Friday, December 2, 2011

5 Fiction Releases to Watch for in December

December must be a difficult time to release a new book. Many of the book review sites have already published their best of the year lists, holiday shoppers might not get a chance to hear about your title before spending their gift cash and books must get lost in the buzz of so many other things going on.

Here's a few December releases for this year: take a minute and give them a second look.

One Hundred and One Nights (M)
by Benjamin Buchholz (December 1):

A first novel that gives readers a peek inside modern day Iraq. "After 13 years in America, Abu Saheeh has returned to his native Iraq, a nation transformed by the American military presence. Alone in a new city, he has exactly what he wants: freedom from his past. Then he meets Layla, a whimsical fourteen-year-old girl who enchants him with her love of American pop culture. Enchanted by Layla's stories and her company, Abu Saheeh settles into the city's rhythm and begins rebuilding his life. But two sudden developments--his alliance with a powerful merchant and his employment of a hot-headed young assistant--reawaken painful memories, and not even Layla may be able to save Abu Saheeh from careening out of control and endangering all around them. " (publisher's description)

Soft Target (M)
by Stephen Hunter (December 6).

The second title in a series from a popular military thriller author sees retired marine Ray Cruz caught up in a terrorist hostage taking on Black Friday in the Mall of America. In their starred review, Booklist magazine said "“Combining elements of the locked-room mystery, the disaster novel, and the lock-and-load thriller, Hunter produces a remarkably gripping tale, building character (the captives, the bureaucrats, and the “terrorists” all get compelling backstories) every bit as convincingly as he drives the narrative to its High Noon–style finale.”

All the Flowers in Shanghai (M)
by Duncan Jepson (December 20).

Set in 1930s Shanghai, this debut historical title looks at class and culture in China. "For every young Chinese woman in 1930s Shanghai, following the path of duty takes precedence over personal desires. For Feng, that means becoming the bride of a wealthy businessman in a marriage arranged by her parents. In the enclosed world of the Sang household—a place of public ceremony and private cruelty—fulfilling her duty means bearing a male heir.The life that has been forced on her makes Feng bitter and resentful, and she plots a terrible revenge. But with the passing years comes a reckoning, and Feng must reconcile herself with the sacrifices and terrible choices she has made in order to assure her place in the family and society—even as the violent, relentless tide of revolution engulfs her country." (publisher's description)

The Innocent: a Vanessa Michael Munroe novel (M)
by Taylor Stevens (December 27)

Quick on the heels of Stevens' debut international thriller The Informationist (M), comes the next Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel. The title of the first book refers to lead character Munroe's career: she seeks information that is valuable to corporations and others. The plot of this action packed sequel finds Munroe investigating the case of child kidnapped by a cult. In a time when Larsson remains the name to mention when trying to draw positive attention to a new thriller, I've seen more than one comparison of Stevens' female lead to Lisbeth Salander.

Death Comes to Pemberley (M)
by P.D. James (December 6).

A murder mystery from one of our greatest authors in the genre, set in the world of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, there doesn't seem to be much more to say. Although we did already say a little bit in this past post.

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