Book List – October, 2011

I am still publishing my book lists even though I have not caught up on my reading. Fall is a very busy time for getting the house and the yard ready for winter and enjoying every last minute of any great weather before winter arrives. And, people just keep writing and publishing good books. They don’t consult my schedule to see if I have time to read them.  As long as they keep writing and I am able to keep reading I will continue to see what’s out there that I just can’t stand to miss. So here we go:
The Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay who is also the author of Sarah’s Key writes about a brother and sister. Antoine Rey and Melanie have lived with a family tragedy for many years. After a visit to the family’s summer home. Melanie, thinking she has uncovered a stunning family secret related to this tragedy, gets into an accident that puts her brother in the hospital. This novel is set in Paris, always a recommendation. More drama follows her discovery in this book which reviewers call “a page turner”.
One Day by David Nicholls was made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway and                             . Two very different people, separated by social class, meet at their college graduation and remain friends for decades before they realize they love each other.
By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham who established himself as a wonderful writer with The Hours. Here we have a book that explores the pleasures of a “small life” versus a “life written large”. “Extraordinary, says the reviewer Barbara Hoffert in Library Journal. Kirkus Review does not agree and call this novel “a lightweight soap opera.” To read or not to read that is the question? Hard to pass up Michael Cunningham.
The Affair by Lee Child is the newest Jack Reacher novel and delivers plenty of suspense.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach “is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment to oneself and others.” Henry Skrimshander plays baseball at Westish College. His baseball performance is tied to the lives of four of his friends and himself. Sounds unique and has great reviews.
Reamde by Neal Stephenson is “a new thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of him own online war game.”
Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke is the fifth book in a series and the direct sequel to Rain Gods. It is a mystery that has a Native American connection with Sheriff Hack Holland and his deputy, Pam Tibbs who investigate the serial killer Jack Collins. They are assisted by an enigmatic person named Anton Ling.
Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks This edgy book features a very young internet sex offender known as the Kid who lives with his GPS locator under a bridge because he can’t live near children. He becomes a subject of a university prof who wants to study homeless sex offenders, but things get complicated. This is a modern story exploring a modern dilemma we would probably not be able to explore. Russell Banks does it for us. It doesn’t sound cheerful, but it does sound enlightening.
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier who is the author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons is called “a dazzling new novel of suspense and love set in a small town in North Carolina during the early 1960’s.” Luce, a loner, must reconsider her solitary life when she inherits her murdered sister’s twins. “Resonates with the timelessness of a great work of art” says the library catalog.
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson is “a new novella suffused with the history and landscapes of the American West”. It “captures the disappearance of a distinctly American way of life”. If you like Bret Harte or Cormac McCarthy apparently you will like this.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is not as flowery as it sounds as it involves a young women who has had little help preparing for her adult life, except what someone has taught her about the Victorian meaning of flowers. She learns to use this gift to change the lives of others and in the meantime invents her own future.
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron contains the adventures of Bailey and is described as “heartwarming, insightful and laugh-out-loud funny.
Headhunters by Jo Nesbo is not part of her Harry Hole series. This is a “stand-alone thriller” and is “a true thriller from start to finish” says reviewer David Clendinning.
You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Kolya Maksik takes place in a Paris that is “sensual, dazzling and dangerously seduction”. In this dramatic tale Will Silver is a charismatic college teacher but is also in love with a student, Marie deClry and is almost brought down by jealousy from many quarters.
There are more. I may have to do a second list. Later.

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