Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Ring in the New Year with these great new reads!
As the new year creeps up on us,many fresh literary delights await us on the shelves to be eagerly discovered and opened up to embrace our imaginations with joy,dread or some other provocative emotion.
I know that this time of year is ripe for making resolutions and if one of yours is to read more good books,here are a few suggestions to help you start your resolve off just right:
COUNTRY GALS AND GUYS
One of the most highly anticipated new novels of 2009 is Tiffany Baker's debut,The Little Giant Of Aberdeen County. The literally larger than life heroine of the story is Truly Plaice,a woman who is constantly compared to and rejected by all in favor of her more attractive and compact sister Serena Jane.
When Serena Jane decides to leave her family for another man,Truly is reluctantly summoned to take over her sister's duties and receives nothing but misery from Bob Bob,her brother-in-law,for it.
She may seem to be down but Truly's not out,as she develops a real talent for natural healing and finds a way to take back her own power,thanks to a few family secrets and an heirloom quilt that is the key to unlocking a treasure trove of magical abilities. Sounds like a lady I'd like to know better,that's for sure(January 8).
Another Truely makes a debut in January,only this one is a fellow who teams up with his big sister Courtney to jointly recover from their failing marriages back at the old homestead in Nanci Kincaid's sixth book, Eat,Drink and be from Mississippi.
The sibling pity party is interrupted by Arnold,a moody teenager who wanders into their lives and decides to set up shop there. This new presence in their world not only forces the two of them to come out of their joint funk,it also gives the brother and sister act a golden opportunity to discover what family is really all about.
BATTLE OF THE BOOK BANDS
In Barbara Hall's The Music Teacher,Pearl Swain openly admits her resentment of being a living example of "those who can't do,teach" as she spends her days teaching violin to less than talented children.
Her complacent acceptance of her place in the world is challenged when a gifted young student named Hallie comes along. In her quest to make a mark in music thru her pupil's potential greatness,Pearl takes a risky step forward that only leads her and Hallie down a even worse path than the one Pearl was willing to live with. The competitive realm of classical music is brought to vivid life in this harrowing emotional tale(February):
The harsh realities of rock n' roll life are examined in Michael Shilling's novel,Rock Bottom. The Blood Orphans were supposed to take the music world by storm,yet after two years on the road,the band is finishing up a grueling world tour and most likely,their careers.
The lead singer is now a born again Buddhist who preaches during shows,the sex addicted drummer with the porno king dad is losing his mind,the bass guitarist's hands are turning into raw bits of rashes and the only one of them left with any real talent is the other guitarist who is persistently bullied into submission by the rest of the group.
Add in a drugged up lady manager and toss the whole lot into Amsterdam for their final show,you have quite a comical disaster in the making(January):
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Michael Zadoorian combines the allure of the open road with the end of the road for an aging married couple in The Leisure Seeker.
John and Ella Robina want to take one last trip together before their kids pack them off to a supervised elderly living home out of concern for their declining health. Even with John's Alzheimer and Ella's cancer,the two of them are determined to have a bit of adventure before they have to turn in their independent ways for good. Zadoorian did some on hands research on Route 66,the famous highway of American lore,to further enhance his characters' journey and the reader's as well(February):
THOSE VIVACIOUS VICTORIANS
Author Dan Simmons has taken on many flights of fancy,but in his upcoming novel Drood,he takes on one of the literary grand masters of imagination,Charles Dickens.
Narrated by contemporary and occasional co-conspirator Wilkie Collins,the novel explores the notion that Dickens' final unfinished work,The Mystery of Edwin Drood,was an actual mystery that Dickens was trying to solve.
A gruesome train accident(which did actually happen to Dickens in real life)sets off a search for a odd stranger whom Dickens encountered during the horrifying aftermath and down some very dark corners where many respectable and not so respectable folks feared to follow. Collins often worked with Dickens to create theatrical pieces and this haunting tale would suit both gentlemen to a fare thee well(February):
Jonathan Barnes brings on the noise and more of the steampunk with Domino Men. A mild mannered file clerk named Henry Lamb finds himself in quite the whirlwind as he is called upon to replace his grandfather in some rather unusual duties to a secret society known only as The Directorate.
His tasks are simple enough;save the city of London(along with the world) from being destroyed by the monster Leviathan by finding a certain girl before it's too late. While this isn't a direct sequel to The Somnambulist,don't be surprised to find a few of those characters entering into the fray,especially the title twins of terror mentioned in the title(January 27).
THE LATEST IN THE SERIES
Several ongoing sagas add another chapter or two to their steady story lines,much to the delight of their eager fans. While these books may not appear to have anything in common at first glance,all of them showcase clever and capable leading ladies who are well worth the wait.
First up is the newest Pink Carnation mystery from Lauren Willig,The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. The newest female spy with a flowery nom de plume to enter the intrigues of the Napoleonic wars is Lady Charlotte Lansdowne,a Maid of Honor to Queen Charlotte.
That lofty position and a reconnection to former lover Robert,duke of Dovedale(who is seeking revenge for the murder of his mentor)brings her to the brink of more than one deadly disaster(January).
Jennifer Rardin brings her supernatural specialist assassin Jaz Parks back for One More Bite
This time out,Jaz and her vampire boss/lover Vayl have to prevent a possible war between the former allies of vanquished menace to society Edward"The Raptor" Samos by eliminating a hitwoman hired to set off the chaos before she can take out her intended target.
The trail takes Jaz and friends to Scotland,where a number of complications crop up,including a bit of a family reunion. Sounds like some fists and fangs may be flying about to keep things very interesting indeed.
Speaking of fangs,Kim Harrison brings us back to the Hollows with White Witch,Black Curse in February. While there's not a lot of advance word regarding the plot,I have no doubt that Rachel Morgan's demon magic lessons in the Everafter will come into play at some point in this new book.
I hope that this lineup of brand spanking new books coming to a bookstore near you soon gives you some extra bit of hope and excitement about 2009. Granted,some of these books may not be as exciting as the possibility of becoming gum buddies with the President Elect of the United States,but they might give you something to do while you wait for that special day to arrive:
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