Best. Reading List. Ever.

This fall publishing season promises excitement and bestsellers by some of our most popular authors. If you haven’t already, get your library card out and start placing some holds! We’ll be receiving new works from Janet Evanovich (Takedown Twenty), James Patterson (Gone, Cross My Heart), David Baldacci (King and Maxwell), Patricia Cornwell (Dust), Lisa Scottoline (Accused), Jeffrey Deaver (The October List), Iris Johansen (Silencing Eve), and Anita Shreve (Stella Bain), to name a few. Other books that will be creating big splashes include Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda (which is receiving quite favourable reviews), C.C. Benison’s Ten Lords A-Leaping, Alexander McCall Smith’s The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon and Bertie Plays the Blues, and the much-anticipated new Rebus book by Ian Rankin, Saints of the Shadow Bible.

If you still have room on your library card to place a few more holds, I’d like to share with you some of the titles I’m most looking forward to in the coming months.

AutumnBonesAutumn Bones, the second book in author Jacqueline Carey‘s Agent of Hel series, is due out October 1st.  Not only is Ms Carey one of my favourite authors (I interviewed her for a podcast back in 2007 – one of the most exciting days of my life), but I have completely fallen in love with this urban fantasy series. I remember hugging the first book, Dark Currents, when I first finished reading it. Even if urban fantasy isn’t your thing, I urge you to give this book a try! You can thank me later.
From the publisher: “Fathered by an incubus, raised by a mortal mother, and liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, Daisy Johanssen pulled the community together after a summer tragedy befell the resort town she calls home. Things are back to normal—as normal as it gets for a town famous for its supernatural tourism, and presided over by the reclusive Norse goddess Hel. Not only has Daisy now gained respect as Hel’s enforcer, she’s dating Sinclair Palmer, a nice, seemingly normal human guy. Not too shabby for the daughter of a demon. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a secret. And it’s a big one. He’s descended from Obeah sorcerers and they want him back. If he doesn’t return to Jamaica to take up his rightful role in the family, they’ll unleash spirit magic that could have dire consequences for the town. It’s Daisy’s job to stop it, and she’s going to need a lot of help. But time is running out, the dead are growing restless, and one mistake could cost Daisy everything.”

DinosaurFeatherThankfully, Scandinavian authors are still popular in the publishing world. The Dinosaur Feather by Sissel-Jo Gazan will be released on November 5th, and has been generating quite a bit of interest. Winner of the Danish Crime Novel of the Decade, this debut novel is a classic of Scandinavian noir, from its richly imagined and deeply flawed characters to its scintillating exploration of one of the most fascinating aspects of contemporary dinosaur and avian research.
From the publisher: “Professor Lars Helland is found at his desk with his tongue lying in his lap. A violent fit has caused him to bite through it in his death throes. A sad but simple end. Until the autopsy results come through. The true cause of his death – the slow, systematic and terrible destruction of a man – leaves the police at a loss. And when a second member of Helland’s department disappears, their attention turns to a postgraduate student named Anna. She’s a single mother, angry with the world, desperate to finish her degree. Would she really jeopardise everything by killing her supervisor? As the police investigate the most brutal and calculated case they’ve ever known, Anna must fight her own demons, prove her innocence and avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.”

HildDescribed as both glorious and extraordinary, Hild by Nicola Griffith will be released November 12th. Hild is born into a world in transition. As a big fan of Hilary Mantel, I’m quite looking forward to this historical work.
From the publisher: “In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.”

ReturnedReleased this past August, Jason Mott’s The Returned offers quite an interesting premise, which is what attracted me to the book (I’m #13 on the holds list). Reading this book is bound to bring up some strong feelings and hopefully challenge my way of thinking!
From the publisher: “Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep — flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old. All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.”

WhereMoonIsntOriginally released in the United Kingdom under the title The Shock of the Fall, Nathan Filer‘s Where the Moon Isn’t has been described as “an extraordinary portrait of one man’s journey through the spinning vortex that is mental illness. It is a brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.” Another book that is guaranteed to delightfully put me through the wringer. I can’t wait until November 5th!
From the publisher: “While on vacation with their parents, Matthew Homes and his older brother snuck out in the middle of the night. Only Matthew came home safely. Ten years later, Matthew tells us, he has found a way to bring his brother back. What begins as the story of a lost boy turns into a story of a brave man yearning to understand what happened that night, in the years since, and to his very person.”

WorstPersonEverYay, another Douglas Coupland book! Worst. Person. Ever. will be released October 3rd, and I can’t wait. I think this book will be a challenge, however, because the main character sounds so awful. Luckily, Coupland never disappoints me!
From the publisher: “Meet Raymond Gunt. A decent chap who tries to do the right thing. Or, to put it another way, the worst person ever: a foul-mouthed, misanthropic cameraman, trailing creditors, ex-wives and unhappy homeless people in his wake. Men dislike him, women flee from him. Worst. Person. Ever. is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value. Gunt, in the words of the author, “is a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id.” He’s a B-unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor-style reality show. Along the way, Gunt suffers multiple comas and unjust imprisonment, is forced to re-enact the ‘Angry Dance’ from the movie Billy Elliot and finds himself at the centre of a nuclear war. We also meet Raymond’s upwardly failing sidekick, Neal, as well as Raymond’s ex-wife, Fiona, herself ‘an atomic bomb of pain’. Even though he really puts the ‘anti’ in anti-hero, you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable character.”

ChilledBoneAnd finally, another Scandinavian title, this one coming to us via British author Quentin Bates. Chilled to the Bone is the third mystery featuring Sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir of the Reykjavik police force. You have time to read up on her first two adventures before this book is released on December 3rd.
From the publisher: “When a shipowner is found dead, tied to a bed in one of Reykjavik’s smartest hotels, sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir of the city police force sees no evidence of foul play but still suspects things are not as cut and dried as they seem. And as she investigates the shipowner’s untimely – and embarrassing – demise, she stumbles across a discreet bondage society whose members are being systematically exploited and blackmailed. But how does all this connect to a local gangster recently returned to Iceland after many years abroad, and the unfortunate loss of a government laptop containing sensitive data about various members of the ruling party? What begins as a straightforward case for Gunnhildur soon explodes into a dangerous investigation, uncovering secrets that ruthless men are ready to go to violent extremes to keep.”

Barbara

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