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  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2018/01/10 Permalink
    Tags: , alice hoffman, , , breath of magic, crystal cove, , daughter of the blood, , erika mailman, , , , , , , , , naomi novik, , , paula brackson, practical magic, , , , , the witches of east end, the witching hour, the witchs daughter, the witchs trinity, toil and trouble, uprooted, , wicked deeds on a winters night, witch and wizard   

    16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter 

    You may think Autumn is the only time for witchery, but we say winter and witches go together like snowflakes and hot cocoa! If January has been keeping you cold, here are some witchy reads that will excite…and maybe even scare you a bit, too.

    A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
    When factions of supernatural creatures set their sights on a document that could give them the upper hand in a war, a reluctant witch must seek the protection of an equally reluctant vampire, her supposed mortal enemy. Witch stories have a tendency to emphasize the importance of family…but in this case, it could be her own family that wants her dead. Can true love between two warring beings prevail?

    Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
    The Owens sisters are cursed: the men that they love will always die. But with that curse comes unique abilities—magic—that on more than one occasion, they have used to try and prevent others that they love from falling prey to the same fate. Gillian and Sally grew up as outsiders, always trying to escape the rumors about their family. One of them married, and the other ran away, determined never to do so. But when tragedy brings them together again, the curse is always there to welcome them home…

    Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts
    In this witchy trilogy, Iona Sheehan travels to Ireland to connect with family she has always yearned to know. Reunited with her cousins in the home of her ancestors, Iona is hopeful she’s found everything she’s been looking for. And then she meets Boyle MacGrath: a cowboy with no ties, except the one winding its way around her heart.

    Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, by Kresley Cole
    In the fourth installment in this paranormal romance series, Mariketa the witch has been stripped of her magic, leaving her with no choice but to seek the protection of her greatest enemy, Bowen MacRieve. Bowen is a tortured werewolf determined never to let his heart belong to another—especially Mari—but soon enough, they cannot deny the passion between them. Forbidden love, evil forces, and magic combine for a riveting tale.

    Breath of Magic, by Teresa Medeiros
    Arian Whitewood is a witch from the seventeenth century…which means she does not belong three hundred years in the future, but alas, that’s where a mysterious amulet takes her. She meets Tristan Lennox, a billionaire with no faith in magic…and so he never expected his reward of 1 million dollars to the person who could prove its existence to ever come true. Outlander fans will love this reverse-time-travel billionaire romance.

    Crystal Cove, by Lisa Kleypas
    Friday Harbor has been a good home to Justine; here she’s found the stability she never had with her untamable mother, Marigold, and she enjoys the safety in her mundane life of running a small hotel. But then, her world is rocked by the truth that her lack of love is the result of a dark curse cast on her at birth.

    The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston
    One of the most fascinating and engrossing witch tales I’ve ever read: you will not be able to look away from the tale of Elizabeth Hawksmith, a witch who has survived over three-hundred years in loneliness, only to discover a Witchfinder from her past has been stalking her through time, determined to collect on a debt. But this time, Elizabeth can’t run: she has a teenage girl under her care, and something more important than her own immortality to protect.

    The Witches of East End, by Melissa De La Cruz
    The Beauchamp witches try to live a normal life; the fact that they are forbidden to practice magic makes that slightly easier. But when murder and mystery find them in their solitude, they decide the time has come to defy the rules and do what must be done to defeat the evil in their midst.

    Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
    This high fantasy in which power is manifested through magical gems stars a mysterious Queen who will rise to a power stronger even than Hell itself. Three men seek to find and control the girl who is destined to ascend the throne in a ruthless quest of corruption, greed, and lust.

    Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
    The story of the Wicked Witch of the West begins at birth—born green, an outcast in society, she is nonetheless destined to wield a magic that will make her infamous. This villain origin story is action-packed, beautiful, and romantic.

    The Witch’s Trinity, by Erika Mailman
    This fascinating tale of witchcraft, fear, and history begins in 1507 when a German town is struck by a famine…which one friar believes is the result of witchcraft. Güde Müller has been tormented by visions that she cannot explain…and soon she realizes that her position in the town is compromised, perhaps even by her own family.

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
    This unique story is difficult to describe, but incredibly ethereal, dark, and haunting. A man comes home to Sussex for a funeral, and is drawn to the mysterious house at the end of the road where, as a child, he met a mysterious girl and something magical and dangerous happened to him as a child.

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe
    Connie’s summer is full to the brim with research for her PhD. But when her mother asks her to help handle the sale of her grandmother’s house, Connie finds herself pulled into a dark mystery involving a family bible, an old key, and a name: Deliverance Dane. Who was she? And why is Connie suddenly having visions of the Salem Witch Trials?

    Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
    A terrifying wizard known as The Dragon kidnaps girls in a small town every ten years—and soon, Agnieszka’s best friend will be chosen. That is, until a twist of fate results in her being chosen instead.

    Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson
    In a dystopian world of governmental control, Wisty and Whit Allgood are siblings accused of being a witch and wizard. Young people everywhere have been torn from their homes and forced to face judgment for this “crime” of magic.

    The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice
    This lush, dark, and gorgeously gory paranormal series introduces readers to the Mayfair witches, whose stories have been told for centuries by the Talamasca. This time, Rowan Mayfair is a neurosurgeon who never knew of her abilities until one day when she brings a man back from the dead. Cursed (or gifted, or both) with the ability to see the dark realm and the evil spirit who wants to come through to the mortal realm, Rowan must find a way to defeat him and protect the world—and people—she loves.

    What witchy books do you love?

    The post 16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 9:00 am on 2017/09/29 Permalink
    Tags: alice hoffman, , , , , , fresh complaint: stories, , hiddensee: a tale of the once and future nutcracker, , , manhattan beach, mark helprin, , paris in the present tense, rules of magic, , the stolen marriage, Tom Hanks, uncommon type: some stories, , winter solstice   

    October’s Best New Fiction 

    If you’re in the mood for spooky witches this fall, Alice Hoffman’s Rules of Magic—a prequel to Practical Magic—delivers chills, thrills, and sibling strife. October also brings mystical retellings of the Nutcracker and Cinderella; two historicals set in North Carolina; and Jennifer Egan’s first novel since A Visit From the Goon Squad won the PulitzerRounding out the list are two short story collections. The first is by Jeffrey (Middlesex) Eugenides, and the second introduces us to a little-known, up-and-comer by the name of Tom Hanks.

    Uncommon Type: Some Stories, by Tom Hanks
    Whichever role you most associate with Hanks—boy who wishes himself Big; perpetually annoyed women’s softball coach; partner to Hooch—cast it aside and prepare for a new one: short story author. With 17 tales to choose from, one of which concerns showbiz life, and all of which involve typewriters (the actor’s a fan), this collection of character-driven and nostalgic stories will charm Hank’s acting fans and avid readers alike. Whet your appetite with Hanks’ 2014 piece from the New Yorker.

    Fairytale, by Danielle Steel
    If fairytale updates and mash-ups are your jam, add this to your stack, ASAP: a modern retelling of Cinderella, set in a Napa Valley winery called Chateau Joy. Tragic Parental Deaths? Check. Evil, mesmerizing stepparent (in this case a Parisian countess)? Check. Handsome prince and fairy godmother? Absolutely. Add a Harvest Ball, plenty of Steel’s trademark romance, and a dash of magic and you’ll never want to leave Chateau Joy behind. Within the story’s Cinderella roots, Steel brings her own unexpected twists to a classic story. 

    Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker, by Gregory Maguire
    The author of the bestselling book and Broadway smash Wicked invites you to take a fresh look at the Nutcracker in this “double origin” story of the famous wooden toy and its creator, Drosselmeier. Who is Klara’s mysterious godfather, born a German peasant and seemingly fated to provide her with the sensational trinket? And what dark enchantment did he experience in his youth? Combining myths and historical legends, and written in the style of a Brothers Grimm tale, Hiddensee promises to delight and intrigue.

    Winter Solstice, by Elin Hilderbrand
    The fourth in her heart-and-hearth-warming “Winter” series, which are always set in Nantucket at Christmas, Solstice treats us to a reunion with the eggnog-guzzling Quinn family (patriarch Kelley, who owns the Winter Street Inn, and his four grown children). Each of them need help with romantic, business, or military entanglements. This year, heavy issues rise to the surface, from PTSD to hospice care and late-in-life regret. But with patience, love, and the bonds of family, the Quinns will pull each other through the tough times in this touching story.

    Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan
    After winning the Pulitzer Prize for A Visit From the Good Squad (2010), Egan’s highly anticipated follow-up appears to be less experimental than her previous works, but just as moving. Set in New York City during the Depression and World War II, Manhattan Beach follows the struggles of Anna Kerrigan, first as an adolescent accompanying her father on a desperate job-seeking mission, and later at 19, after her father has disappeared and Anna is charged with supporting her sister and mother by working at the Brooklyn Naval Yard as its sole female diver. A chance encounter with her father’s mobster boss begins to shed light on the truth about Anna’s dad. You may want to have tissues on hand for this detail-rich, feminist historical, which has already been long-listed for the National Book Award.

    Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman
    In this illuminating, entertaining prequel to Hoffman’s bestselling Practical Magic (also a 1998 film starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock), readers will learn what it was like for witchy sisters Franny and Bridget (Jet) Owens to grow up in 1950s/1960s New York City with a frustratingly strict mother (understandable, given the family curse: any man who falls in love with an Owens woman will meet a gruesome end). In Rules, we meet a charming younger brother, Vincent, who also grows up ignoring Mom’s warnings, with far-reaching consequences. Will any of the rules-averse siblings figure out a way to outwit their fates? If you loved the adolescent longings and heartaches of Hoffman’s poignant, private school-set River King, you’ll especially appreciate this coming-of-age tale.

    Fresh Complaint: Stories, by Jeffrey Eugenides
    The first short story collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Middlesex, Fresh Complaint depicts several relationships prior to implosion, including that of a young Indian-American woman who plans to ditch her arranged marriage; a poet-turned-criminal; and a friendship affected by dementia. Fans of The Marriage Plot will enjoy spending time with lovelorn Mitchell Grammaticus as he travels to Thailand in the story “Air Mail,” and there’s also a check-in with Dr. Luce of Middlesex fame, who throws himself into the study of intersex conditions after losing a patient to suicide. Written between the years of 1980-2017, this collection showcases Eugenides’ incredible ability to empathize with and write about people from atypical backgrounds.

    The Last Ballad, by Wiley Cash
    Juggling a 70-hour, night-shift work week at a textile mill (for which she’s paid crushingly low wages), marital abandonment, and four children who need feeding, Ella May Wiggins finds herself in the middle of a union dispute in 1929 North Carolina. The idea of a living wage, equal pay for equal work, and a 5-day work week sounds like a fantasy to her and her friends. Rather than give a speech, Ella May composes a song during a rally, a way to give voice to herself and the other workers. She and her cohorts are branded communists, but their devotion to creating a world worth living in for their children is especially prescient today, and the fact that it’s based on a true story is inspiring.

    The Stolen Marriage, by Diane Chamberlain
    Bestseller Chamberlain’s latest concerns an aspiring nurse trapped in a marriage-of-convenience in a small North Carolina town where she is disliked and mistrusted. It’s 1943, and Tess’s life just took a hard left: Impregnated by a man not her fiancée, she casts off her dream of a medical career alongside her true love and moves away with Henry, the baby’s father, who is uninterested in Tess’s potential. It soon becomes clear Henry is hiding things from Tess. With the polio epidemic in full swing, Tess gets a chance to use her nursing skills at last, but the home front remains as unsettling and mysterious as ever in this suspense-filled, World War II-era tale.

    Paris in the Present Tense, by Mark Helprin
    74-year-old Jules Lacour, a teacher at the Sorbonne reeling from his wife’s death and inaccurately believing himself a failure, thinks it’s about time he left behind the earthly plane as well. But his leukemia-ridden baby grandson needs him to find the money for treatment, and he hasn’t yet made peace with the tragic, seminal events in his life, including the deaths of his family members in the Holocaust. Perhaps there is yet time to play the cello, fall in love again, and save the day, if he’s willing to take a few risks. Paris looks to be invigorating and haunting read.

    What new fiction are you excited to read this month?

    The post October’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sona Charaipotra 8:00 pm on 2016/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: alice hoffman, , , , , , , fannie flagg, , , , , , wally lamb,   

    November’s Best New Fiction 

    It’s November, and some delicious dramas are headed for the fiction shelf, along with everygirl allegories and nostalgia trips from heavy hitters. Anne Rice returns with the twelfth tale in her long-running Interview With A Vampire series, and Jeffrey Archer wraps up his Clifton Chronicles series. Fredrik Backman, Wally Lamb and Michael Chabon revive the old man reflecting back on his life genre, while Zadie Smith and Alice Hoffman take on the modern woman. Danielle Steel serves up her sixth book this year, and if you’re in the mood for something sumptuous, add Daisy Goodwin’s latest, Victoria, to your TBR.

    Prince Lestat & The Realms of Atlantis, by Anne Rice
    Before the sparkling teen vampires of Twilight, there was the New Orleans swagger of the Vampire Lestat, the centerpiece of Anne Rice’s so very devourable series about bloodlust and, well, plain old lust, too. Here she presents the twelfth installment in her moody, atmospheric series, this time focusing the old soul as he’s possessed by some even more ancient magic, the Atalantaya, and explores the depths of the long lost city of Atlantis, reckoning with a power that may overcome even the millennia-old vagabond vamp we’ve come to know and love.

    The Whole Town’s Talking, by Fannie Flagg
    Flagg, the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café (which spawned the Academy Award–nominated movie Fried Green Tomatoes), takes us back into small-town America, this time to the heart of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where things are anything but dead. In fact, the dearly departed are very much a part of everyday life for the Nordstroms, most especially former mayor Lordor, his head-over-heels mail-order bride, and a clan of interconnected families stretching across generations, more than a century, and four wars. Quirky and quippy, with plenty of heart.

    This Was A Man, by Jeffrey Archer
    The seventh and final book in the Clifton Chronicles series brings the drama to a startling conclusion that starts with shots fired—by whom and why?—and ends with a twist that will leave fans wishing for more. Alliances are created, bent, and shattered, and of course there’s plenty of love and loss. The arrival of the stunning conclusion to Archer’s soapy saga is the perfect time to binge-read the whole series, if you haven’t started it yet.

    The Award, by Danielle Steel
    Shelf staple Steel’s latest—her sixth this year—follows young Gaëlle de Barbet into the thick of German-occupied France in the 1940s, as her best friend Rebekah and her family are carted off to horrific fates. Just a teen, she joins the French resistance, determined to do for others what she could not do for her friend. In the aftermath of war, the novel follows the protégé as she becomes a Dior model, mother, and museum curator, living to honor those who were lost even as she’s wrongfully marked a German collaborator.

    Victoria, by Daisy Goodwin
    A coming of age story about a queen. A thoughtful and thorough companion to Goodwin’s Masterpiece Theater collaboration with PBS, the novelized Victoria draws on the stellar storytelling Goodwin employed in recent bestsellers like The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter while also borrowing from the diaries of Queen Victoria, which the author began studying as a student at Cambridge University. Luxury, romance, politics, and plenty of drama—fans of Goodwin’s work will eat this one up.

    I’ll Take You There, by Wally Lamb
    Lamb, perhaps best known for his stunning She’s Come Undone, follows a 60something film critic who must reexamine his own history in this flash-backing This Is Your Life-style take on his history. It’s presented to him by two spirited (quite literally, they’re ghosts) Hollywood dames who show him scenes from his life in order to illuminate his future path. These windows onto his past reveal tensions with the women in his life, including his daughter, sister, and a pageant queen with a family connection.

    Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
    Smith’s hotly anticipated return, her first novel since 2013’s NW, is a jazzy, rhythmic rumination on dance and destiny, friendships and fate, following the connection between two mixed-race girls who connect in a class and become intertwined by the love that binds them as not-quite-sisters—bonds of understanding, connection, competition. The unnamed narrator and her best friend, Tracey, are mirrors and foils, and in their relationship find stunning grace and keen hurt. A deeply felt narrative that’s worth the wait.

    And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by Fredrik Backman
    From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes this novella full of hope and history, the story of one man’s life and precious memories, which will soon be lost as he loses his mind’s light. But as they fade, new moments become memories, ones he shares with his son and his grandson, who learn to let go even as they hold on tight to the stories he shares.

    Faithful, by Alice Hoffman
    Hoffman, author of The Marriage of OppositesThe Dovekeepersand other bestsellers, chronicles the story of Shelby Richmond, remarkable only in her ordinariness, until a tragedy strikes that splits her life forever into before and after. A survivor’s story, Faithful is a portrait of a modern young everygirl, one guided and guarded by something special. Grief, faith, healing, and the strength to keep going drive this novel, a sparkling take on an largely unextraordinary life.

    Moonglow, by Michael Chabon
    Pulitizer Prize winner Chabon follows up bestselling Telegraph Avenue with Moonglow, a deathbed confessional inspired by the author’s own grandfather’s tales. Here, he follows narrator Mike’s now-deceased Jewish grandparents through their travails in midcentury America, juxtaposing their love story and the drama of immigration with the details of a country at the edge of war and the technological revolution, creating a bright, vivid portrait rich with detail.

    The post November’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sulagna Misra 3:00 pm on 2015/08/10 Permalink
    Tags: alice hoffman, , , , the marriage of opposites   

    Desire Vs. Duty In Alice Hoffman’s Marriage Of Opposites 

    Alice Hoffman is a prolific, stand-out author, whose novels include the source material for films including Aquamarine and Practical Magic. Though her books are quite different from each other in—Green Angel is about a young girl recovering from tragedy, while The Red Garden is about the ebbs and flows of a town and a family, and The Third Angel is a time-skipping family story about grief and trauma–they feel the same: sensual, empathetic, magical.

    Hoffman’s books illuminate the magic and beauty of the everyday as found in the lives of women. Sometimes this can be categorized as magical realism, yes, but other times it merely feels metaphorical, a different mode of expression. A bad boyfriend leaves a destructive spell in his victim; the swan in a mother’s book is actually a portrait of the family angel; a lovingly tended garden holds repressed desires.

    Hoffman’s works are perfect to turn to in times of strife or anxiety, because her characters experience grief, sorrow, and tragedy and come out the other side—her words are like life rafts when one is unmoored in an emotional ocean. Her latest books have been a departure from her earlier work, taking on a historical slant; they are both extensively researched and richly detailed. Her newest novel, The Marriage of Opposites, features long descriptions of main character Rachel’s island home, St. Thomas. Soon I was deeply absorbed in the story, drinking it in like the characters did their rum and limewater.

    Rachel is a girl growing up in the Jewish community in the port of Charlotte Amalie, destined to be the mother of Camille Pissarro, himself one of the fathers of Impressionism. While Hoffman’s books have sometimes focused on destiny, putting into place rules and prophecies that haunt or provide hope to her protagonists, she uses a lighter touch here. Though the mother of 11 children, Rachel is her own person; the story is both about her loving but tempestuous relationship wiht her son, and about her as an individual, with her own hopes, desires, and often thwarted will.

    One of the main tensions in the book is how Rachel, Camille and everyone that surrounds them must contend with the life they want versus they life they have a duty to live. Despite having fought for her own life as she wants to live it, Rachel cannot seem to understand Camille doing the same with his art.

    Hoffman delves into the intricacies of the Jewish community, including the ways buried secrets can infect children’s lives, as well as the lopsided racial and socioeconomic dynamics of the island, which no longer allows the slave trade but keeps exploiting the labor of enslaved people. Rachel’s best friend, Jestine, is the daughter of her family’s in-house maid, Adelle, and she’s closer to them than to her own mother and community. Their loving friendship, with its bumps and cracks and mends, is the one constant throughout the novel. They exchange stories about the island, like the turtle-woman and the healer they visit in times of worry, and the pirates’ stolen wives who covered the island with the blood-red flowers of their grief. The novel only glances upon the pain of colonialism and slavery, but the most compelling story of all is the legend of the werewolves, thought to be Dutch families who were cursed for owning slaves.

    The book spans decades, starting in 1807 and ending in 1866, so we live whole lives with our sprawling cast of characters. Now that the book is over, I miss them. In the end, Hoffman manages to make these historical characters human in the most empathetic way possible: by helping us feel what they feel.

     
  • BN Editors 2:52 pm on 2015/06/24 Permalink
    Tags: alice hoffman, , , , brad thor, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Biggest Books of the Summer 

    This summer brings a fresh crop of brand-new books, including a creepy thriller by the king of creepy thrillers, the return of an author we’ve loved since childhood, and what might be the most anticipated novel of the century. Throw them in your beach bag, bring them on your road trip, or just use them to make your lunch hour awesome.

    Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
    The release of a follow-up to American classic To Kill a Mockingbird promises to be the book event not just of the year, but of the 21st century so far. In this sequel of sorts—set 20 years after but actually written before Harper Lee’s debut—we meet an adult Scout Finch, whose visit to her hometown and to father Atticus Finch, literature’s most beloved lawyer, takes place against the shifting backdrop of 1950s America.

    Finders, Keepers, by Stephen King
    In this follow-up to last year’s Mr. Mercedes, King revisits the themes of obsession, inspiration, and the dangerous bond between an author and his fans that drove previous masterpiece Misery. Retired detective and Mr. Mercedes hero Bill Hodges is back, now attempting to save a young reader in possession of some very valuable notebooks: they’re filled with the unpublished writing of an iconic author, killed by a deranged fan who’s fresh out of prison and coming to claim them.

    Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari
    Ansari goes deep with his comic look at contemporary dating and relationships, with the help of a crack team of social scientists and findings culled from interviews held around the world. The result is a sharp, insightful marriage of humor writing and Ansari’s illuminating findings on dating, wedlock, and love. This is the most fun you’ll ever have reading a science book.

    In the Unlikely Event, by Judy Blume
    Blume’s first novel in 17 years is set in the 1950s Elizabeth, New Jersey, of her youth, inspired by a trio of three real-life plane crashes that happened there within a terrifying three-month span. She paints a portrait of a town under siege, drawing in the stories of the doomed, the grieving, and the helpless bystanders. Despite the dark subject matter, Blume writes with a light, engaging touch, making you care for her characters even as you hold your breath waiting to see how they’ll be caught up in the next crash.

    The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz
    Eleven years after the death of series creator Stieg Larsson, Lagercrantz is continuing the twisted story of damaged hacker extraordinaire (and avenging angel) Lisbeth Salander. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is back as well, in a pitch-black page-turner that takes readers by the throat from page one. Despite constant peril and vastly different agendas, the two rekindle their incendiary partnership when Blomkvist receives a news tip too hot to resist.

    The First Confessor, by Terry Goodkind
    In this prequel to Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series, a heroine rises from the ashes of her former life. Magda Searus is the wife of a powerful leader, protected by her husband’s status and his gifts. But when he unexpectedly commits suicide, she refuses to give up on finding out why—and learns, on her journey, the true nature of the darkness overtaking her people.

    The Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman
    Hoffman takes as her subject the headstrong young woman who will become the mother of impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. Rachel belongs to a rigidly tradition-bound immigrant Jewish community on the lush island of St. Martin. At her mother’s command, teenaged Rachel marries a widower, becoming stepmother to three children. But when he dies, and his handsome nephew arrives to settle his affairs, she jumps headfirst into a scandalous affair with wide-reaching consequences, for both herself and the famous son who will be born of her remarriage.

    Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain
    In her follow-up to bestseller The Paris Wife, McLain breathes life into another fascinating 1920s woman: Beryl Markham, an adventurous aviatrix and horse trainer. Emerging from a bleak childhood, Markham grows into a powerful, unconventional figure in a vibrant British community in Kenya. McLain explores the adventures and love triangles of a woman who was way ahead of her time.

    The Nature of the Beast, by Louise Penny
    When a little boy with a penchant for telling tall tales goes missing, it’s up to Inspector Armand Gamache to figure out which of his wild stories was true, and how it ties into his disappearance. Guilt, sorrow, and an evil with deep roots thread together to enrich an increasingly twisted mystery. This is Penny’s 11th book following Inspector Gamache, whose retirement to the tiny town of Three Pines hasn’t made him any less of a magnet for intrigue.

    The President’s Shadow, by Brad Meltzer
    In Meltzer’s third Culper Ring book, inspired by a laymen spy organization founded at the behest of George Washington, the present-day first lady finds a severed arm in the most unlikely of places: the White House rose garden. The president turns to the Ring for help, despite his complicated relationship with one of its members, Beecher White. White takes the case when he learns the mysterious limb may have a link to his own father’s death, many years prior. If you can’t make it to D.C. this summer to see the sights, visit its shady underbelly with this well-researched page turner.

    Code of Conduct, by Brad Thor
    Thor’s latest military thriller finds counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath on a high-stakes, globe-trotting mission involving an untouchable organization that operates outside the law; four seconds of game-changing tape that can imperil everything; and an assignment that turns into a deadly personal war.

    Independence Day, by Brad Coes
    The fifth book in thriller writer Ben Coes’ Dewey Andreas series, Independence Day finds the disgraced Andreas, still grieving the loss of his fiancée, emerging from his hometown retreat to neutralize a perilous new threat: Russian hacker Cloud, who has both a nuclear weapon and a vendetta against the U.S. Against orders, Andreas goes rogue to join the investigation, and soon discovers a vast political plot set to endanger the western world—and he’s got three days to stop it.

    Second Life, by S.J. Watson
    Recovering alcoholic Julia has fought her way to a happy life: nice house, wealthy husband, adopted son. But the killing of her sister sets off a dangerous obsession with finding her murderer, one that draws her deep into her sister’s life, full of irresistible dark corners that have the power to destroy her.

    X Is For…, by Sue Grafton
    In the 24th installment of Grafton’s perennially bestselling Kinsey Millhone series, named for the trickiest letter in the alphabet, private investigator Millhone goes head to head with a serial killer. This isn’t a whodunit, but rather a nail-biting race against time, as Millhone tries to build a case that will get him locked away…and keep her out of his clutches.

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