Editor’s note: Please welcome back Deborah from Debbish dot com who’s sharing her favourite new releases with Styling You readers each month.
We’re getting to the pointy end of the year so bookshops are being stocked with memoirs, books designed to sit on coffee tables and those promoting the unthinkable… like quitting sugar. 😉 All ideal presents. But more on that next month, because if you’re like me you remain in denial about the looming stress-inducing event—known as Christmas—for as long as possible.
Until then it’s all about me… (ahem) you, so time again to share some of this month’s favourite reads and new releases.
1. The Lake House by Kate Morton
This so-attractive-and-talented-it’s-not-fair Aussie author has sold over 10 million books from her first four titles and her latest will only build on that success. It very much sticks to Morton’s winning formula, alternating between the unsolved disappearance of a baby boy in 1933 and a police detective dealing with her own family issues 70 years later.
Sadie Sparrow is on forced leave from the Metropolitan Police when she stumbles across the house deserted by the Edevane family after their son’s disappearance. Keen to take her mind off her own problems, Sadie approaches Edevane sibling and renowned novelist Alice (now in her 80s) for help to solve this extremely cold case.
As usual Morton will suck you in with complex but likeable characters and a fabulous plot. She’s most certainly a gifted storyteller.
Allen & Unwin Australia
2. Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain
Another written in dual timeframes, alternating between 14yr old Molly in the summer of 1990 and 38yr old Molly as she and her husband prepare to adopt. It’s the fact that it’s an open adoption that scares Molly as her own personal (catastrophic) experience is etched into her mind.
This is a beautiful story of family. The relationship between Molly and her father (a well-known child psychologist who’s struggling with MS) is gorgeous. This book’s about love, loss and regret. And it’s so so sad.
Pan Macmillan Australia
3. The Crossing by Michael Connelly
I’m a fairly new convert to this series featuring Harry Bosch. And not just cos I like the actor who plays him in the SBS TV series. I swear.
In this latest outing Harry’s retired from the police force and finds himself helping his half-brother (The Lincoln Lawyer, defence attorney Mickey Haller). Working for the ‘dark side’ is something Harry has never considered but once he realises their client may be innocent he can’t help but track down the real killer/s and fight for justice. Awwww… gotta love a man with principles.
Allen & Unwin Australia
4. A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George
Like gazillions of readers around the world I was a huge fan of Inspector Thomas Lynley and Sergeant Barbara Havers when they first appeared a couple of decades ago. George offered something different via the British aristocrat who ditched his title while working for Scotland Yard. It was a solid series but went awry for me after the death of a major character. I didn’t even like that character but the other players have felt like shadows of their former selves since.
However…. They’re back. Almost completely. The strength of this novel is the plot, which George weaves around a family with secrets and the death of an enigmatic feminist writer. It’s George almost back to her best—a great read for old fans and a perfect starting point for newcomers.
If you’re playing along at home and counting on your fingers you’ll notice I’ve only included four novels this month… which is predominantly because I wanted to flag a couple of books I haven’t read but are popular amongst other book bloggers and reviewers.
Lovers of historical fiction (ie. people other than me) all seem to be enjoying Geraldine Brooks’ The Secret Chord. Although I love you dear readers, I really couldn’t force myself to go ‘there’. Which is 1000BC to a time when the former shepherd boy David rose to become King. Even the publisher’s promise of a morally complex lead character couldn’t convince me to dive into the Pulitzer Prize winner’s latest, but you may feel very differently.
And… on that note, fans of young adult (YA) literature will apparently adore Illuminae, a futuristic end-of-the-world type book by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The YA genre is HUGE. And when it crosses with fantasy / dystopian fiction (think Hunger Games, The 100, Divergent etc), it’s huger than than huge.
And that’s it from me this month. I’ll be back next month with some suggested Christmas presents for all of those hard-to-buy-for people in your life!
Do any of these take your fancy? Or perhaps you have some additional suggestions?
Deborah blogs about books, not-dieting and life in general at debbish.com. Her life-long love of reading is only surpassed by her addiction to vanilla diet coke, baths, chocolate and champagne.