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RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES...
A family vacation in the Rocky Mountains turns tragic when a young girl goes missing.
Her younger brother is the only one who remembers what happened and is overcome by guilt and denial. The parent’s relationship disintegrates while their young daughter’s whereabouts remain a mystery.
You will not be able to put this one down.
Every character is significant to the plot development. There is nothing rushed or gimmicky about this literary thriller. It is a page turner, but only because you want to see how each character is living despite a set of terrible circumstances.
Easily the best book I’ve read in 5 years. Descent by Tim Johnston (Algonquin) Recommended by Stefani at Inkwood Books Tampa FL
A former nurse, Norma Bowe decided to teach a college class on death. She never expected a three year waiting list for the class or that her students would be called to help others in transformative ways while saving their own lives. Don’t be fooled by the title, this book is inspiring and life-affirming.
Hayasaki is a gifted journalist who spent time as a student of Professor Bowe’s to gain a unique insight into her life and the lives of the students she teaches each day.
The Death Class: A True Story about Life by Erika Hayasaki (Simon & Schuster) Recommended by Stefani at Inkwood Books Tampa FL
By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review by Pamela Paul, Scott Turow
Compiled here by Pamela Paul, editor of the Book Review, are 65 author interviews (uncut and in their original format) all about writing habits, favorite authors and books and - one of my favorites - books they'd wish the president would read.
The authors range from Michael Chabon and Khaled Hosseini to Anne Lamott and Hilary Mantel, making this a delectable treat for any book lover.
By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review by Pamela Paul, Scott Turow (Henry Holt and Co.) Recommended by Amanda at Inkwood Books Tampa FL
With over thirty different pieces this collection has it all...
Short stories, non-fiction pieces, poems, excerpts from comics/graphic novels, articles from literary magazines, excerpts from chapbooks and even a transcript from a Night Vale Podcast.
What also makes this collection so much fun to read is that it was curated by fourteen highschool students.
Then last, but most certainly not least, there is the added bonus that the editor is Daniel Handler, who also wrote an introduction from Lemony Snicket.
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014 by Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket (Mariner) Recommended by Erin at Inkwood Books Tampa FL
Often anthologized and quoted writer Charles Baxter has a new collection of stories, There’s Something I Want You to Do.
The stories are broken down into two sections, Virtues and Vices, each containing five stories. Characters come and go through the ten stories, set mostly in Minneapolis. That Baxter understands the failings and strengths of humans is evident, and we see once again why he is considered such an authority on the short story form.
A great choice for book clubs as members can explore Baxter’s interpretation of each of the virtues and vices.
There's Something I Want You to Do: Stories by Charles Baxter (Pantheon) Recommended by Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC
Rachel's daily train commute takes her past the back yards of a residential street.
She loves to fantasize about the people who live there. At one house she often sees an attractive young couple on the patio. They seem so happy, so perfect. A few doors down is another house she dreads seeing, yet she cannot avert her eyes. It was her's. Now her ex lives there with his new wife -and child.
This brilliantly crafted thriller draws you in as it reveals the complex interconnection of these characters' lives. The story is narrated in turns by three characters. Even though they are all females of roughly the same age, Hawkins has created such distinct voices that I always knew who was speaking and totally accepted each of them.
This is riveting, intelligent writing.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead) Recommended by Samantha at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC
Michael Crummey takes you into the heart of the insular fishing community of Chance Cove, Sweetland Island, Newfoundland.
68-year-old Moses Sweetland's family goes back to the founding of the island. He is the only holdout when the government offers the residents a generous cash settlement to relocate, but only if everyone signs on. Told in sparse, beautiful prose, with generous helpings of the local dialect, the characters and story are reminiscent of Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, where conversations give hints of the tangled history and relationships of family and friends who have known each other for generations.
Sweetland is a requiem for the intimate knowledge of place that a transient society can just barely remember.
Sweetland By Michael Crummey (Liveright Publishing) Recommended by Sarah at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC