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, June 16, 2013

The Sunday Salon... Happy Father's Day! And Great Books from BEA 2013!

 Happy Father's Day! Welcome to today's Sunday Salon! Imagine a virtual library, filled with bloggers far and wide, all talking about what's going on in the world of books... that is what The Sunday Salon is all about!

BEA, or Book Expo America, if the premier event for us readers! It is the "largest publishing event in North America", and it gives us access to what's coming from our favorite publishers and authors. It's so much more than that though. It gives us bloggers the opportunity to touch base with the community, meet other bloggers, meet the book publicists we love to work with and a whole lot more! This year I wasn't able to attend, but it didn't stop me from learning about some of the great books coming out this year. In fact, if you own a eReader, you can download a great preview, with excerpts, of some of the books the publishers are highlighting this year with Book Buzz 2013 Fall/Winter (Kindle) and Book Buzz 2013 Spring/Summer (Nook). Last Sunday Salon I promised I'd highlight some of the books I'm looking forward to, so... Here they are...

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan... Moving between the dazzling world of courtesans in turn of the century Shanghai, a remote Chinese mountain village, and the rough-hewn streets of nineteenth-century San Francisco, Amy Tan's sweeping new novel maps the lives of three generations of women connected by blood and history - and the mystery of an evocative painting known as "The Valley of Amazement." Violet is one of the most celebrated courtesans in Shanghai, a beautiful and intelligent woman who has honed her ability to become any man's fantasy since her start as a "Virgin Courtesan" at the age of twelve. Half-Chinese and half-American, she moves effortlessly between the East and the West. But her talents belie her private struggle to understand who she really is and her search for a home in the world. Abandoned by her mother, Lucia, and uncertain of her father's identity, Violet's quest to truly love and be loved will set her on a path fraught with danger and complexity - and the loss of her own daughter.

I just love Amy Tan and her ability to effortlessly weave a tale that spans decades without losing a beat.  I also love stories that bring generations of women together, where we can see their differences and yet their strong connections that bind them no matter what. This book sounds like it's going to be a wonderful read and have all those qualities I enjoy. This has a publishing date of November 2013 from Ecco! Read more about it at Amy Tan's website!

We Are Water by Wally Lamb... After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh—wife, mother, outsider artist—has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets—dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives. We Are Water is a layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs. With humor and compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience and the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.

Ever since reading The Hour I First Believed, I have loved Wally Lamb! His characters have such depth and his stories are so absorbing. He really knows how to write about what we feel deep in our hearts, and I have no doubt that We Are Water will be one of those great reads. We'll have to wait until Oct. 2013 for this one. Published by Harper Collins.

 On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee... In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class—descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China—find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.

In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.

OK, I love dystopian fiction. This has alternate world/future world written all over it and we have the benefit of a very gifted storyteller and writer- Chang-Rae Lee. When I read The Surrendered, I knew Chang-Rae Lee would be one of my favorite authors, and so I am really looking forward to his newest book coming out January 2014 from Riverhead.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill... Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

I love a good thriller and I know this is going to meet the bill. Joe Hill is a master of suspense with some great books behind him to prove it. I just love the title of the book too! I can just picture that license plate driving along a dark and curvy road. Published by William Morrow (an imprint of Harper Collins) and this one you don't have to wait for... it's available now!

The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd... Five years after her young husband’s death, Celia Cassill has moved from one Brooklyn neighborhood to another, but she has not moved on. The owner of a small apartment building, she has chosen her tenants for their ability to respect one another’s privacy. Celia believes in boundaries, solitude, that she has a right to her ghosts. She is determined to live a life at a remove from the chaos and competition of modern life. Everything changes with the arrival of a new tenant, Hope, a dazzling woman of a certain age on the run from her husband’s recent betrayal. When Hope begins a torrid and noisy affair, and another tenant mysteriously disappears, the carefully constructed walls of Celia’s world are soon tested and the sanctity of her building is shattered—through violence and sex, in turns tender and dark. Ultimately, Celia and her tenants are forced to abandon their separate spaces for a far more intimate one, leading to a surprising conclusion and the promise of genuine joy.

Doesn't this just sound delicious?! Mysterious, a sprinkling of suspense and a bit dark... This is the debut novel of Amy Grace Loyd and it has gotten some great praise for her writing. I haven't had the pleasure to sample this yet, but it is on my wish list! The Affairs of Others will be published the end of August by Picador.

Hopefully these books have whetted your appetite! The next few months are going to be great fun for us readers, so many wonderful books to crack the spines on! There have been some great books in the mail this week too! A special thank you to all the authors and publishers who sent these along to me! First, Author Mingmei Yip sent me an ARC of her newest book, The Nine Fold Heaven! Think of a beautiful seductress, ex-spy, and nightclub singer trying to reunite with her lover and baby, which all takes place with the backdrop of Shanghai. I love Mingmei Yip's writing, and expecially her characters. I started reading this right out of the post and am really enjoying it! Published by Kensington Books, this will be out June 25th! The Visionist by Rachel Urquhart, "where 15 yr. old Polly Kimball, sets fire to the family farm, killing her abusive father" and finds shelter in a Shaker community where things are not going to remain quiet very long. Keep a look out for my review! Thank you Little Brown and Co. for sending this along. Gabrielle at Picador sent along a couple of fun memoirs for me to read! Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin is all about how some things just don't quite meet our expectations. After a job offer in Paris, the city of Baldwin's dreams, he packs up and moves and finds out that the reality isn't quite what the dream was. With touches of humor and insight, along with some great writing, we go along for the ride. And she also send an interesting "memoir" by Sheila Heti entitled How Should a Person Be? where Sheila asks herself and explores the question of self. How do we determine who we should be? Do we really have control over? It's been called boldly original, funny and deeply intelligent, and I look forward to finding out for myself what Sheila is all about!

 What's on your reading plate this week?! And what are you looking forward to reading the next few months?! Share your reading picks right here, so we can discover more great books!

Happy reading.... Suzanne


Kristen said...

The Affairs of Others just arrived in my mailbox and it looks phenomenal.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Kristen! I am so jealous! Let me know what you think once you get into it!

Harvee said...

I'd love to get myh ands on Amy Tan's new novel! These selections all look great!

wellwell2 said...

What great books. I love dystopian fiction too! And Wally Lamb. Wow. Have fun.

The Relentless Reader said...

I love Tan and Lamb so I'm crazy interested in those two books :)

I've yet to read Joe Hill but I keep hearing such good things that I know I'll get to him sooner or later.

The Affairs of Others made an appearance in my mailbox the other day. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Happy Father's Day to the dads in your life. Have a great week too!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Harvee! Yes, that Amy Tan book is going to be amazing I know!!! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Barbara! Almost too many great books! My list is ever growing even when these authors take 8 years to write a new book!

Thanks for saying hello!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Jennifer! OK, I am drooling now for a copy of The Affairs of Others! I might have to beg ;-) ... Thank you for coming by today!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Can't wait to hear more about Wally Lamb's new book!

Tanya Patrice said...

I loved Wally Lamb's book - in fact I feel as if I should re-read them. ANd I'm looking forward into digging into Joe Hill's latest book too.

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