BATTLEGROUND UKRAINE d’Adrian Karatnycky

A prominent foreignpolicy analyst details the power centers that shape modern Ukraine.

BATTLEGROUND UKRAINE
From Independence to the War with Russia
by Adrian Karatnycky
Yale University Press, June 2024
(via Liza Dawson Associates)

The first major English-language history of Ukraine from its emergence after the demise of the Soviet Union through the current Russian invasion.

In 1991, after seventy years of imperial Soviet rule, Ukraine became an independent country. Since 2022, it has been fighting for its survival by resisting an unprovoked, brutal, and ongoing invasion by Russia. At the center of its resistance is the resilience of a united people.

Adrian Karatnycky tells the history of how the Ukrainian state and nation gradually emerged through the tenures of the six presidents who have led Ukraine since the collapse of the USSR, including Volodymyr Zelensky, elected in 2019.

Karatnycky shows that despite the influence of corrupt oligarchs, pressures from Russia, and the legacies of Soviet rule, a disparate but inclusive Ukrainian nation has emerged that inspires the world as it defends the principle that states have the right to their national sovereignty.

Ukraine’s battle is our battle, so understanding its post-independence history is vital if the battle is to be won. Adrian Karatnycky has done an outstanding job of telling that story, warts and all.” –Bill Emmott, former editor in chief, The Economist, and Chairman, International Institute for Strategic Studies

An indispensable history of contemporary Ukraine by a writer who is himself one of the builders of contemporary Ukraine. The point of view is intimate. The insights are astute. The sympathy extends to all who labored, fought, and sacrificed for a liberal, democratic, and European Ukraine.” –David Frum, the Atlantic

Adrian Karatnycky has a knowledge of Ukraine that comes not only with reading history but also with making it. A participant in many key events in Ukraine’s recent past, in this important book, he provides unique insights into the rise of independent Ukraine and explains why the country and its people keep fighting when others gave up.” –Serhii Plokhy, Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History, Harvard University

Truly invaluable. Adrian Karatnycky’s knowledge of and personal feel for Ukraine— its leaders and its people—come through on every page. Want to make yourself an expert on the problem that will define Europe’s future for decades to come? Read this book!” –Stephen Sestanovich, Davis Professor of International Affairs, Columbia University, Former US Ambassador-at-Large to the Newly Independent States of the Former USSR

Adrian Karatnycky is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Through the council’s Ukraine program, as a labor union official, and as CEO of Freedom House, he has been deeply engaged in Ukraine for over three decades. He has written about Ukraine for leading newspapers and journals.

SILVER AND BLOOD de Jessie Mihalik

This enthralling Beauty and the Beast-inspired retelling is Naomi Novik’s Uprooted meets Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thrones and Roses, delivering all the high stakes and steamy intensity that make it every fantasy romance fan’s perfect next read.

SILVER AND BLOOD
Book 1
by Jessie Mihalik
Avon, 2025
(via Nancy Yost Literary)

© 2018 Dustin Mihalik

When Riela, an untrained magic wielder, agrees to venture into the dark forest to kill the deadly beast that has been attacking her fellow villagers, she accepts the responsibility even though it likely means her death. The last thing she thought to encounter while battling one of the forest beasts was a powerful, scarred, and strikingly handsome mage.

Riela awakens in a magical castle complete with a gorgeous library, a strange wolf, and the surly man who saved her life. Riela soon learns Garrick is not a mortal mage at all—he’s a powerful Etheri sovereign who has been locked out of his kingdom in Lohka for nearly a century, and his powers are weakening.

Trapped in his castle and surrounded by the dangerous woods, Riela and Garrick fight a losing battle against the desire growing between them. But the more they discover about Riela’s magic, the more suspicious Garrick grows of her identity. As they unravel the secrets connecting Riela’s past to Lohka, the tenuous threads of trust between Riela and Garrick begin to fray because her life—or her death—might be the key to regaining everything he’s lost.

Jessie Mihalik writes romantic fantasy and science fiction packed with found family, action, adventure, and badass women.

THE ISLAND OF LAST THINGS d’Emma Sloley

A soaring, propulsive, and unforgettably poignant novel about two zookeepers at the last zoo in the world, in the vein of Téa Obreht and Charlotte McConaghy.

THE ISLAND OF LAST THINGS
by Emma Sloley
Flatiron Books, May 2025

Camille has always preferred animals to people. The wild has nearly disappeared, but as a zookeeper at the last zoo in the world, on Alcatraz Island, she spends her days caring for playful chimpanzees, gentle tree frogs, and a restless jaguar. Outside, resistance groups and brutal cartels fight to shape the world’s future, but Camille is safe within her routines. That is, until a new zookeeper, Sailor, arrives from Paris.

From their first meeting, Camille is drawn to brash, defiant Sailor, who seems to see something in Camille that no one has before. Together, they bond over their shared passion for their charges and dream up ways to improve their lives. When Sailor whispers the story of an idyllic, secret sanctuary, where wild animals roam free, Camille begins to imagine a new kind of life, with Sailor by her side.

Sailor knows all too well the dangers beyond Alcatraz, but she increasingly chafes at the zoo’s rigid rules. She hatches a reckless plan to smuggle one of the most prized animals off the island to freedom, and invites Camille to join her. The consequences if they fail would be catastrophic, and Sailor’s contacts at the sanctuary go dark just as the threats from the cartels grow more extreme. Camille must decide if she’s ready to risk everything for Sailor’s bold escape, to brave the promise of a better world.

Soaring and poignant, propulsive and fiercely hopeful, with a heart-stopping final twist, THE ISLAND OF LAST THINGS is an elegy for a disappearing world and a gorgeous vision for the future.

Emma Sloley is a two-time MacDowell fellow and Bread Loaf scholar. She is the author of the novels THE ISLAND OF LAST THINGS and Disaster’s Children, and her work has been published in Literary Hub, Catapult, Joyland, and many others.

THE EXPERT OF SUBTLE REVISIONS de Kirsten Menger-Anderson

Steeped in math and misfortune, THE EXPERT OF SUBTLE REVISIONS is a taut, genre-bending historical mystery perfect for readers looking for their next dark academia fix.

THE EXPERT OF SUBTLE REVISIONS
by Kirsten Menger-Anderson
Crown, March 2025

In Half Moon Bay, California, 2016, a young woman waits for her father’s sailboat to arrive at port. They have agreed to meet on this day and time. Yet he never shows. He had told her this day might come. And if it did, she was ready. Go to the library in Berkeley, find a certain book, follow the instructions. But what if the instructions lead to more questions than answers?

In 1933, a young man arrives in Vienna to begin a new post as a professor of mathematics at the University. There he finds himself part of the Engelhardt Castle, a group of intellectuals that have recently been dubbed a target by a growing, anti-academic mob. The circle includes the preeminent minds of their time, and a cast of characters desperate to get invited into their midst, many of whom will stop at nothing to get there. As fascism rises, and polarization increases, moderate voices are drowned out. There are whispers of a machine, a music box, which can transport someone through time. But no one can confirm if it’s a rumor, or true.  And the only people who know first-hand are not talking.

What does a young woman who lives off the grid and spends her free time editing Wikipedia entries and picking fights with people online have to do with a circle of intellectuals debating time and space in Vienna on the eve of World War II? Kirsten Menger-Anderson’s beautiful meditation on time, love, and obsession shows us how we never truly know what happened in the past, and often how the past eerily mirrors the future.

Steeped in math and misfortune, THE EXPERT OF SUBTLE REVISIONS is a taut, genre-bending historical mystery perfect for readers looking for their next dark academia fix.

A touching and deftly constructed story about the most precious thing we have—time. From modern-day San Francisco to Croatia before the Great War and 1930s Vienna, Kirsten Menger-Anderson follows her characters as they try to solve the mysteries of science, faith, and love. A glorious book.”―Laila Lalami, author of Pulitzer Prize-finalist The Moor’s Account

The Expert of Subtle Revisions begins with a mysterious disappearance and ends with a moving discovery. Along the way, Kirsten Menger-Anderson weaves together history, time travel, and a haunting love story. She also manages to raise stirring questions about identity, family, and what it means to record and revise history, especially one’s own. A powerful and original novel that defies expectations in almost every chapter.”―Stephen McCauley, author of My Ex-Life and The Object of My Affection

Smart. Propulsive. Addictive. Kirsten Menger-Anderson’s The Expert of Subtle Revisions grabbed hold with the opening sentence and didn’t let go until its surprising and satisfying conclusion. Brilliantly plotted and filled with deft twists and unforgettable characters, this dual-timeline novel about obsession, madness, and love is a must-read for fans of both mystery and historical fiction. I loved this book.”―Peggy Townsend, author of The Beautiful and the Wild

Kirsten Menger-Anderson is the author of Doctor Olaf van Schuler’s Brain (Algonquin), a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in fiction and one of Time Out Chicago’s top ten books of the year. Her short stories and essays have appeared in publications including Ploughshares, the Southwest Review, LitHub, and Undark. She currently lives in San Francisco with her family.

ADAMA de Lavie Tidhar

A sweeping historical epic following four generations of a single family as they struggle to hold on to their land and each other.

ADAMA
by Lavie Tidhar
Head of Zeus, September 2023
(via Zeno Agency)

There is no land without blood, and i water this land with the blood of my men.

Ruth’s family were in Budapest when the Nazis came.

Now Ruth is in Palestine, amid the bare hills inland from Haifa, breaking the rocky soil of an unyielding land before it breaks her.

With her comrades, her fellow kibbutzniks, she will build a better world. There will be green grass, orange trees and pomegranates, a land that is their own and no one else’s.

So they till their fields, dig their wells, build their homes and forge a new way of living, fiercely proud of their shared pursuit of a dream.

But as one generation begets another, the dream unravels, twisted into a dark tapestry of secrets and lies; sacrificed for revenge, forbidden love and murder.

Lavie Tidhar‘s work encompasses literary fiction (Maror, ADAMA and Six Lives), cross-genre classics such as Jerwood Prize winner A Man Lies Dreaming (2014) and World Fantasy Award winner Osama (2011) and genre works like the Campbell and Neukom prize winner Central Station (2016). He has also written comics (Adler, 2020) and children’s books such as Candy (2018) and A Child’s Book of the Future (2024). He is a former columnist for the Washington Post and a current honorary Visiting Professor and Writer in Residence at the American International University in London.