The excitement of a new book from a favorite author, the anticipation of settling down with a well written book and the satisfaction and sadness when you have finished reading a wonderful book. This is why each week I bring you reads I recommend because I love to read and I think my friends you feel the same.
I am ready to go to other worlds, live other lives, learn, experience a different time, share a mystery and spy on romance. So I bring a romance, children’s books, a horror thriller, something funny, historical fiction and a brilliant piece of non-fiction.
First Love By James Patterson. Available January 13, 2014. (by the end of the month most of us should know what year it is and won’t need the reminder.)
Axi Moore is a “good girl”: She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn’t tell anyone that what she really wants is to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson–who she also happens to be madly in love with.
When Axi impulsively invites Robinson to come with her on an unplanned cross-country road trip, she breaks the rules for the first time in her life. But the adventure quickly turns from carefree to out-of-control.
A remarkably moving tale with its origins in James Patterson’s own past, First Love is testament to the power of first love–and how it can change the rest of your life.
The Night Before My Birthday captures all the excitement and anticipation that every child experiences in the lead-up to their special day. The decorations are up, the table is set, and the food is ready – but what happens when there is an ice cream emergency? Once again Natasha Wing has written a story that is sure to appeal to every child getting ready for a birthday. The book is told by and seen through the eyes of the birthday child, so it is gender neutral and a fun gift for any birthday girl or boy.
The Night Before My Birthday Book by Joni Rubinstein.
“The moon will soon rise, and the sun has just set. But it’s still not my birthday yet.” The Night Before My Birthday Book is a magical poem read to children on the night before their birthday. It captures the feelings of children as they are tucked into bed, full of anticipation, with dreams of waking up a brand new age. This beautifully illustrated book, now in hardcover, becomes a childhood keepsake with chronicle pages to record birthday dreams come true. The Night Before My Birthday Book will become a favorite tradition as it celebrates the birth of a child and becoming a growing family.
“The moon will soon rise, and the sun has just set. But it’s still not my birthday yet.”
Hurty Feelings (Laugh-Along Lessons) By Helen Lester and illustrator Lynn Munsinger. Hardcover available January 14, 2014. This book was released in paperback in 2007 but is now available in Hardback.
Fragility the hippo is solid on the outside and fragile on the inside. In every compliment, Fragility hears an insult. If someone says she looks nice, she hears that she looks like a big, squishy cupcake—since cupcakes are also nice. But soon, Rudy the bully comes along to insult her for real. In the face of these insults, will Fragility realize the difference between a jab and a compliment?
Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival By Jennifer Chiaverini. Available January 14, 2014.
Kate Chase Sprague was born in 1840 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second daughter to the second wife of a devout but ambitious lawyer. Her father, Salmon P. Chase, rose to prominence in the antebellum years and was appointed secretary of the treasury in Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, while aspiring to even greater heights.
Beautiful, intelligent, regal, and entrancing, young Kate Chase stepped into the role of establishing her thrice-widowed father in Washington society and as a future presidential candidate. Her efforts were successful enough that The Washington Star declared her “the most brilliant woman of her day. None outshone her.”
None, that is, but Mary Todd Lincoln. Though Mrs. Lincoln and her young rival held much in common—political acumen, love of country, and a resolute determination to help the men they loved achieve greatness—they could never be friends, for the success of one could come only at the expense of the other. When Kate Chase married William Sprague, the wealthy young governor of Rhode Island, it was widely regarded as the pinnacle of Washington society weddings. President Lincoln was in attendance. The First Lady was not.
Jennifer Chiaverini excels at chronicling the lives of extraordinary yet little known women through historical fiction. What she did for Elizabeth Keckley in Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and for Elizabeth Van Lew in The Spymistress she does for Kate Chase Sprague in Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival.
For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind By Rosemary Mahoney. Available January 14, 2014.
“Rosemary Mahoney is one of a handful of nonfiction writers so original and so surprising that I look forward to each new book with an excitement bordering on impatience. What makes For the Benefit of Those Who See especially absorbing is that it turns on Mahoney’s greatest strength: her idiosyncratic and unblinking eye. As it explores the world of the blind, this provocative and revelatory work teaches us a great deal about what it means to see. And when I finished this book, I returned to the world feeling that all my senses had been sharpened.” — George Howe Colt, author of The Big House
Annoying Orange #4: Tales from the Crisper By Scott Shaw and Mike Kazaleh. Available January 14, 2014.
Don’t adjust your television; that really is a talking orange and he really is that annoying! Annoying Orange and his friends from the fruit bowl have already taken over the airwaves and the internet with their groaningly silly adventures, and now it’s time for them to scare the seeds out of you in this bumper crop of horrific pulpy parodies. Gather ’round the campfire (not so close, Marshmallow!) and join your host, Annoying Orange, for an evening of…Tales From the Crisper!
Mayhem By Sarah Pinborough. Available January 14, 2014. “A compulsively readable story that starts as a conventional murder mystery and morphs, by degrees, into a horrifying supernatural thriller,” The Guardian said of Mayhem.
A virtuoso fantasy writer, Sarah Pinborough has won numerous awards including the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story. In Mayhem Pinborough turns her attention to one of the most baffling and notorious crime sprees in Victorian times.
Already frustrated in their attempts to capture serial murderer Jack the Ripper, the detectives of Scotland Yard are suddenly confronted with a new monster, dubbed the Torso Killer for his habit of leaving behind neatly wrapped parcels of his victims’ body parts, minus the heads. With the terrible increase in mutilated corpses to examine, the highly regarded police surgeon Dr. Thomas Bond has lost the ability to sleep. True, a growing dependency on opium affords him some solace in his loneliest and most desperate hours, but he also fears the grip of the drug.
During Dr. Bond’s nightly tours of London’s underbelly in search of pharmaceutical respite from the horrors that plague him by day, he encounters a mysterious Jesuit priest scouring the opium dens himself, clearly in search of someone—or something. The doctor at first rejects the strange priest’s unnatural theories about the Torso Killer as an affront to scientific thought. But over time Dr. Bond’s opium-addled mind begins to crumble under the growing impression that there might be some awful truth to the Jesuit’s ideas.
As the police struggle to capture two serial killers, the troubled forensics expert begins to suspect that he may actually know the Torso Killer personally. If he is right, Dr. Bond will need all the strength he can muster to save his small circle of loved ones from falling victim to the bloody depravities of this twisted creature.