Saturday, July 02, 2016

August Treasures in My Closet - Part 2

I have another enormous pile of August releases to discuss, so let's get started.

First up, Imbolo Mbue's debut novel, Behold the Dreamers. It's the story of an immigrant couple from Cameroon striking to make a new life in New York City, just as the Great Recession upends the American economy. It's a story of marriage, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream. (Release date is Aug. 23.)

I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows is another book I talked about at BEA. In 1934, it's the start of the Dust Bowl years in Mulehead, Oklahoma. As drought and storms lay waste to the Great Plains, wife and mother Annie Bell cannot escape the dust. "It's in her hair, covering the windowsills in the corners of her children's dry, cracked lips. As the Bell family waits for the rains to come, as their neighbors give up and clear out one by one, all of the Bells are pulled in different directions." When I discussed it at BEA, I quoted someone from Macmillan who said it will make you thirsty. (Release date is Aug. 9.)

Here's a debut novel that caught my attention, Louise Miller's The City Baker's Guide to Country Living. When Olivia Rawlings, pastry chef for an exclusive Boston dinner club, sets not just her dessert but the entire building on fire, she escapes to the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont. But, the getaway turns into something more lasting when the cantankerous owner of the Sugar Maple Inn offers Livvy a job. And, the real reason she was hired? The owner hopes to reclaim the inn's blue ribbon status at the annual count fair apple pie contest with Livvy's help. (Release date is Aug. 9.)

Bestselling author Brenda Novak launches a new series with Her Darkest Nightmare. At sixteen Evelyn Talbot was imprisoned by her boyfriend, tortured, and left for dead. Now, she's an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, and the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility in a small Alaskan town. And, Sergeant Amarok considers Hanover House a threat to the community, especially when the body of a local woman turns up. That's all the proof he needs, but Evelyn thinks the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again. (Release date is Aug. 30.)

B.A. Paris' debut, Behind Closed Doors, may be #1 in the UK, with movie rights sold, but it's for readers with more nerves than I have. It's the story of newlyweds Grace and Jack Angel who seem to have a perfect life, but Jack is actually a sadistic man who imprisons his wife, and threatens to do worse to Grace's sister when she comes to live with them. (Release date is Aug. 9.)

In Harmony, Carolyn Pankhurst takes readers inside a family who are desperate to leave everything behind. Alexandra and her husband have tried everything to help their off-the-charts genius but impossible daughter, Tilly, who has been deemed "undiagnosable". After she's expelled from the last school in their DC suburb, they move to New Hampshire where Camp Harmony and a child behavior expert might be a solution. Instead, they find themselves pushed to the limits. (Release date is Aug. 2.)

I was an early fan of Louise Penny's Armand Gamache books, so of course I'm looking forward to the new book, A Great Reckoning. An intricate old map found stuffed behind the walls of the bistro in Three Pines seems to be a curiosity, and Gamache is given the map on the first day of his new job. But, it leads him to shattering secrets. (Release date is Aug. 30.)

Paris, a library, history, and a mystery. Does it get much better? Mark Pryor's latest Hugo Marston novel is The Paris Librarian. The police may be certain that Hugo's friend Paul Rogers' death in a locked room at the American Library in Paris is from natural causes, but Hugo isn't so sure. Hugo's search for answers leads him to the story of an American actress rumored to have aided the resistance towards the end of World War II, and the rumors she killed an SS officer with a dagger in the collection. Hugo has to return to the scene of a decades-old crime to find the truth. (Release date is Aug. 9.)

If I told you Jonathan F. Putnam's debut mystery, These Honored Dead, is a Lincoln and Speed mystery, would you think of Abraham Lincoln? The amateur Lincoln scholar introduces Joshua Speed to a freshly minted lawyer by the name of Abraham Lincoln. Speed needs the legal expertise of his new friend to try to clear the good name of a woman accused of murdering her orphaned niece. Then, more bodies are discovered, and the investigation starts to come apart at the seams. (Release date is Aug. 9.)

In Matt Rees' The Damascus Threat, ICE Special Agent Dominic Verrazano's vigilance pays off when he uncovers a plot to launch a chemical attack in New York, but he doesn't know what the target is or how deep the conspiracy goes. It's a search that leads him to Syria where he has to track the weapon before it's too late. (Release date is Aug. 9.)

Alix Rickloff's historical novel, Secrets of Nanreath Hall, tells the story of a young mother who flees her home in Cornwall in the early years of World War I, and the daughter who finds her way back during World War II, searching for answers. (Release date is Aug. 2.)

In The Art of Rivalry, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastian Smee tells of four friendships and rivalries that led to creative innovations. He examines the relationships of Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. (Release date is Aug. 16.)

Nadia Spiegelman's memoir, I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This, is a story of mothers and daughters traced through four generations, from Paris to New York and back again in an account that helps readers see why sometimes those who love us best hurt us most. (Release date is Aug. 2.)

Brian Thiem, a veteran of the Oakland Police Department, gives us a police procedural, Thrill Kill. "Cops in Oakland seldom meet people whose lives are going well. That's certainly the case when homicide detective Matt Sinclair recognizes the dead woman hanging from a tree as a teenage runaway named Dawn he arrested ten years before. And as Sinclair and his partner, Cathy Braddock, soon learn, many of Dawn's clients, not to mention the local and federal officials who protect them, will go to any length to keep the police from digging too deep into her past." (Release date is Aug. 9.)

Charlie Henry and his friends return in David Thurlo's Rob They Neighbor. When Charlie and his best friend Gordon interrupt a kidnapping, the masked men get away. But, Sam Randall hires Charlie and Gordon to investigate, not trusting the police to protect him and his wife. As they investigate, the simple home invasion case turns into something more. (Release date is Aug. 16.)

Bob Utecht is a former tight-end for the Indianapolis Colts, and a national spokesperson for brain health. After five major concussions, Utecht is losing his memories. The book, Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away, is his powerful and emotional love letter to his wife and daughter - whom he someday may not recognize - and an inspiring message for all to live every moment fully." (Release date is Aug. 23.)

In her novel, Still Here, Lara Vapnyar follows the intertwined lives of four Russian immigrants in New York City as they grapple with love and tumult, the challenges of a new home, and the absurdities of the digital age. (Release date is Aug. 2.)

Small-town Iowa secrets come to light in Auralee Wallace's Otter Lake mystery, Pumpkin Picking with Murder. The annual Fall Festival is a big deal in Otter Lake, New Hampshire, and Erica Bloom is trying to enjoy herself as she gets better acquainted with the sheriff. But, her romance will have to take a back seat after a dead man shows up, slumped over in the boat emerging from the tunnel, and the other person is not his wife, but Erica's feisty "aunt" Tweety. (Release date is Aug. 30.)

Shall we end the Treasures posts with a psychological suspense novel? Camilla Way's Watching Edie features Edie, who once caused a stir when she walked into your life. Edie once had dreams. But, at thirty-three, overwhelmed by life, she discovers that someone has been watching her. (Release date is Aug. 2.)

Two days of book listings. A little overwhelming? What books jump out at you? What jumps out at me? Why are there so many books that I want to read that are released on Aug. 9th? I hope you find something to enjoy in these posts!


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

To be honest, what's most interesting to me is that except for the Bill Crider book yesterday, none of my list of "books I most want to read" was even on these long lists!

8/2 P. J. Tracy, The Sixth Idea (Monkeewrench)
8/2 Colin Cotterill, I Shot the Buddha (Dr. Siri)
8/9 Peter Robinson, When the Music's Over (Alan Banks)

Deb said...

Hello! I've been lurking here since Jeff Meyerson posted a link to your blog a few weeks ago and have very much enjoyed your posts and reviews. I love this upcoming features post (today and yesterday). Of the books you've listed, I'm really looking forward to the new Louise Penny: the Gamache series is one I've tried to keep up with. I'm also very interested in the book about the Barbizon Hotel because I love books that feature a slowly-revealed "shocking secret" and/or a crime from the past being investigated in the present, plus that wonderfully-quaint idea of a residential hotel exclusively for women. How times have changed.

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR sounds interesting, but death or injury to a child is a subject I find hard to read. I have the same problem with the upcoming Alex Marwood (and I hope she's dropped that gimmick of writing her novels in second person/present tense; that gets old real fast, no matter how good the plot). I'd also like to read the Matsumoto--here's hoping my library will have it.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

The Thrill Kill seems to be a second in the series as he did one before this called RED LINE according to my local library system. Police procedural type reads attract me.

Grace Koshida said...

Auralee Wallace's first book, Skinny Dipping With Murder was one of the funniest mysteries I have read in years, so I am looking forward to her new book. A new Louise Penny book is always welcome. And I am interested in reading B.A. Paris' book...a new author for me.

Lesa said...

Jeff, I'm with you on the Monkeewrench book. Those titles aren't on my list, though, because they're not in my closet or my place. I don't have copies. YET!

Lesa said...

Welcome, Deb! That was so nice of Jeff to post a link. I hope you enjoy the blog, come back often, and comment once in a while. I enjoy "meeting" other readers, and seeing their opinions and what they're reading. I hope you drop in. Thank you! And, thanks to Jeff for linking here.

Lesa said...

I'm with you on those police procedurals, Kevin. Some of my favorites.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Grace. I enjoy seeing what books are on others' lists.