New Releases: June 21st, 2016

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL'S ROCK by Paul Tremblay
Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that her 13-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace. Josh and Luis, the friends who were the last to see Tommy before he disappeared, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out at a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil’s Rock. Living in an all-too-real nightmare, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened become more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy’s disappearance at Devil’s Rock.  Horror

THE MANDIBLES: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver
In 2029, the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Overnight, on the international currency exchange, the “almighty dollar” plummets in value, to be replaced by a new global currency, the “bancor.” In retaliation, the president declares that America will default on its loans. What little remains to savers is rapidly eaten away by runaway inflation. The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year-old patriarch dies. Once the inheritance turns to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also the challenge of sheer survival.  Fiction

A MILLION YEARS IN A DAY: A Curious History of Everyday Life from the Stone Age to the Phone Age by Greg Jenner
Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. Structured around one ordinary day, A MILLION YEARS IN A DAY reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for granted. In this entertaining romp through human history, Greg Jenner explores the gradual --- and often unexpected --- evolution of our daily routines.  History

ROBERT LUDLUM'S THE BOURNE ENIGMA by Eric Van Lustbader
On the eve of Russian general Boris Karpov's wedding, Jason Bourne receives an enigmatic message from his old friend and fellow spymaster. In Moscow, what should be a joyous occasion turns bloody and lethal. Now Bourne is the only one who can decipher Karpov's cryptogram. He discovers that Karpov has betrayed his sovereign to warn Bourne of a crippling disaster about to be visited on the world. Bourne has only four days to discover the nature of the disaster and stop it. The trail Karpov has been following leads Bourne to Cairo and the doorstep of Ivan Borz, the elusive international arms dealer infamous for hiding behind a never-ending series of false identities.  Thriller

VINEGAR GIRL by Anne Tyler
After years out in the academic wilderness, Dr. Battista is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: His brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost. When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying on his daughter, Kate, to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?  Fiction


NEW RELEASES IN PAPERBACK

THE GAP OF TIME by Jeanette Winterson
In THE GAP OF TIME, Jeanette Winterson’s cover version of "The Winter's Tale" (one of Shakespeare’s “late plays”), we move from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crisis, to a storm-ravaged American city called New Bohemia. Her story is one of childhood friendship, money, status, technology and the elliptical nature of time; of the consuming power of jealousy on the one hand, and redemption and the enduring love of a lost child on the other.  Fiction

KILLING MONICA by Candace Bushnell
Pandy "PJ" Wallis is a renowned writer whose novels about a young woman making her way in Manhattan have spawned a series of blockbuster films. After the success of the Monica books and movies, Pandy wants to attempt a historical novel based on her ancestor Lady Wallis. But Pandy's publishers and audience only want her to keep cranking out more Monica, as does her greedy husband. When her marriage crumbles and the boathouse of her family home in Connecticut goes up in flames, Pandy suddenly realizes she has an opportunity to reinvent herself.  Fiction

LOVE MAY FAIL by Matthew Quick
Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking to find the goodness in the world she believes still exists, Portia sets off to save herself by saving someone else --- a beloved high school English teacher who has retired after a traumatic incident.  Fiction

UNDERMAJORDOMO MINOR by Patrick deWitt
Lucien (Lucy) Minor is the resident odd duck in the bucolic hamlet of Bury. Friendless and loveless, young and aimless, Lucy is a compulsive liar, a sickly weakling in a town famous for producing brutish giants. Then Lucy accepts employment assisting the Majordomo of the remote, foreboding Castle Von Aux. While tending to his new post as Undermajordomo, Lucy soon discovers that the place harbors many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle’s master, Baron Von Aux.  Fiction





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015:
2014: China Dolls by Lisa See
2013: Discussion Question: Do you read every book in a series?
2012: Mummies in Nineteenth Century America by S. J. Wolfe
2011: Fashionista Piranha will be on hiatus for a while…
2010: Maiden, Matron, Crone edited by Kerri Huges & Martin H. Greenberg
2009: An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage
2008: The Glimmer Palace by Beatrice Colin
new romantic.

News: Lois Duncan dies at 82

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Lois Duncan this morning. She was one of my favorite authors when I was a teenager. I read Down a Dark Hall, Daughters of Eve, and Locked in Time over and over again. The books were so suspenseful and I loved the way she balanced supernatural activity with real-world worries and fears.

Duncan's daughter was murdered in 1989 and the case was never solved. The devastating loss shifted her entire career. She stopped writing young adult fiction and began focusing on the crime. Duncan advocated fiercely for her daughter and other victims like her, creating the Resource Center for Victims of Violent Deaths. I really admire her courage in continuing to revisit this dark period in her life so that she could help others in similar situations.

You can read Lois Duncan's obituary here: http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-lois-duncan-20160616-snap-story.html

If you've never read one of her books, I urge you to pick one up and give it a try. She was writing young adult before the term even existed, and decades later I think many of her titles still hold up very well.





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015: New Releases: June 16th, 2015
2014:
2013: The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn
2012: The Royal Historian of Oz by Tommy Kovac and Andy Hirsch
2011: Fashionista Piranha will be on hiatus for a while…
2010: Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
2009: A Lion Among Men (Wicked #3) by Gregory Maguire

New Releases: June 14th, 2016

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

THE AUDACIOUS CRIMES OF COLONEL BLOOD: The Spy Who Stole the Crown Jewels and Became the King's Secret Agent by Robert Hutchinson
One morning in May 1671, a man disguised as a parson daringly attempted to seize the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Astonishingly, he managed to escape with the regalia and crown before being apprehended. And yet he was not executed for treason. Instead, the king granted him a generous income, and he became a familiar strutting figure in the royal court's glittering state apartments. This man was Colonel Thomas Blood, a notorious turncoat and fugitive from justice. Historian Robert Hutchinson paints a vivid portrait of a double agent bent on ambiguous political and personal motivation.  History

BARKSKINS by Annie Proulx
In the late 17th century, two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord for three years in exchange for land, they become woodcutters --- barkskins. Sel suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman, and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet runs away, becomes a fur trader and sets up a timber business. Annie Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over 300 years, the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks and cultural annihilation.  Historical Fiction

THE GIRLS by Emma Cline
At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park and is immediately caught by their freedom and dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, she is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic and thrilling --- a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.  Psychological Thriller

A HOUSE FULL OF DAUGHTERS: A Memoir of Seven Generations by Juliet Nicolson
All families have their myths and legends. For many years, Juliet Nicolson accepted hers --- the dangerous beauty of her flamenco-dancing great-great-grandmother Pepita, the flirty manipulation of her great-grandmother Victoria, the infamous eccentricity of her grandmother Vita Sackville-West, her mother’s Tory-conventional background. But then Juliet, a distinguished historian, started to question. As she did so, she sifted fact from fiction, uncovering details and secrets long held just out of sight.  Memoir

MURDER ON THE QUAI: An Aimée Leduc Investigation by Cara Black
November 1989: Aimée Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris’s preeminent medical school. She lives in a 17th-century apartment that overlooks the Seine with her father, who runs the family detective agency. But the week the Berlin Wall crumbles, so does Aimée’s life as she knows it. First, someone has sabotaged her lab work, putting her at risk of failing out of the program. Her father takes off to Berlin on a mysterious errand and asks Aimée to help out at the detective agency while he’s gone. But the case Aimée finds herself investigating --- a murder linked to a transport truck of Nazi gold that disappeared in the French countryside during the height of World War II --- has gotten under her skin.  Mystery

THE WHALE: A Love Story by Mark Beauregard
In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an end. His last three novels have been commercial failures, and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousin’s farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic --- and his life turns upside down. THE WHALE chronicles the fervent love affair that grows out of that serendipitous afternoon. The two develop a deep connection marked by tensions and estrangements, and feelings both shared and suppressed.  Historical Fiction

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN: In the Service of My Country: A Life by James Lee McDonough
General Sherman’s 1864 burning of Atlanta solidified his legacy as a ruthless leader. Yet he proved far more complex than his legendary military tactics reveal. James Lee McDonough offers fresh insight into a man tormented by the fear that history would pass him by, who was plagued by personal debts, and who lived much of his life separated from his family. As a soldier, Sherman evolved from a spirited student at West Point into a general who steered the Civil War’s most decisive campaigns. Lamenting casualties, Sherman sought the war’s swift end by devastating Southern resources in the Carolinas and on his famous March to the Sea.  Biography


NEW RELEASES IN PAPERBACK

A GREAT AND TERRIBLE KING: Edward I and the Forging of Britain by Marc Morris
Marc Morris examines afresh the forces that drove Edward I throughout his relentless career: his character, his Christian faith, and his sense of England's destiny --- a sense shaped in particular by the tales of the legendary King Arthur. He also explores the competing reasons that led Edward's opponents (including Robert Bruce) to resist him. The result is a sweeping story, immaculately researched yet compellingly told, and a vivid picture of medieval Britain at the moment when its future was decided.  Biography / History

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME by Beth Harbison
Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life, but she isn't necessarily happy. On a boat with friends, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she goes to the diving board and dives off. Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her 18th birthday, with a second chance to see the people she's lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Is she really back in time? Above all, she'll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?  Fiction

THE MERMAID’S SECRET by Katie Schickel
Life on land is suffocating for Jess Creary, who wastes her summers flipping burgers for tourists on a fishing boat. After all, her older sister Kay died in a boating accident two years ago, her mother has disappeared, and her father isn't exactly dealing with things so well. Surfing and the handsome Captain Matthew are about the only bright spots in her life. When Jess catches the perfect wave on her 23rd birthday, she transforms into a mermaid and is reborn into a confident, powerful predator with superhuman strength. Now, she has 30 days to choose between land and sea; legs and fins; her humanity and her freedom.  Fiction

SAINT MAZIE by Jami Attenberg
Mazie Phillips is the truth-telling proprietress of The Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. When the Great Depression hits, she opens the doors of The Venice to those in need, becoming the beating heart of the Lower East Side. More than 90 years after Mazie began her diary, it is discovered by a documentarian in search of a good story. Who was Mazie Phillips, really? A chorus of voices from the past and present fill in some of the mysterious blanks of her adventurous life.  Historical Fiction

THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US by Annie Barrows
In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla has been assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.  Historical Fiction





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015: My Bonny Light Horseman (Bloody Jack #6) by L. A. Meyer
2014:
2013: News: The avant-garde art of book stacking in stores of Japan
2012: The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer
2011: Fashionista Piranha will be on hiatus for a while…
2010: The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy
2009: Summary: Book Reviews from January - May 2009

New Releases: June 7th, 2016

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

BUT WHAT IF WE'RE WRONG?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman
Though no generation believes there’s nothing left to learn, every generation unconsciously assumes that what has already been defined and accepted is (probably) pretty close to how reality will be viewed in perpetuity. And then, of course, time passes, ideas shift and opinions invert. What once seemed reasonable eventually becomes absurd, replaced by modern perspectives that feel even more irrefutable and secure --- until, of course, they don’t. BUT WHAT IF WE’RE WRONG? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who will perceive it as the distant past.  Social Science

EVERYBODY BEHAVES BADLY: The True Story Behind Hemingway's Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M. M. Blume
In the summer of 1925, Ernest Hemingway and a clique of raucous companions traveled to Pamplona, Spain, for the town’s infamous running of the bulls. Then, over the next six weeks, he channeled that trip’s maelstrom of drunken brawls, sexual rivalry, midnight betrayals and midday hangovers into his groundbreaking novel, THE SUN ALSO RISES. But the full story of Hemingway’s legendary rise has remained untold until now. Lesley Blume resurrects the explosive, restless landscape of 1920s Paris and Spain, and reveals how Hemingway helped create his own legend.  Biography

GRUNT: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
GRUNT tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries --- panic, exhaustion, heat, noise --- and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.  Social Science

HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, Esi is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of HOMEGOING follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, while the other follows Esi and her children into America.  Historical Fiction

INK AND BONE by Lisa Unger
Visited by people whom others can't see and haunted by prophetic dreams, Finley Montgomery has never been able to control or understand the things that happen to her. When her abilities start to become too strong for her to handle, she turns to her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic. Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a 10-month-long search for her missing daughter. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with Eloise. Finley and Eloise are ultimately drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl.  Supernatural Thriller

LAST NIGHT, A SUPERHERO SAVED MY LIFE edited by Liesa Mignogna
In LAST NIGHT, A SUPERHERO SAVED MY LIFE, authors share their most hilarious and most heartwrenching experiences with their chosen defender to explain why superheroes matter, what they tell us about who we are, and what they mean for our future. Contributors include New York Times bestsellers Christopher Golden, Leigh Bardugo, Brad Meltzer, Neil Gaiman, Carrie Vaughn, Jodi Picoult and Jamie Ford, as well as award-winners and mainstays like Joe R. Lansdale, Karina Cooper and Ron Currie, Jr., among many others.  Essays

LILY AND THE OCTOPUS by Steven Rowley
When you sit down with LILY AND THE OCTOPUS, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride. The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without. For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. LILY AND THE OCTOPUS reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.  Fiction

THE MAXIMUM SECURITY BOOK CLUB: Reading Literature in a Men's Prison by Mikita Brottman
On sabbatical from teaching literature to undergraduates, and wanting to educate a different kind of student, Mikita Brottman starts a book club with a group of convicts from the Jessup Correctional Institution in Maryland. She assigns them 10 dark, challenging classics that don’t flinch from evoking the isolation of the human struggle, the pain of conflict and the cost of transgression. Although Brottman is already familiar with these works, the convicts open them up in completely new ways. Their discussions may “only” be about literature, but for the prisoners, everything is at stake. Non-Fiction

THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO by Cathleen Schine
Joy Bergman is not slipping into old age with the quiet grace that her children, Molly and Daniel, would prefer. Her marriage to their father, Aaron, has lasted through health and dementia, as well as some phenomenally lousy business decisions. The Bergman clan has always stuck together, growing as it incorporated in-laws, ex-in-laws and same-sex spouses. But families don't just grow, they grow old. Cathleen Schine's novel is an intergenerational story about searching for where you belong as your family changes with age.  Fiction

WINTERING by Peter Geye
The two principal stories at play in WINTERING are bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding, northernmost wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint, Minnesota --- instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He’d done this once before, more than 30 years earlier in 1963, fleeing a crumbling marriage and bringing along Gustav, his 18-year-old son, pitching this audacious, potentially fatal scheme as a reenactment of the ancient voyageurs’ journeys of discovery.  Fiction


NEW RELEASES IN PAPERBACK

AVENUE OF MYSTERIES by John Irving
Fourteen-year-old Juan Diego, who was born and grew up in Mexico, has a 13-year-old sister. Her name is Lupe, and she is a mind reader. Regarding what has happened as opposed to what will, Lupe is usually right about the past; without your telling her, she knows all the worst things that have happened to you. What might a teen girl be driven to do if she thought she could change the future? As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but what travels with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico.  Fiction

THE CLASP by Sloane Crosley
Kezia, Nathaniel and Victor are reunited at the extravagant wedding of a college friend. During the reception, an inebriated Victor passes out in the mother of the groom's bedroom. He's woken with a jovial slap to the face, as she dangles a story about a missing necklace before him, one that she has never even told her son. Her tale sets in motion a madcap adventure that leads Victor, Kezia and Nathaniel from Miami to New York and L.A., and ultimately across France, to the estate of Guy de Maupassant, author of the classic short story "The Necklace." Fiction

THE FELLOWSHIP: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski
For three decades, C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and their closest associates formed a literary club known as the Inklings, which met every week in Lewis' Oxford rooms and in nearby pubs. They discussed literature, religion and ideas; read aloud from works in progress; took philosophical rambles in woods and fields; gave one another companionship and criticism; and, in the process, rewrote the cultural history of modern times. In THE FELLOWSHIP, Philip and Carol Zaleski offer the first complete rendering of the Inklings' lives and works.  Biography

KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST by J. Ryan Stradal
When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine --- and a dashing sommelier --- he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. Each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience. Fiction

THE LAKE HOUSE by Kate Morton
One midsummer’s eve, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, 11-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. Decades later, Alice Edevane is living in London, having enjoyed a successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, stumbles upon the Edevanes’ old estate. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.  Fiction

MAGRUDER’S CURIOSITY CABINET by H.P. Wood
Kitty Hayward and her mother are ready to experience the spectacles of Coney Island's newest attraction, the Dreamland amusement park. But when Kitty's mother vanishes from their hotel, she finds herself penniless, alone and far from her native England. The last people she expects to help are the cast of characters at Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet, a museum of oddities. From con men to strongmen, from flea wranglers to lion tamers, Kitty's new friends quickly adopt her and vow to help find the missing Mrs. Hayward. But even these unusual inhabitants may not be a match for the insidious sickness that begins to spread through Coney Island...or the panic that turns Dreamland into a nightmare.  Historical Fiction

MANHATTAN MAYHEM: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America edited by Mary Higgins Clark
Mary Higgins Clark invites you on a tour of Manhattan’s most iconic neighborhoods in this anthology of all-new stories from the Mystery Writers of America. From the Flatiron District (Lee Child) and Greenwich Village (Jeffery Deaver) to Little Italy (T. Jefferson Parker) and Chinatown (S.J. Rozan), you’ll encounter crimes, mysteries, and riddles large and small. Illustrated with iconic photography of New York City, MANHATTAN MAYHEM is a delightful read for armchair detectives and armchair travelers alike.  Mystery / Short Stories

THE OREGON TRAIL: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck
Rinker Buck’s bestseller is an epic account of traveling the length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way --- in a covered wagon with a team of mules, an audacious journey that hasn’t been attempted in a century --- which also chronicles the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the country.  History

THREE MOMENTS OF AN EXPLOSION: Stories by China Miéville
London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure but violent purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse’s bones. Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the 28 stories in this collection --- many published here for the first time.  Fiction / Short Stories

TWAIN’S END by Lynn Cullen
In TWAIN'S END, Lynn Cullen reimagines the tangled relationships between Mark Twain, his private secretary Isabel V. Lyon, and his business manager Ralph Ashcroft, as well as the little-known love triangle between Helen Keller, her teacher Anne Sullivan Macy, and Anne’s husband John Macy, which comes to light during their visit to Twain’s Connecticut home in 1909. Add to the party a furious Clara Clemens, smarting from her own failed love affair, and carefully kept veneers shatter.  Historical Fiction





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015:
2014: Subscription Box: Book Riot, June 2014
2013: Paper: An Elegy by Ian Sansom
2012: Fashionista Piranha on vacation
2011: Fashionista Piranha will be on hiatus for a while...
2010: The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
2009: Contest #8: Diggin' Up New Reading!

News: June Book to Movie Adaptations

Read the Book Before You See the Movie!

Thank you IMDB.com for providing the movie plot summaries.

ME BEFORE YOU
Date: June 3rd
Adapted From: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman
Plot Summary: A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she's taking care of.

FREE STATE OF JONES
Date: June 24th
Adapted From: The Free State of Jones by Victoria E. Bynum & The State of Jones by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali
Plot Summary: A disillusioned Confederate army deserter returns to Mississippi and leads a militia of fellow deserters, runaway slaves, and women in an uprising against the corrupt local Confederate government.





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015:
2014: The Sister by Poppy Adams
2013: Dover Bargain Bin: Sale Books Up to 70% Off
2012: Fashionista Piranha will be on vacation until June 9th
2011: Fashionista Piranha will be on hiatus for a while...
2010: Fireworks over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff
2009: Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell
rotting doll.

Review: Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite by Michael Ghiglieri & Butch Farabee Jr

Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite
by Michael P. Ghiglieri & Charles R. “Butch” Farabee, Jr.


Every year, accidents lead to tragic deaths in America's national parks. In Yosemite alone, nearly nine hundred people have died through falls, drowning, exposure, or criminal activity. In this comprehensive account of Yosemite's history, Michael Ghiglieri and Butch Farabee catalog the many ways that folks have met untimely ends in Yosemite. Peppering the grim anecdotes are also tales of rescue and the extreme effort it takes to save a life in the backwoods and sheer cliffs of America's wild. The authors occasionally enter the narrative, as both men assisted in search and rescue efforts throughout the park. They bring authority and occasional dry humor to the gripping, horrifying collection of stories.

This isn't a book for everyone. First and foremost, it's very sad. So many of these accidental deaths could have been prevents if visitors to the park would follow the instructions from rangers or posted on signs. A bit of common sense would have saved so many lives. Some thrill seekers make such appalling, poor decisions that it seems inevitable that they find a tragic ending, but that doesn't erase the lost potential of that life.

But if you are fascinated by the macabre, by harrowing tales of midnight rescues in deep snow or dangerous maneuvers done by men who can barely see in the dark, then this book is so interesting. When the book was published in 2007, it contained every Yosemite death that the authors were able to find in old and contemporary records. The deaths are listed by type: there's a chapter for drowning, climbing accidents, vehicle accidents, suicide, homicide, and more. Many of the incidents are described with novelistic flair, recreating the final moments before tragedy struck. When a victim survives, excerpts from post-accident interviews are included to fully demonstrate the impact on their lives in the weeks, months, and years after their rescue.

For those of you who trend toward squeamish, I thought I'd mention that excepting the skeleton on the cover, there are no photos of the deceased in the book. Each chapter is opened with a photograph or illustration of a Yosemite landmark or the park's wildlife, and that is it for illustration. Nothing terribly graphic.

Interested in the subject but Yosemite isn't your national park of choice? I've seen variations on this theme chronicling deaths in the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Poke around and I daresay you can find a few stories for any of the national parks. But I recommend this one. Ghiglieri and Farabee are a good team, capturing the drama and tragedy of each story, making tales that would be worthy of telling beside a campfire on your next adventure out in the woods.

5 out of 5 stars


To read more about Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015: New Releases: June 2nd, 2015
2014: American Rose by Karen Abbott
2013: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
2012: Fashionista Piranha on vacation until June 9th…
2011: Fashionista Piranha will be on hiatus for a while…
2010: Giveaway #13: Asian Pacific American Book Lot Winner
2009: The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

New Releases: May 31st, 2016

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley
On a foggy summer night, 11 people --- 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter --- depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs --- the painter --- and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens.  Thriller

HOT LITTLE HANDS: Fiction by Abigail Ulman
Over the course of nine loosely connected stories, HOT LITTLE HANDS introduces us to young women, at once clever and naïve, who struggle to navigate the chronic uncertainty and very real dangers that come with being impatient for the future and reluctant to leave childhood behind. Abigail Ulman’s voice feels of the moment --- sharp and powerful --- as she deftly explores ageless themes of sex and maturity among girls who are both confident and frighteningly exposed.  Short Stories

JUNE by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion mourning the loss of the woman who raised her --- her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery's vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail and betrayal.  Suspense

KATHERINE OF ARAGON, THE TRUE QUEEN by Alison Weir
The youngest daughter of the powerful monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina is a coveted prize for a royal marriage. Arthur, Prince of Wales and heir to the English throne, has won her hand. But tragedy strikes, and Catalina, now Princess Katherine, is betrothed to the future Henry VIII. She must wait for his coming-of-age, an ordeal that tests her resolve, casts doubt on her trusted confidantes, and turns her into a virtual prisoner. Katherine’s patience is rewarded when she becomes Queen of England. The affection between Katherine and Henry is genuine, but forces beyond her control threaten to rend her marriage, and indeed the nation, apart.  Historical Fiction

MODERN LOVERS by Emma Straub
Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch to their own offspring. Now nearing 50, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn. The summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose can never be reclaimed.  Fiction

THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman
An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS brings together for the first time ever more than 60 pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics --- offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved and influential artists of our time.  Essays / Non-Fiction


NEW RELEASES IN PAPERBACK

THE ARCHITECT’S APPRENTICE by Elif Shafak
In 1540, 12-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history. Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces, dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices.  Historical Fiction

THE BOOK OF SPECULATION by Erika Swyler
One June day, an old book arrives on Simon Watson's doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. It is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of "mermaids" in Simon's family have drowned --- always on July 24, which is only weeks away. Could there be a curse on Simon's family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save his sister?  Fiction

CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND by Kevin Kwan
It’s the eve of Rachel Chu’s wedding, and she should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond, a wedding dress she loves, and a fiancé willing to thwart his meddling relatives and give up one of the biggest fortunes in Asia in order to marry her. Still, Rachel mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be there to walk her down the aisle. Then a chance accident reveals his identity. Suddenly, Rachel is drawn into a dizzying world of Shanghai splendor, a world where people attend church in a penthouse, where exotic cars race down the boulevard, and where people aren’t just crazy rich...they’re China rich.  Fiction

CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain
Beryl Markham's unconventional upbringing transforms her into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart.  Historical Fiction

THE MIDNIGHT PLAN OF THE REPO MAN by W. Bruce Cameron
Former college football star Ruddy McCann has experienced a seismic drop in popularity; he is now living a simple life as Kalkaska, Michigan’s full-time repo man and part-time bar bouncer. That is, until Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head. The voice introduces himself as Alan Lottner, a dead realtor. When Alan demands Ruddy find his murderers, Ruddy decides a voice in your head seeking vengeance is best ignored. When Alan also demands he clean up his act, and apartment, Ruddy tells him to back off. But where can a voice in your head go?  Mystery

THIS IS YOUR LIFE, HARRIET CHANCE! by Jonathan Evison
Seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise that her late husband, Bernard, had planned. There, between the imagined appearances of Bernard and the very real arrival of her estranged daughter midway through the cruise, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life. In the process, she discovers that she’s been living the better part of that life under entirely false assumptions.  Fiction

ZERO WORLD by Jason M. Hough
Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike any he’s ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew --- save one. Peter’s mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that seems to be Earth’s twin.  Science Fiction





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015: Cleopatra in Space Vol. 1 by Mike Maihack
2014: People of the Great Journey by O. R. Melling
2013: Sailor Moon Vol. 10 by Naoko Takeuchi
2012: Fashionista Piranha on hiatus until June 9th
2011: The Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato
2010: LEGO: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender
2009: The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

New Releases: May 24th, 2016

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

THE 100 YEAR MIRACLE by Ashley Ream
Once a century, for only six days, the bay around a small Washington island glows like a water-bound aurora. Dr. Rachel Bell knows a secret about the phenomenon that inspired the region’s myths and folklore: the rare green water may contain a power that could save Rachel's own life (and change the world). When Rachel connects with Harry and Tilda, a divorced couple cohabiting once again as Harry enters the last stages of a debilitating disease, Harry is pulled into Rachel's obsession and hope as they both grasp at this once-in-a-lifetime chance to save themselves.  Fiction

ARCHITECTURE'S ODD COUPLE: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson by Hugh Howard
Differing radically in their views on architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson shared a restless creativity, enormous charisma and an outspokenness that made each man irresistible to the media. Often publicly at odds, they were the 20th century's flint and steel; their repeated encounters consistently set off sparks. Yet, as acclaimed historian Hugh Howard shows, their rivalry was also a fruitful artistic conversation, one that yielded new directions for both men. It was not despite but rather because of their contentious --- and not always admiring --- relationship that they were able to influence history so powerfully.  History

THE CITY OF MIRRORS by Justin Cronin
The Twelve have been destroyed, and the terrifying hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew. But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy --- humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.  Thriller

MARLENE by C.W. Gortner
Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, Maria Magdalena Dietrich dreams of a life on the stage. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, seductive silk cocktail dresses and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses and becomes entangled in a series of stormy love affairs. For the beautiful, desirous Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. Setting sail for America, she quickly becomes one of Hollywood’s leading ladies. C. W. Gortner’s novel reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged her own path on her own terms.  Historical Fiction

TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
Combining history, psychology and anthropology, Sebastian Junger’s latest book explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that --- for many veterans as well as civilians --- war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.  Social Science


NEW RELEASES IN PAPERBACK

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB: A Lisbeth Salander Novel by David Lagercrantz
A genius hacker who has always been an outsider. A journalist with a penchant for danger. She is Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. He is Mikael Blomkvist, crusading editor of Millennium. One night, Blomkvist receives a call from a source who claims to have been given information vital to the United States by a young female hacker. Blomkvist, always on the lookout for a story, reaches out to Salander for help. She, as usual, has plans of her own. Together they are drawn into a ruthless underworld of spies, cybercriminals and government operatives --- some of whom are willing to kill to protect their secrets.  Thriller

SUMMER SECRETS by Jane Green
When a shocking family secret is revealed, twenty-something journalist Cat Coombs finds herself falling into a dark spiral. Wild, glamorous nights out in London and raging hangovers the next day become her norm, leading to a terrible mistake one night while visiting family in America. When she returns home, she confronts the unavoidable reality of her life and knows it's time to grow up. As the years pass, Cat grows into her 40s, a struggling single mother, coping with a new-found sobriety and determined to finally make amends.  Fiction





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015:
2014: Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie
2013: The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa
2012: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
2011: Frauds, Myths & Mysteries by Kenneth Feder
2010: Little Women and Werewolves by Louisa May Alcott & Porter Grand
2009: Valeria's Last Stand by Mark Fitten

New Releases: May 17th, 2016

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

THE AFTER PARTY by Anton DiSclafani
Joan Fortier is the epitome of Texas glamour and the center of the 1950s Houston social scene. Every man who sees her seems to want her; every woman just wants to be her. The money may flow as freely as the oil, but the freedom and power all belong to the men. What happens when a woman of indecorous appetites and desires like Joan wants more? What does it do to her best friend? Devoted to Joan since childhood, Cece Buchanan is either her chaperone or her partner in crime, depending on whom you ask. But as Joan’s radical behavior escalates, Cece’s perspective shifts --- forcing one provocative choice to appear the only one there is.  Historical Fiction

A COUNTRY ROAD, A TREE by Jo Baker
Paris, 1939. The pavement rumbles with the footfall of Nazi soldiers marching along the Champs-Élysées. A young, unknown writer --- Samuel Beckett --- recently arrived from Ireland to make his mark, smokes one last cigarette with his lover before the city they know is torn apart. Soon he will put them both in mortal danger by joining the Resistance. Through it all, we are witness to the workings of a uniquely brilliant mind struggling to create a language that will express this shattered world. Here is a remarkable story of survival and determination, and a portrait of the extremes of human experience alchemized into one man’s timeless art.  Historical Fiction

THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill
A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies --- before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected, and blazes erupt everywhere. A mysterious and compelling stranger straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted…and as a weapon to avenge the wronged. Horror / Supernatural Thriller


NEW RELEASES IN PAPERBACK

DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg
On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke --- her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor. Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak.  Fiction

THE GODDESS POSE: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West by Michelle Goldberg
When Indra Devi was born in Russia in 1899, yoga was virtually unknown outside of India. By the time of her death, in 2002, it was being practiced around the world. Here, Michelle Goldberg tells the globetrotting story of the incredible woman who helped usher in a craze that continues unabated to this day. A sweeping picture of the 20th century that travels from the cabarets of Berlin to the Mysore Palace to Golden Age Hollywood and beyond, THE GODDESS POSE brings the Devi’s little known but extraordinary adventures vividly to life.  Biography

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF AMERICA AT WAR: Untold Tales from Yorktown to Fallujah by Kenneth C. Davis
Multi-million-copy bestselling historian Kenneth C. Davis sets his sights on war stories in THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF AMERICA AT WAR. He brings to life six emblematic battles, revealing untold tales that span our nation's history, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq. Along the way, he illuminates why we go to war, who fights, the grunt's-eye view of combat, and how these conflicts reshaped our military and national identity. History

HOW TO START A FIRE by Lisa Lutz
When college roommates Anna and Kate find Georgiana Leoni passed out on a lawn, they wheel her to their dorm in a shopping cart. Twenty years later, they gather around a campfire at a New England mansion. What came between --- the wild adventures, unspoken jealousies and one night that changed everything --- is the witty, poignant story of our strongest friendships, the people who know us better than we know ourselves. Anna is the de facto leader, as fearless as she is reckless. Quirky Kate is the loyal sidekick, until she’s pushed too far. And stunning George is always desired but just as frequently dumped.  Fiction

JOAN OF ARC: A History by Helen Castor
Helen Castor tells afresh the gripping story of the peasant girl from Domremy who hears voices from God, leads the French army to victory, is burned at the stake for heresy, and eventually becomes a saint. But unlike the traditional narrative, a story already shaped by the knowledge of what Joan would become and told in hindsight, Castor’s book takes us back to 15th-century France and tells the story forwards. Instead of an icon, she gives us a living, breathing woman confronting the challenges of faith and doubt.  Biography

NUMERO ZERO written by Umberto Eco, translated by Richard Dixon
A newspaper committed to blackmail and mud slinging. A paranoid editor reconstructing 50 years of history against the backdrop of a plot involving the cadaver of Mussolini's double. The murder of Pope John Paul I, the CIA, and events that seem outlandish until the BBC proves them true. A fragile love story between two born losers, a failed ghostwriter, and a vulnerable girl, who specializes in celebrity gossip yet cries over the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh. And then a dead body that suddenly appears in a back alley in Milan. Set in 1922, NUMERO ZERO foreshadows the mysteries and follies of the following 20 years.  Fiction

SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature threaten the intrepid pioneers until only a handful of survivors remain. Five thousand years later, their progeny embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown…to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.  Science Fiction





Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015: The Judgement of Paris by Ross King
2014: 1356 by Bernard Cornwell
2013: Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol by Gyles Brandreth
2012: Fashionista Piranha on vacation until May 24th
2011: Bending the Boyne by J. S. Dunn
2010: Giveaway #13: Asian Pacific American Lot
2009: News: Digital Piracy Affects Books, Too
crazy eyes.

Review: Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter

Beastly Bones
by William Ritter


Book 2 in the Jackaby series

Abigail Rook has begun to settle into her role as assistant to paranormal investigator R. F. Jackaby. Vicious shape-shifters that disguise themselves as kittens and ghosts living in the bedroom are all part of a normal day's work. Life with Jackaby is never dull or routine. When dinosaur bones are discovered in nearby Gad's Valley, Abigail is eager to visit the site and indulge her love of paleontology. Jackaby is disinclined to go until former police detective Charlie Cane writes the pair, asking them to investigate a mysterious animal that has begun attacking the animals and people living around the dig site. They oblige, and soon after setting foot in Gad's Valley are swept up in an intrigue of stolen bones, scientific rivalries, murder, and an impossible creature's return to life.

One of my favorite things about Beastly Bones was the vicious competition between Owen Horner and Lewis Lamb. The characters' names are tribute to real-life fossil hunters like Richard Owen and Jack Horner, and the conflict between the two men is modeled on the behavior of 19th century paleontologists like Richard Owen, who is as remembered today for his ruthless self-promotion and brazen claims of discoveries others made before him as his contributions to the study of dinosaurs. In the book, their behavior seems so ridiculous for men of science, but that's how it was in the early days of this field.

Owen and Lamb may not be able to get along with each other, but Abigail and Jackaby continue to be a powerful partnership. They work so well together, with Abigail's simple common sense, scientific background, and observation skills complimenting Jackaby's endless store of esoteric knowledge and experience with the otherworldly. Their relationship is also refreshingly platonic; although there is some romance, the young adult staple love triangle is avoided.

Other relationships in the novel deepen, too. While the mystery of the events in Gad's Valley consume much of the book, we also learn more about Jackaby's resident ghost, Jenny Cavanaugh. Usually, she appears as a cheerful and beautiful woman, but we see a darker and sadder side of her now. Jackaby describes it as an echo, when a spirit becomes unable to move beyond their final moments. Abigail frets that Jenny may become trapped in this echo state, but they cannot help her until the ghost is willing.

A Victorian atmosphere, ghosts, and dinosaurs...how could I not love this book? It's got all of my favorite things in one neat package. Even better, Ritter handles each of these elements well, bringing them together for a story that's creative, fun, and full of surprises. The third book in the series, Ghostly Echoes, will be released towards the end of summer. I can't wait.


5 out of 5 stars


To read more about Beastly Bones, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.




Peeking into the archives...today in:
2015:
2014: The Anatomy Lesson by Nina Siegal
2013: The Big Top Giveaway
2012: Fashionista Piranha on hiatus until May 24th
2011: In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
2010: Discussion Question: E-Reading
2009: News: Digital Piracy Affects Books, Too