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.