Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 Fiction Releases to Watch for in December

The days are just about as short as they are gonna be, which means lots of time for reading during the cold dark nights. As we move into the holiday season, you may have reading on your mind, whether for yourself, or for gift giving. Want to seem on top the trends, one of these 5 books being released this month might help.

The Bones of the Old Ones  (M)
by Howard Andrew Jones (December 11).

I don't often include fantasy novels in these posts, but this one really caught my attention. Second in a series—the sequel to 2011's The Desert of Souls—it's the setting that sparked my interest. "As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped from a dangerous cabal that has ensorcelled her to track down ancient magical tools of tremendous power, the bones of the old ones. To stop the cabal and save Najya, Dabir and Asim venture into the worst winter in human memory, hunted by a shape-changing assassin."

The Twelve Tribes Of Hattie (M)
by Ayana Mathis (December 18).

I've been reading a lot of pre-publication buzz about this first novel, which is set against the backdrop of The Great Migration, and from a graduate of the well respected Iowa Writers’ Workshop. "In 1923, seventeen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia for Philadelphia, where, though her first two babies die because she can’t afford medicine, she keeps nine children alive with old southern remedies and sheer love. Saddled with a husband who brings her nothing but disappointment, she prepares her children for a world she knows will not be kind to them. Their trials are the trials on which the history of America was forged, a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit, and a force stronger than love or trouble: the determination to get by and get through. A searing portrait of an unforgettable family, an emotionally transfixing drama of human striving in the face of insurmountable adversity and a ferocious vision of humanity at its most threadbare and elemental..."

The Folly of the World (M)
by Jesse Bullington (December 18).

Okay, I will admit to judging this book by its cover—but the story caught my attention immediately following my interest in the attractive artwork. The Saint Elizabeth Flood of 1421 devastated what we now know as the Netherlands, adding to misery that years of civil war had already wrought. "Yet even disaster can be profitable, for the right sort of individual, and into this flooded realm sail three conspirators: a deranged thug at the edge of madness, a ruthless conman on the cusp of fortune, and a half-feral girl balanced between them. If they work together they may find reward beyond reckoning, but such promise is no guarantee against betrayals born of greed, rage, and lust." Bullington is the author of two previous novels of historical satire, The Enterprise of Death and The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart.

The Conductor (M)
by Sarah Quigley (December 25).

The promotional material for this historical novel of Nazi intrigue in Russia mentions that the book held the #1 spot on the bestseller list in the author's native New Zealand for 20 weeks. Fellow New Zealand author Lloyd Jones (author of Mr. Pip and others) has blurbed this novel saying “An extraordinary period of history brought to life by a daring novelist. Superbly imagined and brilliantly realized.” A great selection for book clubs and historical fiction lovers.

Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See (M)
by Juliann Garey (December 26).

A first novel that tackles the topic of bipolar disorder, and how it impacts families and individuals. "In her tour-de-force first novel, Juliann Garey takes us inside the restless mind, ravaged heart, and anguished soul of Greyson Todd, a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and young daughter and for a decade travels the world giving free reign to the bipolar disorder he's been forced to keep hidden for almost 20 years. The novel intricately weaves together three timelines: the story of Greyson's travels (Rome, Israel, Santiago, Thailand, Uganda); the progressive unraveling of his own father seen through Greyson's eyes as a child; and the intimacies and estrangements of his marriage. The entire narrative unfolds in the time it takes him to undergo twelve 30-second electroshock treatments in a New York psychiatric ward. This is a literary page-turner of the first order, and a brilliant inside look at mental illness."

Apropos of nothing, while I was writing this post I listened to this new CD from the library collection: Shut Down the Streets (M) by A.C. Newman

No comments:

Post a Comment