Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Percival's Planet"

New from Henry Holt & Company: Percival's Planet by Michael Byers.

About the book, from the publisher:

A novel of ambition and obsession centered on the race to discover Pluto in 1930, pitting an untrained Kansas farm boy against the greatest minds of Harvard at the run-down Lowell Observatory in Arizona

In 1928, the boy who will discover Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh, is on the family farm, grinding a lens for his own telescope under the immense Kansas sky. In Flagstaff, Arizona, the staff of Lowell Observatory is about to resume the late Percival Lowell's interrupted search for Planet X. Meanwhile, the immensely rich heir to a chemical fortune has decided to go west to hunt for dinosaurs and in Cambridge, Massachussetts, the most beautiful girl in America is going slowly insane while her ex-heavyweight champion boyfriend stands by helplessly, desperate to do anything to keep her. Inspired by the true story of Tombaugh and set in the last gin-soaked months of the flapper era, Percival's Planet tells the story of the intertwining lives of half a dozen dreamers, schemers, and madmen. Following Tombaugh's unlikely path from son of a farmer to discoverer of a planet, the novel touches on insanity, mathematics, music, astrophysics, boxing, dinosaur hunting, shipwrecks—and what happens when the greatest romance of your life is also the source of your life's greatest sorrow.
Visit Michael Byers' website.

"Murder in the Air"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Murder in the Air by Bill Crider.

About the book, from the publisher:

There’s a big stink in Blacklin County, and everyone seems to think Sheriff Dan Rhodes should do something about it. The smell is coming from the giant chicken farm owned by Lester Hamilton. Rhodes sees this as a matter for the state’s air-quality enforcement agency, not the county sheriff. That all changes, however, when Hamilton is found dead, floating in an old rock pit not far from the town of Clearview. Hamilton had probably been engaged in the act of noodling for catfish, which is not only highly dangerous but illegal in Texas.

Rhodes suspects that Hamilton didn’t die by accident, though. There are plenty of suspects, including an eccentric community college professor and one of his colleagues, who lives near the chicken farm and has to wear a respirator mask to ward off the smell. Also, someone known in the county as Robin Hood is going around shooting arrows into utility poles as a protest. When semi-nude protestors arrive at the chicken farm, things really begin to get out of hand.

Filled with fun, mayhem, and memorable characters, Murder in the Air is a wonderful addition to this very excellent series. Award-winning author Bill Crider shows again that he is one of the most talented and entertaining mystery writers around.
Author Interviews: Bill Crider.

Visit Bill Crider's website and blog, and read his My Book, The Movie entry for the Sheriff Dan Rhodes novels.

Friday, July 30, 2010

"One Dog at a Time"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Afghanistan by Pen Farthing.

About the book, from the publisher:

The remarkable true story of one man’s fight to save the stray dogs of Afghanistan in the spirit of From Baghdad, With Love

In the remote outpost of Now Zad, Afghanistan, Pen Farthing and his troop of young Royal Marines survive frequent engagements with the Taliban and forge links with the local community. Appalled by the horrors of local dog fighting, Pen has no choice but to intervene. Then one of the dogs he frees finds his way into the Marine compound—and into Pen’s heart. Soon other strays are drawn into the sanctuary provided by the makeshift pound, including one young mother who crawls under the compound fence carrying her newborn pups to safety. As his tour of duty draws to an end, Pen cannot leave the dogs of Now Zad to their fates. He begins hatching plans to help them escape to a better life.

One Dog at a Time is the gripping account of one man’s courage and humanity, and his fight to make a difference in the most hostile and dangerous environments, one dog at a time.

"The Price of Liberty"

New from Severn House: The Price of Liberty by Keir Graff.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's a new day in America—but old contracts must still be paid

Jack McEnroe is a construction worker with an unusual job: building a prison for terrorists. Like his neighbors in Red Rock, Wyoming, Jack isn't particularly concerned about politics. In a depressed rural economy, he's just grateful to have a job.

Jack's boss, Dave Fetters, is grateful, too: he has a no-bid, cost-plus contract issued by the previous administration. It's his last chance to get rich, and he's making the most of it.

But Dave is cooking the books, passing inflated costs along to defense contractor Halcyon Corporation—and Jack's ex-wife, Kyla, plans to blow the whistle. Suddenly, everyone Jack cares about, including his two young children, is in danger.

As the first winter snows fall in the rugged mountains, Jack must navigate a razor-wire labyrinth to rescue those he loves. And the true price of liberty, he discovers, is paid not in dollars, but human life.
Visit Keir Graff's website.

The Page 69 Test: One Nation, Under God.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


New from Simon & Schuster: Venom by Joan Brady.

About the book, from the publisher:

A gripping tale of international corporate intrigue from the award-winning author of Bleedout...

EASTERN EUROPE ... Thirty years after Chernobyl, nuclear fallout is still claiming victims.

ILLINOIS ... Fresh out of prison, David Marion doesn't expect a hit man at his door. But when one appears, their meeting is lethal—for the hit man. Who sent him? David has no idea. But warned that a powerful secret organization is after him, he is forced to disappear until he can strike back.

ALABAMA ... Devastated by the death of her lover, physicist Helen Freyl escapes to her bee farm to care for a colony carrying a unique strain of venom. But when an unexpected job offer from a giant drug corporation arrives, it proves to be a much more intriguing diversion.

LONDON, ENGLAND ... Helen's new company is close to a cure for radiation poisoning, but the sudden death of a colleague is followed by another, and Helen begins to doubt the organization's motives. When she realizes her own life is in danger, what can she do and who can she call on for help?

Venom brings David Marion and Helen Freyl together as they fight for their lives against a backdrop of industrial espionage, corporate greed, and human tragedy in an exhilarating and fast-paced follow-up to the bestselling Bleedout.
Visit Joan Brady's website.

"The Stuff That Never Happened"

New from Crown: The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if you were married to a wonderful husband for twenty-eight years but in love with another man? What if you were in love with them both?

Annabelle McKay knows she shouldn’t have any complaints. She’s been in a stable marriage that’s lasted almost three decades and has provided her with two wonderful children, thousands of family dinners around a sturdy oak table, and a husband so devoted that he schedules lovemaking into his calendar every Wednesday morning. Other wives envy the fact that Grant is not the type of man who would ever cheat on her or leave her for a younger woman. The trouble is Annabelle isn’t sure she wants to be married to Grant anymore. The trouble is she’s still in love with someone else.

In the early tumultuous years of her marriage, Annabelle carried on a clandestine affair with the one person whose betrayal would hurt her husband the most. When it ended, she and Grant found their way back together and made a pact that they would never speak of that time again. But now years later, with her children grown and gone, and an ominous distance opening between them, she can’t help but remember those glorious, passionate days and wonder if she chose the right man.

Then, when called to New York City to help care for her pregnant daughter, Annabelle bumps into her old lover. Offered a second chance at an unforgettable love, she must decide between the man who possesses her heart and the husband who has stood squarely by her side. A journey into the what-ifs that haunt us all, The Stuff That Never Happened is an intricate, heartfelt examination of modern marriage that brims with truths about the nature of romantic love.
Visit Maddie Dawson's website and blog.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"The Reapers Are the Angels"

New from Holt Paperbacks: The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.
Learn more about the book and author at Joshua Gaylord's website.

"Original Sins"

New from W.W. Norton: Original Sins by Peg Kingman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why would a runaway Virginia slave—having built a rewarding life in the East Indies as a silk merchant—risk everything by returning to America in 1840, eighteen years after taking her freedom?

Anibaddh Lyngdoh claims that she intends to introduce a new kind of silk to the floundering American silk industry. But her true reason, as her old friend Grace MacDonald Pollocke discovers, is far more personal. Grace, now a Philadelphia portrait painter, undertakes a perilous investigation that leads to the discovery of old sins and crimes, and the commission of new ones. What laws may be broken—what sins and crimes committed—in the service of a higher justice? Deceit, forgery, fraud, perjury ... even murder?

This novel thrillingly evokes a nineteenth-century America not so different from the present: a time of stunning new technologies and financial collapse, when religious and racial views collided with avowed principles of morality and law.
Visit Peg Kingman's website.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Unexpectedly, Milo"

New from Broadway Books: Unexpectedly, Milo by Matthew Dicks.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of SOMETHING MISSING returns with another hilarious and sneakily profound tale about a man whose behavior is truly odd, but also oddly relatable.

Milo Slade, a thirty-three year old home healthcare aide, is witnessing the rapid dissolution of his three-year marriage to a polished, high-powered attorney named Christine. Though Milo doesn't quite know the root of his marital problems, he inevitably blames himself, or more specifically, he faults the demands his obsessive compulsive personality place upon him--the need to open a jar of Smuckers grape jelly or sing 99 Luftballons in front of an audience, to name just a couple.

Yet Christine is still none the wiser about these inexplicable quirks as Milo has painstakingly hidden them from her and everyone else for years. No one knows the true--and in his mind more insidious--Milo, and such is the root of his profound loneliness, especially now that he and Christine are living apart during a trial separation.

Then one day Milo stumbles across a video camera and tapes, left behind in a park. He watches the first tape, which is a heartfelt confessional by a young woman who begins to reveal her secrets, starting small at first, and finally revealing that she blames herself for a tragic death of a friend. But not all the details add up and Milo is struck with the urge to free the sweet confessor from her guilt. He is, after all, an expert in keeping secrets…

In typical screwball fashion, Milo sets out on a cross-country journey to crack the case, but quickly gets sidetracked as his un-ignorable demands call. But it is during these sidetracks that the true meaning of his adventure takes shape. Milo is weird, but as he discovers, so is everyone else. UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO is a humorous and touching novel about finding oneself, embracing the journey, and, unexpectedly, love.
Visit Matthew Dicks' website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Matthew Dicks.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Matthew Dicks & Kaleigh.

"The Clouds Beneath the Sun"

New from Nan A. Talese: The Clouds Beneath the Sun by Mackenzie Ford.

About the book, from the publisher:

An exotic setting and a passionate, forbidden affair make The Clouds Beneath the Sun an irresistible page-turner that is sure to satisfy readers looking for an intelligent blend of history, romance, and intrigue.

Mackenzie Ford (a nom de plume) was introduced to readers in 2009 with the publication of Gifts of War, which was praised in USA Today as “an absorbing, morally complex read.” In a starred review, Library Journal said, “Ford keeps the reader on a knife’s edge as the lies build and the truth is only a word or misstep away. Highly recommended.”

Now Ford takes us to Kenya in 1961. As a small plane carrying Natalie Nelson lands at a remote airstrip in the Serengeti, Natalie knows she’s run just about as far as she can from home. Trained as an archeologist, she accepted an invitation to be included in a famous excavating team, her first opportunity to escape England and the painful memories of her past.

But before she can get her bearings, the dig is surrounded by controversy involving the local Masai people—and murder. Compounding the tension, Eleanor Deacon, friend of the Masai, who is leading the excavating mission, watches a rift grow between her two handsome sons. Natalie’s growing attrac­tion to Jack Deacon soon becomes a passionate affair that turns dangerous when she must give evidence in a trial that could spark even more violence and turmoil.

The startling beauty of the Kenyan setting, the tension of loom­ing social upheaval, and the dizzying highs and crushing lows of a doomed love affair are all captured brilliantly on every page of this extraordinary and utterly unforgettable novel.

Monday, July 26, 2010


New from Tin House Books: Mentor by Tom Grimes.

About the book, from the publisher:

A chance encounter between two writers, one young, one older, develops into a wonderful friendship neither expected. Frank Conroy, author of the classic memoir Stop-Time, meets Tom Grimes, an aspiring writer and an applicant to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, which Conroy directs. First as teacher and student--and gradually as friends—their lives become entwined, and through both successes and disappointments, their bond deepens.

Exquisitely written, Mentor is an honest and heartbreaking exploration of the writing life and the role of a very important teacher.
Visit Tom Grimes' website.

"Mourn the Living"

New from Pinnacle: Mourn the Living by Henry Perez.

About the book, from the publisher:

Wherever You Live…

From city to city, one man walks the streets, carefully choosing his victims. Mercilessly, he cuts their throats. And with each kill, he leaves his chilling trademark, honed to razor-sharp perfection over decades of practice…

He’ll Find You

But now, reporter Alex Chapa is tracking the story, following the lead of a murdered colleague—and getting dangerously close to the most elusive serial killer in decades…

And Kill You

When the next victim surfaces bearing the unmistakable calling card, Alex realizes no one is safe from this psychopath’s murderous rage. For the killer has set his sights on Alex and those he loves—and only their blood will satisfy him…
Learn more about the book and author at Henry Perez's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Killing Red.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Rich Boy"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Rich Boy by Sharon Pomerantz.

About the book, from the publisher:

Robert Vishniak is the favored son of Oxford Circle, a working-class Jewish neighborhood in 1970s Philadelphia. Handsome and clever, Robert glides into the cloistered universities of New England, where scions of unimaginable wealth and influence stand shoulder to shoulder with scholarship paupers like himself who wash dishes for book money. The doors that open there lead Robert to the highest circles of Manhattan society during the heart of the Reagan boom where everything Robert has learned about women, through seduction and heartbreak, pays off.
Read an excerpt from Rich Boy.

Visit Sharon Pomerantz's website and blog.

"Waking the Witch"

New from Dutton: Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong.

About the book, from the publisher:

One of the most popular writers of paranormal fiction and the #1 New York Times bestselling author returns with a rollicking new novel in her Otherworld series.

At twenty-one, Savannah Levine-orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer-considers herself a full-fledged member of the otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she's having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult. She's working as the research assistant at the detective agency they founded, and when they take off on a romantic vacation alone, leaving her in charge, Savannah finds herself itching for a case to call her own. (She's also itching for Adam, her longtime friend and colleague, to see her as more than just a little girl, but that's another matter.)

Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she's been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman's dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.
Learn more about the author and her work at Kelley Armstrong's website.

The Page 69 Test: No Humans Involved.

The Page 69 Test: Living with the Dead.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Star Island"

New from Knopf: Star Island by Carl Hiaasen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Meet twenty-two-year-old Cherry Pye (née Cheryl Bunterman), a pop star since she was fourteen—and about to attempt a comeback from her latest drug-and-alcohol disaster.

Now meet Cherry again: in the person of her “undercover stunt double,” Ann DeLusia. Ann portrays Cherry whenever the singer is too “indisposed”—meaning wasted—to go out in public. And it is Ann-mistaken-for-Cherry who is kidnapped from a South Beach hotel by obsessed paparazzo Bang Abbott.

Now the challenge for Cherry’s handlers (über–stage mother; horndog record producer; nipped, tucked, and Botoxed twin publicists; weed whacker–wielding bodyguard) is to rescue Ann while keeping her existence a secret from Cherry’s public—and from Cherry herself.

The situation is more complicated than they know. Ann has had a bewitching encounter with Skink—the unhinged former governor of Florida living wild in a mangrove swamp—and now he’s heading for Miami to find her...

Will Bang Abbott achieve his fantasy of a lucrative private photo session with Cherry Pye? Will Cherry sober up in time to lip-synch her way through her concert tour? Will Skink track down Ann DeLusia before Cherry’s motley posse does?

All will be revealed in this hilarious spin on life in the celebrity fast lane.
Visit Carl Hiaasen's website.

"A Brush with Death"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: A Brush with Death by Elizabeth J. Duncan.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Penny Brannigan inherits a charming, old-fashioned cottage in the North Wales town of Llanelen, she soon realizes she has come into more than what real estate agents like to describe as a desirable period property: She’s also acquired memories, mystery, and an unsolved, decades-old crime.

As Penny sorts through the belongings of her benefactor, a deceased teacher, she comes upon a packet of letters from a promising young Liverpool artist, A. Jones, who was killed in an accident in 1970. An artist herself, Penny sets out to discover who killed this painter, and is helped by a small group of townsfolk, including her business partner, Victoria Hopkirk. While at a retrospective art exhibition in Liverpool, Penny recognizes what she believes to be a watercolor painted by Jones. But it is attributed to another artist, leading her to suspect that art theft was at the heart of the case, and that Jones’s death was no accident.

In her eagerly awaited sequel Duncan wonderfully revisits the bustling Welsh town and vibrant characters introduced in The Cold Light of Mourning. With its lyrical prose and tantalizing puzzle, this new mystery is a treat on many levels.
Learn more about the book and author at Elizabeth J. Duncan's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Cold Light of Mourning.

Friday, July 23, 2010

"The Doctor and the Diva"

New from Viking: The Doctor and the Diva by Adrienne McDonnell.

About the book, from the publisher:

A breathtaking novel of romantic obsession, longing and one woman's choice between motherhood and her operatic calling

It is 1903. Dr. Ravell is a young Harvard-educated obstetrician with a growing reputation for helping couples conceive. He has treated women from all walks of Boston society, but when Ravell meets Erika-an opera singer whose beauty is surpassed only by her spellbinding voice-he knows their doctor-patient relationship will be like none he has ever had.

After struggling for years to become pregnant, Erika believes there is no hope. Her mind is made up: she will leave her prominent Bostonian husband to pursue her career in Italy, a plan both unconventional and risky. But becoming Ravell's patient will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.

Lush and stunningly realized, The Doctor and the Diva moves from snowy Boston to the jungles of Trinidad to the gilded balconies of Florence. This magnificent debut is a tale of passionate love affairs, dangerous decisions, and a woman's irreconcilable desires as she is forced to choose between the child she has always longed for and the opera career she cannot live without. Inspired by the author's family history, the novel is sensual, sexy, and heart-stopping in its bittersweet beauty.
Visit Adrienne McDonnell's website.

"Super Sad True Love Story"

New from Random House: Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart has risen to the top of the fiction world. Now, in his hilarious and heartfelt new novel, he envisions a deliciously dark tale of America’s dysfunctional coming years—and the timeless and tender feelings that just might bring us back from the brink.

In a very near future—oh, let’s say next Tuesday—a functionally illiterate America is about to collapse. But don’t that tell that to poor Lenny Abramov, the thirty-nine-year-old son of an angry Russian immigrant janitor, proud author of what may well be the world’s last diary, and less-proud owner of a bald spot shaped like the great state of Ohio. Despite his job at an outfit called Post-Human Services, which attempts to provide immortality for its super-rich clientele, death is clearly stalking this cholesterol-rich morsel of a man. And why shouldn’t it? Lenny’s from a different century—he totally loves books (or “printed, bound media artifacts,” as they’re now known), even though most of his peers find them smelly and annoying. But even more than books, Lenny loves Eunice Park, an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel twenty-four-year-old Korean American woman who just graduated from Elderbird College with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness.

After meeting Lenny on an extended Roman holiday, blistering Eunice puts that Assertiveness minor to work, teaching our “ancient dork” effective new ways to brush his teeth and making him buy a cottony nonflammable wardrobe. But America proves less flame-resistant than Lenny’s new threads. The country is crushed by a credit crisis, riots break out in New York’s Central Park, the city’s streets are lined with National Guard tanks on every corner, the dollar is so over, and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Undeterred, Lenny vows to love both Eunice and his homeland. He’s going to convince his fickle new love that in a time without standards or stability, in a world where single people can determine a dating prospect’s “hotness” and “sustainability” with the click of a button, in a society where the privileged may live forever but the unfortunate will die all too soon, there is still value in being a real human being.

Wildly funny, rich, and humane, Super Sad True Love Story is a knockout novel by a young master, a book in which falling in love just may redeem a planet falling apart.
Super Sad True Love Story is on Avi Steinberg's list of what Lindsay Lohan should read in jail.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Blood Men"

New from Atria: Blood Men by Paul Cleave.

About the book, from the publisher:

Edward Hunter has it all—a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future… and a very dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer was caught, convicted, and locked away in the country's most hellish of penitentiaries. That man was Edward's father. Edward has struggled his entire life to put the nightmares of his childhood behind him. But a week before Christmas, violence once again makes an unwelcome appearance into his world. Suddenly he's going to need the help of his father, a man he hasn't seen since he was a boy. Is Edward destined to be just like him, to become a man of blood?

Blood Men is "relentlessly gripping, deliciously twisted, and shot through with a vein of humor that's as dark as hell" (Mark Billingham). A true master of the genre that only comes along once in a generation, Cleave unveils a brutally vivid picture of a killer's mind and of a city of fallen angels captured at the ends of the earth.
Visit Paul Cleave's website.


New from Knopf: Lucy by Laurence Gonzales.

About the book, from the publisher:

Laurence Gonzales’s electrifying adventure opens in the jungles of the Congo. Jenny Lowe, a primatologist studying chimpanzees—the bonobos—is running for her life.

A civil war has exploded and Jenny is trapped in its crosshairs ... She runs to the camp of a fellow primatologist.

The rebels have already been there.

Everyone is dead except a young girl, the daughter of Jenny’s brutally murdered fellow scientist—and competitor.

Jenny and the child flee, Jenny grabbing the notebooks of the primatologist who’s been killed. She brings the girl to Chicago to await the discovery of her relatives. The girl is fifteen and lovely—her name is Lucy.

Realizing that the child has no living relatives, Jenny begins to care for her as her own. When she reads the notebooks written by Lucy’s father, she discovers that the adorable, lovely, magical Lucy is the result of an experiment.

She is part human, part ape—a hybrid human being...

Laurence Gonzales’s novel grabs you from its opening pages and you stay with it, mesmerized by the shy but fierce, wonderfully winning Lucy.
Visit Laurence Gonzales' website.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Red Hook Road"

New from Doubleday: Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman.

About the book, from the publisher:

As lyrical as a sonata, Ayelet Waldman’s follow-up novel to Love and Other Impossible Pursuits explores the aftermath of a family tragedy.

Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity.

A marriage collapses under the strain of a daughter’s death; two bereaved siblings find comfort in one another; and an adopted young girl breathes new life into her family with her prodigious talent for the violin. As she writes with obvious affection for these unforgettable characters, Ayelet Waldman skillfully interweaves life’s finer pleasures—music and literature—with the more mundane joys of living. Within these resonant pages, a vase filled with wildflowers or a cold beer on a hot summer day serve as constant reminders that it’s often the little things that make life so precious.
Learn more about the author and her work at Ayelet Waldman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Love and Other Impossible Pursuits.

"The Bone Fire"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Bone Fire by Christine Barber.

About the book, from the publisher:

Every year, the people of Santa Fe gather together for the burning of a four-story-tall figure called Zozobra, a local custom that that takes place during the Fiesta de Santa Fe. Early the next morning, as the sounds of the Fiesta celebration still echo through the streets, skull is discovered in the ashes of Zozobra.

As Detective Sergeant Gilbert Montoya starts to investigate the case, disturbing displays of human bones begin appearing at religious sites around the city. With a possible psychopath on the loose, Gil goes to newspaper editor Lucy Newroe for help to find the person responsible in a case that will take them into the highest and lowest levels of Santa Fe society.

Christine Barber was highly praised for her first book, The Replacement Child, which won the first annual Tony Hillerman Prize and was named a New York Times Notable Book. An intriguing, impressive new mystery, The Bone Fire captures the colorful New Mexican landscape and the unique world of Santa Fe.
Visit Christine Barber's website.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Elegies for the Brokenhearted"

New from W.W. Norton: Elegies for the Brokenhearted by Christie Hodgen.

About the book, from the publisher:

A savvy, spirited, moving, and surprisingly humorous novel in elegies.

Who are the people you’ll never forget? For Mary Murphy, there are five: A skirt-chasing, car-racing uncle with whiskey breath and a three-day beard. A “walking joke, a sitting duck, a fish in a barrel” named Elwood LePoer. A dirt-poor college roommate who conceals an unbearable secret. A failed piano prodigy lost in middle age. A beautiful mother haunted by her once-great aspirations.

In five quirky elegies to lost friends and relatives, Mary tells us the story of her life. We begin with a restless childhood spent following her mother between multiple homes and husbands. Then comes the disappearance of Mary’s rebellious and beloved sister, Malinda. By the time Mary leaves for college, she has no one to write home to, and we follow along on her difficult search for purpose. From a series of miserable jobs to her “reborn” mother’s deathbed, Mary finds hope in the most surprising places. With a rhythmically unique voice and pitch-perfect wry humor, Christie Hodgen spins an unconventional and moving story about identity, belonging, and family.
Visit Christie Hodgen's website.

"Buddha's Orphans"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Buddha's Orphans by Samrat Upadhyay.

About the book, from the publisher:

Called “a Buddhist Chekhov” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Samrat Upadhyay’s writing has been praised by Amitav Ghosh and Suketu Mehta, and compared with the work of Akhil Sharma and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Upadhyay’s new novel, Buddha’s Orphans, uses Nepal’s political upheavals of the past century as a backdrop to the story of an orphan boy, Raja, and the girl he is fated to love, Nilu, a daughter of privilege.Their love story scandalizes both families and takes readers through time and across the globe, through the loss of and search for children, and through several generations, hinting that perhaps old bends can, in fact, be righted in future branches of a family tree.

Buddha’s Orphans is a novel permeated with the sense of how we are irreparably connected to the mothers who birthed us and of the way events of the past, even those we are ignorant of, inevitably haunt the present. But most of all it is an engrossing, unconventional love story and a seductive and transporting read.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"The Whisperers"

New from Atria: The Whisperers by John Connolly.

About the book, from the publisher:

"'Oh, little one,' he whispered, as he gently stroked her cheek, the first time he had touched her in fifteen years. 'What have they done to you? What have they done to us all?'"

In his latest dark and chilling Charlie Parker thriller, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly takes us to the border between Maine and Canada. It is there, in the vast and porous Great North Woods, that a dangerous smuggling operation is taking place, run by a group of disenchanted former soldiers, newly returned from Iraq. Illicit goods—drugs, cash, weapons, even people—are changing hands. And something else has changed hands. Something ancient and powerful and evil.

The authorities suspect something is amiss, but what they can't know is that it is infinitely stranger and more terrifying than anyone can imagine. Anyone, that is, except private detective Charlie Parker, who has his own intimate knowledge of the darkness in men's hearts. As the smugglers begin to die one after another in apparent suicides, Parker is called in to stop the bloodletting. The soldiers' actions and the objects they have smuggled have attracted the attention of the reclusive Herod, a man with a taste for the strange. And where Herod goes, so too does the shadowy figure that he calls the Captain. To defeat them, Parker must form an uneasy alliance with a man he fears more than any other, the killer known as the Collector....
Read about the fictional character who John Connolly thinks most resembles him.

"Fortune's Fool"

New from Simon & Schuster: Fortune's Fool: Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Warner Music, and an Industry in Crisis by Fred Goodman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1999, when Napster made music available free online, the music industry found itself in a fight for its life. A decade later, the most important and misunderstood story—and the one with the greatest implications for both music lovers and media companies—is how the music industry has failed to remake itself. In Fortune's Fool, Fred Goodman, the author of The Mansion on the Hill, shows how this happened by presenting the singular history of Edgar M. Bronfman Jr., the controversial heir to Seagram's, who, after dismantling his family's empire and fortune, made a high-stakes gamble to remake both the music industry and his own reputation.

Napster had successfully blown the industry off its commercial foundations because all that the old school label heads knew how to do was record and market hits. So when Bronfman took over the Warner Music Group in 2004, his challenge was to create a new kind of record executive.

Goodman finds the source of the crisis in the dissolution of the old Warner Music Group, the brilliant conglomerate of Atlantic, Elektra, and Warner Bros. Records. He shows how Doug Morris, the head of Atlantic Records, rose through the ranks and rode the CD bonanza of the 1990s to enormous corporate and personal profit before becoming embroiled in an ego-driven corporate turf war, and how all of Warner's record executives were blindsided when AOL/Time-Warner announced in 2003 that it wanted nothing more to do with the record industry. When the music group was finally sold to Bronfman, it was a ghost of itself.

Bronfman built an aggressive, streamlined team headed by Lyor Cohen, whose relentless ambition and discipline had helped build Def Jam Records. They instituted a series of daring initiatives intended to give customers legitimate online music choices and took market share from Warner's competitors. But despite these efforts, illegal downloads still outnumber legitimate ones 19–1.

Most of the talk of a new world of music and media has proven empty; despite the success of iTunes, even wildly popular sites like YouTube and MySpace have not found a way to make money with music. Instead, Warner and the other labels are diversifying and forcing young artists to give them a cut of their income from touring, publishing, and merchandising. Meanwhile, the average downloader isn't even meeting forward-thinking musicians halfway. Each time a young band finds a following through music websites, it's a unique story; no formula has emerged. If one does, Warner is probably in a better position than anyone to exploit it. But at the end of the day, If is the one-word verdict on Bronfman's big bet.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Wherever You Go"

New from W.W. Norton: Wherever You Go by Joan Leegant.

About the book, from the publisher:

Yona Stern has traveled from New York to Israel to make amends with her estranged sister, a stoic ideologue and mother of five who has dedicated herself to the radical West Bank settlement cause. Yona’s personal life resembles nothing of her sister’s, but it isn’t politics that drove the two apart.

Now a respected Jerusalem Talmud teacher, Mark Greenglass was once a drug dealer saved by an eleventh-hour turn to Orthodox Judaism. But for reasons he can’t understand, he’s lost his once fervent religious passion. Is he through with God? Is God through with him?

Enter Aaron Blinder, a year-abroad dropout with a history of failure whose famous father endlessly—some say obsessively—mines the Holocaust for his best-selling, melodramatic novels. Desperate for approval, Aaron finds a home on the violent fringe of Israeli society, with unforeseen and devastating consequences.

In a sweeping, beautifully written story, Joan Leegant, winner of the PEN New England Book Award and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, weaves together three lives caught in the grip of a volatile and demanding faith. Emotionally wrenching and unmistakably timely, Wherever You Go shines a light on one of the most disturbing elements in Israeli society: Jewish extremist groups and their threat to the modern, democratic state. This is a stunningly prescient novel.
Visit Joan Leegant's website.


New from Simon & Schuster: Savages by Don Winslow.

About the book, from the publisher:

A breakthrough novel that pits young kingpins against a Mexican drug cartel, Savages is a provocative, sexy, and sharply funny thrill ride through the dark side of the war on drugs and beyond.

Part-time environmentalist and philanthropist Ben and his ex-mercenary buddy Chon run a Laguna Beach–based marijuana operation, reaping significant profits from their loyal clientele. In the past when their turf was challenged, Chon took care of eliminating the threat. But now they may have come up against something that they can't handle—the Mexican Baja Cartel wants in, and sends them the message that a "no" is unacceptable. When they refuse to back down, the cartel escalates its threat, kidnapping Ophelia, the boys' playmate and confidante. O's abduction sets off a dizzying array of ingenious negotiations and gripping plot twists that will captivate readers eager to learn the costs of freedom and the price of one amazing high.

Following "the best summertime crime novel ever" (San Francisco Chronicle on The Dawn Patrol), bestselling author Winslow offers up a smash hit in the making. Savages is an ingenious combination of adrenaline-fueled suspense and true-crime reportage by a master thriller writer at the very top of his game.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Beautiful Malice"

New from Bantam: Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James.

About the book, from the publisher:

An international sensation that The Wall Street Journal called a “publishing phenomenon,” this layered, poignant, and chilling novel of psychological suspense is the year’s most stunning American fiction debut. From its wrenching opening to its shocking climax, Beautiful Malice unfolds a haunting story in which people, motives, and circumstances are never what they seem.

Who is Katherine Patterson? It is a question she hopes no one can answer. To erase her past, Katherine has moved to a new city, enrolled in a new school, and even changed her name. She’s done the next best thing to disappearing altogether. Now, wary and alone, she seeks nothing more than anonymity. What she finds instead is the last thing she expected: a friend.

Even more unlikely, Katherine’s new friend is the most popular and magnetic girl in school. Extroverted, gorgeous, flirtatious, and unpredictable, she is everything that Katherine is not and doesn’t want to be: the center of attention. Yet Alice’s enthusiasm is infectious, her candor sometimes unsettling, and Katherine, in spite of her guarded caution, finds herself drawn into Alice’s private circle.

But Alice has secrets, too—darker than anyone can begin to imagine. And when she lets her guard down at last, Katherine discovers the darkest of them all. For there will be no escaping the past for Katherine Patterson—only a descent into a trap far more sinister ... and infinitely more seductive.
Visit Rebecca James' website and blog.

"The Taken"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe.

About the book, from the publisher:

Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef is having a bad year. After major back surgery, she has no real option but to move into her ex-husband's basement and suffer the humiliation of his new wife bringing her meals down on a tray. As if that weren't enough, Hazel's octogenarian mother secretly flushes Hazel's stash of painkillers down the toilet.

It's almost a relief when Hazel gets a call about a body fished up by tourists in one of the lakes near Port Dundas. But what raises the hair on the back of Micallef 's neck is that the local paper has just published the first installment of a serialized story featuring such a scenario. Even before they head out to the lake with divers to recover the body, she and DC James Wingate, leading the police detachment in Micallef 's absence, know they are being played. But it's not clear who is pulling their strings and why, nor is what they find at the lake at all what they expected. It's Micallef herself who is snared, caught up in a cryptic game devised by someone who knows how to taunt her into opening a cold case, someone who knows that nothing will stop her investigation.

The second novel featuring Hazel Micallef, "a compelling, unlikely hero" (Entertainment Weekly), is a stunning and suspenseful exploration of the obsessive far reaches of love, confirming Inger Ash Wolfe as one of the best mystery writers today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

"The Glass Rainbow"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke.

About the book, from the publisher:

James Lee Burke's eagerly awaited new novel finds Detective Dave Robicheaux back in New Iberia, Louisiana, and embroiled in the most harrowing and dangerous case of his career. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high school honor student, doesn't fit: she is not the kind of hapless and marginalized victim psychopaths usually prey upon. Robicheaux and his best friend, Clete Purcel, confront Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer whom both men despise. When Stanga turns up dead shortly after a fierce beating by Purcel, in front of numerous witnesses, the case takes a nasty turn, and Clete's career and life are hanging by threads over the abyss.

Adding to Robicheaux's troubles is the matter of his daughter, Alafair, on leave from Stanford Law to put the finishing touches on her novel. Her literary pursuit has led her into the arms of Kermit Abelard, celebrated novelist and scion of a once prominent Louisiana family whose fortunes are slowly sinking into the corruption of Louisiana's subculture. Abelard's association with bestselling ex-convict author Robert Weingart, a man who uses and discards people like Kleenex, causes Robicheaux to fear that Alafair might be destroyed by the man she loves. As his daughter seems to drift away from him, he wonders if he has become a victim of his own paranoia. But as usual, Robicheaux's instincts are proven correct and he finds himself dealing with a level of evil that is greater than any enemy he has confronted in the past.

Set against the backdrop of an Edenic paradise threatened by pernicious forces, James Lee Burke's The Glass Rainbow is already being hailed as perhaps the best novel in the Robicheaux series.
Visit James Lee Burke's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Tin Roof Blowdown.

"Memory Wall"

New from Scribner: Memory Wall: Stories by Anthony Doerr.

About the book, from the publisher:

From an award-winning and extraordinarily eloquent author whose "prose dazzles" (The New York Times Book Review) comes a second stunning collection.

Set on four continents, Anthony Doerr's new stories are about memory, the source of meaning and coherence in our lives, the fragile thread that connects us to ourselves and to others. Every hour, says Doerr, all over the globe, an infinite number of memories disappear. Yet at the same time children, surveying territory that is entirely new to them, push back the darkness, form fresh memories, and remake the world.

In the luminous and beautiful title story, a young boy in South Africa comes to possess an old woman's secret, a piece of the past with the power to redeem a life. In "The River Nemunas," a teenage orphan moves from Kansas to Lithuania to live with her grandfather, and discovers a world in which myth becomes real. "Village 113," winner of an O'Henry Prize, is about the building of the Three Gorges Dam and the seed keeper who guards the history of a village soon to be submerged. And in "Afterworld," the radiant, cathartic final story, a woman who escaped the Holocaust is haunted by visions of her childhood friends in Germany, yet finds solace in the tender ministrations of her grandson.

Every story in Memory Wall is a reminder of the grandeur of life--of the mysterious beauty of seeds, of fossils, of sturgeon, of clouds, of radios, of leaves, of the breathtaking fortune of living in this universe. Doerr's language, his witness, his imagination, and his humanity are unparalleled in fiction today.
Visit the author's website.

The Page 69 Test: Anthony Doerr's Four Seasons in Rome.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"The Great Bay"

New from North Atlantic Books: The Great Bay: Chronicles of the Collapse by Dale Pendell.

About the book, from the publisher:

***WINNER, Best Science Fiction, 2010 Green Book Festival

Based in scientific reality, Dale Pendell presents a powerful fictional vision of a fast-approaching future in which sea levels rise and a decimated population must find new ways to live. The Great Bay begins in 2021 with a worldwide pandemic followed by the gradual rising of the seas. Pendell’s vision is all encompassing—he describes the rising seas’ impact on countries and continents around the world. But his imaginative storytelling focuses on California. A “great bay” forms in California’s Central Valley and expands during a 16,000-year period. As the years pass, and technology seems to regress, even memory of a “precollapse” world blends into myth. Grizzly bears and other large predators return to the California hills, and civilization reverts to a richly imagined medieval society marked by guilds and pilgrimages, followed even later by hunting and gathering societies. Pendell’s focus is on the lives of people struggling with love, wars, and physical survival thousands of years in California’s future. He deftly mixes poetic imagery, news-reporting-style writing, interviews with survivors, and maps documenting the geographic changes. In the end, powerful human values that have been with us for 40,000 years begin to reemerge and remind us that they are desperately needed—in the present.
Visit Dale Pendell's website.

"Red Rain"

New from Knopf: Red Rain by Bruce Murkoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Following his acclaimed debut, Waterborne, Bruce Murkoff gives us another American panorama with a Civil War novel unlike any other.

Born near Rondout, New York, to a family steeped in wars both before and after independence, Will Harp returns home in 1864 for the first time in a decade, disconsolate over the campaigns being waged against Indians in the West even as the nation is busy tearing itself apart. His father is now buried in the Harp graveyard, surrounded by two preceding generations, and much else, too, has changed.

For Mickey Blessing, though, these are heady times. Serving the darker needs of a prosperous businessman, Harry Grieves, he commands fear and respect as few Irish immigrants have managed to do in a society still hostile to their presence. The man he’d replaced had enlisted and is now missing in the horrors of Cold Harbor, leaving Mickey’s sister, Jane, fearing the worst about her fiancé’s survival.

Coley Hinds, orphaned as a child, is fending for himself and fast growing savvy as the town around him bustles with trade and tragedy. In his stable-basement lodgings, he reads Western serials that he hopes will describe his future, but then falls under the sway of Mickey, who recognizes in him the powerless waif he once had been himself.

All of these lives and more are intertwined when the bones of a mastodon surface on a neighboring farm that Will quickly purchases, pursuing a fervent boyhood interest. He finds an eager assistant in Coley, who suddenly needs refuge from budding criminality when Mickey suffers a hideous loss and develops an unhealthy obsession with a baby found on Jug Hill, where free black people have lived for generations. And before long, every fate is uncertain as calamity threatens to envelop them all.

Red Rain is masterful in both its specifics—Coley’s pet squirrel, the erotic tableaux Will’s photographer friend contrives, the bakery where Jane finds comfort as well as income—and its broad historical sweep, which reaches from the settling of the Hudson River Valley to the bloodshed now ravaging the South and the West. Its characterizations are impeccable, whether of Grieves’s dream of a grand hotel or Mickey’s love of water, with not one gripping love story but several. And its plotting is relentless, weaving stories from various times and places that inevitably converge, right here in Rondout, with heart-stopping intensity. Engrossing and revelatory, Red Rain shows an extraordinarily talented writer expanding his already great range, and at the very top of his form.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Midnight Angels"

New from Ballantine Books: Midnight Angels by Lorenzo Carcaterra.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the secret passageways of one of the world’s most majestic cities, an American woman must risk everything to keep the long-lost work of a Renaissance master from falling into the hands of thieves.

In Midnight Angels, acclaimed author Lorenzo Carcaterra returns with a gripping new novel of suspense, revealing a fascinating world where art and crime rendezvous in the shadows, where rumors swirl of undiscovered masterpieces lost to the ages and hidden throughout Europe, and where some will do anything to possess these priceless treasures.

Kate Westcott has come to the beautiful city of Florence to study the masterly Michelangelo, whose work has inspired centuries of admiration, adoration, even lust. Of course she already knows more about him than most art historians, thanks to her guardian and mentor, Professor Richard Dylan Edwards. A preeminent Michelangelo scholar—and a member of the mysterious Vittoria Society—Edwards has devoted his life to chasing down lost and stolen works of art and returning them to their rightful owners.

Exploring the cobbled streets of the Renaissance city with fellow art student Marco Scudarti, Kate feels the pull of destiny. And when the two uncover a secret chamber in a corridor sealed since the time of the Medicis, they make a stunning discovery: Michelangelo’s Midnight Angels—three small, exquisite sculptures long rumored to exist but never before seen. It is the find of a lifetime—and the beginning of their nightmare.

Pursued by operatives of the most heinous criminals, under suspicion from the elite Rome Art Squad, and navigating the underground network of the Vittoria Society, Kate must use all her cunning to elude capture. From the halls of the Uffizi to the Piazza Santa Croce, across the Ponte Vecchio and under the shadow of the Duomo, Kate and Marco race to preserve and protect not only Michelangelo’s work but also their lives.

Midnight Angels is a thrilling, page-turning novel in which Lorenzo Carcaterra evokes an Italian setting so intimate and sensual that it seems to live and breathe along with his characters.
Visit Lorenzo Carcaterra's website.

"The Cold Kiss"

New from Forge Books: The Cold Kiss by John Rector.

About the book, from the publisher:

All Nate and Sara want is a new life in a new town, away from the crime and poverty of their past. So, after being approached at a roadside diner by a man offering $500 for a ride to Omaha, they wonder if their luck might be changing.

At first it seems like easy money, but within a few hours the man is dead.

Now, forced off the road by a blizzard and trapped in a run-down motel on the side of a deserted highway, Nate and Sara begin to uncover the man’s secrets. Who he was, how he died, and most importantly, why he was carrying two million dollars in his suitcase.

Before they know it, Nate and Sara are fighting for their lives, and in the end, each has to decide just how far they are willing to go to survive.

The Cold Kiss is an everyman psychological thriller that pits a young couple against moral corruption, greed, betrayal, and love. More simply, for two characters who may have used up all their chances, it’s the classic final trip down the dark tunnel that might lead to heaven, but drags them through hell. This is A Simple Plan meets The Getaway, with a pulse-pounding plot and a twist ending. John Rector is name that all thriller fans will come to know and love for years to come.
Visit John Rector's website.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"The King's Mistress"

New from Crown: The King's Mistress by Emma Campion.

About the book, from the publisher:

History has not been kind to Alice Perrers, the notorious mistress of King Edward III. Scholars and contemporaries alike have deemed her a manipulative woman who used her great beauty and sensuality to take advantage of an aging and increasingly senile king. But who was the woman behind the scandal? A cold-hearted opportunist or someone fighting for her very survival?

Like most girls of her era Alice is taught obedience in all things. At the age of fourteen she marries the man her father chooses for her, dutifully accepting the cost of being torn from the family she holds so dear and losing the love of her mother forever. Despite these heartbreaks Alice finds that merchant Janyn Perrers is a good and loving husband and the two settle into a happy life together. Their bliss is short-lived, however, unraveled the dark day a messenger appears at Alice's door and notifies her of Janyn's sudden disappearance.

In the wake of this tragedy, Alice learns that her husband kept many dangerous secrets--secrets that result in a price on her own head and that of her beloved daughter. Her only chance to survive lies in the protection of King Edward and Queen Philippa, but she therefore must live at court as a virtual prisoner. When she is singled out by the king for more than just royal patronage, the stakes are raised. Disobeying Edward is not an option, not when her family is at risk, but the court is full of ambitious men and women, many of whom will stop at nothing to see her fall from grace. The whispers and gossip abound, isolating Alice, who finds unexpected solace in her love for the king.

Emma Campion paints a colorful and thrilling portrait of the court of Edward III--with all of its extravagance, scandalous love affairs, political machinations, and murder--and the devastating results of being singled out by the royal family. At the center of the storm is Alice, surviving by her wits in this dangerous world where the choices are not always of her own making. Emma Campion's dazzling novel shows that there is always another side to the story.
Visit Emma Campion's website and blog.

"Think of a Number"

New from Crown: Think of a Number by John Verdon.

About the book, from the publisher:

An extraordinary fiction debut, Think of a Number is an exquisitely plotted novel of suspense that grows relentlessly darker and more frightening as its pace accelerates, forcing its deeply troubled characters to moments of startling self-revelation.

Arriving in the mail over a period of weeks are taunting letters that end with a simple declaration, “Think of any number…picture it…now see how well I know your secrets.” Amazingly, those who comply find that the letter writer has predicted their random choice exactly. For Dave Gurney, just retired as the NYPD’s top homicide investigator and forging a new life with his wife, Madeleine, in upstate New York, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial murder investigation.

What police are confronted with is a completely baffling killer, one who is fond of rhymes filled with threats and warnings, whose attention to detail is unprecedented, and who has an uncanny knack for disappearing into thin air. Even more disturbing, the scale of his ambition seems to widen as events unfold.

Brought in as an investigative consultant, Dave Gurney soon accomplishes deductive breakthroughs that leave local police in awe. Yet, even as he matches wits with his seemingly clairvoyant opponent, Gurney’s tragedy-marred past rises up to haunt him, his marriage approaches a dangerous precipice, and finally, a dark, cold fear builds that he’s met an adversary who can’t be stopped.

In the end, fighting to keep his bearings amid a whirlwind of menace and destruction, Gurney sees the truth of what he’s become – what we all become when guilty memories fester – and how his wife Madeleine’s clear-eyed advice may be the only answer that makes sense.

A work that defies easy labels -- at once a propulsive masterpiece of suspense and an absorbing immersion in the lives of characters so real we seem to hear their heartbeats – Think of a Number is a novel you’ll not soon forget.

Monday, July 12, 2010


New from Nan A. Talese: Everything by Kevin Canty.

About the book, from the publisher:

In taut, exquisite prose, Kevin Canty explores the largest themes of life—work, love, death, destruction, rebirth—in the middle of the everyday.

On the fifth of July, RL and June go down to the river with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red to commemorate Taylor’s fiftieth and last birthday. Taylor was RL’s boyhood friend and June’s husband, but after eleven years, June, a childless hospice worker, finally declares she’s “nobody’s widow anymore.” Anxious for a new beginning, June considers selling her beloved house. RL, a divorced empty-nester, faces a major change, too, when he agrees to lodge his college girlfriend, Betsy, while she undergoes chemotherapy. Caught between Betsy’s anguish and June’s hope, the cynical RL is brought face-to-face with his own sense of futility, and the longing to experience the kind of love that “knocks you down.”

Set in Montana, reflecting the beauty of its landscape and the independence of its people, Everything is a shimmering novel about unexpected redemption by a writer of deep empathy and prodigious talents.
Visit Kevin Canty's website.

"A Hidden Affair"

New from Atria: A Hidden Affair by Pam Jenoff.

About the book, from the publisher:


Ten years ago, U.S. State Department intelligence officer Jordan Weiss's life was turned upside down when she was told her college boyfriend, Jared, drowned in the River Cam. In a shocking discovery, though, she realizes that things weren't as they seemed and that she had been lied to and betrayed by those closest to her. Reeling from the shock— and the knowledge that Jared is still alive—Jordan resigns her State Department post and sets off in search of answers. Traveling to Jared's last known whereabouts on the French Riviera, she encounters Nicole, a mysterious woman who flees after refusing to disclose what she knows about Jared.

Following Nicole across Europe, Jordan soon discovers that she is not alone in her pursuit— Aaron, a handsome and enigmatic Israeli, is chasing Nicole for his own cryptic reasons. Though distrustful of each other, Jordan and Aaron join forces on a journey that takes them half a world away, and only steps ahead of grave peril.

As Jordan draws closer to finding the answers that have eluded her for a decade, larger questions remain: Can she reconcile her attraction to Aaron with her unresolved feelings for Jared, the only man she ever loved? Will the truth be too devastating to handle or finally set her free?

Will she have a chance at happiness at last? Thrilling, romantic, and impossible to put down, A Hidden Affair gives us a brave and relentless heroine who never gives up on her search for the truth.
Visit Pam Jenoff's website.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"The News Where You Are"

New from Henry Holt & Company: The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the bestselling author of What Was Lost comes a spirited literary mystery about a television anchorman's search for the truth about the disappearances that surround him

Frank Allcroft, a television news anchor in his hometown (where he reports on hard-hitting events, like the opening of canine gyms for overweight pets), is on the verge of a mid-life crisis. Beneath his famously corny on-screen persona, Frank is haunted by loss: the mysterious hit-and-run that killed his predecessor and friend, Phil, and the ongoing demolition of his architect father's monumental postwar buildings. And then there are the things he can't seem to lose, no matter how hard he tries: his home, for one, on the market for years; and the nagging sense that he will never quite be the son his mother—newly ensconced in an assisted-living center—wanted.

As Frank uncovers the shocking truth behind Phil's death, and comes to terms with his domineering father's legacy, it is his beloved young daughter, Mo, who points him toward the future. Funny and touching, The News Where You Are is a moving exploration of what we do and don't leave behind, proving once more that Catherine O'Flynn's writing "shimmers with dark brilliance" (Chicago Tribune).

"What Is Left the Daughter"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: What Is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this country's finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books--The Bird Artist, The Museum Guard, and The Haunting of L--in this erotically charged and morally complex story.

Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges--the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.

Setting in motion the novel's chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents--including a German U-boat's sinking of the Nova Scotia-Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling--lend intense narrative power to Norman's uncannily layered story.

Wyatt's account of the astonishing--not least to him-- events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. It's a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one.

An utterly stirring novel. This is Howard Norman at his celebrated best.
Read an excerpt from What Is Left the Daughter.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man"

New from Little, Brown: Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir by Bill Clegg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bill Clegg had a thriving business as a literary agent, a supportive partner, trusting colleagues, and loving friends when he walked away from his world and embarked on a two-month crack binge. He had been released from rehab nine months earlier, and his relapse would cost him his home, his money, his career, and very nearly his life.

What is it that leads an exceptional young mind want to disappear? Clegg makes stunningly clear the attraction of the drug that had him in its thrall, capturing in scene after scene the drama, tension, and paranoiac nightmare of a secret life--and the exhilarating bliss that came again and again until it was eclipsed almost entirely by doom. He also explores the shape of addiction, how its pattern--not its cause--can be traced to the past.

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man is an utterly compelling narrative--lyrical, irresistible, harsh, honest, and beautifully written--from which you simply cannot look away.
See Bill Clegg's 5 favorite memoirs.

"Inspector Singh Investigates"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint.

About the book, from the publisher:

Meet Inspector Singh: a fat, slightly bumbling, but truly lovable detective sure to charm readers of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency

Inspector Singh is in a bad mood. He’s been sent from his home in Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to solve a murder that has him stumped. Chelsea Liew—the famous Singaporean model—is on death row for the murder of her ex-husband. She swears she didn’t do it, he thinks she didn’t do it, but no matter how hard he tries to get to the bottom of things, he still arrives back at the same place—that Chelsea’s husband was shot at point blank range, and that Chelsea had the best motivation to pull the trigger: he was taking her kids away from her. Now Inspector Singh must pull out all the stops to crack a crime that could potentially free a beautiful and innocent woman and reunite a mother with her children. There’s just one problem—the Malaysian police refuse to play ball.
Visit Shamini Flint's website.