Best Sellers

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wow - a List of the Rest of August Titles

Once again, time has gotten ahead of me. This was suppose to be done last weekend, but instead - I added 2 dogs to my household and couldn't make myself leave them alone at home that long. So here I am with a long list of titles and a short synopsis of what they are about before moving on to the September books.

Robin Hobb has Fool's Assassin coming out on Aug. 12 for those who read fantasy. I happen to have read Hobb's Assassin series and this is a continuation of this work. It is very good - if you like that type of thing. FitzChivalry has left his royal assassin job behind, living in the country with his wife. Unexpectedly, even though she is beyond child bearing years, she finds herself pregnant. All the family think this is in her mind, not a fact. The resulting child is different in many ways and really the focus of this new series.

Terry Goodkind has Severed Souls out on Aug. 5. This is a continuation of his very popular Seeker of Truth series. Richard Rahl and his wife, Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnell continue their adventures. Once again for those who prefer fantasy over reality.

Before, During, After by Richard Bausch comes out on Aug. 12. Bausch has won most of the literary awards for his work. This one focuses on a Congressional Aide and an Episcopal priest who are engaged. Before their wedding, the priest appears to be lost in 9/11 and the Aide has a traumatic experience in Jamaica. Although they come back together, can their life ever be the same? This one falls into the literary fiction genre.

Graham Joyce has The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit coming on Aug. 5. Joyce writes in the psychological drama/horror mode. In this title, David takes a job at a beach resort where his biological father disappeared 15 years earlier.  Weird things start happening and then things get really scary.

Now on to the true suspense/mystery genre. Elizabeth Little has Dear Daughter coming on July 31. Jane Jenkins was in prison for 10 years after being found guilty of killing her mother. On her release, she begins to track down the real killer. Her investigation leads her to South Dakota where she discovers her mother had secrets that she buried deep.

Don't Look Back is coming from Gregg Hurwitz on Aug. 19. On a rafting and hiking tour, Eve Hardaway spots a man throwing machetes at something. Then she discovers the camera and pill bottle of a missing woman. I think you can guess what follows.

Arnaldur Indridason has a new Icelandic Inspector Erlendur novel coming on Aug. 26. In Strange Shores, the Inspector is hunting for two people who vanished long age - one being his brother who was lost in a snowstorm.

William Kent Krueger, after the success of Ordinary Grace, on Aug 19 has gone back to his Cork O'Connor series with Windigo Island. The residents of Bad Bluff reservation blame the Windigo, a mythical beast, for the battered body of a girl washed up on the shores of Lake Superior. Cork though, blames sex trafficking that has increased in the area.

One of my personal favorites, Spencer Quinn, returns with Chet and Bernie in Paw and Order on Aug. 5. I have this one on my list already and can't wait. Bernie is arrest while visiting his girlfriend in DC. I LOVE Chet. But then remember I have 2 new residents in my household.

As long as I am on a dog trend here, I throw in Ellen Cooney's The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Changes which arrives on Aug. 5. Evie signs up for dog-training school at the Sanctuary but finds herself being the one rescued. A must read for dog lovers.

Certainly with this many titles, there must be something that interests you. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

August LibraryReads

They announced the August LibraryReads this week. There are some good ones in here that made me add items to my TBR list. I am excited because the one that came in number one, with the most endorsements from other librarians, is the one I would have chosen. During BookExpo in NYC, the author was a member of a panel. Hilariously, she had us in stitches because she did not realize the coincidence of coming to the panel with a broken foot that was the result of a soccer kick, while promoting her new title One Kick. The author is Chelsea Cain and the title is out on Aug 19th. She prefaced a summary about this book by explaining that she wrote it because she wanted to write something she wasn't embarrassed about having her father read. This one though starts with a young 12 year old girl being rescued by the FBI from some child pornographers where she had been living for 6 years. OK - so that sounds much more x rated than it is - because most violence or brutality take place off page. The girl Kit "Kick" Lannigan focuses on never allowing herself to be a victim again. She becomes an expert in all martial arts and weapons handling. As an adult, she catches the attention of John Bishop, who with access to unlimited funds, wants her help to go after other child pornographers. Very, very quick pace and suspenseful. A definite read in one day.

Amy Bloom's Lucky Us made the list. It comes out on July 29th. It is the story of 2 half sisters who crisscross 1940's America looking for someplace to belong. It focuses on the themes of love, reinvention and the families we are born into and the families we choose for ourselves. You can't help but care about the characters in this story. I have the Advance Reader's Copy and it hooked me on the first page.

Next is Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This is coming out on Aug. 26th and is one of two titles that this month are in the romance genre. Annie - an actress who has turned to puppetering to try to make a living, is forces to an island off the coast of Maine in the dead of winter. Her mother has left her a cottage - that she needs financially in the worst way - if she stays there for 2 months. Also on the island is Theo - a teenage crush of Annie's who became one of her tormentors in her teen years. Now, a well known horror author, he presents a dark and threatening atmosphere. Hmmmmm - wonder what happens.......

Lock In by John Scalzi comes out on Aug 26th. Scalzi is known for his military science fiction novels but he takes a different path here. This has some distopia mixed in with a political crime thriller and some reviewers have noted that it helped them understand this title right from the beginning if they had read Scalzi's short online novella at the following link ( OK - the premise of the story is that there is this horrible flu like disease (the description of the disease and it's spread is covered in the novella) that sweeps the globe. Four percent of the world's population develop meningitis and one percent become 'locked in" - unable to move or respond to stimulus. There are two technologies that help these victims - one allows them to function in a virtual-reality environment but the other allows them to control some people's brains. Hmmmm, where do you suppose that leads? Sounds frightening to me.

Jessie Burton has The Miniaturist coming out on Aug 26. This is a debut novel that has received a lot of hype from reviewers and the publisher. It is a historical novel that takes place in Amsterdam in the late 1600's. 18 year old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam on the steps of her new husband's home. There is no warm welcome for her as we examine the ductotomy that is Amsterdam of that time period. Her husband gives her as a gift, a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish it, Nella turns to a miniaturist and begins to wonder when small furnishing start to arrive that she has not ordered.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty comes out on July 29th. Another one that is almost August. I spoke of this one in my July listings and said "One parent ends up dead after a terrible riot at Pirriwee Public's annual school trivia night. It appears to be murder. It follows the lives of three women who are at a crossroads and gives Moriarty the chance to visit issues of parenting, divorce and shattered families." I have an advanced readers copy of this one too and have started it. There is humor in this one.

Here is the other romance this month, The Truth about Leo by Katie MacAlister. This one is in her regency Noble series. MacAlister is another author who specializes in humorous romances. In this case, her heroine - Dagmar, a poverty stricken Danish princess,  is about to be placed in a nunnery when she finds an unconscious man in her garden - an English spy and the Leo of the title. Dagmar marries the unconscious Leo and uses him for free passage to England. When he wakes up --- will they stay together?

An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd - the mother/son writing duo - comes out on Aug. 12th. This World War I series is very popular partly because of the accurate time and place descriptions. Bess Crawford, the battlefield nurse/detective, must find a missing soldier who had been put in her charge and is suspected of murder.

The Magician's Land, the third in Lev Grossman's Magician trilogy is out on Aug 5th. Reviewers say reading the first 2 in the trilogy isn't necessary but all 3 are good fantasy. In this one, Quentin Coldwater, has been cast out of the magical land of his childhood dreams and he finds himself back teaching at the high school he use to attend. This is a novel of love and redemption and the story of a boy becoming a man.

Lastly, Thrity Umrigar has The Story Hour coming out on Aug 19. This is a book about relationships - friends and spouses. Maggie, a psychologist married to an Indian man, takes on Lakshmi as a patient. Lakshmi had attempted suicide because of a loveless marriage to a controlling man and pure loneliness. Against all principles, Maggie becomes 'friends' with Lakshmi - revealing some of herself which endangers many of her relationships and Lakshmi's.

There are some pretty good ones on the list this month. I hope you decide to read one or two.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Suspense for August - Part 1

There are quite a few suspense, thriller, mystery type of books being published in August by authors that you might not know.

Charles Cumming has A Colder War coming on August 5th. If you have been missing the Le Carre type of spy thriller, this one is the second in a series featuring Thomas Kell a disgraced M16 agent. This time 3 recent recruits by Western intelligence meet unfortunate fates and then a veteran M16 agent dies in a plane crash. The powers that be, call on Kell to investigate and dig out a mole.

Back Channel by the author of The Emperor of Ocean Park, Stephen L. Carter, comes out on July 29th. That is almost August, right? This story is part fact and part fiction. It takes place during the Cuban Missile Crisis when Kennedy and Khrushchev were looking for a way to negotiate behind the scenes. Strangely enough, the person that was chosen to be this 'back channel' is a 19 year old black Cornell sophomore. She holds the fate of the world in her hands as she is pursued by those who do not want her to succeed.

Dan Fesperman has Unmanned coming on August 12th. If you like your thrillers a little darker than most, this one is for you. Darwin Cole 'piloted' a Predator drone and is haunted by the memory of a mission when he say an Afghan child running for her life. He tries to drown the memory and finds himself a washout-drunk living by himself in a trailer. He teams up with three journalists to discover who was calling the shots during that mission. He finds himself running for his life also.

Now here is another name you  might not know, Chris Ewan. Ewan is a British author and he has gained in popularity here in the US recently. In fact, the Huffington Post has a poll that declared him one of America's favorite British authors. Dead Line features Daniel Trent, a specialist in hostage negotiation - it comes out on August 5th. He is anxious to talk to the chief suspect in the kidnapping of his fiancee. Unfortunately, the suspect has disappeared. It appears that the suspect has been kidnapped too! Can he manage to free the suspect to figure out where his fiancee is in time?

Karin Fossum has I Can See in the Dark coming out on August 12th. Fossum has been called the Norwegian Queen of  Crime. If you like your mysteries with a Scandinavian tilt, Fossum would be your cup of tea. She has a series featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer but this title is a stand alone.  It features an odd and troubled 40 year old man called Riktor. Riktor is a loner who is always on the outside - he has been accused of a crime he did not commit, but he has committed another crime which he needs to hide.

See if any of these appeal to you and I will be back next week with some more options for you.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Big Names in August

This is a little early because of the July 4th holiday - a long weekend for me. There are a few big names coming out with titles in August. I've summarized the ones that I think might interest you.

Colleen McCullough gives us Bittersweet on August 19th. This is being advertised as her 'first sweeping romance' since Thornbirds - and that was a long, long time ago. Reviewers seem to have loved it or thought it was boring. I think that romance literature has moved quite far beyond the pace in Thornbirds. Those who loved it, loved the pace though so.....if you liked Thornbirds than of course you will want to read this story of the Latimer sisters. Edda, Tufts, Grace and Kitty are the four sisters (2 sets of twins) and the events take place between the 1st and 2nd World Wars. All enroll in a training program for nurses and all experience problems in the male dominant society.

Debbie Macomber has her third Rose Harbor novel coming on 8/12, Love Letters. It returns us to the B & B of Jo Marie Rose and deals with the problematic relationships of her guests and really of Jo's as well. At some time in the past, someone has written them a letter that will help them in the current day. The novel deals with the courage it takes to be willing to open yourself to love.

One Kick by Chelsea Cain arrives on 8/19. I heard Cain during Book Expo talk about this new effort which perhaps be a new series. She said she started this book because she wanted to write something her father could read. Therefore, if you find her Sheridan/Lowell series too explicit, give this one a chance. This one features Kick Lannigan who had been kidnapped by a child predator at 6 and rescued at 11. She had been trained in bomb making and killing. After her rescue, she took training in the martial arts. It should come as no surprise that she has 'issues'. She is a private investigator when a mysterious man named Bishop asked her to help with a missing child case. I have read a portion of it, it is fast paced and grabs you from the first page.

Margaret Maron returns with her 19th Judge Deborah Knott title, Designated Daughters, on 8/12. Knott along with her husband, Deputy Sheriff Dwight Bryant investigate her dying Aunt Rachel when she is smothered to death in hospice. Was it murder or was it mercy? Soon, they realized that Rachel's last words held a deep secret. Maron's sense of place is always strong and her quirky characters are interesting. For those who enjoy her, this one is a must read.

James Patterson and Michael White have co-authored Private Down Under which comes out on 8/26. This is obviously in the Private series. Here, surprise, surprise, the agency opens an office in Sydney Australia. P.I. Craig Gisto is the head of this branch. He is celebrating at the launch party when a young man with his eyes gouged out arrives. This isn't the only case of course. Get ready for more Patterson taking place in Australia. Most of the comments I've read have been from annoyed Aussies because although the names and places are correct, all the slang and terminology is strictly American. Don't know if that will bother us.

That's it for the big names. There are more secondary ones or even unknown authors but those I will save for the rest of July. Happy 4th!