Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Bestseller Post--Strong Reviews for Khaled Hosseini, Rick Atkinson's World War II Trilogy, and Lots of Reviews in the Journal Sentinel.

Hardcover fiction:
1. And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
2. Inferno, by Dan Brown
3. On Sal Mal Lane, by Ru Freeman
4. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
5. The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud

Very strong reviews for Khaled Hossini's And the Mountains Echoed. From Marcela Valdes in the Washington Post: "So it always renews my faith when a popular novelist shows a decided preference for moral complexity. It suggests that readers crave more than simplistic escape. Or perhaps it just means that some writers, like Khaled Hosseini, know how to whisk rough moral fiber into something exquisite."

Nahal Toosi, a Associated Press editor who once worked for the Journal Sentinel, and reviewed it today for them, writes: "Hosseini's latest book is not an easy read, but it is a quick one because you won't be able to put it down. To those readers who manage to get through it without shedding a tear, well, I tip my hat."

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris
2. Visiting Tom, by Michael Perry
3. After Mandela, by Douglas Foster
4. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg
5. The Guns at Last Night, by Rick Atkinson

Max Hastings raves about Rick Atkin's The Guns at Last Night: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 in The Wall Street Journal: "His narrative is wholly gripping, from a prologue describing the gray and battered condition of Britain before D-Day to an account of the drama on March 7, 1945, at Remagen, where Frankfurt-born Lt. Karl Timmermann became the first American officer to cross the tottering Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine—when "the inner door to Germany had swung wide, never to be shut again"—and on to the final German surrender at 2 a.m. on Monday, May 7."

Paperback fiction:
1. Pepperland, by Barry Wightman (repeat engagement at Brookfield Library, Tues, June 18, 7 pm)
2. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
3. Montana 1948, by Larry Watson (new novel this fall!)
4. The Yard, by Alex Grecian (event with Jon Jordan, Wed. May 29, 7 pm)
5. The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller (event Wed, June 19, 7 pm)

Alex Grecian's newest novel, The Black Country, is reviewed this week by Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times, where she credits his "flair for descriptive drama."  And for those keeping up with what's going on with The Dog Stars, here's a piece I missed about it being optioned for films.

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Don't Call me Inspirational, by Harilyn Rousso
2. Coop, by Michael Perry
3. Off Main Stret, by Michael Perry
4. Truck, by Michael Perry
5. Population 485, by Michael Perry

Since we're all Michael Perry this week, here's recent column from him in the Wisconsin State Journal. "The other day I was teaching my brother about cheaters. It’s not that we were thinking about becoming private investigators lurking in the lobby of the no-tell motel, it’s that his eyes are beginning to fail him.

Books for Kids:
1. One Came Home, by Amy Timberlake
2. Better Nate than Ever, by Tim Federle
3. Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art, by Barbara Manger and Janine Smith
4. I am a Bunny, by Ole Rissom and Richard Scarry
5. The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan

Amy Timberlake's One Came Home is one of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 85 book recommendations for summer. Categories are 14 books we've already liked, 12 editors' picks, 10 books by visiting writers, 5 novels for people who loved John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, 8 books by Wisconsin Writers, 4 books by big-name authors, 6 books about pop culturs, 7 books for people who like history, 5 books for baseball fans, 8 mysteries and thrillers, and 6 books for art lovers.

Also in the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews Rhapsody in Black, the new biography by Roy Orbison, by John Kruth. From Higgins: "Kruth, who lived in Milwaukee from 1986 to 1995, is the rare musician who writes well about music for a popular audience. His biography is sympathetic and enthusiastic, though he does not let Orbison and his producers off the hook for the bad albums or the laughable movie he made, The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967)."

Also also in the Journal Sentinel, Elfrieda Abbe reviews David Rhodes, and much like our fans Sharon and Mel, she's a huge fan. "In his new novel Jewelweed, Rhodes revisits the region and the fictitious small town of Words, a place he so beautifully brought to life in his previous work Driftless. The residents here are as complex, interdependent and finely tuned as the ecosystems surrounding them. Even the smallest change can shift the balance." Don't forget our event is Thursday, June 6, 7 pm.

Also also also in the Journal Sentinel (it's a big book section this week), Mike Fischer reviews Monique Roffey's Archipelago, her follow up to the Daniel-reccommended The White Woman on the The Green Bicycle. It's about a photographer who flees the rains of Trinidad by setting sail for the Galapagos Islands. Fischer sees it as sort of a cross between Moby Dick and The Odyssey and declares: "The wrap-up following this epiphany is plot-driven and a bit too tidy, but the epiphany itself is hard-earned and real."

That's all for today. Time to have a very fun day with David Sedaris. 

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