I receive "Bloggers Recommend" an online newspaper. This is a great source to connect with other Bloggers, read reviews and comments, and pass them on to you. I also put their suggestions on my "Hope to Read Soon List." or "Maybe I'll Get to it Sometime List"...Anyway, you get the idea..

October brings lots of exciting titles, so put aside the cider, apples and all things Fall and savor these new releases.

THE PARIS ARCHITECT BY CHARLES BELFOURE (October 8, Sourcebooks Landmark) A unique, dark approach to World War II fiction, The Paris Architect is unforgettable. Lucien has been asked to design clever hiding places for Jews in occupied France. Initially, the profits draw him in, especially at a time when people acted out of desperation, but the work becomes personal as Lucien dances the fine line between good and evil. —Alison Skap

THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS BY ELIZABETH GILBERT (October 1, Viking Adult) Victorian literature lovers rejoice! In a departure from memoir, Gilbert treats readers to an intimately told 19th-century story. Filled with incredible writing, strongly realized characters, and seamless research, this is a marvel of a book. A magnificent blend of science, religion, duty, and desire, this is possibly Gilbert's magnum opus. - Kelly Massry

WE ARE WATER BY WALLY LAMB (October 22, Harper) Lamb offers an intricate glimpse into a thoroughly modern family during the very dynamic recent past, proving how complex our lives have become and the toll that complexity plays on the family as an organism. The characters are rich in detail and vibrate with vitality. We Are Water is a beautifully wrought story of the ties that bind and break. —Michelle Shannon

THE GOLDFINCH BY DONNA TARTT (October 22, Little, Brown & Co.) Thirteen year-old Theo has a singular reminder of the moments he shared with his mother before she was killed in a horrific accident: a mysterious painting by a famous Dutch artist. The painting both guides and haunts Theo, from his aimless adolescence to his misguided adulthood. Tartt's ambitious new novel is a welcome treat for fans and new readers alike. —Shannon Nemer


You'll find The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert already mentioned on Joyces's Choices. Enter the title in the Search Box at the top of the blog to access more information.

Books can be ordered directly from this blog. Click on the Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar.

A NOVEL CURE (10/01/2013)

Kirkus Reviews is honest and cantankerous. It generally isn't seen by the public and authors seem to have a love-hate relationship with the publication.

I subscribe to it online and look forward to their jabs and "borrow or buy it" feature along with honest accolades and praise for the worthy ones.

This latest article in Kirkus appealed to me. How many of us select a book to assuage a mood? Here's a new book that is touted to be
great for what ails us.

The Kirkus Opinion of The Novel Cure:

Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin’s The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You is something to behold: an encyclopedia of maladies both spiritual and physical; under each malady’s heading, the writers suggest books that will help you overcome that particular problem. Feeling indecisive? There’s a book for that. Caring for someone with cancer? These ladies know what you should be reading.

Eclectic and infectious, The Novel Cure is one of the most revealing and bracing books about books to come along in some time.

My Opinion:
I love anything that has to do with books..and books that will help my mood or soften a stressful situation, I'm there.


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NEW AND WORTH NOTING has been a very popular blog post. It's a great opportunity for an unknown author to get some well needed attention. Because Joyce's Choices has over 31,000 page views, one never knows what literati will stop by (or not..)

The following author and Huffington Post blogger, Deborah Doucette contacted me on Facebook. I had reservations (and still do) about the title of her new book, BAD GIRLS, (can't help referencing Donna Summer's big hit) .....but after reading her bio and a book description, this version of Bad Girls sounded thought provoking and honest.


Deborah Doucette comes from an Italian American background and counts that as one of her most treasured blessings. She began her writing career as a free-lance journalist subsequently becoming involved in the issue of grandparents raising grandchildren. She is the author of the non-fiction book Raising Our Children’s Children: Room In The Heart updated and slated for re-release in Spring 2014.

Her women’s contemporary fiction novel, Bad Girls, is about the choices women face, family, a mystery and a little magic. Deborah's Italian American heritage prompted her to include many of her experiences in her novel, BAD GIRLS, as homage to her loving family.

She is a blogger for the Huffington Post, an artist, and mother of four. She lives in a small town west of Boston with her red standard poodle Fiamma (Italian for flame) enjoying the comings and goings of her twin grandchildren, and working on a new novel.

BAD GIRLS by Deborah Doucette

BAD GIRLS is an instantly engaging, evocative novel that draws you into the lives of three women on individual journeys of self-discovery and redemption. The protagonist, Rebecca Griffin, was raised to be a good girl in her Italian American family. Now she has everything she ever wanted, but her marriage is unraveling and for the first time, she wonders if she should try once again to stitch it together.

Worse, she fears her daughter, Dana, is going “bad,” hurtling dangerously out of reach toward a self-destructive calamity. Then Rebecca learns of the mysterious death long ago of a distant cousin at the prison bordering the small, idyllic New England town where she lives; it’s a story she can’t shake. Questions about the young woman nag at Rebecca as she desperately tries to reclaim the little girl she once knew, while struggling with the ragged remnants of her marriage.

Rebecca, her troubled daughter, Dana, and an enigmatic woman from the past, embark on a journey of discovery, both distinctly their own and shared. Each must wrestle with the demons that nip at their heels propelling them headlong until all three collide one desperate, enchanted autumn night.

BAD GIRLS, at its heart, is a story about family. The origins, variations and connections that shaped them – even the places they came from – set these women on their paths. As the unlikely travelers come to the end of their journey, they find new paths revealed in the most unearthly of places, from the most innocent of messengers.


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Please support these authors. If you are an unknown author or you know an author who would like their book spot-lighted, leave a comment or email me at
(Please note this does not include a book review, or in any way am I personally endorsing these books.)


I have limited knowledge about the Young Adult genre commonly referred to as YA.  A friend recently raved on about a YA book titled RIPPED: JACK THE RIPPER TIME TRAVEL THRILLER by Shelly Dickson Carr. My friend is no young adult and I was amazed she could even remember the title.... but this book is a realistic slice (maybe a bad word choice..) of historical fiction geared for any age.

So if you're up for something new and different, YA or "faux" YA, give RIPPED a whirl. Sounds like you won't be disappointed, no matter where you fall in the age spectrum.

Reviewers labeled RIPPED a combo of fantasy, mystery and romance combined with a mesmerizing narrative. Some readers felt they were literally shrouded in London a good way.

Shelley Dickson Clark just emailed the latest info:

Ripped won the Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal for best first book. It won two silver medal awards: one for best mystery/suspense and the other for Best New Voice!
We are in process of selling rights in Japan to a major publishing company there. They are going to sell it in two volumes. :-)​​
​Very Exciting!!!

The review below was submitted by an adult male reader. You may be surprised by his commentary....

"I have to admit to being more than a little surprised by RIPPED. Having won a paperback copy on GoodReads I departed from the usual genres which I surround myself with into the realm of YA. I'm not a YA fan, I've never been a YA fan...not even when I was a YA but there's something about RIPPED that is very different.

Perhaps it's the wonderful artwork laced through the novel, perhaps it's the heavy use of rhyming slang or maybe even the effort the author goes to in order to create narrative device restrictions that mesh two genres with very particular, very different codes and conventions together. Whatever it is, it works.

There's a lot made in other reviews about the historical inaccuracies of the novel which don't interest me. If you're going to go to the bother to highlight these in a "time travel" novel then chances are you were never going to be pleased.

So many YA novels are populated with young girls who are insecure, thinly characterised and find self worth through the eyes of others but what Shelly Dickson Carr has crafted is not just an intelligent and interesting piece of fiction but one with some educational value.

Many readers with ripper knowledge will probably roll their eyes at that last statement but if it introduces a new generation to a fascinating time in history then it's done more for education than anything either in the YA genre. Thoroughly entertaining, thought provoking and addictive reading."


Shelly Dickson Carr was ten years old when she read He Wouldn't Kill Patience, the classic mystery by her grandfather, John Dickson Carr. Since then she's been hooked on the genre and thinking about the mystery she'd one day write. Ripped is her first novel.

The idea for RIPPED came while on a scouting trip. As a board member for the Huntington Theater in Boston, Shelly has traveled frequently to London with theater members in search of interesting new plays.

While in London, the author began researching the mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper, one of the greatest unsolved murder cases in history. Dickson Carr tethers her fantastic fiction to meticulously researched facts, everything from fashion to architecture to 1888 police practices.

Shelly's fascination with the nineteenth century started as a young girl, in a rambling Victorian house in Mamaroneck, New York. Her British mother, an author and bibliophile, filled every room in the house with floor-to-ceiling book shelves. Leather-bound classics abounded. Her friends called it the library house. In third grade Shelly read all the Just So Stories by Kipling --because she could reach them on the lower shelves.

A founding member of The Masterpiece Trust that enabled Downton Abbey to be aired on PBS, and a supporter of Masterpiece Mystery's Sherlock, the author has a deep love of all things British.

She has three daughters and lives with her husband, their youngest daughter, and their bulldog Becket on Beacon Hill in Boston. Shelly has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College, and an undergraduate degree in education.

When not reading or writing or working on community arts projects, Shelly, aka Michelle Karol, likes to spend time with her horse Tucker. She also loves to ski and travel with her husband. (Shelly-- her girlhood knickname is the only name her grandfather knew her by, she adopted "Michelle" sometime during her college years)




THE BUZZ (09/22/2013)

The so-called book-world is abuzz...Everyone is chatting up a book rich in visuals, rich in characters and full of love, passion, loyalty, courage, history... and I could go on and on...but I'll spare you.

Pick up a copy of THE ORCHARDIST by Amanda Coplin and let yourself be disrupted by quiet lives already disrupted, lives permanently re-shaped and lives molded into a story called  "unforgettable" by readers and reviewers. I haven't read THE ORCHARDIST but based on reliable sources, I'm downloading it. 

Set at the turn of the century, the book focuses on a solitary man, the orchardist, living a predictable life, until one day two barefoot, filthy, and visibly pregnant sisters appear.

Having said this much, it's up to you to check out this book. The Buzz is usually accurate.




There are many new authors struggling to promote books that I thought why not introduce one or two as a regular blog feature? This first segment will focus on a newly published book by a multi-talented unknown author who has drawn inspiration from a family member.

Author Carmela Cattuti is a Boston artist and teacher. She created BETWEEN THE CRACKS as an homage to her great-aunt, who survived the earthquake and eruption of Mt Etna and bravely left Sicily to start a new life in America.

Carmela was born into an Italian family and as a child, listened to her great aunt, (who partly raised her) relate stories of the destruction of Messina and the aftermath. "My entire family died, I was one of the lucky ones" her aunt often said, a phrase that still resonates with Carmela.

The following is a summary of BETWEEN THE CRACKS by Carmela Cattuti:

Join Angela Lanza as she experiences the tumultuous world of early 20th century Sicily and New York. Orphaned by the earthquake and powerful eruption of Mr. Etna in 1908, Angela is raised in the strict confines of an Italian convent. Through various twists of fate, she is married to a young Italian man whom she barely knows, then together with her spouse, immigrates to the U.S.

This novel is an invitation to accompany the young Angela as she confronts the ephemeral nature of life on this planet and navigates the wide cultural gaps between pre-World War II Italy and the booming prosperity of dynamic young America.


Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a journalist for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. After she finished her graduate work in English Literature from Boston College she began to write creatively and taught a journal writing course at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.

As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write her great aunt's story. “Between the Cracks” has gone through several incarnations and will now become a trilogy. This is the first installment.

Caramella Cattuti is extremely grateful for her Italian heritage. It's been her inspiration.



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SOMEONE (09/15/2013)

Author Alice McDermott has won the National Book Award, been nominated for three Pulitzers and is one of my favorite authors.
SOMEONE, her latest novel has just been released. They say "past performance is no guarantee" but in this case, she's done it again.
(Who's they, anyway?)

Here's a brief summary of SOMEONE by Alice McDermott

Readers who love refined, unhurried, emotionally fluent fiction will rejoice at National Book Award–winner McDermott’s return. McDermott (After This, 2006) is a master of hidden intensities, intricate textures, spiked dialogue, and sparkling wit.

We first meet Marie at age seven, when she’s sitting on the stoop in her tight-knit, Irish-Catholic Brooklyn neighborhood, waiting for her father to come home from work. Down the street, boys play stickball, consulting with dapper Billy, their blind umpire, an injured WWI vet. Tragedies and scandals surge through the enclave, providing rough initiations into sex and death. 

Eventually Marie finds joy as a wife and mother, while Gabe struggles with his faith and sexuality. A marvel of subtle modulations, McDermott’s keenly observed, fluently humane, quietly enthralling novel of conformity and selfhood, of “lace-curtain pretensions” as shield and camouflage, celebrates family, community, and “the grace of a shared past.”

 Thankyou Donna Seaman for this review.

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ONE TO WATCH (09/10/2013)

Every so often a book or author really grabs my attention...CLAIRE OF THE SEA LIGHT by Edwidge Danticat sounds like a literary gem, a luminous novel. As a long time fan of this Haitian author, I may be showing partiality. You can be the judge.

Danticat is the recipient of numerous awards including the National Book Critics Award. Hopefully CLAIRE OF THE SEALIGHT will live up to her past successes.

CLAIRE OF THE SEA LIGHT by Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat’s first work of fiction since 2004’s THE DEW BREAKER is comprised of eight interlocking stories set in early 21st-century Haiti. The tales revolve around a seven-year-old girl named Claire, whose mother died in childbirth and whose father, a fisherman, now wants to give her away so that she will have a better life. CLAIRE OF THE SEA LIGHT is a riveting portrait of Haitian villagers and is told in
Danticat’s lyrical prose.

Reviewed by Michael Magras at
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FALL OUT OF THE BOX (09/05/2013)

The following article from Salon Magazine written by Associated Press reporter, Hillel Italie is definitely worth sharing. Some of the authors mentioned are crossing over from fiction to non- fiction..or vice versa. You'll recognize the names and hopefully they've made wise choices.

Gilbert, King and Fielding 

"The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son," by Pat Conroy, will be releasedOct. 29. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NEW YORK — Elizabeth Gilbert spent enough years as a memoir writer, and had so much success, that even her admirers forget that she started out in fiction.

"The Signature of All Things"
by Elizabeth Gilbert will be
released Oct. 1. (AMAZON.COM)

"For all intents and purposes, whatever I did before 'Eat, Pray, Love' doesn't exist," Gilbert said during a recent interview. "I've had some really lovely encounters with very sweet people. Someone will come up to me and say, 'I just want to tell you I loved your first book so much. It changed my life.' And I know they're not talking about that book of short stories I published in the 1990s."

This fall, Gilbert returns to fiction with "The Signature of All Things," a globe-trotting family saga set in the 18th and 19th centuries. It's her first novel in more than a decade and a book she could never have taken on without the triumph of "Eat, Pray, Love," her million-selling account of the spiritual and geographic journey that followed the collapse of her first marriage.

"Writing serves different purposes in different seasons in life," says Gilbert, 44, now remarried. "In my 20s, I was seriously pursuing an avocation in literary fiction. Then I used writing all through my 30s just to work some stuff out, just to take on some really important things I had to figure out myself. Now, I'm in this really wonderful moment where I have the resources and the time to return to fiction in a bigger way than I could have had in my 20s."

Gilbert is among several authors who are crossing from one side to the other between fiction and nonfiction. Ishmael Beah, the former child soldier from Sierra Leone who debuted with the best-selling memoir, "A Long Way Gone," has written the novel "Radiance of Tomorrow." Jesmyn Ward, whose novel "Salvage the Bones" won the National Book Award in 2011, has a memoir, "Men We Reaped."

In "The Death of Santini," Pat Conroy tells a nonfiction story about his father, who inspired the classic Conroy novel "The Great Santini." Gilbert's friend Ann Patchett, whose novels include "Bel Canto" and "State of Wonder," is back with a memoir, "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage."

"I have to go looking for fiction, but nonfiction, which is essentially just life, is always there," Patchett says. "I'm writing nonfiction all the time. I got to the point where I had so much of it that I wanted to shape it into a narrative. The experience of publishing this book feels really different from publishing a novel. Novels are nerve-racking, major productions. 'This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage' is easier. It's just me."

Fiction writers sticking to fiction include Thomas Pynchon, Jhumpa Lahiri and Alice McDermott. "The Secret History" author Donna Tartt ends a decade-long absence with the novel "The Goldfinch," and Stephen King continues the story of his classic "The Shining" with "Doctor Sleep." Helen Fielding has some new adventures for her fictional heroine in "Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy."

Philip Roth and Alice Munro are apparently done with writing books, but others of their generation have new works of fiction, including E.L. Doctorow, Lore Segal and Norman Rush. Meanwhile, Marisha Pessl and Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Harding look to build on the success of their debut novels.

Fiction also will come from a former CIA operative (Valerie Plame), a forensic dentist (Mike Tabor, author of "Walk of Death"), a movie star (James Franco) and a TV character, "Homeland: Carrie's Run." A certain television host, David Letterman, has written the text for a picture book on the income divide: "This Land Was Made for You and Me (but Mostly Me): Billionaires in the Wild."

Veronica Roth, who may soon rival Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins in popularity among teens, completes her "Divergent" trilogy with "Allegiant." Rick Riordan continues his "Heroes of Olympus" series, Jeff Kinney will have the latest "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and Collins tells a war story for the very young in the picture book "Year of the Jungle."

In politics, the best-selling "Game Change" team of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will be back with their take on the 2012 White House race, "Double Down." The two great presidents of the early 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, will be subjects of books by Pulitzer Prize winning biographers: A. Scott Berg's "Wilson" and Doris Kearns Goodwin's "The Bully Pulpit."
The season's featured president will be John F. Kennedy, a man who very much believed in Wilson's mission.........

For more information click on is an online arts and culture magazine.

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