Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Make room in your back-to-school shopping bag for these September/October reads

As these last few days of summer dwindle away,plans for the fall season are being made with one eye towards the purse and the other to when it'll be best to start stocking up on notebook paper and heavy sweaters.

Whether your seasonal shopping includes back to school,back to work or just back in gear for autumn,there are some amazing books lying in wait for you to discover. As a fun and friendly reminder,here's a look at the pick of the September crop and an eye towards the October harvest as well:


One of the most highly anticipated sequels of the season is The Twelve,the second title in Justin Cronin's The Passage Trilogy. The adventures of eternal girl child Amy and her remaining set of friends as they seek to reclaim the world from the vampiric mutants who have overrun humanity are becoming even more dangerous as the collective enemy is now aware of who is after them.

With even more tension,terror and new characters joining the struggle,The Twelve should be a welcome addition to your reading pleasure and hopefully increase the desire for the final chapter to arrive in a timely manner(October):

Speaking of timely manner,just as some folks are finishing up Ken Follett's Fall of Giants(due out in paperback soon),he brings the second volume of his Century Trilogy out on the town. Winter of the World takes the five families from the previous book into the heart of WWII with their intrigues and troubles along for the ride.

With the miniseries adaptation of World Without End about to air in the UK and in America(on the Reelz channel)this fall,more interest in Follett's magnificent historical epics should follow and if the new TV shows are a disappointment,this book surely will be a truly welcome refuge(September):


Many fans wondered what would J.K. Rowling have to write about now that her internationally famous Harry Potter series was done with and I suspect that the last thing they expected her to tackle was a novel meant for adults.

The Casual Vacancy is set in a small English village which is not as tranquil as it seems. The opening spot on the local town council,due to an unexpected demise,is just the spark that could light a fuse that threatens to put everyone in uproar. There may not be wizards afoot here but the magic of Rowling's words promises to cast a stirring storytelling spell indeed(September):


Louise Erdrich's The Round House is set in 1988,where Geraldine, who works and resides on a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation is sexually assaulted and questions regarding which authority(state,federal or tribal) should pursue the matter only heightens the horror of the situation.

Geraldine's thirteen year old son Joseph decides to find the perpetrator himself and recruits some of his friends to help his mother,as well as his people,receive the justice he believes is deserved. That search opens quite a few unexpected doors for Joseph and he learns more than perhaps he was ready to know.

Erdrich is no stranger to compelling family drama and this novel blends both familiar and new themes as insights into the Ojibwe community help to expand the emotional stage set here(October):

Witty mystery writer Marshall Karp teams up again with James Patterson for another romp into the New York crime scene called NYPD Red. Detective Zach Jordan works on a special unit that specializes in keeping visiting Hollywood types safe from harm and the pressure to be perfect is always on.

When a major film producer suddenly dies during a power breakfast,Zach winds up working with his ex-girlfriend,Detective Kylie MacDonald,to find the killer. However,this turns out to be the first in a string of murders that quickly overwhelms the entire unit and puts a white hot spotlight on Zach and Kylie to catch the maniac before things get even worse.

Karp and Patterson have proven to be a winning combination with their first collaboration,Kill Me If You Can,and this one should be a gold medal champion as well(October).


In Telegraph Avenue,Michael Chabon introduces us to Archy and Nat,the co-owners of a vintage record store,Brokeland Records,whose idyll existence on their street in Berkeley is endangered by the development of a chain store music emporium run by a former football star.

As the partners do their mellow best to hold their ground,a secret from the past and a surprise visitor threatens to make that stance harder to hang on to. Chabon is a true master of literary pop culture remixes and this novel should be a real conversation starter for readers and music fans alike(September):

Emma Straub's debut novel,Laura Lamont's Life In Pictures,focuses on Elsa Emerson,a Midwestern girl who takes off for Hollywood with another acting hopeful to achieve silver screen stardom.

For awhile,her dreams are on hold due to marriage and children but a chance meeting with movie mogul Irving Green launches Elsa into a new life and name. This look into the Golden Age of Hollywood offers more than the usual overnight sensation story and some inner drama to match the outer theatrics of the heroine's path to film glory(September):


Sean Howe brings a lively cast of real life characters to the forefront with Marvel Comics:The Untold Story. His chronicle of the fortunes of the comic book company that brought such heroes as Captain America,Thor and The Fantastic Four to the pop culture world is just as compelling as any of the action packed crises that these fictional icons faced.

Much like their comic book creations,behind the scenes folk like Jack Kirby,Steve Ditko and the undisputed showman of the bunch,Stan Lee are showcased at their best and worst times,making the mutual effort to turn this once fledgling company into a major multimedia force to be reckoned with all the more engaging. Whether you're a die-hard comic book fan or a casual observer,this top notch tome will make you a true believer(October):

It's good to have such a line-up of smart and snappy reads to enjoy during this hectic time of the year. Perhaps one or two of them might give you a welcome respite from the typical show-and-tell stories that many families have to sit through this season,some of which might be telling more than they want to be shown:

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