Robert F. Kennedy is remembered as the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But his liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s, as Larry Tye illustrates in his portrait of Kennedy.
BUSH by Jean Edward Smith (Biography)
George W. Bush almost singlehandedly decided to invade Iraq, taking personal control of foreign policy, as Jean Edward Smith demonstrates in this comprehensive evaluation of the Bush presidency that will surely surprise many readers.
JONATHAN UNLEASHED by Meg Rosoff (Humor/Romance)
Could a border collie and a cocker spaniel hold the key to life? That’s the question Jonathan Trefoil poses to himself when his brother asks him to look after his dogs, and his confusing, chaotic life and world view begin to shift.
JULIAN FELLOWES’S BELGRAVIA by Julian Fellowes (Historical Fiction)
Set in the 1840s but opening at the Duchess of Richmond’s now-legendary ball on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, JULIAN FELLOWES’S BELGRAVIA is the story of a secret --- and how one family’s life will change forever.
I have to say that I've always been appalled by The Taming of the Shrew.
For one thing, it's laughably misogynistic. But beyond that, it's illogical. A man and woman meet and instantly start quarreling—in the woman's case, so fiercely that you wonder if she has some sort of serious mental problem. But the man, for his own utilitarian reasons, proposes marriage. And she says yes! (What?) Then he arrives late to the wedding, in rags, and insults everyone present. But she goes ahead with the ceremony anyhow, after which he takes her home, where he treats her miserably. As a result (again: what?), she becomes meek and loving, and the final scene shows them at a banquet where her sister scolds her for acting like a doormat, and her answer is that women should be happy to defer to their husbands.
Apparently, even the Elizabethans found this a bit much to take.
Not to mention me.
But you know how it is when someone tells you a story that doesn't add up. She'll say all her friends have turned against her, or her boyfriend has been acting strange, and you'll think, "Hmm. Maybe there's another side to this."
That's what Vinegar Girl is—my attempt to figure out the other side. I hope and trust that it makes more sense than The Taming of the Shrew.
After all, it could hardly make less sense.
On Sale June 21st
Audiobook available, read by Robert Petkoff
On a foggy summer night, 11 people --- 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter --- depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs --- the painter --- and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
I always read on my Kindle or IPad ....I haven't picked up a "real" book in years. Summer is coming and I like to have a few current paperbacks available for friends who may visit for a weekend. They can take them home after the weekend if they're midstream....a good way to eliminate a longer stay!!
When Doug Raymer, chief of police of the forlornly depressed town of North Bath, N.Y., falls into an open grave during a funeral service, it is only the first of many farcical and grisly incidents in Russo's shaggy dog story of revenge and redemption. Among the comical set pieces that propel the narrative are a poisonous snakebite, a falling brick wall, and a stigmatalike hand injury. North Bath, as readers of Nobody's Fool will remember, is the home of Sully Sullivan, the hero of the previous book and also a character here.
Self-conscious, self-deprecating, and convinced he's everybody's fool, Raymer is obsessed with finding the man his late wife was about to run off with when she fell down the stairs and died. He's convinced that the garage door opener he found in her car will lead him to her lover's home.
Meanwhile, he pursues an old feud with Sully; engages in repartee with his clever assistant and her twin brother; and tries to arrest a sociopath whose preferred means of communication are his fists. The remaining circle of ne'er-do-wells, ex-cons, daily drunks, deadbeats, and thieves behave badly enough to keep readers chuckling. The give-and-take of rude but funny dialogue is Russo's trademark, as is his empathy for down-and-outer.
Read the review in The May 7th Sunday New York Times.
I’ve completed my second novel, Glory Over Everything and I simply can’t wait for you to read it and to hear what you think!
It’s 1830 and Jamie, Belle’s son from The Kitchen House, has assumed the identity of a wealthy Philadelphia aristocrat, passing as white. Compelled by a promise he made to the man who saved his life when he was a runaway slave, Jamie is led back to Virginia, down to North Carolina and into the treacherous Underground Railroad.
What made the publication of The Kitchen House so special for me were the personal conversations I had with so many of you. You shared so openly with me how the characters touched you. So now, I present to you Jamie and his extended family in Glory Over Everything. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.
With deepest gratitude,
Glad to get your blog again. I have to recommend the French author Michel Houellebecq's Submission. It is the rage in France. It deals with timely issues of ethnic differences, racism, feminism, immigrants, Muslim threat and is both satirical and comic. The crux of the book is the loss of meaning and values in society. I suggest it!
Over the winter I read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. The second third and fourth books were outstanding - the first “My Brilliant Friend” was not as good - unlike the others, it rambled.
At the moment I'm 200 pages into Garth Hallberg’s 800+ page, “City of Fire” and am absolutely loving it. Of course it will take forever to read it.
You may be interested to know that the towns of the lower Cape are having a community read with multiple discussions of Atul Gawande’s book “Being Mortal” It is a “must” read, especially for our generation.
Am looking forward to some recommendations from your blog to add to my list of future reads.
Sometimes readers ask me what happened afterwards: after the last chapter, the last sentence. What happened to Robert after Black and Blue was over? I always say the same thing: I leave when you do. What I know about these people is in these pages.
I left Miller’s Valley some months ago, when I read it through one last time, got to the last sentence, “I still need to breathe,” and stopped. I hate to reread my own work—all I can see are the motes, not the light—but I find a last sentence very satisfying, particularly since I always know it when it’s arrived. Bang, like the sound of a door slamming shut.
The great thing about pub day is that I get to return to Miller’s Valley, to reprise its themes, its settings, and its fantastic characters, whom I really miss. And I get to hear what readers see in it all. Sometimes I think I learn as much from hearing people discuss my work as I do by creating it. A book is a conversation: until pub date I’ve only heard one side, and it’s always interesting to finally hear the other.
I can’t wait to hear what you all think of Miller’s Valley.
If you're looking for a place to scope out new books, (other than Joyce's Choices!!) Bookreporter.com provides author interviews, excerpts from new releases, detailed reviews, and a variety of on trend bookish information.
Audiobook available, narrated by Mark Bramhall, Hillary Huber, Kirby Heyborne and Cassandra Morris
Audiobook available, narrated by January LaVoy
Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe --- who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband --- and herself. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Audiobook available, narrated by Mia Barron
The Plumb family is spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of tensions finally reach a breaking point as Melody, Beatrice and Jack Plumb gather to confront their older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got in a car accident that has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Now, the siblings must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.
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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
AT THE EDGE OF THE ORCHARD by Tracy Chevalier (Historical Fiction)
In the muddy, stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio, James and Sadie Goodenough and their five children work relentlessly to tame their patch of land so they can cultivate the 50 apple trees required to stake their claim on the property. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle.
by Lynda Cohen Loigman (Goodreads Author)
One stormy night in 1947, two sisters-in-law give birth just minutes apart. Helen longs for a daughter, and Rose hopes for a son. In this absorbing novel they make a quick decision that will change the course of their lives.