Five 2009 Novels

I’m always looking for the latest thing to hit the bookstands.  Here are 5 knockout novels recently published:

1. Burn by Linda Howard – Money changes Jenner Redwine’s life when she wins a lottery jackpot. But it also costs her plenty: Her father rips her off and disappears, her fortune-hunting boyfriend soon becomes her ex, and friends-turned-freeloaders give her the cold shoulder when she stops paying for everything.

2. The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner – It was a case guaranteed to spark a media feeding frenzy–a young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect.

3. The Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick – When Catherine Land, who’s survived a traumatic early life by using her wits and sexuality as weapons, happens on a newspaper ad from a well-to-do businessman in need of a “reliable wife,” she invents a plan to benefit from his riches and his need.

4. City of Thieves by David Benioff – Having elected to stay in Leningrad during the siege, 17-year-old Lev Beniov is caught looting a German paratrooper’s corpse. The penalty for this infraction (and many others) is execution.

5. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown – Robert Langdon, a Harvard specialist on religious symbolism, is called in by a Swiss research lab when Dr. Vetra, the scientist who discovered antimatter, is found murdered with the cryptic word “Illuminati” branded on his chest.

22 Year Old Author Publishes 9th Novel!

I want this book:  A Madness of Angels: Or The Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin.  Here’s a description of the plot:

“Two years after his untimely death, Matthew Swift finds himself breathing once again, lying in bed in his London home.  Except that it’s no longer his bed, or his home. And the last time this sorcerer was seen alive, an unknown assailant had gouged a hole so deep in his chest that his death was irrefutable…despite his body never being found.”

Not only does the book look interesting, the author seems pretty interesting herself.  Although she is just 22 years old, this is her 9th novel!   She published her first novel when she was just 14 (Mirror Dreams, a young adult novel, published under the name Catherine Webb).

Here is what Kate/Catherine says about the book, which is set in London, in her author interview at Neth Space (where you can also see a somewhat dated photo of her):

It’s (I hope) funny enough to make the tired commuter smile, strange enough to make the mundane seem peculiar, real enough to catch at the memory of pretty much anyone who’s ever waited for the last train on a cold night in December while wearing the wrong kind of shoes…

(If you’d like to see a more recent photo, go to the author interview at Yatterings.)   You can also read the Kate Griffin blog here.

Chick lit, Blogger Style

Maureen Lipinski’s debut novel, A Bump in the Road, looks like it is written blog-style, which sounds kinda different and interesting.  Here’s a description of the book from the publisher’s website:

When twenty-seven-year-old event planner and blogger Clare Finnegan got married, she didn’t mind moving out of the city. After all, a suburban existence didn’t necessarily equal domesticity, book club parties, and a subscription to Martha Stewart Living. But when, after a weekend in Vegas, Clare discovers she’s pregnant, she is thrown into a world where eating lunchmeat is equivalent to smoking crack and maternity clothes appear to have been molested by a BeDazzler.

Oddly enough, the book mirror’s the author’s own life, who became unexpectedly pregnant shortly after writing this book.

You can also visit the author’s website or read the author’s blog, called Now That You Mention It, Fiction with a Side of Snark.

Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel

Sex, sex, and more sex.  That’s what it sounds like this book consists of.  It’s not due out until December 26th, but you can pre-order it at amazon.  It’s called Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel, and it’s by bestseller Walter Mosley

Tom Callahan at had this to say about the novel:

“Well, anybody who dismisses Killing Johnny Fry as pornography or salacious misses not only the point of the book but deprives themselves of the pleasure of reading one of America’s greatest writers. Yes, there is some frank, really frank, sex in this book, but it is not an erotic novel by any means. Mosley coined the term “sexistential noir” to describe this work. It is a good description because the book is not about sex.Consider the first sentence: “I decided to kill Johnny Fry on a Wednesday, but it was a week before that I was given the reason.” That tells us right away that those expecting cheap thrills will be disappointed; Mosley plunges us right into the midnight world of noir.”

Here is some information on the author from Bloomsbury USA

“Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than 25 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 21 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times magazine and the Nation, among other publications. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and the PEN American Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.”

You can visit the author’s website here.

The Man Who Sold More Books Than Rowling

I have been coming across a lot of Indian blogs lately.  While I haven’t been intentionally seeking them out, I do enjoy getting a different cultural perspective on things.   Recently, I came across a post by “Guru” (an abbreviation of his name and not a claim to any special spiritual knowledge or powers). 

The post is titled The Man Who Sold More Books Than Rowling and is regarding the author, Harold Robbins.  Robbins apparently didn’t limit his story-telling to novels, but enhanced the story of his own life to journalists and even family and friends.  As a result, when he died, newspapers didn’t print the true details of his life but the fantastical ones he had invented, which the papers incorrectly assumed to be the truth.  (Read a biography of Harold Robbins at

Guru also has a book list on his site (books he wants to read) that avid readers might be interested in.

Guru, a Ph.D. and scientist, also blogs about a lot of sciency things, some of which are over my head (did you know that the presence of ferrotoroidic order is quantified by a vector, called the toroidization?  yeah, me neither).  But most of which are interesting even to the average person, such as this one about informational cascade, which looks at how the chances of people coming up with the correct answer to a question can be increased or decreased when they answer as a group.

Guru’s blog is called Entertaining Research and is full of interesting information, so check it out.

The Abstinence Teacher

I’ve decided to feature write-ups on 26 recent novels, one for each letter of the alphabet.  Why?  Because that’s the kind of thing book geeks do for fun.  I’m starting with The Abstinence Teacher, scheduled to be released in mid October 2007, by Tom Perrotta.  Here’s what Daniel Field at ReadJunk had to say about it:

“The Abstinence Teacher is definitely Perrotta’s best book yet, and further proof that he is the foremost author writing about suburbia. Like the rest of his novels, this one is based in suburban New Jersey, with this newest one taking shape amongst a tense conflict between the religious right and the idea of free speech. It centres around a divorced mother and sexual education teacher named Ruth Ramsey, who has come under pressure from a local church for her admission that some people enjoy oral sex. The church puts presssure on the school board, and Ruth is forced to teach abstinence using hilariously misinformed materials.”

Visit Perrotta’s website, and while you’re there, check out his book promotion schedule which will take him through Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Georgia, California, Washington, Texas, Mississippi, and Washington D.C. in October and November of 2007.