Friday, August 10, 2012

Best Book Bets 7/31/12

This week's picks for the best in new and recent releases
We’re at the halfway point, still half a season of Summer Reads left!

The Light Between Oceans  
by M.L. Stedman
 CLOTH. Aren’t the greatest novels the ones that make you question right from wrong as you witness the characters being tested in high moral stakes. This breathtaking debut is one heck of a page turner, filled with suspense while not fitting any thriller formula. A man returns from war and takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Australia. He shares the practically year round isolation with his steadfast wife. After many tragic experiences she has accepted the fate that the two of them will go through life childless. That is until a dead body and a live child wash up on the shore. I’m stopping now, your mind’s racing right? Trust me every dilemma crossing your mind is visited and keeps you hanging until the last page.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Shout her Lovely Name  by Natalie Serber
CLOTH. It’s rare that we would recommend a collection of short stories in this week’s picks being that only 5 titles as recommended, one a trade paperback and one a young adult title. These stories and how they capture the loving, yet often-times contentious, relationship between mothers and daughters is such a feat that we would be lacking if we didn’t praise it. The honesty of Serber’s words, how she gets to the underlying tug-of-war of emotions are spot on. The forging of the character of young women and the mother’s trying so hard to make their child’s emotional life better than theirs is candid and insightful. This is one book on that unbreakable bond that mothers will read and pass forward to her daughter then years from now that women will forward to her child.

Center Street
by Neil Abramson
TRADE PAPERBACK. Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. Just look at that face, devotion, need, and did you catch it? A sadness. This is how the book was recommended; it’s a story about a lawyer whose wife dies. She was a veterinarian who left him with house full of damaged but deserted pets. He needs to move on with his life and career; a big case looming. Oh, yeah, and the narrator is the dead wife. I’m thinking sarcastically, “There’s a feel-good novel if I ever heard one”.  Well it is! This debut speaks to that mystical bond between humans and animals and how they can bring out the best of us and because of that gift we are obligated to stand up for them. 
Good boy! Good book!

William Morrow
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle
TRADE PAPERBACK. What do YOU think of when someone mentions summer read fav Ray Bradbury? I personally think of how his stories showed me when I was young that fiction could be fantastic and literature, but that’s just me. Ask such noted authors as Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Joe Hill, Ramsey Campbell, Audrey Niffenegger, Dave Eggers, Harlan Ellison who all contributed to this 22 story collection and they’d say… just read on and feel the love of his contributions to popular fiction.
by Kirsten White
YOUNG ADULT CLOTH. All Evie wants out of life is to be a normal teenager, who doesn’t. When you work for government agency, in this case, the International Paranormal Containment Agency, normal is not easy.. Throw in a delicious romantic triangle, an insidious Dark Faerie Queen and a slap-dash whit that every teen wish they had and you’re set for one wild ride as Evie tries to save the world and her teenage dreams.  Who needs Bella when you’ve got Evie!  A cage match with Katniss, that’s something altogether different;  but if you have a drop of paranormal blood in you, watch out for Evie.

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