Get ready for a new best seller...a must read book....a NY Times Number One...Really?  Let's hope.....

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TELEGRAPH AVENUE by Michael Chabon will be released early September. This Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and other noteworthy novels has written "an intimate epic." 

A blog reader called this "a saga and a cross-cultural tale of suspense and humor." I'm sure it's debut will be a huge literary event. Hopefully Chabon will live up to his reputation.

TELEGRAPH HILL is a story of two long time friends who own a small record company about to be swallowed up by a megastore. Their wives are involved in an unusual battle of their own and many quirky characters mingle in a complex and exciting mix.

Without revealing too much, this  blog reader thought TELEGRAPH AVENUE was Michael Chabon's best book ever. We shall see....

Michael Chabon

BOOK GROUP NEWS (08/26/2012)

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BG of West Hartford, CT. is an avid reader. She leads my summer book group and is also actively involved in a Connecticut book group. Her comments are always right on target.
See below:

"Our West Hartford book club discussed the sequel to Hillary Mantel's WOLF HALL, BRINGING UP THE BODIES.  It is historical fiction with the emphasis on the latter.  

Ms Mantel takes much license describing the many characters whose conversations are both fascinating and believable, despite the fact that there is not a lot of  hard historical facts for the fascinating interchanges between them.  Lord Cromwell's dexterity  in both destroying  Anne Bolyn's credibility as a faithful queen and at the same time cleverly guiding the men in the court to betray themselves is skillfully devious..  

Although the reader knows the ending, Mantel's prose and imagery is well worth the commitment to reading about this rich period of English history."

Check out the BOOK INDEX on the sidebar to access an earlier post on BRINGING UP THE BODIES.

Share what your book group is reading. Leave a comment, send an email, tweet know what to do!


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This title sounds like my general state of mind..

THE MAP OF LOST MEMORIES by Kim Fay is an historical/adventure fiction with a mix of great characters, drama, and personal discovery. Set in 1925, this is a sophisticated adventure that takes place in Shanghai and Cambodia.

The author draws the reader into an exotic universe as the search for lost treasure in Cambodia becomes an exciting tale of a female curator venturing into a man's world. Everyone in this part of the world has something to hide and she and her companions make startling discoveries.

The blog reader who recommended THE MAP OF LOST MEMORIES said "This is a book about the characters as well as an adventure. Tense and exciting until the very end."

If you're looking for adventure where suspense and secrets collide, THE MAP OF LOST MEMORIES is for you.


Kim Fay is a former independent bookseller and winner of the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards' Best Asian Cuisine Book in the US. She is also the creator of the To Asia With Love guidebook series.

Born in Seattle, Fay lived in Vietnam for many years and still travels to Southeast Asia frequently.


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Ken Perenyi admits he is a liar and a cheat and his new memoir, CAVEAT EMPTOR: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger is an exciting  and entertaining romp.

A graduate of a New Jersey Technical school and a draft dodger, he fell in with a band of artistic New Yorkers and started imitating old masters. He quickly earned the reputation as a talented art forger. His forgeries fooled art houses like Christies, Sotheby's and many experts all over the world....and so it goes.

It's hard not to like this entertaining memoir and its many facets. Perenyi writes in detail how he pulled it off and became "America's first and only great art forger." (He probably should get some credit for his unusual talent as an artist)

Fast paced and on the wild side, CAVEAT EMPTOR gives an inside view of an  uneducated artist who was able to fool the art world for decades. He may sound glib at times, but Perenyi gives the reader a fascinating peek into his dubious career and especially those that looked the other way.

There are 32 pages of color illustrations and photographs..a definite plus. 


Ken Perenyi was born in 1949 in Hoboken, New Jersey and is a self-taught artist. Having discovered an ability to imitate the Masters he became a professional art forger. This career lasted thirty years.

Today he operates his own studio in Madeira Beach, Florida. His website is

BOOK ALERT (08/18/2012)

Recently I read a review written by BA, a friend on the Goodreads Site. Her comments about GOLD by Chris Cleave got my attention as I had reviewed GOLD several weeks ago.  (Click on the Book Index to locate my review.)

Here's  BA'S take on GOLD by Chris CLeave 

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"This book quite literally explodes with metaphor, narrative, and fascinating, technical information. There isn't a reason in the world not to read this, unless you are (a) have ever been a parent; or (b) you are currently under the care of a cardiologist .

What the hell. Take a chance. Push yourself. Read it"

Enough said....

JUST HEARSAY (08/17/2012)

On the beach, in a kayak, between tennis points.... everyone I know talks books or just likes to here's the latest "hearsay"....

THE CHAPERONE by Laura Moriarty

As I paddled by SE in my kayak yesterday, she remarked "Similar to Rules of Civility by Amor Towles." This comment got my attention! 

SE was referring to THE CHAPERONE by Laura Moriarty....(Books are always a topic of discussion when we kayak, along with everything else...thus the name of our group, Kay-Yakkers )

THE CHAPERONE is the story of two women and how the relationship changed their lives. It's historically detailed and takes place in 1922.... A film star and her chaperone and a "journey of discovery"...... 

"So far, so good" SE said...(Referring to The Chaperone, not the kayaking..Kayaking always gets good reviews.)


"This reads like a novel but is actually a memoir"
CC said between points on the tennis court.

It tells the vivid story of a Cambodian girl (the author) and her struggle to survive during a reign of terror.  A difficult novel to read, but this moving, historical tale fortunately leaves the reader with a message of hope..."Not for the faint of heart, but I loved it" CC said before smashing the ball into the net!

The New York Times Book Review section gave IN THE SHADOW OF THE BANYAN a favorable review on 08/13/12. To order both books, click on the Amazon Search Box.


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If you can wait until September 4th, TRUST YOUR EYES by Linwood Barclay will debut..and I'm told it's worth the wait.

A "contemporary Rear Window," Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay would make Alfred Hitchcock proud. 

The story revolves around a  house-bound map-obsessed schizophrenic who sees the world through a computer program. He's memorized every street in the entire country. One day he spots a murder taking place on one of his "street shots" (similar to Google Earth) and from that event a riviting tale unfolds.

This is a pretty impressive thriller according to a blog reader...who doesn't impress easily. The characters are unique and what follows is a complex conspiracy that starts with a vision from a window and leads to a gripping and convoluted thriller that is sometimes humorous and always suspenseful. 

Reviewers have called this "Barclay's best book to date, almost impossible to put down."


Linwood Barclay is a Canadian-American author and former columnist. He is a writer of fiction and non-fiction and is the bestselling author of nine mystery novels, one which was optioned for film. He resides near Toronto.

OVER BOOKED (08/11/2012)


There are over 150 books mentioned on this blog...some with good comments and some with not so good comments. Every title is listed alphabetically in the BOOK INDEX on the sidebar (No easy feat)...or click on Fiction or Non-Fiction in the Book Index and magically titles will also appear along with blog comments.

TO SIMPLIFY...Click on the Book'll find what you want.

(Thankyou New Yorker Magazine for the above illustration)


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A friend and blog reader, FLM belongs to a book group in Florida. One of the books on her list for winter discussion is THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES by Hector Tobar. Her facilitator labeled this book as an homage to Tom Wolfe, T C Boyle and Charles Dickens. (What a combo!)

THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES was selected as a New York Times Notable Book in 2011 and is a panoramic social novel of Los Angeles..a west coast Bonfire of the Vanities, if you will.

This is a tale about conspicuously consuming Americans and their servants. A Mexican servant becomes responsible for two little boys whose parents become unreachable. She begins a journey through the sprawling city in search of their paternal grandfather.

The well-intentioned  trip creates cultural misunderstandings and miscommunication. Reviewers called this a "dark, poignant and hilarious tale" of a family maid in Southern California (get it?) who tries to keep everything together as a marriage disintegrates.


Hector Tobar is a  Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, successful novelist and a native of Los Angeles. He's quoted as saying "I write a weekly column for the LA Times, my hometown newspaper. My father used to deliver it"

IT'S A MAN'S WORLD (08/06/2012)

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Jonathan Tropper is a best selling author and a favorite of mine. This week he will be debuting a new novel titled ONE LAST THING BEFORE I GO, an intriguing novel about men, "their lust, rage and sweetness."

Tropper has created a middle aged, kind of a lost soul character who readers will love.  Drew Silver has made a lot of mistakes in life so when he's told he requires life threatening surgery, he refuses, choosing instead to repair his relationships, become a better person and live in the moment.

Reviewers have said that "Tropper gets men and entertainingly examines the angst of middle-age masculinity." This book actually gives an inciteful peek into family life and Tropper has the ability to express it with humor and pathos combined.


Jonathan Tropper has written five successful best selling novels. His most recent is THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU. He is a screenwriter and the co-creator and executive producer of the HBO/Cinemax television show Banshee, premiering in 2013.

SWIMMING HOME... A HEAD'S UP (08/02/2012)

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A friend of mine on Goodreads included SWIMMING HOME by Deborah Levy on his "to be read" list. I'm familiar with this author..she writes fiction and plays and her books receive excellent reviews. I haven't read SWIMMING HOME but it's on my list..

Depression is the culprit in SWIMMING HOME and how it can affect stable, everyday people. The story is set in a villa on the French Riviera, taking place over a single week in which a group of tourists come apart at the seams.

It's a story laced with psychology, humor and a subtle darkness. Reviewers called this book "a short novel that will linger in your memory.

WHAT'S GOODREADS? (Just to refresh your memory...)

See what your friends are reading, organize books into a virtual bookshelf, keep track of every book you've read...that's Goodreads. It's basically a free website for book lovers.