By: Em Perper

In this week’s Sneak Peek, you’ll travel to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a tiny village in Italy and the warring states of the Union and Confederacy. Look for these books on our shelves on Tuesday, April 25.

Jeff VanderMeer, storyteller extraordinaire and author of the New York Times bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy, is back. Borne, his new novel, promises to be just as wild and weird: Rachel, a scavenger, roams a post-apocalyptic cityscape and discovers a creature named Borne embedded in the fur of an insane giant bear named Mord. (At this point, you’re either hooked or backing away slowly, but I encourage you to persevere.) Rachel takes in Borne and convinces her partner, a drug dealer named Wick, to leave him intact. But everyone in this story—Rachel, Wick, the Company, and especially Borne—harbors a secret that could change the course of the history. Borne is a feat of fantasy world-building and “an investigation into the malevolent grace of the world,” sayeth Pulitzer-winning author Colson Whitehead.

Skimming the blurbs for Guesswork: A Reckoning with Loss , there’s praise from film critic Phillip Lopate; Rob Spillman, the founder of the literary magazine Tin House; essayist and literary critic Sven Birkerts; and Roxana Robinson, novelist and president of the Authors Guild. It’s a testament to author Martha Cooley’s wide-ranging appeal. Best known for her novel The Archivist, Cooley’s newest work is a memoir set in a small medieval village in rural Italy. Cooley delves into her own mortality, her friends’ recent deaths, and her preemptive grief for her ailing mother home in the States. Guesswork is about beauty, love, death and creativity in the liminal state that is life.

Lincoln’s Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac is 896 pages long and 2.85 pounds. Yup, you read that right. It’s a mammoth, multilayered biography of the seven generals who led this Union army powerhouse between 1871 and 1874. Author Stephen W. Sears is well-versed in Civil War history; the New York Times Book Review said Sears is “arguably the preeminent living historian of the war’s eastern theater.” Kirkus gave Lincoln’s Lieutenants a starred review, calling it a “massive, elegant study…a staggering work of research by a masterly historian.”

Other new releases:

    • Burntown by Jennifer McMahon (thriller)
    • Beartown by Fredrik Backman (fiction)
    • The Rarest Bird in the World: The Search for the Nechisar Nightjar by R.L. Vernon Head (nature)
    • The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo (fiction)
    • At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces by Mary Collins and Donald Collins (memoir)
    • The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova (thriller)