Friday, July 19, 2013

Congratulations to our favorite mystery writer Brian Freeman

Congratulations are in order for one of our favorite mystery writers, Brian Freeman.  Brian was so gracious when he came to our library a few years ago to speak about his love of writing.  

He has just won Best Hardcover Novel 2013 in the Thriller Awards.  Here is what he had to say:  "I'm leaving New York...after one of the most memorable and emotional nights of my life. a ballroom filled with amazing suspense writers, I heard my name called. book Spilled Blood was named the Best Hardcover Novel of 2013 in the Thriller Awards.  I can't remember when I was more unprepared or overwhelmed.  I cried.  I thanked a lot of people...bu this is my chance now to thank you, the readers, for your support, which has been so important to me.  If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be in this position today, I never would have believed them.  This is the fulfillment of a dream.  And what it makes me want to do is go home and write more books."

Brian also writes a mystery series featuring Duluth Lieutenant Jonathan Stride.  The first in the series is Immoral.  For fans waiting for the newest in the series, the UK edition, The Cold Nowhere, is available at Amazon UK.  Unfortunately, there is no date set yet for the US edition.  Brian also writes stand alone mysteries including the just honored Spilled Blood.  My personal favorite stand alone is The Bone House

Brian has been writing since he was a teenager and didn't get published until he was 41.  He just laughs when people call him an overnight success.  He's the most down-to-earth, nicest guy and we are hoping he will come back to visit our library when we celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2015.  In the meantime, we will keep enjoying his suspense-filled, award winning novels!
Image of Brian Freeman
Author Brian Freeman

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"The Lotus Eaters" by Tatjana Soli

The Lotus Eaters by first time novelist Tatjana Soli is a surprisingly good read.  It is about Vietnam which is a hard sell to some.  Several book club members did not read it which truly is their loss.  

The story revolves around Helen, a naive college student, who drops out to go to Vietnam when the war is in its beginning stages. Over several years she becomes an award-winning photojournalist.  Sam Darrow, her mentor/competitor is also her lover and draws her more and more into the darkness of this beautiful and mysterious country.  Their friend and co-worker eventually becomes her lover after Sam is killed and Saigon is falling.

The author is never heavy handed in her descriptions of the war but evokes the changing atmosphere as the war escalates. Her research is extensive but the reader is swept up in the story and never feels this is a history lesson.  The author has said that she based Helen on a compilation of several actual women.  For additional information the reader may be interested in learning more about Dickey Chapelle, one of the first female war correspondents in Vietnam.

Goodreads says "Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman's struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love.  Readers will be transfixed by this stunning novel of passion, duty and ambition among the ruins of war."  Well said.

The Lotus Eaters is definitely a fine selection for book clubs and others wanting an alternative to light summer reading.

The Lotus Eaters