Best Sellers

Monday, September 26, 2016

Last of October

Sorry I didn't get this out Saturday but...when I came in, I couldn't get the lights in my office to come on. I just can't type in the dark so....this morning will have to do.

First, I am going to talk about Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt which is coming out on October 4. Occasionally I come across a book that even though not in my preferred genres, I feel compelled to read. This is one of those. Maybe because it takes place in the 70's and is about a teenage girl - that could be the thing that is calling me. Here, Lucy is 16 and a bored high school student who lives with her older 'perfect' sister Charlotte and Iris - their guardian. Lucy and her high school English teacher run away to live on a remote farm in Pennsylvania. Charlotte, who has always been Lucy's caretaker, and Iris - are desperate to find her. Lucy soon finds out that running away may not have been a good idea. The writing is beautiful - the character development is outstanding. It is a compelling read.

Melina Marchetta, who has only written for teens up till now, has her first adult novel coming out on October 11. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is really a literary who-done-it. Chief Inspector Bish Ortley's daughter is on a touring holiday when Bish gets a phone call about a bombing. He rushes to his injured daughter and is drawn into the investigation. He discovers that 17 year old Violette LeBrac was also on the bus. Bish had put her mother in prison with a life sentence for another bombing 14 years ago. No one knew who the target was and the students were not talking. Bish though, is determined to find the truth.

By Gaslight by Steven Price comes out on October 4. Price first published as a poet so you know that language is lyrical. If you like historical mysteries or works placed in Victorian London - then this one is for you. It takes place in London in 1885. William Pinkerton - following in the footsteps of his father, the famous detective - is after the mysterious thief, Edward Shade. Adam Foole is a gentleman with no background is looking for a lost love. Both end up searching the dark streets of London looking for clues.

Seduced by Randy Wayne White is coming out on October 18. This is the fourth in the Hannah Smith series. Smith is, of course, a fishing guide and part time investigator. In this work, Florida's orange trees are dying. They have been weakened by infestations and genetic manipulations. The only thing that might help them is root stock from the original trees planted by the Spanish conquistadors. Smith is a obvious choice to hunt for this. She is warned that some would kill for this and she finds that it wasn't an exaggeration.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood comes out on October 11. This is the fourth novel in the Hogarth Shakespeare series. The Hogarth Shakespeare Project has asked authors to create an updated version of one of Shakespeare's plays. Atwood has done a fabulous reinvention of The Tempest. Here, Prospero becomes Felix Phillips, a deposed artistic director of a Shakespeare Festival, who was stabbed in the back by his assistant, Tony. Felix's wife and daughter (Miranda) are dead. Felix, takes on an alias of Mr. Duke and starts to volunteer in a prison. He puts on The Tempest about a Prospero who puts on a play to gain revenge and here, it a play within a play within a play. Said to be the best of the Hogarth series yet.

Lastly, Thomas Keneally of Schindler's List fame, has Napoleon's Last Island. This novel is based on lots of research by Keneally Most of the people and the important events are real. Betsy Balcombe was a child living with her family on St. Helena when Napoleon was exiled there. Her father, William Balcombe was ruined by his friendship with Napoleon and took a position in New South Wales to reclaim his reputation. An interesting time in history

OK - there you go. Hope there is something there for you.

Friday, September 16, 2016

More October Titles

This is going to have to be a quick one this week. Tomorrow is our big Children's Book Festival and we are all working. It is going to be an exciting day but we will be tired tomorrow night. So - here are some more titles coming out in October.

Jefferson Bass has Without Mercy, the tenth in the Body Farm series, coming out on October 4. Jefferson Bass is actually Jon Jefferson, a writer and Dr. Bill Bass, a forensic anthropologist who founded the "Body Farm" at the University of Tennessee. Obviously, these are going to be dark, disturbing and even gruesome at time works. Here, Bill Brockton, the forensic anthropologist, is working on one crime when he and his assistant find that some one he put behind bars, a vicious serial killer, Nick Satterfield, has escaped. Satterfield wants revenge by harming all Brockton hold dear.

Allen Eskens has The Heavens May Fall coming out also on October 4. Eskens writes intricately plotted and compelling suspense. Here, two good friends are on opposite sides of the case of the death of Jennavieve Pruitt. Max Rupert is sure she was killed by her husband. Attorney Boady Sanden is just as sure that her husband is innocent. Obviously one of them is wrong.

Once again on October 4, Tana French has The Trespasser arriving. This one made the LibraryReads list from last week. It is a continuation of the Dublin Murder Squad series. Antoinette Conway and her partner Steve Moran can't understand why they are being pushed in one direction when their guts tell them something else.

Patrick Hoffman has Every Man a Menace once again coming out on October 4. Hoffman also writes dark and gritty crime fiction. Here Hoffman follows the people involved in transporting a major delivery of Ecstasy (the drug) to San Francisco. This is his second novel focusing on the making, running and distribution of drugs and it's effects.

Lastly for this week, Joe Ide has IQ coming out on October 18. This is a debut novel by Ide who is of Japanese American descent. He grew up in South Central LA but went on to earn a graduate degree. His favorite books growing up were those by Conan Doyle. He was fascinated by the idea that someone could defeat his enemies just because he was intelligent. this work deals with a genius loner living in East Long Beach. He solves the crimes the police can't. It has already been sold to develop into a television series. You might want to get on the wagon before it gets on the screen.

Sorry this has to be so short this week. Hope to see some of you tomorrow at the festival.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

October's LibraryReads

There are always some interesting titles on the LibraryReads list. Some might not be my cup of tea but I am sure they are for others. This is one of those months where only a few of them are titles I chose. The number one choice on this months list is News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Jiles' historical novels are always well researched but she is known more for great characterizations. Both are present in this title. An old ex-soldier becomes an itinerant news reader in Texas after the Civil War. Captain Jefferson Kidd would read world event news to the small towns spread throughout Texas. In one, a gentleman he trusted, asked him to return a young 10 year old, kidnapped by Indians when she was 6, back to her parents in Austin. This work claimed quite a few hearts with the reviewers - even those who don't like historical fiction.

Next, in no particular order on the list:

The Trespasser by Tana French. This is the sixth in the Dublin Murder Squad series. This series is always dark and disturbing but also compelling - once you start, you can't put it down. Here a young beautiful girl, Aislinn Murray, is killed and although all clues point to her boyfriend, Antoinette Conway and her partner Steve Moran have doubts. Conway is rough and tough. The rest of the squad would like to get rid of her. So when all clues point one way, Conway wonders if she should look another way.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Picoult likes to examine current day issues through the perspective of fictional stories of everyday people. Here neonatal nurse, Ruth Jefferson, is asked to not touch a newborn's white supremacist's parents. When the baby goes into cardiac distress, Ruth is alone in the department. She hesitates and the baby dies. Now, she is being charged with causing the death of a baby. The story is told from the point of view of Ruth, Ruth's attorney and the newborn's father. Reviewers have called it brilliant and gripping.

Crosstalk by Connie Willis. I like Connie Willis. She writes speculative fiction kind of science fictiony in a way with humor in her dialog. I read a series she wrote about people time travelling back to WWII Britain. It was really good. This one will take a leap of faith at the beginning. It takes place in the relatively near future. There is a procedure that has been invented to telepathically connect couples - boyfriends and girlfriends.  The main character, Briddey, undergoes this procedure to connect with her seemingly perfect boyfriend. Unfortunately, she ends up connected with someone else. Quite a dilemma.

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict. This was kind of surprise to me. I was not it's biggest fan. It is the story of Einstein's first wife, Mileva Maric who was a brilliant physics student with Einstein in university. After marrying Einstein some say she played a big part in his theories - others say she lost her drive for physics.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett. This is a highly regarded debut novel that takes place in an African American community in California. Nadia, a high school senior, is troubled by her mother's suicide and turns to a local pastor's son for comfort. A pregnancy results. The story is about Nadia, the young man, Luke, and Nadia's best friend, Aubrey. It is the story of how the decision that they make this particular year affects their lives. There is the constant question of 'what if'. Reviewers have said things like 'outstanding', 'sage and sad', blindingly good'.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. Semple wrote the very popular Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Truthfully, the reviews have been mixed here. Some absolutely loved it, others thought it was so-so. Here were follow one day in the life of Eleanor Flood. Flood, with a young son and married to a hand surgeon, had been a top animator in New York but moved to Seattle with her husband. She has become a neurotic mess. She makes plans for this day to be different but then life happens.

All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris. This is the ninth in the Aurora Teagarden series, the first since 2003. Defined as her most cozy series, it will be interesting to see if that continues. a librarian who can't help but investigate crime. She is married to a crime writer is a beneficial partnership for all. Disaster stricks her small Georgia town when 4 children disappear from the school soccer field. One of them is Aurora's 15 year old brother. How can she not investigate this one.

Smoke and Mirror by Elly Griffiths. This is the second in the series entitled Magic Men by some and Stephens and Mephisto. Stephens is DI Edgar Stephens and Mephisto is Max Mephisto, a friend of Stevens from WWII and an illusionist. This title takes place in Brighton in the winter of 1951. Max is starring in the play Aladdin but Stevens is concentrating on 2 missing local children who are found dead in the snow with a trail of candy around them. A gruesome crime for sure and one where Stephens again needs Max's help.

Lastly, The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue. This will take a leap of faith right from the beginning almost but if you can make it, it is a creepy story that will have you looking at puppets with fear. Kay is a performer at the cirque and her husband, Theo, is a French professor in New York. They are spending their summer in the old section of Quebec. After a late post show dinner, Kay is distracted by a puppet shop which she had never seen opened before and goes inside. She is transformed into a puppet. Her husband searches the city for his missing wife. Can he recognize her in puppet form? Will she want to return to human form? Said to be frightening and dark.

OK - there you go. The 10 titles that come out in October that were the most popular among librarians around the world. I hope one of them grabs your attention.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

October Big Names (and there are a lot of them)

OK - October is a BIG month. I know that many of you are waiting for some of these already but...just in case you missed it coming out, here are the big name authors who have titles coming out in October.

Order To Kill is the continuation of the Mitch Rapp series originated by Vince Flynn and written by Kyle Mills. This will be out on October 11. Here Rapp is trying to chase down Pakistani nukes so they don't come under the control of terrorists or Russia. This is Mills second Rapp title.

John Grisham has The Whistler coming out on October 25. Lacy Stoltz is a lawyer and an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct when she is assigned a case presented by Greg Myers, a previously disbarred lawyer. He has a client who says a judge helped the Coast Mafia to finance a casino on Native American land and all, including the judge, are taking a good chunk of the profits. If correct, the whistle blower will receive a bunch of money but....there is also a lot of danger.

Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen have Night Watch also coming out on October 25.This is the fourth in the Kendra Mitchell series. Mitchell had been blind but a new medical procedure gave her sight. She is an investigator that is in high demand. Her latest case, however, deals with the doctor who gave her her sight back. He had come to visit and then disappeared and one of his associates was killed in the mountains. What is going on?

$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal by James Paterson and Hilary Liftin comes on October 4. A billboard in LA proposes giving $10,000,000 to the woman who will marry a wealthy businessman who says he doesn't have time to look. Three women are interested. Could this be real????

John Sandford has Escape Clause coming out on October 18.This is the ninth in the Virgil Flowers series. Here two Siberian tigers go missing from the Minnesota Zoo. Virgil is suppose to find them before they are turned into body parts for the Chinese market. Also, Virgil's girlfriend, Frankie's sister arrived. Sparkle, yes, that is her name, is there is do research on migrant workers. Someone really doesn't want the research done - plus - Sparkle kind of likes Virgil and Frankie is not pleased.

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks comes out on Oct 4.  Russell Green had it all - a beautiful wife, a 6 year old daughter, a challenging career and a great home in Charlotte. Then - he lost his job and his wife. He is left with his daughter and the task is overwhelming. It is a new life for Green.

Last but not least, Stuart Woods has Sex, Lies, and Serious Money coming out on October 25. This is the 39th in the Stone Barrington series. No real word on the plot here other than Stone is about to learn that sometimes easy money, isn't easy.

You can see that the big names are really big this month. If you haven't got your name on their lists yet - now is the time.