Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Sunday Salon... Books with Buzz!

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake...

Spring has finally sprung in Connecticut! At least for a few days earlier this past week... this weekend, though, it's suppose to rain, rain, and RAIN! But what does a reader do when it rains? Curl up with a good book somewhere quiet! Here are a few books with a lot of great buzz this week that you may want to curl up with yourself...

Walking to Gatlinburg by Howard Frank Mosher... What IndieBound says, A stunning and lyrical Civil War thriller, Walking to Gatlinburg is a spellbinding story of survival, wilderness adventure, mystery, and love in the time of war... Morgan Kinneson is both hunter and hunted. The sharp-shooting 17-year-old from Kingdom County, Vermont, is determined to track down his brother Pilgrim, a doctor who has gone missing from the Union Army. But first Morgan must elude a group of murderous escaped convicts in pursuit of a mysterious stone that has fallen into his possession... It’s 1864, and the country is in the grip of the bloodiest war in American history. Meanwhile, the Kinneson family has been quietly conducting passengers on the Underground Railroad from Vermont to the Canadian border. One snowy afternoon Morgan leaves an elderly fugitive named Jesse Moses in a mountainside cabin for a few hours so that he can track a moose to feed his family. In his absence, Jesse is murdered, and thus begins Morgan’s unforgettable trek south through an apocalyptic landscape of war and mayhem... Along the way, Morgan encounters a fantastical array of characters, including a weeping elephant, a pacifist gunsmith, a woman who lives in a tree, a blind cobbler, and a beautiful and intriguing slave girl named Slidell who is the key to unlocking the mystery of the secret stone... Howard Frank Mosher has written 10 novels, including Walking to Gatlinburg. He's been compared to a modern day Mark Twain for his wonderful storytelling and this book has received an amazing amount of positive buzz! As part of his book tour for Walking to Gatlinburg he presents a unique slide show. “Transforming History into Fiction: the Story of a Born Liar”, which chronicles how he wrote Walking to Gatlinburg, from the surpassingly strange, never-before-told family stories that inspired the novel. Well, it just so happens that he is making a stop on his book tour a few towns over from where I live! So today I am going to the Ridgefield Library to listen to Mr. Mosher talk about his newest book! And I'm really looking forward to his slide show! I'll be picking up his book to read, so stay tuned for a review! You can read the first chapter of Walking to Gatlinburg by following the link to Howard Frank Mosher's website. You can also read all about his other books, and see if he'll be visiting a bookstore or library near you! *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!

The Last Child by John Hart... Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: a warm home and loving parents; a twin sister, Alyssa, with whom he shared an irreplaceable bond. He knew nothing of loss, until the day Alyssa vanished from the side of a lonely street. Now, a year later, Johnny finds himself isolated and alone, failed by the people he’d been taught since birth to trust. No one else believes that Alyssa is still alive, but Johnny is certain that she is—-confident in a way that he can never fully explain... Determined to find his sister, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown. It is a desperate, terrifying search, but Johnny is not as alone as he might think. Detective Clyde Hunt has never stopped looking for Alyssa either, and he has a soft spot for Johnny. He watches over the boy and tries to keep him safe, but when Johnny uncovers a dangerous lead and vows to follow it, Hunt has no choice but to intervene. John Hart writes mysteries/thrillers, and The Last Child won The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger in 2009! I've got a copy of this on my nightstand too! John Hart's character Johnny has been called a modern Huck Finn... *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!

The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell... January 2006. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen, nineteen people have been massacred. The only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene... Judge Birgitta Roslin has particular reason to be shocked: Her grandparents, the Andréns, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andrén family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the nineteenth-century diary of an Andrén ancestor—a gang master on the American transcontinental railway—that describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed the Hesjövallen murders, but Birgitta is determined to uncover what she now suspects is a more complicated truth... The investigation leads to the highest echelons of power in present-day Beijing, and to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. But the narrative also takes us back 150 years into the depths of the slave trade between China and the United States—a history that will ensnare Birgitta as she draws ever closer to solving the Hesjövallen murders. We've met quite a few wonderful mystery writers from Sweden since Steig Larsson gave us The Girl with The Dragon Tatoo, and Henning Mankell is among them. The Man from Bejing is a March 2010 Indie Bookseller (Independent Bookseller) pick! (Ok, no references to Twain, Huck Finn or even Becky here) *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!

Hope you've found something to peak your interest! Next week be on the lookout for a review of The Favorites by Mary Yukari Waters, which I finished this week. It was a wonderful book about "three generations of women and a secret that binds them together". Mary Yukari Waters paints a beautiful picture of the complex relationships between women, all of which happens in a small village in Japan. And I'll be reviewing Sugar by Bernice L. McFadden which I had talked about in my Feb. 28th Sunday Salon post, which is a wonderful story of loss, friendship and redemption with the backdrop of the deep south.

Happy reading... Suzanne


Harvee said...

A nice set of books! I'd love to read the Man From Beijing, an historical mystery that's just up my alley! Happy reading!

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

These sound great, and what lovely covers!

Here's my Salon:

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Harvee!
Yes, The Man From Beijing sounds like such a wonderful adventure! I just love mysteries!

Hi Laurel!
I've had my eye on all these books for a while, and I particulary love the cover for Walking to Gatlinburg. Although the Kindle cover isn't as pretty.:-)

Helen Ginger said...

All three sound interesting, but the two that really peaked my interest were Walking to Gatlinburg and The Last Child. For some reason, your intro to The Last Child made me shiver.

Straight From Hel

Alyce said...

I look forward to hearing what you thought of the slide show. Sometimes true stories can seem the strangest. I know my grandpa had a lot of odd stories from his childhood and the war that I wish we would have recorded somehow, but I know he wouldn't have liked that - he was very cantankerous.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Helen!
Yes, both Walking to Gatlinburg and The Last Child have made it into my hands. Although for now, Walking to Gatlinburg is on my Kindle. Howard Frank Mosher's writing is reminiscent of "Mark Twain", but I think it is more so because of the setting of his book. My DH has been wanting me to read John Hart for some time now, so it should make us both happy! :)

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Alyce!
It's too bad you didn't record those wonderful stories, but at least you were able to enjoy listening to them! It's great to have a true storyteller in the family! My father use to be one!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

The Last Child and The Man from Beijing appeal to me.

Maxine said...

I just got notice that Walking to Gatlinburg is waiting for me to pick up from the library. I am excited to read it. I'll be looking for your review to see what you think of it...

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