Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's that day of the week where we enjoy talking to other like minded readers about what books have come our way, or what's going on in the publishing world or whatever else we fancy. So grab a cup of joe, find a comfy chair and relax! Let's talk books!
This week we are back to the business of great books! The reading challenges have started, books have been opened, but now let's look to the future… What books are you going to be wanting to read this summer?! I've read about some great books coming our way starting in May, and want to share them today! I've included the blurbs from the publishers, to see what you think. Here's what caught my eye…
The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufu Thorpe… A fiercely beautiful debut blazing with emotion: a major first novel about friendships made in youth and how these bonds, challenged by loss, illness, parenthood, and distance, either break or sustain.
Mia and Lorrie Ann are lifelong friends: hard-hearted Mia and untouchably beautiful, kind Lorrie Ann. While Mia struggles with a mother who drinks, a pregnancy at fifteen, and younger brothers she loves but can't quite be good to, Lorrie Ann is luminous, surrounded by her close-knit family, immune to the mistakes that mar her best friend's life. Until a sudden loss catapults Lorrie Ann into tragedy: things fall apart, and then fall apart further-and there is nothing Mia can do to help. And as good, kind, brave Lorrie Ann stops being so good, Mia begins to question just who this woman is and what that question means about them both. A staggeringly arresting, honest novel of love, motherhood, loyalty, and the myth of the perfect friendship that moves us to ask ourselves just how well we know those we love, what we owe our children, and who we are without our friends
I love stories that revolve around longtime friendships. This sounds like it will be a great story of female bonding. I like that the girls are friends despite their lives being totally opposite from one another, and I think that will make for some interesting developments in the plot. I also think this is going to be a great book club selection once it gets out! I actually have a eGalley of this on my Nook and I am enjoying the writing so far. Published my Random House& Knopf, you'll have to wait until July 8th, 2014 to find this at your local bookstore, but make sure you write it down now to remember it!
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.
I love quirky, and this sounds like a fun light read. Even though Fredrik Backman is from Sweden, this story sounds very British to me, with a good dose of wry humor. Published by Atria Books, this will arrive in bookstores July 15th, 2014
It is 1921. In a mountain-locked valley, Jessie is on the run.
Born wild and brave, by twenty-six she has already lived life as a circus rider, horse and cattle rustler, and convict. But on this fateful night she is just a woman wanting to survive though there is barely any life left in her. Two men crash through the bushland, desperate to claim the reward on her head: one her lover, the other the law. But as it has always been for Jessie, it is death, not a man, who is her closest pursuer and companion. And while all odds are stacked against her, there is one who will never give up on her—her own child, who awaits her.
Another great sounding book! How could I resist wanting to read this when it mentions similarities with two of my favorite books - Water for Elephants and True Grit! I also liked the fact that it was a female protagonist that had experienced life in some unique ways for a woman (circus rider, cattle rustler) and I think that the Australian Outback will make for a wonderful setting. Published by Putnam Hardcover and coming to a bookstore near you May 29th, 2014.
The Bees by Laline Paull… The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture-where only the Queen may breed and any deformity means death-in which a devout young worker bee finds herself in possession of a deadly secret, and becomes a hunted criminal whose decisions will mean life and death for her entire hive
Born into the lowest class of her rigid, hierarchical society, Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, an Untouchable fit only to clean and remove the bodies of the dead from her orchard hive. As part of the collective, she is taught to Accept, Obey, Serve-work and sacrifice are the highest virtues, and worship of her beloved Queen the only religion. Her society is governed by the priestess class, questions are forbidden, and all thoughts belong to the Hive Mind.
But Flora is not like other bees-a difference that holds profound consequences. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.
But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all-daring to challenge the Queen's fertility-enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy; to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society-and lead her to unthinkable deeds... The Bees is the story of a strong-willed heroine who, in the face of an increasingly desperate struggle for survival, changes her destiny and her world.
If you enjoy Dystopian fiction, this sounds like it's going to be right up your alley! When I read about this book from Ecco, I thought it sounded so unique. I'm interested in cracking the spine on this, and seeing how she pulls this off. If the author's writing is compelling, this should be good. Coming to your favorite bookstore May 6th, 2014.
Kindle Edition for Bellman & Black is $1.99!
Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you. Kindle Edition is $1.99, so is Nook Book!
When she finally arrives, shaken, at the hall she is greeted by the two children in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There are no parents, no adults at all, and no one to represent her mysterious employer. The children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, a second terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong. From the moment she rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence which lives within Gaudlin’s walls. Eliza realises that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall’s long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past. Kindle Edition & Nook Book are both $2.99 right now.
*Monday, I reviewed Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala, her true life & honest account of her survival during the 2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka. What makes this even more compelling is her heartfelt story of surviving, but losing her entire family. Click on the title to read the review.
*Wednesday, I reviewed Tenth of December by George Saunders. It's a collection of short stories filled with the ironies of everyday life, some of which are set in a futuristic world, but all have his well known wry sense of humor and satire. Not my usual kind of reading, but I did start to enjoy them. Read my review and my thoughts by clicking on the link above.
*Friday, I reviewed Saga Vol. 1, the Romeo & Juliet space opera by Image Comics. Yes, it's a graphic novel, and it won a ton of best of mentions at the end of 2013. And after reading the first volume, I know why. Great story! This is going to be a great series, so start now while there are only 3 volumes out. Read my review by clicking on the link.
*Saturday, I posted about the Release Party for Cloaked in Danger by Jeannie Ruesche… It's a party on Facebook that will have giveaways, prizes, and all sorts of fun things going on. Read all about it with the Release Party Link.
And in the "Book Blogging" world I came across an interesting opinion piece on BookRiot by Peter Damien on The Decline and Fall of the Book Reviewing Empire. It's an interesting piece on book reviewing and how the "professional" reviewer is falling by the wayside in lieu of book bloggers and friends exchanging recommendations via the internet. Let me know what you think?
Thank you for stopping by! As always, I'd love you to share what you're reading and what books you found in your travels! So leave a comment and tell me what I need to read!
Happy reading… Suzanne