Archives par étiquette : The Gernert Company


Cynicism is making us sick; Stanford Psychologist Dr. Jamil Zaki has the cure—a “ray of light for dark days” (Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

The Surprising Science of Human Goodness
by Jamil Zaki
Grand Central Publishing, September 2024
(via The Gernert Company)

For thousands of years, people have argued about whether humanity is selfish or generous, cruel or kind. But recently, our answers have changed.  In 1972, half of Americans agreed that most people can be trusted; by 2018, that figure had fallen to 30%. Different generations, genders, religions, and political parties can’t seem to agree on anything, except that they all think human virtue is evaporating.

Cynicism is a perfectly understandable response to a world full of injustice and inequality. But in many cases, cynicism is misplaced.  Dozens of studies find that people fail to realize how kind, generous, and open-minded others really are.  And cynical thinking worsens social problems, because our beliefs don’t just interpret the world—they change it. When we expect people to be awful, we coax awfulness out of them.

Cynicism is a disease, with a history, symptoms—and a cure. Through science and storytelling, Jamil Zaki imparts the secret for beating back cynicism: hopeful skepticism. This approach doesn’t mean putting our faith in every politician or influencer. It means thinking critically about people and our problems, while simultaneously acknowledging and encouraging our strengths. Far from being naïve, hopeful skepticism is a more precise way of understanding others, and paying closer attention re-balances how you think about human nature.  As more of us do this, we can take steps towards building the world we truly want.

Dr. Jamil Zaki is a professor of psychology at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab. He trained at Columbia and Harvard, studying empathy and kindness in the human brain. He is interested in human connection and how we can learn to connect better.

SITO de Laurence Ralph

This heart-wrenching story of violence, grief and the American justice system, explores the systemic issues that perpetuate gang participation in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, as told through the story of one teenager.

An American Teenager and the City that Failed Him
by Laurence Ralph
Grand Central, February 2024
(via The Gernert Company)

In September of 2019, Luis Alberto Quiñonez—known as Sito— was shot to death as he sat in his car in the Mission District of San Francisco. He was nineteen. His killer, Julius Williams, was seventeen. It was the second time the teens had encountered one another. The first, five years before, also ended in tragedy, when Julius watched as his brother was stabbed to death by an acquaintance of Sito’s. The two murders merited a few local news stories, and then the rest of the world moved on. But for the families of the slain teenagers, it was impossible to move on. And for Laurence Ralph, the stepfather of Sito’s half-brother who had dedicated much of his academic career to studying gang-affiliated youth, Sito’s murder forced him to revisit a subject of scholarly inquiry in a deeply personal way. Written from Ralph’s perspective as both a person enmeshed in Sito’s family and expert on the entanglement of class and violence, SITO is an intimate story with an message about the lived experience of urban danger, and about anger, fear, grief, vengeance, and ultimately grace.

Laurence Ralph is a Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University, where he is the Director for the Center on Transnational Policing. He is the author of Renegade Dreams: Living Through Injury in Gangland Chicago (2014) and The Torture Letters: Reckoning With Police Violence (2020), both published by University of Chicago Press. He is currently a Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife and daughter.


A standalone dark fantasy for fans of Leigh Bardugo, V. E. Schwab, and Fullmetal Alchemist, M.L. Wang is a rising star of character-driven Sci Fi and Fantasy.

by M. L. Wang
Del Rey, October 2024
(via The Gernert Company)

For twenty years, Sciona has devoted every waking moment to the study of magic, fueled by a mad desire to achieve the impossible: to be the first woman ever admitted to the High Magistry at the University of Magics and Industry. When Sciona finally achieves her ambition and becomes a Highmage, she finds that her challenges have just begun. Her new colleagues are determined to make her feel unwelcome, and instead of a qualified lab assistant they give her a janitor. What neither Sciona nor her peers realize is that her taciturn assistant was not always a janitor. Ten years ago he was a nomadic hunter who lost his family on their perilous journey from the wild plains to the city. But now he sees the opportunity to finally understand the forces that decimated his tribe, drove him from his homeland, and keep the privileged in power. At first, mage and outsider have a fractious relationship. But working together they uncover an ancient secret that could change the course of magic forever—if it doesn’t get them killed first.

M. L. Wang is an author, martial artist, and weird recluse currently hiding somewhere in Wisconsin with her maroonbellied parakeet, Sulu. Her books include BLOOD OVER BRIGHT HAVEN, The Sword of Kaigen, the Theonite Series, and The Volta Academy Chronicles (published under Maya Lin Wang).

MOONBOUND de Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan expands the Penumbraverse to new reaches of time and space in a rollicking far-future adventure.

by Robin Sloan
MCD/FSG, June 2024
(via The Gernert Company)

In MOONBOUND, Robin Sloan has written a novel with the full scope and ambitious imagination of the very books that lit the engines of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: an epic quest as only Sloan could conceive it, mixing science fiction, fantasy, good old-fashioned literary storytelling, and unrivaled enthusiasm for what’s next.

It is eleven thousand years from now . . . A lot has happened, and yet a lot is still very familiar. Ariel is a boy in a small town under a wizard’s rule. Like many adventurers before him, Ariel is called to explore a world full of unimaginable glories and challenges: unknown enemies, a mission to save the world, a girl. Here, as they say, be dragons. But none of this happens before Ariel comes across an artifact from an earlier civilization, a sentient, record-keeping artificial intelligence that carries with it the perspective of the whole of human history―and becomes both Ariel’s greatest ally and the narrator of our story.

MOONBOUND is an adventure into the richest depths of Story itself. It is a deeply satisfying epic of ancient scale, blasted through the imaginative prism one of our most forward-thinking writers. And this is only the beginning.

Robin Sloan grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the internet. He is the author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and Sourdough.


One unidentified skeleton. Three missing men. A village full of secrets. The best-selling author of The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna brings us a sparkling—by turns funny and moving—novel about a young American woman turned amateur detective in a small village in Southern Italy.

by Juliet Grames
Knopf, July 2024
(via The Gernert Company)

Calabria, 1960. Francesca Loftfield, a twenty-seven-year-old, starry-eyed American, arrives in the isolated mountain village of Santa Chionia tasked with opening a nursery school. There is no road, no doctor, no running water or electricity. And thanks to a recent flood that swept away the post office, there’s no mail, either.

Most troubling, though, is the human skeleton that surfaced after the flood waters receded. Who is it? And why don’t the police come and investigate? When an old woman begs Francesca to help determine if the remains are those of her long-missing son, Francesca begins to ask a lot of inconvenient questions. As an outsider, she might be the only person who can uncover the truth. Or she might be getting in over her head. As she attempts to juggle a nosy landlady, a suspiciously dashing shepherd, and a network of local families bound together by a code of silence, Francesca finds herself forced to choose between the charitable mission that brought her to Santa Chionia, and her future happiness, between truth and survival.

Set in the wild heart of Calabria, a land of sheer cliff faces, ancient tradition, dazzling sunlight—and one of the world’s most ruthless criminal syndicates—The Lost Boy of Santa Chionia is a suspenseful puzzle mystery, a captivating romance, and an affecting portrait of a young woman in search of a meaningful life.

Juliet Grames is the best-selling author of The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Real Simple, Parade, and The Boston Globe, and she is the recipient of an Ellery Queen Award from the Mystery Writers of America. She is editorial director at Soho Press in New York.