Paris9781554689927 OB-VY979_hossei_HV_20130113235341 maya-en 16130291 17661831 revenge-wears-prada_510x770 17383934

There is a special joy in seeing a new release by an author with whom you have earlier established a good fit. That zippy anticipation with any new book is more of a cosy feeling when it’s by an already favourite writer. Some universally “favourite” writers are emerging with new books in the coming months and I wanted to be sure you didn’t miss a beat. Jot these down and get ready to read! Let us know if you’ve discovered any favourite writers with a new work.

Edward Rutherfurd – Paris, April 23rd

I raved about Rutherfurd’s New York a few summers ago and I also enjoyed his London before that. In a style comparable to that of James Michener, Rutherfurd explores the history of a place – social, geographical, and beyond – by introducing readers to a fictional family and then following its members’ endeavours for a number of generations. I’m a big fan of these big books – truly sagas – and am delighted the next setting is Paris. Ooo la la!

Colum McCann – Transatlantic, June 4th

I can’t imagine narrowing down favourite book choices to a top 10 list but if I were forced to, Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin would be guaranteed a spot; definitely one of my favourite reads in recent times. I am therefore tickled pink that a new McCann read is on the horizon. As with Spin, this story weaves together several story-lines, some true-to life, and relates them in unexpected ways. While Manhattan was the setting in his last tale, this one connects North America with Ireland. Can’t wait – and love that cover!

Khaled Hosseini – And the Mountains Echoed, May 21st

There are very few shelves around without a copy of The Kite Runner. Its enormous success and popularity was followed by another winner, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Hosseini skillfully, and sensitively, introduced a generation of us to the realities of modern Afghanistan through his compelling characters and their stories. His novels also illuminated the universal ties of family across generations and this new one will explore this theme as well, from Kabul to Greece to the U.S. By all early-reader accounts, this one’s another keeper for the shelf.

Isabel Allende – Maya’s Notebook, Just published (April)

Isabel Allende is another family saga specialist with almost twenty popular fiction and non-fiction works to her name. Famously hailing from Chile, Allende writes novels that feature themes of the Latino experience – immigration, political upheaval, balancing South and North American identities, and the evolution of family and place over generations. Her latest book, just released, is more of a contemporary tale than some of her historical ones and blends the Chilean and American experiences in an engaging way.

Jeannette Walls – The Silver Star, June 11th

A sentimental favourite for her startling, and riveting, memoir The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls shared more of her family’s unique story with Half Broke Horses. Both were un-put-downable. The Silver Star is a novel, rather than memoir, and so follows a fictional arc.  The themes are familiar – extraordinary families, resilience, and ultimately, triumph.

Joseph Boyden – The Orenda, September 2013

A Canadian favourite, Boyden is known for his award-winning Three Day Road, and Through Black Spruce – beautifully evocative writing and emotionally-charged stories from the Native Canadian experience. His new novel is still a wee wait away but worth anticipating. This time, the setting begins in very early Canada and explores the meeting of traditional and emerging approaches to social, political and spiritual thought. Guaranteed good methinks.

Lauren Weisberger – Revenge Wears Prada, June 4th

This will appear in shops just as you’re busting out your beach bag so be sure to save room. The Devil Wears Prada had us all feeling titillatingly voyeuristic as the shocking behind-the-scenes dynamics of a famous fashion magazine were revealed – all fiction, of course. Substantial sport followed in imagining the true-life inspiration for the antics, just the same.  I’m always a champion of book over movie, but Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Emily Blunt shall always vividly remain the personification of Weisberger’s written characters. They’re back on the page in Revenge so buckle up for more hijinks.

Amy Tan – The Valley of Amazement, November 2013

Remember The Joy Luck Club? I think it was one of the first real book club favourites when it was released in, brace yourself, 1989! Tan followed her first novel with other successes, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Kitchen God’s Wife, and several more. This new story will similarly pursue the experience of several generations of Chinese women in China and North America – the intriguing world of Courtesans being the feature this time.  “Spanning fifty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement is a deeply moving narrative of family secrets, the legacy of trauma, and the profound connections between mothers and daughters.” (goodreads) While you’re waiting, you might want to read Amy Tan’s  biographical notes – her personal story is a wild tale unto itself.

Going for Gold

July 21, 2012

   

Bust out your patriotic gear – the Summer Olympics are almost here!  Let the Games begin in six short days, on the 27th of July, live from London. It’s only taken a few athlete profiles in recent media to remind me to stock up on tissues – I am a sucker for those inspiring back stories of grit and sacrifice and loving support … and inevitably I’m impressed to tears. Now wait, good stories? (check!) emotional engagement? (check!) adventure, challenge and love? (check!) – aren’t these the qualities we want in a great book?  A-ha!

Here are four new-ish releases – just in time for the Summer Games – all with an Olympic theme.

The Underwater Window by Dan Stephenson (June 11, 2012)

Swimming is the sport and rivalry and friendship spark the emotion. The novelist was/is a competitive swimmer so knows of what he writes.

The Secret Olympian by Anon (June 26, 2012)

Secret? Anonymous? Here is clearly the titillating non-fiction entry in the list. Reviews aren’t stellar but it might just be perfect for the beach while waiting for the North American and European time zones to coincide. “Anonymous” is a former British Olympian sharing stories from competition and the Olympic Village (“Dorm sports” are apparently medal worthy) extricated from his journals.

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron (January 9, 2012)

This sounds like a winner! Award-winning itself, (The Bellwether Prize for Fiction) the novel tells the tale of a young boy –  a Rwandan Tutsi runner  – and his drive to compete and survive within the political conflict that surrounds him. Despite the challenges, he maintains his dream of being an Olympian for Rwanda.

Gold by Chris Cleave (June 5, 2012)

Due to Cleave’s enormous success with his previous release, Little Bee, this novel is being welcomed enthusiastically and covered broadly. You’ve no doubt seen the bright yellow cover in every book shop window. The sport is Cycling and the athletes are women balancing “ambition, loyalty and love”. Another athletic writer, Chris Cleave knows cycling and is being commended for his ability to capture the speed and intensity of the racing.

Summer Reading

June 3, 2012

A few of you kind souls have shared with me that you visit Bedside Table Books on your phones when you’re standing in front of the bookshelf in a store or library … that you drop in to the site to find a few recommended titles. If this sounds like you, then bookmark this entry. I dedicate the following list to the shelf-stalkers!

It’s that time of year again – the Summer Reading Lists are emerging everywhere in the media, on-line and off. I’ve been collecting titles that have piqued my interest in some way for months now and thought I’d just post the whole darn catalogue here for you to ponder along with me. Now a few of these are sooo fresh off the press that they haven’t quite made it to the shelves yet so be patient – a list this long is going to take us a while to get through, maybe until next summer! Some seem plain old fun (beach worthy) and some seem thought-provoking (for rainy days) – the whole gamut. So dust off ye olde beach bag and start packing!

Please feel welcome to add your own recommendations and discoveries in the Comments! (As always, click on the cover to learn more about the book)

               

                                       

Remember Beachy Book recommendations from last year? Refresh your memory here.

Beachy Books

June 17, 2011

    

     

     

    

    

These new releases or new-to-paperback releases are just itching to be read this summer – they’re clearly suited up to fit in at the beach! Even if a sand and surf locale isn’t in your travel plans you can vicariously be there in these pages. If you want to know more about each title just click and be taken to its description.

Summer is officially on the horizon and you will have noticed the newspapers and magazines launching their annual “Best Summer Reads” issues. I am working on my own personal summer reading plan and my boys have received their school summer reading lists … what books are on your beach bag agenda?  Send along your thoughts and we’ll put together our own recommendation list in a future post.

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