Jonas Karlsson
author of THE INVOICE
Actor and writer Jonas Karlsson’s new novel The Invoiceexplores the true nature of happiness through the eyes of a hero you won’t soon forget. A passionate film buff, our hero’s life revolves around his part-time job at a video store, the company of a few precious friends, and a daily routine that more often than not concludes with pizza and a movie in his treasured small space in Stockholm. When he receives an astronomical bill from a random national bureaucratic agency, everything will tumble into madness as he calls the hotline night and day to find out why he is the recipient of the largest bill in the entire country. How will our carefree idealist, who is content with so little and has no chance of paying it back, find a way out of this mess? “A fable for the ages,” our reviewer writes. “Should be read alongside The Trial and Nineteen Eighty-Four as an antidote.”


A Stockholm video store clerk receives a mysterious bill for 5,700,000 kronor in a charming story that explores the relationship between money and happiness.

The nameless hero of Swedish actor Karlsson’s (The Room, 2015) short novel is the ultimate lovable nebbish. His simple life consists of going to work, eating takeout pizza, and looking out the window. His pleasures include old movies, ice cream, spending time with a cheapskate buddy, and revisiting treasured memories of his one great love. He is a connoisseur of even smaller diversions: “Then I came up with a new way of puffing out my cheeks and amused myself with that for a while. After that I found the remains of an old sticker that someone had stuck to the side of the counter, now just fragments that it was quite fun to pick off with my thumb and forefinger. Twenty minutes or so later, I’d almost managed to get rid of it all.” When he investigates the massive invoice, he learns that a mysterious authority called W.R.D. has been empowered to levy fees against all citizens for the amount of happiness they have experienced in their lives. But how can a person who owns almost nothing, has no social life to speak of, and has passed up every opportunity for advancement owe so much, he wonders—more than anyone else! Several times more than millionaires and people “whose lives are a never-ending party.” His attempt to understand the bill leads him into an extended phone relationship with one of W.R.D.’s customer support consultants and into a deeper examination of what has caused his “Experienced Happiness” quotient to achieve such heights.

A fable for the ages. Should be read alongside The Trial and Nineteen Eighty-Four as an antidote.

Recent Interviews

Katey Sagal

author of GRACE NOTES

April 10, 2017
GRACE NOTES by Katey Sagal In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >

Emma Donoghue


April 3, 2017
THE LOTTERYS PLUS ONE by Emma Donoghue In Emma Donoghue’s new middle-grade novel, The Lotterys Plus One, Sumac Lottery is nine years old and the self-proclaimed "good girl" of her (VERY) large, (EXTREMELY) unruly family. And what a family the Lotterys are: four parents, children both adopted and biological, and a menagerie of pets, all living and learning together in a sprawling house called Camelottery. Then one day, the news breaks that one of their grandfathers is suffering from dementia and will be coming to live with them. And not just any grandfather; the long dormant "Grumps," who fell out with his son so long ago that he hasn't been part of any of their lives. Suddenly, everything changes. Sumac has to give up her room to make the newcomer feel at home. She tries to be nice, but prickly Grumps's clearly disapproves of how the Lotterys live: whole grains, strange vegetables, rescue pets, a multicultural household....He's worse than just tough to get along with—Grumps has got to go! But can Sumac help him find a home where he belongs? “Full of clever names and wordplay, this engaging tale is moving without veering into sentimentality,” our critic writes in a starred review. “For all the Lotterys’ apparent eccentricity, the novel delves into universal themes of family relationships that will resonate with readers from all backgrounds.” View video >