New Arrivals · Biographical Fiction

April 30, 2016
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins' all-time greatest hits : a novel

April 29, 2016
Binelli, Mark.
New York : Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2016.
201 pages ; 22 cm
"He came on stage in a coffin, carried by pallbearers, drunk enough to climb into his casket every night. Onstage he wore a cape, clamped a bone to his nose, and carried a staff topped with a human skull. Offstage, he insisted he'd been raised by a tribe of Blackfoot Indians, that he'd joined the army at fourteen, that he'd defeated the middleweight boxing champion of Alaska, that he'd fathered seventy-five illegitimate children. The R & B wildman Screamin' Jay Hawkins only had a single hit, the classic "I Put a Spell On You," and was often written off as a clownish novelty act -- or worse, an offense to his race -- but his myth-making was legendary. In his second novel, Mark Binelli embraces the man and the legend to create a hilarious, tragic, fantastical portrait of this unlikeliest of protagonists. Hawkins saw his life story as a wild picaresque, and Binelli's novel follows suit, tackling the subject in a dazzling collage-like style. At Rolling Stone, Binelli has profiled some of the greatest musicians of our time, and this novel deftly plays with the inordinate focus on "authenticity" in so much music writing about African-Americans. An entire novel built around a musician as deliberately inauthentic as Screamin' Jay Hawkins thus becomes a sort of subversive act, as well as an extremely funny and surprisingly moving one"--Provided by publisher.

Death on a starry night

April 26, 2016
Draine, Betsy, 1945- author.
©2016
211 pages ; 22 cm.
When art historian Nora Barnes returns to France for a Van Gogh conference in the charming medieval village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, she's expecting a vigorous debate about whether the famed artist's suicide was actually a homicide. But on the night before the conference, an elderly French woman who'd promised to reveal important evidence is found head down in the village fountain, and her Chanel briefcase is nowhere to be seen.

The dark lady's mask

April 19, 2016
Sharratt, Mary, 1964- author.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.
xi, 398 pages ; 24 cm
Disguising herself as a man to escape her loveless marriage and enjoy the exclusive freedoms of men, aspiring writer Aemilia Lanier falls in love and runs away with ragged poet William Shakespeare, with whom she secretly writes plays that bring him fame years later.

The dig

April 18, 2016
Preston, John, 1953- author.
©2007
261 pages ; 21 cm
"A succinct and witty literary venture that tells the strange story of a priceless treasure discovered in East Anglia on the eve of World War II. In the long, hot summer of 1939, Britain is preparing for war, but on a riverside farm in Suffolk there is excitement of another kind. Mrs. Pretty, the widowed owner of the farm, has had her hunch confirmed that the mounds on her land hold buried treasure. As the dig proceeds, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary find. This fictional recreation of the famed Sutton Hoo dig follows three months of intense activity when locals fought outsiders, professionals thwarted amateurs, and love and rivalry flourished in equal measure. As the war looms ever closer, engraved gold peeks through the soil, and each character searches for answers in the buried treasure. Their threads of love, loss, and aspiration weave a common awareness of the past as something that can never truly be left behind"-- Provided by publisher.

My struggle. Book five

April 18, 2016
Knausgård, Karl Ove, 1968- author.
©2015
624 pages ; 20 cm
"The fifth book of Knausgaard's powerful My Struggle series is written with tremendous force and sincerity. As a nineteen-year-old, Karl Ove moves to Bergen and invests all of himself in his writing. But his efforts get the opposite effect - he wants it so much that he gets writer's block. At the same time, he sees his friends, one-by-one, publish their debuts. He suspects that he will never get anything published. Book Five is also a book about strong new friendships and a shattering love affair. Then one day Karl Ove reaches two crucial points in his life: his father dies, and shortly thereafter, he completes his first novel"-- Provided by publisher.

#SurvivingHighSchool : do it for the Vine : a novel

April 7, 2016
Pons, Lele, author.
©2016
262 pages ; 24 cm
This is a novel, and the character "Lele Pons" is based on the real Vine superstar, Lele Pons, and the stories in this book were inspired by Lele's life and her Vines.
"'Ten million followers and I still sit alone at lunch.' Lele is a bulls-eye target at her new school in Miami until, overnight, her digital fame catapults the girl with cheerleader looks, a seriously silly personality, and a self-deprecating funny bone into the popular crowd. Now she’s facing a whole new set of challenges--the relentless drama, the ruthless cliques, the unexpected internet celebrity--all while trying to keep her grades up and make her parents proud."--Provided by publisher.

The rivals of Versailles : a novel

April 7, 2016
Christie, Sally, 1971- author.
New York : Atria Paperback, 2016.
432 pages ; 21 cm
"The year is 1745. Marie-Anne, the youngest of the infamous Nesle sisters and King Louis XV's most beloved mistress, is gone, making room for the next Royal Favorite. Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a stunningly beautiful girl from the middle classes. Fifteen years prior, a fortune teller had mapped out young Jeanne's destiny: she would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the King's arms. All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeois interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivals--including a lustful lady-in-waiting; a precocious fourteen-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sisters--she helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them, war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution. Enigmatic beauty, social climber, actress, trendsetter, patron of the arts, spendthrift, whoremonger, friend, lover, foe. History books may say many things about the famous Marquise de Pompadour, but one thing is clear: for almost twenty years, she ruled France and the King's heart. Told in Christie's witty and modern style, this second book in the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the world of eighteenth century Versailles in all its pride, pestilence and glory"-- Provided by publisher.

Sent to the devil

April 5, 2016
Lebow, Laura, author.
New York : Minotaur Books, 2016.
379 pages ; 22 cm
"In 1788 Vienna, Court Poet Lorenzo Da Ponte is putting some finishing touches on the libretto for the premiere of his new opera with Mozart, Don Giovanni. A huge success when it debuted in Prague, the Emperor has decreed that it shall be performed in Vienna. But Joseph II is off prosecuting a less-than-popular war against the Turks, and the city itself is in a bit of turmoil. There are voices protesting the war, others who see Turks around every corner. Da Ponte, however, just wants to do his work and enjoy life. Alas, these simple desires aren't to be easily fulfilled. First, he's been getting a series of mysterious coded notes from unknown hands, notes that make no sense to him. Then his old friend Alois, a retired priest and academic, is viciously murdered and strange symbols carved into his forehead. Summoned to the police bureau, Da Ponte learns that Alois's murder was not the first. Determined to help find his friend's killer, Da Ponte agrees to help with the secret investigation. Caught in a crossfire of intrigue both in the world of opera and politics, Da Ponte must find the answer to a riddle and expose a killer before he becomes the next victim"-- Provided by publisher.

Terrible virtue : a novel

March 29, 2016
Feldman, Ellen, 1941-
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
260 pages ; 24 cm
A fictional portrait that follows the life of the founder of Planned Parenthood. The daughter of a hard-drinking, smooth-tongued free thinker and a mother worn down by thirteen children, Margaret Sanger vowed her life would be different. Trained as a nurse, she eventually channeled her energy to one singular cause: legalizing contraception.

Margaret the first

March 15, 2016
Dutton, Danielle, 1975-
New York : Catapult, c2016.
167 pages ; 21 cm.
"Margaret the First dramatizes the life of Margaret Cavendish, the shy, gifted, and wildly unconventional 17th-century Duchess. The eccentric Margaret wrote and published volumes of poems, philosophy, feminist plays, and utopian science fiction at a time when 'being a writer' was not an option open to women."--Publisher website.

Sisi : empress on her own : a novel

March 10, 2016
Pataki, Allison, author.
New York : Dial Press, 2016.
xiii, 438 pages : map ; 25 cm
"In imperial Vienna, where the court halls buzzed with waltzes and champagne, as well as temptation, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue, the intensely personal tale of Empress Sisi unraveled. Infamously beautiful, a mother of four, and wife of Emperor Franz Joseph - whom she unintentionally stole away from her sister - Sisi's reign was anything but simple. Against the backdrop of a rich, romantic, and volatile time period--marked by pivotal events such as the opening of the Suez Canal, Vienna's World Exhibition, and the lead up to WWI--Sisi, the beloved "Fairy Queen," was a woman well ahead of her time during a true Golden Age in European history"--Provided by publisher.

Mrs. Houdini : a novel

March 4, 2016
Kelly, Victoria, author.
New York, NY : Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2016.
306 pages ; 24 cm
Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife Bess from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them. When a widowed Bess begins seeing this code in seemingly impossible places, it becomes clear that Harry has an urgent message to convey. Unlocking the puzzle will set Bess on a course back through the pairs extraordinary romance, which swept the illusionist and his bride from the beaches of Coney Island, to the palaces of Budapest, to the back lots of Hollywood. When the mystery finally leads Bess to the doorstep of a mysterious young photographer, she realizes that her husbands magic may have been more than just illusion.

Behave

March 4, 2016
Romano-Lax, Andromeda, 1970-
New York, NY : Soho, [2016]
391 pages ; 22 cm
"In 1920, when she graduated from Vassar College with her degree in psychology, Rosalie Rayner took a coveted position at the Johns Hopkins research lab to assist the charismatic John B. Watson, the man who pioneered behaviorist psychology. Together, John Watson and Rosalie Rayner conducted experiments on hundreds of babies to prove behaviorist principles of nurture over nature. They also embarked on a scandalous affair that cost them both their jobs. The Watsons' bestselling parenting book, Psychological Care of Infant and Child, which emphasized emotional detachment, affected the upbringings of generations of American children but Rosalie, now a mother herself, had to confront its tenets personally. With Behave, Andromeda Romano-Lax offers a fictional biography of Rosalie Rayner Watson, a woman whose lab work is now widely repudiated but who in her time was at the cutting edge of parenting psychology. This novel is in turns moving and horrifying, a thought-provoking and page-turning read about the meaning of motherhood"-- Provided by publisher.

Oil and marble : a novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo

March 4, 2016
Storey, Stephanie, author.
New York : Arcade Publishing, [2016]
345 pages ; 24 cm
From 1501-1505, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti both lived and worked in Florence. Leonardo was a charming, handsome fifty year-old at the peak of his career. Michelangelo was a temperamental sculptor in his mid-twenties, desperate to make a name for himself. Michelangelo is a virtual unknown when he returns to Florence and wins the commission to carve what will become one of the most famous sculptures of all time: David. Even though his impoverished family shuns him for being an artist, he is desperate to support them. Living at the foot of his misshapen block of marble, Michelangelo struggles until the stone finally begins to speak. Working against an impossible deadline, he begins his feverish carving. Meanwhile, Leonardo's life is falling apart: he loses the hoped-for David commission; he can't seem to finish any project; he is obsessed with his ungainly flying machine; he almost dies in war; his engineering designs disastrously fail; and he is haunted by a woman he has seen in the market; a merchant's wife, whom he is finally commissioned to paint. Her name is Lisa, and she becomes his muse. Leonardo despises Michelangelo for his youth and lack of sophistication. Michelangelo both loathes and worships Leonardo's genius. Oil and Marble is the story of their nearly forgotten rivalry. Storey brings early 16th-century Florence alive, and has entered with extraordinary empathy into the minds and souls of two Renaissance masters. The book is an art history thriller.

America's first daughter : a novel

March 2, 2016
Dray, Stephanie.
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
587, 16 pages ; 21 cm
"P.S. Insights, interviews & more..."--Cover.

Gone with the mind : a novel

March 2, 2016
Leyner, Mark.
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
250 pages ; 22 cm

The weeping woman : a novel

March 1, 2016
Valdés, Zoé, 1959-
New York : Arcade Publishing, 2016.
302 pages ; 24 cm
Originally published as La mujer que llora (Barcelona : Planeta, 2013).
"A Cuban exile living in Paris with her husband and young daughter-is preparing a novel on the life of Dora Maar, one of the most promising artists in the Surrealist movement until she met Pablo Picasso. The middle-aged Picasso was already the god of the art world's avant-garde. Dora became his lover, muse, and ultimately, his victim. She became The Weeping Woman captured in his famous portrait, the mistress he betrayed with other mistress-muses, and their affair ended with her commitment to an asylum at the hands of Picasso's friends. The writer's research centers on a mysterious trip to Venice that Dora took fifteen years later."--Provided by publisher.

Hanging Mary : a novel

February 25, 2016
Higginbotham, Susan.
Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Landmark, [2016]
387 pages : maps ; 21 cm
"A widow who runs a small boardinghouse on H Street, Mary Surratt isn't half as committed to the cause [of the Civil War] as her son, Johnny. If he's not delivering messages or escorting veiled spies, he's [inviting] home men like John Wilkes Booth, the actor who is even more charming in person than he is on the stage. But when President Lincoln is killed, the question of what Mary knew becomes more important than anything else. Was she a cold-blooded accomplice? Just how far would she go to help her son?"--Amazon.com.

Seeing red

February 23, 2016
Meruane, Lina, 1970-
[Dallas, TX] : Deep Vellum, 2016.
157 p. ; 21 cm.
"Originally published in Spanish as Sangre en el ojo."--T.p. verso.
"Seeing Red describes a young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work who suffers a stroke which leaves her blind. It charts her journey through hospitals and an increased dependency on those closest to her to cope. Fiction and autobiography intertwine in an intense, visceral, and caustic novel about the relation between the body, science, and human relationships."--Publisher's website.

The system of Dante's Hell : a novel

February 19, 2016
Baraka, Amiri, 1934-2014, author.
Brooklyn : Akashic Books, [2016]
159 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm.
"Originally published in 1966 by Grove Press/Evergreen Black Cat"--Title page verso.
"A remarkable narrative of childhood and youth's spiraling out of Dante's Inferno."-- Provided by publisher.

A soldier surrenders : the conversion of Saint Camillus

February 17, 2016
Peek, Susan, author.
[Place of publication not identified] : Seven Swords Publications, [2015]
226 pages ; 22 cm
"God's forgotten friends: lives of little-known saints."--Page [4] of cover.
"At last . . . a saint for strugglers! Soldiering, gambling, brawling, drinking. As a young man, Saint Camillus excelled at them all. Add to that his fiery temper and innate knack for getting in trouble, and Camillus de Lellis seems the last person who could ever achieve holiness! But God had plans for the stubborn young soldier, whether Camillus liked it or not . . . "This novel for adult and young adult readers will introduce them to a great saint - a physical giant who had to contend with many personal struggles, much weakness, and repeated failures before he could become a moral giant. The story of Camillus de Lellis' conversion will leave no reader unmoved, and those that feel hopeless about themselves will find new hope, a hero, and a friend in Christ."--Page [4] of cover.

Max Baer & the star of David

February 15, 2016
Neugeboren, Jay, author.
©2016
xiii, 192 ; 23 cm

The Vatican princess : a novel of Lucrezia Borgia

February 12, 2016
Gortner, C. W., author.
New York : Ballantine Books, [2016]
382 pages : map ; 25 cm
"Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias became Italy's most ruthless and powerful family, electrifying and terrorizing their 15th-century Renaissance world. To this day, Lucrezia Borgia is known as one of history's most notorious villainesses, accused of incest and luring men to doom with her arsenal of poison. International bestselling author C.W. Gortner's new novel delves beyond the myth to depict Lucrezia in her own voice, from her pampered childhood in the palaces of Rome to her ill-fated, scandalous arranged marriages and complex relationship with her adored father and her rival brothers--brutal Juan and enigmatic Cesare. This is the dramatic, untold story of a papal princess who came of age in an era of savage intrigue and unparalleled splendor, and whose courage led her to overcome the fate imposed on her by her Borgia blood"-- Provided by publisher.

The arrangement

February 11, 2016
Warlick, Ashley, author.
©2016
308 pages ; 22 cm
"An irresistible novel about food, desire, and the real-life love triangle between M.F.K Fisher, her husband, and the man she left him for--the true love of her life Los Angeles, 1934. Mary Frances is on the cusp of becoming M.F.K. Fisher--the writer whose artful personal essays about food created a genre. She is hungry, and not just for food: she wants Tim, her husband Al's charming friend, who encourages her writing and seems to understand her better than anyone. Mary Frances and Al no longer share the things that once bound them together--a good glass of wine, a fine meal, their creative energy, and even their affection and intimacy. After a night's transgression with Tim, it's only a matter of time before Mary Frances claims what she truly desires, plunging all three of them into a tangled triangle of affection that will have far-reaching effects on their families, their careers, and their lives. Set in California, France, and the Swiss Alps, The Arrangement is a sparkling, sensual, and completely enveloping story of love, passion, and a woman well ahead of her time, who had the courage to be--and to take--exactly who she wanted"-- Provided by publisher.

Georgia : a novel of Georgia O'Keefe

February 10, 2016
Tripp, Dawn Clifton.
New York : Random House, [2016]
xiii, 318 pages ; 24 cm
In 1916, Georgia O'Keeffe is a young, unknown art teacher when she travels to New York to meet Stieglitz, the famed photographer and art dealer, who has discovered O'Keeffe's work and exhibits it in his gallery. Their connection is instantaneous. O'Keeffe is quickly drawn into Stieglitz's sophisticated world, becoming his mistress, protégé, and muse, as their attraction deepens into an intense and tempestuous relationship and his photographs of her, both clothed and nude, create a sensation. Yet as her own creative force develops, Georgia begins to push back against what critics and others are saying about her and her art. And soon she must make difficult choices to live a life she believes in.

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