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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Titles Coming Out on November 5, 2013

There are several fiction titles that are coming out on one day, November 5th. It made sense to me to group these together for you although they don't have much in common other than the date. Not sure if it makes sense to anyone other than me, but here they are.

Sebastian Faulks received permission from the estate of P.G. Wodehouse and is coming out with Jeeves and the Wedding Bells. Obviously, this series is one of Faulks' favorites. Wodehouse documented the lives of Bernie Wooster and his trusty butler, Jeeves for 40 years before his death. He was thought to be one of the greatest British comic authors. Faulk takes up his mantle with this tale of Wooster running away from heartbreak to assist a friend whose romance has hit a difficult patch. Anything that could go wrong, does and the complications keep piling up. Definitely for those who like to laugh.

Fannie Flagg uncovers a mother's secret past when her daughter, having married off her own children, starts to investigate the past. This comic mystery takes us all over the country and back in time to World War II. The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion is a delightful trip with Flagg's usual humor. Rumor has it she will be coming to Birmingham and Mobile when the book is published.

If you liked The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, her new one after 7 years will be published. Bellman and Black is a dark gothic mystery as was her first work. William as a young boy, kills a bird while playing with friends. The act is quickly forgotten but when we meet him as a successful family man later in life, we find things about to change.

I was lucky enough to hear Amy Tan earlier this year talk about her inspiration for her new book The Valley of Amazement. While researching a book, she came across a picture of a Chinese courtesan dressed exactly like Tan's grandmother in an old family picture. Tan started wondering if her grandmother might have been a courtesan and so started the plot behind this title. The storyline follows the life of Lucia, a young woman from San Francisco who followed a Chinese painter to his homeland and her daughter Violet. Lucia ran the most prestigious courtesan house in Shanghai but when revolution descends, the mother and daughter are separated. Lucia returns to the states thinking that Violet has died. Violet is forced to live as a courtesan in a country where no one think she belongs. A wonderful family story full of sense of place and time.

Clive Cussler gives us #9 in his Oregon Files series, Mirage. Rumors have linked the disappearance of a naval ship in 1943 to experiments dealing with Nikola Tesla's work. Captain Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon race to find the truth before the supposed results can be used against the US.

Lastly, Ruth Rendell publishes her newest Chief Inspector Wexford mystery - however, Chief Inspector Wexford is now retired so perhaps we should call it something else. No Man's Nightingale follows Wexford when he is called in to help his replacement after the body of a female vicar is found hanged. Sarah Hussein is of mixed race and a single mother so not particularly popular with the community. Rendell's usual police procedural except of course, Wexford isn't the police anymore so.....see what you think.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

More Thrillers in October

October is a big month for publishing. The fall season in general is one of the busier seasons. There are some more thrillers coming out by lesser known authors and one book that is getting particular attention.

The idea for S. was conceived by J.J. Abrams - the producer/director of Lost and Alias and the director of the next Star Wars movie. He commissioned Doug Dorst, who has been nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award AND the Shirley Jackson Award, to write the book. It is adventure, suspense and mystery all in one. It deals with a book of mysterious provenance with another story in the handwritten notes in it's margins. It sounds fascinating and comes to the shelf on October 29th.

The Ian Fleming Publications Ltd has asked William Boyd to follow Jeffery Deaver in writing the next James Bond title. Boyd has twice won the Costa/Whitbread Award which last year was won by Hilary Mantel so you know this one is going to be well written. Solo arrives on the shelf on October 8th. This will be your usual James Bond plot and we know the character so well, it will be interesting to see what Boyd adds to the series.

Those who read Robert Olen Butler's The Hot Country will be happy to see the return of the series hero, Christopher Marlowe Cobb, an American war correspondant and spy. The Star of Istanbul arrives on the shelf on October 7th. This time Cobb has been sent to follow a possible SS agent named Brauer onto the ship Lusitania. Also on the voyage is actress Selene Bourgani who seems to be working with Brauer. Following the U-Boat attack Cobb follows the duo into the streats of London and onto Istanbul. Historical thriller at it's best.

Jefferson Bass, who writes the Body Farm series, is actually two people - Jon Jefferson, the writer, and Dr. Bill Bass, a renowned forensic anthropologist. They have written 7 novels in the series that features the head of The Body Farm where human remains lie exposed to be studied for their secrets. OK - I admit this one comes out in September but by the time you get it - it will almost be October. Cut to the Bone is the long awaited prequel to the series and it hits the shelf on September 24th. Bass turns back the clock to the creation of the Body Farm and investigation into a serial killer that seems to be tormenting him.

Michael Sears gave us the character of Jason Stafford, a disgraced financier. He became a financial investigator when he got out of prison and reclaimed his severly autistic son in Black Fridays, an Edgar award nominee for best first novel last year. On October 1st, he gives us the second title in the series, Mortal Bonds. Jason is hired by the family of a deceased investor who was involved in running a Ponzi scheme. While he was sitting in prison, he committed suicide. His family would like to be able to find some of the missing money to improve the family name. Unfortunately, Jason isn't the only one looking and bad things start happening to people he talks to and then to him. While this is going on, his unstable ex-wife comes to town to 'supposedly' visit their son but he knows that there is something up her sleeve. Definitely worth reading this series if you haven't started it yet.

Lastly is a creepy mystery by Dan Simmons comes to the shelf on October 22nd, The Abominable. In 1926 a grieving mother funds three friends attempt to summit Mt. Everest. She wants them to bring her son, who fell to his death two years before, home alive. As they start their attempt, they run into other's seeking the boy's body. What is the reason? Could he have been carrying something valuable? A story that has been described as bone-chilling and pulse-pounding. Sounds like it will be a good read.

Next week, we will start on the November titles but I might throw one or two in from October. We will see.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Librarians nationwide are recommending titles soon to be published. The debut list of the top ten reviewed is below. It is called LibraryReads and will be coming out monthly. I did put in two entries but neither of them made this list. These books all come out in September and all will be coming to your local library. Put your name on the list!

Announcing the
September 2013
LibraryReads list!

September's LibraryReads Favorite is:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
(9/10, St. Martin's Griffin)
"At turns funny, sweet, smart, and sad, Fangirl traces Cath's journey to independence as she begins college, struggles to have an identity separate from her twin sister, find her voice and passion as a writer and fall in love, maybe, for the first time. As sharp and emotionally resonant as Rowell's previous novel, Eleanor & Park."
Stephanie Chase, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

And now, the other fine books of the LibraryReads Top 10:

How The Light Gets In
by Louise Penny
"The latest novel featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec is as amazing as ever. The internal conflict within the Québec police force that has been building in the series comes to a head, prompting Gamache to retreat to the small town of Three Pines. The combination of fascinating mystery puzzles, exquisitely crafted characters, and gorgeous, gorgeous writing is irresistible." --Megan McArdle, Berkeley Public Library, Berkeley, CA

The Returned
by Jason Mott
(8/27, Harlequin MIRA)
"Across the country and around the world, people are coming back from the dead and trying to reunite with their loved ones. In the tiny Southern town of Arcadia, Harold and Lucille Hargrave are astonished to have their son Jacob come back to them fifty years after he died. A global government agency at first works to reunite “The Returned” with their family members, then later confines them when problems arise as more and more people come back from the dead. A beautifully written exploration of love and family, community and responsibility, and a perfect book group selection." --Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, New Orleans, LA

Songs of Willow Frost
by Jamie Ford
"Fans of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet have been eagerly anticipating Ford's new book. Set in 1920s Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost tells the moving story of Liu Song, a young Chinese-American woman who becomes pregnant by her stepfather. With her stunning good looks and lovely voice, Liu supports herself through singing, but difficult circumstances force her to give up her son William for adoption. Flash forward several years, William spots a movie ad featuring the glamorous actress, Willow Frost. Convinced that Willow is his ah-ma, William escapes the orphanage, determined to find her. A memorable journey, and one well worth taking."
--Anne Lee, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Night Film
by Marisha Pessl
(Random House)
"Scott McGrath has it all--a successful career in journalism, a beautiful wife, and an adorable daughter--until his impulsive, possibly libelous comment about the mysterious film director Stanislav Cordova causes everything to fall apart. Five years later, Cordova's talented daughter, Ashley, dies from an apparent suicide--or is it? A giant, delicious, juicy read that cuts across genres." --Elizabeth Olesh, Nassau Library System, Long Island, NY

Burial Rites
by Hannah Kent
(Little, Brown)
"Kent has created a first-rate debut novel with beautiful, lyrical passages and characters true to their historical counterparts. The unforgettable story finds convicted killer Agnes Magnúsdóttir awaiting execution and seeking both a reprieve from her dreadful sentence and the possibility of redemption. An excellent choice for reading groups, especially those who have enjoyed Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace." --Margaret Donovan, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA

Five Days at Memorial
by Sheri Fink
"Through exhaustive interviews and extensive research, Fink offers a spellbinding account of Hurricane Katrina, a disaster which held the staff, patients, and families of a New Orleans hospital captive and left thousands of others marooned by rising flood waters in the heart of city. Filled with unforgettable life-and-death stories, Fink’s fine work of investigative journalism reads like a novel. The book causes you to rethink your opinions about end-of-life decisions, do-not-resuscitate orders and medical ethics."
--Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI

Help for the Haunted
by John Searles
(William Morrow)
"Fourteen-year-old Sylvia slowly unravels deep family secrets after her demonologist parents are gunned down in a deserted church. Creepy, disturbing, and compelling, with gothic overtones and well-drawn characters, Help for the Haunted is definitely one of my favorite suspense novels of the year. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to older teens, and it would also make a terrific movie." --Robin Beerbower, Salem Public Library, Salem, OR

by Jillian Cantor
"Can you hide from your past and change who you are? If you try, what do you risk losing? This delicately written novel proposes an alternate fate for Margot Frank, who survives the war, moves to Philadelphia, finds work as a law secretary and assumes the identity 'Margie Franklin.' But when the movie version of The Diary of A Young Girl is released and the law firm takes on a case of a Holocaust survivor, Margot’s past and Margie’s carefully constructed present collide. This great book will appeal to reading groups and fans of alternative history, what-if novels and character-centered fiction." --Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

A House in the Sky
by Amanda Lindhout
& Sara Corbett
"Absolutely gripping, harrowing and unforgettable! This well-written memoir is a true testament to the strength of one woman's spirit and her will to survive in unimaginable circumstances. The family issues that led Amanda Lindhout from her home in Canada to a life of world travel and a career in journalism are as richly detailed and compelling as the brutal account of her fifteen-month-long captivity by Somali Islamist rebels in 2008. She tells her story with such vulnerability and honesty that it is a privilege to read it." --Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT

Friday, August 9, 2013

More in October

There are two more big names coming with books in October and 3 other popular but not quite as big names. I will cover those big ones first.

Iris Johansen gives us Silencing Eve on October 1. This is the final title in the new trilogy of Eve Duncan, the forensic sculptor. The series starts with Taking Eve; continues with higher stakes in Hunting Eve and ends with this title. Will the secrets of Eve's past overtake her future and will she survive? Those who read this series will be waiting to find out.

Stuart Woods gives us another Stone Barrington title with Doing Hard Time on October 8. Typical Woods fare when Stone makes a business trip to Bel Air and finds himself involved with a case that had seemingly been resolved but has returned in full force—with lethal results.

On October 15, Scott Turow publishes Identical. This is a Kindle County Legal Thriller and is a story loosely based on the myth of Castor and Pollux. Paul and Cass Giannis are identical twins. In 2008, Paul is running for mayor while his twin, Cass is getting out of prison after killing his girlfriend 25 years before. An ex-FBI agent and a former homicide detective are investigating the old case for the victims family. A complex tale like only Turow can tell.

Next, let's talk about Raymond Khoury's latest. He is growing in popularity with each title and this one, Rasputin's Shadow might send him all the way. Khoury is definitely recommended for those who like Dan Brown. His novels have lots of twists and turns and generally have something to do with events that happened in the past. In this particular case, it was a in the early 1900's when miners in the Ural Mountains suddenly started attacking each other and the whole site was blown up to prevent discovery of the incident. If you have read Khoury in the past, FBI Agent Sean Reilly returns to investigate.

Lastly, Val McDermid, British mystery author, returns with Cross and Burn which comes out on October 22. Many who read McDermid, remember her most clearly for Wire in the Blood a dark suspenseful award winner. They also, perhaps thought that she was through with the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series with her last book Retribution which left the two series characters not speaking with each other. But with this title, murder victims who closely resemble Carol are turning up and suspicion is raised. Tony and Carol have to work together to find the solution and to protect themselves and each other.

If any of these attract your attention, get your name on the lists.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Big Names in October

October is a pretty popular month for publishing and there are quite a few 'big' names coming out with titles. So many in fact, that I may not be able to do this in one post. Some might have to wait till next week. I will do my best though.

First big name is John Grisham. Sycamore Row arrives on October 22nd. This is the continuing story from one of his first books, A Time to Kill. Jack Brigance is back trying to defend justice in a small Mississippi town. Often Grisham's name is enough to make this popular but going back to continue a story from one of his most popular titles might push this over the edge. There are already 18 requests on this title so if you haven't put your name on there yet, do it ASAP.

Ann Rice is coming out with the second of her Wolf Gift Chronicles. This series about werewolves isn't as popular as the vampire series but those who love her, love it. The Wolves of Midwinter comes out on October 15th. She continues the story of Reuben Golding, the Man Wolf, and the celebration of Midwinter or as we know it Christmas. Hmmmm - werewolves and Christmas don't go together in my mind but I guess they must in hers.

Sara Paretsky gives us another V.I. Warshawski novel which comes out on October 22nd. Critical Mass has Warshawski helping a Viennese born friend and end up investigating secrets dating back to the development of the atomic bomb. Another well plotted Paretsky thriller.

Robert B. Parker left behind an uncompleted manuscript when he died. His friend and agent, Helen Brann, completed the work. Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel comes out also on October 22nd. A young homeless boy named Slide asks Spencer to get involved when a shelter where Slide is staying is threaten with closure. Spencer finds that it isn't just a lack of money but the involvement of a drug lord that is the real threat.

Another extremely popular author, John Sandford, joins the October rush. Storm Front arrives on October 8th. Rather that the Prey series, this is from his Virgil Flowers series. An Israeli policewoman arrives on Flowers doorstep. She is chasing someone who escape with a valuable relic - a copper scroll that reveals unknown information about King Solomon. Not a Dan Brown read alike but better.

OK - one more to get ready for this week, Lisa Scottoline comes out with Accused: A Rosato and Associates Novel on October 29th. This teams the all female law firm with Allegra Gardner, a 13 year old genius and the sister of a murder victim. Allegra believes that the person found guilty of the crime is innocent and the Rosato Firm take her on as a client even though her parents do not want the case reopened. Really suspenseful and well written.

OK, enough for this week. Get your names on the reserve lists if any strike your fancy.