Friday, August 10, 2012

Best Book Bets - 8/7/12

New & recent releases just out of the gate!
Still a few weeks until pens n' books n' teacher's dirty looks. 
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
 CLOTH. Perfect for the hot August days in New England this tale of familial intrigue is a pitch perfect summer read. To start it takes place on Martha's Vineyard just as World War 2 wanes. Not all is well under the roof of the palatial Tiger House. Flash forward to the 60's and the family fight their generation emotion distance when a brutally murder body enters their lives and their privileged lives begin to unravel anew. Told from the perspective of five different characters ala Akira Kurosawa's storytelling style in Rashomon, the mysteries and longings of the family come to light as the pages turn. The revelations thrill without falling into a tired mystery style. A fresh and auspicious debut.

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
CLOTH. Fairy stories aren't for kiddos anymore (well I think Charlaine Harris proved that a while ago with the Sookie Stackhouse series, but I digress). Here we have Tar Martin who disappeared when she was 15 only to returns to here hometown twenty years later. She hasn't aged a day and claims that she was taken away by fairies. 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. How's that for a setup? Her beautiful study of dream and reality doesn't disappoint and the omniscient third person narrating feels like Fate himself weaving the mystery and pulling the strings. Joyce gives it all a British charm as well with ethereal word craft. And, yay, no vampires!

Broken Harbor by Tana French
CLOTH. You want some stone cold murder mystery with police work and pycho motivations at odds? Then you don't get much better the Tana French. From her bestselling debut on up she has bettered herself and she continues the trend with this new novel that will keep you up at night with fear and an inability to stop turning pages. You get inside the head of Sgt. Mick Kennedy who has seen more than his share of the grisly and illogical. He begins to question if his years on the force are starting to take its toll as he works a case in Dublin, England that challenges his ability to fight, as he puts it, the chaos. Does he continue to walk the walk of proper police work or does he along his emotional damage to revert him into the very beast he hunts. Riveting suspense fueled by the complexity of the lead character. 

Gallery Books
11/22/1963 by Stephen King
TRADE PAPERBACK. You don't need me to tell you that Stephen King makes for one darn good summer read. Even the lesser of his over 50 bestsellers, back when the plot lines were more cookie cutter, always managed to get under your skin with the believability of the main characters facing the impossible. It seems that facing down his devils and death itself, King has had a new renaissance, ever since Lisey's Song he has infused his themes with a new urgency. What was the single event before 9/11 that shook us to our core? The Kennedy assassination, right? It's the old bar room poser, if you could go back in time what would you change? This book answers that question in a breathtakingly probable manner, the time travel never seems gimmicky, and the psychological needs of his characters have never been more fleshed out, except perhaps in the aforementioned novel.
Young Adult Winner
(Reagan Arthur)
Dare Me 
by Megan Abbott
YOUNG ADULT CLOTH. It is official, this is the summer of Megan Abbott. I have already recommended Abbott's The End of Everything for one of the best adult summer reads! Now this?   Attack of the Killer Cheerleaders? Really Mean Girls? Teen Girl Fight Club?  The latter is not too far off for like Palahniuk she can get under the twisted motivations of her characters in a believable manner. Our main character Addy Hanlon's high school friendships are tested when the new edgy cheerleader coach arrives on campus and introduces some of the girls to the adult world high school has sheltered them from. The novel has the same taboo vibe as Perotta's Little Children.The team is investigated after a teen suicide and loyalty, right and wrong and personal ambitions are tested to the limit. Riveting, real, and written with the urgency of adolescence this book's title will be on every girl's lips, every literate indie chick in school. 

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