Click on Look What's Trending at the top of the blog located on the Navigation Bar. You'll find new titles ready to debut momentarily. There's some familiar authors who have had success and some, not so much.

Amazon is still available directly from this blog. Just use the handy Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar. You can order books and anything else that Amazon provides.

Please feel free to leave comments after any post. I really want to know what you think...well, sort of...I cry easily!


Get ready to laugh, prepare to weep—Robert Merivel is back in Rose Tremain’s magical sequel to Restoration, so says Bookreporter.com. 

Rose Tremain's new book titled Merivel, A Man of His Time debuted this month. It's a sequel to Restoration but can proudly stand alone. For readers who enjoy historical novels, this is for you.

Bookreporter.com wrote the following....

The gaudy years of the Restoration are long gone. Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to Charles II, loved for his gift for turning sorrow into laughter, now faces the agitations and anxieties of middle age. Questions crowd his mind: has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King’s friend or the King’s slave?

In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles—all glitter in front and squalor behind—leaves Merivel in despair, until a chance encounter with Madame de Flamanville, a seductive Swiss botanist, allows him to dream of an honorable future.

Yet will that future ever be his? Back home at Bidnold Manor, his loyalty and medical skills are tested to their limits, while the captive bear he has brought back from France begins to cause havoc in his heart and on his estate.....

Rose Tremain is an award winning British author. She is known for her historical novels and usually approaches history from unexpected angles. Merivel: A Man of His Time is an example of her original point of view and engaging writing style.



Josephine A, a blog follower and free lance writer, left a comment suggesting I include Reconstructing Amelia By Kimberly McCreight on Joyce's Choices. She said that it reminded her of the bestseller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn but thought it was even more inciteful and engaging and had a better ending.

She also included a blurb from the New York Times which I posted below:


By Kimberly McCreight

In Ms. McCreight’s first novel, a mystery with enough red herring to stock Lake Michigan, Amelia is a teenager who falls to her death from the roof of her Brooklyn private school. It’s ruled a suicide. But her mother, Kate, an ambitious lawyer raising Amelia by herself, receives a text message after the tragedy: “Amelia didn’t jump.”

Chapters that track Kate’s attempts to learn the truth alternate with flashbacks from Amelia’s perspective, in which she struggles against social pressures, including the hazing rituals of a secretive school club. Facebook updates and strings of text messages also help tell the story....

Reconstructing Amelia sounds like a timely read and a riviting debut novel from Kimberly McCreight. Thankyou Josephine A. for the book recommendation.

Please don't hesitate to leave a comment below or email me if you read anything you think is worth mentioning. (Old, new or otherwise!)

For More Information: www.kimberlymccreight.com




It may be the end of April, but before you know it summer will be upon us..Here's a preview of books that will be debuting just in time for beach weather.

Stephen King fans can expect a fastpaced read...no surprise there!  I'm a Curtis Sittenfeld fan (Remember Prep?) and anticipate this convoluted new one! I've never heard of author David Yoon, but  Snow Hunters sounds like an intriguing read.

So get your mindset ready for the newly anticipated books of summer!


Curtis Sittenfeld

Hovering in that wildly desirable land where literary meets commercial, Sittenfeld is a writer who has fans waiting for her next novel and this summer delivers a page-turner about psychic twin sisters who have taken different views of “the gift.” They both arrive in their hometown, St. Louis, to confront the fallout from a startling prediction and their own relationship.


Snow Hunters
Paul Yoon

In his debut novel, Yoon tells the story of a North Korean soldier who defects at the end of the Korean War, leaving everything behind him to build a new life on the coast of Brazil. The collection Once the Shore showcased Yoon’s piercing powers of story and language; this novel continues his stunning trajectory with prose so pristine it feels supernatural.

Stephen King

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

For More Information:





Thankyou Publishers Weekly for contributing to this post.








I just started The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and am reserving judgement until I have read more. So far I can relate to the characters, the summer camp theme and the issues that are being addressed in the first few chapters.

What's this all about, you ask? It's a novel about a group of talented teenagers who meet at a summer camp in the seventies. They remain friends and their lives circle one another as the years pass. I would call it a coming of age story...a particular era focused on privileged people dealing with loss of innocense, friendship, art, sexual angst, and envy. (To mention a few..)

I look forward to getting into The Interestings and after a few chapters, I already feel I have a special understanding of the characters. I too had a special group of friends that originated at a summer camp..but that may be the only parallel....

The reviews by fellow bloggers, critics, the New York Times Book Revue have been flawless....

Stay tuned....





The Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday. Following is the list of winners in Fiction, Drama and History. (Personally I liked a few of the finalists better.)

“The Orphan Master’s Son”

Mr. Johnson, 45, was cited by the board for an “exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.”
While writing the novel, Mr. Johnson said, he read propaganda and books approved by the regime. He eventually included Kim Jong-il, the late North Korean leader, as a character in the book. “I came to, not feel for him, but to see a human dimension in him,” he said. “He was a very cunning person, a very witty person. He had flaws like all people. The more I studied him the more I realized that he was a very human figure.”

Finalists Nathan Englander, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank”; Eowyn Ivey, “The Snow Child.”

(I preferred both finalists...The Snow Child was my favorite.) 


Mr. Akhtar, 42, a Pakistani-American, grew up admiring the films of Woody Allen and longed to set a play “in that milieu of the moneyed intelligentsia of New York — but with a character who shared my ethnicity.” In “Disgraced,” that character is Amir, a successful corporate lawyer whose deep-seated self-loathing is fully revealed at a dinner party that is classic Manhattan, with talk of art and money giving way to suspicion and hatred.

Mr. Akhtar is also a novelist and actor, and is now at work on his second novel while preparing his next play, “The Who & The What,” for its world premiere in California next winter. If “Disgraced” was a metaphorical riff on “Othello,” the next play is a similar meditation on “The Taming of the Shrew,” he said on Monday. “Both plays are about Muslim Americans,” he said, “but the new one is a comedy.”

Finalists Gina Gionfriddo, “Rapture, Blister, Burn”; Amy Herzog, “4000 Miles.”

“Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam”

How did the United States get drawn into war in Vietnam, ignoring France’s bitter post-World War II experience there? In a follow-up to a book focused on America’s role in Vietnam in the 1960s, “Choosing War,” Mr. Logevall, a professor of history at Cornell, has provided what his Pulitzer citation called “a balanced, deeply researched history” of that long, unintended slide into a conflict that proved unwinnable
Finalists Bernard Bailyn, “The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675; John Fabian Witt, “Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History.”

“The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas’s famous novel was inspired by the life of his father, Thomas-Alexandre, who was born to a slave woman in Haiti but rose to a general’s rank in the French Army until he incurred the enmity of Napoleon.

“For me the great thrill of this book is that I pulled somebody out of the pages of fiction, who was forgotten about in fact, and showed his exploits to be a true story,” said Mr. Reiss, who learned of his prize while sitting in a dentist’s chair. “It’s swashbuckling, but for a purpose. He was the highest-ranking black leader in a white society until modern times and really a very serious revolutionary.”

Finalists Michael Gorra, “Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece”; David Nasaw, “The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life



BOSTON MARATHON (04/16/2013)

So many of us have been deeply affected by the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon. My family is closely involved in the Marathon as participants and as observers. 

One of my sons mentors the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society Team in Training and has also run in memory of a close friend. His kids and wife volunteer, and other family members live and work in the area..... Some were close to the finish line.

It's been traumatic for everyone and I'm thankful they are  physically ok.. the emotional part is another story.

I worry about all our children and those who were affected by this senseless attack. In life there are many questions we cannot fully answer, but there are ways that can lessen the emotional aspects, especially for children.

Hopefully the following will be helpful and contribute to the slow healing process we all face.

Remind children that they are safe. Highlight the special things that make school safe.

Take the time to talk. Let kids talk about their feelings and assure them what they are feeling is normal. Remember that some children may not want to talk about their feelings. Encourage these children to express themselves through writing, art, and other projects.

Use language children will understand. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate. Young children need simple information they can understand and need to be reminded that they are safe. Older children will have questions and will need an opportunity to express their range of emotions.

Watch for shifts in behavior. It’s important to remember that everyone shows emotion in different ways. Be aware of the changes in behavior and mood that can indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort.

Maintain a sense of normalcy. An important part of helping children feel safe is providing a normal and positive environment. School and routines provides children with the positive structure they need.

Monitor and limit television and news. Developmentally inappropriate information and overexposure to news of the event can cause more anxiety or fear, particularly in young children. Adults also need to be careful of the content of conversations that they have with each other in front of children.

Make sure you take care of yourself. Take time to do the things that make you happy. And don’t be afraid to seek additional help for yourself or for your children.



                                       BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Ordinary Grace by William Kent Kruegar is one my choices for a "NOT TO BE MISSED" book for Spring.

From New York Times bestselling author, William Kent Krueger comes a brilliant new novel about a young man, a small town, and murder in the summer of 1961.

On the surface, Ordinary Grace is the story of the murder of a beautiful young woman, a beloved daughter and sister. At the heart, it’s the story of what that tragedy does to a boy, his family, and ultimately the fabric of the small town in which he lives.

It is a moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.

Thankyou http://www.goodreads.com for the comments.

For More Information:


MIDDLE C, by William H. Gass.
From its opening notes, this unquiet story about a family of Austrian emigrants — fakes and fraudsters who have cast themselves as Jews — is designed to detonate its middling title.

Disguised as a self-help book, Hamid’s novel traces a nameless hero’s journey from poor boy to corporate tycoon.

These books can be purchased directly from the blog. Click on the Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar.

OH, THOSE BULGER BOYS! (04/10/2013)

I ran into two people this week that couldn't wait to tell me how much they are enjoying Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'neil.

One reader, a  semi-retired businessman is a self decribed "criminal junkie" and the other is a female attorney who usually likes a good psychological novel.

Black Mass is written by two Boston Globe reporters who have produced a chilling tale of brothers from South Boston: Jim "Whitey" Bulger and his younger brother Billy. Whitey is a notorius and powerful gangster and Billy, president of the State Senate.

At first it feels like fiction..and as incredible as it all sounds, it's true and better than fiction, both readers proclaimed. Black Mass is a tale of an unholy alliance between mobsters and FBI agents, and both reporters have an intimate knowledge of the people, places and events that surround this still ongoing saga.

Black Mass has been labeled a "triumph of investigative reporting"... a tragic true story in many ways...definitely an exciting read....And soon to be debuting at your neighborhood theater....no surprise!


Click on the Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar to Order All Books




There's something for everyone in this mixed bag of April Paperback releases. According to Amazon, Kindle book sales outperform Paperback sales...but so what, here's the list!   

BROKEN HARBOR by Tana French (Psychological Thriller)

Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy plays by the book and plays hard, which is what puts the biggest case of the year into his hands. On one of the half-built, half-abandoned “luxury” developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children are dead. But Broken Harbor holds memories for Scorcher, and working this case could resurrect something he thought he had tightly under control.

THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS by Chris Bohjalian (Historical Fiction)

THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS, Chris Bohjalian's 15th book, is a spellbinding tale that travels between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915 and Bronxville, New York, in 2012 --- a sweeping historical love story steeped in the author’s Armenian heritage, a subject his legions of fans have been asking him to write about for years.

THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU by Joshua Henkin (Fiction)

On July 4, 2005, the Frankel family descends upon their summer home in the Berkshires for a memorial to Leo, the youngest Frankel sibling, who was killed while on assignment in Iraq a year before. Over the course of three days, the Frankels will contend with sibling rivalries and marital feuds, volatile women and silent men, and, ultimately, the true meaning of family.

BLOOM: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected: A Memoir by Kelle Hampton (Memoir)

When Kelle Hampton learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband were ecstatic. But the moment her new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew that something was wrong. She was certain that Nella had Down syndrome --- a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed

THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREE by Courtney Miller Santo (Fiction)

Meet the Keller family, five generations of firstborn women --- a line of daughters unbroken --- living together in the same house on a secluded olive grove in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. Told from varying viewpoints, Courtney Miller Santo’s debut novel captures the joys and sorrows of family --- the love, secrets, disappointments, jealousies and forgiveness that tie generations to one other.




I always pay attention to book group choices, especially the West Hartford Book Group. Bev Ga long time member, brought me up to date on their latest choice, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.

I'm not a Kingsolver fan and a book about climate change, Butterflies, global warming didn't attract me...at first. Yes, there is so much more, I am told..."It's quite a compelling read" say most reviewers.

Here's a summary of the West Hartford Book Club discussion:

Bookies enjoyed a lively discussion of Barbara Kingsolver's "Flight Behavior", an artful melding, in the opinion of many, of the personal and the global. Some found the melding awkward, some found the story contrived and straining credulity. Others believed strongly in central character, Dellarobia's innate intelligence and desire to enlarge her world making her perfectly capable of overcoming limited formal schooling and a restricted Appalachian environment.

The plight of the beautiful, endangered monarch butterflies awakened an ardent desire to save them and transformed her life.

Here's what Amazon had to say:

The extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver returns with a truly stunning and unforgettable work. Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver's must thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.

Here's what I think:

This book was released in 2012 and I haven't read it yet, but it will appeal to many and is a popular book club selection..(The Butterfly slant is holding me back....)




BLOG READERS BLURBS.....(04/05/2013)

Often blog readers contact me with opinions about books they're reading. Occasionally I overhear discussions at the gym or at the local coffee shop. So here's a combination of brief blurbs from blog readers, and breathless banter overheard on the treadmill....(Slightly edited) 

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler

"Great descriptions, well researched fascinating fictional biography of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald..."
"If you saw the film Midnight in Paris , you'll enjoy this book.."   "A  very light but intoxicating read.."
"Hemingway was a real cad..."

Rage Against The Dying by Becky Masterman

"Fresh and original take on a thriller...engaging writing style.."
"Action packed, unique and suspenseful..the main character so charismatic and refreshing.."
"The plot sagged at times...but overall a real page-turner"

Six Years by Harlan Coben

I am currently reading this book and so far am very disappointed. I'm reserving judgement until I finish...
"C'mon Harlan...get your groove back!"

REMINDER: It easy to leave a comment on this blog. Click on the "comments" link at the end of each post.

Suzanne R., a member of my book group just sent the following message via email: 

Just want to say that When the Crocodile Eats the Sun is one of the best and most incisive books I've ever read---I've met the author, and he spoke at Politics and Prose in Washington. His books have revealed so much about Mugabe that I think he now fears for his life if he ever returns to Zimbabwe. He was raised in Zimbabwe by British parents and watched as Mugabe ruined the country with his thugs and machetes. For any of your readers interested in/active in international affairs and/or Africa, this is a must read.

When The Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin is reviewed on 03/27/2013. To access the review, type the title in the Search Box at the top of the blog or just keep scrolling down.

There is a complete list of every book reviewed on this blog in the Sidebar.


Publishers Weekly is an international weekly trade magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers, and since I receive it, everyone!

They just selected "The Best New Books for the Week of April 1, 2013." A few picks seemed like an April Fools' joke, so I eliminated those, but here's a sampling of some others... And there's always next week!

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown) - Atkinson’s new novel opens twice: first in Germany in 1930 with an English woman taking a shot at Hitler, then in England in 1910 when a baby arrives, stillborn. And then it opens again: still in 1910, still in England, but this time the baby lives. That baby is Ursula Todd, and as she grows up, she dies and lives repeatedly.

Candlemoth by R.J. Ellory (Overlook) - Ellory’s searing first novel recounts how Daniel Ford came to be on death row in 1982 for beheading his best friend, Nathan Verney, a decade earlier. The question of Ford’s guilt lends plenty of interest, but is almost incidental to the harrowing descriptions of life behind bars and the complex unfolding of a lifelong connection between friends.

The Other Child by Charlotte Link, (trans. from the German by Stefan Tobler) (Pegasus) a bestseller in her native Germany, makes her U.S. debut with a sophisticated and thoughtful mystery set in England. After an ominous prologue, in which a woman stumbles across an unnamed secret on a remote farm in Yorkshire in 1970, the action shifts to 2008 in the same area. College student Amy Mills leaves a babysitting gig late at night to travel home, only to find her regular, relatively safe route blocked off, which proves to be a prelude to her brutal killing.

A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel: Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China by Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang (PublicAffairs) - When British businessman Neil Heywood was found dead in a tourist hotel outside Chongqing, few would have suspected that his death would result in a murder trial that would nearly disrupt the country’s once-in-a-decade leadership change.(Non-Fiction)

For More Information: