Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Five Fiction Releases to Watch for this July

editor's note: Kristina will be appearing on Halifax's 95.7 FM radio station this morning at 11:00 a.m. Kristina will be offering the listeners of Maritime Morning a great bunch of reading suggestions for the summer, including these titles listed below. Good luck Kristina!

update from 12:30: The piece has aired and a complete list of what was talked about is now in the comments field

Summer's here! Time to load up on books and hit the deck chair. Here's five that are released this month to add to your summer reading pile.

The Kid by Sapphire (July 4). I feel like this one needs just this introduction: from the author of Push, AKA the novel that became the movie Precious. For those who loved Sapphire's first novel, this is a must read, which follows the life of Abdul Jones, Precious' son, beginning at age 9.

Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell (July 5). Campbell was a National Book Award finalist for her first novel, American Salvage. Booklist magazine has already given this follow up a starred review. It's the story of a young woman "Margo Crane, a beauty whose unflinching gaze and uncanny ability with a rifle have not made her life any easier. After the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother." [publisher's description] This will be a must read for fans of coming-of-age stories with strong female leads.

Pacific Heights by Paul Harper (July 5). Thriller fans take note of this new book: the first in a series. When I was excitedly told a rough plot line of this book, my first reaction was, "whoa, slow down... leave me a bit to discover on my own". I think it was because this book has so many threads, that it's hard to know where to stop when outlining them. I'll just give you the set up (which is where I wished my enthusiastic book talker had stopped), or rather I'll let the publisher do so: "A couple meets in a seedy hotel room for an illicit affair, the rules of which are simple: no names, no personal details, the specifics of their lives off-limits. It’s all very exciting to Lore Cha—the wife of a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur—who thinks their forbidden meetings and taboo sexual encounters are exactly the escape she’s been looking for: every single detail is as she imagined. But that’s the problem. Phillip Krey anticipates every thought before she has it." Another point of interest: Paul Harper is the pseudonym of popular author David Lindsey.

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (July 12). According to many, werewolves are the new vampires. This novel which has been called smart, sexy and thrilling in many reviews, tells the story of Jake, 201 years old, a werewolf and the last of his kind. I've heard a lot of big readers eagerly talking up this book, which seems poised to be a summer hit. British author Duncan has already written a number of novels but isn't really a household name in North America, expect that to change: this book has been getting lots of "the next Twilight" talk in its ever growing buzz.

Glass Boys by Nicole Lundrigan (July 29). You'll have to wait until the end of the month to pick up this book from Newfoundland born, Ontario resident Lundrigan, but it looks like it's worth the wait. From the publisher: "When Eli Fagan dis­cov­ers the secret his eleven-year-old step­son has hid­den in an old pickle jar, he is filled with blind­ing rage. As he destroys the jar’s con­tents, broth­ers Roy and Lewis Trench, in a drunken prank, stum­ble into Eli’s yard, and their poor tim­ing costs Roy his life. Though the courts rule the death a tragic acci­dent, the event opens a seam of hate between the two fam­i­lies of Knife’s Point, Newfoundland."


  1. For those who are interested, I found an excerpt from the first chapter of The Last Werewolf online.

  2. Wow! Time goes pretty quickly on air ... I didn’t get to talk about nearly as many books as I’d hoped. In fact I think I only talked about one of the ones above! But if you’re interested, here’s the ones we mentioned:


    Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich (and Sizzling Sixteen and the first in the series One for the Money)

    Against All Enemies by Tom Clancy

    A Game of Thrones (book one of A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Martin. Book five in the series called A Dance with Dragons will be released soon.


    Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod

    Tide Road by Valerie Compton


    The Leopard and The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (The Leopard is new and volume 6 in the Harry Hole series. The Redbreast is volume 1)

    "There Are Things I Want You To Know" About Stieg Larsson And Me by Eva Gabrielsson

    I didn’t have time to mention this one, but The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (the pseduonym of a Swedish husband and wife writing team) is a brand new title in a brand new series and is getting lots of attention as a potential “next Larsson”.


    The Help by Kathryn Stockett

    Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin


    The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan


    Sweet Valley Confidential: ten years later by Francine Pascal

  3. Great list, Kristina! There's also an excerpt of Glass Boys online:


  4. Awesome, Alison. Thanks for that addition. Looks like it's going to be a great read!