Friday, January 31, 2014

“Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation resembles no book I’ve read before. If I tell you that it’s funny, and moving, and true; that it’s as compact and mysterious as a neutron; that it tells a profound story of love and parenthood while invoking (among others) Keats, Kafka, Einstein, Russian cosmonauts, and advice for the housewife of 1896, will you please simply believe me, and read it?” —Michael Cunningham
Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all.

Jenny Offill’s heroine, referred to in these pages as simply “the wife,” once exchanged love letters with her husband postmarked "Dept. of Speculation", their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes—a colicky baby, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions—the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art.

With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation is a novel to be devoured in a single sitting, though its bracing emotional insights and piercing meditations on despair and love will linger long after the last page.
Jackie says:
"I'm not quite sure what to say about this book.  I truly enjoyed it, and in fact, read it straight through in a day.  There are 46 chapters, but very little narrative.  We are given bursts of commentary that may be a sentence or a paragraph, but generally no more than that.  Yet I felt all sorts of emotions while reading this book.  At times I hated 'wife' and 'husband', at other times I wanted to cry for them, or laugh with them, or knock their heads together.  It's the story of a marriage, bare bone style.  It makes you think, and feel, and wonder.  To me, that makes it a fine book.  Step out of your usual reading zone and give this one a try."

New Mysteries and Thrills Await You On Our Shelves
Louise Beeston is being haunted.

Louise has no reason left to stay in the city. She can’t see her son, Joseph, who is away at boarding school, where he performs in a prestigious boys’ choir. Her troublesome neighbor has begun blasting choral music at all hours of the night—and to make matters worse, she’s the only one who can hear it.

Hoping to find some peace, Louise convinces her husband, Stuart, to buy them a country house in an idyllic, sun-dappled gated community called Swallowfield. But it seems that the haunting melodies of the choir have followed her there. Could it be that her city neighbor has trailed her to Swallowfield, just to play an elaborate, malicious prank? Is there really a ghostly chorus playing outside her door? And why won’t they stop? Growing desperate, she begins to worry about her mental health.

Against the pleas and growing disquiet of her husband, Louise starts to suspect that this sinister choir is not only real but a warning. But of what? And how can it be, when no one else can hear it?

In The Orphan Choir, Sophie Hannah brings us along on a darkly suspenseful investigation of obsession, loss, and the malevolent forces that threaten to break apart a loving family.
Determined to save a damsel in distress, the Sunshine State's favorite serial killer and encyclopedia of Florida lore Serge Storms dances a tango of death and mayhem in this funny and dementedly entertaining crime caper from Tim Dorsey, author of the New York Times bestseller The Riptide, Ultra-Glide.

Thanks to the Internet, America has become a playground for ruthless scam artists out to make an easy buck. And where do these models of entrepreneurship hail from? Why, the Sunshine State of course

No one loves Florida more, or can keep it safe from invasive criminal species better than self-appointed Sunshine Sheriff Serge Storms. When a particular scam leads to the death of a few innocents and a young woman's disappearance, Serge and his perpetually self-bent sidekick Coleman--aided by his new pal, latter-day noir private eye Mahoney--load up the car for a riotous road trip to do right. Packed with seafood, mayhem, blood, Coleman's deep thoughts, Floridian lore, and more, Tiger Shrimp Tango is a hilarious treat from the incomparable Tim Dorsey.
Elisabeth Elo’s debut novel introduces Pirio Kasparov, a Boston-bred tough-talking girl with an acerbic wit and a moral compass that points due north.

When the fishing boat Pirio is on is rammed by a freighter, she finds herself abandoned in the North Atlantic. Somehow, she survives nearly four hours in the water before being rescued by the Coast Guard. But the boat’s owner and her professional fisherman friend, Ned, is not so lucky.

Compelled to look after Noah, the son of the late Ned and her alcoholic prep school friend, Thomasina, Pirio can’t shake the lurking suspicion that the boat’s sinking—and Ned’s death—was no accident. It’s a suspicion seconded by her deeply cynical, autocratic Russian father, who tells her that nothing is ever what it seems. Then the navy reaches out to her to participate in research on human survival in dangerously cold temperatures.

With the help of a curious journalist named Russell Parnell, Pirio begins unraveling a lethal plot involving the glacial whaling grounds off Baffin Island. In a narrow inlet in the arctic tundra, Pirio confronts her ultimate challenge: to trust herself.

A gripping literary thriller, North of Boston combines the atmospheric chills of Jussi Adler-Olsen with the gritty mystery of Laura Lippman. And Pirio Kasparov is a gutsy, compellingly damaged heroine with many adventures ahead.
Scott Sigler’s Infected shocked readers with a visceral, up-close account of physical metamorphosis and one man’s desperate fight for sanity and survival, as “Scary” Perry Dawsey suffered the impact of an alien pathogen’s early attempts at mass extinction. In the sequel Contagious, Sigler pulled back the camera and let the reader experience the frantic national response to this growing cataclysm.
And now in Pandemic, the entire human race balances on the razor’s edge of annihilation, beset by an enemy that turns our own bodies against us, that changes normal people into psychopaths or transforms them into nightmares.

To some, Doctor Margaret Montoya is a hero—a brilliant scientist who saved the human race from an alien intelligence determined to exterminate all of humanity. To others, she’s a monster—a mass murderer single-handedly responsible for the worst atrocity ever to take place on American soil.
All Margaret knows is that she’s broken. The blood of a million deaths is on her hands. Guilt and nightmares have turned her into a shut-in, too mired in self-hatred even to salvage her marriage, let alone be the warrior she once was.
But she is about to be called into action again. Because before the murderous intelligence was destroyed, it launched one last payload — a soda can–sized container filled with deadly microorganisms that make humans feed upon their own kind. That harmless-looking container has languished a thousand feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, undisturbed and impotent . . . until now.
Part Cthulhu epic, part zombie apocalypse and part blockbuster alien-invasion tale, Pandemic completes the Infected trilogy and sets a new high-water mark in the world of horror fiction.

TC Tidbit: 12 Fascinating Facts About Famous Literature

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Eric is Recommending:
Le Divorce meets The Elegance of the Hedgehog in this hilariously entertaining mega-bestseller from France

When her chronically unemployed husband runs off to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress, Joséphine Cortès is left in an unhappy state of affairs. The mother of two—confident, beautiful teenage Hortense and shy, babyish Zoé—is forced to maintain a stable family life while making ends meet on her meager salary as a medieval history scholar. Meanwhile, Joséphine’s charismatic sister Iris seems to have it all—a wealthy husband, gorgeous looks, and a très chic Paris address—but she dreams of bringing meaning back into her life. When Iris charms a famous publisher into offering her a lucrative deal for a twelfth-century romance, she offers her sister a deal of her own: Joséphine will write the novel and pocket all the proceeds, but the book will be published under Iris’s name. All is well—that is, until the book becomes the literary sensation of the season.
A New York Times bestseller and global sensation, Angelology unfurled a brilliant tapestry of myth and biblical lore on our present-day world and plunged two star-crossed heroes into an ancient battle against mankind’s greatest enemy: the fatally attractive angel-human hybrids known as the Nephilim. With Angelopolis, the conflict deepens into an inferno of danger and passion unbound.

A decade has passed since Verlaine saw Evangeline alight from the Brooklyn Bridge, the sight of her new wings a betrayal that haunts him still. Now an elite angel hunter for the Society of Angelology, he pursues his mission with single-minded devotion: to capture, imprison, and eliminate her kind.

But when Evangeline suddenly appears on a twilit Paris street, Verlaine finds her nature to be unlike any of the other creatures he so mercilessly pursues, casting him into a spiral of doubt and confusion that only grows when she is abducted before his eyes by a creature who has topped the society’s most-wanted list for more than a century. The ensuing chase drives Verlaine and his fellow angelologists from the shadows of the Eiffel Tower to the palaces of St. Petersburg and deep into the provinces of Siberia and the Black Sea coast, where the truth of Evangeline’s origins—as well as forces that could restore or annihilate them all—lie in wait.

Conceived against an astonishing fresh tableau of history and science, Angelopolis plumbs Russia’s imperial past, modern genetics, and ancient depictions of that most potent angelic appearance—the Annunciation of Gabriel—in a high-octane tale of abduction, treasure seeking, and divine warfare as the fate of humanity once again hangs in the balance.
“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home. 

Patty's Favorite Memoirs
For two years before and after the 1948 Communist Revolution, David Kidd lived in Peking, where he married the daughter of an aristocratic Chinese family. "I used to hope," he writes, "that some bright young scholar on a research grant would write about us and our Chinese friends before it was too late and we were all dead and gone, folding into the darkness the wonder that had been our lives." Here Kidd himself brings that wonder to life.
When the unconventional Durrell family can no longer endure the damp, gray English climate, they do what any sensible family would do: sell their house and relocate to the sunny Greek isle of Corfu. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the island but ended up as a delightful account of Durrell’s family’s experiences, from the many eccentric hangers-on to the ceaseless procession of puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies into their home.

TC Tidbit: An Interviw with Author Mary Miller

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jackie's Loved This Book Since It Was A Work In Progress

Hailed as "mesmerizing" (New York Times Book Review) and "as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird" (Richmond Times-Dispatch), A Land More Kind Than Home made Wiley Cash an instant literary sensation. His resonant new novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, is a tale of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, a story that involves two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.

When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter Quillby and her six-year-old sister, Ruby, are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a little town not far from the Appalachian Mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven't seen in years, suddenly reappears and steals them away in the middle of the night.

Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and quickly turns up unsettling information linking him to a multimillion-dollar robbery. But Brady isn't the only one hunting him. Also on the trail is Robert Pruitt, a mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, a man determined to find Wade and claim what he believes he is owed.

The combination of Cash's evocative and intimate Southern voice and those of the alternating narrators, Easter, Brady, and Pruitt, brings this soulful story vividly to life. At once captivating and heartbreaking, This Dark Road to Mercy is a testament to the unbreakable bonds of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.

Jackie says:
"I've loved this book since last year when Wiley Cash was part of the 2013 Writers Respond To Readers here at Tattered Cover.  He read a nice big piece of what was a work in progress at that time, and I just knew that this book was going to be BIG.  This is the story of two little girls who lost their mother to an overdose and are now in the foster care system.  They have a father, Wade, but he gave up his rights as a parent years before.  But things have changed for Wade after he discovered a wall full of cash while finishing drywalling a basement of a very, very, very nasty man.  Wade filled a duffel bag to the seams with that money and headed for his kids.  He tried to get them legitimately, but the system said no.  So he just climbed in their window one night and off they went on an adventure which changes into fleeing the very personally motivated hitman who is on Wade's tail.  I pretty much read this book in one day, finding myself unable to put close the book when they were still on the run.  It's tense, but often funny as well.  The bad guys are bad (there is an element of violence to this book) and everyone else is doing the best they can while not always making the best choices.  Just read the book.  You won't be sorry."

Wendy is Recommending:
From an NPR contributor and investigative journalist, a striking debut novel that chronicles the first twenty-four hours after a mass burglary in a suburban Chicago neighborhood and the suspicions, secrets, and prejudices that surface in its wake.

Nestled on the edge of Chicago’s gritty west side, Oak Park is a suburb in flux. To the west, theaters and shops frame posh homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. To the east lies a neighborhood trying desperately to recover from urban decline. Although the community’s Diversity Assurance program has curbed the destructive racial housing practices that migrated from Chicago's notorious west side over the past decades, cultural and racial integration has been tenuous at best.

In the center of the community sits Ilios Lane, a pristine cul-de-sac dotted with quiet homes that bridge Oak Park’s extremes of wealth and poverty. On the first warm day in April, as Mary Elizabeth McPherson, a lifelong resident of Ilios Lane plays hooky from high school, a series of home invasions rock her neighborhood. A shocking act of violence and another of unexpected compassion in the wake of the burglaries leave the entire community indelibly altered, while the residents of Ilios Lane are thrust into an uneasy alliance and must take stock of the world they believed they lived in—and the world many of them were attempting to create. Snyder builds the story with subtle suspense, leading ultimately to an explosive conclusion.

Incisive and panoramic, What We’ve Lost Is Nothing weaves together an impressive cast of characters, whose lives collide in the wake of disaster. In this powerful fiction debut, Rachel Louise Snyder sheds light on the gray area where idealism confronts reality.
In the Blood is the Lisa Unger novel we've all been waiting for—and a return to the dark psychological suspense that made Beautiful Lies a bestseller around the world.

Lana Granger lives a life of lies. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?

When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her whereabouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell.

In Grimes’s new sendup of a world she knows very well, Candy and Karl, hitmen with a difference— they have scruples—once again venture into the murky Manhattan publishing scene. This time they come to the aid of a writer who is being sued by her unscrupulous literary agent, L. Bass Hess, a man determined to get a 15 percent commission for a book he didn’t sell.

The contract killers join forces with publishing mogul Bobby Mackenzie and megabestselling writer Paul Giverney to rid the mean streets of Hess, not by shooting him, but by driving him crazy. They are helped by other characters from Foul Matter and a crew of new colorful personalities, including an out-of-work Vegas magician, an alligator wrangler, a glamorous Malaysian con lady, and Hess’s aunt in Everglades City, who has undergone a wildly successful sex change.

This wickedly funny sequel to Grimes’s bestselling novel Foul Matter is another character-driven “satire of the venal, not to say murderous, practices of the New York publishing industry” (The New York Times Book Review). - See more at:
In the second installment in a new international thriller trilogy, a young man is on the run to escape a “game” that blurs the lines between reality and fiction.

It’s been four months since he was dragged into the Alternative Reality Game that nearly cost him his life, and HP is still on the run. He has everything he ever wished for—freedom, money, and no responsibilities, but he still isn’t happy. Plagued by insomnia and paranoia, HP misses the rush and attention of The Game. Sometimes he almost wishes the Game Master would find him.

In Dubai, HP meets Anna Argos, a sophisticated and beautiful Swedish IT millionaire. When she disappears, HP is questioned by the police. Fearing he has been found by The Game, HP returns to Sweden after being released from custody. Determined to uncover the truth about Anna’s disappearance, HP uses a fake identity to apply for a job at ArgosEye, the company Anna worked for. In the business of online information management, ArgosEye is involved in some questionable practices, under the control of Anna’s husband, the CEO Philip Argos.

Meanwhile, HP’s sister Rebecca has started dating Philip Argos. When she unknowingly reveals her brother’s real identity to Philip, the police try to bring HP in for questioning again. On the run again, HP refuses to give up and tries to uncover what is really happening at ArgosEye. Before he can find the truth, HP is stopped in his tracks. Thinking he’s about to be thrown in prison, HP is taken to the outskirts of the city and left in the woods, where an elderly man hands him a piece of paper. HP believes the game is over, but is it really just beginning?
The most appealing mystery heroine since Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, TV reporter Riley Spartz is a star investigative journalist for Channel 3—and no stranger to the seedier side of her hometown. But when she receives a package of smelly human teeth in the mail at work, she’s quickly embroiled in a homicide investigation that spirals into one of the odder cases the Minneapolis police force has ever seen. Though the cops try to keep certain grisly details quiet, this murder has a strange twist—it seems that the killer wants the crime publicized.

Is it a revenge killing, or something more? Riley’s investigation takes her inside a lucrative identity theft ring that links low-life crooks like now-dead Leon Akume to white-collar opportunists like once-wealthy Jack Clemens. Despite a prime motive for murder, Jack also has the ultimate alibi: he's behind bars. While Riley pushes to keep the homicide in the news, her boss is convinced that coverage of the Mall of America’s unique version of a royal wedding is key to the station winning ratings. As the stakes continue to rise for her job and her life, Riley must outwit the killer in a trap that could leave yet another person dead...

An irresistible suspense novel that will keep readers turning pages until the stunning conclusion, Delivering Death brings the humor, intrigue, and twists and turns Julie Kramer’s fans have been waiting for.

TC Tidbit: 50 Essential Novels for Foodies

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Judy B.'s 2013 Contemporary YA Favorites

Just click the cover to learn more about the book.

An Evening with Isabel Allende - Ripper

The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Though their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda's father, she's reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her—Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco's elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL.

While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature—as is her father, the SFPD's deputy chief of homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior Amanda is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and to Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world.

When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, probing hints and deductions that elude the police department. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother's disappearance have something to do with the series of deaths? Now, with her mother's life on the line, Amanda must solve the most complex mystery she's ever faced before it's too late.

Check out the trailer for this book HERE. 

An Evening with Isabel Allende - Ripper

Monday, February 3, 2014


University of Denver, Sturm Hall: The Tattered Cover is partnering with the University of Denver to present acclaimed novelist Isabel Allende as part of their University College Enrichment Program’s winter session. Allende—the New York Times bestselling author whose books include Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, and Zorro, will discuss and sign her new novel Ripper ($28.99 HarperCollins), an atmospheric, fast-paced mystery involving a brilliant teenage sleuth who must unmask a serial killer in San Francisco. “Allende’s tightly plotted tale of crimes obvious and masked is sharply perceptive, utterly charming, and intensely suspenseful.”— Booklist (starred review)

Tickets for this event are $35.00 per person and include a copy of Ripper. Registration is available now through the University College Enrichment Program website.


TC Tidbit: What’s a Book Club Book, Anyway? Questions for Eleanor Brown

Monday, January 27, 2014

" Open your mind when you open this book--I'm almost positive you'll enjoy the ride." ~Jackie

A magical novel, based on a Japanese folk tale, that imagines how the life of a broken-hearted man is transformed when he rescues an injured white crane that has landed in his backyard.

George Duncan is an American living and working in London. At forty-eight, he owns a small print shop, is divorced, and lonelier than he realizes. All of the women with whom he has relationships eventually leave him for being too nice. But one night he is woken by an astonishing sound—a terrific keening, which is coming from somewhere in his garden. When he investigates he finds a great white crane, a bird taller than even himself. It has been shot through the wing with an arrow. Moved more than he can say, George struggles to take out the arrow from the bird's wing, saving its life before it flies away into the night sky.

The next morning, a shaken George tries to go about his daily life, retreating to the back of his store and making cuttings from discarded books—a harmless, personal hobby—when through the front door of the shop a woman walks in. Her name is Kumiko, and she asks George to help her with her own artwork. George is dumbstruck by her beauty and her enigmatic nature, and begins to fall desperately in love with her. She seems to hold the potential to change his entire life, if he could only get her to reveal the secret of who she is and why she has brought her artwork to him.

Witty, magical, and romantic, The Crane Wife is a story of passion and sacrifice, that resonates on the level of dream and myth. It is a novel that celebrates the creative imagination, and the disruptive power of love.
Jackie says:
"This book is turning into quite a stir.  I've read many of the reviews, most raving about the wonderfulness that this book contains.  It's a story of a myth colliding with real life, it's a story of love, a story of war, a story of the everyday, and a story of magic.  It can make your heart soar and, at the same time it's knocking it into pieces.  It's funny, violent, strange, beautiful, far-fetched and yet many people's most fervent dream come true.  You have to read this book for yourself because I'm pretty sure its magic is going to work a little different for each person who encounters it.  Open your mind when you open this book--I'm almost positive you'll enjoy the ride."

'"For readers unschooled in the history of SF/F, this book is a treasure trove; for those who recognize every title, Walton evokes the joy of returning to a well-worn favorite." ~Publishers Weekly 

As any reader of Jo Walton's Among Others might guess, Walton is both an inveterate reader of SF and fantasy, and a chronic re-reader of books. In 2008, then-new science-fiction mega-site asked Walton to blog regularly about her re-reading—about all kinds of older fantasy and SF, ranging from acknowledged classics, to guilty pleasures, to forgotten oddities and gems. These posts have consistently been among the most popular features of Now this volumes presents a selection of the best of them, ranging from short essays to long reassessments of some of the field's most ambitious series.

Among Walton's many subjects here are the Zones of Thought novels of Vernor Vinge; the question of what genre readers mean by "mainstream"; the under-appreciated SF adventures of C. J. Cherryh; the field's many approaches to time travel; the masterful science fiction of Samuel R. Delany; Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children; the early Hainish novels of Ursula K. Le Guin; and a Robert A. Heinlein novel you have most certainly never read.

Over 130 essays in all, What Makes This Book So Great is an immensely readable, engaging collection of provocative, opinionated thoughts about past and present-day fantasy and science fiction, from one of our best writers.

TC Tidbit: Celebrate Multicultural Children's Book Day!

Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen at PragmaticMom, would like to invite you all to join us in a celebration of Multicultural Children’s Books on January 27th, 2014.

Read more about what is so important about this celebration.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Liz and Michele Are Recommending:
A spellbinding novel that will resonate with readers of Mark Haddon, Louise Erdrich, and John Irving, Perfect tells the story of a young boy who is thrown into the murky, difficult realities of the adult world with far-reaching consequences.

Byron Hemmings wakes to a morning that looks like any other: his school uniform draped over his wooden desk chair, his sister arguing over the breakfast cereal, the click of his mother’s heels as she crosses the kitchen. But when the three of them leave home, driving into a dense summer fog, the morning takes an unmistakable turn. In one terrible moment, something happens, something completely unexpected and at odds with life as Byron understands it. While his mother seems not to have noticed, eleven-year-old Byron understands that from now on nothing can be the same.

What happened and who is to blame? Over the days and weeks that follow, Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Unable to trust his parents, he confides in his best friend, James, and together they concoct a plan. . . .

As she did in her debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce has imagined bewitching characters who find their ordinary lives unexpectedly thrown into chaos, who learn that there are times when children must become parents to their parents, and who discover that in confronting the hard truths about their pasts, they will forge unexpected relationships that have profound and surprising impacts. Brimming with love, forgiveness, and redemption, Perfect will cement Rachel Joyce’s reputation as one of fiction’s brightest talents.
From Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires.  Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”
Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing—and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair—marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness—that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.
On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia?

Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test. Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself. Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office—and making spectacular use of Harriet’s beloved Gipsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit—Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer.

How Are Those Resolutions Going For You? Need A Little Help? These Books Might Help
Throughout her career, Cameron Diaz has been a role model for millions of women. By her own admission, though, this fit, athletic star wasn't always as health-conscious as she is today. Her consumption of bad foods had an effect on her skin and her body. "If you are what you eat," she says, "I was a bean burrito with extra cheese and extra sauce, no onions." Learning about the inseparable link between nutrition and health was just one of the life-changing lessons that sparked Cameron's passion to explore the best ways to care for her body. In The Body Book, she shares the knowledge she's gained both from personal experience and from consulting with health experts.

Beginning with nutrition, Cameron explains why instead of fearing hunger, women should embrace their body's instinct for fuel and satisfy it with whole, nutrient-dense foods.

Cameron also explains the essential role of consistent physical activity. Many women think about exercise in terms of pounds lost or muscle tone gained, but don't realize that working up a sweat is also essential for improving mood, boosting energy levels, and preventing disease. Cameron offers tips for choosing the right exercise program and shares her own workout strategies for looking and feeling your best.

Creating a healthy, beautiful body begins with learning the facts and turning knowledge into action. In The Body Book, women will find the tools they need to build a healthier body now--so they can live joyfully in it for years to come.
What if everything you thought you knew about weight loss was wrong?

When it comes to most things in life, we welcome research and progress. From the convenience of our smartphones to the technology in our hospitals, scientific advancement allows us to live better.

So why are we still following weight-loss advice from the 1950s? Why haven't we ever questioned the "calories in/calories out" model at the foundation of every diet and fitness plan--a formula that, not coincidentally, has accompanied record-breaking levels of obesity?

In The Calorie Myth, Jonathan Bailor exposes the fundamental flaw upon which the diet industry is built and offers a new equation:

eat More + exercise Less = weight loss

If calorie math added up, 100 calories of vegetables = 100 calories of candy. That doesn't seem right--because it's not. While some calories fuel weight loss, others work against us. In The Calorie Myth, Bailor shows us how eating more of the right kinds of foods and exercising less, but at a higher intensity, is the true formula for burning fat and boosting metabolism.

Why? Because eating high-quality foods, like whole-food plants, proteins, and fats, balances the hormones that regulate your metabolism. Eating poor-quality foods, like refined starches, sweets, and processed foods, causes a hormonal imbalance, throwing your metabolism off kilter and causing you to store food as fat--regardless of how many calories you consume.

In this revolutionary weight-loss program informed by more than 1,200 scientific studies, Bailor offers clear, comprehensive guidance on what to eat and why, providing an eating plan, recipes, and a simple yet effective exercise regimen.

Losing weight doesn't have to mean going hungry or spending hours at the gym. Don't let outdated calorie math stand between you and the life you want: discover the new science of weight loss with The Calorie Myth.
Leading expert in disease prevention and reversal Dr. Joel Fuhrman offers a program proven to help you boost immunity and stay healthy throughout the year—including vital answers to the question, Flu shot or not?

The bestselling author of Eat to Live and Disease Proof Your Child offers penetrating insights and a dedicated action plan for how to get well, live well, and stay well. Perfect for readers of Alejandro Junger’s Clean, Mark Hyman’s Ultraprevention, and T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study, Dr. Fuhrman’s revolutionary guide to revitalizing your body’s natural immunities opens a new road to a happier, healthier tomorrow

TC Tidbit: 20 More Snowy Reads

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Some of Pete's Favorites From 2013

Just click on the cover to learn more about the book.

Tom's Recommending:
The bestselling coauthor of Your Money or Your Life chronicles her quest to eat food produced within 10 miles of her home

Taking the locavore movement to heart, bestselling author and social innovator Vicki Robin pledged for one month to eat only food sourced within a 10-mile radius of her home on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, Washington. Her sustainable diet not only brings to light society’s unhealthy dependency on mass-produced, prepackaged foods but also helps her reconnect with her body and her environment.

Like Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and the bestselling books of Michael Pollan, Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is part personal narrative and part global manifesto. By challenging herself to eat and buy local, Robin exposes the cause and effect of the food business, from the processed goods laden with sugar, fat, and preservatives to the trucks burning through fuel to bring them to a shelf near you.

Robin’s journey is also one of community as she befriends all the neighboring farmers who epitomize the sustainable lifestyle. Among them are Tricia, the prolific market gardener who issued Robin’s 10-mile challenge; Britt and Eric, two young, enthusiastic farmers living their dream of self-sufficiency; and Vicky, a former corporate executive turned milk producer.

Featuring recipes throughout, along with practical tips on adopting your own locally sourced diet, Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is an inspirational guide and testimonial to the locavore movement and a healthy food future.
For twenty years, James Carville and Mary Matalin have held the mantle of the nation’s most politically opposed, ideologically mismatched, and intensely opinionated couple. In this follow-up to their groundbreaking All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, Carville and Matalin take a look at how they—and America—have changed in the last two decades. If nothing else, this new collaboration proves that after twenty years of marriage they can still manage to agree on a few things.
Love & War traces, in their two distinct voices, James and Mary’s story from the end of the 1992 presidential campaign—where he managed Bill Clinton’s electoral triumph while she suffered defeat as George H. W. Bush’s key strategist—till now. Mary focuses on issues of family, faith, and foreign enemies and offers insights from her kitchen table as well as the White House Cabinet Room, while James’s concentration is politics and love—the triumphant and troubled Clinton era, George W. Bush’s complicated presidency, the election of Barack Obama, the rise of the corrosive partisanship that dominates political life in Washington today, and the overriding abiding romance he holds for his native Louisiana and his wife and children. Together, the Carville-Matalins reflect on raising two daughters in the pressure cooker of the nation’s capital, and their momentous 2008 decision to leave D.C. and move their family to New Orleans. Post-Katrina, James and Mary’s efforts to rebuild and promote that city have become a central part of their lives—and a poignant metaphor for moving the nation forward.
A fascinating look at the last two decades in American politics and an intimate, quick-witted primer on grown-up relationships and values, Love & War provides unprecedented insight into one of our nation’s most intriguing and powerful couples. With their natural charm and sharp intelligence, Carville and Matalin have written undoubtedly the most spirited memoir of the year.
Tired of phony promises about getting rich quickly, promises that lead to reckless decisions (the stepping stones to the poor house)? How about trying something different? How about going for lasting wealth—and doing it the cautious way? In Get Rich Carefully, Jim Cramer uses his thirty-five years of experience as a Wall Street veteran and host of CNBC’s Mad Money to create a guide to high-yield, low-risk investing. In our recovering economy, this is the plan you need to make big money without taking big risks.

Drawing on his unparalleled knowledge of the stock market and on the mistakes and successes he's made on the way to his own fortune, Cramer explains—in plain English—why you can get rich in a prudent, methodical way, as long as you start now. In his own inimitable style, Cramer lays it on the line, no waffling, no on-the-one-hand-or-the-other hedging, just the straight stuff you need to accumulate wealth. This is a book of wisdom as well as specifics. Cramer names names, highlights individual and sector plays, and identifies the best long-term investing themes—and shows you how to develop the disciplines you need to exploit them.

The personal finance book of the year, Get Rich Carefully is the invaluable guide to turning your savings into real, lasting wealth in a practical, and yes—because this is, after all, a book by Jim Cramer—highly readable and entertaining way.

TC Tidbit: Reading Bingo Via Random House