Midwest Connections July and August Picks

From the Midwest Booksellers Association, Midwest Connections Picks for July and August. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal.

South Pole Station: A Novel by Ashley Shelby (Picador, $26, 9781250112828). "A winning comedy of errors set in the world's harshest place, Ashley Shelby's South Pole Station is a wry and witty debut novel about the courage it takes to come together, even as everything around you falls apart. For readers of dysfunctional family dramas such as Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest (but in Antarctica, with beards)."

Tough Luck: Poems by Todd Boss (Norton, $26.95, 9780393608625). "At the center of Tough Luck is a poem about the ill-fated I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis and its disastrous collapse, which killed 13 people and injured 145. The freighted, swiftly moving poems in Tough Luck crisscross the chasm between peril and safety as if between opposing riverbanks, revealing a frequently heart-stopping view of the muscled waters below."

Dear Cyborgs: A Novel by Eugene Lim (FSG Originals, $14, 9780374537111). "In a small Midwestern town, two Asian American boys bond over their outcast status and a mutual love of comic books. Meanwhile, in an alternative or perhaps future universe, a team of superheroes ponders modern society during their time off. Between black-ops missions and rescuing hostages, they swap stories of artistic malaise and muse on the seemingly inescapable grip of market economics."

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne (Putnam, $26, 9780735213005). "Riveting, haunting, and set against the stunning landscape of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, The Marsh King's Daughter is a transcendent novel of psychological suspense, the story of a woman who must risk everything she has and use every skill she possesses to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and now threatens to steal her future: her father."

Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781501102233). "This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory stills--but it's not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up."

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui (Capstone, $15.95, 9781623708030). "A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event--a long-ago fishing trip. As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam."

The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays by Megan Stielstra (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062429209). "In this poignant and inciting collection of literary essays, Megan Stielstra tells stories to ward off fears both personal and universal as she grapples toward a better way to live. In her titular piece 'The Wrong Way To Save Your Life,' she answers the question of what has value in our lives--a question no longer rhetorical when the apartment above her family's goes up in flames. 'Here is My Heart' sheds light on Megan's close relationship with her father, whose continued insistence on climbing mountains despite a series of heart attacks leads the author to dissect deer hearts in a poetic attempt to interrogate her own feelings about mortality."

Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck (Kensington, $15, 9781496706522). "In this moving, witty novel, author Maureen Leurck explores the intricacies and joys of renovation and rediscovery--as one woman's improvement project promises to transform much more than a home."

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