Monday, August 20, 2012

Best Book Bets - 8/21/2012

Late Summer Sleepers

More picks to peruse; chills, thrills, tear-jerkers and fresh reflections on the world's favorite domestic goddess.

(Spiegel & Grau)
Devil In Silver  by Victor Lavalle
CLOTH. Some of my favorite summer read memories surround the scary reads, passed from person to person until the pages unfurl like a kabuki dancer's fan You know the ones I mean; Blatty's The Exorcist, Benchley's Jaws, Straub's Ghost Story, King's Salem's Lot and now if there is any justice this novel will join those hallowed ranks. National Book Award winning author Victor Lavalle tells us the tale of Pepper, our protagonist finds himself wrongly convicted of a crime and sent to a mental institution. During his first night of incarceration he is visited by monstrosity. Its not the medications, it is real as the many colorful patients in the ward attest that it roams the hospital ward's each night. It quickly becomes Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets Matheson's Hell House as they bound together to beat a very real devil in our midst. The writing elevates horror to literature as it meditates on our fear of madness and the unknown.

The Lincoln Letter by William Martin
CLOTH. What if David McCullough wrote thrillers instead of documenting the facts of the past. He would undoubtedly be this man. He is able to weave break-neck plot lines of fictional whimsy with an accurate representation of historical time and place. From Back Bay throughout his extensive catalog of titles he has built a legacy of subtle speculative fiction, never using a garish stroke of technique to keep us turning the pages. His new title could not be more topical giving the latest barrage of non-fiction Abraham Lincoln titles being released. His treasure hunters Treasure hunters Fallon and Carrington search for the elusive Lincoln diary. It is believed that the President's inner most thoughts, if wiki-leaked to the public could help throw an important election. The power of his candid words could prove as divisive today as his speeches were nation building when he was alive. What follows is action, both in Lincoln's time and in the present. Martin is atuned to the current state of the national where spin is more important than facts. Like the civil war? Read it. Like political thrillers? Read it. Just read it and witness a writer's at th top of his game.

What Happened To My Sister by Elizabeth Flock
 CLOTH. You mention the novel Me & Emma to anyone who has read it and they immediately start praising it making it a hard act to follow. This sequel of sorts is one of those dark family secret stories. This time its Libby and her daughter Carrie making it on their own in a new town, a history of violence behind them. Young Carrie bonds with a family of women who help them with there new start but there is no way to escape your past without confronting it. Same goes with her newfound friends and together they embrace the adage, the truth shall set you free. Flock calls upon her skills as a journalist to find the story behind the story and reveals the secrets of the heart with exquisite honesty.

Dearie by Bob Spitz
CLOTH NONFICTION. I don't know a single person who doesn't have fond regard for the joie de vivre of Julia Child. Even a new generation was touched by the blog/novel and subsequent movie Julie and Julia. The soul behind the film actually came from Child's own account of becoming a cook and a partner, My Life in France. This book with a title as affectionate as the biographer's style, celebrates her hundredth anniversary. It proves a fine companion to Julia's own words. Like in his take on the Fab 4, The Beatles, he respects his subject matter and it comes through in every line. He sees Julia as a vanguard, a women constantly searching for individuality. 6'3" and fifty she takes over the world when The French Chef firsts air and she becomes a most unlikely ambassador of the culinary arts. Bon Apetit!
Young Adult Hot Pick of the Week!
After Eli  by Rebecca Ruff
YOUNG ADULT. As a nation we all share a profound sadness for the mortal and emotional damage war perpetrates on our brave soldiers and their families. This is little out there that confronts the battle at home for the surviving families of the fallen. Daniel Anderson tells us about his legendary older brother who died in the war and how he struggles to make sense of it. Daniel constructs a Book of the Dead  where he documents people who have died, how and, most important to him, why. He has to learn the meaning of his own life and pull himself from his project and continue the life going on all around him. Its not all doom and gloom, there is a quirky humor to Daniel's emotional mending and failing romance and friendships that gives us even more of a reason to root for him as he becomes one of the living. 

No comments:

Post a Comment