I don’t think there’s a false word in Kent Haruf’s final novel, Our Souls in the Night. Nor, for all the colloquial ease and transparency of the prose and the apparent simplicity of the story, is there a glib word, or a predictable one.
Ordinarily the circumstances of the writing of a novel aren’t of much interest to me as a reader, but in this case, I am moved, even awed, to consider that the book was written while the author was dying. It is a report from the edge of darkness, made in the consciousness of responsibility. Haruf is bearing witness. Having gone farther than we have, he wants to tell us what matters there. His knowledge of his situation, and my knowledge of it as I read the book, made me appreciate the rare privilege of being with a person who is past the need to say anything but what needs to be said.
Purity by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept.) - In Franzen’s first novel since Freedom, a young woman follows a German peace activist to South America to intern for his WikiLeaks-like organization.
The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende (Atria, Nov.) - A love story and multigenerational epic encompassing WWII-era Poland and the United States and present-day San Francisco.
Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving (Simon & Schuster, Nov.) - Irving’s 14th novel relates what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, and how his past in Mexico collides with his future.
The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, trans. by Ann Goldstein (Europa, Sept.) - The fourth and final Neapolitan novel solidifies the masterpiece status of Ferrante’s series.
A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk, trans. by Ekin Oklap (Knopf, Oct.) - The latest from the Nobel Prize winner is the tale of an Istanbul street vendor and the love of his life, told from the perspectives of several characters.
Following the success of her internationally bestselling debut novel, THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL, Nadia Hashimi returns with WHEN THE MOON IS LOW. Set in Kabul during the Taliban’s rise to power, this sophomore effort introduces readers to a happy, middle class man, Mahmoud, and his wife, Fereiba.
Mahmoud's passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she's ever known. But their happy, middle-class world implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.
This is a recommendation for history buffs or wanna-be buffs. Intriguing and loaded with details, Philippa Gregory does her usual job of combining suspense and intrigue in this intimate portrayal of Henry VIII's sixth queen. If you liked Wolf Hall, this is a no-brainier.
Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when King Henry VIII commands her to marry him—despite the fact that he is old enough to be her father and has already buried four wives
Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: Henry’s previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But the king adores his new bride and Kateryn’s trust in him grows. But is this enough to keep her safe?
"Full of vivid details and fraught with the constant tension of a court run by a madman, this novel will appeal most to historical fiction readers and those who enjoyed Wolf Hall." —Library Journal
Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men --- bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his son.
Originally written in the mid-1950s, GO SET A WATCHMAN was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. GO SET A WATCHMAN features many of the characters from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD some 20 years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch --- Scout --- struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.
|Author Jami Attenberg wrote a book I'll never forget. The title was The MIDDLESTEINS and I couldn't put it down. This new book is not as captivating but Attenberg's unique wit and heart shine through....slow moving at first and a major departure from The MIDDLESTEINS...you'll be caught up in Maizie before you know it. My only critique is the diary form and so many voices, but the writing style makes up for it...it flows.|
Mazie Phillips is the truth-telling proprietress of The Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. When the Great Depression hits, she opens the doors of The Venice to those in need, becoming the beating heart of the Lower East Side. More than 90 years after Mazie began her diary, it is discovered by a documentarian in search of a good story. Who was Mazie Phillips, really? A chorus of voices from the past and present fill in some of the mysterious blanks of her adventurous life. Reviewed by Megan Elliott on Bookreporter.com
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio.
Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.
A profoundly moving story of family, secrets and longing, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
“If we know this story, we haven’t seen it yet in American fiction, not until now.... Deep, heartfelt.” —The New York Times Book Review
I love these authors and can't wait for their new releases! I didn't know that Jami Attenberg was writing another novel. THE MIDDLESTEINS was one of my all time faves and am anticipating another great read. And what can compare to short stories by award winning author, Anne Beattie?
The WSJ is usually right on target, "literally" and financially. So check out their choices...
“The State We’re In: Maine Stories”
“The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty”
I like a Daviid Baldacci thriller once in a while. He's a blockbuster author and his newest, MEMORY MAN will stay with you long after the turn of the final page....reviewers say. Now he introduces an original, unique character, a man with a perfect memory....if I can remember, it's going on my TBR List.
Amos Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare --- his wife, young daughter and brother-in-law had been murdered. His family destroyed, their killer's identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. Decker must endure the memories he would much rather forget --- and may have to make the ultimate sacrifice. Rev
ORHAN'S INHERITANCE by Aline Ohanesian (Fiction)
Check out www.bookreprter.com for more reviews.
Looking for something fresh and unusual to read? The suggestions below should fill that gap. You can never go wrong with a Joyce Carol Oates tome and her new one will debut in a few weeks...Are you in the mood for a serious crime thriller minus all the fluff or a bit of Science Fiction with all the trappings? Check out this list submitted by Book Page.
THE WHITES by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt
Sgt. Billy Graves of the NYPD pursues his “White” (that’s what Billy calls the one that got away), a triple murderer, in this outstanding contemporary crime thriller.
JACK OF SPADES by Joyce Carol Oates
Andrew Rush, a critically and commercially successful mystery novelist has a dark secret: under a pseudonym he pens lurid, violent potboilers. He risks everything if his secret comes out in this exceptional tale of suspense.
CITY OF SAVAGES by Lee Kelly
There are plenty of heart-pounding moments in Kelly’s debut, and an abundance of vividly imagined details bring post-apocalyptic New York City to searing life. But the biggest risk is not one that the characters take—it’s Kelly’s bold spotlighting of the bonds between women.
Although I generally read e-books there are many readers that do not...so here's a paperback that's trendy and exciting...Throw it out when you're done or pass it on to a friend...Sounds like a good psychological thriller....or not.
|THE DAUGHTER by Jane Shemilt |
Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.
But when her youngest child, 15-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.
As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios --- kidnapping, murder --- seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers --- and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised. (Bookreporter.com)
|Here's two more great reads debuting this month. If you liked WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, Sara Gruen's new novel will be a must read...Remember to click on the Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar to order immediately.|
After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed --- by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster --- Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
I wish I liked THE POCKET WIFE more than I did... I was looking for a stylish thriller with lots of intrigue and not too many side plots. I got what I deserved. It's stylish, not too compelling and brimming with frenetic, unlikeable characters. I'm halfway through and look forward to a predictable ending... Take THE POCKET WIFE on vacation....or on any trip...one way.
THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford (Psychological Thriller)
Dana Catrell is shocked when her neighbor, Celia, is brutally murdered. To Dana’s horror, she was the last person to see Celia alive. Suffering from mania, the result of her bipolar disorder, she has troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death.
Her husband’s odd behavior and the probing of Detective Jack Moss create further complications as she searches for answers. The closer she comes to piecing together the shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her...or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again?
Here's a new one by mystery writer Harlan Coben....
The Stranger appears out of nowhere. His identity is unknown, and his motives are unclear. But his information is undeniable. He whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world. Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream. Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all.
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