Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
Critically acclaimed cult novelist Matt Ruff makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.Chicago, 1954. When his father, Montrose, goes missing, twenty-two-year-old army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his uncle George-publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide-and his childhood friend, Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite-heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’ ancestors-they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn-led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb-which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his clan’s destruction.A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism-the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with as well as way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn’t help that she has Asperger’s and that French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. She decides that she needs lots of practice—with a professional—which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese-Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and he agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position… Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses but also to crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense.