If you were a fan of THE ART FORGER  by B. A. Shapiro, her latest book, THE MURALIST is an exciting historical novel overflowing with history, love, politics and of course, art. Oh, and by the way, she dropped me a note telling me all the details.....

Dear Joyce,

When I research a new novel, I become engrossed in the art and the politics of the times. Join me now in New York City on the cusp of the abstract expressionism movement and World War II.


The Muralist

My new novel traces the life and disappearance of a brilliant young artist, the fictitious Alizée Benoit, on the eve of World War II. She paints murals for the U.S. government’s WPA, alongside Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner–and her lover Mark Rothko.

When her paintings catch Eleanor Roosevelt’s eye, Alizée enlists the First Lady in her desperate attempt to get her Jewish family out of occupied France. Then Alizée vanishes. Seventy years later, her great-niece discovers hidden scraps of paintings and begins to unravel the mystery.

I loved entwining real and imaginary characters while moving between the past and present–just as I did in The Art Forger. I hope you enjoy reading The Muralist as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Artfully yours, 
B.A. Shapiro


So I heard that Grisham has a new book out...Yawn....Another lawyer saga...But NO, they say this one is different...has an unusual premise ..Yes, there are still lawyers, but maybe, just maybe I'll give it a chance...After all, a good legal thriller is hard to here goes....downloading....

ROGUE LAWYER by John Grisham (Legal Thriller)
Sebastian Rudd defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult, who is accused of molesting and murdering two little girls; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn’t like insurance companies, banks or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

And Bill O'Reilly/Martin Dugard team up again. Many critics say this book restates old claims and rumors that have been discredited by the historical record. It sounds like a good read, although not that accurate...but lots of juicy stuff about Nancy! 

KILLING REAGAN: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (History/Politics)
Just two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman's bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable --- or so it seemed. But Reagan was grievously injured, forcing him to encounter a challenge that few men ever face. Could he silently overcome his traumatic experience while at the same time carrying out the duties of the most powerful man in the world? Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

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So many fabulous reviews...such accolades...Do I believe the hype? It can't be all that perfect, but I'll let you know. It's my number one "travel companion" this holiday season.....oops, sorry hubby!

City on Fire weaves a web through 1970s New York City, flashing forward and back, and uptown and downtown, with cinematic flair . . . It’s Clue meets legendary music club CBGB, but Hallberg elevates his whodunit with poignancy." —Sarah Begley, TIME 

CITY ON FIRE by Garth Risk Hallberg (Historical Fiction)

New York City, 1976. Meet Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city’s great fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown’s punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor --- and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park on New Year’s Eve. When the blackout of July 13, 1977, plunges this world into darkness, each of these lives will be changed forever. ( )

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Remember Room by Emma Donoghue?...How could you forget this powerful and extremely intense novel? I have a feeling the movie will do it justice, mainly because Emma Donoghue was in on its development. Watch the trailer and read the author's comments below.


A Message from Author Emma Donoghue: 
When I first stepped into the set of the locked shed in which Ma and Jack live in ROOM (the movie), I was shaken to the core. (Even though I'd written the novel, and the screenplay too.) It was so small; how could two people live there for five years without going mad? It was so worn, so shabby, so grungy; how had I never pictured it that way? At that moment I realized that ROOM–the film–was going to bring a whole new level of naturalism to this story, because the camera pulls off the double trick of showing us Jack's world as he sees it, and as it really is. Whereas in the book we can only glimpse Ma through Jack's eyes, in the film we meet her face-to-face. I do hope you enjoy the movie this Fall as much as I’ve enjoyed helping to make it.


Two well known authors make a come back. Elizabeth Gilbert is creative in essay form, and although I'm a bit tired of her rhetoric, BIG MAGIC has been well received by her many fans.

GOLD FAME CITRUS by Claire Vaye Watkins is a debut novel with a catchy title and a dystopian premise. One reader said "this book may cause an anxiety attack even though it's bleak story is gorgeously written."  Since I'm not a fan of Dystopian themes or anxiety attacks, I may pass....

Below find comments from

Big Magic
Big Magic
By Elizabeth Gilbert
In her inspiring new book, the best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love teaches readers how to nurture their creative side without quitting their day jobs. Gilbert’s honest, humorous essays put a different spin on the artist’s way, cutting to the heart of what it means to express yourself. Your creative jewels don’t have to be great works of art or prize-winning poetry—according to Gilbert, creative living can simply mean being open to new pursuits and following your curiosity wherever it leads. Big Magic is a must-read for anyone with a dream.

Gold Fame Citrus
Gold Fame Citrus
By Claire Vaye Watkins
Watkins established herself as a writer to watch with her eerie 2012 short story collection, Battlebornand she confirms those expectations with a powerful first novel set in a near-future California ravaged by drought. Luz and Ray, an ex-model and an AWOL soldier, hang out in an abandoned LA mansion until they see a chance to escape. In gorgeous prose—already drawing comparisons to such acclaimed writers of the West as Annie Proulx and Joan Didion—Watkins creates a hauntingly believable world and an unforgettable love story.


24612118. uy113
This novel is a staggering achievement that belies the youth of its clearly brilliant author. It demonstrates a competency and self-assuredness that give credibility to (1) the importance of a liberal arts education and (2) undeniable intelligence and talent. It is, for sure, and not just for today, a masterpiece of the sort that gives the deepest intellectual and emotional pleasure. Fates and Furies. A Little Life. What a year! friend Barbara A. expressed the sentiments above and I agree with her wholeheartedly! Cannot put this book down.
It tells the story of a marriage, first from the husband's point of view and then changes midway to reveal a wife more vengeful than expected. It's a fascinating read and although I am halfway done with this dark, explicit tome I don't want it to end...I am afraid of the ending...
I recommend this for the adventuress reader who's open to domestic crisis on a very high level. By the way, the writing is exquisite.