Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Releases for the week of January 11

Yes, I know - who is she kidding? This week is almost over! Well, life has a funny way sometimes of getting in the way, which is exactly what's happened this time. Work, mostly, but other stuff too. Seems like the new year has brought lots of tasks with it, things that must be done RIGHT NOW, which means that I've had to put the blog on hold until I addressed the impatient things. I've finally gotten through most of them, so now I'm able to get back to this, the book news, which I would much rather have been doing anyway!

"The Swan Thieves" by Eliabeth Kostova. "Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient, Marlowe finds that order destroyed. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism." Well, it sounds as good as her first work, "The Historian" did when it was getting ready for release. Unfortunately, I found that novel impossible to get through, so I don't really know what to think about this one. There's a big media campaign again, so we'll see...

"36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction" by Rebecca Goldstein.
The author of a best-seller about why God doesn't exist has a mid-life crisis. Sounds like it could go either way, so I'll reserve judgment for now. It is a hot topic, though, what with the "new atheists" gaining a little bit of ground out there, in turn giving the Moral Majority complete snit fits.

"Alice I Have Been" by Melanie Benjamin. Yes Virgina, there is an Alice. Her name was Alice Liddell and she was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's hapless heroine so many years ago. The author writes a fictional account of the "real" Alice, who is preparing to celebrate her 81st birthday. She reflects on her long life, sadly revealing that she is truly tired of being known as "Alice". Lots of buzz on this book.

"Betrayal of the Blood Lily" by Lauren Willig. The newest installment in Willig's Pink Carnation series. Think Regency romances with a good bit of mystery and intrigue. My sis read the first few (might have read them all, I can't keep track!) and said they were pretty good.

"The First Rule" by Robert Crais. Crais returns to a character first introduced in "The Watchman" - Joe Pike. Expect gritty crime drama. Look for his other series starring Elvis Cole - hubby really likes those a lot.

"Sleepless" by Charlie Huston. It's always a happy day in my world when I learn that Huston has a new book. I've been reading him for a few years now, mostly his Joe Pitt vampire detective series, but anything by him is usually good. Huston doesn't pull any punches - expect lots of very dark, disturbing, gritty realism. Life ain't pretty in Huston's view, and this time he's writing about an undercover cop looking to stop the flow of Dreamer, an illegal street drug that gives people what they really want - sleep.

"Saving Ceecee Honeycutt" by Beth Hoffman. A debut novel about a 12-year-old girl in the South being raised by her crazy mother and cranky father. The mother is killed by an ice cream truck, leaving an aunt to step in and save the day. Sounds like it could go either way - cute, promising new writer of Southern stories or just completely cliche.

"Treasure Hunt" by John Lescroat. Another entry in the author's series about Wyatt Hunt's San Francisco detective agency, starring one of his younger assistants, Mickey Dade. Never read anything by Lescroat, but patrons seem to like him. Biggest mystery? How to pronounce his last name! (we finally found a site that says it should be something like les-kwaw. Weird...)

"Where the God of Love Hangs Out" by Amy Bloom. Short stories. Expect very literary work, lots of relationship stuff, not a lot of action. And short stories are tough - some do it very well, others, not so much.

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