Best Sellers

Monday, June 18, 2012

Titles to Look For in July

I am headed out of town until July so this week, I am going to cram in as many books arriving in July as I can. First, let's briefly mention those by the MEGA authors which are coming us:

James Lee Burke - Creole Belle - on July 17th.
Catherine Coulter - Backfire - July 10th.
Andrew Gross - 15 Seconds - July 10th.
Iris & Roy Johansen - Close Your Eyes - on July 17th.
James Patters & Michael Ledwidge - I, Michael Bennett - July 9th.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips - The Great Escape - on July 10th.
Danielle Steel - Friends Forever - July 24th.

OK - now they are out of the way. If you want to read any of the above, you will probably not be first on the list but you will be alot higher now than you would if you waited. There are some other titles coming out this month, that are worth your perusal.

Chris Cleave, the author of Little Bee (a New York Times bestseller), has written another book that has a very timely subject. Gold is about 2 friends who are both battling to win a gold medal in cycling at the London Olympics. The reviews on this one range all over the place. The writing is good, the characterizations are good, but some people seem to have trouble with the plot line while others loved it. Zoe and Kate have been competing against each other for ages. Now, in their 30's, the London Olympics seem to be their last chance. Kate has a daughter who is suffering from leukemia. What would you give up for someone you loved?
Stephen L. Carter, the author of The Emperor of Ocean Park, has authored The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln. This is actually an alternative history where Lincoln survives the assassination attempt and is accused of violating the Constitution in his conduct of the war. His lawyers for his impeachment trial include a young black woman. Carter, a professor at Yale, has written this novel of history, mystery and political questions which comes out on July 10th.

If you liked The Discovery of Witches (and I did), Deborah Harkness comes out with the second book featuring Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genetist, and Diana Bishop, a witch in rebellion. I loved the first one and this time, in Shadow of Night, the time-travel back to Elizabethan London so Diana can learn more about how to handle the magic she can't seem to keep under control. This one also comes out on July 10th.

Francine Matthews has an interesting hsitorical thriller out on July 5th, Jack 1939. Preseident Roosevelt chooses John F. Kennedy, the son of America's ambassador to Britain, to go to Europe to investigate what Hitler is really planning and to stop German money designed to help derail Roosevelts re-election. Since Matthews worked for the CIA in the 90's, the atmosphere seems authentic and many of the facts she uses are true.

My next blog entry will be the week of July 9th. I hope everyone has a wonderful July 4th.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Suumer Reading New and Old

Looking for something to take on vacation? I've gleaned some titles for some sources as far away as Los Angeles as well as some of my own personal favorites. Some need no description but some do. See if any of these sound interesting to you.

The After Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer. The main character in this book, Hannah, experiences grief beyond compare. However, in the time that follows, she gets on with life with the help of her wacky, unique, loveable group of friends.

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Imperative by Eric Van Lustbader

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - King Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell. Really good historical novel that makes you take a second look at these 2 major characters. If you have read this one, try Bring Up the Bodies, the second in this series.

Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series will be a good summer read for mystery and thriller lovers - #1 is In the Woods;  #2 is The Likeness; #3 is Faithful Place; and #4 coming out in July is Broken Harbor.

Capital by John Lanchester is a novel about London life. This is this is a novel of love and suspicion, of financial collapse and terrorist threat, of property values going up and fortunes going down, and of a city at a moment of extraordinary tension

A Conspiracy of Friends by Alexander McCall Smith is the 3rd in the Corduroy Mansions series. Smith is most known for his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and this series is the same kind of gentle character study. The first two are Corduroy Mansions; and The Dog Who Came in From the Cold.

Cop to Corpse by Peter Lovesey. This is the 12th in the Peter Diamond series so if you like British police procedurals and you haven't read him before, you will have alot to read this summer.

The Family Corelone by Ed Falco. Falco was chosen to do a prequel of Mario Puzo's Godfather series. The critics say his efforts hit the mark. If you liked the series, see how Vito Corelone became the Godfather.

Little Night by Luanne Rice would be a good book to take to the beach. I blogged about this one before, it is about family and redemption.

The Nightmare  by Lars Kepler comes out in July. I actually met 'Lars Kepler' at a conference. It is actually written by a Swedish husband and wife team. They were delightfully funny at the conference but their books are highly suspenseful and extremely popular in Europe. this is the second in the series, following The Hypnotist, with the detective Joona Linna.

The Passage by Justin Cronin was very popular when it came out in June of 2010. If you haven't read it, you might want to get to it this summer before the 2nd in the series, The Twelve arrives in October. It is an account of a post-apocalyptic America when a secret project backfires and a virus leads to vampires.

These should give you some options to pick up some good books this summer. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This Summer's Best Nonfiction

5 nonfiction books this week – 3 serious, darker ones (Airlines, Iran and Afghanistan) and 2 which I hope will uplift you after the first 3.

Summer is starting, the big travel season where many of us will be getting in an airplane to go someplace for vacation. Make sure you don’t read the following book before you go – you will end up driving your car instead. William McGee, an award winning travel journalist for Consumer Reports and past editor of Consumer Reports Travel Newsletter, spent 7 years studying the airline industry today. He spoke with pilots, mechanics, passengers, executives and just about anyone who would talk to him. The result is Attention All Passengers: The Airlines' Dangerous Descent - and How to Reclaim our Skies which is out on June 26th. He discusses how the airlines need to turn a profit has affected the airlines and not in a good way.

The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran by David Crist hits the shelf on July 17th. The US and Iran have been  squaring off against each other for over 30 years – ever since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the taking of American hostages in November of that year. The conflict has continually threatened to become an open war since then. Crist, a senior historian for the federal government, adds depth and understanding to this deeply disturbing problem that has faced 6 presidents.
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Dakota Meyer, a Medal of Honor recipient, has authored an account of his actions on September 8, 2009 in the Kunar Province in Afghanistan with the help of Bing West. Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War will be published on August 12th. This title has some local interest. Meyer's unit was surrounded by the Taliban and was taking heavy fire. When air cover was late in being provided, he disobeyed orders, took charge of the company and saved 18 men.  4 men died in the attack, one of them, Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr., from Columbus, GA. Meyer made sure that the bodies of those killed in action were returned home. This should be an emotional and thought provoking title to read.

On a lighter note, Terrie M. Williams offers The Odyssey of KP2: An Orphan Seal, a Marine Biologist, and the Fight to Save a Species on July 5, 2012. This book has the cutest cover ever!!!! Williams is the director of the Marine Mammal Physiology Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the co-creator of the Center of Ocean Health. She is also the expert that environmental officials turned to when an orphaned monk seal turned up on the shore of Kauai. Monk seals are the most endangered marine mammal and the opportunity to study them and find a way to prevent their extinction overcame many objections. Williams’ story captures the bonds between humans and animals and reports on the ways we help each other.

Finally, Gretchen Rubin, the bestselling author of The Happiness Project, has another title coming on September 4th. Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson and My Other Experiment in the Practice of Everyday Life describes Rubin's efforts for part of one year to make her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love. She writes with a blend of science, philosophy, experimentation and memoir.  This book will inspire you to find the happiness you might be missing.