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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Starting December Titles

OK - here we go with December titles - not usually a big publishing month. There are several titles coming from fairly well known authors though so I will start with those.

Dean Koontz as Ashley Bell coming out on December 8. Koontz has been writing for a while. I have read quite a few of his works but his last few titles have not grabbed me. This one has a very interesting premise but many of the readers are drastically divided (some loving it/some hating it). Bibi Blair is a 22 year old author who is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She slips into a coma and awakes completely cured and convinced that she was spared so she could save Ashley Bell. Who is Ashley Bell? Bibi doesn't know but takes on this new mission with gusto. Some reviews have praised it saying it was lyrical and suspenseful and other found it repetitive and slow. From the comments I've read, it's hard to believe they were reading the same book but see what you think.

Mark Greaney is not that well known but he was Tom Clancy's co-author and is taking over the Jack Ryan series. Tom Clancy Commander-in-Chief comes out on December 1. The Russian president, Valeri Volodin, tries deflecting the state of the Russian economy but creating chaos in the world at large and lining up countries against the US. President Jack Ryan understands the hand being the chaos and works hard to cut him off. Always very popular

Danielle Steel has Precious Gifts coming out on December 1. This is her fourth new hardcover in 2015. She either had these stories in her head for a long time or is able to write really fast. Peter Parker left his second wife and three daughters to leave a carefree single life. His daughters are very different people but they are all working to succeed in life. Parker dies and leaves them all individual bequests that are designed to free them to pursue their dreams. He left his wife a secret from his past that leaves his wife hunting the original owner. If you read Steel, then this will be a must read.

James Lee Burke has House of the Rising Sun arriving on December 1. Burke has always been slotted with the mystery-suspense authors in my mind because of the Robicheaux series, this work though seems more in the line of historical or maybe even literary. The main character, Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland, is trying to meet up with his son, Ishmael, to reconcile with him. Ismael is with the U. S Army. On the way, he has a bloody clash that leaves 4 Mexicans dead and Hackberry on the run with an artifact that is reported to be the Holy Grail. One description of it says "From it's opening scene in revolutionary Mexico to the Battle of the Marne in 1918, and on to the bordellos and saloons of San Antonio during the reign of the Hole in the Wall Gang, an epic tale of love, loss, betrayal, vengeance and retribution.". That doesn't sound like a mystery to me but it sounds pretty good.

OK - next and last is some romantic suspense with Jayne Ann Krentz. Secret Sisters comes out on December 8. Madeline and Daphne were once best friends but then Madeline was attacked at her grandmother's hotel and both girls moved away. 20 years later, when Madeline's grandmother dies, she comes back to the hotel. Both girls thought they knew what had happened to the original attacker but they were mistaken. The two must call on Jack Raynor, the security expert for the hotels and his brother, a technical wiz, to help figure out what is happening. Said to be a page turner with wonderful character development.

OK - that is it till next week. It will probably be early next week as I am headed out of town for a wedding. Besides, I am excited about possibly bringing you some authors you haven't read yet.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Last Week for November Books

There are a few more titles coming out in November that in my opinion, might be interesting. You can see if you agree.

Sally Andrews has Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery coming out on November 3. Andrews  lives in a nature preserve in South Africa. Her first novel is similar to an Alexander McCall Smith with cooking and recipes thrown in. In this, Tannie Maria is a widow (her abusive husband came to an early end) who lives peacefully on a small farm in South Africa. She also writes an advice and cooking column for the local paper. When an abused woman who sought her advice ends up dead, Tannie feels she must investigate.

It must be nice to be Ben Sanders. He is a New Zealand author who wrote 3 books were written while he was studying at a university and all became New Zealand bestsellers. He graduated and wrote the above - his American debut - which had its film rights sold to Warner Bros and Bradley Cooper is attached to star and produce. Talk about an early star!!!! This American debut - American Blood - comes out on November 17. Marshall Grade, an ex-NYPD officer who was put in witness protection after a botched undercover operation, is drawn into an investigation into a local woman named Alyce Ray. He is suppose to keep a low profile as the mob wants him dead and have hired a contract killer names Dallas Man to track him down and put him away. I can see Bradley Cooper playing Marshall - how about you?

Also on November 17, Kevin Barry has Beatlebon arriving. Barry is an award winning Irish author and this is his first big American push. It takes place in 1978 and features John Lennon who is escaping New York City to find peace and hopefully his creative edge again. Nine years before, he had purchased a small island off the coast of Ireland and he put himself in the hands of a shape-shifting driver to take him there. Is it any surprise that the trip is not direct? The writing is said to be magical.

Ethan Hawk - yes the movie star Ethan Hawk - is also an author. On November 10, his third novel is being published, Rules for a Knight. Cornish knight Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke is going off to a battle and he does not expect to return. Before leaving, he writes a book for his children. Each chapter is about 20 virtues that will help them lead a noble life. For each virtue, there is a parable. Ethan Hawk's wife provided the artwork for the book. Said to be both inspirational by some and boring by others. I guess you have to be in the mood.

Lastly, on November 10, Mitch Albom brings us his next work, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. Albom is a songwriter and a lyricist  - who knew that? He actually started out in the music field, later turning to journalism and then to fiction. This work tells the story of Frankie Presto, the greatest guitar player ever. He was abandoned as an infant and raised by a music teacher in Spain. When he was 9, he was sent to America to avoid the chaos of the Spanish war. At that time, his only possession was an old guitar and 6 magic blue strings. When he realizes that he can change lives with those magic strings, he vanishes but then reappears to change one last life. Reviewers say that this novel really sings.

OK-there are the last titles coming out in November. I think there should be something for almost anyone. See if there is one you like.

Friday, October 16, 2015

LibraryReads for November

The new LibraryReads list came out for November. There are 3 titles penned by pretty well known authors and the others are up and coming authors in their genre.

Leading the list is Isabel Allende's The Japanese Lover. Allende has long been a popular literary author. Here, she has crafted a multigeneraltional epic love story. Alma Belasco's parents send her to live with an aunt and uncle in San Francisco when the Nazis rose to power in Poland. Here she meets the son of the Japanese gardener, Ichimei Fukuda. They form a friendship and then love affair which is interrupted when all Japanese are sent to an internment camp. The two meet again but are always torn apart. Decades later, Alma is living with her grandson, Seth, when she hires Irina Bazili to help her put her life in order. Irina herself has a troubled past. Irina and Seth become fascinated with Alma's past life and the mysterious gifts that arrive. Really, more than a love story but move about how fate impacts our lives and how we really find ourselves.

Next on the list is The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild. Annie McDee was a personal chef for art dealers when she purchases an old painting in a junk shop as a birthday gift for a boyfriend. When the boyfriend stands her up, the painting becomes hers. Much of the story is told through the eyes of the painting and since it is a missing, old, famous painting - it has seen a lot. Many are looking for this painting so intrigue and adventure ensues. This appears to be Rothschild first novel and reviewers have praised the writing.

Then, Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living by Jason Gay. Gay is a sports columnist for Wall Street Journal and he has come up with the self help book for today. Gay himself has said it is "a book that hopefully makes you think and laugh about family, work, travel, holidays, relationships, sports and pets." Reviewers universally call it laugh out loud funny and warm and winning.

Now the next well known author's offering, Crimson Shore. by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. I spoke about this one in my last post. Pendergast and Constance Greene investigate the theft of a wine collection when they discover a bricked in niche that has a few bones from a skeleton remaining. The 15th installment in the Pendergast series.

B.A. Shapiro has The Muralist on the list. This story is told in 2 time periods - during World War II and in the present day. Alizee Benoit is an artist employed by the WPA - friends with Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner and Mark Rothko and also Eleanor Roosevelt. Alizee is trying frantically to get the rest of her family still living in France into the US and away from the Nazis. During this time period she disappears. The other theme centers on Danielle Abrams, Alizee's great niece. While working at Christies auction house, she uncovers some paintings hidden behind famous Abstract Expressionist artist. They are similar to works of her aunt's. Now she becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her aunt. All reviewers say they learned a lot about abstract art and the WPA.

M.H. Boroson also make the list with The Girl with Ghost Eyes. This title is a fantasy filled with Chinese folklore and mythology. It takes place during the 1800's in San Francisco. The main character is Li-lin, young widow with 'yin' eyes - she can see the spirit world.  A sorcerer cripples her father and sets terrible plans in motion that will burn Chinatown to the ground. Li-lin is the only one who can stop them. All the reviewers loved this book and say it is hard to put down.

Next comes Beatriz Williams' Along the Infinite Sea. This will complete Williams' semi trilogy of the three Schuyler sisters. It focuses on Pepper Schuyler who ran away to a small coastal Georgia town because she was pregnant. She fixes up and vintage Mercedes and sells it at an auction. The new owner is Annabelle Dommerich - who had driven the car out of Nazi Germany during WWII. Again, a story in 2 time periods - Annabelle's and Pepper's flight - one in the 1940's and one in the 1960's. When the father of her unborn baby tracks Pepper down, the two women must bond together.

A mystery of the cozy variety, A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay is the 6th in the Library Lover's Mystery series. In this one, library director Lindsey Norris is delivering books to Stewart and Peter Rosen, two elderly brothers who live on an island off the coast of Connecticut. One of them always greets her at the dock when she arrives on the water taxi but when they don't show up, Norris decides to go to their home and finds one of them dead and one missing. Of course, she has to investigate.

Now Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker, the award winning actress, is on the list. This is a type of memoir that Parker penned as a series of letters to important men in her life. She has written articles for Esquire so it should not be a surprise that this is deeply thought out and almost poetic.

Lastly, the last author you may recognize. Michael Cunningham has A Wild Swan and Other Tales illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. These are continuations of the old fairy tales - what happens after - made for adults. Some are set in the modern world. A quick read for sure by this Pulitzer winning author.

OK - there you go with this months LibraryReads - the titles recommended by library employees country wide. Hope there is something in here for you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

More November Titles

I am off on vacation for a week but wanted to get another blog entry done before leaving. Some of these are even Christmas themed.

Rhys Bowen has Away in a Manger coming out on November 17. This is from her Molly Murphy Sullivan series. Molly now has a family and they are out listening to carolers in 1905 New York when she hears a little girl singing Away in a Manger in a doorway. Dirty and unwashed, the little girl is yet well spoken and along with an older brother, is living with a nasty aunt. Molly has to investigate, doesn't she?

Charles Finch has the ninth in the Charles Lenox series coming out on November 17, Home by Nightfall. Lenox has two cases he is working on for his thriving detective agency. A famous foreign pianist has disappeared and numerous small crimes around his brother's home in Sussex. When visiting his brother, Lenox realizes just how strange these small crimes are. He is racing before either investigation turns deadly.

Richard Paul Evans has the second in his holiday love story Mistletoe Collection, The Mistletoe Inn, scheduled for release on November 17. Kimberly Rossetti has had two broken engagements and a divorce and is ready to fulfill at least one dream when she signs up for a 9 day romance writing workshop in Savannah, GA. There she meets Zeke, another aspiring romance writer, and together they begin to realize what is holding them back both in writing and personally.

Sherrilyn Kenyon has Born of Betrayal coming on November 3. Kenyon is a very popular urban fantasy or paranormal romance author. Her first series, Dark Hunter, was overwhelmingly popular. This is the 10th in her The League series.These are slightly more fantasy romance than paranormal. I would suggest reading the whole series in order as if you jump into the middle, you will not have the background on the characters. Fain Hauk has left his military career, planet and fiancee behind for the sake of his family. He has made a life for himself but the past is catching up to him.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child get together again for the number 15 in the Pendergast series, Crimson Shore, which comes out on November 10. Investigating the theft of a wine collection in the seaside village of Exmouth, MA, Pendergast and his ward Constance Greene discover a bricked-up niche that once held a crumbling skeleton.They know this because of the shackles and an overlooked finger bone. Can he possibly not investigate? Of course he has to.

Hopefully this will hold you till next week. Hope the rain has gone away for now.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

November Big Names - and There Are A Lot!

Wow - there are a lot of major authors coming out with new works this month. I am going to try to cover most of them but there will be other weeks to do the rest so....I will do as many as I can.

First off, David Baldacci has The Guilty coming out on November 17. This is the fourth in the Will Robie series. Will Robie left his hometown after high school and never looked back. Now, his father, a town judge, has been charged with murder. Robie returns to try to help but meets resistance on all sides, including his father. Can he find out if his father is really guilty? What possibly deadly secrets will he discover?

Michael Connelly has The Crossing coming out on November 3. Harry Bosch is retired from the LAPD but can't seem to stay out of trouble. His half-brother who is a defense attorney wants his help in clearing a client of murder. When he starts investigating, he starts drawing bullets. Hmmm. Can he make it through this time?

Everyone's favorite, Stephanie Plum, is back with Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich on November 17. Stephanie is assigned the case of Ken Globovic who was arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College and then missed his court date. People have seen him on campus but no one is talking.When the person Ranger was hired to protect is killed in his backyard and then Joe Morelli is assigned the case, Stephanie has a dilemma. All she wast is the cash prize.

Mary Higgins Clark has her second in the Under Suspicion series coming on November 17, All Dressed in White.  Laurie Moran decides to take on a case of a missing bride as a cold case for her investigative TV series. Amanda Pierce disappeared 5 years ago at The Breakers in  Palm Beach just before her wedding. Moran brings her whole crew down to The Breakers to reenact the event in hopes on new clues being found. Danger is the result.

James Patterson brings back Alex Cross with Cross Justice on November 23. Cross goes back to his North Carolina hometown after 30 years to defend a cousin. In the process, Alex discovers a deadly family secret which might kill him. Now he is looking for the killer and the truth.

Lastly for this week, Stephen King has a work of short stories coming on November 3, The Bazaar if Bad Dreams. King has always been a great short story author and has won awards for it. This is a collection of some previously published in magazines or online and some brand new stories. Each is prefaced with notes on its origins, themes or motivations. King has said "Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth." I personally, can't wait. I've always loved King's work - maybe not his Carrie or The Shining - but his real 'morality tales' like The Stand or Insomnia or 11/22/63. 

Hope you find something you want to read above. Probably you have already put your name on most if you liked the author. However, next week we hit ones you might not know about.