Best Sellers

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Remaining May Titles

This will be a quick list of some other titles that are coming in May before I have to move on to the June titles.

Natalie S. Harnett has a debut novel arriving on May 13. The Hollow Ground describes an ongoing event that has fascinated me since I read about it. In the 1960s in Pennsylvania coal country, a fire started underground. This fire is still going on today! The narrator and heroine is 11 year old Brigid Howley whose parents must move in with her grandparents because of the fires. This has been said to have an atmospheric, voice driven narrative and an indelible sense of place.

Bret Anthony Johnston has Remember Me Like This coming on the 13th also. Johnston directs the creative writing program at Harvard so he ought to be good. This title concerns a young kidnapped boy who has been gone for 4 years and is returned safely. Reviewers call it brilliant and say its a story of a family trying to put their lives back together after an event that tear their lives apart. Can it ever be the same?

The Bees by Laline Paull comes on May 6th. This fantasy or fable title revolves around the life of bees or one particular bee.

Katherine Faw Morris has Young God also on May 6th where a young13 year old daughter tries to take over from her drug dealing father in the Carolina hills.

The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland comes on May 13th. Lena takes a job as a transcriptionist at a New York City newspaper right before the paper goes bust. One review said it was an exquisite novel that asks probing questions about journalism and ethics.

Richard Paul Evans complete The Walk series with Walking on Water which arrives on May 6th. Seattle ex advertising executive Alan Christofferesen reaches his destination.

The One and Only by Emily Giffin arrives on May 20th. Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in a small town in Texas. She is devoted to the small college and football team. When an unexpected tragedy strikes, she must give up her safety net and find a new path.

Jeff Guinn has a western coming out on May 6th - Glorious. Westerns don't come out that frequently these days so if you know someone who likes them, make sure you let them know. The protagonist, Cash McLendon, must leave St. Louis for a town names Glorious in the Arizona Territory.

Backlands by Michael McGarrity comes out on May 6th. While not a western exactly, it is the second in his planned trilogy after Hard Country. It continues the story in New Mexico of Patrick Kerney; his ex=wife, Emma; and their young son\ during the 1920-1940 time period.

Kimberla Lawson Roby, an extremely popular author, has The Prodigal Son on May 13th. This is the eleventh in her popular series.

Lauren Willig, the popular author of the Pink Carnation series, has a stand alone, Summer Engagement, which arrives on June 3rd. This title jumps between 2009 when Julia Conley returns to England to find a pre-Raphaelite painting at the house she has just inherited and 1849 when Imogen Grantham's life takes a sudden turn when her much older husband asks a young artist to paint her portrait. 

OK - this gives you quite a few to choose from so I will get ready for the June titles next week. Enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thriller Award Nominations

Earlier this month, the International Thriller Writers announced the nominees for the 2014 Best Hardcover Novel Award.. The award is presented in 2014 but all of these titles were published in 2013. We have copies of all of them at the library so I thought perhaps you would like to compare to see who you think should win the title. The winner will be announced during Thrillerfest in July in New York City.

Linda Castillo's Her Last Breath is the first entry. Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in a small town in Amish country in Ohio. When her childhood best friend's husband and two children are killed in a suspicious car accident, Kate's investigation contains evidence that this might not have been an 'accident.' Her investigation makes her question everything about her past and the Amish culture.

Lee Child's Never Go Back is next. Former military cop Jack Reacher returns to the headquarters of his old unit in northeastern Virginia to meet the new commanding officer Major Susan Turner, but she's not the one behind the CO's desk. Reacher must find Turner and clear his name. Jack Reacher being very much like - well - Jack Reacher.

Next is Lisa Gardner's Touch and God. The Denbe family appear to have it all and be living the life most can only dream about. Underneath, there are plenty of cracks but until they walk into their house and find catastrophe waiting for them. The family -  husband, wife and daughter are abducted. Private investigator Tessa Leoni and the FBI are on the case.

Stephen King's Doctor Sleep - the revisiting to the story of The Shining - is on  the list. Perhaps King has mellowed with age, but this sequel is not a straight horror read but more of the eternal battle of good vs evil. Personally, I think many of King's works cover this. Dan Torrance, the young boy in the first book, has grown up and fought the battle against alcohol. He now works in a Hospice. He discovers a 12 year old girl who is strongly gifted with 'shining' powers. He must save her from a tribe of murderous paranormals called The True Knot.

Owen Laukkanen - a name that might not be as familiar - has Criminal Enterprise on the list. From the outside, Carter Tomlin's life looks perfect: a big house, pretty wife, two kids.  But Tomlin has a secret. He's lost his job, the bills are mounting, and that perfect life is hanging by a thread.  Desperate, he robs a bank. Then he robs another. Then he decides he likes it not just for the money but for the thrill and power.  FBI special agent Carla Windermere and Minnesota state investigator Kirk Stevens reunite to solve the case.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child unite again to give us another Pendergast novel, the 13th in White Fire.
Corrie Swanson is investigating supposed bear attacks that took place years ago in Roaring Fork, Colorado for her thesis. The resort city first appeared to be helpful but soon turned it's back on her research and she ended up in jail. Pendergast steps in and Corrie reveals that it was something other than a bear that ate those miners. Soon a serial arson killer joins in the story. A tightly woven plot featuring a Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle thread reach an explosive finish.

Last but not least on the list is Andrew Pyper's The Demonologist.  Professor David Ullman makes a living lecturing on John Milton's Paradise Lost but does not really believe in biblical events until......In Venice, his 12 year old daughter disappears and he must find her, following clues from that work while confronting demons. A paranormal work of suspense.     

OK - those are the nominees. Check them out and see who you think should win.

Friday, April 11, 2014

May LibraryReads Announced

The LibraryReads top 10 list of titles published in May was announced today. There are some that came as a surprise to me - and some were not, of course. Let's see what you think about this list.

The overall favorite is We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This title is written for teens but reviewers say that it shouldn't be overlooked by adults looking for a fantastic read.  The premise is a prestigious family living on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. A granddaughter of the patriarch has been injured in some kind of accident and has memory loss. This title has been creating a lot of stir and readers are quite passionate about it and not telling anyone any more than the above. I might have to read it when it comes in just to see what the big deal is.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is next on the list. This is the story of a blind French girl and a young German male orphan - one in Paris and one in Berlin - and how they try to survive during the build up to World War II. It has been called moving, compelling and enthralling by reviews. Those who like literary fiction or historical fiction will probably enjoy.

Next comes The Bees by Laline Paull. This has been compared to Watership Down with bees and the meeting of The Handmaid's Tale and The Hunger Games. It is in fact about the activity and caste system in a bee hive. Flora 717 was born into the sanitation workers caste but she has more gifts than that. What is a bee to do? I guess we have to read it to find out. Opinions differ widely on this one, some calling it fresh and absorbing and others calling it just odd.

Ruth Reichl is giving us a novel, Delicious! that has made the list. If you like to read about food, then this is the title for you. This is Reichl's first novel and food writing is her specialty so she combined both into this work. Billie comes to NYC from California to take a job at a food magazine that quickly afterwards disbands. Billie is left to answer the customer service line for the foreseeable future. While there, she finds letters written to James Beard from a 12 year old. Reichl seems to shine when she writes about food. Characters and plots - not so much. Reviewers said it would be a good beach read.

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is next on the list. Mabel Dagmar, a plain working class student is asked to spend the summer with her college roommate, Genevra Winslow at their Vermont estate. It is the story of that summer, friendship and first love but it is also the story of what you might do for the feeling of belonging. Reviewers LOVED this book. Some compared it to The Secret History - high praise indeed.

Next we have The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow. Once again, reviewers loved this book describing it as a 'moving tale', entrancing, and excellent and evocative. Caroline Meadows discovers a quilt while clearing her mother's attic and begins a search of the origins. Much earlier, Maria - an accomplished seamstress - is employed to work for the Royal Family. She catches the eye of the Prince of Wales and she is intrigued by him. This leads to trouble when she is dismissed and sent to a mental institution. Will Caroline be able to find out what happened to Maria? We have to read it to find out.

Josh Malerman has Bird Box : Don't Open Your Eyes on the list. Said to be in the horror genre but not graphic is is highly recommended for fans of psychological suspense. There is something outside - we don't know what - once someone sees it, they go mad and suicide/murder is the result. Malorie, the main character, discovers that she is pregnant at the beginning of these events, and the story unfolds mostly through her eyes. It follows her through five years and the major occurrences during that time. She trains two children to rely on the sense of sound - no one can go outside unless they are blindfolded. Yet, at the end, she must leave the house to find others. Gives me shivers thinking about it. Said to be super-suspenseful, original and gripping.

Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg is the lone nonfiction work on the list this month. It is the story of how she and her husband opened a successful pizza restaurant called Delancey in Seattle. She also includes recipes. Wizenberg writes a popular blog called Orangette and has a ready made following for this title.

Darynda Jones next in her Charley Davidson series, Sixth Grave on the Edge is on the list. Described as a paranormal-romance-mystery - it makes me wonder how many genres you can shove into a book. However, this series is very popular. In this one Charley wants to learn more about her fiancee Reyes Farrow and investigates his childhood abduction at the same time she is being threatened by a crime syndicate who wants her to hunt down a witness set to testifying against a mob boss. Maybe you need to read the first five in the series to understand it.

Lastly, Elise Juska gives us The Blessings. The Blessings are a large Irish American family from Philadelphia and this books follows them through two decades. Each chapter is from another characters point of view. It is said to be a 'perfect summer read', 'easy to enjoy' and ' a real treat'.

Get your name on the list for any of the above titles that appeal to you. They are all in our catalog.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More May Titles

May is a popular month. Publishers are getting ready for what they hope will be a profitable summer reading season. Today's list has some - well I will call them B list authors. You may have heard of them but perhaps you won't have. Two of today's titles sound really really good to me. See if any appeal to you.

Terry Hayes was a journalist who became a film producer. He published his first novel in Great Britain last year and on May 27th, it is being published in the US. I Am Pilgrim is about a retired secret agent who wrote a book that became a classic in forensic science. When a woman is found dead, lying face down in a pool of acid, with no face, no teeth and no fingerprints, he is called back into the work by the NYPD. On it's British publication, the head of the Penguin Random House called it "the best debut thriller since The Day of the Jackal." Pretty high praise for this one. Another twitter comment said "Sleep is for wimps right? That's all I'm saying. #iampilgrim" Sounds like one to keep you up at night.

Greg Iles, an author close to making it onto my A list, comes out with Natchez Burning on April 29th. That is almost May, isn't it? This title feature Penn Cage, the southern lawyer from The Devil's Punchbowl. Cage is shocked when his father is accused of murdering his former nurse. When he starts investigating, even more secrets come out. This is the first of a trilogy so if you like Iles, start now with the first one. Keep in mind that it took Iles 5 years to write this book because he was in a horrible auto accident and was placed in a medically induced coma for awhile. Also, while he was writing this, his father - who is the inspiration for Dr. Tom Cage in this book - died. So, he has been through some life changing events. This title, might have a different tone than his previous ones. Those who have read it say at 800 pages in length, it still kept them on the edge of their seat and they were never bored.

I happen to have read Philip Kerr's previous books featuring WWII German homicide detective Bernie Gunther. I really liked the atmosphere he presented. Prayer, which comes out on May 6th, is a change for him. Gil Martins, an agent with the FBI's Domestic Terrorism Unit in Houston, thinks he has sent an innocent man to death row. He begins to question everything - the system, his religion, the world in general. While his crisis in faith is going on, he is tasked to investigate the killings of prominent religious people. People either seem to love this or hate it. Many have said it is a page turner and extremely well written - even beautifully written - but others have said it wasn't their cup of tea. You can decide for yourselves.

Sarah Lotz who has written horror and a YA zombie series gives us The Three on May 20th. 4 passenger planes crash almost simultaneously in different parts of the world. In all of the crashes, only 3 children survive - one from the US, one from Japan and one from Great Britain. An evangelist declares them 3 of the 4 harbingers of the apocalypse. Wow - everyone who has read this one, can't put it down. They call it terrifying, a mind-bender and extremely suspenseful. Part of the book is written as an expose by a fictional investigative journalist with letters, interviews and emails. It is said to be extremely easy to read and really suspenseful.

Michael Palmer has another medical thriller, Resistant, also coming out on May 20th. The governmental scientist committed to researching antibiotic resistant bacteria is kidnapped. Dr. Lou Welcome's best friend's leg injury is being attacked by the same bacteria. Trying to save his friend's life, Welcome investigates what has happened to the scientist and uncovers an evil plot.

Lastly, Matthew Quirk, has The Directive coming out on May 27th. This is Quirk's 2nd book after The 500. It again features Mike Ford, a prior conman, Harvard Law School grad. Interesting combination there. In this one, Mike steps in when his brother has been roped into a plot to steal a secret worth billions of dollars from a trading desk at the Federal Reserve. Quirk might be an interesting author to follow. Mike Ford is said to be a less cranky version of DMille's John Corey. So if you like adventure and plot over character development, this might be for you.

Enjoy deciding which of any of these, is your 'must read'.