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Sweatpants & Books | Coming Soon, New Releases for May 2016

Browsing book stores is one of my favorite things to do. I love discovering new novels and falling in love with new authors. So here are a few new releases I’m excited about this month.

Return to the Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel, by Melissa de la Cruz

Available: May 24, 2016

Fans of  the Disney Channel movie The Descendants shouldn’t miss this tie-in series. The first book in the series, The Isle of Lost, was a prequel to the movie and Return to the Isle of the Lost is the movie’s sequel. Yes, it’s technically for ages 9-12, but as an adult Disney fan, I love following the teenage angst lives of my favorite Disney villain’s children.

“Mal’s an expert at intimidating her enemies, but she’s broken the habit since leaving her villainous roots behind. So when she and her friends Evie, Carlos, and Jay all receive threatening messages demanding they return home, Mal can’t believe it. Sure, she’s King Ben’s girlfriend now, and she’s usually nice to her classmates, but she still didn’t think anyone would be silly enough to try to push her around.

The thing is, it kind of worked. Especially since she and her friends have a sneaking suspicion that their villainous parents are behind the messages. And when Evie looks into her Magic Mirror, what she sees only confirms their fears. Maleficent’s just a tiny lizard after her run-in with Mal at Ben’s Coronation, but she’s the worst villain in the land for a reason. Could she have found a way to escape? Whatever’s going on, Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay know they have to sneak back to the Isle and get to the bottom of it.

Without its infamous leader, the island’s even worse than when they left it, but the comforts of home–even a home as gloomy as the Isle of the Lost–can be hard to resist for recently reformed villains. Will the kids be able to beat the evil bubbling at the Isle’s wicked core, or will the plot to destroy Auradon succeed?” — Amazon

The Last Star: The Final Book of The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey

Available: May 24, 2016

The 5th Wave movie trailer is what made me pick up this trilogy. I devoured the first two books and have been anxiously awaiting this final novel, and not just so I can see the movie! If you enjoy The Hunger Games or Maze Runner, give The 5th Wave a try.

“The highly-anticipated finale to the New York Times bestselling 5th Wave series.

The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves . . . or saving what makes us human.” — Amazon

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War: The Art of the Movie, by Marvel Comics

Available: May 24, 2016

I don’t think I need to say much to introduce this beauty. I love seeing behind-the-scenes of these blockbusters.

“Picking up where the blockbuster hit Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War sees Steve Rogers leading the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability: A governing body will now determine when to enlist the team’s services. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, leaving the world exposed to a nefarious plot from a new, shadowy player. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. return as Captain America and Iron Man, two heroes with the same goal–to protect the world–but with very different methods. Get the inside details in this new collectible volume! Filled with exclusive concept art, production stills, and commentary from cast and crew, including returning directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and producer Kevin Feige, this collection is a prize for any fan. Go behind the scenes as Marvel Studios once again revolutionizes the silver-screen Super Hero!” — Amazon

It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool, Too), by Nora McInerny Purmort

Available: May 24, 2016

I first discovered Nora after Cosmopolitan reported about her experience with a man telling her to smile and started following her on social media. Losing my mom this year has been hard for me and I hope this memoir is cathartic as it seems.

“Twenty-seven-year-old Nora McInerny Purmort bounced from boyfriend to dopey “boyfriend” until she met Aaron—a charismatic art director and comic-book nerd who once made Nora laugh so hard she pulled a muscle. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed and had a baby boy while he was on chemo. In the period that followed, Nora and Aaron packed 50 years of marriage into the three they got, spending their time on what really matters: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each other, and Beyoncé. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora’s arms. The obituary they wrote during Aaron’s hospice care revealing his true identity as Spider-Man touched the nation. With It’s Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience. What does it actually mean to live your “one wild and precious life” to the fullest? How can a joyful marriage contain more sickness than health? How do you keep going when life kicks you in the junk? In this deeply felt and deeply funny memoir, Nora gives her readers a true gift—permission to struggle, permission to laugh, permission to tell the truth and know that everything will be okay. It’s Okay to Laugh is a love letter to life, in all its messy glory; it reads like a conversation with a close friend, and leaves a trail of glitter in its wake.

This book is for people who have been through some shit.

This is for people who aren’t sure if they’re saying or doing the right thing (you’re not, but nobody is). This is for people who had their life turned upside down and just learned to live that way. For people who have laughed at a funeral or cried in a grocery store. This is for everyone who wondered what exactly they’re supposed to be doing with their one wild and precious life. I don’t actually have the answer, but if you find out, will you text me?” — Amazon

The Progeny: A Novel (Descendants of the House of Bathory), by Tosca Lee

The description caught my eye with Dan Brown and sold me on giving it a try with Orphan Black.

Available: May 24, 2016

New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding the most notorious female serial killer of all time. A fast-paced thriller for fans of Lee’s Books of Mortals series with Ted Dekker, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and BBC America’s hit series Orphan Black.

Emily Porter is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self amidst centuries-old intrigues and Europe’s underground scene…and one woman’s mission to survive.” — Amazon

Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub

Available: May 31, 2016

I fell in love with Emma Straub’s The Vacationers last summer and have been waiting to bring her new novel on my next beach vacation. Her novels are full of quick wit and are perfect to get lost in while enjoy some sun.

“Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.

Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing age 50, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed.

Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away; they just evolve and grow along with us.” — Amazon

The Island House: A Novel, by Nancy Thayer

Available: May 31, 2016

This will be my first Nancy Thayer novel and I’m looking forward to it. A friend at my favorite book store recommended Thayer’s books to me, knowing that I’m a huge fan of Jennifer Weiner and Elin Hilderbrand.

New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer invokes the shimmering seascape of Nantucket in a delightful novel that resonates with the heartache and hope of growing up, growing wise, and the bittersweet choices we must be brave enough to make.

Courtney Hendricks will never forget the magical summers she spent on Nantucket with her college roommate, Robin Vickerey, and Robin’s charismatic, turbulent, larger-than-life family, in their gorgeous island house. Now a college English professor in Kansas City, Courtney is determined to experience one more summer in this sun-swept paradise. Her reason for going is personal: Courtney needs to know whether Robin’s brother James shares the feelings she’s secretly had for him.

Time with the Vickerey family always involves love and laughter, and this season is no different. Vivacious matriarch Susanna Vickerey is celebrating her 60th birthday, but beneath the merriment, trouble is brewing. The family patriarch, Dr. Alastair Vickerey, is quiet and detached, while unspoken tension looms over oldest son Henry, a respected young surgeon. Warm and witty Robin, the most grounded of the siblings, is keeping a secret from her parents. Iris, the colorful baby of the brood, remains rudderless and in need of guidance. And the sexy, stunningly handsome, untouchable James—to Courtney’s dismay—may be in love with a beautiful and vibrant local artist. As the summer unfolds, a crisis escalates, surprising truths are revealed, and Courtney will at last find out where her heart and her future lie.

Weaving the trials and uncertainty of real life into a tapestry of passion, hope, and courage, The Island House is a beautifully told story about the ties that bind us—and how the blessings of love and family heal us in ways we never dream possible.” — Amazon

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction, by Neil Gaiman

Available: May 31, 2016

I’d read Neil Gaiman’s grocery list, so to say I’m excited for this an understatement.

“An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style.

An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than 60 pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.” — Amazon

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel (Outlander), by Diana Gabaldon

Available: May 31, 2016

I recently started watching the series and haven’t began the books yet, so–shh, no spoilers!

“In her now classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon told the story of Claire Randall, an English ex-combat nurse who walks through a stone circle in the Scottish Highlands in 1946, and disappears into 1743. The story unfolded from there in seven bestselling novels, and CNN has called it ‘a grand adventure written on a canvas that probes the heart, weighs the soul and measures the human spirit across [centuries].’ Now the story continues in Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is  searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family’s secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy, never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself.

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is the brilliant next chapter in a masterpiece of the imagination unlike any other.” — Amazon

Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley

Fargo is a fantastic show; I’m looking forward to reading Hawley’s new novel.

Available: May 31, 2016

“From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics’ Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year.

On a foggy summer night, 11 people– 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: The plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs (the painter), and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.” — Amazon

 

 

 

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About Shandle Blaha (151 Articles)
Shandle is the Operations Director for Sweatpants & Coffee. She works from home so she wears yoga pants every day and loves some coffee in her cream and sugar. A rerun of Friends is always on her TV and her stack of books to read is always growing. She and her husband love to travel and you can follow her travels on Instagram at: shandle_spc.

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