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  • BN Editors 3:00 pm on 2017/11/22 Permalink
    Tags: , enemy of the state, , , , kyle mills, owen king, ruth wareorigin, , , the lying game, the rooster bar,   

    Gift Guide: Up All Night Reads for the Thriller Obsessed 

    Diving into a gritty thriller and losing yourself in a page-turning story is an inordinately satisfying experience. This holiday season, why not give the gift of sleepless nights—the kind the receiver will actually thank you for? Some of our favorite big name authors (from Dan Brown to John Grisham!) have long-awaited brand new books out, and there’s something for every thriller fan. See the complete list in our Holiday Gift Guide for more ideas for your thrill-seeking friends and family.

    The Rooster Bar, by John Grisham
    Grisham proves he’s still got his finger on the pulse in his newest, telling the story of idealistic but broke law students Mark, Todd, and Zola, who mortgage their future in the form of student loans to attend a third-tier law school. In their third year, the trio realizes they’ve been victims of the Great Law School Scam: the graduates of their school rarely pass the bar and almost never get jobs—and the school’s owner also owns the bank that wrote the paper on their loans. Naturally, smart nearly-lawyers go for the only option they have available: revenge. It’s going to take planning and risks (like dropping out before earning your degree) but it’s the only option if you want a little justice—and the result is an Ocean’s 11 for the LSAT crowd.

    Origin, by Dan Brown
    Brown returns to his most successful character with an all-new Robert Langdon adventure, this time centered in Spain and focusing on more modern art. Langdon starts off the book as the guest of former student-turned-billionaire Edmond Kirsch, who is staging a provocative presentation at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and hinting at the answers to two of the fundamental questions of human existence. Naturally, things go very, very wrong, and Langdon soon finds himself fleeing to Barcelona with museum director Ambra Vidal and working desperately to discover a password Kirsch left behind that will unlock all of the billionaire’s secrets. Their opponent, however, seems to be all-knowing, and firmly rooted in the Spanish royal palace—but there’s no one on Earth more equipped to deal with codes and symbols than Robert Langdon.

    Sleeping Beauties, by Stephen King and Owen King
    King and his son Owen team up for a book with a timely, terrifying premise: what if, in the very near future, most of the women in the world simply went to sleep and didn’t wake up? Covered in cocoon-like white membranes, the women become feral attackers if disturbed. the Kings being Kings, they set the action in a depressed Appalachian town whose main employer is a women’s prison. Men, left to their own devices, don’t react well, and society begins to unravel even as the question of what’s happening with the female half of the population lingers. One woman named Evie who appears immune, and might be a savior—or some sort of demon come to supervise the downfall of man. Filled with smart social commentary and larger-than-life characters, this is a top-notch collaboration from the biggest family name in the business..

    The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware
    Four women—Isa, Kate, Thea, and Fatima—spent their boarding school years at Salten House, sneaking away to hang with Kate’s art teacher father and her dreamy brother and play the Lying Game, a challenge to get people to believe the most outlandish stories they could dream up. It all ends in tragedy, and 20 years later, new mum Isa receives a note from Kate that sends her off on a train and back to the village of Salten, where she meets the rest of the old gang. It seems a bone has been found in the marshes nearby, and the women know all about its origins—and the discovery of a body means all of their lives, and the lies they’re built on, could come apart.

    Enemy of the State, by Kyle Mills
    The 16th Mitch Rapp novel (and third by Mills since Vince Flynn’s passing) finds Rapp enlisted by the president to clean up a growing mess in Saudi Arabia, as rival factions of the royal family and the government fund terrorists and plot against one anther, sowing chaos and supporting ISIS. Rapp employs his usual steady professionalism, assembling the sort of team you can rely on to carry out the high-level maneuvers required—including his lover, Claudia Gould, his former enemy Grisha Azarov, and former army sniper turned drug runner Kent Black. The seemingly impossible mission requires a clever plan, but as usual, readers can rest assured Rapp has one.

    Shop our Holiday Gift Guide, with prefect gifts for everyone on your list!

    The post Gift Guide: Up All Night Reads for the Thriller Obsessed appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Ellen Wehle 5:00 pm on 2014/07/28 Permalink
    Tags: adventure, amanda lindhout, graham greene, kyle mills, michelle gable, The Quiet American,   

    4 Books About Adventures Abroad 

    A House in the Sky

    Faraway lands filled with exotic accents and mysterious strangers—one of the pleasures of reading is that it takes us places we might never see otherwise. While in real life I’ve only managed to see Europe twice, “armchair traveling” has let me journey across all seven continents—without the jet lag. This summer, pull up your own chair and take a trip abroad with one of these books.

    Lords of Corruption, by Kyle Mills
    Josh Hagerty has a brand-new MBA, a mountain of student debt, and no job prospects. When a shadowy aid organization called New Africa offers him a post, Josh is suspicious at first, wondering why they would want a guy who’s never done aid work. Desperate for a job and seduced by the “you can make a difference” speech, he accepts. But no sooner has Josh’s plane landed in Africa (although the country is never named) than he realizes he’s in trouble.

    The country’s two tribes, the Yvimbo and the Xhisa, hate each other with a ferocity that echoes the Hutus and Tutsis in 1990s Rwanda. And just like that real-life conflict, this one soon erupts into genocide, with Josh and a beautiful Scandinavian aid worker trapped in the middle. Meanwhile, New Africa is raking in the dough as a “nonprofit” group. Will Josh live long enough to tell the world the truth? An action-packed and all-too-believable thriller.

    A Paris Apartment, by Michelle Gable
    Surely we’ve all had this daydream: one day the boss calls us into his office and asks us to go spend a month in Paris. For April Vogt, the offer is not only a daydream-come-true, but a much needed escape. At home, her husband is cheating on her and her personal life is coming apart. Before you can say crêpes suzette, she is on the plane.

    April’s assignment is to appraise the furnishings of an apartment sealed up and abandoned during WWII. Untouched for 70 years, it’s an auctioneer’s treasure trove, packed with furniture and paintings from the Belle Epoque, but that’s not all. The apartment’s real treasure is its previous resident, the glamorous courtesan Marthe. When April discovers Marthe’s diaries, she is soon drawn into the mystery of the other woman’s life, and the secrets her apartment still holds.

    The Quiet American, by Graham Greene
    “After dinner I sat and waited for Pyle in my room over the rue Catinat; he had said, ‘I’ll be with you at latest by ten,’ and when midnight struck I couldn’t stay quiet any longer and went down into the street.” As first sentences go, this has got to be one of my all-time favorites. Even now, after years of loving this book, I read it and get goose bumps.

    The narrator, Fowler, is a middle-aged journalist in Saigon desperately in love with his Vietnamese mistress. She falls for a young American named Pyle, thus setting all the pieces in motion for a classic tragedy. To make matters worse, guerillas are bombing the cafes, and not-so-quiet Pyle has come to Vietnam with an agenda of his own. Though it includes elements of both thriller and mystery, The Quiet American is above all a love story, and an unpredictable one at that.

    A House in the Sky, by Amanda Lindhout
    You may remember the news story: in 2008, freelance photojournalist Lindhout was kidnapped in Somalia and held captive for over a year. Her memoir of the ordeal is bold, blunt, and surprisingly uplifting. The title refers to the place in her mind where she’d go when her suffering became too much. How many of us would show the same sort of courage in disaster? For that alone, Lindhout is inspiring.

    She is also extremely likable. Early chapters where she fills in her backstory (chapters which, in some books, I might be tempted to skip) are just as riveting as her captivity. In the cutthroat world of news reporting, Lindhout was truly a self-made woman. Having neither a journalism degree nor contacts, she made her own breaks by intentionally covering the most dangerous spots in the world, including Iraq. By the time disaster strikes and she is seized by armed men in the Somali desert, we know her well enough to lay pretty good odds on her survival. A fast-paced, tightly written memoir.

    What adventurous reading are you doing this summer?

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