Saturday, November 2, 2013

Six Fiction Titles to Look for in November

Here we go: new month, new books! Here are five novels released this November to add to your to be read pile.

The Dinosaur Feather (M) by Sissel-Jo Gazan (November 5).

I dunno, has the trend for Scandinavian thrillers finally come to a close? Publishers don't think so as I've been seeing a lot of buzz for this Danish debut thriller which also has a pretty significant first print run. Someone clearly thinks readers are going to be rushing out for copies of this story a grad student just weeks from defending her PhD when her widely disliked advisor is found dead in his office with a copy her blood covered thesis in his lap. Think The Secret History crossed with Scandinavian noir.

Valley of Amazement (Mby Amy Tan (November 5). 

It's been a few years since we've had a novel from Amy Tan. Her last novel, 2005's Saving Fish From Drowning was stylistically and thematically a bit of a departure for Tan, a suspenseful tale of missing travelers set in Myanmar. For fans of Tan's earlier books including The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter's Daughter her latest novel's return to a multigenerational family tale will generate excitement. "From the lavish parlours of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village - a sweeping, evocative epic of two women's intertwined fates and their search for identity. Violet is one of the most celebrated courtesans in Shanghai, a beautiful and intelligent woman who has honed her ability to become any man's fantasy since her start as a "Virgin Courtesan" at the age of 12. Half-Chinese and half-American, she moves effortlessly between the east and the west. But her talents belie her private struggle to understand who she really is and her search for a home in the world."

All-Girls Filling Station's Last Reunion (M) by Fannie Flagg (November 5). 

Another popular favourite returns this month with a new book: this time its Fannie Flagg, an author known for her humourous yet touching southern US tales, this one garnering comparisons to her most famous title Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. "Spanning decades, generations, and America in the 1940s and today, this is a fun-loving mystery about an Alabama woman today, and five women who in 1943 worked in a Phillips 66 gas station, during the WWII years . . . this is a riveting, fun story of two families, set in present day America and during World War II, filled to the brim with Flagg's trademark funny voice and storytelling magic."

The Lost Girls of Rome (Mby Donato Carrisi (November 19). 

More international thrills, this time translated from Italian. "Sandra Vega, a forensic analyst with the Roman police department, mourns deeply for a marriage that ended too soon. A few months ago, in the dead of night, her husband, an up-and-coming journalist, plunged to his death at the top of a high-rise construction site. The police ruled it an accident. Sanda is convinced it was anything but.Launching her own inquiries, Sanda finds herself on a dangerous trail, working the same case that she is convinced led to her husband’s murder. An investigation which is deeply entwined with a series of disappearances that has swept the city, and brings Sandra ever closer to a centuries-old secret society that will do anything to stay in the shadows" If this one sounds interesting, you may also want to check out Carrisi's first prize winning novel The Whisperer.

And let's finish this post this month with two very big name books that need little explanation. 

Saints of the Shadow Bible (Mby Ian Rankin (November 7) is another new John Rebus mystery, always popular with readers at Halifax Public Libraries and First Phone Call From Heaven (M) by Mitch Albom (November 12) is an inspirational tale from the author whose Tuesdays With Morrie made him a household name. If you haven't already get your holds in now!

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