Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Murder, Mischief and Mayhem: Recommendations From Margaret N.

http://bit.ly/1k2KW1P
The extraordinary new novel in New York Times-bestselling author Ace Atkins' acclaimed series about the real Deep South—“a joy ride into the heart of darkness” (The Washington Post).

Thirty-six years ago, a nameless black man wandered into Jericho, Mississippi, with nothing but the clothes on his back and a pair of paratrooper boots. Less than two days later, he was accused of rape and murder, hunted down by a self-appointed posse, and lynched.

Now evidence has surfaced of his innocence, and county sheriff Quinn Colson sets out not only to identify the stranger’s remains, but to charge those responsible for the lynching. As he starts to uncover old lies and dirty secrets, though, he runs up against fierce opposition from those with the most to lose—and they can play dirty themselves.

Soon Colson will find himself accused of terrible crimes, and the worst part is, the accusations just might stick. As the two investigations come to a head, it is anybody’s guess who will prevail—or even come out of it alive.
 
 
http://bit.ly/1oy1izo
Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that hit close to home in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance's thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona's Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty, mystery, and danger

An old woman, both a hermit and a hoarder, is dying in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. While cleaning out her dilapidated house, her estranged daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred-dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner. After their father ran off with another woman, Liza and her older stepbrother grew up in this house, surviving poverty, squalor, and a mentally unstable mother. So where did all the cash come from?

For Liza, a waitress at a small local diner, the money seems like a blessing—until an elderly man she's never met appears at her mother's funeral, warning that she's in danger. Suddenly, Liza's quiet life is turned upside down. The house is torched, her apartment is broken into, and her elderly landlady is murdered. Someone very dangerous is looking for her and won't stop until she's found. Terrified, Liza sets off on a perilous cross-country journey that will lead her to Cochise County, Arizona, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own.

Junior Dowdle, a developmentally disabled man in his sixties, is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. Inside the cave, the police also discover a badly injured kitten that is barely alive, as well as the remains of other mutilated pets. Joanna knows Junior's foster parents well, and she considered him a family friend. Though he'd always been kind and sweet, with the onset of dementia, he had begun having violent episodes. Could he have hurt those animals? Was his death an accident? Or is he a victim as well?

Joanna and her modest staff have their hands full investigating Junior's death and the animal abuse they uncovered. Then another case rocks the department—a shocking murder involving Liza and the money. Her department stretched to the limit, the undaunted sheriff must solve these two disturbing cases fast, before more innocent blood can be shed. 
 
 
http://bit.ly/1zk80N8 

What if a teacher’s most promising pupil is also her most dangerous? A tautly plotted psychological thriller, as intelligent as it is mesmerizing

What Has Become of You follows Vera Lundy, an aspiring crime writer and master of self-deprecation who, like many adults, has survived adolescence but hasn’t entirely overcome it. When she agrees to fill in for a private school English teacher on maternity leave, teaching The Catcher in the Rye to privileged girls, Vera feels in over her head. The students are on edge, too, due to the recent murder of a local girl close to their age.

Enter Jensen Willard. At fifteen she’s already a gifted writer but also self-destructive and eerily reminiscent of Vera’s younger self. As the two outcasts forge a tentative bond, a sense of menace enfolds their small New England town. When another student, new to the country, is imperiled by her beliefs, Vera finds herself in the vortex of danger—and suspicion.

With the threat of a killer at large, the disappearance of her increasingly worri-some pupil, and her own professional reputation at stake, Vera must thread her way among what is right by the law, by her students, and by herself. In this poignant page-turner, populated with beguiling characters and sharp social insights, coming-of-age can happen no matter how old you are.
 
 
Margaret N. says:
"Oh my.  I keep thinking this over and over while reading What Became of You.  Vera has returned home from New York and takes a temporary position at a girls school teaching English and working on a book about a serial killer that operated in the area when she was in high school.  She sees herself in a troubled and talented young girl and finds herself crossing boundaries of appropriate behavior.  History seems to repeat itself as girls begin to die.

This psychological thriller is a perfect read for anyone looking for more that a pat plot."

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds

http://bit.ly/UvtWF8

An astute, lively, and heartfelt debut story collection by an exciting new voice in contemporary fiction

Marine Park—in the far reaches of Brooklyn, train-less and tourist-free—finds its literary chronicler in Mark Chiusano. Chiusano’s dazzling stories delve into family, boyhood, sports, drugs, love, and all the weird quirks of growing up in a tight-knit community on the edge of the city. In the tradition of Junot Díaz’s Drown, Stuart Dybek’s The Coast of Chicago, and Russell Banks’s Trailerpark, this is a poignant and piercing collection—announcing the arrival of a distinct new voice in American fiction.
Praise for the book:

“Chiusano gives a voice to the lesser-known Brooklyn neighborhood of Marine Park in his collection of interconnected stories that unearth broader truths among quotidian events, from haircuts to train rides.”  The Huffington Post
 

“[A] promising debut collection . . .  23-year-old Chiusano revisits his native Brooklyn—specifically, Marine Park. The neighborhood, distinguished by its salt marshes, canals, and large waterfront park, serves as the collection’s focal point, bringing together a multigenerational cast of characters. They include a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project in “Shatter the Trees and Blow Them Away”; an ex-high school basketball star turned gun-toting drug dealer in “Ed Monahan’s Game”; and the brothers Jamison and Lorris Favero, whom we follow from adolescence in the early 2000s to adulthood in the present, in eight of the stories. In two of them, “Heavy Lifting” and “Open Your Eyes,” Chiusano is at his best, carefully delineating sibling relationships and building tension.”
Publishers Weekly

“From slice-of-life tales to hair-raising thrillers to traditional relationship dramas. . . . Chiusano’s debut collection takes readers along the streets and through the history of an isolated Brooklyn neighborhood, portraying everyday people who call Marine Park home. . . . Chiusano’s impressive prose and topical range suggest the onset of a promising literary career worth keeping an eye on.”
Booklist

And a visual recommendation from John Green:

The Long List For the Booker Prize Has Been Announced

http://bit.ly/1l38PRP
This year is the first where the Booker opened up to all countries as long as the book was written in English.  Read who got on the long list HERE.

Read excerpts from them HERE.

J Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape) 
Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog, Joseph O'Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
- See more at: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/news/longlist-2014-announced#sthash.9Qwcdxhe.dpuf
J Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape) 
Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog, Joseph O'Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
- See more at: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/news/longlist-2014-announced#sthash.9Qwcdxhe.dpuf
J Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape) 
Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog, Joseph O'Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
- See more at: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/news/longlist-2014-announced#sthash.9Qwcdxhe.dpuf

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kate M. Is Recommending:

http://bit.ly/1AkQFoC
It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.

There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy--an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack--who has already killed Bod's family.

Each chapter in this adaptation by P. Craig Russell is illustrated by a different luminary from the comic book world, showcasing a variety of styles from a breadth of talent. Together, they bring Neil Gaiman's award-winning, nationally bestselling novel The Graveyard Book to new life in this gorgeously illustrated two-volume graphic novel adaptation.

Volume One contains Chapter One through the Interlude, while Volume Two includes Chapter Six to the end.


http://bit.ly/1tOxKxR
From Yannick Murphy, award-winning author of The Call, comes a fast-paced story of murder, adultery, parenthood, and romance, involving a girls’ swim team, their morally flawed parents, and a killer who swims in their midst.

In a quiet New England community members of swim team and their dedicated parents are preparing for a home meet. The most that Annie, a swim-mom of two girls, has to worry about is whether or not she fed her daughters enough carbs the night before; why her husband, Thomas, hasn’t kissed her in ages; and why she can’t get over the loss of her brother who shot himself a few years ago.

But Annie’s world is about to change. From the bleachers, looking down at the swimmers, a dark haired man watches a girl. No one notices him. Annie is busy getting to know Paul, who flirts with Annie despite the fact that he’s married to her friend Chris, and despite Annie’s greying hair and crow’s feet. Chris is busy trying to discover whether or not Paul is really having an affair, and the swimmers are trying to shave milliseconds off their race times by squeezing themselves into skin-tight bathing suits and visualizing themselves winning their races.

When a girl on the team is murdered at a nearby highway rest stop—the same rest stop where Paul made a gruesome discovery years ago—the parents suddenly find themselves adrift. Paul turns to Annie for comfort. Annie finds herself falling in love. Chris becomes obsessed with unmasking the killer.

With a serial killer now too close for comfort, Annie and her fellow swim-parents must make choices about where their loyalties lie. As a series of startling events unfold, Annie discovers what it means to follow your intuition, even if love, as well as lives, could be lost.

Read an excerpt HERE.


http://bit.ly/1nVj9yI
The characters in Simon Van Booy's The Illusion of Separateness discover at their darkest moments of fear and isolation that they are not alone, that they were never alone, that every human being is a link in a chain we cannot see.

This gripping novel--inspired by true events--tells the interwoven stories of a deformed German infantryman; a lonely British film director; a young, blind museum curator; two Jewish American newlyweds separated by war; and a caretaker at a retirement home for actors in Santa Monica. They move through the same world but fail to perceive their connections until, through seemingly random acts of selflessness, a veil is lifted to reveal the vital parts they have played in one another's lives, and the illusion of their separateness.


http://bit.ly/UCbB9n
Paulette Jiles, the bestselling author of the highly praised novels The Color of Lightning, Stormy Weather, and Enemy Women, pushes into new territory with Lighthouse Island--a captivating and atmospheric story set in the far future--a literary dystopian tale resonant with love and hope.

In the coming centuries the world's population has exploded. The earth is crowded with cities, animals are nearly all extinct, and drought is so widespread that water is rationed. There are no maps, no borders, no numbered years, and no freedom, except for an elite few. It is a harsh world for an orphan like Nadia Stepan. Growing up, she dreams of a green vacation spot called Lighthouse Island, in a place called the Pacific Northwest.

When an opportunity for escape arises, Nadia embarks on a dangerous and sometimes comic adventure. Along the way she meets a man who changes the course of her life: James Orotov, a mapmaker and demolition expert. Together, they evade arrest and head north toward a place of wild beauty that lies beyond the megapolis--Lighthouse Island.

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds

http://bit.ly/1AbyZf9

A sensational debut thriller featuring an unforgettable heroine who just might have murdered her mother

Former “It Girl” Janie Jenkins is sly, stunning, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a high-society beauty known for her good works and rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie makes herself over and goes undercover, determined to chase down the one lead she has on her mother’s killer. The only problem? Janie doesn’t know if she’s the killer she’s looking for.

Janie makes her way to an isolated South Dakota town whose mysteries rival her own. Enlisting the help of some new friends (and the town’s wary police chief), Janie follows a series of clues—an old photograph, an abandoned house, a forgotten diary—and begins to piece together her mother’s seemingly improbable connection to the town. When new evidence from Janie’s own past surfaces, she’s forced to consider the possibility that she and her mother were more alike than either of them would ever have imagined.

As she digs tantalizingly deeper, and as suspicious locals begin to see through her increasingly fragile facade, Janie discovers that even the sleepiest towns hide sinister secrets—and will stop at nothing to guard them. On the run from the press, the police, and maybe even a murderer, Janie must choose between the anonymity she craves and the truth she so desperately needs.

A gripping, electrifying debut novel with an ingenious and like-it-or-not sexy protagonist, Dear Daughter follows every twist and turn as Janie unravels the mystery of what happened the night her mother died—whatever the cost.

Praise for the book:

"A really gutsy, clever, energetic read, often unexpected, always entertaining. I loved Janie Jenkins’s sassy voice and Elizabeth Little’s too. In the world of crime novels, Dear Daughter is a breath of fresh air."
—Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life

"Dear Daughter has three of my favorite things in a book: a smart, damaged, unstoppable narrator with a slicing sense of humor; needle-sharp writing that brings characters and atmosphere leaping off the page; and a vivid, original plot full of satisfying twists. This is an all-nighter, and the best debut mystery I've read in a long time."
—Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of Broken Harbor and In the Woods

"Clever, original, and darkly witty, Dear Daughter’s many twists will keep you on your toes as you fall under the spell of its unapologetic, whip-smart narrator."
—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia

"What a devilish, delightful treat of a novel! Crackling with wit and shining with originality, Dear Daughter is the kind of whirlwind mystery that will keep you hooked—and guessing—until the very end."
—Sara Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars

13 Tips for Getting More Reading Done

Gretchen Rubin offers ways to get those pages turning. Check them out HERE.



AND, check out Gretchen's latest book here:

http://bit.ly/WKvw7O
In the spirit of her blockbuster #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place.

One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness.

Homesick—why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. “Of all the elements of a happy life,” she thought, “my home is the most important.” In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home. And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her, and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already.

So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year—September through May—to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.

In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood. How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her family’s treasured possessions? And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.

Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions—and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well.

With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy, and experimentation, Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.

Monday, July 28, 2014

"I loved it!" ~Marshall

http://bit.ly/1oucflA

 

"It’s a funny thing when life works that way…holding you hostage to history while demanding you evolve and remake yourself in order to survive."

 

Jamie uncovers life-changing secrets from his past when he's sent to live with a father he's never met in this gritty novel from the author of Exit Here and Run the Game.

Jamie is invincible when he is high. His anger, his isolation, his mom's manic mood swings--nothing can shatter his glass castle. But one brutal night upends everything, leaving his mom broken and Jamie betrayed.

Sent to live with a father he's never met, Jamie is determined to hate the man he blames for his mother's ruin. And he blocks out the pain with drugs, fierce music, and sweet, sweet Dominique. Except the more time Jamie spends at his dad's, the more his mother's scathing stories start to unravel. Who is he supposed to believe? And how much will he have to sacrifice to uncover the truth?

Read the first chapter HERE.

Marshall says:
"I loved it! For a young adult book, I was sometimes amazed at the subject matter, but it is a great read nonetheless. Makes me think this could mirror the rapper Eminem's early teen years!"