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In this refreshingly candid memoir, Kal Penn recounts why he rejected the advice of his aunties and guidance counselors and, instead of becoming a doctor or “something practical,” embarked on a surprising journey that has included acting, writing, working as a farmhand, teaching Ivy League University courses, and smoking fake weed with a fake President of the United States, before serving the country and advising a real one.

You Can’t Be Serious is a series of funny, consequential, awkward, and ridiculous stories from Kal’s idiosyncratic life. It’s about being the grandson of Gandhian freedom fighters, and the son of immigrant parents: people who came to this country with very little and went very far—and whose vision of the American dream probably never included their son sliding off an oiled-up naked woman in a raunchy Ryan Reynolds movie…or getting a phone call from Air Force One as Kal flew with the country’s first Black president.

With intelligence, humor, and charm on every page, Kal reflects on the most exasperating and rewarding moments from his journey so far. He pulls back the curtain on the nuances of opportunity and racism in the entertainment industry and recounts how he built allies, found encouragement, and dealt with early reminders that he might never fit in. And of course, he reveals how, after a decade and a half of fighting for and enjoying successes in Hollywood, he made the terrifying but rewarding decision to take a sabbatical from a fulfilling acting career for an opportunity to serve his country as a White House aide.

Above all, You Can’t Be Serious shows that everyone can have more than one life story. Kal demonstrates by example that no matter who you are and where you come from, you have many more choices than those presented to you. It’s a story about struggle, triumph, and learning how to keep your head up. And okay, yes, it’s also about how he accidentally (and very stupidly) accepted an invitation to take the entire White House Office of Public Engagement to a strip club—because, let’s be honest, that’s the kind of stuff you really want to hear about.
  • Memoir
  • Non-fiction
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100 copies
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Call Your Daughter Home meets Where the Crawdads Sing in a new historical novel from the acclaimed author of The Abolitionist’s Daughter. Set in the jasmine-scented humidity of New Orleans during preparations for the first Mardi Gras of the 20th century, The Seamstress of New Orleans weaves the fascinating real-life story of the first all-female krewe, Les Mysterieuses, into a powerful novel of female friendship and empowerment.

Against the backdrop of the first all-female Mardi Gras krewe in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, Diane McPhail’s mesmerizing historical novel tells of two strangers separated by background but bound by an unexpected secret—and of the strength and courage women draw from and inspire in each other.

The year 1900 ushers in a new century and the promise of social change, and women rise together toward equality. Yet rules and restrictions remain, especially for women like Alice Butterworth, whose husband has abruptly disappeared. Desperate to make a living for herself and the child she carries, Alice leaves the bitter cold of Chicago far behind, offering sewing lessons at a New Orleans orphanage.

Constance Halstead, a young widow reeling with shock under the threat of her late husband’s gambling debts, has thrown herself into charitable work. Meeting Alice at the orphanage, she offers lodging in exchange for Alice’s help creating a gown for the Leap Year ball of Les Mysterieuses, the first all female krewe of Mardi Gras. During Leap Years, women have the rare opportunity to take control in their interactions with men, and upend social convention. Piece by piece, the breathtaking gown takes shape, becoming a symbol of strength for both women, reflecting their progress toward greater independence.

But Constance carries a burden that makes it impossible to feel truly free. Her husband, Benton, whose death remains a dangerous mystery, was deep in debt to the Black Hand, the vicious gangsters who controled New Orleans’ notorious Storyville district. Benton’s death has not satisfied them. And as the Mardi Gras festivities reach their fruition, a secret emerges that will cement the bond between Alice and Constance even as it threatens the lives they’re building…

Story Locale: 1900, New Orleans
  • Historical fiction
  • Fiction
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100 copies
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Based on the true story of the first school to train guide dogs for the blind, USA Today bestselling author Alan Hlad’s latest novel is a fascinating, poignant, and life-affirming tale of heroism and resilience in World War I . . .

By April 1916, the fervor that accompanied war’s outbreak has faded. In its place is a grim reality. Throughout Germany, essentials are rationed. Hope, too, is in short supply. Anna Zeller, whose fiancé, Bruno, is fighting on the western front, works as a nurse at an overcrowded hospital in Oldenburg, trying to comfort men broken in body and spirit. But during a visit from Dr. Stalling, the director of the Red Cross Ambulance Dogs Association, she witnesses a rare spark of optimism: as a German shepherd guides a battle-blinded soldier over a garden path, Dr. Stalling is inspired with an idea—to train dogs as companions for sightless veterans.

Anna convinces Dr. Stalling to let her work at his new guide dog training school. Some of the dogs that arrive are themselves veterans of war, including Nia, a German shepherd with trench-damaged paws. Anna brings the ailing Nia home and secretly tends and trains her, convinced she may yet be the perfect guide for the right soldier. In Max Benesch, a Jewish soldier blinded by chlorine gas at the front, Nia finds her person.

War has taken Max’s sight, his fiancée, and his hopes of being a composer. Yet despite all he’s given for his country, the tide of anti-Semitism at home is rising, and Max encounters it first-hand in one of the school’s trainers, who is determined to make Max fail. Still, through Anna’s prompting, he rediscovers his passion for music. But as Anna discovers more about the conflict’s escalating brutality—and Bruno’s role in it—she realizes how impossible it will be for any of them to escape the war unscathed . . .
  • Historical fiction
  • Fiction
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100 copies
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From one of the most gifted and beloved storytellers of her time comes a riveting new novel of suspense where one woman’s picture-perfect island sanctuary reveals itself to be filled with dangers…

At twenty-nine, Alison Marshall is ready to find a place to call home. With no family and no ties, she’s drifted from one small Florida town to another since high school, working odd jobs, saving hard, and building a nest egg. Once she finds the right place to settle down, she’ll know. And when she reaches beautiful Palmetto Island, she thinks she may have found it.

The small, close-knit island community seems to have everything Alison needs. On a hunch, she contacts the island’s only realtor, and learns that an old beach house is on the market. Miraculously, it’s in her budget, and Alison takes it as another sign that she’s in the right place.

At first, home is everything she hoped it would be. But as days turn into weeks, she uncovers a dark side to this supposedly peaceful haven. The locals have a secret, and once Alison discovers what it is, she faces a stark choice. She can stay and join them—or escape. But leaving brings its own risks, and Alison is starting to wonder if coming to Palmetto Island is the last mistake she’ll ever make . . .
  • Fiction
  • Thriller
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100 copies
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“Be prepared to stay up all night . . .”*

Suspense, danger, romance, and family drama converge as a rising star profiler strives to stay one step ahead of the criminal mind—and discovers that her own demons may be the hardest to outrun...


Laurel Snow wouldn’t call hunting a serial killer a vacation, but with a pile of dead bodies unearthed near her Genesis Valley, WA, hometown, she’ll take what she can get. Yet something about this case stirs her in unexpected ways. Like the startling connection she feels to Dr. Abigail Caine, a fiercely intelligent witness with a disturbing knack for making Laurel feel like she has something on her. Then there’s Laurel’s attraction to Huck Rivers, the fish and wildlife officer guiding her to the crime scene—and into the wilderness . . .

A former soldier and a trained sniper, Huck’s thirst for blood is rivaled only by his fierce pursuit of Laurel. He’s been burned by love, wounded by the government, and betrayed before, and to say he has trust issues is the ultimate understatement . Plus, he might be closer to this killer than anybody knows…

Once in the heart of darkness with Huck, Laurel must negotiate her distracting desire for him, her complex rapport with Abigail—and her mission to find a serial killer among a growing list of suspects and a danger that’s far too close to home. So close in fact, Laurel fears she will never find her way back to the woman she once was . . .

*“Rebecca Zanetti takes you on a thrill-ride, pitting characters you love against impossible odds.”
—New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan*
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
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