Booklists · Beyond Bestsellers: Notable New Fiction Titles (October 2010)
Only a few books reach the top of the fiction bestseller charts, but there are many more terrific new titles available at the Library. Here are some recent favorites.
ï¿½There was a part of me that believed this was how it was meant to go: we had met, we had married, we had raised Margo.ï¿½ A simple story, Stiltsville is a character-driven narrative of Frances Ellerby from Atlanta that covers thirty years of her love for husband Dennis, her daughter Margo, and her third passion—the landscape of South Florida and her in-law’s summer home in Biscayne Bay.
Ferraris reprises two characters, desert guide Nayir and forensic policewoman Katya, from her first novel, Finding Nouf. The author continues to offer readers an insightful look at Saudi culture in this mystery where the whodunnit takes a back seat to the social fundamentals, like the necessity of hiring female police officers to question and detain women who otherwise could not be left alone with a male. An enticing story that could only be written by someone who has been there and done that.
Henry Meadows is an unlikely spy. In fact heï¿½s barely even military. A young Cambridge-educated meteorologist, he is recruited by the Air Force to forecast the timing of the Normandy invasion. To do that, he needs to elicit information from Wallace Ryman (a character based on the real scientist, Lewis Richardson) about the Ryman number, which predicts turbulence in any given conditions. But Ryman is a pacifist who is scientifically intrigued but not cooperative. An intellectual and altogether different perspective on World War II.
If youï¿½re having amusement park withdrawal now that summer is over, come visit the Jersey Shore with detectives John Ceepak and young Danny Boyle. The line is long to ride the newest attraction, the Rolling Thunder coaster, but the inaugural run returns to the station with a corpse. Then a local bathing beautyï¿½s body parts turn up in two suitcases, and suspicion falls on the coasterï¿½s builder. And weï¿½ve barely left the station! Fried Twinkies, cotton candy, and corrupt officials for everyone!
Itï¿½s a tough life on a potato farm on the New Brunswick coast, and tougher still when Idella and Avis are left motherless with a well meaning but barely coping father. In the seventy years covered in this tale, the girls grow up and the influence of those bleak early years has its effect on the men they choose and the life they lead. Idella becomes the serious hard worker while Avis feels that life should be more of a lark. Poignant without turning maudlin, the writing has been praised by Joyce Carol Oates, Oprah, and Stephen King.
Although Lackberg has had four #1 bestsellers in Sweden, she has trailed Mankell and Larsson in US recognition because her novels had not been translated. In her US debut and 2008-award winner for Best International Crime Novel, a sleepy coastal fishing village has become a weekend retreat for city dwellers. When a murder occurs a local author decides to write a story about the victim, her childhood friend, and joins the detective, another past friend, in the investigation. Small town secrets are exposed and the townï¿½s reputation is at stake.
In a letter to his daughter Marlais, Wyatt Hillyer explains why fate has seen to keep them apart. Wyatt has been a victim of circumstances ï¿½ a teenager whose parents both committed suicide, an unrequited lover of his adopted cousin who is Marlaisï¿½ mother, and the threat of U-boats just off the Canadian shore that make him an unwitting accessory to murder. This is a small book with a powerful punch, delivering a haunting story of family chemistry and how things can change when a new person enters the mix.
This character-driven novel is a series of interconnected stories about the residents of Echo Park in Los Angeles. For the Mexican-Americans who live there, it is a struggle to be American or Mexican in a precarious balance where their public images donï¿½t suffer. They are the workers, both legal and illegal, who carry on behind the scenes - driving buses, cleaning houses, waiting tables, tearing down buildings, and gathering on street corners to learn what they can about American culture from a TV in a store window.
Former CIA agent Louis Morgon has retired to the French countryside and wants nothing more than to enjoy the local cuisine and indulge in gardening and painting. But not everyone is willing to let his skills go unused, and someone is even willing to kidnap a young man close to Louisï¿½ heart to get him to cooperate. This is the third time Louisï¿½ retirement has been interrupted (A French Country Murder and Lï¿½Assassin) and not likely to be the last.
ï¿½See how well I know your secrets ï¿½ just think of a number,ï¿½ taunts the letter. Retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney is supposed to be reconnecting with his wife and enjoying the calm repose of life outside the city bustle, but heï¿½s fascinated. An old classmate brings him this puzzling message, not knowing that a clever serial killer is behind it. While Gurney is only supposed to serve as a consultant to the police, his experience and sharp mind for criminal thinking puts him into the fray. A compelling and absorbing debut.
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