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Enter the Aardvark

Jessica Anthony

A young congressman discovers a mysterious stuffed aardvark on his doorstep and sets out on a journey to find out what it means in this "weird, wonderful" novel about the secrets we keep from ourselves and their history-shaping consequences (Esquire).

It's early one morning on a hot day in August, and millennial congressman Alexander Paine Wilson (R), planning his first reelection campaign and in deep denial about his sexuality, receives a mysterious, over-sized FedEx delivery on his front stoop. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark.

This outrageous, edge-of-your-seat novel hurtles between contemporary Washington, D.C., where Wilson tries to get rid of the unsightly beast before it destroys his career, and Victorian England--where we meet Titus Downing, the taxidermist who stuffed the aardvark, and Richard Ostlet, the naturalist who hunted her. Our present world, we begin to see, has been shaped in profound and disturbing ways by the secret that binds these men.

At once a ghost story, a love story, and a stunningly prescient political satire, Enter the Aardvark confronts the consequences of repressed male love meeting oppressive male power, and is a searing condemnation of our current American blindness. It is also that rarest of creatures: a work of art so utterly original and masterfully built that it seems to have spring fully formed from its visionary maker's head.

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Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling

Laura Lane

This wickedly wise (and wisecracking) parody of classic fairy tales redefines happily ever after for the modern feminist era.

You know what? It's super creepy to kiss a woman who is unconscious. And you know what else? The way out of poverty isn't by marrying a rich dude -- or by wearing fragile footwear, for that matter. And while we're at it, why is the only woman who lives with seven men expected to do the cooking, cleaning, and laundry?

Fairytales need a reboot, and comedy queens Laura Lane and Ellen Haun are the women to do it. In Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling, they offer a rollicking parody of classic (read: patriarchal) tales that turns sweet, submissive princesses into women who are perfectly capable of being the heroes of their own stories. Mulan climbs the ranks in the army but wages a different war when she finds out she's getting paid less than her fellow male captains, Wendy learns never to trust a man-boy stalking her window, Sleeping Beauty's prince gets a lesson in consent, and more.

Busting with laugh-out-loud, razor-sharp twists to these outdated tales, Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling is fun, magical, necessary, and totally woke.

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Summer Longing

Jamie Brenner

When a baby is left on the doorstep of a Cape Cod beach house, an unlikely group of women risks all they hold dear to harbor and protect her in this "touching, nuanced summer yarn" (Publisher's Weekly).

Ruth Cooperman arrives in beautiful beachside Provincetown for her retirement, renting the perfect waterfront cottage while she searches for her forever home. After years of hard work and making peace with life's compromises, Ruth is looking forward to a carefree summer of solitude. But when she finds a baby girl abandoned on her doorstep, Ruth turns to her new neighbors for help and is drawn into the drama of the close-knit community.

The appearance of the mystery baby has an emotional ripple effect through the women in town, including Amelia Cabral, the matriarch who lost her own child decades earlier; Elise Douglas, owner of the tea shop who gave up her dream of becoming a mother; and teenage local Jaci Barros who feels trapped by her parents' expectations. Ruth, caring for a baby for the first time in thirty years, even reaches out to her own estranged daughter, Olivia, summoning her to Provincetown in hopes of a reconciliation.

As summer unfolds and friends and family care for the infant, alliances are made, relationships are tested, and secrets are uncovered. But the unconditional love for a child in need just might bring Ruth and the women of Provincetown exactly what they have been longing for themselves.

With heartfelt storytelling, Summer Longing is Jamie Brenner's eagerly anticipated return to Provincetown; another unforgettable tale about motherhood, friendship, and finding your way home.

"Welcome to the gold standard of summertime escapism."
---Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Summer of '69

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