Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Gathering up some fresh new books blooming this May and June

Spring seems to be truly upon us at last, bringing plenty of warm weather delights such as flowers, singing birds and the need for ice cream cones.

It also brings about plenty of reasons to read and buy new books. With Mother's and Father's Day alone( not to mention weddings and graduations) some of your gift giving worries can be easily resolved at the New Releases table at your local bookseller.

Of course, libraries are also ideal for picking up a suitable springtime read and in this list of upcoming titles for May and June,there should be something that suits more than one bookish taste:

 LITERARY LADIES FIRST: Award winning author Louise Erdich gives us another heart rendering emotional journey with LaRose, set within the Native American community in North Dakota.

The title character is a boy adopted into a neighboring family as a means of repentance for the tragic shooting accident that killed their youngest child. As La Rose adjusts to being part of his new family, he becomes a connection back to his original one that manages to help mend some of the mutual pain shared by both families.

That bond is threatened by a figure from his birth father's past, a man out for revenge who has no problem with ripping open old wounds and casting doubt about what really happened to the child that LaRose was meant to replace. Erdich's heartfelt prose does touch upon sorrow but her skills with words makes her a joy to read(May).

It's been awhile since I read anything by Terry McMillan and thanks to Library Thing, I get the chance to check out an advance copy of her upcoming new novel entitled I Almost Forgot About You.

The leading lady of this story is Dr. Georgia Young, who learns of the passing of a former beau and is motivated to make a few changes in her life. She decides to retrace her romantic steps by seeking out some other past boyfriends , a decision that her family,friends and children are not completely supportive of.

Nevertheless, Georgia is determined to see what shaking things up can do to make the rest of her life better and if she happens to find a new love along the way, that's good too. The last book of hers that I read was How Stella Got Her Groove Back and while I know that McMillan's work has gone through some changes since then, reading IAFAY promises to be a page turning friendly visit  that could renew our literary acquaintance(June):

A FEARSOME FATHER AND SON ACT: Stephen King concludes his crime novel trilogy featuring Det. Bill Hodges with End of Watch, a book that has him facing off against his former foe Brady Hartsfield,aka The Mercedes Killer.

Brady has awoken from a coma that has rendered him incapable of doing much damage to others but also gave him the deadly gift of psychic ability. Using that power to drive people to self inflected despair without having to leave his bed, Brady is ready to take his revenge on those who put him there in the first place.

I happen to be rereading Mr. Mercedes at the moment(due to the Spring Into Horror readathon that I'm taking part in) and having this story series circle back to it's starting point feels oh so right. Plus, having a dose of that old school Stephen King magic added to the mix ought to be frightful fun(June):

Scary writing happens to run in the family, as King's son Joe Hill is about to release another one of his creatively terrifying novels. The Fireman takes place in a not-too-distant future where an affliction known as Dragonscale causes people to devoured by fire from within.

Nurse Harper Grayson is motivated by more than one reason to find a cure for this disease; not only is she in the first stages of the illness, she's pregnant as well. While the only solution sought by the powers that be is to shoot down those infected, a mysterious figure called The Fireman seems to have found a way for Dragonscale sufferers to survive and hold off that final firestorm.

Harper is willing to do what she can to save herself and her unborn child but it turns out that taking refuge with The Fireman has some unexpected risks as well. While Joe Hill shares his father's love of  horror and fantasy, he is quite the original writer who offers readers some amazing literary sights to see there. His talent is so bright that you might have to wear shades for this one(May):

BOOKS BEHIND BARS: On a break from her teaching duties at Maryland's Institute College of Art, Mitka Brottman started up The Maximum Security Book Club for several of the male inmates at a prison just outside of Baltimore.

During her two years with the group, she assigned them a variety of classics such as The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Shakespeare's Macbeth and stories by Edgar Allan Poe. In talking about them, Brottman saw some new insights into the works as well as got some of her fellow readers to talk more about their lives in and out of prison.

This sound like an intriguing educational experience that offers both book and street smarts to it's participants and should be a truly captivating read indeed(June).

TURNING BACK TIME: Elizabeth J. Church starts her debut novel,The Atomic Weight of Love,  in the 1940s as Meridian Wallace is pursuing her dream of getting a Ph.D. in ornithology, due to bird watching being a lifelong interest of hers.

However, she falls in love with physics professor Alden, who is recruited for a special project in Los Alamos that could change the course of WWII. Doing what she thinks is best, Meridian puts her goals aside in order to become his supportive wife.

That sacrifice takes a toll on her spirit and her marriage, a decision that later in life, Meridian is forced to reexamine when she encounters a Vietnam veteran who shows her just how much the world has changed since then. Church's tale of what women are asked to do in the name of love sounds as relevant to what is still being demanded of women today and the impact is stronger with that blast from America's scientific past added to the plot (May):

In Beatriz Williams' A Certain Age, the Roaring Twenties in New York are the background for a love triangle to develop. While Theresa Marshall is hesitant to divorce her wealthy husband Sylo to be with her paramour Captain Octavian, she is less than thrilled to see him fall in love with yet another unavailable woman.

That other woman happens to Sophie, engaged to Theresa's brother Ox,and while more than one loyalty is betrayed, a host of secrets and lies from a long held family matter may force Theresa to make a not very advantageous choice
of the heart.

Williams is at the top of her game when it comes to period pieces like this and for those who adore Downton Abbey style of storytelling, this book should be a real sweet treat to savor or sip like fine wine(June):

 This is just the beginning of the spring into summer season, with more entertaining titles to come our way. So stockpile your TBR carefully,as you may need to make room not only on your shelves but in your travel bag for books to accompany you on those seasonal outings:

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