Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Releases July 10, 2012

It's a big week for new releases--great stuff from a wide range of authors, much of it hotly anticipated. Let's get to it.


Stephen L. Carter is a professor at Harvard Law who writes novels (and nonfiction as well). His first novels (The Emperor of Ocean Park, New England White, Palace Council) were slow, stately mysteries set in the world of upper middle class African Americans on the East Coast. Carter's Jericho's Fall, an edge-of-the-seat spy thriller, took his readers on a different sort of reading journey. And his newest novel, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, is a work of alternative history which explores what might have happened if the Great Emancipator had survived Booth's assassination attempt. I have a copy queued up and I can't wait to see what happens!

In True Believers Karen Hollander, a successful lawyer and judge and now shortlisted as a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States, is writing a memoir intended to tell everything there is to tell about her rather radical past. As she learns during the course of this riveting narrative, some people would rather the past remain buried and unknown. True Believers is a book about the power of literature and the importance of conviction...and it's kind of funny, too.

Ah, Carlos Ruiz Zafon. He writes like an angel, creating a world you never want to leave, one in which books are as important--and as powerful--as politics, sex, and money. The Prisoner of Heaven continues the story of Daniel Sempere, who is now happily married with a brand-new baby, Julian. There is, of course, a mysterious stranger--and very few do as much with this hoary trope as Ruiz Zafon!--and political intrigue. Ach, I'm getting myself all worked up just thinking about reading this one.


There are a wide-range of mysteries out this week. We've got mainstream thrillers by Andrew Gross and James Patterson. We've got Some Kind of Peace, a dark, Scandinavian thriller by Swedish sisters Camilla Grebe and Asa Traff. And--the title I'm really looking forward to--The Other Woman's House, UK crime writer Sophie Hannah's sixth novel featuring detectives Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zaile.

With Shadow of Night Deborah Harkness is releasing one of the most highly anticipated books of the summer. It's the follow up to last year's A Discovery of Witches, a classy tale of supernatural romance among academics at Oxford. The second installment of the All Souls Trilogy takes the main characters, lovers Diane Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, back to the Renaissance as they work to solve the mystery begun in the first book. Twilight too glittery and teen-angsty for you? Fifty Shades of Grey too graphic and fan-fictiony? Then why not give the elegant and intelligent A Discovery of Witches and its sequel a whirl?

I have been captivated by the dark fantasy of Graham Joyce since I read The Tooth Fairy back in the late nineties. Some Kind of Fairy Tale looks at the troubling reunion between a young woman, missing for twenty years but still looking the age she was when last seen, and the family left behind. If you've ever read Joyce, you'll know that where she was is not going to turn out to have been an ordinary kind of place...

Year Zero is, to put it bluntly, a hoot. Hilarious antic science fiction in the mode of A. Lee Martinez, it brings to earth a universe's worth of aliens in love with the musical output of our planet but unwilling to pay the massive fines for piracy they owe the people of Earth for bazillions of illegal downloads. 

Ben H. Winters's The Last Policeman is a pre-apocalyptic (an asteroid is hurtling toward the earth with a 100% chance of collision) police procedural. What's an eager young detective to do when he's trying to investigate a murder and no one cares? Terrifically effective and affecting.


New installments in two popular middle grade series this week. The indomitable Sammy Keyes finds herself up against Santa Martina's self-appointed super hero, Justice Jack, as she tries to track down the missing Mrs. Wedgewood in Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack. And Eoin Colfer's The Last Guardian pits young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl against an evil pixie.

As always, this is a mere smattering of the titles that came out this week. If you don't see the one you want, give us a call (310-265-2665), drop us a note (booksnob1@earthlink.net), or send us a message on Facebook, and we'll do our darnedest to get you what you want (what you really, really want).

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