Friday, June 04, 2010

MY Coming Attractions

Shellie, over at her book blog Layers of Thought, regularly does previews of un-released books she thinks will interest her readers. It’s a nice feature that I’ve decided to adapt for this, MY blog.

Instead of previewing books that you might like, I’m going to preview the ones I like. This blog, after all, is all about me, me, and ME. If you don’t like my approach then go see Shellie.

The Whisperers: A Charlie Parker Thriller, John Connolly
Atria Books, 352 pages
ISBN: 978-1439165195
Release date: July 13, 2010 (already released in the UK)

I've met John at a couple book signings and he's a very funny Irishman who loves to talk to us, the readers. Don't be fooled, however, into thinking his Charlie Parker books are Irish cozies. This is the ninth in the series, and each book is more dark and violent than the previous one.

Charlie is a tortured man, an ex-cop turned private detective. Tortured because his wife and little girl were murdered by someone not quite earthly. Literally not earthly as the supernatural plays a larger part in each suceeding book. In this installment, Charlie may have to face his super nemesis, the so-called Collector . . .

The series doesn't have to be read in order, but reading it as a standalone leaves out a whole lot of backstory. The locale, by the way, is the state of Maine—Stephen King territory, but thankfully John isn't nearly as creepy as Steve.

The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, James Lee Burke
Simon & Schuster, 384 pages
ISBN: 978-1439128299
Release date: July 13, 2010

Dave is finally back in New Iberia, LA! We haven't had a good Louisiana potboiler from Dave since Pegasus Descending in 2007; 2008's Tin Roof Blowdown was a heartbreaker about Katrina, more fact than fiction.

In this, his eighteenth outing, Dave is on the trail of a sadistic killer of two young women. But, as always, he has other bayou fish to fry at the same time. His adopted daughter Alafair is attracted to Kermit Abelard, "a member of the degenerate Abelard clan" according to Publishers Weekly. PW makes a more-than-intriguing comparison of the Abelards to Faulkner's Snopes clan—an evil family indeed.

Of the writers listed in this post, Burke is the best of the bunch. He doesn't describe, but rather immerses the reader in Southern Louisiana. Like Connolly, this book can be read as a standalone, but a lot of backstory will be missing. Boy, I can hardly wait for this one.

Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
Scholastic Press, 400 pages
ISBN: 978-0439023511
Release date: August 24, 2010

Reading level: Young Adult

From James Lee Burke to the long-awaited finale of The Hunger Games trilogy. The setting is post- apocalyptic North America, divided into twelve (or is it thirteen?) Districts and controlled by the Capitol — replete with a very evil President Snow.

What makes this series stand out for both teens and adults is Collins. She knows how to grab the reader, and she refuses to let go of her choke hold. Her brilliance shines, however, in choosing a strong female lead named Katniss. Katniss thwarts Snow's every attempt to stop or destroy her as she relentlessly fights for the freedom and reunification of the Districts. For once, there is a fictional role model for teenaged girls.

There will be an ultimate showdown in this final installment, and a lot of questions to be answered. Obviously, the series must be read in order; the first two books are The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and the trilogy will be available as a boxed set (gifts, anyone?).

Boy, I can hardly wait for this one, or did I say that already?

Moonlight Mile, Dennis Lehane
William Morrow, 320 pages
ISBN: 978-0061836923
Release date: November 2, 2010

Lehane began his commercial writing career with five Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro private eye novels. The locale was Lehane's native Boston, and the books were both gritty and funny as hell. They sold well when they were published and they still do, but after finishing the fifth Lehane swore he would never write about the pair again.

Well never say never because this is a new Kenzie and Gennaro novel. Lehane says he has aged the pair to the current times, but no information is available yet on the plot.

In the meantime, you may enjoy one of the earlier novels: A Drink Before the War; Darkness Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; and Prayers for Rain. They can be read in any order.

Full Dark, No Stars, Stephen King
Scribner, 352 pages
ISBN: 978-1439192566
Release date: November 9, 2010

What can I say? This is Stephen King, the man who people love to hate. Since his retirement from writing, his writing has been uneven. Under the Dome, his last book, hit the mark. But what about this one? The only information available so far is that it's a new collection of four never-before-published stories. At 352 pages, they sound more like novellas—unless they suffer from James-Patterson-white-space-syndrome.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see. You know, Steve is a creepy guy when you watch and listen to him in interviews . . .

So these are MY choices for the coming months, patrician to be sure, but great escapist storytelling. I am tired of the problems of the real world, none of which I can fix and all of which make me angry. Only Connolly's book will be available for the Kindle (so much for e-readers), so hopefully Dr. Eyeball can do something about my failing eyesight very soon.

Here, for your convenience and if you care, are two of my Amazon Listmania! lists:

The Dave Robicheaux novels in order (read 8,696 times)

The Charlie Parker novels in order (Read 2,167 times)


Shellie - Layers of Thought said...

Charlie - LOL!

I just put up books that people send me for free!

Ocean Girl said...

Nicely done, thank you. So you can read books before they are released! I'll think of you when I see them in the stores.

I love to share things I like that I think others would like too and I think that's what you did. Thank you again. Book reviews help.

Fay's Too said...

What a great gig!

Ponita in Real Life said...

Some of these sound right up my alley. I think I will have to make a list. I've a couple of years to wait for the next Diana Gabaldon book anyway.

mapstew said...

Now dem's my kinda late-night reads! :¬)

Wandering Coyote said...

I have pre-ordered Mockingjay as it went down to $14 something on Amazon and I thought I should strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. I can't wait to read it!

This is a cool feature, Charlie. Never thought of previewing books before, but I like the idea a lot.

hope said...

I "listened" to Lehane's "Shutter Island" as read by actor David Strathairn and LOVED it! [Can't imagine how little Leo will pull off the movie role after that]. There was another audio book of his "Coronado" which was a series of short stories.

Ah, Uncle Stevie. That's how King refers to himself when writing a column for Entertainment Weekly. Sometimes I like him, sometimes he grosses me out {Cujo, Pet Sem..}. I swear, I do read, but I listened to "Cell" commuting back and forth to work...and when my cellphone rang I almost bolted from the car.

I like your list...will be checking some of them out. Thanks!

Charlie said...

SHELLIE: My books are free too because Martha pays for 'em.

OCEAN GIRL: I think one of the nice things about blogging is we share all different things we hope others will enjoy and find useful.

I share books and nonsense: you share exotic locales and foods.

FAY: Great gigs are my middle name, whatever the hell that means.

PONITA: If you like Diana G. (who lives here in town), you may very well like the Hunger Games trilogy. Given you limited reading time, you can polish off the first two by the time Mockingjay is released.

Charlie said...

MAP: There's nothing like reading about violence and gore just before the sandman comes. Funny thing, though: sometimes the bad guys make an appearance in my nightmares. Or maybe it's just gas.

WC: I am shocked beyond words. I was certain your comment would be, "I hate fucking Stephen King!"

If you like the idea of this post, feel free to use it. It would be interesting to see what you're looking forward to, and window shopping at Amazon is free.

HOPE: It is so GOOD to see you back after your loss.

I read Coronado and I wasn't too impressed by it. It bombed at the bookstore, so I suspect he's returning to a proven cash cow.

"Uncle Stevie." How cute. LOL at Cell and nearly jumping out of the car.

As far as audiobooks go, I heard excellent things about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and its four or five readers, so I ordered it—but have not listened to it yet.

Diane said...

Charlie....I like your style : me, me, me and some great sounding books to boot!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

What a great idea for a series! I too have a teetering stack on my bedside table that could do with a preview. SHall I send them over?

Pat said...

'Instead of previewing books that you might like, I’m going to preview the ones I like.'

That's the only way to do it IMO.
I might try the Stephen King. I really enjoyed his book 'On Writing'.
At present I'm immersed in Diana Athill's 'Life Class' - her memoirs - four books in one and there are so many similarities to my own story I'm gripped. Great feeling.

Library girl said...

Thanks Charlie - the link to John Connolly's series in order was a really nice touch!

laytonwoman3rd said...

I'm with you, and can't wait for the next installment of Robicheaux, which I have, of course, pre-ordered.

Charlie said...

DIANE: Thanks for the compliment. If it appears that I'm a bit self-centered, I am.

BARB: Nix sending your books to me. You must have previewed them at one point, elst you wouldn't have bought them. Just pick one up and go with it.

PAT: Like I said, King can be iffy, but his non-fiction book On Writing was excellent.

There's nothing like a gripping book, except for occasional marital relations . . .

LG: If Connolly sounds at all attractive to you, I would suggest starting at the beginning. He includes Austrailia, BTW, on his book signing tours.

LINDA: It's SO good to hear from you, what with planning nuptials and finding room for books in the attic.

I'm with you on Dave's next adventure. But JLB has had his heart broken again by the oil disaster.

Jerry said...

I like your choices, especially James Lee Burke -- one of my favorite authors.

Charlie said...

JERRY: You have good taste in JLB, even though Dave, and especially Clete, are getting long in the tooth.

If you haven't read Lehane's PI series, they're great.