Book List – November, 2011

I find most of the books I think I will want to read on bookweb.org, the site of the independent booksellers. I can’t seem to stop making new book lists for myself even though I am still working on my July book list. Someday when I don’t have a life, I will catch up (maybe).
The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen – since the success of Steig Larsson a lot of Scandanavian writers are being translated to English. Jussie Adler-Olsen is Denmark’s premier crime writer. After nearly being killed and losing two colleagues Carl Morck is given a new office in the basement and assigned cold cases in “Department Q”. One of his cold cases “comes to life” and makes his life quite interesting.
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan – “In the future abortion has become a crime as a series of events threatens the United States. One woman wakes up to discover that her skin color has been changed to red as a punishment for having the procedure done. Now she must embark on a dangerous journey in order to find refuge from a hostile and threatening society,” according to the library catalog.
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka presents the stories of six Japanese mail-order brides whose new lives in early 20th century San Francisco are marked by backbreaking migrant work, cultural struggles, children who reject their heritage, and the prospect of wartime internment.
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright is the story of Gina Moynihan, living in a suburb of Dublin who recalls the trail of lust and happenstance that brought her to fall for the “love of her life”, Sean Vallely. On a snowy day Gina waits for Sean’s 12-year-old daughter.  “This is Enright’s tour de force, a novel of intelligence, passion and distinction.
The Sixth Man by David Baldacci – “After the lawyer of institutionalized serial killer Edgar Roy ends up dead, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell must figure out whether Roy is really a killer or if other evil is afoot.”
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin – Two boys of different classes and different races have a friendship until the richer boy is suspected of murdering someone he was dating. The suspicions break up the friendship. After more than 20 years they cross paths again. When another girl disappears these two must confront their past.
The tower, the zoo, and the tortoise by Julia Stuart – The queen decides to house her menagerie of gifted pets in the Tower of London which has fallen on hard times. Caring for these animals changes everything for the human residents of the Tower. “This secret romp will appeal to history buffs,” says Kirkus Review.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami [Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel, translators] “Murakami is like a magician who explains what he’s doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers…But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it’s the rare artist who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves.” The NYT’s Book Review. The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo- the lives of two people gradually converge – surreal.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is another book by Haruki Murakami.
The following are new books by writers I follow along with one nonfiction book about a person who interests me.
Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton
Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney
The Litigators by John Grisham
The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje – “wonderful new novel”
The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman _ set in ancient Israel
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny says the library card catalog is a “brilliantly evocative mystery with Chief Inspector Armand Gomache of the Montreal police.
Snowdrops by A.D. Miller – set in Moscow in the early 2000’s – this is a man’s confession to his fiancé – here we have one man, two willowy Russian girls, seduction and sin – “featuring characters whose hearts are as cold as the Russian winter. This one has mixed reviews.
The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst – Library Review says “On the eve of WW I, Cecil, a wildly attractive and promising young poet, pays a visit to the home of his Cambridge boyfriend, the son of one of England’s oldest families. He memorializes the visit with a poem that becomes famous after his wartime death. The poem, created as an autograph book keepsake for his lover’s younger sister, Daphne, becomes the subject of speculation and debate for biographers and the generations that follow, as it contains hints about what might have happened during the visit and with whom. This generously paced, thoroughly satisfying novel will gladden the hearts of Anglophile readers.”
Snuff by Terry Pratchett – At long last, Lady Sybil has lured her husband, Sam Vimes, on a well-deserved holiday away from the crime and grime of Ankh-Morpork. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. Yet a policeman will find a crime anywhere if he decides to look hard enough. (Library Card Catalog)
Nanjing requiem by Ha Jin – During the 1937 attack on Nanjing, American missionary and women’s college dean Minnie Vautrin decides to remain at her school during a violent Japanese attack that renders the school a refugee center for ten thousand women and children.

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