Who will be the newest Aardvark Author?
A few of my picks this month are going to look familiar. That’s because I’m noticing that Aardvark is gravitating toward selections that are newly released as opposed to books that are about to be released. I’ve seen this pattern the last few months, but a spoiler for one of Aardvark’s April picks made me pull the trigger. Which book is confirmed for April? Read on and find out!
Here are my top 8 guesses (including one confirmed pick!) about what could be coming to multi-colored box near you:
The Society of Shame by Jane Roper
|Publication Date:||April 4, 2023|
From the Publisher: "Kathleen Held’s life is turned upside down when she arrives home to find her house on fire and her husband on the front lawn in his underwear. But the scandal that emerges is not that Bill, who's running for Senate, is having a painfully clichéd affair with one of his young staffers: it's that the eyewitness photographing the scene accidentally captures a period stain on the back of Kathleen’s pants.
Overnight, Kathleen finds herself the unwitting figurehead for a social media–centered women’s right movement, #YesWeBleed. Humiliated, Kathleen desperately seeks a way to hide from the spotlight. But when she stumbles upon the Society of Shame—led by the infamous author Danica Bellevue—Kathleen finds herself part of a group of women all working to change their lives after their own scandals. Using the teachings of the society, Kathleen channels her newfound fame as a means to reap the benefits of her humiliation and reclaim herself. But as she ascends to celebrity status, Kathleen’s growing obsession with maintaining her popularity online threatens her most important relationship IRL: that with her budding activist daughter, Aggie.
Hilarious and heartfelt, The Society of Shame is a pitch-perfect romp through politics and the perils of being “extremely online”—without losing your sanity or your true self.”
White Cat, Black Dog: Stories by Kelly Link
|Genre:||Short Stories/Fairy Tales|
|Publication Date:||March 28, 2023|
From the publisher: "Seven ingeniously reinvented fairy tales that play out with astonishing consequences in the modern world, from one of today's finest short story writers--MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellow Kelly Link, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble
Finding seeds of inspiration in the Brothers Grimm, seventeenth-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, Kelly Link spins classic fairy tales into utterly original stories of seekers–characters on the hunt for love, connection, revenge, or their own sense of purpose.
In “The White Cat’s Divorce,” an aging billionaire sends his three sons on a series of absurd goose chases to decide which will become his heir. In “The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear,” a professor with a delicate health condition becomes stranded for days in an airport hotel after a conference, desperate to get home to her wife and young daughter, and in acute danger of being late for an appointment that cannot be missed. In “Skinder’s Veil,” a young man agrees to take over a remote house-sitting gig for a friend. But what should be a chance to focus on his long-avoided dissertation instead becomes a wildly unexpected journey, as the house seems to be a portal for otherworldly travelers–or perhaps a door into his own mysterious psyche.
Twisting and winding in astonishing ways, expertly blending realism and the speculative, witty, empathetic, and never predictable–these stories remind us once again of why Kelly Link is incomparable in the art of short fiction.”
The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley
|Publication Date:||March 28, 2023|
From the publisher: "Twenty-one-year-old Tanner Quimby needs a place to live. Preferably one where she can continue sitting around in sweatpants and playing video games nineteen hours a day. Since she has no credit or money to speak of, her options are limited, so when an opportunity to work as a live-in caregiver for an elderly woman falls into her lap, she takes it.
One slip on the rug. That’s all it took for Louise Wilt’s daughter to demand that Louise have a full-time nanny living with her. Never mind that she can still walk fine, finish her daily crossword puzzle, and pour the two fingers of vodka she drinks every afternoon. Bottom line — Louise wants a caretaker even less than Tanner wants to be one.
The two start off their living arrangement happily ignoring each other until Tanner starts to notice things—weird things. Like, why does Louise keep her garden shed locked up tighter than a prison? And why is the local news fixated on the suspect of one of the biggest jewelry heists in American history who looks eerily like Louise? And why does Louise suddenly appear in her room, with a packed bag at 1 a.m. insisting that they leave town immediately?
Thus begins the story of a not-to-be-underestimated elderly woman and an aimless young woman who—if they can outrun the mistakes of their past—might just have the greatest adventure of their lives.”
American Mermaid by Julia Langbein
|Publication Date:||March 21, 2023|
From the publisher: "A brilliantly funny and razor-tongued debut which follows a writer lured to Los Angeles to adapt her feminist mermaid novel into a big-budget action film, who believes her heroine has come to life to take revenge for Hollywood's violations
Penelope Schleeman, a consistently broke Connecticut high school teacher, is as surprised as anyone when her sensitive debut novel, “American Mermaid”—the story of a wheelchair-bound scientist named Sylvia who discovers that her withered legs are the vestiges of a powerful tail—becomes a bestseller. Penelope soon finds herself lured to LA by promises of easy money to co-write the “American Mermaid” screenplay for a major studio with a pair of male hacks.
As the studio pressures Penelope to change “American Mermaid” from the story of a fierce, androgynous eco-warrior to a teen sex object in a clam bra, strange things start to happen. Threats appear in the screenplay draft; siren calls lure people into danger. When Penelope’s screenwriting partners try to kill Sylvia off entirely in a bitterly false but cinematic end, matters off the page escalate. Is Penelope losing her mind, or is Sylvia among us?
American Mermaid follows a young woman braving a world of casual smiles and ruthless calculation, where she discovers a beating heart in her own fiction–a creature she’ll do anything to protect. By turns both a comic and fabulously insightful tale of two female characters in search of truth, love, and self-acceptance as they move between worlds without giving up their voices.”
The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon
|Publication Date:||March 21, 2023|
From the publisher: "One small town, one big prize, one handsome stranger...
Nothing ever changes in Redford, Georgia. That’s what freelance editor Jess Reid loves about her hometown–and part of what keeps her from leaving. Content taking care of her father, a car mechanic who singlehandedly raised her after her mom skipped out, Jess is resigned to a safe, unremarkable existence…until Jasper Wilhelm, the town’s eccentric benefactor, dies suddenly and leaves behind the opportunity of a lifetime.
Financial advisor Carter Barclay has been too busy to visit his grandfather in Redford, but he’s heard countless stories about the town and its zany residents from Jasper. A small, insular town in Georgia is the last place Carter expects to be spending his summer–but it seems his grandfather had one final trick up his sleeve.
At the funeral, it’s revealed that Jasper has devised a massive, high-stakes game for the people of Redford, with the winning duo taking home his entire fortune. The catch? He’s already taken the liberty of pairing them up. As tensions of all kinds rise between Jess and Carter, and the life-changing prize looms closer, the two must decide what they’re willing to risk to change their lives. A love story full of spirit and hijinks, The Only Game in Town is a funny, quirky homage to the people we get to call home.”
A Likely Story by Leigh Abrasion
DEBUT AUTHOR/ CONFIRMED PICK
|Publication Date:||March 14, 2023|
From the publisher: "The only child of an iconic American novelist discovers a shocking tangle of family secrets that upends everything she thought she knew about her parents, her gilded childhood, and her own stalled writing career.
Growing up in the nineties in New York City as the only child of famous parents was both a blessing and a curse for Isabelle Manning. Her beautiful society hostess mother, Claire, and New York Times bestselling author father, Ward, were the city’s intellectual It couple. Ward’s glamorous obligations often took him away from Isabelle, but Claire made sure her childhood was always filled with magic and love.
Now an adult, all Isabelle wants is to be a successful writer like her father but after many false starts and the unexpected death of her mother, she faces her upcoming thirty-fifth birthday alone and on the verge of a breakdown. Her anxiety only skyrockets when she uncovers some shocking truths about her parents and begins wondering if everything she knew about her family was all based on an elaborate lie.
Wry, wise, and propulsive, A Likely Story is punctuated with fragments of a compulsively readable book-within-a-book about a woman determined to steal back the spotlight from a man who has cheated his way to the top. The characters seem eerily familiar but is the plot based on fact? And more importantly, who is the author?”
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune
|Publication Date:||April 25, 2023|
From the publisher: "In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots--fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They're a family, hidden and safe.
In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots–fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe.
The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio-a past spent hunting humans.
When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.
Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?
Author TJ Klune invites you deep into the heart of a peculiar forest and on the extraordinary journey of a family assembled from spare parts.”
Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club by J. Ryan Stradal
|Publication Date:||April 18, 2023|
From the publisher: "From the New York Times bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal, a story of a couple from two very different restaurant families in rustic Minnesota, and the legacy of love and tragedy, of hardship and hope, that unites and divides them.
Mariel Prager needs a break. Her husband Ned is having an identity crisis, her spunky, beloved restaurant is bleeding money by the day, and her mother Florence is stubbornly refusing to leave the church where she’s been holed up for more than a week. The Lakeside Supper Club has been in her family for decades, and while Mariel’s grandmother embraced the business, seeing it as a saving grace, Florence never took to it. When Mariel inherited the restaurant, skipping Florence, it created a rift between mother and daughter that never quite healed.
Ned is also an heir—to a chain of home-style diners—and while he doesn’t have a head for business, he knows his family’s chain could provide a better future than his wife’s fading restaurant. In the aftermath of a devastating tragedy, Ned and Mariel lose almost everything they hold dear, and the hard-won victories of each family hang in the balance. With their dreams dashed, can one fractured family find a way to rebuild despite their losses, and will the Lakeside Supper Club be their salvation?
In this colorful, vanishing world of relish trays and brandy Old Fashioneds, J. Ryan Stradal has once again given us a story full of his signature honest, lovable yet fallible Midwestern characters as they grapple with love, loss, and marriage; what we hold onto and what we leave behind; and what our legacy will be when we are gone.”
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Great list! I am always looking for new reads. Thank you
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