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 (http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/05/unlocked-an-oral-history-of-hadens-syndrome-john-scalzi) 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.