Book Group Crystal Ball #BEA12 (part two)
Posted by: Kaite Stover
After picking through the BEA swag boxes I found another five titles I think will have book groups buzzing. There may be more. I seem to be surrounded by mountains of books. But here’s the next five that have me thinking about talking about reading.
The first nonfiction title out of the box is one that I first heard about at PLA in Philadelphia. Midnight in Peking by Paul French should have hit the shelves last month. It’s from Penguin and this book book is the kind of true crime story book groups love. Set in colonial Peking at the dawn of World War II, two detectives investigate the murder of a British schoolgirl. The detectives, one British, one Chinese, are racing against time. They know the Japanese are on the verge of invading the city and Peking will never be the same. Groups that liked Devil in the White City or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil will enjoy this suspenseful tale of an historical crime that still resonates today.
By now readers may have already seen Robert Goolrick’s sophomore effort, Heading Out to Wonderful. It was published earlier this month from Algonquin and promises the same enigmatic, thought-provoking story as A Reliable Wife. Charlie, a loner home from the war in Europe, enters a remote town in midcentury Virginia with only two suitcases, one filled with knives and the other with money. His relationships with Sylvan, the young wife of the town’s most prominent citizen and the Sam, the son of his boss, will have repercussions on the townsfolk, and years down the line, Sam.
In July, look for Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer from St. Martin’s. A story about the secrets a family keeps. Sunny is doing her best to be the type of wife who fits in with her community. But right now her mother is in the hospital, she’s trying to ride herd on her autistic son, she’s pregnant again and her husband,Max, is on a business trip. She wishes he’d come home. But he’s on the moon. It would appear Sunny and Max are inhabiting two different worlds. Boy, are they.
Summer means sweeping, romantic historical novels featuring real historical figures. In August, Simon & Schuster will bring out Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer. In 1850, before either person would become a leader in his and her profession, Gustave Flaubert and Florence Nightingale shared a trip up the Nile and shared their darkest fears, brightest hopes, and friendship that will stay with both of them their entire lives and inform their best, most memorable work. For fans of Loving Frank or The Paris Wife.
If there is such a genre as a ‘quiet thriller,’ then Algonquin’s forthcoming The Art Forger by B.A Shapiro defines it. A speedy pace, imperfect characters, and a fascinating frame will keep readers glued to the end. A young painter makes a decision that derails her artistic career even as it makes the career of another artist. A proposition from a trendy gallery owner could bring her back into the art world, but it would also mean pulling off one of the greatest forgeries the art world has seen in this century. Book groups will appreciate the complex plot and discussing the ownership of art. The Art Forger will hit shelves in October.