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|There are only a handful on my short list of authors I read in hardback, hopefully the day the book is released (hopefully, the publishers will send a freebie Advance Readers Copy a couple of months before publication date). Harlan Coben is on that list. He has won the trifecta of mystery awards: the Edgar, the Shamus, and the Anthony, the only writer to do so. Several recent books have debuted as number one on the New York Times bestseller list.|
His novels often involve the effects in the present of unresolved or misinterpreted events in the past such as murders and fatal accidents, etc. His multiple plot twists are masterful, and his characters complex and interesting. His books are set in and around New York and New Jersey, where he grew up. Current Governor Chris Christie was president of their high school class and Coben was president of the student council in their senior year.
Coben has written ten novels so far featuring Myron Bolitar, who has gone from a struggling New Jersey sports agent to a wildly successful superagent. He has also written ten standalone novels, one of which, Tell No One, is one of my favorite books ever. It was made into a film of the same title in France, and was one of the top grossing foreign films of 2006. Rent it!
His latest is Live Wire, in which Bolitar's family is involved. A rock star client disappears, and his pregnant wife, a former tennis star client is distraught, and begs Bolitar to find him. This despite her having seen a Facebook posting casting doubts whether the rock star is the father. In the search, at a crowded nightclub, Bolitar spots his sister-in-law, Kitty, which leads to a separate search for her and his estranged younger brother, Brad, whom he hasn't seen for sixteen years. Bolitar is forced to confront deep secrets in the wife's past, his family's mortality, and soon, his own. It is not Coben's greatest book, but it is a great read. His merely good is better than a lot of other authors' best.
(Note to mystery lovers: when you like an author, you want to read everything he or she has written, but when you are buying books, you cannot remember which you have read and which you have not. My solution is to go to the author's page on Wikipedia, and highlight the list of his/her books, and copy it to a text file. I delete the books I've already read, then post on my cellphone the books I've not yet read.)
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|Our trade association, the American Booksellers Association, has introduced a service called IndieSource.com. Independent bookstores like Latitude 33 will be able to use it to create their own websites with a powerful search engine for books, so that you can find a book based on many criteria, find out if we have it in the store, order a print book that we can have it for you the following day, order it shipped directly to you, or download it to your ebook reader, in a variety of formats except Kindle. We plan to go live soon. |
Stay tuned for the new website.
It's May, which means "Mom," of course! And what mom doesn't like to read (not ours). So, we've gathered together some of the best books for you to choose from: Isabel Allende's
latest--now in paperback; the new Geraldine Brooks
; Lisa See's
sequel to Shanghai Girls
; and many, many more (see below). If you need more suggestions, our staff of readers are happy to help. (Just an idea: pick something you like, then you can borrow it back after your mother has finished it.)
Happy May Day, Happy Reading!
Book Discussion Group
|May 3rd, 6:00PM |
For this next discussion, we will have read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Of all the contenders for the title of "The Great American Novel," none has a better claim than this story. More than a century after its publication it remains a major work that can be enjoyed at many levels: as an incomparable adventure story and as a classic of American humor. Even if you've read it before (as we all have), read it again - you'll find it's a whole new story.
The next read is Wolf Hall (Picador) by Hilary Mantel
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph? 640 pages of fabulous fiction!
Please join us - we are an interesting group. Everyone is welcome to join. Everyone gets to have their say. A variety of opinions and perspectives are encouraged. We meet on the first Tuesday of every month.
| May 4th, 6:00PM|
LA Times Book Prize Nominee Leslie Jamison
will join us to discuss and sign her book The Gin Closet
(Free Press)The Gin Closet
unravels the strange and powerful intimacy that forms between them. With an uncanny ear for dialogue and a witty, unflinching candor about sex, love, and power, Leslie Jamison reminds us that no matter how unexpected its turns, the life we're given is all we have: the cruelties that unhinge us, the beauties that clarify us, the addictions that deform us, those fleeting possibilities of grace that fade as quickly as they come.Jamison
has been published in "Best New American Voices" 2008, "A Public Space" and "Black Warrior Review." She grew up in Los Angeles, was educated at Harvard College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has also worked as an innkeeper in California, a schoolteacher in Nicaragua, and an office temp in Manhattan. She is currently a PhD candidate at Yale University, where she is writing dissertation on poverty and degradation in twentieth-century American writing. She is twenty-six years old. Please visit www.lesliejamison.com
|Author Event - Laguna Beach Garden Club|
| May 13th, 10:30AM|
The Laguna Beach Garden Club presents Amy Stewart
, author of Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill).
In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of man's relationship with the natural world, Stewart
tracks down more than 100 of the worst entomological foes--creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. The event will be at the Neighborhood Congregational Church at 340 St. Ann's Drive.
Please visit www.amystewart.com
for more information.Amy Stewart
is the award-winning author of five books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including two New York Times bestsellers, Wicked Plants
and Flower Confidential
. She has appeared on hundreds of national and regional radio and television programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, NPR's Morning Edition, and Good Morning America. She has written for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and every national garden magazine, including Fine Gardening, where she is a contributing editor. Stewart
lives in Eureka, CA, with her husband Scott Brown. They own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books and tend a flock of unruly hens in their backyard.
Latitude 33 will be there selling books. Get yourself an autographed copy!
|Local Author Event|
| May 14th, 4:00PM|
Join us for local author Gini Warner's
new book release, The Gluten-Free Edge: Get Skinny the Gluten-Free Way!
(Adams Media Corporation) Gini
will be joined by Chef Ross Harris
. They will be providing gluten-free snacks and wine.
Dieting can be difficult, but nutritionist Gini Warner
lays out a 7-day meal plan that makes going gluten-free surprisingly simple, and chef Ross Harris
delivers gourmet meals that guarantee weight loss. Inside, you'll find 200 recipes that taste so good you won't even realize you're leaving something out. Gluten-filled foods can derail even the best-intentioned diets, but these gourmet recipes give you the edge you need to get the weight-loss results that last. Best of all, you don't have to give up the foods you love to get there!Gini Warner
, MA has been a clinical nutritionist for more than twenty years and works with families, individuals, and corporations in the fields of celiac disease, immune dysfunction, diabetes, osteoporosis, weight loss, and overall wellness.
Chef Ross Harris
is a personal chef who prides himself on giving his clients the choice of traditional or gluten-free ingredients.
Please visit www.healthbygini.com
for more information.
| May 21st, 4:00PM|
Rita Lee Lloyd
will be here to sign and discuss her new book, How To Survive in the 21st Century as a S.S.O.F.F.**Suddenly Single Over Forty Female
Do you feel as though you're living in a parallel universe? Was your last real date in the 20th Century? Then you need to come to this event and you need this Survival Guide for the "Suddenly Single Over Forty Female!" Surviving is so much more than simply remaining alive. It's about how you live, your perception, your attitude, getting to know the true you! Once you know the Rules, you can see your life ahead as an opportunity to become a fully alive, amazing you!
Finding herself a suddenly single over 40 widow and mother, Rita Lee Lloyd
, who had long been successful in corporate America began to explore her creative side. Leaving the financial industry, Rita
first developed a successful clothing business and later enrolled in acting classes. Rita
has put what she learned along the way into a charming, easy, deceptively empowering new book. Please also visit www.ritaleelloyd.com
|The Penguin Dozen|
The Penguin Dozen is a yearlong program featuring Penguin's most beloved characters. Whether classic or new, young readers will find opportunities each month to get reacquainted with their favorite friends! Every month we feature a different character - and this month it is Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney. Stop in the store and see what else Baby Llama is doing these days!
Q: What's up with the llama? How and why did you come up with that?
Anna: I am one of those weird, annoying people who, when they pass cows in a field, go, "MOO!" And as I had two little kids, and I live in a state with lots of cows and sheep, I often said, "MOO" and "BAAAAH!" But whenever we passed a field that had llamas, I didn't know what llamas "said", so I said, "Llama llama!", and that's how it started. Now I know that llamas don't "say" anything, actually. Unless they are in my books!
|New Releases for Young Readers|
|The Kane Chronicles, Book Two: Throne of Fire
(Hyperion Books) by Rick Riordan
In this exciting second installment of the three-book series, Carter and Sadie, offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.Heist Society
(Hyperion Books) by Ally Carter
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre . . . to case it. When Kat turned 15, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.I'll Be There
(Little Brown Books for Young Readers) by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Sam wishes he could escape. Raised by an unstable father, he's spent his life moving from place to place. But he could never abandon his little brother, Riddle. Riddle doesn't talk much. Instead, he draws pictures of the insides of things and waits for the day when the outsides of things will make sense. He worships his older brother. But how can they leave when there's nowhere to go? Then everything changes. Because Sam meets Emily.The Midnight Palace
(Little Brown Books for Young Readers) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Midnight Palace is the secret place where the Chowbar Society holds their meetings. The secret society is made up of seven orphans from St. Patrick's Orphanage in Calcutta in 1932. They vow to protect one another to the death, and just as they are about to graduate the orphanage, their vow is tested by an unknown force. Suddenly, the events in Calcutta sixteen years previous loom large, and Ben and his friends must solve the puzzle and save themselves from the evil.
The Emerald Atlas
(Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers) by John Stephens
Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the 10 years since their parents disappeared to protect them, but now they learn that they have special powers, a prophesied quest to find a magical book, and a fearsome enemy. The Dark and Hollow Places
(Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers) by Carrie Ryan
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, and the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. The thrilling conclusion to the "Forest of Hands and Teeth" trilogy.Beauty Queens
(Scholastic Press) by Libba Bray
This inventive satire mocks celebrity culture while celebrating the resilience of teen girls. A planeload of teen beauty queens crash onto a (not so) deserted island. Lord of the Flies
with an evening gown competition, anyone?
|New Releases |
|Island Beneath the Sea
(Harper Perennial) by Isabel AllendeAllende
spins the unforgettable saga of an extraordinary woman determined to find love amid loss and forge her own identity under the cruelest of circumstances. Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue--the daughter of an African mother she never knew and a white sailor who brought her into bondage--Zarite, known as Tete, survives a childhood of brutality and fear, finding solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and the mysteries of voodoo.Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now
(Harper One) by Lama Surya Das
A friend of the Dalai Lama and a frequent guest on television and radio, Lama Surya Das
' latest book dwells on the theme of time and suggests that we have fallen out of step with the essences of natural time. Once we reconnect with original senses of time, he avers, we can see that we have time enough for meditation, creativity, and improved health.The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School
(Hyperion Books) by Alexandra Robbins
An insightful and timely look at the current state of America's teenage wasteland commonly known as "high school." Robbins
follows the lives of seven students across the nation with very different and unique personalities: from "the gamer" and "the band geek" to "the popular bitch" and "the new girl" as well as interviewing hundreds of other students, teachers, and counselors from a range of public, private, urban, rural, technical, college prep, and arts schools to prove what she calls her "Quirk Theory: " that "Many of the differences that cause a student to be excluded in school are the identical traits or real-world skills that others will value, love, respect, or find compelling about that person in adulthood and outside of the school setting."Familyhood
(Hyperion Books) by Paul Reiser
In keeping with the theme of his two previous New York Times bestsellers, Couplehood
brings his trademark warmth and razor-sharp wit to bear on observations about parenting, marriage, and midlife. The Story of Beautiful Girl
(Grand Central Publishing) by Rachel Simon
Lynnie and Homan, escapees from a school for the feebleminded, are on the run. They have found refuge at the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. When the authorities find them, Homan escapes into the woods, and Lynnie is recaptured. Lynnie manages to whisper into Martha's ear, just before she is led away in a straitjacket, "hide her"--the child Lynnie has just given birth to and left in a basket in Martha's attic. What follows is the story of Lynnie and Homan, who, despite great obstacles, spend the next 40 years looking for one another. It is also the story of Martha, who cares for Lynnie's child.Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me
(Grand Central Publishing) by Chelsea HandlerHandler
loves to smoke out "dumbassness," the condition people suffer from that allows them to fall prey to her brand of complete and utter nonsense. Friends, family, and co-workers all have been tricked by her into believing stories of total foolishness and into behaving like total fools. Now, for the first time, they write about them.Thank You Notes
(Grand Central Publishing) by Jimmy Fallon
Comic and Talk Show host, Fallon
, addresses some 200 subjects in need of his undying "gratitude." Each page features one note and a photograph of its recipient. From Hilary Clinton to a light bulb he is too lazy to replace, these are the moments and memories that make his life a little bit fuller. Bossypants
(Reagan Arthur Books) by Tina Fey
On her way to becoming an award-winning superstar, Tina Fey
struggled through some questionable haircuts, some after-school jobs, the rise of nachos as a cultural phenomenon, a normal childhood, a happy marriage and joyful motherhood. Now she can reflect on what she's learned: you're no one until someone calls you "bossy." Day for Night
(Reagan Arthur Books) by Frederick Reiken
"If you look hard enough into the history of anything, you will discover things that seem to be connected but are not." So claims a character in Reiken
's wonderful, surprising novel, which seems in fact to be determined to prove just the opposite. How else to explain the threads that link a middle-aged woman on vacation in Florida with a rock and roll singer visiting her comatose brother in Utah, where he's been transported after a motorcycle injury in Israel, where he works with a man whose long-lost mother, in a retirement community in New Jersey, recognizes him in a televised report about an Israeli-Palestinian skirmish? And that's not the half of it. Tabloid City
(Little Brown and Company) by Pete Hamill
In a stately West Village townhouse, a wealthy socialite and her secretary are murdered. In the 24 hours that follow, a flurry of activity circles around their shocking deaths: The head of one of the city's last tabloids stops the presses. A cop investigates the killing. A reporter chases the story. A disgraced hedge fund manager flees the country. An Iraq War vet seeks revenge. And an angry young extremist plots a major catastrophe.Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
(Little Brown and Company) by James Andrew Miller
The first complete and never-before revealed history of ESPN is a wild, smart, effervescent look at the triumph, genius, ego, and rise of an empire unlike any television has ever seen. Miller
exposes the worldwide leader--and the rowdiest frat house in sports TV. Announcers and analysts as well as sports stars share their stories about the network.Room
(Back Bay Books) by Emma Donoghue
s writing is superb alchemy, changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness. Room
is a book to read in one sitting. When it's over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days." ~Audrey Niffenegger
, author of The Time Traveler's WifeLife
(Back Bay Books) by Keith RichardsKeith Richards
, guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones, created the songs that roused the world, and he lived the original rock and roll life. Now, at last, the man himself tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane.Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Jason Felch
and Ralph Frammolino
Drawing on a trove of confidential museum records and frank interviews, Felch
give a fly-on-the-wall account of the inner workings of a world-class museum and tell the story of the Getty's dealings in the illegal antiquities trade. Fast-paced and compelling, Chasing Aphrodite
exposes the layer of dirt beneath the polished facade of the museum business. The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives
(Random House) by Katie Couric
In this inspirational collection, CBS News anchor Couric
calls upon leaders and visionaries in the fields of politics, entertainment, sports, philanthropy, the arts, and business--all of whom share heartfelt, humorous, and useful insights about success and fulfillment. Includes contributions by Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Handler, Malcolm Gladwell, Steve Martin
, and Michael Bloomberg.Dreams of Joy
(Random House) by Lisa SeeSee
continues the irresistible saga of May, Pearl, and Pearl's daughter, Joy, in a novel set in the immediate aftermath of the emotional events that brought Shanghai Girls (2009) to a fevered conclusion. Reeling with the revelation of her mother's true identity and burdened with the belief that she alone caused her fathers suicide, Joy hastily flees Hollywood to the People's Republic of China. There she plans to search for her biological father and beautiful girl artist Li Zhi-ge, and immerse herself in the communist lifestyle, the rhetoric of which she embraced as a college student. Once she discovers what Joy has done, Pearl travels back to Shanghai at great personal risk to try and locate her daughter and convince her to return home. Both women find a nation in the throes of Chairman Mao's Great Leap Forward campaign, and immediately are catapulted into lives of unspeakable deprivation and gut-wrenching horror.Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour
(Random House) by Lynne Olson
"Citizens of London
is a great read about the small band of Americans and their courageous role in helping Britain through the darkest days of early World War II. I thought I knew a lot about that dangerous period but Lynne Olson
has taught me so much more." ~Tom BrokawIn the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
(Crown Publishing) by Erik Larson
In this mesmerizing portrait of the Nazi capital, Larson
surveys Berlin, circa 1933-1934, from the perspective of two American na´fs: Roosevelt's ambassador to Germany, William Dodd, an academic historian and Jeffersonian liberal who hoped Nazism would de-fang itself (he urged Hitler to adopt America's milder conventions of anti-Jewish discrimination), and Dodd's daughter Martha, a sexual free spirit who loved Nazism's vigor and ebullience. Caleb's Crossing
(Viking Books) by Geraldine Brooks
In 1965, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck of Martha's Vineyard graduated from Harvard, whose 1650 charter describes its mission as "the education of the English and Indian youth of this country." That much is fact. That Caleb befriended Bethia Mayfield, the free-spirited daughter of the island's preacher, is of course fiction--but it's luscious fiction in the capable hands of Pulitzer Prize winner Brooks
.If You Ask Me: And of Course You Won't
(Putnam Adult) by Betty White
Drawing from a lifetime of lessons learned, and a seven-decade career in Hollywood, seven-time Emmy winner Betty White'
s wit and wisdom take center stage as she tackles topics like friendship, romantic love, aging, television, fans, love for animals, and the brave new world of celebrity.