Friday, January 23, 2015

January's hot titles

As a librarian, I often have the chance to read books pre-publication.  This is wonderful, but the problem is that I then have to wait months to share the books with you!  This week, I want to share two of my favorite January releases, both from debut novelists.

The first  is a wonderful book that I read back in June, The Magician's Lie by Greer MacAllister. It has just been released and you need to place your hold now!  If you enjoyed Water for Elephants  and The Night Circus, this is the book for you. The novel revolves around a female magician, The Amazing Arden, whose claim to fame is her trick of sawing a man in half!

Set at the turn of the 20th century, this is wonderful story of magic, both real and imagined, love and tragedy. The book is like a version of Scheherazade, as woman tells her tale to a man in order to save her own life.  A magic show has taken place and the grand finale is the magician sawing a man in half to the amazement of the audience.  After the show, the magician's husband is found murdered - sawed in half! The magician, The Amazing Arden, is suspected of murdering her husband and is caught by a small town policeman, Virgil Holt. He brings her to the station and allows her to tell her story. He is hoping that maybe her magic is real and that she can help him. The story moves back and forth from Arden's life story to the present time in the police station. Both stories are equally compelling. The themes include love and hate, woman versus man, magic and belief. How did "The Amazing Arden" come to be? Is her magic real or just illusion? Did she commit murder? Will Virgil set her free? I did not want the tales to end! 

The next January must read is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. A debut thriller that has been likened to Gone Girl.  If you love a plot with lots of twists and turns, join the wait list now.  I have the feeling this one is going to be a huge bestseller!

This debut novel will keep you guessing until the very end! How many of us commute by train and have the opportunity to see into the lives of strangers? Rachel is a troubled divorcee who cannot let go of her ex-husband and drinks too much. She takes the train back and forth everyday and watches her former home that backs up to the tracks. She constructs an imaginary life for a young couple in a nearby home, passing them each day on the train and naming them " Jason" and "Jess". Then the young wife, who is actually named Megan, disappears. Rachel cannot stop herself from becoming embroiled in the mystery, especially as she had a blackout that same night and knows she was on the train. The story is told by Rachel, Megan, and Anna (her husband's 2nd wife). Is Rachel an unreliable witness or does she know the truth? You won't want to put this down and you'll never look out a train window in quite the same way again.

I hope you are enjoying this new book review blog.  Please follow me to be sure to get my new posts. I am planning to post every Friday

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My blog begins

I have to admit that I am a book-a-holic..  Being a librarian allows me to indulge in my passion for books and reading. I love literary fiction, historical fiction, some fantasy, mysteries, a bit of "chick lit" and young adult literature.  In the past few months, I have begun reading more than one book at a time - a first for me!  I will usually have one physical book going as well as at least one on my ipad.  I love the fact that as a librarian I am lucky enough to be able to read some book pre-publication.  The only problem is waiting to share them with everyone else!  In this blog, I will only write about titles as they are readily available.

Let's start with a book that encompasses my love of books:

This book felt like it was written just for me! It had all my favorites - old books, mystery, romance and of course Jane Austen. The novels tells the story of Sophie, a bibliophile who takes a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London. Sophie grew up in a house with a beautiful library that her father kept locked up (Imagine having an in-house library of books that is kept locked away - torture!) Sophie found her love of reading through her uncle Bertram. He is allowed to take one, and only one, book from the library every Christmas.   The mystery begins after Bertram's death when Sophie is approached by two men who are both seeking a 2nd edition of an obscure book. The novel goes back and forth from Sophie in the present day to the life of Jane Austen as she begins her novel writing. Soon Sophie finds herself caught in the same quandary as Jane Austen - should she trust her first impressions of someone? Perfection!!!