Friday, October 11, 2013

"Still Life" by Louise Penny

Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
First in the series
Patrons are mentioning Canadian author Louise Penny's mystery novels more and more.  It may be time you met her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache for yourself.   

Still Life is the first of nine in this delightful "whodunit" series. All are set in the fictional village of Three Pines in the province of Quebec.  You don't have to read the novels in order but it will be more satisfying to get to know the delightfully quirky characters as the series unfolds.

Louise Penny is a former Canadian journalist.  She submitted the first book to United Kingdom's "Debut Dagger" and came in second out of 800 entries.  Since then she's won five Agatha Awards and all her books have been nominated or won many prestigious awards.

The recent How The Light Gets In is the 9th in the series.  It debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.  Kirkus starred review says it has "luminous insights into trust and friendship". 

Armand Gamache is not one of your down and out, depressed Scandinavian detectives.  He is dignified and has deep affection for the villagers.  He also gives gentle life lessons.  He tells each of his new agents four statements that will lead to wisdom in solving crimes:
        • I was wrong.
        • I am sorry.
        • I don't know.
        • I need help.
Actually, these four statements would help bring harmony to all human relationships.  Check out Louise Penny's thoughtful volumes today.

The latest in the series

Friday, October 4, 2013

New Books

There are several new books worth checking out!

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert sounds fascinating but at 512 pages it may be too long for a book club read.  Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame turns out to be a great writer, at least according to the rave reviews she's getting for her new historical novel.  Many readers loved Eat, Pray, Love but the 19th century female botanist of this new book sounds much more interesting to me.

Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, The Lowland is short-listed for The Man Booker Prize.  
Set in India and America it's "the tale of two brothers bound by tragedy and a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past".  

Malcolm Gladwell of Outlier fame has written another thought-provoking book this time about his observations of David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and The Art of Battling Giants.  

Doctor Sleep:  A Novel is Stephen King's sequel to The Shining.  He said this will be his only sequel (not counting one he did with a co-author).  Prepare to be scared according to the reviews.

Bill O'Reilly is keeping up with his "killing" books with Killing Jesus.  Although the reviews say that there is no new information explored he does write with a fast-paced, thriller type style that makes these books interesting.

For readers who prefer to cry their way through a book, Nicholas Sparks has a new one entitled The Longest Ride. It's a tale of two love stories (two for the price of one!).

John Grisham has a new book coming out October 22nd entitled Sycamore Row which revisits the Ford County lawyer from his blockbuster A Time to Kill.

Publishers Weekly says "Thriller Award winner John Sandford ventures into DaVinci Code territory in his clever, quirky 7th Virgil Flowers novel".  The title is Storm Front and will be released October 8th.

We Are Water by Wally Lamb is coming out October 22nd. A friend recently mentioned that one of her favorite books of all time is his I Know This Much is True.  Mr. Lamb does not publish often and his books always become bestsellers.  The cover says with humor and compassion he "digs deep into the complexities of the human heart to explore the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives."

With the early darkness of autumn now is the time to skip TV and check out a new book at your  local library.  Hope this has given you a few good ideas.