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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

LibraryReads for April's Titles

The list from LibraryReads came out earlier this week. These are titles that will be published in April. Several are ones that I have put my name on. Let's see what you think.

Gabrielle Zevin leads the list with The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. Fikry, a middle-aged bookstore owner who lost his wife, becomes depressed and withdrawn when a much loved and valuable book of Poe's poems is stolen. This is a novel of transformation and second chances that has been compared to  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. 

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue also made the list. This work of historical fiction takes place in San Francisco in the 1879's and deals with the unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet, a cross-dresser living on the fringes of society. Donoghue also wrote the critically acclaimed Room.

And the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass, the author of Three Junes, is on the list. This, while not technically a sequel, has most of the familiar characters from Three Junes. Kit Noonan is intent on finding the identity of his father. His former step-father, Jasper, introduces him to Lucinda Burns. She knows the full story along with her husband. This work is the story of what the word family means and it's varying meanings.

Simone St. James' Silence for the Dead is also on the list. This is a mixture of horror and romance. A young woman impersonating a nurse is working in an isolated hospital for WWI veterans. The estate is haunted perhaps by the memories of the servicemen or perhaps by ghosts from the past. 

Donna Leon is a favorite of mine. Her By its Cover made the list. The Commissario Guido Brunetti series which takes place in Venice, Italy  is always a must read for me. One afternoon, Brunetti gets a  call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem—the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist. Brunetti is on the case.

The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn is his first published full length novel. It sounds - well - since it is about interning hit men I don't want to say great but let's just say I want to read it.  HR, Inc. is an elite "placement agency" that doubles as a network of assassins-for-hire;  John Lago, at 25, is already New York City’s most successful hit man; The Intern’s Handbook is his survival guide for new recruits at HR, Inc. Need I say more?

Nina Stibbe has written a memoir of sorts in Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home. Beginning in 1982, Nina Stibbe was a nanny to Sam and Will Frears, the sons of film director Stephen Frears and Mary-Kay Wilmers (now editor of the London Review of Books).  These are the letters she wrote home to her sister about London, about literary society and about life in general.

Colin Cotterill's The Axe Factor: A Jimm Juree Mystery takes place in coastal Thailand. This is Cotterill’s third Jimm Juree mystery. Jimm Juree is a journalist and she is assigned to interview Conrad Coralbank, an English writer living in Thailand. Meanwhile, Juree grows increasingly suspicious about why a local doctor disappeared. They appear to have a serial killer on their hands.

Akhil Sharma, a very highly praised author, has Family Life on the  list. Ajay, his brother and his parents come to America in search of a new and happier life and at first they find that, but then something horrific happens to the family, causing each member to be gravely affected.  An Indian immigrant experience novel that is terribly affecting.

Lastly, Erin Duffy's On the Rocks. Abby's fiance Ben dumps her on Facebook. In embarrassment and depression, she retreats to her apartment. Abby's friend takes her to Newport for the summer but how does one overcome the fiasco that has become known to almost everyone through social media. A novel for today.

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