I've seen a LOT of mash-up book descriptions in my time at BookPage. "Eat, Pray, Love meets A Year in Provence!" "The Da Vinci Code meets Gone Girl!" Etc.
And just when I thought I was far too jaded to be sucked in by one, along comes a debut novel whose "meet" comparison is truly something I've never seen (and would be extremely curious to read). Are you ready?
"The Crimson Petal and the White meets Fight Club: A page-turning novel set in the world of female pugilists and their patrons in late eighteenth-century England."
Say what? Yes, that's right, Faber + Palaniuk = Anna Freeman's debut, The Fair Fight (Riverhead, April 2015). When a lifelong female street fighter born in a brothel meets a manor-born lady eager to escape the confines of her sheltered life, both women might have a chance to fight their way to the top. Best of all, this is based on a true story: The author has worked as a bartender at the Hatchet Inn in Bristol, England, the city's oldest pub—a hotspot for pugilism in the 18th century.
I've put a BOLO on the galley for this one! Will you read it?
As someone who loves both curmudgeons and cats, I was delighted to see that grammar grump Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves) had gone feline with her first novel, Cat Out of Hell. Already on sale in Britain, it will be published in the U.S. in March, by Melville House. (Listed in the catalog selling points: "Cat on the cover!" This is certainly a draw for me.)
However. Truss' opinion of our feline friends is characteristically skeptical. She launches her horror spoof with the premise that cats have the potential for evil. In fact, some cats are so human-phobic that they don't trust cats who get along with humans . . . and are intent on destroying them. Can one widowed academic foil this plot? And what did his wife have to do with the mystery?
It seems that the summer 2015 season is off to a good start: We've just heard that Sara Gruen, who made her name with Water for Elephants, will release a new book on June 2—and it's a return to historical fiction.
Though few plot details are available, At the Water's Edge is set in 1942 and follows three Americans who travel to Scotland on a quest to find the Loch Ness monster. Sounds like quite the adventure! Will you read it?
LibraryReads has tallied up the votes from librarians nationwide and put together their monthly list of librarians' most anticipated books. It's going to be a good month!
At the top of the list is Garth Stein's A Sudden Light—a book we had the pleasure of chatting with Stein about just this month! Jodi Picoult's latest novel about a teenage girl hoping to track down her mother, Leaving Time, is also on the list, along with Jane Smiley's Some Luck, which is up for a National Book Award in Fiction. In the mood for something spooky for Halloween? The Boy Who Drew Monsters is also on the list. Because really, what's more terrifying than creepy children?
Sedgwick, who won the 2014 award for Midwinterblood, has always been fascinated with spirals, "which occur throughout nature from the microscopic to the interstellar." The Ghosts of Heaven (Roaring Brook) is composed of four "quarters," leaping from prehistory to centuries later, that can be read in any order and are all connected by sprials in some way. It's exactly the sort of narrative that Sedgwick alone can handle.
Lake, who won in 2013 for In Darkness, offers a new literary thriller that was inspired by a haunting moment in his own life: A coyote ran across his path in Scottsdale, Arizona, and this image resonated through his mind and life until coming to rest within the pages of There Will Be Lies (Bloomsbury). In a letter at the book's opening, Lake writes, "It's a book about canyons, about chasms, about cracks in reality; and it's a book about what lies beyond them."
Are you as excited for these two novels as I am?
I know this will sound unbelievable. But I have never seen an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Granted, I was more involved with Nickelodeon during the peak-Oprah years of the '90s (although some would argue we are still in the peak-Oprah years).
But her new book, What I Know For Sure, is a lovely, clothbound book of wisdom that resonates—regardless of your level of familiarity with Winfrey's work. Released last week, What I Know For Sure features selections from the popular, eponymous monthly column in her O Magazine. The column was inspired by a question the late film critic Gene Siskel used to ask during interviews: "What do you know for sure?" Through this question, Oprah reflects on the knowledge she's garnered throughout her varied, massively successful career.
Organized by themes like joy and power, these short essays are cherry-picked from the 14-year-old column's archives. With this book of bite-sized revelations, Oprah hopes to help readers discover the important things they know for sure, and to be thankful for them.
What do you think readers? Are you excited about this new book of Oprah-isms?