Wednesday, February 27, 2008
March into April with these sweet Spring Reads
As the winter months are starting to draw to a close,it's time to prepare for the delights of spring and an important part of that is clearing some space for all of the tempting new books that will be blooming on bookshelves everywhere.
I know some of you might be saying"But I haven't even started on the books that I got as gifts over the holidays!" That's no excuse for slacking off and if you haven't cashed in any of those gift cards you were given either,here are plenty of suggestions on what to spend them on. After all,it'll be a few more weeks before those new episodes of your favorite TV shows are back(months for some) and you can use that time to support a few other writers who are just as eager to entertain you.
SOME TASTY TAKE OUT FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Chinese food has become a major component of the American culinary landscape,like hot dogs,apple pie and pizza. However,there's more to this traditional take out food than meets the eye and New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee explores the origins and the impact that Chinese food has had upon America and the world with The Fortune Cookie Chronicles
,due out on March 3.
Lee gets into every angle and unique detail surrounding Chinese food such as who started the practice of slipping restaurant menus under people's doors,what inspired the creation of chop suey and General Tso's chicken and where fortune cookies really come from. You won't order take out in the same casual way again after feasting on this delicious read.
SEQUELS,BOTH SWEET AND SAVORY
We're getting a bountiful bouquet of sequels this spring and one that many folks will be quick to sample will be The Girl With No Shadow
by Joanne Harris,the long awaited follow-up to her richly sweet novel,Chocolat.
Here,Vianne and her daughters Anouk and Rosette are now living in Paris with a new chocolate shop but much less flamboyant than before. Into their calm lives,a lively new stranger named Zozie,wearing lollipop-red shoes, blows into town and stirs up troubles old and new. The sweet showdown should something to see(April).
Alittle more down to earth is Tony Earley's sequel to Jim The Boy,which follows Jim Glass into the wilds of adolescence and towards the rocky path to love with The Blue Star.
Jim is deeply in love with childhood classmate Chrissie Steppe,who is particularly the property of the Bucklaw clan that holds financial sway over her family and whose son Bucky has claimed her as his own. Chrissie is expected to wait for him until he gets out of the Navy,which has stationed him at Pearl Harbor. Earley's old fashioned style of writing is timeless and yet timely all at once(March).
Last but certainly not least is Certain Girls,which is a return to Jennifer Weiner's heroine Cannie Shapiro who was first introduced to us in Weiner's debut novel Good In Bed. This time,Cannie shares the spotlight with her newly teenaged daughter Joy,who wants to connect more with her birth father's side of the family.
As someone who happily discovered the witty world of Jennifer Weiner thru my selection of "lunch time reading" ARCs at work,I am truly thrilled about getting the chance to be reacquainted with a character that I consider to be a secret sister and an old,dear friend who I would love to catch up on things with(April).
LITERARY LADIES WHO SHARE QUITE A BIT OF HISTORY
In Catherine Delors' debut novel,Mistress of the Revolution,a young girl named Gabrielle is thrust into the midst of the French Revolution and torn between marrying an aging nobleman out of duty to her family and going off with Pierre-Andre,the commoner she truly loves.
The situation gets even more complicated when Gabrielle is captured during the Reign of Terror in Paris and to be judged by the Revolutionary Tribunal,which has her former first love as one of it's members. Talk about your awkward romantic reunions,indeed!(March)
Sally Gunning's Bound deals with the days of indentured servants of early America thru the eyes of Alice Cole,who became bound at a young age in order to pay off her father's debts while traveling to the colonies. Alice is now fifteen and her service to the Morton family has been pleasant ,especially since she is best friends with daughter Nobby.
Nobby's new marriage,however,slides into chaos and instead of being caught in the crossfire,Alice decides to run away and seek a new life for herself. She finds some new friends and a new home but her past is determined to catch up with her. Alice must discover not only legal recourse but where she wishes to set her sails for,in her heart(April).
SEVERAL SHORT TALES ABOUT A GIRL
Elizabeth Strout would like to introduce you to one of the most influential and infuriating townsfolk of Crosby,Maine,Olive Kitteridge,whose tale is told by thirteen different members of her community.
Olive is a retired schoolteacher who is less than thrilled about the changes to her world,along with her long suffering husband Henry,their grown up son Christopher and others like former student Kevin Coulson,who shares a few past regrets of his own.
Strout has steadily become a literary force to be reckoned with and this unique blend of short story and novel should make more people sit up and take notice(March 25).
A dazzling new debut novel has a collage of stories featuring the trials and tribulations of a young southern debutante,Sarah Walters,as she and her friends face life after college in New York in Katie Crouch's Girls In Trucks.
Sarah and her longtime gal pals Charlotte,Bitsy and Anne(who first joined forces as enrollees at the Charleston Cotillion Training School)take on bad relationships, family secrets and unexpected challenges in life with strong emotional bonds of friendship and sly wit. Sounds like the perfect book club pick to me(April).
FAMILY TIES THAT BIND
In Jack O'Connell's genre twisting novel,The Resurrectionist,a druggist named Sweeney seeks a cure for his son Danny,who is the victim of an accident that has left him in a persistent coma.
While awaiting for results at the mysterious Peck Clinic,Sweeney feels that the key to reviving his child may be in the fantasy comic book world called Limbo that Danny was reading around the time of his accident. Dealing with the intrigues hovering about the doings at Peck Clinic as well as striving to save his son,Sweeney's quest insists upon the reader keeping up to speed and on their toes(April).
Jane Kotapish dives into the murky waters of mother/daughter relationships in her debut novel Salvage that has a traumatized Manhattanite retreat to her family's homestead in Virginia to avoid her demons of the past and present.
Sharing in her sorrows is her mother,Lois,who's been having conversations for years with the ghost of her dead sister Nancy. As Lois,a lively woman with an unusual taste in men,starts to let her madness conquer her,her daughter must figure out a way for both of them to connect to each other before it's too late. A bittersweet look at the nature of female family love(March).
I hope that I have found a little something for everyone to enjoy and that this spring season brings us plenty of hope and happy reading.
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