I am back from meeting my new grandson. He is adorable. My son is really enamoured with him. That was part of the fun. Anyway, I want to give you the 10 books librarians chose for the best in November.
The top vote getter was David Nicholls' Us. This title was on the long list for the Booker prize much to the surprise of many. However, as mundane as the plot may sound - those who have read it, call it superb; poignant; funny; moving and surprising. It is the story of an awkward and conventional, but loving middle-aged Englishman who embarks on a trip around Europe to save his 25 year old marriage and his relationship with his relationship with his 17 year old son.
Now for the remaining nine titles in no particular order:
Sarah Maclean's Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover made the list. This is the 4th and last of The Rules of Scoundrels series, a very popular mass market paperback romance. Lady Georgiana's reputation is ruined before she has her first season by giving birth to an illegitimate child. She turns instead to London's dark side and becomes known as Chas, the founder of the city's most legendary gaming institution. Duncan West, a newspaper man, is intrigued and finds out everything. Will he publish his information or claim her heart?
The one nonfiction work this month is by Marilyn Johnson, Lives in Ruins: Achaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble. Johnson takes us into the real world of archaeology by interviewing and accompanying contemporary archaeologists. The hours are long, the pay is low and the jobs are few but that doesn't seem to be why they do the work. They love looking for clues to the puzzles of our past. This is a very entertaining read about a career that is very un-Indiana Jones-like.
The Burning Room by Michael Connelly is next. Another Harry Bosch tale that pairs him with an LAPD rising star. I mentioned this last entry because Connelly IS one of the big named authors. I said "Harry Bosch is back with a new partner, Lucia Soto, and he is called to investigate a crime that occurred nine years previously. Nine years ago, a stray bullet became lodged in the victim's spine which led to complications that eventually killed him. Does this remind you of any current event? How do you solve a case when the evidence is so very cold. Only Bosch knows."
Robin LaFevers has the 3rd in His Fair Assassin Trilogy coming out, Mortal Heart. We have this title in the Teen section but it is suitable for adults also. This entry focuses on Annith who has been kept at the convent while outers go out as assassins to serve Death. She discovers that she is being groomed as a Seeress and will be sequestered forever. Feeling betrayed, she escapes and sets out on her own.
The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes is the next to make the list. Moyes has become very popular and this one might make her a major voice. In this title, she uses historical fact and journals to tell the story of 4 of the 650 brides that made the voyage to England from Australia aboard the HMS Victoria - an aircraft carrier. Those who have read it call it fantastic and tremendously involving.
Bradford Morrow has a literary thriller on the list in The Forgers. This is a tale about the dark side of the rare book world. A famous book collector, Adam Diehl, is found murdered with missing hands. His sister's lover, Will, is drawn into the investigation as a possible suspect. Will has been found guilty of forgery and is seems that Adam might have been in the same business. What dirty dealings happen when forgery of rare books is suspected? Publishers Weekly has called Morrow "one of America's major literary voices". This ought to be good.
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon made the list. This is edited by Laurie R. King, the author of the Mary Russell/Sherlock novels and Leslie S. Klinger, a Sherlock scholar. They asked several well known authors to write either in the style of Doyle or Sherlock Holmes stories. People who have read this, loved it.
Stephanie Barron has Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas on the list. This is the 12th entry into the popular Jane Austen Mystery series. Jane and her mother and sister are spending Christmas with her brother's family at Steventon Parsonage. They are invited to visit the Vyne, where the weather and then a murder keeps them confined. Jane can't help but follow the clues.
Lastly, Lydia Millet has Mermaids in Paradise. Millet is known for her humorous fiction and short stories. This title is kind of genre bending as it starts out as chick lit - a young couple heads to the Caribbean for their honeymoon; turns into fantasy - as they go scuba diving and spot mermaids; and ends up as a heist - as they kidnap the mermaids so they can't be turned into a resort attraction. Critics who have read it call it entertaining, funny and enjoyable.
OK - those are the LibraryReads for November. I am going to squeeze in another post with some remaining titles that sound interesting to me next week. Enjoy reading!