Gosh, I’m a sucker for good covers. If I don’t know what to read next (never happens) and I have to browse at the library or the book store (happens even if I have a pile next to my bed), I look at the covers first. Maybe it is because I also have an art background but a publisher with a great design team can get me to take their book home way before some boring cover on a self-published novel (exception: a good recommendation from a trusted reader friend). Sadly, I may have missed a masterpiece because of that attitude. And I definitely have started reading some beautifully dressed up dogs, but that’s the nature of advertising. Our August books have some gorgeous and creative covers but a few were disappointing when it came to the words. Here is the rundown.
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro (2013) 464 pages. A lovely tale of a young woman in London who receives a mysterious inheritance that brings her to Paris and eventually to an old perfume shop. Secrets are uncovered as the author takes you into the 50’s and the 20’s of New York, Paris and London.
Blood & Beauty: The Borgias by Sarah Dunant (2013) 528 pages. A historical novel about the ambitious and ruthless Borgias from Rodrigo, who buys his way to the Papacy, to his daughter Lucretia, famous for her poisons.
Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night by Barbara J. Taylor (2014) 256 pages. Set in Scranton, PA’s coal mining community in 1913, this historical novel of the Morgan family traces their lives after a horrible tragedy .
The Bees by Laline Paull (2014) 340 pages. This book garners lots of positive reviews but our reviewer was lukewarm at best. Think Watership Down with bees. The workings of the hive were fascinating but the anthropomorphization of the bees was hard to accept. Nice cover.
Wild Storm by Richard Castle (2014) 352 pages. Derrick Storm, CIA go-to guy, is flying home from a rock climbing vacation, when the plane he is in spirals into a nose-dive. He uses his climbing gear to tether himself to the wing and heroically save the plane and all the people on board. But what of the three other planes that crash under similar conditions. Adventure ensues!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012) 422 pages. Soon to be a major motion picture, this is the story of the disappearance (and murder?) of Amy Dunne. When questioned, Nick, her husband, is oddly evasive but did he kill her? Story is good, but ending received mixed reviews. You be the judge. Great cover though.
In One Person by John Irving (2011) 425 pages. Irving, in his first novel in over a decade, portrays the life of a boy growing up bisexual in a small Vermont town in the 50’s and his erotic and personal transformations to old age. Our reviewer felt this book was very relevant to our time, and gave her a better understanding of the LGBTQ community. Another cover that is so interesting given the topic.
The Stone Cutter by Camilla Läckberg (2013) 480 pages. Are you a fan of Scandanavian thrillers and mysteries? You know, like Steig Larsson ( …Dragon Tattoo), Henning Mankell (Kurt Wallender), Jo Nesbø. Well Läckberg should be your next choice in Nordic Noir. This happens to be her third so go back and start with The Ice Princess.
Callander Square by Anne Perry (1980) 256 pages. And oldie but goodie. No. 2 in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series ( but can be read out of order) which takes place in 19th century England. Murder and Mayhem within the boundaries of the Morals and Manners of Victorian London.
The Innocent by Taylor Stevens (2011) 331 pages. A thriller about a young girl who was abducted by a cult when she was five years old. Finally, after eight years there is a lead but the cult must be infiltrated first.
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (2014) 455 pages. Cormoran Strike #2. This is J.K. Rowling’s 2nd mystery under her pseudonym and it is as good as the first, Cuckoo’s Calling. What makes these stories are the characters, P.I. Cormoran Strike and his secretary/investigator in training, Robin Ellacott.
The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife who Brought Polygamous Cult leaders to Justice by Rebecca Musser (2013) 352 pages. Beware, this woman lived these experiences and talks frankly about the abuse and sexual demands put on young girls in Warren Jeff’s cult. Her bravery stirred a backlash from some former members but she testified anyway.
-Whadda Ya Readin’? Book Group August 2014
Blog header photograph, at this writing, was taken from my front porch as a storm moved in.