VACATION (JuLY 2017)



Taking a bit of a break from blogging..Be back soon!!!
Check out Joyce's Choices /Book Blog on Facebook .....

SINCE WE FELL (MAY 2017)

Dennis LeHane is an American author who grew up in the Boston area. Several of his books were successful award winning films. His latest novel has been acclaimed as "Lehane at his very best"....It sounds like another great read....and most likely, another film.





SINCE WE FELL by Dennis Lehane (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, performed by Julia Whelan
SINCE WE FELL follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence and possibly madness, Rachel must find the 
strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths.
(Www.bookreporter.com)



ONE TO WATCH (MAY 2017)

  • The cover of the book Men Without WomenMen Without Women by HARUKI MURAKAMI

     



    This collection of short stories centers on seven men dealing with emotional tragedy: be it a broken heart, a love triangle, or even death. All seven men seem to feel lost and alone, but soon become overwhelmed with passion as they cross paths with mysterious women. Men Without Women is Murakami’s first major work of short fiction—both fans and newcomers will not want to miss it.
    Out May 9
    Be sure to check out Signaturereads.com for more information.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE (MAY 2017)





I couldn't wait for Elizabeth Strout's new release...I thought it
was going to be a novel, but it's not. It's a collection of stories
about characters I'm supposed to remember from Strout's last
novel, My Name is Lucy Barton that I read two years ago. I can
barely remember what I read last month let alone two years ago!
So it's a challenge...not quite a sequel to Lucy Barton, but lots of references.

In spite of this confusion on my part, the multiple stories are
fascinating although mostly bleak and heart wrenching. I can't say I
love this book, but the writing is brilliant...and an older, wiser Lucy Barton actually makes an appearance.


Thankyou www.bookreporter.com for the review.















ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE by Elizabeth Strout (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Kimberly Farr
Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband, while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, Elizabeth Strout's celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after 17 years of absence. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.
Click here to read more about the book.

THE ARRANGEMENT AND MORE (APRIL 2017)

The Arrangement By Sarah  Dunne was addictive and unputdownable! Not that is was so good, but it's a fun social commentary with great characters and a believable storyline. To put it simply, it's a lighthearted look at a dark subject. Take it on vacation or stay-cation...it's a Lifetime Movie waiting to happen!

On a more serious note, check out the following review of another Spring release from  www.bookreporter.com




THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY by Hannah Tinti (Literary Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Elizabeth Wiley
A loner who spent years living on the run, Samuel Hawley raised his daughter, Loo, on the road, always watching his back. Now that Loo is a teenager, Hawley wants only to give her a normal life. In his late wife’s hometown, he finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school. She also grows more and more curious about the death of the mother she never knew. Soon, everywhere she turns, she encounters the mysteries of her parents’ lives before she was born. As Loo uncovers a history that’s darker than she could have known, the demons of her father’s past spill over into the present --- and together both Hawley and Loo must face a reckoning yet to come. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

SPRING RELEASES FROM GOODREADS.COM

Release Date: April 18
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Weight of Water and The Pilot's Wife (an Oprah's Book Club selection): an exquisitely suspenseful new novel about an extraordinary young woman tested...more
Release Date: April 18
At the mercy of a treacherous sea... Claire Britten's training never prepared her for this--the forensic psychology curriculum didn't cover plane crashes. Or how to help fellow survivors cope, seven...more
Check out Goodreads.com

If you're a book lover, this site is for you. If your memory is like mine, it's a place to list the books you've read.
Join now and see what everyone's reading!


Anything Is Possible
Release Date: April 25
From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout comes a brilliant latticework of fiction reminiscent of Olive Kitteridge....more
Release Date: April 20
Meet the Lotterys: a unique and diverse family featuring four parents, seven kids and five pets - all living happily together in their big old house, Camelottery. Nine-year-old Sumac is the organizer ...more
Already released...Don't miss it!

SPRING THOUGHTS (MARCH 2017)


So far my book choices have been disappointing. One of my favorite authors, Jami Attenberg (THE MIDDLESTEINS) released ALL GROWN UP, supposedly a "wickedly funny" novel focused on a thirty nine year old single woman..kind of confessional, casual and brash. It really feels like overlapping short stories...stylishly written but not a lot of depth. I'm halfway through and hoping it will improve...

Below find three new releases, one a Memoir, reviewed by my favorite book website, Bookreporter.com.
See what you think....



More Reviews This Week

ILL WILL by Dan Chaon (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available; narrated by Ari Fliakos, Edoardo Ballerini, Michael Crouch and a full cast
A psychologist in suburban Cleveland, Dustin is drifting through his 40s when he hears the news: his adopted brother, Rusty, is being released from prison. Thirty years ago, Rusty received a life sentence for the massacre of Dustin’s parents, aunt and uncle. Despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury believed the outlandish accusations Dustin and his cousin made against Rusty. Now, after DNA analysis has overturned the conviction, Dustin braces for a reckoning. Meanwhile, one of Dustin’s patients has been plying him with stories of the drowning deaths of a string of drunk college boys. At first Dustin dismisses his patient's suggestions that a serial killer is at work as paranoid thinking, but eventually he starts to believe that there’s more to the deaths than coincidence. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
THE PRICE OF ILLUSION: A Memoir by Joan Juliet Buck (Memoir)
When Joan Juliet Buck became the first and only American woman ever to fill Paris Vogue's coveted position of Editor in Chief, she had the means to recreate for her aging father --- now a widower --- the life he’d enjoyed during his high-flying years, a splendid illusion of glamorous excess that could not be sustained indefinitely. Joan’s memoir tells the story of a life lived in the best places at the most interesting times: London and New York in the swinging 1960s, Rome and Milan in the dangerous 1970s, Paris in the heady 1980s and 1990s. But when her fantasy life at Vogue came to an end, she had to find out who she was after all those years of make-believe. Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth for HeadButler.com.
THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS by Jason Rekulak (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Griffin Newman
Until May 1987, 14-year-old Billy Marvin of Wetbridge, New Jersey, is a nerd, but a decidedly happy nerd. Afternoons are spent with his buddies, watching copious amounts of television, gorging on Pop-Tarts, debating who would win in a brawl (Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. or T.J. Hooker?), and programming video games on his Commodore 64 late into the night. Then Playboymagazine publishes photos of “Wheel of Fortune” hostess Vanna White, Billy meets expert programmer Mary Zelinsky, and everything changes. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

ABE HAD A SON?


Bookreporter.com and just about every reviewer in the literary
world is promoting this novel by George Saunders, prize winning author.

 Did you know Lincoln had a son?   Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in 1862 at the young age of eleven....Shattered by grief, Abraham
Lincoln visits the crypt to spend time with his son's body.




LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available; read by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and a full cast
It’s February 1862, and the Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved 11-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. The boy finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state --- called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo --- a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Reviewed by Alex Bowditch.

TWO FEBRUARY FIRSTS

I can't seem to find a really good book. I follow the reviews, read the recommended books and than....Blah!
Here's three disappointing books I recently finished:
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Kapur, The History of Wolves by Fridlund, and The Girl Before by Delaney. All were recipients of very positive reviews. the writing was exceptional (a saving grace) in two out of three..so what happened?

Publishers Weekly mentioned two new releases for February that sound like they have potential. I'm getting desperate....

Optimists Die First

Susin Nielsen

The accidental death of Petula de Wilde’s younger sister, Maxine, has fractured her family, perhaps irrevocably. Her parents are retreating into their passions for books, music, and cats; Petula, who blames herself for Max’s death, has adopted the attitude that “tragedy can strike when you least expect it” and worries constantly about earthquakes, walking past construction sites, shaking hands, and catching rare diseasesPetula’s anxieties have landed her in youth art therapy (YART) at school, where she gets to know new student Jacob Cohen, a talented filmmaker with a bionic hand and his own tragic past. Grief and guilt permeate Nielsen’s (We Are All Made of Molecules) empathic and deeply moving story, balanced by sharply funny narration and dialogue. “It’s like a twisted version of The Breakfast Club,” says Jacob of YART, whose members struggle with bullying, substance abuse, and anger. Readers will be riveted by Petula’s rocky attempts to repair damaged relationships with her parents and a friend she drove away, connect with the members of YART, and open herself up to the idea of romance with Jacob.

Dead Letters

Caite Dolan-Leach 
When news of Zelda Antipova’s death reaches her buttoned-down twin sister, Ava, the latter returns home to her family’s central New York vineyard from Paris. She helps her ailing mother and estranged father with funeral arrangements, yet Ava is suspicious of her townie sister’s supposed demise in a barn fire, and it isn’t long before she begins to receive email messages from Zelda, who claims to have faked her own death. Following a series of clues left by Zelda, Ava begins to piece together her sister’s troubles, from massive debt to drug addiction. Along with her old high school boyfriend, Wyatt, she immerses herself in Zelda’s world, hoping to find her sister at the end of the puzzle. Dolan-Leach’s debut is a smart, dazzling mystery with a twist that not only shines a new light on the novel’s title but also leaves the reader hunting for the next clue. Dolan-Leach revels in toying with both Ava and her audience, placing small hints and red herrings throughout her text, and the result is captivating.

A LETTER FROM ELIZABETH STROUT..(Need I say more?!)

coverWTR
Dear Joyce,
I am writing to you about a debut novel that I loved to pieces, Daniel Lowe’s All That’s Left to Tell.
I first read this debut while recovering from an illness. I have often thought I wanted to write a book strong enough that someone convalescing could read it and disappear in it, but I had never had that experience myself until reading All That’s Left to Tell. I got an early copy in the mail, I opened it up, and then I was gone.
There are so many things to say about Daniel’s lovely book, but it feels strange to divide up the aspects of it, because it is such a beautiful whole. Ostensibly, it is about an American businessman named Marc, who is being held captive in a foreign land and the relationship he develops with Josephine, his interrogator. Every day, Josephine visits Marc and they tell each other stories. And it is through these stories that we see how grief, imagination, empathy, and ultimately the power of storytelling can redeem us.
All That’s Left to Tell made me think at times of another book I love, Philip Roth’s American Pastoral. But that said, I have never read anything like Daniel Lowe’s novel. It is such a brave book. The prose is splendid—Daniel Lowe’s authority on the page never wavers. Oh, I was with him every single word of the way.
I think you will feel the same way, and I hope you pick up a copy of this astonishing debut.
With best wishes,
Elizabeth Strout

ENOUGH ALREADY


If talk of politics makes you think back to a life away from cable news, Twitter and all the rest......
THE GIRL BEFORE by J.P. Delaney offers a great escape. Bookreporter.com had an interesting review...
By the way, JP Delaney is a pseudonym for a writer who has published best selling fiction under
other names...Guess who?!




THE GIRL BEFORE by JP Delaney (Psychological Thriller)

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control. The space is intended to transform its occupant --- and it does. After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street, she is instantly drawn to the space --- and to its aloof but seductive creator. Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to her in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror as the girl before.

NEW THIS WEEK..JANUARY 2017


According to the New York Times, there  are plenty of options this week. Ottessa Moshfegh, author of the acclaimed novel EILEEN (Which I am currently reading....no opinion yet)  has published a collection of short stories, HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD.

Lucinda Rosenfeld's new novel satirizes liberal Brooklynites and their pieties about class and race. Plus, AndrĂ© Aciman has a new novel....And Marilyn Stasio's Crime column looks at a debut medical mystery, another thriller with "girl" in the title, and a chilly suspense novel by Randall Silvis.

IDAHO by first time author Emily Ruskovich, has been described as a beautifully written lyrical book that almost reads like poetry.

IDAHO by Emily Ruskovich

Random House
Sam McPhee
Set in the wilderness of northern Idaho, Emily Ruskovich’s haunting debut novel Idaho is told from the perspectives of married couple Ann and Wade, and Wade’s first wife, Jenny, who is now in prison. Though Wade’s memory is now fading from early onset dementia, Ann tries to unravel the mystery of what exactly happened to Wade, his ex-wife, and their daughters, and the tragic, shocking act that shattered their lives. 
Publication date: Jan. 3

WHAT WE'LL BE READING IN 2017

So many new books debuting in the next few months...lots of well known authors and many newcomers. I still haven't finished my list for 2016, but hope to catch up...too many distractions!

A new novel by Elizabeth Strout titled "Anything is Possible" is at the top of my 2017 list...also Paula Hawkins of "Girl on the Train" fame debuts "Into the Water." (At the bottom of my list...)

Colin Toibin retells the Greek legend of Clytemnestra titled "House of Names" and short story master, George Saunders has a first novel titled "Lincoln in the Bardo."

 Some notable non fiction in March includes Joan Didion and Ariel Levy...all eagerly anticipated.

Stay tuned for more book announcements....

READING UNDER A PALM

My favorite activity when on vacation, besides fabulous meals, enjoying tropical splendors, (no not booze!...although maybe a little...) being with friends and family... is reading.  I try to catch up on the books I haven't read and usually finish about 8-10 depending on the length of the trip. I tend not to read on the plane as I hate flying and zone out..... Always a smooth trip......

So here's two books I recommend so far and one not so much..

FAITHFUL by Alice Hoffman

A lovely book especially for Alice Hoffman fans. It's a wonderful portrait of loss and rebirth....deeply moving and engaging.

THE RED CAR by Marcy Dermansky

A definite road trip...witty, adventurous and bold. Written with humor in a sparse powerful style. Loved it.

HOME by Harlan Coben

Skip this ...So disappointing...I've read all Coben's books and this is not up to his normal fare. 
Very slow moving and predictable. 


THE WONDER by Emma Donoghue

The thriller "Room" made Donoghue famous but I loved this new gripping tale. It  possesses many of the alluring qualities of  "Room"  but with lots of history and a riveting storyline.



GOODBYE 2016

As 2017 approaches it's worth noting that many familiar authors left their mark on the 2016 fiction lists. Ian McEwan, Richard Russo, Elizabeth Strout, Don DeLilo, are some of my favorites...along with several bold debuts by new authors. Imbolo Mbue's BEHOLD THE DREAMERS is an example of a debut novel that illuminates the Immigrant experience in America written with warmth, confidence and empathy...a must-read.(Scroll down to earlier post)

I'm anticipating many more exciting releases for 2017 which I'll happily share with you. In the meantime I'm off to sunny climes with a kindle full of 'to be read' books!

Have a great holiday season!

LUCKY BOY (WINTER 2017)


Coming early January critics call this book "a lush and emotionally wrenching novel." It's described as an ambitious, character-driven novel that ends as it should. Well that's an intriguing description...downloading for sure!


Lucky Boy

Crossing borders
Kavya and Soli’s lives converge in this novel from Shanthi Sekaran. Soli has immigrated to the United Streets from Mexico, and dreams of making a better life for herself. Kavya lives in Berkeley, California, where she is very aware of being a disappointment to her family. Kavya is unable to get pregnant, and Soli discovers she is pregnant after arriving in the U.S. Soon, the two women’s lives will touch, and neither one will ever be the same again. Soli’s son, Ignacio (nicknamed Nacho), will also be deeply affected. This book delves into the question of illegal immigration, and readers just might emerge from its pages seeing the issue a little differently than before.

CAN WE TALK? (DECEMBER 2016)

Get ready for a fun read! This biography of Joan Rivers is also a story of the trials and tribulations of women for decades ....a riveting and heart wrenching tale of the woman behind the "Schtick." It's all here and fans of well written biographies will enjoy this funny, revealing, inspiring book. I still miss her.....




Hardcover: November 15, 2016
Joan Rivers was an icon and a role model to millions, a fearless pioneer who left a legacy of expanded opportunity when she died in 2014. Her life was a dramatic roller-coaster of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband, her feud with Johnny Carson, her estrangement from her daughter, her many plastic surgeries, her ferocious ambition and her massive insecurities. But Rivers' career was also hugely significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for her gender and pushing the boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life. LAST GIRL BEFORE FREEWAY delves into the inner workings of a woman who both reflected and redefined the world around her.
www.bookreporter.com


XMAS DREAMS



The holiday season has arrived but I don’t think chaos has to come with it. Choosing a book for someone you hold near and dear based on his or her interests is one of the most thoughtful and rewarding gifts you can give. 


I recently finished first time author, Imbolo Mbue's masterful debut novel titled BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, a swiftly paced story that takes on immigration, family, and class. It's a timely tale that needs to be told...BEHOLD THE DREAMERS Is a sad indictment of the American dream and a great testament to enduring family bonds.

Well written, this is a fearless morality tale mixed with humor, pathos and love....the perfect gift for an adventurous reader.

AS THEY SAY...THIS IS DA BOMB (NOVEMBER 2016)

Recently Blog follower B A wrote the following review on Goodreads.com
I felt compelled to not only include it on my blog but quickly downloaded the book....sounds like a great read!
A National Book Award Finalist, critics and many readers labeled it smart, devastating and unforgettable. It's out in paperback too ...so get it post haste!


25810398. uy113
Coincide. Concuss. Confound. Confuse. Co-opt. Conflate. Repeat.
I knew absolutely nothing about this compelling, heart-breaking novel until I saw it on the Goodreads List of the Best Novels for 2016. If you love All Things India, move one step closer to your book seller's shelf.
If you want to examine the slow, and ultimately inevitable, conversion from victim to terrorist, take one more step.
 If you want absolutely gorgeous prose, take a giant step. If the idea that humans don't know what the hell they want terrifies you, run like the dickens.


HE'S BACK (NOVEMBER 2016)




Bookreporter.com is my "go to" site for the latest, greatest, and sometimes not so greatest. Their recent comments about John Grisham's new book are right on target. Yes, he's back again with another thriller...and reviewers seem to love it.

I'm also a loyal Alice Hoffman fan and can't wait to read her latest. She never disappoints ...even though she can border on weird...I'm always there to support her.

Thankyou Bookreporter.com for the following reviews...

THE WHISTLER by John Grisham (Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Cassandra Campbell
What happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, and a corruption case crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business as Greg Myers; he claims to know of a judge who was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. Greg’s only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Lacy immediately suspects this case could be dangerous --- but it also could turn out to be deadly. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.




FAITHFUL BY ALICE HOFFMAN

Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. She has to fight her way back to her own future and finds a circle of lost and found souls --- including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

SWING TIME (NOVEMBER 2016)



I've read all of Zadie Smith's books and cannot wait for her latest. As of 2016 she's published five novels, all receiving substantial praise. Thankyou BuzzFeed Books for choosing this book as one of the best Fall books to get excited about! Check out Buzzfeedbooks.com for their other recommendations.
 

 Swing Time by Zadie Smith – 15 November


Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

Photo by Hamish Hamilton,Via barclayagency.com