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Saturday, March 30, 2013

July's Big Names

We are slightly changing the method we use to purchase new titles so this past week I have been pondering the titles that come out in July. There are three big names and some names that are almost big that are publishing works that month. If these titles are not yet in the catalog, they will be within a week or two.

James Lee Burke brings out his next Dave Robicheaux novel on July 16th - Light of the World. Assa Surrette, a serial killer, escaped the death penalty in Kansas for his crimes because capitol punishment was outlawed in the state. When Robicheaux's daughter writes articles examining other crimes he might have committed, Asa escapes from a prison transport with the intent of hunting her down.

Cather Coulter, a perennial favorite, comes out with Bombshell on July 9th. She returns her FBI duo of Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock and incorporates Griffin Hammersmith who was last seen in Backfire. Savich has drafter Hammersmith to work with his unit and on his way to D.C., Hammersmith stops to see his sister. He learns she has been found unconscious and covered with someone else's blood after a wild party. Savich and Sherlock are dealing with the son of a government official who was found murdered and frozen at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. Two crimes for a crime solving trio.

Iris Johansen brings back Eve Duncan in Hunting Eve on July 16th. This is the second in the New Eve Duncan trilogy. The first in this series was 'Taking Eve'. The third has the ominous title of 'Silencing Eve'. It doesn't sound like this is going to get any less suspenseful. This title has Eve battling the man who holds her prisoner.

OK - I admit it. I am putting this one in here because I happen to love this series. Lisa Lutz is coming out with another from her Spellman Files series, The Last Word, on July 13th. This series, to me, is a west cost Janet Evanovich. It makes me laugh out loud. This time, Izzy Spellman is accused of embezzling funds from a former client who has Alzheimer's after her hostile takeover of the family owned business. Is this the end of Izzy?

Daniel Silva comes out with The English Girl from his Gabriel Allon series on July 16th. Art-restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon is drawn into international intrigue once again when a young woman vanishes. Silva has been growing in popularity and this series is one of his best.

Brad Thor comes out with Hidden Order on July 9th. A string of high-profile kidnappings has Washington, D.C. in a frenzy. When the victims begin turning up dead, frenzy turns to panic. And when the ransom demand is finally made public, panic will turn to terror. This is the next in the Scot Harvath series, Harvath is  an ex-Navy SEAL Secret Service agent and later a covert counterterrorism agent. Need I say that there are going to be thrills, thrills and more thrills?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Women's Fiction

I recently read an article about the genre of women's fiction. It helped clear up issues in my own head and I thought I would spell it out for those of you who are interested. Basically, women's fiction explore women's relationships. Those relationships don't have to be romantic but can be. The main thrust of the story is what is happening in the life of a woman. So, a woman is the main character and her emotional development is the story. Love and romance may be present but they are not the main focus. If you care more about the language being used than the story being told, it is literary fiction and not women's fiction. Here are some good examples of women's fiction that have been published in the last year.

The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri. A woman leaves her politician husband to New England after he was involved in a sex scandal.

Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster. A former high school 'mean' girl attends her reunion and finds that her schoolmates have not forgiven her. A friend offers her a potion that will allow her to go back and right her previous wrongs.

So Far Away by Meg Mitchell Moore. A Library archivist bonds with a high school student who is researching an old diary for a school project.

Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg - a motivational speaker who is great at coaching others, is not so good at following her own advice.

Here also is a list of possible authors for you to investigate:
Elizabeth Berg - all of her books deal with women's search for happiness
Emily Giffin - she writes contemporary fiction featuring modern relationships.
Kristin Hannah - writes of love and loss and family secrets.
Jodi Picoult - queen of the issue driven novel.
Luanne Rice - tearjerkers featuring mature, strong females.
Jennifer Weiner - she infuses humor into relationship issues.

Enjoy finding something new to read if you like 'women's fiction'.

Six Years

I have been waiting for Harlan Coben's new title since - well, his last title. It came out on Tuesday. Six Years was a very good read. I really liked it but perhaps, it was slightly mushy for me. I kind of got tired of hearing about how much his main character, Jake, loved the missing Natalie. Oh, I knew it was essential that I believed he did love her that much that he couldn't stop looking for her but really, for me, once or twice was sufficient. Maybe not for others. Anyway, I was able to kind of gloss over those paragraphs and get on with the story which was very, very good - as I said. Just wanted you all to know.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Life After Life

I am back after a prolong hiatus and ready to beginning again. The one strange thing about the soon to be released titles is that two books are coming out within weeks of each other with the same title.

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle comes out March 26, 2013. McCorkle, a Tar Heel born and bred and a graduate of UNC, is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Many of her books have been award winning and this one is well reviewed. Here, her first novel in 17 years, she investigates the lives of the people who live in a southern retirement home. Her characters are unforgettable and run true to her southern roots. Each one is a fully developed individual that you grow to love, flaws and all. If you enjoy character development, this is a book for you. It has recevied glowing reviews.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson comes out on April 2, 2013 in the United States. It came out on March 5th in Great Britain and is already nominated for the Women's Prize (which use to be the Orange Prize) for fiction. She is up against Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and Hilary Mantel's Bringing Up the Bodies so you know this story must be good. Atkinson is British and many of her titles have also been award winning. She has written a story which does require a leap of faith though. One of the reviewers described it this way  -
"This is the story of Ursula Todd's live(s), and of her death(s), and of how she lives when given a second chance. Each time she dies (and returns) she obtains a sense of deja vu from her past lives. She uses these bits of knowledge from these previous scenes of life to "get it right" and to change the outcome of her life now. Practice makes perfect after all. "

One wonders how this coincidence will effect the two very different works. You also wonder if one them wasn't tempted to go back and change the title. I know I would have been tempted. However, in their own individual way, the title suits both works. See what you think.