what basketball can mean to an American man"-- Provided by publisher.

Sword of honor, or Hours of the dog

December 8, 2015
Kirk, David, 1985- author.
©2015
441 pages ; 25 cm
Sequel to: Child of vengeance.
Great samurai Musashi Miyamoto travels to Kyoto for a reckoning after a price is put on his head and falls in love with a blind witch.

Calf : a novel

December 3, 2015
Kleine, Andrea, 1970- author.
Berkeley, CA : Soft Skull Press, [2015]
293 pages ; 24 cm
"The year was 1981. The US was entering a deep recession, Russia was our enemy, and John Hinckley, Jr.'s assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan shocked the nation. It was also the year author Andrea Kleine learned her close childhood friend had been violently murdered by her socialite mother, Leslie DeVeau. Both events took place in Washington, DC. Hinckley and Deveau were both sent to St. Elizabeth's hospital, guilty by reason of insanity. It was there that they met, and later became lovers. These two real-life, and ultimately converging events inspired Klein's jaw-dropping, spine-tingling novel, CALF. Made up of dual narratives and told over the course of one year, Kleine's account follows a fictionalized John Hinkley in the lead-up to the assassination attempt, and Tammy, older sister to Steffi, the best friend of DeVeau's daughter, Kirin. [An] absolutely addictive novel shines a light on two terrible events, providing an unflinching depiction of violence, both intimate and sensational"-- Provided by publisher.

Beatlebone : a novel

November 30, 2015
Barry, Kevin, 1969-
New York : Doubleday, [2015]
299 pages ; 20 cm
"It is 1978, and John Lennon has escaped New York City to try to find the island off the west coast of Ireland he bought nine years prior. Leaving behind domesticity, his approaching forties, his inability to create, and his memories of his parents, he sets off to find calm in the comfortable silence of isolation. But when he puts himself in the hands of a shape-shifting driver full of Irish charm and dark whimsy, what ensues can only be termed a magical mystery tour. Beatlebone is a tour de force of language and literary imagination that marries the most improbable element to the most striking effect"-- Provided by publisher.

Bohemian Gospel : a novel

November 30, 2015
Carpenter, Dana Chamblee, author.
©2015
x, 369 pages ; 24 cm
Thirteenth-century Bohemia is a dangerous place for a girl, especially one as odd as Mouse, born with unnatural senses and an uncanny intellect. Some call her a witch. Others call her an angel. Even Mouse doesn't know who -- or what -- she is. But she means to find out. When young King Ottakar shows up at the Abbey wounded by a traitor's arrow, Mouse breaks church law to save him and then agrees to accompany him back to Prague as his personal healer. Caught in the undertow of court politics at the castle, Ottakar and Mouse find themselves drawn to each other as they work to uncover the threat against him and to unravel the mystery of her past. But when Mouse's unusual gifts give rise to a violence and strength that surprise everyone, especially herself, she is forced to ask herself: Will she be prepared for the future that awaits her?

Memory theater

November 25, 2015
Critchley, Simon, 1960-
©2014
101 pages ; 20 cm
"A French philosopher dies during a savage summer heat wave. Boxes carrying his unpublished papers mysteriously appear in Simon Critchley's office. Rooting through them, Critchley discovers a brilliant text on the ancient art of memory and a cache of astrological charts predicting the deaths of various philosophers. Among them is a chart for Critchley himself, laying out in great detail the course of his life and eventual demise. While waiting for his friend's prediction to come true, Critchley receives the missing, final box, which contains a maquette of Giulio Camillo's sixteenth-century Venetian memory theater, a space supposed to contain the sum of all knowledge"--Dust jacket flap.

Da Vinci's tiger

November 18, 2015
Elliott, Laura, 1957- author.
©2015
287 pages ; 22 cm
In fifteenth-century Florence, the dashing Venetian ambassador commissions young Leonardo da Vinci to paint a portrait of his Platonic love, Ginevra de' Benci, a well-educated, teenaged poet in a passionless marriage, propelling her into the world of art, politics, and romance, with all of its complications.

Hidden gold : a true story of the Holocaust

November 16, 2015
Burakowski, Ella, 1957- author.
Toronto : Second Story Press, 2015.
314 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 21 cm

Esther : a novel

November 9, 2015
Kanner, Rebecca.
New York : Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2015.
xii, 381 pages ; 24 cm
A fictional telling of how Queen Esther risked her life to prevent the killing of all the Jews in Persia.

Twain & Stanley enter paradise

November 6, 2015
Hijuelos, Oscar, author.
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2015.
x, 465 pages ; 24 cm
Chronicles the sojourn of journalist-explorer Henry Stanley; his wife, the painter Dorothy Tennant; and Mark Twain, Stanley's longtime friend, as they head for Cuba in search of Stanley's father.

The gold eaters : a novel

November 6, 2015
Wright, Ronald, 1948- author.
New York : Riverhead Books, 2015.
367 pages ; 24 cm
Title from cover.
"Plucked from his small fishing village and captured by the conquistadors looking to plunder the gold of Peru, young Waman is the everyman thrown into extraordinary circumstances, caught up in history's throes. He finds himself at every major moment in the empire-building of the Spanish explorers, including Francisco Pizarro, and in the culture clash and violent overthrow of the Incan leaders. He becomes an indispensable translator between the two worlds, who must learn political gamesmanship in order to survive and so that he can one day find the love of his life and be reunited with his family. Based closely on real historical events, The Gold Eaters draws on Ronald Wright's expert knowledge of sixteenth-century South America, as well as his imaginative ability to bring to life an unforgettable epoch and a world forged anew from violence and upheaval"-- Provided by publisher.

Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) : a novel

November 6, 2015
Greaves, C. Joseph, author.
New York : Bloomsbury, 2015.
vii, 431 pages ; 25 cm
Presents a fictionalized account of how ambitious young prosecutor Thomas Dewey used a heroin-addicted prostitute and grifter to bring down powerful gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano and some of his known associates in a New York courtroom in 1936.

The hours count : a novel

October 27, 2015
Cantor, Jillian.
©2015
358 pages ; 22 cm
A tale based on the story of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the only Americans put to death for espionage during the Cold War, traces the experiences of their friend and neighbor, who takes in the couple's young sons when they are arrested by the FBI in 1950.

Christmas bells : a novel

October 22, 2015
Chiaverini, Jennifer, author.
©2015
317 pages ; 22 cm
"New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem "Christmas Bells," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I heard the bells on Christmas Day/ Their old familiar carols play/ And wild and sweet/ The words repeat/Of peace on earth, good-will to men! In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow's classic Revolutionary War poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," was less than a month hence, and the country's grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed. In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia's music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children's choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss. Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow's family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow's patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. "Christmas Bells," the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn. Jennifer Chiaverini's resonant and heartfelt novel for the season reminds us why we must continue to hear glad tidings, even as we are tested by strife. Reading Christmas Bells evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song"-- Provided by publisher.

Mrs. Engels : [a novel]

October 20, 2015
McCrea, Gavin, 1978- author.
©2015
389 pages ; 21 cm
Subtitle from cover.
"First published in Australia and the UK by Scribe Publications."--title page verso.
A tale inspired by the enigmatic Irish lover of Communist Manifesto co-author Frederick Engels traces the experiences of an impoverished factory employee who navigates complex landscapes of Victorian society.

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