Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Fall back into some serious reading this September and October
With Labor Day fast approaching,now is the time to start those preparations for the fall season. This requires more than just marking those important dates on your calendar(like the season premiere of Heroes on Sept.22!)or gathering up those coupons and sales fliers for back to school shopping savings.
Yes,folks,it is time to find those books that will gear up your brain for the to-be-taken seriously mindset of autumn. This doesn't mean that you can't have some fun but just like the movie coming to theaters near you,the summer blockbusters need to be put away to make room for the Oscar bait.
MURDEROUS MYSTERY TOUR
Starting the season off with a bang on September 2 is Brad Meltzer's Book Of Lies,the thriller which combines Cain and Abel along with the creation of Superman and the mysterious death of Mitchel Siegel,father of Jerry who brought the Man of Steel to life.
I've already put in my two cents on this one,but if you want to hear a few more endorsements,then check out this video preview that has quite a interesting cast of literary/television folk who are very willing to read all about it:
Also arriving on September 2 is Sweetheart,Chelsea Cain's follow-up to her brilliantly bloody book,Heartsick. Detective Archie Sheridan is back on the job and no longer paying regular visits to Gretchen Lowell,the seductive serial killer who took great pleasure in torturing him until his near death.
Gretchen is still on his mind,however,as a new case turns up that holds some similarities to one of her earlier crimes. Things get even worse when Gretchen breaks out of jail and the number one item on her to-do list is to get reacquainted with the one that she let get away.
A major league debut of the first of three novels will be coming to America by September 16. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson made quite an impression on European audiences,with it's intricate story of an investigation into the thirty year old disappearance of a young high society girl and the deadly secrets that a deeper look into the case reveal.
The author passed away in 2004,leaving this novel and two follow-ups to be published post humorously. Hopefully,plenty of readers will want to read more once they've had a taste of this darkly rich delight.
For those of you who have fond memories of Nelson Demille's The Gold Coast,his millionaire meets mobster novel,it is my great pleasure to inform you that a sequel to that book will be out by October 28.
The Gate House begins with John Sutter returning back to his old stomping grounds in Long Island after many years abroad,to attend the funeral of an former family servanat. During his stay,John runs into his ex wife Susan,who has also returned to the old neighborhood along with Anthony Bellarosa,the son of their former friend(and Susan's ex-lover)Frank. Anthony is less than thrilled with the both of them and has payback plans to exact upon the Sutters. The Gold Coast was,and is,one of my favorite Demille novels and I have very high hopes and expectations for this book to deliver the goods.
GOOD WILL READING
M. Ann Jacoby's Life After Genius introduces us to Theodore Mead Fegley,a burgeoning young whiz kid who is on his way to making his mark in the world of higher mathematics. Yet,only a few days before his graduation, Theodore packs up and heads out to his home back in Illinois. His reasons for this are unknown to everyone,except for a former classmate with ruthless ambition.
Theodore decides to throw himself into learning the family business(furniture sales and embalming the dead)while fighting off his private demons. This sounds a Good Will Hunting for readers and it's about time that we got one,if you ask me(October):
Author Kathleen Kent uses her family history as inspiration for this fictional look back at the Salem witch trials in The Heretic's Daughter. Kent is a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier,one of the first to be accused and tried for witchcraft.
The novel is narrated by Sarah Carrier,who suffers along with her mother as the two of them are victimized by the fears and superstitions of their once friendly neighbors who have been driven into a hysterical frenzy by those who seek to control others by sheer force of will. This is one book that should provide a bounty of food for thought to reading groups everywhere(September):
Dennis Lehane is best known for such Boston based crime novels as Mystic River and Gone,Baby,Gone but with his new book,The Given Day,he's decided to expand his usual playing field and take a turn back in time. Set in the post-WWI era,the story follows two men whose worlds become connected and clash together during the infamous Boston Police Strike of 1919.
Danny Coughlin is a beat cop whose father is a well liked and influential police captain and is looking to get ahead under his own steam. Luther Lawrence works for the Coughlins and despite being on the run from a vicious crime boss back in Tulsa,wants to find his way home to his pregnant wife.
Several real life historical figures are blended into the book,including Eugene O'Neill,W.E.B. DuBois and Babe Ruth. I'm still in the early chapters of the book but the Babe Ruth section,where he and his fellow ball players turn an innocent pick up game with a group of African Americans into a sad state of affairs,is riveting and realistically depicted. You won't want to miss on this(September 23).
Dream City by Brendan Short takes us to Chicago in 1934,where a six year old boy named Michael Halligan gets a severe reality check when his mother dies and Paddy,his thuggish gangster father,undermines him at every turn.
Michael's main source of comfort is in the heroes that abound in the pages of Little Big books,guys like Buck Rodgers,Dick Tracy,Red Ryder and a host of other comic book creations. He begins a lifelong pursuit to find every Little Big title in existence and perhaps some true peace of mind in the bargain. This quirky debut novel should charm both lit lovers and comic book fans alike(October 28).
A TRILOGY WELL TOLD
The final chapter of Cornelia Funke's Inkworld trilogy,Inkdeath,will be released this October and we will soon learn the fates of Meggie and Mo,as they try to escape the fictional world they've been cast into due to their own magical ability to bring people and objects in and out of books as they read aloud.
The first film to be made from this series,Inkheart,is due in multiplexes by early next year and will hopefully get a better reception than the Golden Compass did by critics and readers. It certainly deserves to be just as widely read and loved as the Harry Potter books.
THE MUSE WHO MEOWED
Dogs have been having their day and then some on the bestseller lists,and I think it's time for a cat to roar upon the literary scene. Dewey:The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World by Vicki Myron may be the one to turn the tide for the feline community to get it's due.
Myron tells the story of Dewey Readmore Books,the official library cat of the Spencer City Library in Iowa,who was found one morning by her after being stuffed thru the returned books slot the freezing night before. The chilled kitten was adopted by the staff and grew up to become an integral part of the community and the library.
Sadly,Dewey passed away in 2006 but his tale will always be remembered by those who loved him and had their lives enriched by his presence. This memoir is not only a loving tribute but will hopefully open the doors for more library cats to gain a place in the spotlight,like Browser,who rules the roost at the Pine River Library in Minnesota:
Happy Fall reading,folks and don't forget to enjoy the outdoor delights of the season as well;falling leaves are the best part of it and they make interesting bookmarks,too.
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