Sunday, March 2, 2014
The Sunday Salon and Spring Ahead with Great New Books
It's been crazy cold & snowing like anything in Connecticut the past few weeks, and I'm really over winter now! Spring can't come soon enough for me or soon enough for some great books! So, I thought I would leave the snow & cold behind today and look towards some great books coming this Spring…
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler…Welcome to Little Wing. It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends—all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town—it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own, or struggling to do so. One of them never left, still working the family farm that has been tilled for generations. But others felt the need to move on, with varying degrees of success. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit, and one of them even hit it big as a rock star. And then there’s Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives. Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stresses—between the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love.
Seldom has the American heartland been so richly and accurately portrayed. Though the town may have changed, the one thing that hasn’t is the beauty of the Wisconsin farmland, the lure of which emerges as a vibrant character in the story.
This book is betting plenty of positive buzz from the publishing industry. It sounds like a wonderful story of friendship with a wonderful backdrop. A kind of book you can sit back and relax to read, but something you should still be able to sink your teeth in. I have not been able to read any excerpts, so I'm not sure about the writing, but I'm putting this on my tbr list anyway. Shotgun Lovesongs is being published by Thomas Dunne Books and is coming out March 11, 2014.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr… Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie- Laure’s converge.
This book has gotten amazing pre publishing praise! The word is that the "imagery is stunning", and the writing is "moving". Anthony Doerr certainly put his time in with investing 10 years to write this novel. This time period has produced some amazing fiction, including The Book Thief, and if all the hype is true, I think this is going to be a must read this year. Sounds like a potential great book club read too. All The Light We Cannot See is being published by Scribner and pub date of May 6, 2014. On my TBR list now.
The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff… Deshi, a hapless young man living in northern China, is suddenly expelled from ordinary life when his brother dies in an accident. Holding Deshi responsible for his brother’s death, his parents send him on a mission to acquire a corpse bride to accompany his brother into the afterlife, in accordance with an ancient Chinese tradition that has many modern adherents. Eligible dead girls are in short supply, however. When Deshi falls into company with a young--and single--woman named Lily, he sees a solution to his problems. The only hitch is that willful, tart-tongued Lily is still very much alive. As Deshi and Lily adventure through a breathtaking mountain landscape, meeting a host of eccentric characters and dangerous adversaries along the way, Deshi just can’t decide whether to kiss the girl or to kill her.
This is a graphic novel coming out of First Second Books, and that alone piques me interest because the last two graphic novels I have really enjoyed have been published by them (Sailor Twain, Relish). The combination of Chinese folklore and what appears to be a fun adventure should make this a good graphic novel. The sample of the artwork for The Undertaking of Lily Chen, did not blow me away, but I'm counting on the story to make up for that. Publication date is March 25th, 2014. On my wish list.
Weekly Recap… Anniversary week saw 2 giveaways and a book review! …
*Congrats to Heather C. for winning the Happy Blogoversary giveaway of ANY book I reviewed over the past 4 years! Heather chose to receive a copy of Dark Witch by Nora Roberts, the first in her Nora Roberts newest trilogy set in Ireland with family curses, witches and as always a nice touch of romance.
*Congrats to Linda K. for winning a copy of the Audiobook Love & War by Mary Matalin and James Carville during the Memoir Monday blogoversary giveaway. A great book that goes beyond politics and policies to a story of love, kids and trying to remain sane in a Washington, DC existence.
*My review for Love & War by Mary Matalin and James Carville was posted for Memoir Monday, February 17th. I really enjoyed their story and their reading alternate sections was wonderful.
Personal Update… Last week was a busy one for me as I endured physical therapy 3 times a week, plus a rigorous regime at home. Whew! I'm out of the wheelchair and learning to walk with the aid of a walker. My arms will probably look like Hulk Hogans until I build up the strength in my legs! But I have a nice pile of books now to catch up with! INCLUDING a wonderful little book form Little, Brown and Company called Black Lake by Johanna Lane. Watch out for a review of this little gem next week- it was a wonderful surprise when I found it in the mail and it was even more wonderful as I opened it up to get a feel for it and could not put it down.
So, how was your reading week?! Any books you're looking forward to this Spring?! Share what you've found, I'd love to hear about them all!
Happy reading… Suzanne