Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Best Book Bets - 6/25/13

OK, Koontz' Deeply Odd drops today as does Beautiful Day by Hildenbrand but you don't need the Bookie to tell you that. The Bookie is hear to give you the dish on the best of the new releases NOT the most popular. Sometimes they are one in the same, but not usually. Enjoy this new crop of must-reads!

(Random House)
Sisterland  -  Curtis Sittenfeld   
(FICTION/CLOTH) Twins, creepy, am I right? If you're a twin, big sorry but it doesn't make it not true. Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of American Wife and Prep makes these girls psychic wunderkinds who can see other people’s futures. One girl loves this, the other, not so much. They grow up and go there separate ways. After an earthquake the happy psychic sister Vi reports on TV her premonition of any even larger disaster to hit her hometown. Kate,the other sister who just wants normalcy in her life finds her sister’s celebrity making that but a dream. She also knows that her sister’s prediction is right. Haunting at times, humorous at others (how can you write about psychic twins and not be) the novel uses this device as a way of freshening up the distant siblings who need to bury the hatchet scenario.
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Cinnamon and Gunpowder  - Eli Brown
(FICTION/CLOTH)  What if a feminist foodie took a stab at writing Treasure Island? This ribald adventure has it all; swashbuckling, romance, banquets… Pirate Missy Mad Hannah kidnaps a renown chef who she toys with by sparing his life as long as she has an exquisite feast each Sunday. It becomes a Master Chef mystery box challenge as the cook has to McGuiver together gourmet meals with what is at hand. For the pirate captain their back and forth is a courtship she hasn’t time for while repressing a mutineer and searching for her nemesis the Brass Fox. A rollicking good read seaside as they ship of well meaning fools bond together. One for all and to every captain a chef! Arrgg! I mean, Bon App├ętit!

(St Martins/Dunne)
Reviver  - Seth Patrick

(FICTION/CLOTH) Here’s a new take on a monster. Revivers can wake the dead but they due so in a most sadistic manner; so that the recently dead only to have them witness there death once again. They are used by law enforcement to have murder victim testify during their own trials. Jonah is a reviver who is sure that he has awakened more than the recently demised. Investigating the recent murder of a news reporter he discovers the truth about his kind and the presence that watches from the shadows. An inventive mash-up of horror and crime drama that is perfect for those fascinated with the whole futuristic crime investigation wave we seem to be in as of late.

Loyalty  -   Ingrid Thoft   
(FICTION/CLOTH) The bookie always takes a shine to novels set in bean town. Here we have Fina, an all but outcast member of the powerful Ludlow family and empire. She is ostracized from her family but kept on as a P.I. for the many interests of her family’s empire. Her sister-in-law goes missing and she is appointed to get her back without police or the press ever the wiser. Not too easy to do when they as thick as thieves into the abduction and subsequent cover-up. Fina makes for a feisty character and you warm up to her chip on her shoulder quickly. The novel makes for a fun and tense read;  hopefully the beginning of a new Boston crime series.
Antonia Lively Breaks The Silence  Davis Samuel Levinson
(FICTION/CLOTH)  When Catherine’s author husband died she had her suspicions as to the true cause. She stays in the college town they once lived together intent on making a new start. An old haunt arrives in town to work at the college, her old flame, a critic who single-handedly destroyed her former husband’s credibility as a serious writer. Old flames ignite but he did not come alone but with a young lady poised to be the next be thing in literature. An unlikely friendship between the two women starts until Catherine realizes the writer’s only intent is to steal the story of her husband’s death for her next novel. A weighty debut filled with an array of desires for fame, purpose and, yes, love.

The Shambling Guide to New York City  - Mur Lafferty
(FICTION/TRADE)  With all the oh-so-series zombie troupes out on the market its refreshing to find a novel that understands that if you step back for a second, zombies are kinds funny. This is one wacky, good-times zombie novel if there ever was one. Zoe finds herself writing a tour guide of New York for, you guessed it, zombies (didn’t know they read, better than a lot in our community who are dead from the neck up.) Landing the job was no easy feat do to all the human-ists out there prejudicing against her because of her living status and all. She delves deep into the monstrous city finding that her investigation has unearthed a problem that will divide the beasts from the humans once and for all. Run, Zoe, Run as the story unfolds.Even the Litchenstein-esque cover lets you know its a satire of our culture.

Behind the Burly Q: The Story of Burlesque in America -   Leslie Zemeckis 
(NON-FICTION/CLOTH) No matter what coast you decide to be hip on, you realize that burlesque has come back big time. All the girls who practice the fine art of seductive theatricality are keenly aware of the heritage.  Back in the first half of the last century it was all the rage, a melting pot where our musicians, comedians and starlets would be forged.  While the book is a feat just as an archival work, its real charm is in the heart revealed beneath. Zemeckis loves everything about this art form’s past and resurgence and shared it in an accompanying documentary. The same warmth and adulation shared in the film comes across in book form as well as she presents the word-of-mouth tales of the heyday.
(White Cloud)
The Shark's Paintbrush; Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation -  Jay Harman
(NON-FICTION/CLOTH) The more scientists discover and brainiacs invent the more they learn that Mother Nature has already beat them hands down. As climates change so do they creating organic modifications honed for survival. Businesses can learn a lot about evolving by such a model and Harmen goes on an exhaustive quest to prove that cost efficiency and ecologically sensitive innovation can be a win-win in business and in nature. Who knew a bumblebee is aerodynamically more advanced than a modern plane? Biomimicry may be the new business buzz word after this.

(Little Brown)
When You Were Here  -   Daisy Whitney
(YOUNG ADULT)  Here’s a powerful novel who’s moral is in a nutshell if you want to move forward after death has touched your life you do it by embracing life. Danny loses his Mom to cancer just before his graduation. He is left alone with his dog Sandy Koufax and the former love of his life. Happiness seems a lifetime away. When a letter comes from Tokyo where his mother was undergoing treatment he is privy to a side of his mother he never knew existed. Her final months appeared to be filled with joy, not grieving. Danny packs up to find the source of her happiness immersing himself in the culture of the land in hopes of connecting with his mother one last time.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods - Gavin Extence
(YOUNG ADULT) Alex is like the Bizarro version of Ferris Bueller, misfortune seems to follow him. Even at ten he was struck by a meteorite. How’s that for bad luck. In this novel we get to follow this nebbish through a series of misadventures. In Alex experience cohesiveness and chaos go hand in hand and as we follow him on his trek with the seasoned widower Mr. Peterson we learn that to enjoy life you just have to buckle up and forage through to make it count. All this and references to Kurt Vonnegut? We’re on board for the ride.
(Random Hous for YR)
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library  -  Chris Grabenstein
(INDEPENDENT READER) A new town library becomes a labyrinth of clues and puzzles to challenge Kyle and his classmates during a weekend purposely locked inside by the imcomparable puzzlesmith Lemoncello. Kyle is a gamer amongst gamers but nothing compared him for the challenges ahead. This is a  highbred independent reader combing some of the favorite conventions of the classics. Award-winning mystery writer Grabenstein uses Snicket’s humor, Dahl’s glib wordplay and ads the clue structure so popular in the latest serial books to great effect maing the library a place where all adventure begins. A great read, a fun game in itself and, alas, no batteries required!

(Harper Collins)
The Wig In The Window - Kristen Kittscher
(INDEPENDENT READER)  Sophie and Grace are BFFs and PIs; best friends and spying is their game. On night they see a bloody crime at the house of Dr. Awkward from school. They are sure of it, with all that blood! It starts to turn into a junior high Rear Window or Suburbia as they girls suspicions are raised. The doctor was always awkward but now he looked awkward and guilty. Lots of suspicious characters and spooky times lie ahead for these girls. A fun, light-hearted romp for a sum.

The Day the Crayons Quit  - Drew Daywalt, illus. Oliver Jeffers
(CHILDRENS)   Do your kids like to color? Of course they do, what child doesn’t? But what would happen if the crayons went on strike! That’s the premise of this cute book of bickering colors and their colorful grievances. Jeffers, gifted children writer on his own (The Moose is with Me, a classic) brings a lot to the book with his simple but humorous illustrations. Sure to have your kids whipping up puns of there own. Follow reading time up with a coloring session and you have a perfectly creative afternoon.
Count The Monkeys -  Mac Barnett, illus. Kevin Cornell
(CHILDREN) Not since 5 monkeys jumped on beds was there as much primate fun (and fear) as in this delightful counting book. Forget about the monkeys count THAT and then THAT; all the things that make the monkeys scatter. Each page is a novel reveal as we rush though the jungle with our furry friends. Filled with many a monkeyshine, just count’m all…1…2…3…4…

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