Sunday, March 24, 2013

Best Book Bets - 03/19/2013

Spring's just around the corner, don't you worry and so is the I'm-so'sick-of-Winter-I could-just... Bookie. At least there is a new batch of books to brighten your days and warm your nights. 6 novels, 2 non-fiction, 2 Young Adult, 2 Independent Reader's and 2 Children's in the mix. Open a cover and enjoy! (! is the last sure bet this week)

When She Was Gone - Gwendolen Gross
(FICTION/CLOTH) When will they learn that small town secrets never remain buried? The day before college young Lindsay Hart disappears leaving her mother Abigail to search for clues as to the whereabouts of her lost daughter. In doing so she has to keep her illict affair with a barista on the down low while she investigates all the various people in her daughter's life. So many people are effected by the event all dealing with grief in their own way, save one, who is just putting on a show, keeping the truth under wraps. Gross has a voice similar to Tom Perotta, another author with a talent of showing us the underbelly of suburbia. A jarring tale of that will keep you guessing, worrying and above all else, feeling for the characters, mostly the lost Lindsay.

Wool  - Hugh Howey
(FICTION/CLOTH) If the inexplicable success of 50 Shades of Grey wasn't enough to convince you that self-publishing is changing the face of the book industry, look no further than the success story of Hugh Howey. In 2011 he released Wool as a short story. Sci-fi diehards demanded more and he released a second volume, then another, all based on the building viral popularity. This led to the movie industry bidding on the property and finally this week, a "legitimate" publisher releases an actual hardcover omnibus edition of the book series. What is it about? A dystopian future where mankind hangs by a thread. A little Bradbury, a little Orwell, a dash of Atwood, and liberal amounts of Suzanne Collins and the legions of science fiction that inspired her. While I'd recommend any of the authors mentioned before this, it makes for good pulp fair; well structured obstacles and characters to root for without too much science in the fiction.

(Washington Sq.)
Heart Like Mine - Amy Hatvany
(FICTION/CLOTH) Grace is taking a romantic leap of faith when she agrees to marry the dreamy Victor Hansen and inherit an immediate family who still care for (and take care of)  their erratic mother Kelli. Second marriages come with their challenges but when the first wife dies of questionable causes days after the wedding the ante is raised. Grace has to deal with the shadow of the children's mother, especially with the effects the death has on Kelli's daughter Ava who had been essentially running the family before Grace came on the scene. We follow Grace and Ava as they each tell us their pasts, their pains and the strength it takes to accept they they are two of a kind; women who lead with their hearts.

A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
(FICTION/CLOTH)  This brilliantly conceived new novel hails how the written word possesses such powers; from recollection, to redemption, and most importantly inspiration. Nao, a student in Tokyo, bullied and alone, decides to write about her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun. Each day she writes in her diary... A novelist who lives on the other side of the Pacific, Ruth, finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox, a remnant of a tsunami hundreds of miles away. Inside is Nao's writings and the story of similar souls unfolds. Sharp wit, moving prose, and inspirational insight without ever being sappy documents this waltz of shared passions as they weave a mythology of interconnected humanity.

The Mapmaker's War: A Legend -  Ronlyn Domingue
(FICTION/CLOTH)  The secret to the orgin of the world lay in the hands of Aoife, a young woman being trained to be a cartographer for her kingdom. She discovers a peaceful people beyond the confines of her world and sharing her knowledge of these non-threatening settlements targets them as an enemy. She tries for peace resulting in her banishment and the the destruction of both worlds she cared for. The tale of her life is narrated by Aoife's elder self as she shares her the pains and the sacrifices of her journey that set up a story that hasn't yet ended. Don't believe me, the followup novel The Chronicle of Secret Riven is already set for 2014.

Double Feature - Owen King 
(FICTION/CLOTH) What is worse than being a young writer who's father is a bestselling author in his own right? How about if your older brother also gains critical acclaim and writes a bestseller. Oh, and what if your Mom is a published author as well? Welcome to the life of Owen King. How do you beat the odds and the self-imposed pressure? Write nothing like them seems to be the answer. After a series of well received shorts King has come up with a witty, postmodern paean to the film industry. Sam Dolan makes films. His dad Booth was a B-movie actor who still rests on the laurels of his cult status. Sam has surrounded himself with a cast of deliciously flawed characters; each bizarre archetypes of Los Angeles at its most dysfunctional. King makes Sam's life a hoot to read about as he searches for his own broken version of normal. The only monsters here are human. Relating to characters has always been the key to his Dad's success so, like his brother, he has learned something he could make his own.
Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens - Lauren Scheuer 
(NON-FICTION/CLOTH) What is it with chickens? First there was the great memoir of a Boston writer Brian McGrory's Buddy, a tale of a rooster that teaches him how to love and now this. Lauren Scheuer gets it in her head that building a coop and raising backyard chickens would be a good hobby. She was never the scrap booking type. Her family were hesitant until Lauren's dream came true and the chickens came home to roost (in a good way.) Guarded by the family terrier, Marky, the chickens are able to live out their lives and inspire all who live among them. When you read about Hatsy, Lil' White, Pigeon, and Lucy you too will be moved by their antics.

Fever -  Mary Beth Keane 
(NON-FICTION/CLOTH)  Have you ever gone to work with the flu and everybody tells you to, "go home, Typhoid Mary!"? Here's the story of patient zero of the epidemic that scorged the early twentith century. Her story is presented with masterful narrative style by Mary Beth Keane who the National Book Foundation deemed one of the sharpest new voices out there. Ireland born chef-at-heart Mary Mallon arrives in America and works her way to the position of cook at Castle Garden. When someone notices that disease followed her culinary career they brandish her as the carrier and put her in isolation for three years, released only if she agrees to never cook again. To obey was to not live in Mary's eyes. Keane exposes the injustices of the time, the panic of the population and the indelible spirit of a turn of the century vanguard.

(Margaret K. McElderry)
Clockwork Princess -  Cassandra Clare
(YOUNG ADULT/CLOTH)  Run or travel by blimp to the bookstore to pick up the satisfying conclusion to the impressively actualized Infernal Devices finale. Tessa is now a bride but happiness doesn't follow. The Shadowhunters of London are again being demonized by the minions of Mortmain. The heartless killing machines, the infernal devices, are near complete but not without Tessa. The other parts of her romantic triangle, Jem and Will, fight for her life and the future of her world when she is abducted. If you haven't read the series yet, start now! What a great Spring season of reading you have begun.

The Murmurings - Carly Anne West
(YOUNG ADULT/CLOTH)  Spooky voices in your head? Are they a psychological condition or something else, something not you? Nell's sister heard such voices and eventually took her own life. Correction, everyone thinks she committed suicide except Nell who knew her sister better than anyone. She could never do it. Now the voices are in Nell's head just as she begins to figure out what really happened. What if it is crazy and it runs in the family? What if the voices are others and they can manipulate her do things she never would on her own? The answers (or is it the questions) lay within the covers of this suspenseful book that feeds on the fears of teenagers dealing with the epidemic of suicide all around.

OCD, the Dude, and Me - Lauren Roedy Vaughn
(INDEPENDENT READER) You gotta love Danielle; she is what some may call "unique." She is keenly self aware of her frizzy orange clown hair and her politically incorrect body size. She lashes out with a snarky attitude and scathing homework writing assignments. Do to her illicit compositions she is sent to the school shrink who enrolls her in a social skills class, like that wouldn't further ostracize herself from her peers. There she meets Daniel, another outlier at her school, who is obsessed with The Big Lebowski. What's not to love about this guy, dude! Danielle just may have found where she fits in. There is a lot to be said about just "abiding."

The Menagerie - Tui T. Sutherland, Kari Sutherland
(INDEPENDENT READER) Young Zoe has been born into one tough family. Her family has been bestowed with the responsibility of guarding the Menagerie. One day a boy about her same age tracks her down to tell about a griffin that was hiding under his bed (so that's why the creepy things hide there, they feel safe.) They had to have escaped from the Menagerie while her family was on watch. Logan and Zoe need to return the baby mythical creatures before Zoe's family is to blame. It isn't an easy thing to do unnoticed. As their friendship blooms a bigger question comes to light, who let the griffins out and do they have it it for Zoe and her family?

I Dare You Not To Yawn - Helene Boudreau, illus. Serge Bloch
(CHILDREN)  What a great late night game this book is; a story that challenges the child to stay up all the while lulling them to sleep. You will enjoy repeated readings even for the most sleep-resistant among us. Cozy blankets, warm puppies, fuzzy orangutans... Hey! What was that? Hold it in. One yawn is all it takes to lead you to the land of slumber. Just be careful you don't nod off yourself! Yaaaawwwwnnnnn...

! (Exclamation Mark) - Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
(CHILDREN)  Hopefully you already have a copy of their last children's classic picture book, Duck! Rabbit. From this creative duo comes a new book to amuse and teach. Using ! as a symbol of individuality, the story unfolds about a punctuation mark searching for a place to fit in. Its not always easy but when you do find that special place, that place that allows you to be you, then... Pow!

No comments:

Post a Comment