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Friday, August 28, 2015

Finishing Up September Books

August is coming to a close and next week, I move on to October titles so I need to finish up with what I think are the interesting ones coming out in September.

M. C. Beaton has the 26th Agatha Raisin cozy coming out on September 15th, Dishing the Dirt. A new therapist comes to town and starts by romancing Agatha's ex husband and dropping hints about Agatha coming from the slums. Unfortunately, Agatha gets mad enough to proclaim "I'm going to kill you!" a day or two before someone kills the therapist. Guess who the main suspect is.

Elsa Hart has Jade Dragon Mountain arriving on September 1. I always enjoy a story that transports you to the time and place where it takes place. This is one of those. It takes place in China during the 1700's. The main character is Li Du - an imperial librarian who was exiled. When a Jesuit astronomer is murdered - Li Du is drawn into the investigation. Hart, a debut novelist, wrote this novel while living in Japan.

A Girl Without A Name by Sandra Block comes out on September 8. Psychiatrist Zoe Goldman is back after her outing in Little Black Lies. A young African American girl (around 12 or 13) appears on the streets in a catatonic state. She arrives at the institution when Zoe is put on the case. The girl does not remember her name and Zoe becomes obsessed with finding out who she is. The young girl is in greater danger than Zoe can imagine and she puts herself in danger trying to find out what happened.

Stephen Dobyns is an award winning poet who sometimes dips into the mystery/thriller genre. On September 1, he has Is Fat Bob Dead Yet arriving. This work has been called a mix of Richard Russo and Tim Dorsey. As you can probably tell from the title, there is a lot of comedy in this one. A hopeless loser, Connor Raposo, witnesses a motorcycle accident and is somehow drawn into a mob like comedy. If you need a laugh, try this one.

Next, Chris Holm, an award winning short story author, has The Killing Kind coming on September 15. Michael Hendrick was thought dead after the secretive military unit he was with had a mission end up bad. However, he actually left everything from his past life behind and became a hit man - a very well paid hit man. He only took cases where he killed other hit men which was a sure way to have people after him.

David Lagercrantz was asked to continue Stieg Larsson's sequel to the series featuring Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist by Larsson's estate. The result is The Girl in the Spider's Web which arrives on September 1. Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source who says he has info vital to the US.Blomkvist turns to Salander. Not too much has been released about the plot.

Do you like fast paced, plot driven adventure novels? Do you like the Bond novels? Give Ted Bell a chance. His 9th Alex Hawke novel is arriving on September 15. Patriot has Hawke taking on Russian President Vladimir Putin when Putin gets a hold of a powerful new weapon. Hawke, an MI6 officer, is out to stop him.

Iris Johansen has the 19th Eve Duncan novel coming on September 29th. Shadow Play has Duncan reconstructing the skull of a 9 year old girl who had been buried for 8 years. When the ghost of the girl speaks to her, Duncan becomes determined to find the killer and bring the girl peace. Unfortunately, the killer knows she is after him.

OK, certainly there must be something among these that strikes you as interesting. Decide what you want to read now and be the first to get it. We will move on to October next week.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Some more for September

I have spent the entire week transferring many of our downloadable audio books from one vendor to another. I think I now need new glasses from close reading of fine lines. Anyway, that doesn't mean we don't have more September titles to talk about because we definitely do. Here I go:

Sandra Dallas has The Last Midwife coming on September 29. Dallas' specialty is writing about women in the historical west. Here, Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in town and has delivered hundreds of babies. Now, she is accused of killing one. Really well reviewed.

Christina Dodd brings us Obsession Falls on September 8. This is the second novel set in the town of Virtue Falls. Taylor Summers tries to rescue a kidnapped boy and somehow ends up as the one police think is the kidnapper. She escapes and eventually comes to Virtue Falls with a changed name and history. Will her past catch up to her? Advertised as romantic suspense but it is definitely more suspense than romance. Good characters and great plot.

Shelley Shepard Gray returns with her third book in her Amish Brides of Pinecraft series with A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn on September 15. This is really an Amish Brady Bunch. 2 widowers, Emma Keim with her 3 daughters and Jay Hilty with his 3 sons, become friends even though Emma's parents are not pleased. Can it become more than friendship? Gray has a devoted following and they have LOVED this series and this title in particular.

JoJo Moyes has After You coming on September 29. This is the sequel to the very popular Me Before You. Louisa Clark is trying to learn to go on without Will Traynor from the previous novel when an accident forces her to move back home. She joins a support group and meets Sam Fielding. Can she move on? A novel that makes you laugh and cry.

On September 1, Jonathan Frazen, THE literary author of our time, has Purity arriving. Once again, Frazen begins with a family but in this book, he travels the world and uses connected plots to infuse his story with the major issues of the day. Never really displaying mothers as perfect characters, in this one Purity - nicknamed Pip, has a mother who won't help her financially, won't tell her who her father is, and is definition of the word manipulative. Pip has over $130,000 worth of education debt and is squatting with anarchists in foreclosed homes in Oakland, Ca. She takes a job with the Sunlight Project which tries to use the Internet to unearth the world's secrets. The overall theme of the title is purity but surprise - no one is really 'pure'. The reviewer in the Washington Post says "Franzen writes with a perfectly balanced fluency that has sometimes eluded him in the past." A hefty novel at almost 600 pages, if you are in for some literary reading discussing the web and privacy and today's social media, this is definitely the book for you.

OK - that's it for now. Hope you all find something good here.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

LibraryReads for September

The new LibraryReads list just came out. All are available to reserve in the library however, obviously, they won't be here until sometime in September. Lots of choices though so I will get started.

Gathering the most votes this month is The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo. DeCarlo is a debut author who has certainly found her voice. This is, at heart, a sad story of a young woman who has always made the wrong decision and ends up broke and pregnant. She returns to her dead mother's (a broken alcoholic)  home town when she is notified she was left her grandmothers home. She finds that her mother had been a lovely bubbly teen when she disappeared from town and goes on a mission to find out what happened to her. This book is written in a way that has you laughing even while you know it is a pitiful situation.

Now for the rest:

Lee Child's new Jack Reacher title, Make Me, is on the list. I talked about this book last week. There are lost of Reacher fans out there but people say, even if you haven't read him before, this is a good place to start.

House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure is on the list. For those readers of historical mysteries or suspense, this will be a must read. New York City in the late 1800's is one of my favorite time periods. Belfoure, himself, is an architect involved with historic preservation so he has an educated opinion on this tale. John Cross is a respected architect with fragile ties to high society when he learns of his oldest son's large gambling debts. If he does not pay them back, his son will be killed and his family's reputation destroyed. The gang leader wants Cross' inside knowledge of the homes of the wealthy and Cross is forced into a life of crime. Interesting time, place and plot.

Lauren Groff has Fates and Furies on the list. This is really an investigation of a marriage. The first half of the work centers on Lotto Satterwhite - the husband. It is done in the third person but really shows the marriage from Lotto's point of view. The second half of the work centers on Mathilde, the wife, and shows the marriage from her point of view. Both are extremely different. Groff writes beautifully and although this is not a work that you will finish in one sitting, you will look back on it as an enjoyable read.

Bill Clegg has Did You Ever Have a Family on the list. This is Clegg's debut as a novelist. He did write 2 terribly affecting memoirs (Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and Ninety Days: a Memoir of Recovery) but his first novel is elegant but heartrending. It is the story of June Reid whose whole world was gone in one day leaving her as the sole survivor. The day before her daughter's wedding, her daughter's fiance, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend were gone. June wanders aimlessly and settles eventually at a motel on the Pacific Ocean. The story follows everyone who was touched by the tragedy. Sad - very sad - but a story of the creation of a family in the end.

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young, another debut novelist, made the list. If you are in the mood for some Southern Gothic mysteries - this is for you. Charlie Cates is mourning the death of her son when she beings having nightmares about children. She soon realizes it isn't related to grief but is a psychic gift. A magazine offers her an article investigating a 30 year old disappearance of a 3 year old from the Evangeline plantation near New Orleans. The atmosphere is gloomy and swampy and the family has deep dark secrets. Does that entice you?

I would read this next book because of it's cover. I LOVE it's cover! Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. This is a memoir with hilarious stories of Lawson's depression. Wait a minute - how is this possible? I don't know - but she is able to do it.

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison is on the list. Evison is a really good author. He has penned several quite popular works. This one is about Harriet Chance, a widow in her late 70's. Her husband had died 2 years ago and she discovers that he had entered a contest and won an Alaskan cruise. Harriet decides to go. Her close friend gives her a letter and tells her to open it once she is on the ship. The contents of the letter cause Harriet to examine her whole life. In addition, her estranged daughter arrives on the cruise also. Harriet discovers that she was not totally innocent for how her life turned out nor was she totally to blame. Evison is able to treat his characters with authentic emotions but humor also.

Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart made it to the list. This story is based on one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs, Constance Kopp. The Kopp sister's live by themselves on a farm and one day the local factory owner, Henry Kaufman, crashes his car into the Kopp sisters' buggy. Constance asks that he reimburses them for damages but Kaufman laughs them off. Constance continues her demands and Kaufman tries intimidation, even shooting at their home. The sheriff asked for their help in bringing Kaufman to justice. This is set in New Jersey in 1914-15. It is historically accurate and the atmosphere is great. For those who like historical mystery adventures.

Lastly, The Scribe by Matthew Guinn. Another historical mystery for your consideration. Thomas Canby was an Atlanta detective who was run out of the city in disgrace. He is called back to investigate a serial murderer who appears to be targeting the wealthy black business men in town. The organization known as 'the Ring', want this murderer brought to justice before the 1881 Cotton Exposition is threatened. Canby is partnered with Atlanta's first African American policeman. Can they find the murderer and can Canby win back his damaged reputation? Read it to find out.

Hope there is something here that interests you. I'll continue with September titles next week.

Friday, August 7, 2015

September's Big Names

Another month has gone so we move on to titles coming out in September. There are some authors that have big names that might not be 'popular' genre authors.  I am going to start with one of those this time.

Margaret Atwood is an award winning Canadian author. Most of her titles do extremely well. Her The Handmaid's Tale has become a modern classic. She has The Heart Goes Last coming out on September 29th. This is a reworking of  her online Positron stories. Amazingly, some reviews have hated it but I think it is a must read for those who have loved her prior works. A young couple, Charmaine and Stan, are living out of their car when they find out about Consilience. Consilience is a social experiment where people live in a comfortable home of their own in the suburbs for one month and switch every other month with living in a jail cell. They begin to obsess about who is living in their home while they are gone. Interesting premise.

Anthony Horowitz, perhaps not the best known author, has been selected by the Ian Fleming Estate to write a new James Bond title with notes found from Fleming. Trigger Mortis comes out on September 8. James Bond returns to London after his Goldfinger incident with no other than Pussy Galore. He then becomes involved in a Soviet plot that is being helped along by a Korean millionaire. Sounds quite James Bondy to me.

Reed Farrel Coleman has Robert B. Parker's The Devil Wins coming out on September 8 also. Coleman continues the Jesse Stone series. After a storm in Paradise, MA, three bodies are discovered - a recently murdered man and the skeleton's of two girls who disappeared years ago. When one of the dead girls' mother comes to bury her daughter, she too is murdered. Jesse Stone is on the trail.

Jan Karon's Mitford series has always been very popular. She has Come Rain or Come Shine arriving on September 22. Father Timothy's adopted son, Dooley, has graduated from vet school and is opening a practice in town. He is also getting married. Sure to be popular with Mitford fans.

Danielle Steel has yet another title coming out. Undercover is arriving on September 1.  While still firmly in the romance genre, she is moving slightly to suspense with this one. DEA Special Agent Marshall Everett's arm is basically useless since being shot in the shoulder. No more undercover work for him and he doesn't know what to do with himself. Enter Ariana Gregory, an ambassador's daughter who had been kidnapped and brainwashed. There are still people after her. Can Marshall save her and himself?

Lee Child has his next Reacher title, Make Me, coming out on September 8. Traveling no where, Reacher stops in the town of Mother's Rest. He only wonders how it got it's name but ends up involved in a life and death struggle. No unusual for Reacher. After a short stop, he meets Michelle Chang who is looking for a missing private investigator. When he teams up with her, he finds himself racing around the country and dealing with thugs and assassins.

Lastly, Catherine Coulter and JT Ellison have teamed up for another Brit in the FBI title, The End Game, which comes out on September 15. Nicolas Drummond teams up with Mike Caine to investigate a violent environmental group that has targeted energy companies. They join in with a counter terrorism expert, Vanessa Grace, who had just infiltrated the organization. Coulter fun as usual.

There are more, but I will finish next week. Enjoy thinking about which of these you want to read while you are waiting.