LibraryReads list of librarians choice of the best books arriving in December came out yesterday. Keep in mind that December is not a gigantic publishing month so - while I might not choose some of these titles, there are many other librarians who did. See what you think of the list.
Number one among the titles was No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: The Third Rule of Scoundrels by Sarah MacLean. Obviously, the third in the series following A Rogue by Any Other Name andOne Good Earl Deserves a Lover has been met with romance readers acclaim. If you are into historical romances, this series could be for you. Mara Lowe mysteriously disappears on the eve of her wedding day. It is widely believed that Temple is responsible for her murder. 12 years later, Mara reappears and asks for his help. Will he help or seek his revenge?
Next is The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol. Pancol is a French contemporary author and this title is a translation of one of her more popular works. This one is one that I would define as 'chick lit' or a woman's story. When her husband runs off to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress, Joséphine Cortès is left in an unhappy state of affairs. The mother of two attempts to maintain a stable family life while making ends meet on her meager salary as a medieval history scholar. Meanwhile, Joséphine’s sister Iris charms a famous publisher into offering her a lucrative deal for a twelfth-century romance, she offers her sister a deal of her own: Joséphine will write the novel and pocket all the proceeds, but the book will be published under Iris’s name. All is well—that is, until the book becomes the literary sensation of the season.
Roland Merullo's Vatican Waltz is next. Cynthia Piantedosi lives a quiet, unassuming life with her elderly father just outside of Boston. When she loses her beloved grandmother as a child, her faith takes a turn for the devout, and she begins experiencing what she describes as "spells"-moments of such intense prayer that she loses herself. she develops a deep friendship with the parish priest, whose ideas are often seen as too provocative by his congregation but who encourages her to explore her "spells." When he dies in a suspicious hit-and-run accident, the "spells" intensify and their message begins to take shape: God is asking her to be the first female Catholic priest. She reaches out to other unreceptive officials within the Catholic establishment and is met with ridicule. Unable to tune out the divine messages, she leaves behind all that she knows, letting the power of her unswerving faith drive her all the way to the Vatican in pursuit of a destiny she doesn't fully understand-and a turn of events that will rock the Church to its foundation. The writing in this has been praised for it's beauty.
From the religious to the occult in one sentence. Molly Harper's How to Run with a Naked Werewolf, the third in her Naked Werewolf series is a supernatural romance. Written with just the right mixture of romance and humor, this series has become increasingly popular. In this title, Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he’s really a werewolf. Lycanthropes don’t faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she’s known in years. The problem is—Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a not quite- legal bounty hunter, and Anna is suspicious of both him and his profession. On the run from her past, with old problems closing in, she’d like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb, however, seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle?
Adriana Trigiani gives us The Supreme Macaroni Company. It is a portrait of a woman and the man she loves, her passion for craftsmanship, and the sacrifices it takes to build and sustain a family business while keeping love and laughter at the center of everything. It follows Valentine (of Very, Valentine and Brava, Valentine) of the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village in her attempts to handle business, a husband and then children.
Then we have Innocence by Dean Koontz. Its a gentle love story wrapped up with tragedy, mystery and a touch of supernatural spices. It is also said to be different from what you might expect and one of his best works. He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found. But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.
Also making the list is Dangerous Women a book of short stories edited by George R.R. Martin. Among the authors represented are Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn, S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others. There are 21 stories that will take you all over this world and other worlds as well.
In the nonfiction realm, first there is The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, & a Family Secret by Catherine Bailey.In April of 1940 John the 9th Duke of Rutland, and one of Britain's wealthiest men, ended his days, virtually alone, lying on a makeshift bed in a dank cramped suite of rooms in the servants' quarters of his own home, Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire. For weeks, as his health deteriorated, his family, his servants - even the King's doctor - pleaded with him to come out, but he refused. After his death, his son and heir ordered that the rooms be locked up and they remained untouched for sixty years. What lay behind this extraordinary set of circumstances? Catherine Bailey unravels a complex and compelling tale of love, honour and betrayal, played out in the grand salons of Britain's stately homes at the turn of the twentieth century, and on the battlefields of the Western Front.
Scott Stossel, the editor of The Atlantic has written an all-encompassing treatise on the condition of anxiety. My Age of Anxiety : Fear, hope, dread, and the search for peace of mind is learned and empathetic, humorous and inspirational, offering the reader great insight into the biological, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to the affliction.
Lastly, Olivia Laing's The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking. Laing travels the US following the trails of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver and their relationship with drinking.
OK - all of these are in the catalog if you want to get your name on the list before they are published in December. See what YOU think.