Thursday, June 20, 2013

Random House Previews

The box that came in the mail yesterday was too good not to share. It was sixteen books from Random House, all books coming out this fall. And, some of them sound perfect for book groups.

These are in no particular order.

Susan Gregg Gilmore brings us The Funeral Dress in September. Emmalee Bullard and her new baby
are on their own, at least she thinks so until Leona Lane, a seamstress who worked next to Emmalee offered her a place to live. When Leona dies tragically, the grief-stricken Emmalee decides to make her friend's burying dress. As she sews, she finds unlikely support from a group of seamstresses and the local funeral director. In a story exploring Southern spirit and camaraderie among working women, a young mother will compel a town to become a community.

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is "A Memoir of Food and Longing" by Anya Von Bremzen. The celebrated food writer captures the flavors of the Soviet experience in a multigenerational memoir. Anya and her mother decided to cook their way through seven decades of the Soviet experience in order to make sense of the past. Look for it in September.

My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead is also nonfiction. Mead was a young woman in England when she first read George Eliot's Middlemarch. It's a book that combines biography, reporting, and memoir to reveal the life the book made for Mead, as well as the many lives of the novel itself. This one comes out in January.

Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank, writes about another woman who loved a historic figure in Under the Wide and Starry Sky. This one tells the passionate story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny. It's a story that spans decades and the globe. It's also published in January.

The Commissario Michele Balistreri trilogy launches in February with the thriller The Deliverance of Evil by Roberto Costantini. After he fails to solve the murder of a young woman in 1982 when Italy was celebrating its World Cup victory, the hard-drinking Commissario grew a little wiser, a little less fearless, and a little more damaged. By 2006, when Italy is once again on the brink of a World Cup victory, he's losing a battle against his personal demons. But, the suicide of the young woman's mother sets him back on the hunt for a killer.

Jamie Ford sets his novel, Songs of Willow Frost, against the backdrop of Seattle during the Great Depression. William Eng, A Chinese American orphan, sees a movie featuring an actress who goes by the name of Willow Frost. William is convinced Willow is his mother, whom he hasn't seen in years. He's determined to find Willow, so he searches throughout Depression-era Seattle to confront the secrets of his past. However, Willow's story is far more complicated than the young man believes. Jamie Ford's book will be released in September.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri is another September novel. Two brothers are inseparable as children. While the younger brother supports a rebellion in India in the late 1960s, the older brother leaves for America. But, when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in India's lowland, he returns home to pick up the pieces of a shattered family and heal the wounds his brother left behind.

Lahiri is a Pulitzer Prize winner, as is the next author, Sheri Fink. Five Days at Memorial is the
culmination of six years of reporting, investigating patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The suspense-filled portrayal of the quest for truth and justice comes out in September.

Alex by Pierre Lemaitre is translated from the French. Alex Prevost has been kidnapped, savagely beaten, and suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse. To find her, Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven, must first understand her. As he uncovers her story, he comes to realize Alex is not an ordinary victim. She's tough and resourceful, and the Commandant faces more than just saving her life. It's another September release.

P.D. Viner's The Last Winter of Dani Lancing is a debut thriller. When college student Dani Lancing was kidnapped and brutally murdered, it destroyed her parents' marriage. Twenty years later, when Dani's childhood sweetheart, now a detective, thinks he might be able to close the case, Dani's mother is once again obsessed. She'll do anything for revenge, even if it means dragging her whole family back into the nightmare. Look for this thriller in October.

The Crooked Mirror by Louise Steinman is a memoir of Polish-Jewish reconciliation. Through the lens of her own family's history, Steinman sets out to examine the Polish-Jewish reconciliation movement taking place in Poland today. It comes out in November.

Rhidian Brook's The Aftermath is a novel set in Germany during the tumultuous year following the end of World War II, the profoundly moving story of two families, one house, and love grown from hate. In Hamburg, 1946, Colonel Lewis Morgan is charged with overseeing the rebuilding of the devastated city and the de-Nazification of its defeated people, is stationed in a grand house. While waiting for his wife and only surviving son, he refuses to force the owners out of their house. His insistence that the two families live together forces everyone to confront their true selves. The Aftermath is released in September.

Koren Zailckas' Mother, Mother is a debut novel coming out in September.It's the shattering story of a mother's love gone too far. When Josephine Hurst's oldest daughter runs off, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning the home into a darker sort of prison. And, when a violent incident leads to a visit from child-protective services, the truth about the Hursts might finally be revealed. This one is also a September publication.

Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem follows three generations of American radicals. At the center of the story are two women. Roze Zimmer is nicknamed Red Queen of Sunnyside, Queens, a Communist who terrorizes her neighborhood with her tyranny. Her daughter, Miriam, is equally passionate, but makes her own life in Greenwich Village. It's a story that moves through the '30s, McCarthyism, the civil rights movement, '70s communes, the Sandinistas, up to the Occupy movement. Again, it's due out in September.

In The Color Master, Aimee Bender, the bestselling author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, brings readers a collection of stories; dreamy, strange, and magical stories. Look for it in September.

Canadian author Dennis Bock's latest novel is Going Home Again. Charlie Bellerose leads a semi-nomadic existence, traveling widely to manage the language academies he has established in different countries. After separating, he manages to make a fresh start. Then, two tragic events force him to take stock of the shape his life has taken, and reevaluate his priorities to decide what his responsibilities truly are. This one is released in August.

I'm sure you'll see these titles again in Treasures in My Closet posts. However, it never hurts to talk about interesting books. Anything here that appeals to you?


Tina's Blog said...

A lot of those titles look great. Enjoy!

Jane R said...

What fun to open that box! Aftermath by Brook looks interesting to me....

Lesa said...

I already shared three of the titles with our Marketing person here as to possibilities with book groups and author appearances. They are interesting looking books.

Susan Murray said...

Wow!! Three of them look good to me - the Middlemarch one by Rebecca Mead, the Lowlands (I met her once - she was just as gorgeous inside as out!), and the new Jamie Ford one. Just reading this late, but still putting in my two cents :)

Lesa said...

I'll take your two cents anytime, Susan. I'm always interested in seeing what others want to read.