Far and away the biggest release of the week is George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons, the fifth in the Song of Ice and Fire series, and the first to be released since the wildly successful HBO series aired. Martin has always been one of those writers who have a small but rabid fan base; the success and surprisingly broad appeal of the TV show has expanded that fan base in a very big way. Jeff VanderMeer, writing in the Los Angeles Times, asks if A Dance With Dragons was worth the six year wait, and answers his own question with a resounding, "Absolutely." I'm terribly interested to see how this baby sells.
In a very different vein, Jaycee Dugard's memoir, A Stolen Life, is the other highly anticipated release this week. The book recounts her truly harrowing story, of being held captive as a sex slave for 18 years, from the time she was abducted at the age of 11. During her captivity she gave birth to two children--in a tent in her captor's backyard.
Robert Epstein, writing in the Independent, says of The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, "it is a sublime study in literary elegance...bloody (and) brilliant."
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield is a first novel which has been thus far very well-received in the book blogosphere. Book Monkey says, "This is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time and I would urge everyone to read it. I cannot wait to see what Jenny Wingfield comes up with next!"
Esmeralda Santiago is the author of a lovely memoir, When I Was Puerto Rican. Conquistadora, her latest, is an epic novel about love, discovery, and adventure.
And if you're a certain kind of reader, you can't go wrong with Jennifer Weiner, whose latest is Then Came You.
Mysteries from John Hart, who thus far has gotten better with every book, and Iris Johansen, who long ago earned her bones in the suspense biz.
A trio of YA titles. P.C. Cast is probably the heaviest hitter of the three, but all three are well-loved by teen-age girls (and their moms).
And finally, a couple of nonfiction titles. Of Thee I Zing is popular conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's latest humorous snarkfest. Ben Mezrich, who's hit it big a few times, hopes to capture that magic again with Sex on the Moon, about the guys who stole the moon rocks.
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