Best Sellers

Friday, December 20, 2013

January LibraryReads

LibraryReads has come out with their list for January. There are some real page turners here.

Number one on the list is Alan Bradley's next Flavia de Luce novel, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches. The almost 12 year old detective, investigates mysteries about her own family.

Next, April Smith's A Star for Mrs. Blake, covers a group of mothers who travel to post WWI Europe to visit the graves of their son's.

Sarah Addison Allen's Lost Lake is next. Kate and her 8 year old daughter Devin return to Suley, Georgia and Lost Lake where Kate has good memories in hope to heal after the death of her husband.

Armistead Maupin takes us back to San Francisco with the next segment of Tales of the City in The Days of Anna Madrigal. At last, we get the true story of Anna Madrigal.

A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World : A Novel by Rachel Cantor. A debut novel that is quirky with interesting characters. Leonard doesn't want to leave his home and has a job answering complaint calls for Neetsa Pizza. Then he starts getting calls from Marco who says he is a 13th century explorer.

Brian Payton has a love story in The Wind Is Not a River. A reporter is stranded on the Aleutian Islands during World War II and his wife struggles to find him.

Orfeo by Richard Powers combines music and genetic engineering. Peter Els is trying to find new sources of music in his home microbiology lab when Homeland Security comes knocking on his door.

James Scott gives us The Kept. Another debut novel which takes place in the late 19th century in New York State in the winter. A mother returns home to find her children and husband slain. She and her only remaining child attempt to track down the killers.

Novelist Gary Shteyngart's memoir Little Failure writes of his American immigrant experience in a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far.

Marina Mander's The First True Lie is, I believe, the one that will make you cry - or at least make me cry. Luca, a 10 year old boy, lives with his mother who suffers from severe depression and his cat, Blue.  One morning, Luca wakes up to find his mom dead. Afraid of being put in an orphanage without Blue, he decides not to tell anyone about her death.

All titles are available in the catalog if they interest you.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Quick Review of Thrillers & Mysteries out in January

January is a big month for thrillers and mysteries. There are quite a few coming out and I want to get the list to you in case you would like to put your name on the list. It is going to be alphabetically by author.

Adler-Olsen, Jussi - The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel. New evidence has been unearthed in the case that sent Carl Morck to Department Q - the cold case team.

Bradley, Alan - The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel. Preadolescent sleuth Flavia de Luce is back and still looking for clues to her mother's disappearance.

Gardner, Lisa - Fear Nothing: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel. D.D. Warren is recuperating from a serious injury but still she is looking for the Rose Killer who leaves one single rose and a bottle of champagne.

Higgins, Jack - The Death Trade. Sean Dillon and Sara Gideon are back trying to rescue an Iranian scientist who doesn't want the current regime to get his research on a nuclear bomb.

Knott, Robert - Robert B. Parker's Bull River. Continuing the late Parker's Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series.

Krentz, Jayne Ann - River Road. Lucy Sheridan, a forensic genealogist, returns to Summer River for her aunt's funeral. 13 years before bad things had happened there.

Marcinko, Richard - Rogue Warrior: Curse of the Infidel. Continuing the series that fictionalizes Red Cell activities.

Todd, Charles - Hunting Shadows: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery.  Inspector Rutledge returns and this time investigates a murder that occurs at a wedding.

Woods, Stuart - Standup Guy: A Stone Barrington Novel. After giving legal advice to a gentleman, Stone discovers some unsavory types are unusually interested in his activities.

Wolf, Dick - The Execution. Wolf is the man behind Law & Order. 23 bodies are found marked with the distinctive mark of a known assassin and Detective Cecilia Garza is on the case.

Enjoy and prepare for a new year's reading.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New York Times Best Books of 2013

Every year the New York Times gives us a list of "100 Notable Books of 2XXX. This years list came out last week. I have been checking our catalog to see how many of them we have - and we have almost all of them. These book tend to be more literary than genre but there are some interesting choices here. They have also cut it down to the top 10 books of the year - 5 of which are fiction. Today I will cover those and next week, I will give you what I think are the highlights from the 50 fiction books they chose for the Notable List. The first two in this week's post are surprises for me. You can dip you foot in anywhere you choose and see what you think.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is Adichie's ( a Nigerian born author who splits her time between Nigeria and the US) third novel. Here she takes on American race relations from the perspective of a young Nigerian immigrant.

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner. This title is a coming of age story of Reno, an art student who comes to New York and ends up in Italy involved with the revolutionaries of the 1970.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. No surprise here. Tartt fans had been waiting for this one for years. A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker,  survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother, a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.  The heroine who keeps dying, then being resurrected and sent off in different but entirely plausible directions.

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders. Stories written with power and empathy about class and justice.

After The Music Stopped : The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead by Alan S. Blinder. A book which describes the financial meltdown of 2008.

Days of Fire : Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Barker. Baker was the chief White House correspondent for The Times during the several crises of the Bush administration and he looks at who really lead.

Five Days at Memorial : Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink. Fink describes the days after Hurricane Katrina. Many thoughtful questions arise with this one.

The Sleepwalkers : How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark. A highly readable survey of the events leading up to World War I.

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala.  A powerful memoir of a woman who lost her husband, her parents and two young sons to the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. 

OK - those are the top 10 from fiction and nonfiction. Next, I will cover some of the ones that didn't make the top 10 but are pretty good options if you want to read a good story.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Library Journals List for Mysteries and Thrillers

The list for mysteries and thrillers is long. Once again, I will talk about some of them and just give you the titles and authors for others.

Suspect by Robert Crais. LA PD cop, Scott James, suffered both physical and emotional injury in the violence that killed his partner. Maggie, a German Shepherd former military dog, suffered tragedy of her own. Together, they hunt down the killers who caused Scott's injury. Crais is best for portraying damaged people and he does it well here.
Final Cut by Catherine Coulter.
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer. I listened to this one in the car. If you like conspiracy theories, this is the one for you. Some days, I wanted to stay in my car. Luckily, I was on a trip so I had long distances where I could drive and listen. Beecher White, who appears in The Inner Circle, is back and this time - he is trying to connect the assassination attempts of the presidents and prevent another attempt from being successful.
Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell. This one was also on Publisher's Weekly's list . It might be worth a try. Thomas De Quincy was a real English essayist and the author of both On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts and the controversial Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. Morrell's work supposes De Quincy was a major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier. The killings seem to exactly match De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts." Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.
White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Cries of the Lost by Chris Knopf. This title just came out in Oct. When market researcher Arthur Cathcart emerged from a coma and set out to track down whoever murdered his wife, the results were far from pre-ordained. Wounded and alone, grief-stricken and hiding off the grid, he thought the only mystery was who killed Florencia, and why. But the quest for justice uncovered a host of fresh mysteries, just beginning with an elaborate scheme, complete with dummy corporations and off-shore numbered accounts. So in place of "who killed Florencia?" he was forced to ask "who was Florencia?"
Nightmare Range: The Collected George Sueno and Ernie Bascom Stories by Marin Limon.  Limon is a short story author and all of these are award winning.
How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny. What type of list would this be if it didn't have Penny's name and her recent Gamache novel on it. All I have to say is that some think this is one of her best.
Circle of Shadows: A Westerman-Crowther Mystery by Imogen Robertson. An historical mystery where the main detective, Mrs. Harriet Westerman, is female and the time is in the 1700's. When Mrs. Westerman's brother-in-law is suspected of murder in Germany, she rides to the rescue with her constant companion, the reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther.
Death on Demand by Paul Thomas. From one of New Zealand's best crime writers.