By: Em Perper

Each remaining Tuesday in 2017 heralds fewer and fewer new releases, but Sneak Peek isn’t going to go quietly. On Tuesday, November 14, we welcome speculative fiction from Louise Erdrich; Middle East-based travel writing by journalist Adam Valen Levinson; and a thrilling sci-fi adventure from Andy Weir, author of The Martian.

In her book You Learn by Living, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” That’s just what young travel writer Adam Valen Levinson set out to do when he went to the Middle East. He goes to Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Oman, and Egypt. He is somewhat wary but ready to get out of his comfort zone and understand the countries vilified in the American consciousness post-9/11. He succeeds in connecting with the people he meets, whether he’s celebrating in Tahrir Square or exploring secret caves. The resulting book is The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah: Fear and Love in the Modern Middle East. Kirkus described Valen Levinson’s writing as “an endearing mixture of ironic self-awareness, incisve sociological analysis, and simple humor.” Levity is balanced with knowledge and insight; Valen Levinson is currently a fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. (W.W. Norton, $25.95)

Andy Weir, author of sci-fi smash The Martian, is back with the astonishing Artemis. Jazz Bashara is just a small town girl, living on a lonely…moon. Specifically, Jazz lives in Artemis, the only city on Earth’s moon. Jazz isn’t really Artemis’ target demographic, however; she isn’t rich. Instead, she works as a porter and hustles smuggled goods on the side. When offered the chance to pull off the perfect heist, Jazz can’t refuse. This could be her opportunity to get out of Artemis and start a new life. To make her escape, she’ll have to outwit Artemis’ ever-watchful heavyweights, and that’ll be anything but easy. Like its predecessor, Artemis has been optioned for film. Its clever protagonist and complex plot will attract new Weir readers and satisfy Martian fans, too. (Crown Publishing Group/PRH, $27)

Cedar Hawk Songmaker has a problem: she’s four months pregnant, and she can’t bring herself to tell her well-meaning adoptive parents. Even worse, the United States’ new government has passed a law that restricts the rights of pregnant people and their unborn children. Rumors of babies born with bizarre, regressive abnormalities seem to herald the end of the world; nature is in revolt. Looking for safety and answers to questions that have plagued her for her entire life, Cedar returns to the Ojibwa reservation where she was born and vows to protect herself and her fetus. “Framed as a letter to Cedar’s unborn child” (Kirkus), this work of speculative fiction puts the rights of women at its forefront. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich will enthrall fans of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, or the upcoming Red Clocks by Leni Zumas. (Harper/HarperCollins, $28.99)

 

Fiction:

  • The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Last Man in Europe by Dennis Glover
  • The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy
  • Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales by P.D. James
  • Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener
  • Echoes of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon ed. Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger
  • Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • The Darkest Child by Dolores Phillips
  • Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer
  • The Nine (Thieves of Fate #1) by Tracy Townsend
  • The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen

Non-Fiction:

  • Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World by James Ball
  • Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden
  • Chronicles of a Liquid Society by Umberto Eco
  • Growing Up Fisher: Musings, Memories, and Misadventures by Joely Fisher
  • What’s Yours is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee
  • The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush by Mark K. Updegrove