A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber

A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber (2008)
Mary Jo Wyse is pregnant; she heads to Cedar Cove in search of David, the father of her baby. Following her are three overprotective brothers (the three Wyse men). Although she doesn’t find David, Mary Jo is embraced by the close knit Cedar Cove community. A nice light read that’s good for the holidays.

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (2008)
I really enjoyed this book, staying up until 1:00 am reading it. There is a mystery entwined in the story – what happened to Dr. Hunter? But it’s really about the characters and relationships. The four main characters are well defined and interesting. One of them, Reggie, is a 16-year-old orphan who has the determination to make it even though everything seems to be against her. This sentence sums up her current state of affairs, “Reggie got off the bus and turned the corner of the street to find that the all-too-familiar calling cards of catastrophe were waiting for her - three fire engines, an ambulance, two police cars, some kind of incident van, and a knot of bystanders – all muddled up in the street outside her flat. Reggie’s heart sank, it seemed inevitable that they would be there for her.” Flashes of wit and humor brighten the story and Atkinson’s descriptive writing will make her characters linger in your mind.

Check out the Random House website for information about the author and reviews of the book. Read another interesting review from The New York Times.

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson (2008)
Mr. Malik, a widower living in Nairobi, loves his Tuesday morning bird walks--and Mrs. Mbikwa--the widow who leads them. Mr. Malik, a shy and modest man, has a dream of dancing with Mrs. Mbikwa at the annual Hunt Club Ball. First, though, he must win the right to invite her by seeing and identifying more birds species within a one week period than does his arch nemesis in life and love, the flashy Harry Khan. While Harry flies around Kenya identifying birds, Mr. Malik stays closer to home and deals with stolen cars, his lively young houseboy, and Somalian kidnappers. Will Mr. Malik’s kind and generous heart win his lady love in the end? A charming story told with affection and humor.

Read an interview with the author and reviews from Amazon.com.

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

Any Human Heart by William Boyd (2002)
Following a character through his or her life can be very absorbing. That is what this novel, written in the form of an "intimate journal," does and it includes most of the major events of the 20th century. It is fiction skillfully interwoven with history.

Any Human Heart tells the story of Logan Mountstuart through his diaries, and his experiences. Born male, rich, good looking and arrogant at the beginning of the century, he dies a modest, kinder and wiser man. Logan's life might seem preposterous but it is certainly engaging.

Find reviews, information about the author and an interview with the author at Book Browse. Read additional reviews at ReviewsOfBooks.com.

Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry

Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry (2008)
Anne Perry researches the Victorian era thoroughly so her stories are historically accurate. The real bonus in this mystery is the plot that encircles the Prince of Wales. It’s a cliff hanger. Perry also introduces a new character, Gracie into the series. Gracie infiltrates the servants’ staff of the Prince and is a source of vital information for special investigator Thomas Pitt. Perry revitalizes the historical mystery.

Visit the author's website, read reviews and an excerpt from the book.

The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin

The Serpent’s Tale by Ariana Franklin (2008)
Adelia, the heroine of Ariana Franklin's bestseller, Mistress of the Art of Death, finds herself again in the service of King Henry II, who wants to know who murdered his mistress, Rosamund Clifford. Rosamund was poisoned in the tower in which she lived. Just as in her previous novel, Franklin's story is great fun. Adelia is part CSI investigator and part medieval detective. The story moves forward in this second book of the Adelia Aguilar series. Adelia has given birth to Allie whose father is Rowley Picot, king Henry's staunch supporter.

Read an excerpt, visit the author's website, and read reviews.

Caravaggio by Christopher Peachment


Caravaggio by Christopher Peachment (2002) Caravaggio was an audacious painter of the Renaissance. He was a rage-filled man who self-destructed. The blunt prose describes historical violence with candor. Peachment provides an adventure into the mind of a creative genius. But, be warned, painters can be scary people.

You can read an excerpt or go to Amazon.com to read reviews.

The Blue Religion edited by Michael Connelly


The Blue Religion edited by Michael Connelly (2008)
Mystery fans will love this collection of short stories put together by the Mystery Writers of America. It features crime/mystery stories presented by 19 different authors, designed to keep you up reading into the wee hours of the morning. A great addition to the collection!

Find out more about Connelly and read reviews.

The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland


The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland (2004)
Turn of the century historical novel about the life and paintings of Emily Carr. Emily Carr has been compared to Georgia O'Keefe and other female painters who have a distinguished artistic style. Emily Carr's subjects are the primitive British Columbia native tribal cultures, which her paintings preserved as the cultures disappeared. Emily lived until 1945: long enough to know her bold, huge, impressionist paintings were hung in Canadian museums and recognized as works equal to the male impressionists of the same period. The author creates interesting characters which are the backdrop for Emily Carr's history. The first third of the story starts out slowly, but becomes interesting so that the last two thirds make the book an interesting, educational, good ending read.

 



Preview this book and check out the reading guide and author's interview.

 

The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Epstein


The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein (2008)
Reminiscent of Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, this novel is a re-imagining of the life of Pan Yuliang and how she went from prostitute to post-Impressionist artist. Pan Yuliang was actually one of the most talented and provocative Chinese artists of the twentieth century. The background of historical events make The Painter from Shanghai an irresistible story.

Visit the author's website, read an interview with the author, and check out the reviews.

Foul Matter by Martha Grimes

Foul Matter by Martha Grimes (2003)
Foul matter is the name given by editors to an unedited manuscript. In this tongue-in-cheek caper, a best selling author agrees to change publishers if said publisher will drop their best, most literary writer. The publisher’s solution? To hire two hit men to knock off their talented but slender-selling writer.

Visit Book Reporter to read an excerpt and an interview. Check out the San Francisco Chronicle author interview.

Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook

Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook (2005)
A father suspects that his son may have committed a terrible crime. Good character development; hard to put this one down!

Find out more about the author and other Alabama writers or read an excerpt from the novel.

Straight into Darkness by Faye Kellerman

Straight into Darkness by Faye Kellerman (2005)
It’s 1929, and the Nazis are causing daily trouble in Munich at the time that police inspector Axel Berg searches for a serial killer.

Before you come to the library, preview the book. You can also visit the author's website.

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo (2007)
This is a travel book and an enlightenment book with very funny moments. The two diametrically opposed personalities encounter forced togetherness on a road trip from the East Coast to a family Midwest farm. The author carves out two distinct men, one who is patient about the differences in people and one who is not tolerant of different people. Fast, laugh-out-loud read which provokes reflection on one's own personality traits.

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver (2008)
This book is vintage Lincoln Rhyme. In this thriller, Deaver graphically portrays murder(s) via computers. The concept really blows the reader away. We are all vulnerable in cyberspace. As the plot twists and turns, the romantic team of Lincoln and Amelia face the ultimate amoral mastermind. This reader was breathless and involved until the last word of the last page.

Visit the author's website for an excerpt and interview. Watch a video on Amazon.com.