Sarah Dunant, author of The Birth of Venus and In the Company of the Courtesan, is coming out with another richly historical novel. This time she focuses on the Borgias, the (often literally) intriguing Valencian family that became embroiled in 15th century Italian politics and produced two popes, Calixtus III and Alexander VI. If you’re familiar with the Showtime series, or resorted to reading about the actual history, a lot of the basic plot points will be familiar. There’s the papacy of Alexander and the triumphs, schemes, and sorrows of his children (yes) Cesare, Lucrezia, Juan, and Jofre. There’s the siege of Rome by the Naples-or-bust French Army, treachery among cardinals, strategic marriages and annulments among nobles, and lots of violence, passion, and revenge. Dunant retains the sizzle but tones down the likely enemy-initiated exaggerations, portraying the family with full descriptive texture and for the most part sympathetically. Alexander and Cesare’s frequent refrain seems to provide a theme: One enemy at a time!
For the ARC of this, please comment to the post. This is probably one of the titles David Glenn will cover at the Random House Book Buzz event next month, as it comes out in mid-July. Thanks to all of you who are planning to come.
May 13, 2013
May 13, 2013
Last week I highlighted audio giveaways from the profusely prolific James Patterson (& company). This week I’m going to the other end of the spectrum and offering the latest from Jeannette Walls, one of those writers who really make it count when they release something. Her memoir The Glass Castle (2005) and novel Half-Broke Horses (2009), were phenomenally successful. The Silver Star, due out next month, again promises long-awaited satisfaction for millions of readers.
If you’d like the ARC of The Silver Star, please comment to this post with the name of the Sno-Isle branch where you’d like to pick it up, and I’ll be sure it gets there.
Walls, Jeannette. The Silver Star. Scribner, June 2013. Abandoned by their artist mother at the age of twelve, Bean and her older sister, Liz, are sent to live in the decaying antebellum mansion of their widowed uncle, where they learn the truth about their parents and take odd jobs to earn extra money beforean increasingly withdrawn Liz has a life-shattering experience.
Though he’s almost more an imprint than a single author these days, James Patterson continues to be extraordinarily popular both locally and nationwide. His prodigious output comprises multiple series for a variety of ages including Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Private, Maximum Ride, and Daniel X, among others.
Recently we harvested some free retail audiobooks from publishers at a local conference. They are all brand new and unused, but cannot be added to the collection as they are abridged. Please comment to this post to claim any or all, just letting me know the Sno-Isle branch where you would like to pick them up.
Here are the titles and publisher blurbs:
When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, Lindsay Boxer discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco’s most untouchable criminals. Then she’s called next to the most bizarre crime scene she’s ever witnessed: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor.
Retired DC policeman Alex Cross is called on by his former partner to help track down a serial rapist. They discover a connection between the rapist and his wife’s killing years earlier, she was gunned down on the street in front of her husband.
Detective Alex Cross tells the story of an ancestor, Abraham Cross, and his experiences with lawyer Ben Corbett, recounting one man’s pursuit of justice in the face of the resurgence of Ku Klux Klan racism and violence in 1906 Eudora, Mississippi.
James Patterson delivers the fifteenth installment of his acclaimed Alex Cross series. During a family reunion, Detective Alex Cross receives word that a close relative has been brutally murdered. Determined to catch the culprit, Cross joins forces with his lover, Detective Brianna Stone, and pursues the case all the way to the seediest sections of Washington’s underbelly.
It’s Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who’s robbing his church’s poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again, a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. Alex risks everything, and he may not make it back alive on this most sacred of family days. Alex Cross is a hero for our time, and never more so than in this story of family, action, and the deepest moral choices.
May 6, 2013
The Mystery Writers of American last Thursday announced the winners of their prestigious Edgar Award. We have most of the big categories. This is Dennis Lehane’s first.
Boston, 1926. The 20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the citys most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw. But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one–neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover–can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt. Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampas Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a compelling saga of revenge, it is a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder, that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue.
Best Paperback Original
Pavone, Chris. The Expats.
Along the cobble-stoned streets of Luxembourg, mother and expat Kate Moore suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be and as her paranoia grows, she becomes increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her. A first novel. (suspense).
Best Fact Crime
French, Paul. Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China.
In the last days of old Peking, where anything goes, can a murderer escape justice?Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner’s body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? Or perhaps the dreaded fox spirits? With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives—one British and one Chinese—race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever. Can they find the killer in time, before the Japanese invade?Historian and China expert Paul French at last uncovers the truth behind this notorious murder, and offers a rare glimpse of the last days of colonial Peking.
O’Brien, James. The Scientific Sherlock Holmes. One of the most popular and widely known characters in all of fiction, Sherlock Holmes has an enduring appeal based largely on his uncanny ability to make the most remarkable deductions from the most mundane facts. The very first words that Sherlock Holmes ever says to Dr. Watson are, “How are you? You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” Watson responds, “How on earth did you know that?” And so a crime-solving legend is born.
OverDrive has just announced that as of May 8th, the entire digital catalog of Hachette titles will be available for public libraries to buy. The model will be one ”copy”/one user with no special restrictions. That means there will be no metering or expiration to access. Thanks to Jim for forwarding the official news release from OverDrive.
According to Publisher’s Weekly, 3M will also have access to the catalog, but they have not yet confirmed this with us.
Hachette is the parent publisher of Little, Brown and Company and Grand Central Publishing, so this is thrilling news indeed.
May 1, 2013
Our order for Glenn Beck’s The American Crisis (Simon & Schuster Audio) has been canceled due to a publication delay. The holds have been canceled as well. It is now due out June, 2014.
Thank you for noting.