ONES TO WATCH (July 2014)

Summer is upon us and blog readers are chatting up the following titles. On the beach or off, these new releases will hold your interest....definitely Ones To Watch....

THE CORSICAN CAPER by Peter Mayle (Mystery/Thriller)
Awaiting the arrival of vacationing friends Sam Levitt and Elena Morales, billionaire Francis Reboul spies a massive yacht whose passengers seem a little too interested in his property. The yacht belongs to rapacious Russian tycoon Oleg Vronsky, who, for his own purposes, will stop at nothing to obtain Reboul’s villa. When Reboul refuses to sell, Vronsky’s methods quickly turn unsavory. Now it’s up to Sam to negotiate with an underworld of mercenaries and hit men. 

THE LAST MAGAZINE by Michael Hastings (Fiction)
The year is 2002. Weekly news magazines dominate the political agenda in New York and Washington. A young journalist named Michael M. Hastings is a 22-year-old intern at The Magazine who will stop at nothing to turn his internship into a full-time position. As Hastings loses his naïveté about the journalism game, he must choose where his loyalties lie --- with the men at The Magazine who can advance his career, or with his friend in the field who is reporting the truth.

THE RISE and FALL OF GREAT POWERS by Tom Rachman (Fiction)
Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still. Then startling news arrives from a long-lost boyfriend in New York, raising old mysteries and propelling her on a quest around the world in search of answers.

AND an all time favorite author debuts.....

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Boyajian

This is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault—was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide forever-and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.....

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THE ARSONIST (07/2014)

Sue Miller is an American writer who has written many bestselling novels. As a single mother she had little time to write and her first novel was not published until 1986. Since then several novels have been made into feature films and some became award winners.

I have always been a loyal fan. When I discovered she purchased a condo in the same building as my son, I could barely contain myself.  Since my stalking skills are limited, I settled for an occasional glimpse.(Very occasional..actually not at all)
Her new book THE ARSONIST was recently released to glowing reviews.

Here's what one reviewer said....

Troubled by the feeling that she belongs nowhere after working in East Africa for fifteen years, Frankie Rowley has come home—home to the small New Hampshire village of Pomeroy and the farmhouse where her family has always summered. On her first night back, a house up the road burns to the ground. Then another house burns, and another, always the houses of the summer people. In a town where people have never bothered to lock their doors, social fault lines are opened.

Suspenseful, sophisticated, rich in psychological nuance and emotional insight, The Arsonist is vintage Sue Miller—a finely wrought novel about belonging and community, about how and where one ought to live, about what it means to lead a fulfilling life. One of our most elegant and engrossing novelists at her inimitable best.

To Order Click On The Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar. All Proceeds go to charity.


TURN BACK TIME (06/2014)

Anthony Doerr is a multiple award winning author. His newest novel, "All the Light We Cannot See" is considered a very special read. Reviewers have labeled it poignant and often sad mixed with happiness and anger. Beautiful descriptions and elegant prose prevail throughout. Is this an epic work of fiction? Lots of readers think so....

All the Light We Cannot See

Marie-Laure has been blind since the 
age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee with a dangerous secret.  

Werner is a German orphan, destined to labor in the same mine that claimed his father's life, until he discovers a knack for engineering.

His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering. At the same time, far away in a walled city by the sea, an old man discovers new worlds without ever setting foot outside his home. But all around him, impending danger closes in. 

Doerr's combination of soaring imagination and meticulous observation is electric. As Europe is engulfed by war and lives collide unpredictably, 'All The Light We Cannot See' is a captivating and devastating elegy for innocence.(

Barbara A is a friend. Below are her comments;
"It seemed to take me forever to finish this book, but now that I have, I only want to turn back time and read it all over again. Beautiful prose. Beautiful, beautiful prose, and shimmering imagery, and all manner of technical mastery of technical material. Symbolism that spills over itself and continually reconfigures into new kaleidoscopic visions of the innermost heart and soul and mind."

Buy it now..Use the Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar.


a 50s style housewife with hair rolls gossiping in a red vintage phone Stock Photo - 8854174

I receive lots of comments and emails from blog readers. I take them
very seriously. So many new books have been released this summer
and everyone has an opinion. So here's a list and some 
advice as to whether they are worth buying, borrowing, or just 

Buy it! (If you hated THE DINNER Ignore it)

BITTERSWEET by Miranda Beverly Whittemore
Ignore it!

FROG MUSIC by Emma Donoghue
Borrow it or Ignore it...Your choice

NO BOOK BUT THE WORLD by Leah Hager Cohen
Borrow it!

THE HIDDEN CHILD by Camilla Lackberg
Buy it! 

Borrow it! 

Do you agree?  Leave a comment or shoot an email to


Shannon M, a librarian and book lover thought this might be an intriguing summer
 read, so did lots of reviewers.  See if it appeals to you...It's on my TBR list along
 with a hundred others!

THE FARM by Tom Rob Smith
In the spring of 2009, British author Tom Rob Smith received a disturbing
 phone call from his father. "And he was crying," Smith tells NPR's David Greene.
 "He never cries. And he said to me, 'You've got to come to Sweden. Your mom 
has suffered a psychotic episode and she's in an asylum.'"
Then, Smith's mother called. She had just been released from the psychiatric
 hospital in Sweden, and, she said, everything his father had told him was a lie. 
 "She wasn't mad. My dad was involved in a criminal conspiracy and she was
 flying to London to tell me the truth."
Smith was positive that when his mother landed at Heathrow, he'd be able to tell if
 something was truly wrong the moment he laid eyes on her — but in fact, she was
 perfectly lucid and convincing. "I barely said a word, I was listening to her 
for about four hours. She was the most incredible storyteller — it really reminded
 me of being a child again and having a parent tell me a story. A very disturbing
 story, and I love my both my parents, and I had never been put in a position where
 I had to choose between them.
Tom Rob Smith is used to putting his readers in such a terrifying position. He's a
 thriller writer, known for a trilogy that began with the book Child 44, about a
  serial killer in Stalin's Soviet Union. He mines historical events for his fiction
 — but for his new book, he turns to the deeply personal story of what
 happened to his parents.
The novel is called The Farm. It's about a couple who — like Tom Rob Smith's
 actual parents — had retired to the Swedish countryside. The mother in the book
 is named Tilde. And the pages are filled with her telling her son Daniel about
 the crimes she's witnessed — and how everyone's dismissing her as a madwoman.


Front Cover

Joshua Ferris is the author of three novels and a finalist for The National Book Award. His new book TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR is supposed to be his best. The reviews have been excellent and fans love his breezy writing style. One blog reader said he read it in two sittings. It's a timely novel dealing with the repercussions of identity theft and social media, all too familiar to someone who has been hacked twice!

The following review was written by Andrew Bloom...

The most challenging thing a novelist must do is write something original when it has all been said before.
Literature is filled with thousands of cliched tales about religion, death, stolen identity, regret and the meaning of life, so that when it comes to delving into another story, a reader must wonder, “What’s the point?”
The point is that every now and then, a writer comes along and reinvents a cliche.
Never before has an author intertwined such played-out themes as easily as Joshua Ferris does in his latest novel, “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.”
Here, a close-minded, cynical, stubborn atheist dentist named Paul O’Rourke is haunted by his inability to connect with people and thrive in the modern age. He refers to cellphones as “me machines” and can delete contacts from them as if they were disposable Tupperware.
And that’s all before Paul’s life gets turned inside out when someone begins impersonating him online and spreading crazy religious propaganda that leads everyone to question the dentist they thought they knew.
This is “The Da Vinci Code” meets “The Catcher in the Rye” meets a social media nightmare.
Joshua Ferris is the future of fiction. With “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour,” Ferris creates something new out of old ideas. He creates a new kind of hysteria for the modern age — a 21st century paranoia.

josh ferrisJoshua Ferris is the bestselling author of three novels, Then We Came to the EndThe Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40”writers in 2010. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York.



Herman Koch is the author of last year's The Dinner, an engrossing thriller that you either loved or hated. I loved it. There was no grey was that controversial.

Summer House With Swimming Pool is his latest. What could be bad about a "blistering, compulsively readable novel" that deals with a medical procedure gone wrong?


When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he’s not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can't hide from the truth forever.

It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, and film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.

Featuring the razor-sharp humor and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch.

(Random House)

Order right now from Amazon. Click on the Amazon Searchbox in the Sidebar.

NOT TO BE MISSED, SO "THEY" SAY...(06/10/2014)

Who's "They?" In this instance it's reviewers. I'm not a fan of Lisa See although I loved her first book...then disappointment followed.

Reviewers said not to miss this exciting new novel, set in San Francisco in 1938.  Bestselling author Lisa See of Snowflower and the Secret Fan (my favorite) and Shanghai Girls presents China Dolls, labeled as a fascinating story of three women who become a constant in one another's lives. Their voices are strong and dynamic as they face shocking and unforseen circumstances.

CHINA  DOLLS by Lisa See
In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco's exclusive "Oriental" nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco's Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her?

More Information

Click on the Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar. All profits go to charity.