Our latest edition of Free & Cheap reads includes a novel by our own Editorial Director, Julia Park Tracey. Catch up on the novels that inspired the hit FOX series Wayward Pines before season 2 starts later this month, read a memoir from The Tonight Show’s Quest Love and download a classic novel.
— Jonah Raskin, book critic, San Francisco Chronicle, author
The Last Town (The Wayward Pines Trilogy, Book 3) $1.99
“The international runaway bestsellers that inspired the most watched summer show of 2015. From executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, Wayward Pines returns May 25th, 2016 and airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on FOX.Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.” – Amazon
“Nineteen-year-old Harold Chasen is obsessed with death. He fakes suicides to shock his self-obsessed mother, drives a customized Jaguar hearse, and attends funerals of complete strangers. Seventy-nine-year-old Maude Chardin, on the other hand, adores life. She liberates trees from city sidewalks and transplants them to the forest, paints smiles on the faces of church statues, and “borrows” cars to remind their owners that life is fleeting—here today, gone tomorrow! A chance meeting between the two turns into a madcap, whirlwind romance, and Harold learns that life is worth living. Harold and Maude started as Colin Higgins’ master’s thesis at UCLA Film School, and the script was purchased by Paramount. The film, directed by Hal Ashby, was released in 1971 and it bombed. But soon this quirky, dark comedy began being shown on college campuses and at midnight-movie theaters, and it gained a loyal cult following. This novelization was written by Higgins and published shortly after the film’s release but has been out of print for more than 30 years. Even fans who have seen the movie dozens of times will find this companion valuable, as it gives fresh elements to watch for and answers many of the film’s unresolved questions.” – Amazon
“Mo’ Meta Blues is a punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone’s Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal moments in black art, hip hop, and pop culture.
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is many things: virtuoso drummer, producer, arranger, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon bandleader, DJ, composer, and tireless Tweeter. He is one of our most ubiquitous cultural tastemakers, and in this, his first book, he reveals his own formative experiences–from growing up in 1970s West Philly as the son of a 1950s doo-wop singer, to finding his own way through the music world and ultimately co-founding and rising up with the Roots, a.k.a., the last hip hop band on Earth. Mo’ Meta Blues also has some (many) random (or not) musings about the state of hip hop, the state of music criticism, the state of statements, as well as a plethora of run-ins with celebrities, idols, and fellow artists, from Stevie Wonder to KISS to D’Angelo to Jay-Z to Dave Chappelle to…you ever seen Prince roller-skate?!?
But Mo’ Meta Blues isn’t just a memoir. It’s a dialogue about the nature of memory and the idea of a post-modern black man saddled with some post-modern blues. It’s a book that questions what a book like Mo’ Meta Blues really is. It’s the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind.
It’s a rare gift that gives as well as takes.
It’s a record that keeps going around and around.” – Amazon
“It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with Raffe, an injured enemy angel. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco, where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.” – Amazon
“In Ee’s gritty debut, which stars a heroine with backbone, angels of the apocalypse seek revenge against humans for killing the Archangel Gabriel, and street gangs have taken over Silicon Valley. Seventeen-year-old Penryn lives with (and cares for) her wheelchair-bound sister, Paige, and their paranoid schizophrenic mother. While attempting to escape their apartment to find safety, Paige is kidnapped by an angel. At the moment of the abduction, Penryn meets Raffe, an angel whose wings have been cut off by the angels who take Paige. Hoping Raffe might know where Paige is, Penryn reluctantly nurses him back to health, and the two join forces, traveling to the angels’ “aerie” in San Francisco to recover Paige and repair Raffe’s wings; along the way, they are captured by a dangerously anarchic army of the human resistance. Smartly conceived details (for example, there’s a bounty on angel body parts, turning them into a commodity) feel fresh in this apocalyptic romance that’s sustained by well-developed characters, atmosphere, and strong writing. Ee leaves plenty to discover in a planned sequel. ” – Publisher’s Weekly
“For more than 30 years, most New York theater seasons have included a work by playwright and director John Patrick Shanley. He began writing off-Broadway shows after a hitch with the Marine Corps and went on to win the 2005 Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for “Doubt,” which explored the emerging issue of priests’ sexual abuse of children. The screenwriting Oscar he’d won for “Moonstruck” had persuaded his father that a career with the city sanitation department was not in his future. In this extensive interview with journalist Paula Span, Shanley discussed his brawling Bronx childhood, his reunion with the nun who taught his first grade class, the glories of Ireland, a recent call from Tom Hanks and his openly autobiographical new play “Prodigal Son.” Plus poetry, prayer, Twitter and that time he snubbed the Supreme Court.
Paula Span, a veteran journalist, writes the New Old Age column, about aging and caregiving, for the New York Times and teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The author of “When the Time Comes: Families With Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions,” she is a chronic theatergoer.” – Amazon
“Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org—the church’s highest ministry, speaks of her “disconnection” from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.
In this tell-all memoir, complete with family photographs from her time in the Church, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider’s profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood’s brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.” – Amazon
“A laugh-out-loud, adults-only bedtime story for parents familiar with the age-old struggle of putting their kids to bed
“Hell no, you can’t go to the bathroom. You know where you can go? The f**k to sleep.”
Go the Fuck to Sleep is a book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, it captures the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night.
Read by a host of celebrities, from Samuel L. Jackson to Jennifer Garner, this subversively funny bestselling storybook will not actually put your kids to sleep, but it will leave you laughing so hard you won’t care.” – Amazon
“In this historic romance, young Elizabeth Bennet strives for love, independence and honesty in the vapid high society of 19th century England.” – Amazon
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.” – Goodreads
“Murdered artists. Masterful forgeries. Art crime at its worst.
As an insurance investigator and world renowned expert in nonverbal communication, Dr Genevieve Lenard faces the daily challenge of living a successful, independent life. Particularly because she has to deal with her high functioning Autism. Nothing – not her studies, her high IQ or her astounding analytical skills – prepared her for the changes about to take place in her life.
It started as a favour to help her boss’ acerbic friend look into the murder of a young artist, but soon it proves to be far more complex. Forced out of her predictable routines, safe environment and limited social interaction, Genevieve is thrown into exploring the meaning of friendship, expanding her social definitions, and for the first time in her life be part of a team in a race to stop more artists from being murdered.” – Amazon
“There are gods among us…
Six young gods are hiding in plain sight among mortals, living secretly in cities across the world. From lavish penthouse soirees to pulsing underground clubs, for them, the party literally never ends. Until now.
On a hot June morning, the body of a beautiful girl is found floating in the rooftop pool of the Jefferson Hotel, her white-ink tattoos revealing the story of a life much longer than seems possible. Only the immortals know the truth: Nadia was the goddess of hope. Now she’s gone, and the world as they know it is ending. The Hudson River has turned blood red. Storms rage overhead. Mania is rapidly spreading across the globe.
It is up to the remaining gods—Lola, Dean, Weston, Mark, Nike and Peitha—to put aside centuries of betrayal and heartbreak, and stop the mysterious source of darkness that is taking over… before the sun sets forever.
Carina Adly MacKenzie, writer for The CW’s hit series “The Originals,” has penned a steamy, romantic, and ultimately redemptive story of forgotten gods, the persistence of hope, and the power of love to save us.” – Amazon