Friday, June 1, 2012

7 Fiction Titles to Watch for in June

Another month, another list of great new fiction!

This month sees a couple of new releases from authors who have had previous titles that were big hits with book clubs, will start with those and give you a leg up on suggestions for your club's next read.

Gold (M) by Chris Cleave (June 5) is the latest book from the author best known for his 2009 book Little Bee.

Cleave has gone with a very contemporary setting for this latest: the leadup to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Gold is the story of two elite athletes, who also happen to be good friends, who must compete for the last spot on the UK's Olympic cycling team. In an early review, Publisher's Weekly has said "From start to finish, this is a truly Olympic-level literary achievement."

Readers probably best remember author Mark Haddon, from his 2002 hit "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time". This month he releases The Red House (M) (June 12). Told in alternating voices of the various characters, the book begins when "Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over." From Library Journal: "Refreshingly, Haddon takes the risk of making the ordinary extraordinary and succeeds; each character is poignantly real and each small trauma a revelation. And the language! Highly recommended"

Fans of crime fiction will want to make note of a later June release, Brenner and God (M) by Wolf Haas (June 26) is the first appearance in English of a series that Amazon proclaims is "one of the most wildly popular detective series in Europe". Described as a darkly funny, hardboiled detective novel, it introduces Simon Brenner, a Viennese ex-cop, now working as a chauffeur. The action starts when the two year old child in his care is kidnapped and Brenner investigates her disappearance. European police mysteries have a way of working into the North American psyche, time will tell if Haas is to be the next Mankell or Rankin.
The description of The Chaperone (M) by Laura Moriatry (June 5) really drew me in. Historical fiction that chronicles the early life of silent-film star Louise Brooks and the chaperone in whose care she spent her teen years. The Jazz Era New York City setting is probably the thing that caught my eye, but the the popular magazine press—including O Magazine, Vogue and Marie Claire—has also jumped on this one. Set mostly over one summer, it seems like a great summer read.

I couldn't pick just one more title for this month's post so here in quick succession are three more for you to consider:

The Neruda Case (M) by Roberto Ampuero (June 28): Another international bestseller appearing for the first time in English. This one is a Chilean novel of political intrigue and Pablo Neruda.

The Family Album (M) by Kerry Kelly (June 11): A Canadian novel "a humorous look at the creation and reconstruction of family and the lingering hold of the people we keep close and those we try to let go" (publisher)

The Forrests (M) by Emily Perkins (June 5): A literary novel of an American family living in New Zealand, Whitehots describes it as a novel that "speaks of family and time, dysfunction, ageing, loneliness, lethargy, heat, youth, and how there is always something inaccessible and secret, lying just out of reach."

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